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This week’s front page editor

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Yemen: under fire, desperate for peace

Can the Yemen peace talks succeed? The dire humanitarian situation demands it but political factionalism and external interference may prove inordinate obstacles.

The Iraqi crisis: rethinking the narrative

An approach to Iraq focused on military intervention, with some humanitarian assistance, has defied the complexity of the domestic and regional kaleidoscope. No wonder it is failing.

Yemen: dialogue must replace war

The Saudi-led air strikes on Yemen have failed to stem the Houthi advance. Time for jaw-jaw, not war-war.

Buhari wins—but new president of Nigeria faces enormous challenge

After the Nigerian presidential election, the new government must address the social and economic policy vacuum Boko Haram has filled if the threat from the Islamists is to be tackled.

A perfect storm: Boko Haram, IS and the Nigerian election

Boko Haram’s alignment with Islamic State adds to mounting insecurity in Nigeria. A fortnight ahead of the already-deferred election, what does this mean for its democratic prospects?

The two big holes in the strategy against IS

The US-led campaign against Islamic State isn’t working. It won’t unless it addresses Shia sectarianism in Iraq and Assad’s atrocities in Syria.

Why the fight against Islamic State is not the success we're told it is

Is John Kerry right to be so gung-ho about military successes against Islamic State? Not reallyas the fundamental political challenges in Iraq and Syria remain unaddressed.

Fear, rumours and violence: Boko Haram’s asymmetrical warfare

While the global media were transfixed by the Islamist killings in Paris, Boko Haram was engaging in further massacres in north-east Nigeria and even over the border in Cameroon. How has its campaign escalated?

How states can constrain resort to political violence

Recognising there are political elements to any campaign of militant violence makes it less ‘terrifying’ for society and is crucial in developing measures to constrain it. 

Pakistan school attack: years of inaction led to this atrocity

The Peshawar atrocity did not come out of a clear blue skythe foreboding context an inert, corrupt state ambivalent towards violence, hardly functioning public institutions and unregulated madrasas.

The Nigerian state: no match for Boko Haram?

The latest Boko Haram atrocity in Nigeria will not be the last. The incapacity of the state and looming elections mean more violence can be expected.

A lasting presence for IS in Iraq and Syria: interview with Romain Caillet

On 29 June, after the spectacular takeover of Mosul and other Iraqi cities, the Islamic State (IS) declared a caliphate in Iraq and Syria. How can the sudden rise to power of IS be explained? What is the future of the caliphate, and of the region as a whole? Romain Caillet provides an assessment. Interview.

The Great War and Iraq: Britain’s poisonous legacy

The little-known involvement of British imperial forces in creating and controlling the state of Iraq in the wake of the first world war is a key source of the country's later disasters, says Ian Rutledge.

Pakistan: prospects poor for Taliban talks

The announcement of talks between Islamabad and representatives of the Pakistan Taliban surprised many. Few will however be surprised if they fail.

How was he to know? The cracking of the Ukraine regime

Ukraine’s parliament has abandoned the law to curb public protests only recently introduced and the prime minister has resigned. What lies behind these dramatic events?

Reflections on the resurgence of Naxalism

The Naxalite movement has seen a dramatic resurgence in popularity, particularly in the rural parts of India, as the economic reforms of the 1990s left parts of India by the wayside. The Indian federal goverment has two options, both weak.

Gene out of the bottle: an interview with Dr Gene Sharp, author of 'From Dictatorship to Democracy'

Last week openSecurity caught up with one of the chief proponents of political defiance, whose writings have been translated by activists the world over, to ask if non-violent tactics really yield concrete political victories in the face of violence.

Kashmir: from national to human security

It is about time that saner heads in the Indian national security establishment mull over the implications of the continuation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in Kashmir, says Wajahat Qazi

Armed conflict, land grabs and big business: Colombia’s deadly pact

The recent assassination of Colombian marxist insurgent group leader Alfonso Cano has been hailed internationally as an advance towards peace, giving Colombia a boost down the path to becoming the latest emerging market of Latin America. A closer look at the history and nature of Colombia's nearly 50 year-long armed struggle, however, tells us otherwise.

The rapid evolution of Al-Shabab’s media and insurgent “journalism”

The evolution of Al-Shabab’s media arm provides a window into the group’s overall maturation as an insurgent movement that has endorsed key elements of Al-Qaeda Central’s ideology while still focusing primarily on waging a domestic insurgency inside Somalia.
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