Theresa May in the House of Commons
Theresa May in the House of Commons |CC BY-ND 2.0

The Brexit Fiasco: Lessons for Involving Parliament in Foreign Policy

The UK’s orderly exit from the EU is still in limbo. No matter how things will turn out, the inability of Theresa May’s government to get parliamentary approval for the Withdrawal Agreement has made the process a fiasco. Brexit is delayed, government in crisis, public opinion deeply divided and a „no deal“ Brexit has become a realistic possibility. All of this happened, even though Theresa May applied a tried and tested strategy for pushing international agreements through parliament. Her failure holds important lessons for how (not) to involve parliament in international negotiations.

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UNESCO is among the organisations that have been sidelined by the Trump Administration
UNESCO is among the organisations that have been sidelined by the Trump Administration | Photo: Julien Chatelain | CC BY SA 2.0

Saving Multilateralism in Times of Trump: What Can Europe Do?

The Trump administration’s recent statements and actions have removed any doubt that it is set on dismantling part of the multilateral order which the United States once helped build. America’s retreat from the role of a hegemon that creates and enforces order is a problem for US allies committed to a rule-based world. What can they do to save it, and what can they learn from past episodes of US unilateralism? In this blogpost (based on a new article), we argue that even though great challenges remain, in many policy-areas the prospects of a “multilateralism minus one” have improved.

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Far-right sympathizers at a demonstration in Magdeburg
Far-right sympathizers at a demonstration in Magdeburg | Photo: _timl | CC BY 2.0

Far-right terrorism: Academically neglected and understudied

The terrorist attack in New Zealand which resulted in 50 deaths and multiple injuries is a bloody and tragic reminder of the threat posed by the far-right. The world has been scarred by an upsurge in far-right attacks, many perpetrated by lone actors. Yet, recent research has demonstrated that the far-right is dramatically understudied in comparison to other forms of violent radicalisation.

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Philippines Drug War Protest, New York City, in 2016
Philippines Drug War Protest, New York City, in 2016 | Photo: Vocal-NY | CC BY 2.0

Duterte’s war against drugs in the Philippines: Continuity and change

Since the election of Rodrigo Duterte to President of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police has waged an unrelenting war against drug crime that cost the lives of thousands of suspects.  A spatial and temporal analysis of the past 30 months suggests that violence is slowly receding. While the situation is still highly problematic, a number of positive developments suggest that in an increasing number of provinces police violence is slowly returning to its pre-Duterte levels. While the master-key for ending the killings lies with the central government, provincial governments can do their share to mitigate the deadly repercussions of the Duterte government’s drug war.

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The price of Catfish has nearly doubled at local markets due to the security situation
The price of Catfish has nearly doubled at local markets due to the security situation | Photo: PGskot | CC BY-SA 4.0

Military cooperation in the Sahel: Much to do to protect civilians

With the emergence of the G5 Sahel cooperation and the creation of a distinct military force – the G5 Sahel Joint Force – military cooperation of the EU in the Sahel has gained new weight. The visit of German Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas, to the region last week together with recent high-level meetings of the G5-Sahel General Secretary, Maman Sambo Sidikou, and Burkina Faso’s President, Roch M. Kaboré, with the German Government highlight this development. The EU, including Germany and France, are key partners to support security and development in the Sahel. However, current developments in combat zones demonstrate the risk of the operating forces to further fuel conflict and accelerate human rights abuses.

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Nigerian Elections 2015: INEC staff in Abuja
Nigerian Elections 2015: INEC staff in Abuja | Photo: IIP Photo Archive | CC BY NC 2.0

Security Challenges to the 2019 Election in Nigeria

The upcoming general election in Nigeria might not be of intrinsic interest for most citizens. Despite a good track record of many peaceful transitions of power through elections, there are concerns about the security situation. This affects not only the general level of security in the country, but also the election process itself and the role of incumbent government officials trying to influence the process in their favor.

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ELN guerrilla poster, National University of Colombia
ELN guerrilla poster, National University of Colombia | Photo: Julián Ortega Martínez | CC BY SA 2.0

War returns to Colombia

On January 17, the National Liberation Army (ELN) attacked the General Santander Police Academy in Bogota, resulting in 21 deaths and more than 70 wounded. Beyond the sheer number of victims, the attack is notable because it targeted a well-protected facility in the heart of the Colombian capital. In the wake of the attack, the government definitively ended the faltering peace negotiations with the ELN in Cuba.

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A minke whale in the antarctica
A minke whale in the antarctica | Photo: ravas51 | CC BY SA 2.0

Is the commercial whaling ban in danger? Japan’s withdrawal from the International Whaling Commission

After decades of whaling under an exemption for scientific research, Japan withdrew from the International Whaling Commission last month, formally resuming commercial whaling. What effects will this have on the commission, and the international ban on commercial whaling in general? While the ban has been weakened over the past decades, the recent withdrawal does not necessarily sound the death knell. Rather, it could also mean the end of decades of deadlock in the commission. More broadly, the Japanese exit raises questions of dealing with international challenges through inclusive institutions and commissions – Should inclusivity be pursued at any cost, or can it be productive to proceed on different tracks?

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Rodrigo Duerte
Rodrigo Duerte | Photo: Prachatai | CC BY-ND 2.0

Populism, executive assertiveness and popular support for strongman-democracy in the Philippines

Populists are supposed to thrive on their ability to mirror, condense and radicalize popular demands ignored by establishment politicians. This sketch on the election-promises and later policies of Philippine strongman Rodrigo Duterte suggests that their success is less dependent on any pre-existing radical popular demands, but on their authenticity as leaders who get things done […]

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Incarceration
Incarceration | Photo: graphik_h | Free use

Land of the Free and Incarcerated: Mass Incarceration of People of Color in the US

Over 2 million people are currently locked up either in a US jail or prison. When also including people on parole and probation this number shoots up to a staggering 6.84 million. To put this into perspective, the US population makes up only 5 percent of the world´s population but holds 25 percent of the global inmate population – no other country in the world puts this many people behind bars. Furthermore, it is disproportionately the black population that is locked into the system of mass incarceration. Examining the issue of black mass incarceration in more detail, a strong argument can be made that this system maintains and perpetuates a racialized social order severely marginalizing people of color.

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