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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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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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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The concept of Self-Defence against non-State Actors in International Law and the “Unwilling or Unable” Doctrine

Thick smoke from an airstrike by the US-led coalition rises in Kobani, Syria, as seen from a hilltop on the outskirts of Suruc, at the Turkey-Syria border, Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014. Kobani, also known as Ayn Arab, and its surrounding areas, has been under assault by extremists of the Islamic State group since mid-September and is being defended by Kurdish fighters. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Thick smoke, from an airstrike by the US-led coalition against ISIL militants, rises in Kobani, Syria, on Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

Author: Giacomo Toffanello

Over the last fifteen years, self-defence has been increasingly used by several governments as a justification to militarily intervene within the sovereignty of another state, especially to target non-state actors such as rebel groups or terrorist organisations; but how can these interventions cope with the prohibition of the use of force stated in the UN Charter? In this article Giacomo Toffanello, a Master’s Student in International Security and Law, will try to answer this question and to give a clearer picture of the legal framework that governs Self-Defence against Non-State Actors.

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Russia’s application of the Protection of Nationals Doctrine in Crimea in 2014

“Little Green Men” appearing in the streets of Simferopol, Crimea (Photo: AFP/GETTY)

Author: Michael R. Zieniewicz

Does Moscow have the right to intervene in other states in order to protect Russian speaking populations? Does the controversial doctrine of Protection of Nationals Abroad (PoN) really exist? In this article master’s student in International Security and Law, Michael R. Zieniewicz, examines whether international law leaves any space for the doctrine and whether the PoN has any place in the future of international relations.

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