International reaction to chemical weapons use in Syria

Dan Smith (Secretary General of International Alert) reflects on the international response to chemical weapons use in Syria. And why it is very difficult for weapons inspectors to ‘prove a negative’. On September 13th,… Continue reading

On a personal note

Dan Smith (Secretary General of International Alert) tells of how he first got involved in peace activisim and research. In the face of the often sombre peacebuilding record of the past decades, Mr Smith maintains… Continue reading

Lebanon: limiting the spillover from Syria

How is Lebanon affected by the Syrian war? And what can International Alert do to try and limit the spillover effects? Dan Smith (Secretary General of International Alert) explains. On September 13th, Dan Smith… Continue reading

Dan Smith: Why striking Syria is a bad idea

Would it be smart to issue a limited strike against the Assad regime in Syria in order to deter future chemical weapons use? Dan Smith (Secretary General of International Alert) shares his position.… Continue reading

Irene Khan on Afghanistan

Has the international community prioritized peace and stability over justice in Afghanistan? Despite massive international efforts, both peace and justice have remained elusive for large parts of the Afghan population. Irene Khan argues that the… Continue reading

Prospects for peace in Syria: arming the rebels?

What can Western governments do to promote peace in Syria? Should the EU send arms to Syrian rebels? And if so, to which ones? Mary Kaldor (Professor of Global Governance at the London… Continue reading

Hehenkamp on EU arms aid to Syria

Should the EU send weapons to the Syrian opposition? Arjan Hehenkamp (general director of Médecines Sans Frontières NL) explains how arms shipments could have disastrous consequences for the work of doctors in the civil war.… Continue reading

Kaldor on problems of peacebuilding

The record of UN peacekeeping and peacebuilding knows some devastating failures (Somalia, Srebrenica, Rwanda). In 2005, UNSG Kofi Annan acknowledged in ‘In Larger Freedom‘ that “roughly half of all countries that emerge from… Continue reading

‘New donors’ in Syria

New donors from for example the Gulf States provide a lot of aid to Syria, Somalia and other countries affected by conflict. Arjan Hehenkamp (general director of Médecines Sans Frontières NL) explains how… Continue reading

Failures of Rule of Law promotion in Afghanistan

What have been the failures of Rule of Law-promotion in Afghanistan? Irene Khan describes how her organization tries to learn from past failures. Ms Khan is currently the Director-General of the International Development Law Organization. Before… Continue reading

Mary Kaldor on New Wars

What exactly is the difference between ‘New’ and ‘Old’ wars? Mary Kaldor (Professor of Global Governance at the London School of Economics) explains the main thesis of her book ‘New and Old Wars: Organized Violence in… Continue reading

Informal justice in Afghanistan

Irene Khan explains that informal justice systems like village jirgas enjoy popularity with many Afghans. How can the formal justice system best engage with informal structures? Ms Khan is currently the Director-General of the International… Continue reading