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The Woolwich attack in Britain demonstrated an evolving and more rational terror

The Woolwich attack can be seen as a more scrupulous, even moral, development within terror tactics. It tells us nothing about the "Muslim community", and reveals the success of the security forces rather than the failure.

Woolwich and Afghanistan: the connection

An understanding of the link between the shocking murder of a young soldier on a London street and "remote-control" attacks by western states is essential.

Toxic images or imaging the other

In the aftermath of the Toulouse killings of March 2012, the French state projected a set of 'toxic images' clearly demarcating the republic's enemy in young, Muslim men. 

Private security's new accountability regime?

The professionalisation of entrepreneurs in violence into a legitimate 'private security' industry provokes profound questions for state-citizen relations. Who has the power to hold these companies accountable, and how?

Europe's Middle East policies: a southern European twist

More coordination and strategy are needed in Europe's response to the sinister signs of stolen revolution. The political-strategic impulse has come from the south in the past. In the current economic crisis this should be more the case, not less.

Has Turkey reached a dead-end in Syria?

A bomb blast in Cilvegozu confirmed that free passage for arms and fighters across the Syrian border is creating complex spillovers in Turkey. The administration's humanitarian stance has been uncontroversial, but reports that Turkey has encouraged targeted violence in northern Syria illustrate the interests at play.

Fighting for the high ground

While the Baha Mousa inquiry "may have shone a torch into a dark corner", what is now before the court is more like "a stadium in which we will switch on the floodlights".

Europe needs principles for intervention

Why is Denmark involved in Mali? European leaders should clarify when, why and how to participate in military interventions and warfare abroad. Emerging security challenges in nearby neighbourhood regions, together with a waning Pax Americana, are obliging Europe to reconsider its future global role.

Joycean nightmares, Parnellite politics, and the Northern Irish riots

Attributing the violence associated with Northern Ireland's 'flag riots' to the peace process itself is a capitulation to the view of Northern Ireland as unable to escape the nightmare of its history, leaving questions of social responsibility endlessly deferred.

Causes of the Northern Ireland flag dispute

A decision to restrict the flying of the union flag over Belfast City Hall late last year sparked weeks of protests and riots. The cause is rooted deep in the legacy of the peace process.

Conflict at the EU's southern borders: the Sahel crisis

Gradually, EU systems of governance have extended into the southern Mediterranean, linking dynamics in the Sahel with European interests through its borderlands. This could be a test of the EU's foreign policy ambitions. But is the Union ready and capable to act, and if so, what is at stake?

How close is Turkey to resolving its Kurdish problem?

The most dangerous fall-out of the Syrian civil war in which Turkey also played a significant role seems to be resurgence of the PKK.

When business and the state co-opt ‘independent’ civil society

How can charities and community organisations provide effective advocacy when they are agents of the state or partners in business?

Ten reasons to vote for G4S as the World's Worst Company

The infamous Public Eye award wants your vote on the company that most deserves naming and shaming. Activists from South Yorkshire to the Canton of Vaud are backing security company G4S to win. Here's why.

Al-Qaida, idea in motion

The United States's "remote control" campaign against Islamist targets is intensifying. But behind the headlines, the transnational diffusion of al-Qaida's idea is just as potent.

What do we mean by Islamism?

The British media and political landscape have done much to obscure a proper in-depth understanding of Islamism, the ideology, as separate from the Muslim faith. Two books can be a small help - everyone should read them.

The year of not living dangerously

ETA's 2011 ceasefire was a historic marker for the 40-plus year struggle. As the group struggles for political legitimation, has Spain entered an era in which ETA and its sympathizers can pursue secessionist goals from within the boundaries of legality?

Lithuania: a road between misery and austerity

For the last two years, the Baltic states have been role models for pro-austerity organisations such as IMF or EU. But there is an increasing and urgent need to deflate the myth of the austerity success story and tackle growing economic fractures. 

Breaking the vicious circle - reconciliation in OSCE areas

Work must be done to overcome divides even many decades after official agreements to end violence have been signed. But the process is neither simple nor direct, with social media as easily a tool for vitriol as for furthering understanding of others. What, and who, can help?

