February 2019 Review

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

 Suggested Reading Conflict Background GCCT

1) Spinning Russia in the Balkans

Gordon N. Bardos – Bismarck had warned at the close of the Congress of Berlin in 1878 that the next war in Europe would probably result from “some damn foolish thing in the Balkans.” If the EU, the U.S. and Russia do not begin handling their interactions in the Balkans more seriously, we may yet again remember Bismarck’s prescient warning, with even more horrible regret. Read on…

2) Truthful reporting in the Balkans is life-threatening

Dr. Alon Ben-Meir and Arbana Xharra – The Balkan public needs to know that they can rely on the EU’s backing in their battle for human rights and freedom of the press, and their leaders will have to realize that their continued violation of these rights carries a heavy price tag. Read on…

3) Warsaw Process toward a Conference on Security and Cooperation in the Middle East

René Wadlow – From a city that suffered from violence and destruction during the Second World War, there goes out a banner of peace held by Citizens of the World. The Association of World Citizens stresses that the 13-14 February conference on the Middle East can begin a process that will lead to a Conference on Security and Cooperation in the Middle East on the model of the negotiations which led to the Helsinki Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe. Your cooperation in this great task is most welcome. Read on…

4) The Islamic State after the Islamic State

Christian Kurzydlowski – The war against IS will not be won militarily. The world has only has to look at the American military’s “surge” in Iraq of 2006-2007 when al-Qa’ida was said to be defeated, to see a looming parallel with this current situation. History provides a platform to change the narrative. Military action on its own is stopgap measure, while leaving wider structural, socio-economic, and political issues largely unresolved. Read on…

5) Sacrificing greatness for personal ambition

Dr. Alon Ben-Meir – In your wake, Mr. Erdogan, you leave a shattered Turkish people, yearning to be free, free to think and believe, free to assemble, free to criticize, free to use their ingenuity and resourcefulness to create a free society. But you have sacrificed the welfare for the Turkish people for blind personal ambition, for which you will be remembered. Read on…

6) Youth entrepreneurship by facilitating people’s development

Yossef Ben-Meir – Even though time brings us understanding, today, it is not our friend. There is urgency to this call, to completing the Moroccan model, and to bring, finally, the satisfaction in our and others’ lives that we very seriously need. Read on…

7) A new despotism in the era of surveillance capitalism

Sam Ben-Meir – Alexis de Tocqueville warned us that oppression may take forms which are gentle, quiet, calm, but nonetheless, inimical to genuine freedom. To adequately respond to the problem will require more than demanding greater privacy or data ownership – it will involve a radical questioning of our basic assumptions, and a new understanding of what democracy means and entails in the age of capitalistic surveillance. Read on…

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