mindanao

Cotobato City, January 2014

Cotobato City, January 2014

Perhaps the most promising aspect of the latest agreement is that its predecessors exist: both sides have learned that total victory is unlikely, and both sides want a peace deal to work.

Future Relations Between the Bangsamoro and the Government of the Philippines: Can Autonomy Work Better in the New Relationship than in Previous Attempts?

Mark Twain said, “Quitting smoking is easy: I’ve done it dozens of times.” Similarly, the parties in the Mindanao conflict have proven able to sign peace agreements, but implementing them has been another story. This paper, part of a field study by the Conflict Management Department at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, analyzes the Framework Agreement of the Bangsamoro and considers how it might succeed where its predecessors failed. Read the report (PDF). 

Published May 2014

Santiago

Santiago air pollution can be deadly.

Santiago air pollution can be deadly.

Santiago has solved a problem without solving the problem.

En Route To Cleaner Air: Urban air pollution management in Santiago, Chile

Santiago's six million people—a third of the country’s population—live in a bowl surrounded by the Andes and face some of the worst air quality in the world. Cars and buses are a major source of pollution, so the city launched programs to have all cars fitted with catalytic converters and all buses with particle filters. Both plans were ultimately successful, and the policies were relatively easy wins.

However, cars and buses accounted for only a part of Santiago’s air pollution, and much of the rest comes from geography, agriculture, and domestic industry, sources that will be much harder to deal with. Santiago’s air pollution is thus much improved from what it would have been, especially as the city has continued to grow, but not substantially better than it was. Read the report.

Published December 2014

 

Malay and New Zealander soldiers on a jungle patrol, circa 1957. (Photo: The National Army Museum.)

Malay and New Zealander soldiers on a jungle patrol, circa 1957. (Photo: The National Army Museum.)

You must have power—absolute power—civil and military power. And when you’ve got it grasp it, grasp it firmly. And then never use it. Be cunning—very cunning. That’s what you’ve got to be.
— Winston Churchill

Hearts and Minds and its Discontents: Lessons of Malaya for Counterinsurgents in the 21st Century

Malaya is the classic counterinsurgency success story: Britain's quelling of a communist uprising produced the term "hearts and minds" and is arguably the most successful counterinsurgency ever undertaken by a liberal democracy. But it took over a decade to accomplish; took liberties with Western norms and values; benefited from sui generis circumstances and weak opposition; and only succeeded because the British voluntarily agreed to end their Imperial rule. Future military planners should proceed with grave caution and undertake such an effort only if it is truly strategically vital and geopolitical conditions exist that augur a successful outcome. Read.

Download the PDF (Available soon).

December 2013

 
 

Satellite image of the DRC.

Satellite image of the DRC.

[It is] incumbent on those who favor an international role in post-conflict democratization efforts to demonstrate that it is worth doing.

Elections in the DRC: A contributor to peace, democratization, and stability?

In 2006, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) held its first democratic election in more than four decades. The international community mobilized thousands of peacekeepers and election monitors and spent $500 million, and was rewarded by a free and fair vote.

Almost immediately, things unraveled. The election runner-up had to flee the country for his own safety — he's currently in the Hague — while the president cracked down on dissent. The follow-up election in 2011 was condemned by international observers, and today large swaths of the country remain ungoverned. So was it worth it? Read.

Download the PDF (Available soon).

December 2012


Operation Flash, 1995

Operation Flash, 1995

[S]olidifying the ethno-nationalist identity of states through partition can, under the right circumstances, yield greater stability than other outcomes.

Ethnic cleansing and political stability: the case of the Krajina

In the halls of international institutions, a common refrain of diplomats is that “there are no military solutions.” The case of the Krajina should make these diplomats uncomfortable, for it clearly shows that sometimes there are military solutions. Additionally, the Krajina raises an even more uncomfortable question: does ethnic cleansing work? Read.

Download the PDF.

December 2013