Research Blog

Uruguay Marijuana Bill Portends New Era in Drug Policy

Earlier this month, Uruguay's House of Representatives passed a bill legalizing marijuana and regulating the production, distribution and sale of the drug by the government. While the bill has yet to be approved by the Uruguayan Senate, its passage is expected. Uruguay would then become the first country in the world where marijuana is fully [...]

Gamechanging Report on Drugs in the Americas

The Report on the Drug Problem in the Americas, published on 17 May by the Organization of American States (OAS), represents an opportunity to rethink the international debate on drugs and organized crime. Mandated at the 2012 Summit of the Americas in Colombia, the report explores new approaches to the 'war on drugs', amid growing [...]

Narco Wars, Part 1 and 2

A two-part interview discussing ongoing efforts to combat illegal narcotics, published in February and March 2013. The UN believes Peru has become the world’s largest coca leaf producer and rivals Colombia for cocaine production. Some argue that this is as a result of the narco-war in Colombia, which has pushed traffickers elsewhere. Colombia has in [...]

Reasoning with Rebels

States and international organisations struggle with constructive ways of engaging non-state armed groups, such as rebels, militias, paramilitaries, and warlords. Their traditional rules of engagement focus on state actors as dominant actors in the international system, and underline the national integrity of states. In doing so, they fail to attend to the non-state nature of [...]

Reasoning with Rebels: the Nitty-Gritty of Engaging Armed Groups

Armed groups have become a more than common feature in today’s conflicts. As of 2010, all active conflicts involve at least one non-state armed actor, if not several, according to the Uppsala Conflict Data Program. Yet, the international community still faces severe difficulties in dealing with them. Naturally, different strategies have been designed to deal [...]

Humanitarian Assistance Webcast 9: Peace Building and Humanitarian Engagement

The scope and character of peace-building and stabilization missions significantly affect the work of humanitarian actors. Across a range of contexts, humanitarian actors must balance principled action alongside considerations of peace. An operational format that gained traction in Kofi Annan’s 1992 “Agenda for Peace,” peace-building encompasses dimensions of peace-making, peacekeeping, and development. Despite the emergence [...]

Breaking the Deadlock in the Middle East Peace Process

The Center for Transatlantic Relations at Johns Hopkins University cordially invites you to Breaking the Deadlock in the Middle East Peace Process Tuesday, May 29, 2012 1717 Massachusetts Avenue, NW Room 500 12:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m. Speakers: Haim Malka, Deputy Director and Senior Fellow in the Middle East Program, CSIS Carolin Goerzig, Visiting Fellow, SAIS Leila Hilal, [...]

Harvard Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research (HPCR)

I was fortunate enough to be invited to present at one of the quarterly meetings of the HPCR Working Group on “Engaging Armed Groups. Options and Strategies.” The HPCR is currently seeking input on the broader issues associated with engagement with armed groups. One of the great advantages of the Working Group is that its [...]

Engaging Non-State Armed Actors. Options and Strategies

Armed actors dominate contemporary conflict environments dramatically. Their degree of dispersion, influence, and effect on international politics make it necessary to establish strategies for interaction with them. This article makes a contribution by assessing particular strategies and their suitability and applicability with regard to specific actors. First, it delineates options for dealing with armed actors [...]

Taliban Talks: Not the Solution to Afghanistan’s Problems

Potential negotiations between the Afghan government and representatives of the Taliban have stirred ever increasing international interest during the last two months. Pundits the world over have voiced myriad assessments of the morality of such talks, the possible agenda of the negotiations, and the potential outcomes. Many have argued that talking to terrorists is inherently [...]