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The Latest Research Produced by the Human Security Centre

South Sudan, UNMISS and International Responsibility

When the most recent state in the world celebrated its third anniversary in July this year, it was amid renewed ethnic violence and a protracted refugee crisis influencing both the country and the wider region. Having fought for independence from Sudan for decades, the South Sudanese state established in 2011 exhibit all the signs of a weak, and possibly failing, state.

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Why NATO? Searching for Relevancy in the 21st Century

Hastings Ismay, the first Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), famously stated that NATO was meant to “keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.”[1] Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, it would be difficult to argue that NATO had been unsuccessful in attaining these goals. Russia no longer posed a substantial threat to NATO member states, substantial amounts of American political will and troops remain committed to Europe, and a resurgent and militaristic Germany is a laughable thought.

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Bringing Local Back In: a reassessment of peacebuilding strategies in the DRC

There has been an emerging tension between liberal top-down peacebuilding and the growing belief that grassroots bottom up solutions are required alongside wider national level approaches. Intervention and peacebuilding in Africa have largely been shaped by militaristic, externally led, top-down approaches. These approaches have had varying degrees of success, with local populations often feeling alienated from peacebuilders and their externally imposed, ill-fitting intervention strategies. These interventions have historically shown a disregard for cultural context and local processes that are key to building sustainable peace during and after conflict.

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Responding to terror-related kidnapping: a torn Western reaction

In the past month, two American journalists, James Foley and Steven Sotloff, and one British aid worker, David Haines, were beheaded by the Islamic State (IS), bringing to the public fore the question of kidnapping for ransom (KFR). Terror-related KFR is a worrying, growing and increasingly violent trend that raises a difficult dilemma to governments: should states, businesses and families comply with terrorist groups in order to save the lives of the kidnapped, or should these men be left behind in order to fight against terrorism? What remains certain is that the payment of ransom will continue to help financially and ideologically sustain terror groups.

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Mobilisation for elections in Ukraine: Risk-assessment in frames of the military conflict

On July 24th two parliamentary factions left the “European choice” coalition in the Ukrainian parliament.[1] This coalition was formed in February as a result of the Maidan protests. On August 25th, after a month of the coalition breakup, president Poroshenko exercised his constitutional right to dissolve parliament and call for elections, which are likely to be held on October 26th.

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