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About Mariano Aguirre

Mariano Aguirre is an international policy analyst, and was director of NOREF (Norwegian Center for Conflict Resolution) from 2009 to 2016, where he is now senior advisor. Previously, he worked at various research centers and at the Ford Foundation in New York. He recently published Salto al Vacío, a book about the crisis unfolding in the United States.

Mariano Aguirre es analista de política internacional, y fue director de NOREF (Centro Noruego para la Resolución de Conflictos) desde 2009 a 2016, centro en el que ahora es senior advisor. Antes trabajé en diversos centros de investigación y en la Fundación Ford en Nueva York. Recientemente ha publicado Salto al Vacío, un libro sobre la crisis que se vive en Estados Unidos.

Articles by Mariano Aguirre

This week’s front page editor


Adam Bychawski is an editorial assistant at openDemocracy.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

“In every conflict there is always room for negotiation”

There is no rule saying that some conflicts have no solution. The dynamics, the interests and the timings keep on changing and opening up possibilities for resolving them. Interview. Español

"En todo conflicto hay siempre posibilidades de negociación"

No existe una regla según la cual hay conflictos sin solución. Hay dinámicas, intereses y tiempos que van cambiando y abriendo posibilidades para su resolución. Entrevista. English

Will Donald Trump abolish the mainstream world order?

Many predict we face the end of a globalized liberal era with Donald Trump in the White House. But he could take a pragmatic stance, paradoxically similar to that of Obama.

Por qué Donald Trump sí puede ser presidente

Trump emplea reiteradamente el simbolismo, manipulando las frustraciones de distintos sectores. En una sociedad cada vez más desigual, se postula como el salvador de los perdedores. English

Why Donald Trump could be president

Trump plays very strongly in the symbolic field, operating on a series of different sectors’ frustrations. In an increasingly unequal society he introduces himself as a savior of the losers. Español

Pós-conflicto na Colômbia (3): a paz, meio século depois

As negociações com as FARC estão demasiado avançadas para que alguém possa dar um passo atrás. Español. English

Postconflicto en Colombia (3). La paz, medio siglo después

Las negociaciones con las FARC están demasiado avanzadas para que nadie pueda dar un paso atrás. English. Português.

Postconflict in Colombia (3). 50 years after

Negotiations with FARC are too advanced for anyone to step back now. Español. Português.

The Hurricane and the Empire

On the tenth anniversary of Katrina, we republish an invitation to ponder the incapacity of the US government to respond to the disaster in New Orleans. What was at the root of that paralysis? From the archive, September 5, 2005.

The dilemmas of migration and the alternatives

Force and denial are not going to solve the migrant crisis—instead we must turn to long-term economic, political, and cultural solutions.

Israeli elections: no expectations from the Palestinian side

For the Palestinians, who wins the election makes no difference. In the West Bank and Gaza the mood moves between indifference and the sense that all the parties are hostile towards them in one way or another.

Not the end of the "Arab Spring", is it?

Much has happened in the Middle East in the last four years, but in Europe, the development of the state and of democracy took four centuries and many wars.

BRICS, a new cooperation model?

One of the criticisms made of the emerging economies is that they are using cooperation to gain markets, political influence and access to natural resources. But that is what the countries of the North are also seeking.

Syria needs a twin-track negotiation

Since 2011 three failed strategies have been attempted, with weapons provision bringing up the rear. The regional politics of the conflict make the dangers of massive escalation imminent: it is time to find a transition acceptable to both sides.

Aurora, the Joker won the game

Apart from gun control, there is another problem that the authorities in the US (and in most of the world’s societies) avoid addressing: the culture (or subculture) of violence in the electronic entertainment era.

The dream of "managing militarization" in Syria

What should be the international approach to resolving the Syrian crisis, and does diplomacy or military aid to the rebels offer a better chance of progress? Mariano Aguirre responds to the criticisms of Steven Heydemann and Reinoud Leenders.

Also in this oS Analysis debate:
Read Robert Matthews on the decades-long consequences of militarization.

The far right takes root in Europe

Anders Behring Breivik’s attacks are part of a worrying trend in Europe of the far right’s rise within mainstream politics. From the Netherlands and Germany to Britain and France, immigrant communities are on the defensive.

