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When the Dictator Wins: How Assad Is Using Reconstruction to Strengthen His Grip on Syria


After nearly eight years and immense human suffering, the Bashar al-Assad regime is nearing victory in Syria. Aleppo City, Homs, and Rif Damascus—once strongholds of the opposition—have fallen to government forces. President Assad, who in the course of the conflict has employed chemical weapons and indiscriminate violence against Syrians, has now turned his sights on […]

Democracy and Governance

Women in Peacekeeping: Moving from Numbers to Leadership


BY ESTHER BRITO In 1993, women represented only 1% of all UN uniformed personnel deployed in peacekeeping missions. In 2017, women peacekeepers remained at 4%, far from the UN target of 15%. The role of women in peacekeeping operations (PKOs)—not only as a matter of principle, but as a necessary condition for their success—has only […]

Undoing Tribalism: How Behavioral Science Can Sway Opinion and Reduce Conflict


BY SYLVIE STOLOFF AND ANNA GIANNUZZI What if we could deescalate some of the world’s deadliest conflicts by nudging people to think differently about their opponents? Contemporary international conflicts are increasingly shaped by identity politics, since religion, race, social background and other identity-based factors play a large role in determining political affiliations. This poses a […]

Interview with Hichem Khadhraoui: Can we save civilians from war?


War seems an inescapable fact of human life. But in past decades it has been civilians, not soldiers, that have borne a disproportionate brunt of warfare across the planet. Historians often reference that, in the last major battle of the 19th century in Solferino, 40,000 combatants were either wounded or killed but only one civilian […]

Human Rights

The Prospects and Perils of the Coalition’s War on ISIS


Introduction The Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) is a product of Iraq’s and Syria’s sectarian polarization, political dysfunction, and the alienation of the local Sunni population from the Iraqi and Syrian regimes. The US-led anti-ISIS coalition was triggered by the jihadists’ capture of Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, in June 2014.[i] While dramatic, […]

International Relations and Security

The Arab Uprisings and Their External Dimensions: Bringing Migration In


Growing Prevalence and Influence of Arab Migration Trends In recent years, Arab emigration has been growing. Arab expatriates constitute approximately 6 percent of the local population in the countries across North Africa and the Levant, a percentage that is twice as high as the world average.[i] Notwithstanding such significant patterns of out-migration, the impact of […]

International Relations and Security

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