The Cairo Gang, the Force Research Unit and ... Rupert Murdoch

The story of the FRU must be one of the most sordid in British Intelligence. It reveals a deep gulf in Northern Ireland's peace process: Britain's willingness to be held accountable.

Violence, space and memory in the new Northern Ireland

Violence in Belfast in September and December 2012 bears witness to the collision of the 'old' and the 'new'. As Northern Ireland embarks upon a decade of centenaries, the question arises: who hosts memory - and how?

Talking point: the logic of Russian foreign policy

What factors drive foreign policy in Russia? Who drives it? And in whose interests - the elites or ordinary people? Marie Mendras and Fyodor Lukyanov join oDRussia editor Oliver Carroll for a debate in Paris.

The EU's Nobel Peace Prize

On Monday 10th December 2012, the EU was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. For better or worse, the prize focuses attention on an important question: does Europe need peacebuilding?

When soldiering gets sexy: the militarization of gender equality and sexual difference

Up in Arms continues to track the figure of the soldier in contemporary culture as a consequence of NATO’s wars. How does militarism – the belief in the superiority of military values and methods – shape or perhaps even challenge gender stereotypes in countries that send troops off to war?

The collapse of Transitional Justice

The acquittal of two Croatian generals by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia undermines the very idea that international tribunals can contribute to peace and reconciliation in post-conflict states.

'Sending people back to be killed': Today's London to Colombo flight of failed refugees

Mass expulsions from Britain to Sri Lanka of 'failed' asylum seekers are increasing in frequency despite public controversy.

The Arctic: treasure in the vacuum

The geopolitical scramble to exploit the resource wealth unearthed by climate change exposes enduring classic realist tensions in an era of common global security concerns.

Headscarfs and homosexuals - feminist ideals in xenophobic politics

When the protest against a lecture by the controversial Islamist Bilal Philips risked being hijacked by Danish populist forces, it was a vivid reminder of what happens in practice, despite declarations by right-wing populist leaders.

Remembrance Sunday and Britain's nuclear posture

Silence has become a national means to commemorate the wartime fallen. But the public's silence over a new generation of nuclear weapons threatens to undermine the lessons of the past. 

The politics of aid: pie in the sky or feet on the ground?

Aid is spent in situations of uncertainty, with conflict and insecurity key outcomes as well as drivers of poverty. With aid facing increasing domestic pressures from donor countries, there is a danger of undermining results over the long term.

Up in Arms: against the militarisation of everyday life

This week Vron Ware's new book, Military Migrants (Palgrave Macmillan) is published, documenting the untold story of the British Army's recruitment of Commonwealth citizens from 1998 to the present. Why did this happen and what do military recruitment policies have to do with nationhood, politics and culture? To further explore the militarisation of every day life in its shifting global context, we are proud to launch Vron Ware’s new column, Up in Arms

Post-election Georgia: turning the dream of peace into reality?

Georgian Dream Coalition's election victory will go down in history as Georgia's first peaceful transition of power. The nominees for the new cabinet now also bring names to the fore with long experience of peacebuilding, presenting fresh hope amidst the challenges.

CLEAN IT: the secret EU surveillance plan that wasn’t

There are elements in Europe who would dearly like to see the CLEAN IT wish list put into practice (including from the law enforcement community, the industries that serve it, and the European Commission), but we must distinguish between transnational talking shops, EU working groups and draft EU policy.

Why we in the UK shouldn’t celebrate these extraditions

This week’s decision of the European Court of Human Rights to allow the extradition of five individuals accused of terrorist offences from Britain to the USA has been greeted with government ‘relief’. Instead, the coalition government should stick to its undertaking to review the extradition treaty.

Depoliticising victims in Northern Ireland

The recent riots in Belfast seemed to hark back to the ethno-religious conflict many presumed over: Northern Ireland is being rebranded within the neo-liberal fold. But deeper issues may be deferred by the rhetorical constructions of peace. The prospect of dealing with victimhood in a meaningful way is being erased.

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