Some Additional Thoughts Concerning the Necessity for Defining Terrorism, a rejoinder to the article of David Metz


Author: Zhuliyan Zhelezov - Edited by: Giacomo Toffanello

This is the first of two articles that are meant to be a rejoinder to the article published by David Metz with the title ‘Defining Terrorism: One Man’s Terrorist is Another Man’s Freedom Fighter’. They have the purpose to elaborate some notions and perceptions with regard to the phenomenon of terrorism. Like the article written by Davit Metz, these articles will give some suggestions towards defining terrorism. Both these articles are authored by Zhuliyan Zhelezov, a law school graduate now Master student in International Security and Law.

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The rationality of suicide terrorists

French flag at half mast at UNIFIL's French headquarters in Lebanon, Saturday, November 14, 2015 (Photo: The Daily Star/Mohammad Zaatari)
French flag at half mast at UNIFIL’s French headquarters in Lebanon, Saturday, November 14, 2015 (Photo: The Daily Star/Mohammad Zaatari)

Author: Lorenzo Alberini - Edited by: Giacomo Toffanello

The extreme sacrifice of suicide bombers may let us think that they are insane or irrational. However, most scholars argue that they are as sane as everyone and try to explain the rationale behind such lethal choice. Understanding the nature of suicide terrorist is a crucial step in order to know how to counter them. In this article we will analyse the rationality behind this kind of terrorist attacks. The author of this article is Lorenzo Alberini, a master student in International Security and Law at the University of Southern Denmark. He is the editor in chief of the Italian university student newspaper ‘Sconfinare’.

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The Refugee Crisis: Who will take Responsibility?

 Migrants make their way to the Mytilene after disembarking on the Greek island of Lesbos (AFP/Getty Images).
Migrants make their way to the Mytilene after disembarking on the Greek island of Lesbos (AFP/Getty Images).

Author: Lamprini Basdeki

The Syrian civil war has led millions of people outside their homes and it is becoming increasingly complicated, with more and more actors being involved in it, such as Russia, making the country not a viable place for any of its’ inhabitants. The following article, by Lamprini Basdeki, MSc International Security and Law,  seeks to analyze the crisis and the fleeing of refugees from their country, as well as what the current deal between Turkey and EU means for the refugees.

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Sexual violence in conflict zones: A history of the neglected war crime

Traumatized Bosnian rape victim during the war in former Yugoslavia (Photo: Antony Loyd)
Traumatized Bosnian rape victim during the war in former Yugoslavia (Photo: Antony Loyd)

Author: Sofie Rose

UN reports since mid-2014 reveal a significant increase in the number of reported cases of sexual violence perpetrated by terrorist groups in Syria. In interviews with female refugees in neighbouring countries, fear of rape is cited as a major factor influencing their flight form the Syrian Arab Republic. Moreover the atrocity of conflict-related sexual violence, including rape, sexual torture, forced marriage, and sexual slavery continues in Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan (Darfur) and furthermore in post-conflict zones such as, amongst others, DRC, Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire[1]. To bring insight to this subject, in this article Sofie Rose, a master’s student in International Security and Law, examines the history behind the phenomenon and particularly the handling of it by the international community. The objective is to expose when it was brought to the agenda in the UN, and subsequently to identify what incidents, and/or structural changes that could have caused an increased attention to conflict related sexual violence within the international community. 

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Russia in Syria: Enforcing superpower recognition

Assad and Putin (Picture Source and Copyright: http://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com)

Author: Johannes Sender

Russia’s military intervention into the Syrian civil war on the side of the Assad leadership has invoked much critique, especially by Western states. During the NATO defence minister meeting on October 8th, many accused Russia of bombing non-ISIS rebel groups on behalf of the Syrian government under Assad. The US defence minister Carter called actions by the Russian forces “increasingly unprofessional“. Many diplomats seem to think the same about Russia latest foreign policy, which they called “chaotic and without a clear aim”. They argue that the bombing of Assad’s non-ISIS enemies would not make the situation any easier and is not fulfilling a greater strategic goal. In this article, Johannes Sender, Master student of International Security and Law, argues that Russia’s foreign policy in Syria as well as in the Ukraine can be read to serve strategic interests: Challenging it’s status in the international order and forcing others to play along.

