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Ten theses on security in the 21st century

openSecurity has closed as a section of oD—temporarily, it is to be hoped—because its funding has expired. Here, some of the themes emerging from these three fertile years of publishing are distilled. Below are some emblematic pieces—with signals to the series of which they were part.

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Protecting the state over against the citizen doesn't make anyone feel safer.

Prohibiting autonomous weapons systems

They have been dubbed ‘killer robots’. Concerted international action is needed to prevent the emergence of weapons which could operate without meaningful human control.

South Africa’s new scapegoats

In the land that ended apartheid two decades ago, violence against other Africans has been on the rise. What has gone wrong and what is to be done?

Crisis in the Mediterranean: Europe must change course

As leaders of European Union member states prepare to meet to discuss the Mediterranean refugee crisis, the Council of Europe commissioner for human rights sets the bar for an adequate response.

What the EU must do now to halt this tragedy on its shores

There are answers to the Mediterranean migrant-deaths crisis. They just require the European Union, whose foreign ministers met yesterday, to grasp the political nettle.

Europe's war on migrants

The unending series of mass drownings in the Mediterranean of migrants and refugees are not unfortunate tragedies: they are the dread outworking of the occluding of humanitarian concern by the rhetoric of border control.

EU’s approach to migrants: humanitarian rhetoric, inhumane treatment

The European Commission is working on its ‘comprehensive migration agenda’ while migrants continue to die at sea. Its tenets should be self-evident, yet some proposals for it are troubling.

Overlooked and invisible: the women of enforced disappearances

The overwhelming majority of the victims of enforced disappearances are men. What happens to the women left behind? 

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.

‘Your face now looks permanently in pain’—awaiting sentence in Egypt

The sister of a US-Egyptian activist on hunger strike in a Cairo jail, whose cause has been taken up by Amnesty International, issues a cri de coeur on the eve of a critical court appearance.

A Gulf in understanding

The outline Iran nuclear deal has highlighted divisions in the region—not just between majority Shia and Sunni states but between those supporting the status quo and those challenging it.

Community policing? Achieving more realistic results

It has become fashionable for first-world donors to embrace ‘community policing’ for developing-world security programmes. But context is everything.

A responsible nuclear-armed state?

It may sound like an oxymoron but we need a new global conversation which engages all nuclear-armed states en route to disarmament.

Freedom or dignity: media censorship in the new Turkey

Banning one photo from the internet might seem to reflect the paranoia of an increasingly authoritarian AKP regime but Erdogan’s grasp could really be weakening.

Iran nuclear deal: keeping hope of peace alive

Conservatives in the US, Israel and Iran itself are all opposed to the outline nuclear accord. So it looks like progress.

After Garissa, Kenya needs to break the cycle

The massacre at a university in Kenya should lead the government to a recognition that repressive and discriminatory reactions, however tempting, have only fuelled such horrific violence.

The war in Yemen

International media talk constantly of Huthi forces, but in reality the main military force in Yemen is now that of ex-president Saleh who, wherever he is, is doing what he promised: destroying as much as he possibly can.

Sudan: nodding through a dictator’s re-election

Next week sees elections in Sudan. But there’s one thing wrong—we already know the outcome.

Misunderstanding IS, again

Replaying the theocratic analyses of al-Qaeda with IS is amnesic and short-sighted and misses the novelty of the group.

Kenya’s Security Law Act: freedom of expression and media freedom

The measures risk deterring journalists from covering terrorism-related topics and may have a significant effect on the quality of public debate.

Palestinian options after the Israeli election

Six ways Palestinians can change the rules of the game after Netayanhu's comments during the election made a just and equal peace even more elusive.