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Analyzing the Gulf States’ Global Rise

Analyzing the Gulf States’ Global Rise

Global Economy

During the opening decade and a half of the twenty-first century, the Gulf States emerged as increasingly visible global actors. Using their substantive energy resources and capital accumulation during the oil-price boom between 2002 and 2008 as leverage, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar, and, to a lesser extent,...

24 Nov 2015

Adapting Counter Insurgency (COIN) to Coalition Warfare in Syria

Adapting Counter Insurgency (COIN) to Coalition Warfare in Syria

Security, Defense & Terrorism

On 30 October, President Barack Obama announced the deployment of American Special Forces to Syria to fight Daesh. While the number is capped at fifty soldiers to provide assistance to the Kurds and independent Syrian forces, it may not remain so, given the increase in U.S. troops in Iraq...

19 Nov 2015

Daesh Redefined

Daesh Redefined

Constructions of Terrorism

In the span of two weeks, Daesh has claimed the lives of nearly 400 unarmed civilians of easily a dozen nationalities on two continents.  This series of assaults in Paris, Beirut, and in the sky over the Sinai desert runs counter to recent assessments and conventional wisdom about the...

17 Nov 2015

Migration Influxes and European Compassion: How Long Do We Need to Wait for an Informed Sustainability?

Migration Influxes and European Compassion: How Long Do We Need to Wait for an Informed Sustainability?

Humanitarian Governance

Over the last two months, everyone with internet access has surely come across the picture of Aylan Kurdi, the Syrian toddler drowned in Turkish waters on a beach of Bodrum last September 2.  It seems the photo of Aylan, along with waves of refugees trying to cross to Eastern...

10 Nov 2015

Phoenix Rising? A decade of reform at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development

Phoenix Rising? A decade of reform at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development

Global Economy

In May 2015, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD’s) member countries renewed Angel Gurria’s mandate as Secretary-General of the organisation until 2021. When Gurria assumed the helm in 2006 the OECD seemed to be drifting into obscurity with some commentators recommending that the organisation be scrapped. Thanks...

10 Nov 2015

Implementing Ownership in Fragile and Least Developed Countries: Could it be done from the outside?

Implementing Ownership in Fragile and Least Developed Countries: Could it be done from the outside?

Humanitarian Governance

Since 2000, aid effectiveness agenda has become a high priority among donors. In this context, OECD organized a series of high-level fora, which have provided the setting for a number of key declarations and agreements on aid effectivness. Among them, the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, endorsed in 2005...

01 Nov 2015

How do terrorists “construct” themselves?

How do terrorists “construct” themselves?

Constructions of Terrorism

If we accept as a core definition of terrorism “violent political expression,” where death and destruction are used as means to a political end, then it is important to carefully consider the content of such expression.  This article briefly reviews how violent political groups have accepted or rejected the...

01 Nov 2015

French Airpower and Counterinsurgency

French Airpower and Counterinsurgency

Security, Defense & Terrorism

French aircraft struck a Daesh camp in Deir Ezzor in Syria on 27 September. French President François Hollande stated that ‘six aircraft were used, including five Rafales’, and that ‘the camp was totally destroyed’. Despite having undertaken 200 airstrikes since 2014 in Iraq, France had chosen not to get...

21 Oct 2015

Moscow Plays Poker in Syria: What’s at Stake?

Moscow Plays Poker in Syria: What’s at Stake?

Foreign Policy & International Relations

Russian military deployment in Syria should not be considered as the core goal of Moscow’s diplomacy but its instrument. It is also a serious mistake to present Russian efforts in the country as the result of a game of “chicken” between Moscow and the West. Moscow is playing a...

21 Oct 2015

Highlights from the White House Summit to Counter ISIL and Violent Extremism

Highlights from the White House Summit to Counter ISIL and Violent Extremism

Security, Defense & Terrorism

On 29 September, President Obama hosted another Leader’s Summit Counter ISIL and Violent Extremism.  This was a follow on from a similar Leaders’ Summit hosted by the White House in February of this year on Countering Violent Extremism. The September Summit was attended by representatives from 100 states, 20...

18 Oct 2015

The ‘Right’ to Education and the Rhetoric of ‘Human Dignity’: UNRWA’s Budget Shortfalls

The ‘Right’ to Education and the Rhetoric of ‘Human Dignity’: UNRWA’s Budget Shortfalls

Human Rights

The recently feared financial shortfalls of UNRWA in the Middle Eastern region, which could have caused a delay in the start of the academic year, showed once again how some commentators, the general public, and especially UNRWA mechanically draw on the language of human rights as well as the...

13 Oct 2015

American Military Strategy in Libya

American Military Strategy in Libya

Foreign Policy & International Relations

September 11 now unfortunately marks not only the anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks, but also the assassination of the U.S. Ambassador in Benghazi, Libya in 2012. Ambassador Christopher Stevens was killed in an attack on the U.S. Temporary Mission Facility and the CIA Annex by militias affiliated with...

04 Oct 2015