October 2018 Review

October 2018 Review

TransConflict is pleased to present a selection of articles published during October, plus updates from the Global Coalition for Conflict Transformation. 

 Suggested Reading Conflict Background GCCT

1) Land swaps and other conversations in the Balkans

Matthew Parish – If the international community does not appreciate ethnic partition in the Balkans as a mode for division of the region, then it should not have championed that very cause when Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Macedonia, Kosovo and Montenegro all became independent and Yugoslavia, the region’s quintessential multi-ethnic state, was ethnically divided. The most fundamental lesson of recent Balkan history has been forgotten within a period as short as 20 years. Read on…

2) Diyanet – Erdogan’s Islamic vehicle to the Balkans

Alon Ben-Meir and Arbana Xharra – Erdogan himself and many other Turkish officials have openly spoke about their dream that by 2023, the centenary of modern Turkey, the country will enjoy as much sway and influence that was once enjoyed by the Ottomans. Erdogan uses Diyanet as one of his main vehicles to that end. For the Balkan states, this will certainly turn out to be nightmarish unless they prevent Erdogan from exploiting them in the name of Allah, while debasing Islam to serve his long-term menacing plot. Read on…

3) American energy policy in the Middle East

Matthew Parish – In the medium term, the United States must diversify its reliance upon international oil markets. Energy independence was never a credible policy, because energy prices depend upon international price movements and the United States cannot and never has been able to act as an energy autarchy. But in what direction should the United States diversify? Read on…

4) The end of Syria’s civil war and the beginning of the conflict over the spoils

Dr. Alon Ben-Meir – Regardless of how the conflict over Idlib is settled, it would be a disastrous mistake if the US leaves Syria to the whims of Putin, Rouhani, and Erdogan. Trump should further augment, rather than withdraw US forces from Syria, push for a diplomatic solution, and play a direct role in shaping the ultimate outcome. Read on…

5) What is happening in Sri Lanka?

Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice – Despite appeals for calm, the risk of further coercion, and possibly serious violence, cannot be discounted at this stage. Rajapaksa has been quick in seeking to project the image that security forces and police apparatus are loyal to him. The alignments that emerge over the next few days, and the tactics which the various parties choose to adopt, will be critical determinants of how the situation unfolds. Read on…

6) The Northern Ireland border problem

Matthew Parish – The Northern Ireland border problem may turn out not to be the mother of all problems for the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, but instead the key to preventing BREXIT from becoming a catastrophe. Read on…

7) Issues in conflict theory and practice

David G. Jones – To dismiss our collective failure in maintaining peace and order as a constant state of being with only very minor interruptions by stating that, “conflict just naturally breaks out from time to time,” is to dismiss our human capacity to know what we want, even if we aren’t always sure how to gain it. Read on…

8) Netanyahu is destroying both Israel and the Palestinians

Dr. Alon Ben-Meir – To be sure, Netanyahu betrayed the very reason behind Israel’s creation—to live in peace, provide a safe refuge for the Jews, and foster strong and unwavering ties with diaspora Jewry, while feeding into one another to maintain their strength, harmony, and purpose. Netanyahu could have been the prime minister to reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians, but did not because he was and still is determined not to allow the establishment of a Palestinian state as long as he is in power. Read on…

9) Diploma recognition between Serbia and Kosovo – integration or a palliative measure?

Nicasia Picciano – Though diploma recognition is a positive step forward for relations between Belgrade and Pristina, the prospects of an integrated education system in Kosovo remain slim. Read on…

10) “A Green Place, A Good Place”, a classic in African Great Lakes Region history – what’s in it for today’s peacebuilders?

Karoline Caesar – A better understanding of today’s political phenomena as part of a longer historical process, knowledge from precolonial societies about change processes and a more holistic and locally adapted support to mediation and good governance in the Great Lakes Region could be some of the benefits from reading this exciting book. Read on…


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