Goma, M23, and the success of peacekeeping

The timing of reading Virginia Page Fortna’s Does Peacekeeping Work seemed appropriate as the M83 rebels in eastern Congo (DRC) marched in and took Goma, only to recently withdraw under the auspices of the MONUSCO force currently operating in the DRC.  During this series of events I saw a tweet from Oxfam’s Policy and Practice … Continue reading Goma, M23, and the success of peacekeeping

A thought on Gaza and Twitter

If an airstrike happens in Gaza and no one live tweeted it, did it happen?  That I’m even pondering this question demonstrates a shift in the evolution of information control in military operations.  Perhaps the issue we’re facing is that in times past we needed a barrier between the publicly available information about combat operations … Continue reading A thought on Gaza and Twitter

Book review! “Crafting Peace” by Caroline Hartzell and Matthew Hoddie

Caroline Hartzell and Matthew Hoddie make an argument that the most robust form of negotiated peace involves a well-designed power or institution sharing agreement between the parties involved in a civil war.  They make this argument in “Crafting Peace” using a statistical analysis of conflict cessation that includes variables covering duration, external intervention and measures … Continue reading Book review! “Crafting Peace” by Caroline Hartzell and Matthew Hoddie

Kenya Trip! Mixed method research on mobile phones for peace

Since the end of the fall semester of 2011, I have been working on a paper that integrates theories of ethnic cooperation and information asymmetries to understand why mobile phones can have a significant effect on conflict prevention.  You can find the working paper here.  I presented this paper in Australia at the University of … Continue reading Kenya Trip! Mixed method research on mobile phones for peace

Book Review! Scott Strauss’s “The Order of Genocide”

As time passes and we are able to collect more data on the Rwandan genocide, it is becoming increasingly important that we recognize not only the externalities that created socio-political pressure in Rwanda leading up to the genocide, but also systematically study why the perpetrators of violence made the decision to participate.  Generally we see … Continue reading Book Review! Scott Strauss’s “The Order of Genocide”

The political economy of cynicism: What else could you do with $100,000 in Pakistan?

I'm generally not big on entering into the fray when it comes to the politics of the Muslim world, since I'm not an expert on the topic.  But I am an expert on political economy and coalition behavior is contested spaces.  The news of Pakistan's Railways Minister Ghulam Ahmad Bilour's $100,000 reward to anyone who murders Nakoula … Continue reading The political economy of cynicism: What else could you do with $100,000 in Pakistan?