Under the heading of the “Green Revolution”, agriculture has been industrialized for higher yields. | Photo: Unsplash, James Baltz | Free use

Why will so many Scientists Boycott the UN Food Systems Summit?

At the upcoming Food Summit, the United Nations take a necessarily hard look at the world’s food systems. “Not hard enough”, claim an increasing number of food and agricultural scientists who are losing their patience with the globalized system of agribusiness and its failure to deliver for the world’s poor and the environment.


Helmet and Flack Jackets of U.N. Peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of Congo. | Photo: flickr, UN Photo/Marie Frechon | CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Give Peacekeeping a Chance in Afghanistan

The withdrawal of U.S. military in Afghanistan is underway and the security situation is increasingly worsening. This blog explains why, unlike counterinsurgency, peacekeeping could actually work to stabilize the country as it is based on the consent of the parties of the civil war.


Symbolic picture: newly elected president, Guillermo Lasso (center) is leaving the inauguration ceremony arm in arm with Guadalupe Llori (right), indigenous leader and newly elected president of the National Assembly. | Photo: Flickr, Asamblea Nacional del Ecuador | CC BY-SA 2.0

Moving past the Pro-Correa / Anti-Correa divide in Ecuadorian politics: The indigenous Pachakutik party as a third force

On May 24, the day he took office as Ecuador’s new president, Guillermo Lasso,  was seen leaving the ceremony next to Guadalupe Llori, indigenous leader and newly elected president of the National Assembly. Lasso, a conservative politician and former banker, had won the runoff against Andrés Arauz, the candidate supported by the political movement of former president Rafael Correa, who had governed the country between 2007 and 2017. Yet, Ecuador’s new political landscape offers a chance to move beyond the polarization between Correa supporters (Correístas) and opponents (Anti-Correístas). A key sociopolitical force in this regard is the indigenous movement and its political organization, Pachakutik.


"Venezuela wants peace" | Photo: Flickr, Wilfredor | CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The EU, Venezuela, and democracy promotion: A rejoinder to Elliott Abrams’ comments

In his blog post “The EU and Venezuela: More Bad Advice”, published on the website of the Council on Foreign Relations, Elliott Abrams critically reviews my thoughts on “A New Framework for Dealing with Venezuela: From Democracy to Conflict Resolution”. In this piece, I argued that the EU should shift from what I call the “democracy framework” to a “framework of peace mediation and conflict resolution”. Abrams’ comments give me the opportunity to clarify some issues and tease out key differences between his approach and the one I am arguing for.


Strait of Hormuz – the strait between Iran on the north coast and the Arabian Peninsula on the south is less than 40km at some points. It is one of the world’s most strategically choke points. | Photo: © European Space Agency via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

Overcoming Gulf-Rivalry? Challenges and Chances of Saudi-Iranian Dialogue

While the Saudi-Iranian relations have mostly been shaped by ‘peaceful rivalry’ since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, they increasingly turned hostile following the so-called ‘Arab Spring’. Building on recent dynamics in the Gulf region, high level politicians of Saudi Arabia and Iran have signaled serious willingness for dialogue and reconciliation. We argue here that these renewed efforts are primarily motivated by security and economic concerns but have also been supported through a series of informal interactions at different societal levels. While dialogue seems possible and desirable, its long-term prospects will be challenged by changing regional dynamics and the respective political will to overcome historical constructs of rivalry and regional competition.


What should we call those who stormed the US Capitol on January 6 of this year? | Photo: flickr, Tyler Merbler | CC BY 2.0

The Capitol Rioters and their Supporters beyond “Us vs. Them”: A view from outside the US

What should we call those who stormed the US Capitol on January 6 of this year? Struggles over possible labels matter: What one calls a certain group has implications for the ways in which one can and will engage with them. The polarization of Americans when it comes to classifying the attacks is indicative of a larger dilemma: how should one respond to the rioters and their demands – and is that even an option?


Protesters in Miraflores demonstrate “For a Peru without corruption” on November 14, 2020. Peru’s crisis ahead of the April 11 parliamentary elections is multifaceted. | Photo: Flickr, Samantha Hare. | CC BY 2.0
Protesters in Miraflores demonstrate “For a Peru without corruption” on November 14, 2020. Peru’s crisis ahead of the April 11 elections is multifaceted. | Photo: Flickr, Samantha Hare. | CC BY 2.0

Peru: General Elections in the Air, a Crisis of Democracy on the Ground

On 11 April 2021, the Republic of Peru will hold general elections. However, the elections have been overshadowed by the November 2020 Parliamentary Coup and the massive police violence against protesters who have been demonstrating against the controversial outcast of the former President Martín Vizcarra by the Congress. PRIF student research assistant Laura Fischer had the opportunity to speak with Carlos López Felipe Vásquez, a Human Rights activist and a professor for Public International Law at the Technical University of Peru, about the background of the political and constitutional crisis.


Video games such as Minecraft have started to become the target of extremist actors. | Photo: Flickr, Lego Photo mureut | CC BY-ND 2.0

Let’s play prevention: Can P/CVE turn the tables on extremists’ use of gamification?

In the wake of the attacks in Christchurch, El Paso and Halle, the so-called ‘gamification of terror’ has made headlines and sparked academic interest in the potential role of gamification in radicalisation processes. Most recently, the Radicalization Awareness Network (RAN) has discussed both videogames and gamification as potential facilitating factors of radicalisation in the EU. This blog article is based on the new RAN Paper “The Gamification of Violent Extremism & Lessons for P/CVE”.


U.S. Navy Seizes Weapons in Gulf of Aden. Photo: U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) Public Affairs | Public Domain (The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement).

Arms Transfers in the Gulf of Aden. Shining the Spotlight on Regional Dynamics

Since the outbreak of the war in Yemen in 2015, the state has seen a growing influx in the supply of weapons. These weapons are both legally and illegally provided by regional and international powers to all major factions of the conflict. While arms transfers and their effects on the conflict in Yemen have received considerable attention, a lesser known fact is that weapons are increasingly circulating between Yemen, Somalia and Djibouti – the three states adjoining the Gulf of Aden. Against this background, this text shines the spotlight on weapons flows dynamics in a highly militarized region.


Past German-Russia relations have surely also been shaped by the relationship between both countries’ long-standing leaders. With Angela Merkel not running for election again and the upcoming Greens, how will a future German approach towards Russia look like? | Photo: flickr, Lord Jim | CC BY 2.0

Green is the New Black? What might the “Green” German foreign policy vis-à-vis Russia look like?

The election of a new German Chancellor to replace Angela Merkel after more than 15 years in office is eagerly anticipated both at home and abroad. However, anyone expecting a drastic change in German foreign policy towards Russia will be most likely disappointed. At present, most signs indicate that relations between both countries will remain frosty or even deteriorate post-election, regardless of who ultimately prevails in the voters‘ preference. However, one uncertain variable in this otherwise predictable equation is the possible role played by the Green Party in shifting the country’s international course, as it most likely will become a part of a new German government after the election.