Research Blog

Linking Official and Unofficial Approaches of Engaging Armed Actors

From counterinsurgency and containment, through negotiation and mediation, to integration and cooptation, state and international approaches to address non-state armed actors face significant obstacles. On the other hand, official, state-based actors, specialized non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and private actors—including elder statesmen, influential international figures, and retired high political officials—have developed independent conflict resolution approaches, leveraging their non-state status to [...]

Engaging Armed Actors in Conflict Mediation. Consolidating Government and Non-government Approaches

To reduce the humanitarian consequences of conflict for civilian populations, specifically, NGOs and private actors involved in conflict mediation/resolution employ one of three general approaches: some pursue the more immediate approach of facilitating the delivery of humanitarian assistance in territory controlled by NSAGs; some promote international norms concerning the protection of civilians and combatants, with [...]

The Power of Persuasion. The Role of INGOs in Engaging Armed Groups

The number of armed conflicts featuring extreme violence against the civilian population in areas with no or little State authority has risen significantly since the early 1990s. This phenomenon has been particularly prevalent in the African Great Lakes Region. This collection of essays evaluates, from an interdisciplinary perspective, the various traditional and alternative instruments for [...]

The Dark Side of Recognition. Mutual Exclusiveness of Passive and Active Recognition in the Middle East Conflict

Proponents of the declaratory and the constitutive theory of recognition differ in their understanding of what comes first: statehood or recognition. While according to the declaratory theory, states are created because they fulfill certain criteria of statehood and hence should be recognized, according to the constitutive theory, recognition calls states into being: “Does one state’s [...]

Is arming opposition groups really the answer?

We have seen the consequences of such policy in recent conflicts in the Middle East in particular. For instance, in Syria, the power vacuum left behind by the exile opposition and the protracted nature of the struggle has produced a large number of resistance groups in the country that operate under no effective leadership. Some [...]

Local Marijuana Legalization in U.S., Mexico May Impact Hemisphere-Wide Policy

Sporadic liberalization may have an effect on peoples’ attitudes toward drug laws. Through decriminalization, legalization and potentially legal advertising, marijuana may lose the social and criminal stigma currently associated with it. In the U.S., national and statewide polls conducted since the legalization votes in Washington state and Colorado show greater public acceptance of marijuana legalization [...]

Drug markets, security and foreign aid

Key Points: Through the delivery of aid, some countries have tried to export their preferred drug control policies and have leveraged the recipients’ need for aid to influence their policy approach. The approaches adopted in many aid agreements seem to be insulated from the advances in the global debate about alternative drug policies and harm [...]