Palestinian Refugees in Syria face a Bleak Future

July 25, 2012 by

“The flames are quickly approaching Yarmouk (as) someone is trying to drag the Palestinians into the fire,” reported Palestinian commentator Rashad Abu Shawar. Yarmouk is the largest Palestinian refugee camp in Syria. Its inhabitants make up nearly a quarter of Syria’s entire refugee population of nearly 500,000. Despite the persistence of memory and the insistence on their right of return to Palestine, the Palestinian community in Syria is, on the whole, like any other ordinary community.

Review: Iara Lee’s Cultures of Resistance

July 25, 2012 by

When we think of “resistance,” what mostly comes to mind is guerrilla warfare: Vietnamese closing in on the besieged French at Dien Bien Phu; Angolans ambushing Portuguese troops outside of Luanda; Salvadorans waging a war of attrition against their military oligarchy. But resistance doesn’t always involve roadside bombs or military operations.

Social Blindspot: Why Risk Models Need to Change

July 25, 2012 by

The risk landscape is undoubtedly shifting. PwC (PriceWaterhouseCoopers), invoking Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s recent book, posit that ‘Black Swans’ are increasingly ‘turning grey’. By this, they mean that previously catalytic and unforeseen events are becoming more regular; betraying an increased level of uncertainty faced by the global community in the face of growing connectivity and dependency.

Ethnic Strife in Burma: A History of Violence

July 25, 2012 by

For Muslims around the world, Ramadan is a month of peace and calmness. That is hardly the case for the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. The ethnic rift between them and the ethnic Buddhists since June has spiraled out of control, leaving scores of Rohingya Muslims dead and homeless. Many have crossed the border into Bangladesh. Amnesty International’s Benjamin Zawacki said the latest violence has been “primarily one-sided, with Muslims generally and Rohingya specifically the targets and victims.”

Is Gandhian Geopolitics Feasible?

July 25, 2012 by

There has been serious confusion associated with the widespread embrace of ‘soft power’ as a preferred form of diplomacy for the 21st century. Joseph Nye introduced and popularized the concept, and later it was adopted and applied in a myriad of settings that are often contradictory from the perspective of international law and morality.