This week, our hard power-centered Security Watch (SW) series asks why military relations between Russia and Nicaragua have grown stronger in recent years; why land power remains central to the application of force; what the US can learn from Great Britain’s ‘management’ of its global decline; how Ukraine’s troubles have changed global perceptions of nuclear weapons; and how Pakistan might free itself from six decades of violence and instability. Then, in our second, more wide-ranging SW series, we consider whether the world is actually as violent as it seems; why Australia thinks it should be a global actor; what are Thailand’s immediate prospects for political stability; what are the potential ramifications of Saudi Arabia’s ‘reactive’ foreign and regional policies; and how the West should react to a more outward looking Belarus.

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Featured Video

Duration: 42:35
Video by: Harvard University
Image License: CC | BY


The Responsibility to Protect

In this video, Simon Adams, who is the Executive Director of the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, discusses the origins of the concept, which is typically known as R2P, and the nature of the UN's R2P system. More on «The Responsibility to Protect»

Missile in front of grey clouds, courtesy of US Air Force/Wikimedia Commons
Public Domain Public Domain

18 Dec 2014 Security Watch

The 'Return' of Nuclear Weapons

It takes something like Ukraine’s troubles to refocus public and political attention on nuclear weapons, writes Nikolai Sokov. Unfortunately, instead of provoking calls for their elimination, he thinks that conflicts of this type make owning nuclear weapons seem more attractive. More on «The 'Return' of Nuclear Weapons»

Jordan–Saudi Arabia Borde, courtesy of Jason Jones
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18 Dec 2014 Security Watch

The Saudi Thermidor

Has Saudi Arabia developed a convincing counter-narrative to the messages coming out of Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood and the so-called Islamic State? Frederic Wehrey doesn’t think so. He also worries the Kingdom’s ‘reactive’ foreign policy could incur high costs at home and throughout the Middle East. More on «The Saudi Thermidor»

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18 Dec 2014ISN Blog

Review -- "Leo Strauss: Man of Peace"

Michael Di Gregorio is surprised by one of the defining features of Robert Howse’s new book. That’s because Howse presents Leo Strauss as a realist, albeit in the idiosyncratic way the political philosopher understood the term. More on «Review -- "Leo Strauss: Man of Peace"»

Three Swedish Conscripts
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Dec 2014 Publications

Deeper Defence Cooperation: Finland and Sweden Together Again?

What explains the growing bilateral defense cooperation between Finland and Sweden? Charly Salonius-Pasternak’s answer points to rising defense costs, the need to plug capability gaps, a lack of alternative defense partnerships and more. More on «Deeper Defence Cooperation: Finland and Sweden Together Again?»

Logo Nordic Africa Institute (NAI)


Nordic Africa Institute (NAI)

The Nordic Africa Institute (NAI) provides timely research, analyses and information on the African continent. More on «Nordic Africa Institute (NAI)»