How to keep armed groups from using land mines

Blogpost on the Monkey Cage on our recent research on how the NGO Geneva Call has had some success in inducing non-state actors (and in turn states) to refrain from using land mines in conflict.

Nuclear activism and the Nobel Peace Prize: A letter not published in the Guardian

The Guardian published an editorial on 6 October claiming that the Nobel Prize had “only once” honored anti-nuclear activism, and suggested that giving the award to a transnational civil society organization was a departure for the award.
I submitted a letter to the Guardian on how the first statement is clearly incorrect, and the second is debatable; Moreover, this could easily be verified by checking the information on previous winners, available directly from the Nobel Institute in Oslo here.
The Guardian did not respond to the letter and no correction has been published,  so I will “self-publish” here.

The Nobel Committee has a longer tradition of honoring anti-nuclear activism Your editorial on the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize (“The Guardian view on the new peace laureates: a better bet”) welcomes the award to International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) as a global civil society movement, and highlight this as a change from honoring politicians. However, the claim that the Nobel Peace Prize committee rarely engages with the nuclear issue is questionable, and the claim that “only once before”, to the Pugwash Conferences in 1995, “has the prize been awarded to an explicitly anti-nuclear campaign” is clearly incorrect. The 1985 peace prize was awarded to the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), and Alva Myrdal and Alfonso García Robles were given the award in 1982 for their work on nuclear weapons free zones. Moreover, there have been many awards to civil society organizations with a transnational presence, including the 1977 award to Amnesty International. Perhaps some of these awards may not be remembered as vividly as some of the infamous awards to statesmen such as Henry Kissinger, but this is not because the committee has not honored anti-nuclear campaigns or civil society organizations.

Network of European Peace Scientists statement on academic freedom in Turkey

As part of the governing council of the Network of European Peace Scientists I helped draft the below statement expressing concerns over the reports on threats to academic freedom in Turkey. Other organizations such as the American Political Science Association and the International Studies Association have also made statements to express their concern.

Academics should be able to express their views openly, without fear of persecution, regardless of their political views.


NEPS Statement

January, 21st 2016

NEPS statement on academic freedom in Turkey

The Network of European Peace Scientists (NEPS) is concerned about reports on the current situation for academic freedom in Turkey. NEPS as an organization does not take positions on domestic political issues or the original petition by the “Academics for Peace”. However, as an organization with a commitment to academic freedom in the scientific study of conflict and peace, we see it as essential that academics must be allowed to express their views openly, and without the fear of persecution. We call on the Turkish government to protect academic freedom and prevent the persecution of academics.