Syria's crisis: weapons vs negotiations

A strong momentum is building for armed intervention in Syria, either by channelling arms to Syria's rebels or undertaking direct military assaults on the regime. But these proposals are based on flawed analysis and if implemented would have damaging results, says Mariano Aguirre.

Also in this oS Analysis debate:
Steven Heydemann and Reinoud Leenders disagree, urging the need for a credible threat. Mariano Aguirre responds, and Robert Matthews warns of the decades long consequences of militarisation.

The Arab revolution: tensions and challenges

The second year of the Arab uprisings opens a complex period in which the potential of the Arab world to move towards democracy and human security will be acutely tested. This makes careful assessment and policymaking by leading actors more essential than ever, says Mariano Aguirre.

Talking with Khalil: the subtle violence of constant occupation

On a journey to the West Bank, the author encounters one small instance of the broader machinery that Israel uses to sustain its occupation of Palestine. The days of battle are over. Now the Palestinians suffer the indignity of daily humiliations, and the slow and quiet effort to snuff out any dream of statehood

9/11: a perfect pretext, a terrible legacy

The tragedy of 11 September 2001 was used by authoritarian forces in the United States as a political opportunity. The ensuing damage to liberty, legality and democracy has been deep, says Mariano Aguirre

Vietnam to Iraq and AfPak: traps of history

The United States's prolonged counterinsurgency wars in Afghanistan and Iraq raise strong echoes of Vietnam. But new studies suggest that the lessons of this half-century military arc need to be carefully drawn, says Mariano Aguirre.

A world in movement: prospects for 2011

The influence of rising states amid the infirmity of the United States and other established powers will make 2011 a transition year towards a new global order, says Mariano Aguirre.

Brazil-Turkey and Iran: a new global balance

The tripartite nuclear-fuel agreement signed in Tehran is a watershed in the emerging configuration of a multipolar world, says Mariano Aguirre of the Norwegian Peacebuilding Centre.

Israel-Palestine: a frontline report

It is a time of danger in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as well as crisis in Israel-United States relations. What are the prospects for movement in the blocked peace process; how do Palestinians in the occupied territories view the current stasis; and what role should the international community play? Mariano Aguirre of the Norwegian Peacebuilding Centre reports on a visit to the region.

Haiti: the politics of recovery

The daunting task of post-earthquake reconstruction in Haiti amounts to a long-term challenge in state-building, say Mariano Aguirre & Tone Faret of the Norwegian Peacebuilding Centre.

Democracy-promotion: doctrine vs dialogue

George W Bush made democracy-support a central theme of his presidency. Barack Obama, by contrast, has downplayed it. Yet the latter's approach may achieve more effective results, says Mariano Aguirre.

Torture: America's policy, Europe's shame

The degrading treatment meted out to prisoners of the United States-led "war on terror" over seven years has yet to be subject to proper legal scrutiny and accountability. But the responsibility is Europe's too, say Jan Egeland & Mariano Aguirre.

(This article was first published on 17 June 2009)

Barack Obama and Afghanistan: a closer look

The United States’s shift of strategy towards “AfPak” needs to go further by taking account of regional concerns and local agencies, says Mariano Aguirre.

Haiti: unravelling the knot

Haiti's interlocking crises - from food-security to social violence, inequality to judicial corruption - make it one of the most challenging arenas in the world for establishing the right mix of international and domestic policies. Mariano Aguirre & Amélie Gauthier draw lessons from a research trip to suggest where the priorities should lie.

Annapolis: how to avoid failure

The next Israeli-Palestinian conference can produce results only if there is strong political will to tackle the hardest issues, say Mariano Aguirre & Mark Taylor.

Mercenaries and the new configuration of world violence

The privatisation of security in an era of disaggregated global war is breaking one of the basic pillars of the modern state: the monopoly of the use of force, argues Mariano Aguirre.

Tony Blair : farewell letters

Britain's prime minister is leaving the stage after ten years. openDemocracy writers say goodbye.

Power and paradox in the United Nations

The predicament of the United Nations is the mismatch of large responsibilities and few powers to fulfil them. The solution is to be activist not fatalist, says Mariano Aguirre.
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