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Death Spiral

Death Spiral

The multilayered tragedy unfolding in Israel/Palestine has us all transfixed. But not inert. Our emotions and minds are roiled in an effort to make sense of what happened, what is happening at the moment and what the chain of repercussions will be. A deliberate thinking through of this maelstrom requires a rare discipline that is…

Defeat

Defeat

Introduction The United States is being defeated in Ukraine. One could say that it is facing defeat – or, more starkly, that it is staring defeat in the face. Neither formulation is appropriate, though. The U.S. doesn’t look reality squarely in the eye. We prefer to look at the world through the distorted lenses of…

The Logic of Peace Can Overcome the Logic of War 

The Logic of Peace Can Overcome the Logic of War 

By Friedrich Glasl. Differences among actors can escalate to social conflicts if self-regulation gets lost by strong emotions. Affects determine all psychic functions and the behavior of the parties of the conflict. And a destructive attitude and “logic” emerges, the “logic of war”, which intensifies the escalation. The principles of the “logic of war” and the principles of the “logic of peace” are explained in order to de-escalate a conflict if one follows the “logic of peace”. One can use a “window of opportunity” to do the first steps which may lead to peace processes.

Switzerland’s Neutrality, Independence, and Federal Cohesion
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Switzerland’s Neutrality, Independence, and Federal Cohesion

This lecture is not intended to trace the “history of neutrality” of Switzerland. Rather, the aim is to ask which framework conditions were considered indispensable for the maintenance of neutrality around 1815. It ties in with research on political and economic reforms, but also on the construction of national identities in 19th century Switzerland.

Sri Lanka: Debt and Crisis of Survival

Sri Lanka: Debt and Crisis of Survival

By Asoka Bandarage. Sri Lanka has been faced with an unprecedented political and economic crisis since the beginning of 2022. The dominant narrative attributes the crisis to the confluence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ukraine conflict, China’s ‘debt trap diplomacy’ and – most importantly – the corruption and mismanagement of the ruling Rajapaksa family. Western mainstream media celebrated the so-called aragalaya (struggle, in Sinhala) protest movement that led to the ouster of the Rajapaksas and upholds the IMF bail-out as the only solution to the dire economic situation.

Maltese Neutrality: A Live Debate

Maltese Neutrality: A Live Debate

By Hillary Briffa. Prior to independence from Britain in 1964, Malta’s foreign and security policy was historically determined by the prevailing colonial power of the time. Since 1987, reflecting the insecurity generated by the Cold War superpower competition and growing militarisation of the Mediterranean, among other economic and socio-political drivers, Malta’s constitution has defined the country as a “neutral state actively pursuing peace, security and social progress among all nations by adhering to a policy of non-alignment and refusing to participate in any military alliance.” Amid current debates over the continuing applicability and relevance of neutrality for contemporary security, the words ‘actively pursuing’ are instrumental.