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The 2011 Intervention in Libya: Consequences of Enacting the ‘R2P’

Demonstrators with the Kingdom of Libya flag in Benghazi on February 28, 2011 (Picture: Tiago Petinga/EPA)
Demonstrators with the Kingdom of Libya flag in Benghazi on February 28, 2011 (Picture: Tiago Petinga/EPA)

Author: Louisa H. Poulsen - Edited by: Michael R. Zieniewicz and Giacomo Toffanello

The international intervention in Libya in 2011 was initially proclaimed to be a success and a model for future Western interventions, specifically because long-term dictator Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown. However, now four years later, the situation in Libya is far from stable with various armed groupings challenging the authority of the central government. Often considered in relation to the on-going civil war in Syria, scrutinising the Libyan case is as relevant as ever. In this article, Louisa H. Poulsen, a Master’s student in International Security and Law, will revisit the legal and political aspects of the 2011 intervention, and will discuss to what extent the intervention might set a precedent for future similar actions.

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The Clash of the Giants: could a war between the US and China be likely?

US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping raise a glass during a meeting between the two (PHOTO: Greg Baker/Pool/Reuters).
US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping raise a glass during a meeting between the two (PHOTO: Greg Baker/Pool/Reuters).

Author: Giacomo Toffanello

The US and China are by far the two largest economies in the world and the two countries with the largest expenditure in defence budget; they both possess a nuclear arsenal and China is recording a positive trend in military budget growth, to modernize both its nuclear capabilities and its conventional maritime and air forces. Could these two superpower find themselves into a conflict? In this analysis, Giacomo Toffanello, Master student in International Security and Law, will assess the likeability and the characteristics of a conflict between these two countries.

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Defining Terrorism: One Man’s Terrorist is Another Man’s Freedom Fighter

Finding a Definition: Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary entry on terrorism. (PHOTO: David Metz).
Finding a Definition: Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary entry on terrorism. (PHOTO: David Metz).

Author: David Metz - Edited by: Giacomo Toffanello

When discussing terrorism, everyone seems to have a clear image of terrorists and what they do. However, devising a generally accepted definition that meets the requirements of use in jurisprudence has proven to be rather difficult. Moreover, the changing face of terror over the centuries and the national interests of states further complicate matters. This article by David Metz, Master student in International Security and Law, seeks to offer an overview of the issues involved in finding a universally accepted legal definition of the term “terrorism” and suggests a way forward.

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The Use of Human Shields in International Armed Conflicts

Dangerous and invisible: A little boy stands on a military pickup outside the Daymarudi camp just outside Mogadishu. (Photo: REUTERS)
Dangerous and invisible: A little boy stands on a military pickup outside the Daymarudi camp just outside Mogadishu. (Photo: REUTERS)

Author: Irnela Silnović - Edited by: Michael R. Zieniewicz and Giacomo Toffanello

Discrimination has a special place in International Humanitarian Law; unfortunately, though, the determination of whether a person is a combatant or a civilian, crucial to understand his targetability under the Laws of Armed Conflict, is not always clear. Moreover, the use of human shields makes the situation even blurrier. Civilian life is to be spared whenever possible, making the judgement difficult of whether attacking a military goal is legal when shielded by a civilian. In this legal analysis Irnela Silnović, Master student in International Security and Law, seeks to investigate the legal status of human shields and whether human shields should merely be seen as collateral damage in an armed conflict.

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Can Peace be achieved with Military Interventions?

Norwegian Peacekeeping forces relax during an inspection (Photo: Forsvarets Mediesenter/Taral Jensen)
Norwegian Peacekeeping forces relax during an inspection (Photo: Forsvarets Mediesenter/Taral Jensen)

Author: Annika Borgert - Edited by: Giacomo Toffanello and Michael R. Zieniewicz

“Si vis pacem, para bellum” can be freely translated as If you want peace, prepare for war. Maintaining or even encountering peace by the use of military means is, hence, no idea deriving from the comparably modern times of the past few centuries. But can peace be achieved with military interventions? Is the literal act of fighting for peace more than hypocrisy but a necessity instead? In this essay Annika Borgert, a Master’s Student in International Security and Law, will provide us with a comprehensive analysis on the subject.

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