Image shows barricades using traditional Sarongs as a means of Protest in Myanmar
Traditional sarongs and other “feminine” items have become effective tools in protest. | Photo: Maung Sun via wikimedia commons | CC BY-SA 4.0

Here, There, and Everywhere: Feminist Resistance beyond the “Women, Peace and Security” Agenda in Post-Coup Myanmar

As a landmark in the movement to increase global attention to women’s critical role in participation, protection, prevention, relief and recovery in conflict settings, the UN Security Council’s resolutions on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) lend reference power to gender mainstreaming in all issues related to conflict resolution and peace governance – however, they fall short of effectively supporting women’s resistance in Myanmar.

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Flaggen verschiedener Länder in einem Camp in Niger und zwei Soldaten, die gerade weitere Flaggen heraufziehen.
Policy coherence for peace should be strengthened at the national level, but also internationally. | Photo: US Africa Command via flickr | CC BY 2.0

Coherent Peace Policy: It’s the Content that Counts

That inter-ministerial competition doesn’t make for more successful foreign policy is a commonplace observation. However, it isn’t enough that all parts of government pull together, they must move together in the right direction.

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Kenya's new president William Ruto shakes hands with outgoing President Kenyatta, as he is sworn into office. In the other hand, Ruto holds a box. Fireworks can be seen.
Kenya’s new president Ruto shakes hands with his predecessor Kenyatta, as he is sworn into office. | Photo: © picture alliance/AP | Brian Inganga

Have the Tables Turned? What to Expect from Kenya’s New “Hustler” President William Ruto

Kenya had awaited the presidential elections held on August 9, 2022 with bated breath. The elections were won by William Ruto, who defeated opponent Raila Odinga by just a few percentage points. Ruto succeeds Uhuru Kenyatta, who leaves office having served his two permitted terms. This Spotlight analyzes the reasons for Ruto’s success, and, reflecting on his political career, discusses what can be expected from his presidency. We argue that both his success and his career have been strongly influenced by Kenya’s political history and the power structures of political alliances—especially in the context of previous elections.

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Ornamental image of eyes and figures with hands in front of their faces
Women's rights act as a connector to unite different groups and social classes fighting for democracy and rule of law. | Image: © Parastou Forouhar

“For this Forced Heaven”: Women’s Rights as the Path to Democracy in Iran

Iran’s streets have been the scene of inspiring portraits created by women and young girls chanting “women, life, freedom” over the past six weeks. Starting as a reaction to the death of 22-year-old Zhina (Mahsa) Amini, who was killed by the so-called “morality police” for wearing her hijab improperly, the protests have now turned into a cross-class, women-led movement for democracy and rule of law. This post looks at the situation of women from a historical perspective after the Islamic revolution and argues that women’s rights are acting as a connector to unite different groups and social classes fighting for democracy and rule of law in the current protests.

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Image shows a meeting between Biden, Putin, Blinken and Lawrow as well as two translators. They are sitting in front of a wall of bookshelves and the US and Russian flags.
Es geht nicht nur um Verhandlungen, sondern zuallererst um Gespräche zwischen den Großmächten. | Photo: The White House via flickr | Public Domain

Die Quadratur des Kreises: Friedensverhandlungen unter Feinden

Acht Monate dauert der Krieg bereits an, den Russland gegen die Ukraine führt, und immer noch sind wir weit von Friedensverhandlungen entfernt. Unmöglich und unerwünscht seien Verhandlungen, hört man in der öffentlichen Debatte. Nicht alle Argumente gegen Verhandlungen sind aber gleichermaßen stichhaltig und zu oft wird übersehen, dass es nicht nur um Verhandlungen geht und nicht nur zwischen den Kontrahenten, sondern zuallererst um Gespräche und zwar zwischen den Großmächten, die indirekt und direkt an diesem Konflikt beteiligt sind.

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A women and three children standing on a dirt road with soldiers in the background
Locals of the Russian-occupied village of Chervone (Kyiv region) are being evacuated to a safe zone. | Foto: Anatoly Gray via flickr | CC BY-NC 2.0

The Continuing Relevance of the “Women, Peace and Security” Agenda in the Context of Russia’s War on Ukraine

Ukraine has become one of the first countries to launch a National Action Plan (NAP) of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda (WPS) during a localized armed conflict and to update it during the full-scale invasion of the country. This blog unveils some of the ways that gender and war are intertwined in Ukraine while discussing the role of the WPS agenda.

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Public square in Istanbul with election banners signifiyng different political parties.
Election banners signifying different political parties in Istanbul. | Photo: Aris Gionis via flickr | CC BY-NC 2.0

The 2023 Elections in Turkey. Can the Opposition Challenge Erdoğan and the AKP?

Turkey’s presidential and parliamentary elections on June 18, 2023, will be a notable juncture point. These elections will determine the country’s future and direction, and are therefore not only significant for domestic politics, but also at the international level as regards Turkey’s capacity to serve as a global actor. During these elections, the opposition will take on the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to gain political power after two decades of AKP rule. They will only have a chance of success if they propose a strong candidate to challenge Erdoğan.

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Bild zeigt ein Transportflugzeug mit der Aufschrift "International Cargo Transporter", in das im Zuge der Rückverlegung aus Afghanistan militärisches Material eingeladen wird
Soll die Nationale Sicherheitsstrategie der Orientierung, Kommunikation und Steuerung dienen, dann muss sie auf Einsätze außerhalb des NATO-Gebiets eingehen. | Foto: ©Bundeswehr/André Klimke

Anzumeldende Nebentätigkeit: Auslandseinsätze der Bundeswehr in der Nationalen Sicherheitsstrategie

Es liegt die Annahme nahe, mit dem Scheitern in Afghanistan und erst recht mit dem Überfall Russlands auf die Ukraine habe sich das Thema Auslandseinsätze auf absehbare Zeit erledigt. Die Bundesregierung hält aber an solchen Einsätzen fest, selbst wenn sie die Priorität der Landes- und Bündnisverteidigung betont. Somit ist es wahrscheinlich, dass der Bundestag auch in Zukunft Auslandseinsätze beschließen wird. Daher sollte die angekündigte Nationale Sicherheitsstrategie die Frage erörtern, unter welchen Bedingungen die Bundeswehr an Einsätzen außerhalb des NATO-Gebiets teilnimmt.

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Vladimir Putin's Face on a TV-Screen
September 21, 2022, Vladimir Putin, Delivers a Speech on Russian TV, Photo: Adrien Fillon, picture alliance | ZUMAPRESS.com

Putin’s Mobilisation, Annexation and Nuclear Threats: Last-Ditch Effort or More of the Same?

Just as leaders from across the world gathered in New York to address challenges to global peace and stability, the Russian president Putin declared mobilisation in Russia for the third time in its history. This step, which had formerly was ruled out by Russian officials, indicates that the Kremlin does not have any viable options but to escalate. Even though Putin still prefers to call the war a “special military operation”, he has virtually introduced martial laws across the entire spectrum of Russian economy and society, doubling down on the only gamble that he thinks can still pay off.

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