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International Relations and Security Network www.isn.ethz.ch
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This Week at ISN Our Weekly Editorial Roundup
5 – 9 May 2014 JUMP TO » Editorial Plan | Security Watch | Blog | Video
/// Revolutions and Security
Revolutions are mysterious things. Defining them remains difficult, as does explaining when, how and why revolutionary
conditions transform into actual uprisings. Regardless of these contextual problems, however, recent history has taught us
that revolutions, both in their traditional and updated guises, will remain part of the global security landscape for some time
to come. But is that good? There are certainly those who believe that democratic revolutions are both beneficial and worthy
of support. In the other corner, however, there are those who believe that the risks surrounding revolutions may not

be
worth the costs. Not only will ruling political elites resort to stability-draining countermeasures, but the rebels might align
themselves, in an act of expediency, with third parties with their own 'unhelpful' agendas.» More
Revolution: a Source of Insecurity and a Thing of the Past?
5 May 2014
What is revolution? Is it merely unwanted disorder or a meaning-providing push to be seen and heard by the
dispossessed? And most importantly, are the revolutions we're seeing today different from those of the past? To Eric
Selbin, revisiting these questions is unavoidable if we are to understand this enduring phenomenon.» More
When Civil Conflict Ends
6 May 2014
The inevitable consequences of revolutions are economic and political insecurity, right? Not necessarily, says Anna
Getmansky. While post-revolutionary states might end up being economically worse off than their neighbors, they can also
end up being more democratic.» More
An Early "Spring" in Bosnia?
7 May 2014
Will political protests in Bosnia-Herzegovina eventually lead to revolution? That remains to be seen, says Dejan Guzina. In
the meantime, both revolutionists and the EU should learn two lessons from Ukraine's current troubles – political elites
don't give up power easily and 'worthwhile' causes can be hijacked by extremists.» More
Venezuela: Taking the Counter- out of Revolution
8 May 2014
Is the opposition to the excesses and failures of Chavismo just the latest installment of popular revolution to hit Venezuela?
Not exactly, says Ivan Briscoe. The Maduro government's opponents have found newer and seemingly more effective
ways to pursue their aims.» More
Naxals' Foreign Links
9 May 2014
The links between India's Naxal movement and other like-minded groups are well-established. What's more worrying,
writes Deepak Kumar Nayak, is just how little attention has been paid to the movement's connections with militants
supported by Pakistan's Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence.» More
/// Security Watch
Drug Trafficking, Terrorism, and Civilian Self-Defense in Peru
5 May 2014
What ever happened to the Shining Path? According to Steven Zech, its remnants now help protect Peru's illicit narcotics
trade, which doesn't sit well with local communities. That's why they're forming tactically savvy civilian self-defense forces
to combat what to them is an unwanted threat.» More
Internationalization of the Renminbi
6 May 2014
Why is China trying to internationalize the Renminbi and will it eventually replace the dollar as the world's de facto
currency? In today's Q&A session, Barry Eichengreen explores these questions and wonders whether a more dominant
Chinese currency will benefit the international financial system or not.» More
The Revenge of Force Planning
7 May 2014
Mac Owens believes that the United States' armed forces are not only worn out, they're also not fit for purpose. It's time,
therefore, to return force planning to its rightful place at the center of American military preparations for the future.» More
Transnational Crime: Europe's Collective Existential Security Threat?
8 May 2014
Most EU states remain unwilling to admit that the threats posed by organized crime exceed the reach of traditional law
enforcement agencies. Today, Regina J oseph explains why this mindset has to change and how Brussels might better
coordinate its responses to this Leviathan of a problem.» More
New Turkmen Opposition Movement Appears
9 May 2014
Will 'the Movement', which is Turkmenistan's newest opposition group, make a political dent in this authoritarian state?
Bruce Pannier thinks that while the group faces an uphill struggle, its mere existence shows that not everyone has given
up on changing the country for the better.» More
/// Blog
Violent Straw Men? Sex Ratios, Conflict, and a Methodological Disconnect
5 May 2014
Are societies with a disproportionately high number of men more prone to violence and insecurity than other ones?
Absolutely, says Valerie Hudson. According to her research, creating a 'high sex ratio society' much like China is asking
for trouble.» More
It's Time for a Backup to GPS
6 May 2014
Should the recent failure of Russia's GLONASS satellite system raise concerns about the long-term health of the Global
Positioning System (GPS)? Not really, says J ames Hasik. A growing number of states are protecting their interests by
developing their own systems.» More
Burundi: Ignoring the Problem Won't Make It Go Away
7 May 2014
While the international community has been quick to react to Burundi's growing political problems, regional organizations
and local powers such as South Africa have lagged behind. Today, Liesl Louw-Vaudran explains why this is the
case.» More
Addressing the Foreign-Fighter Risk: a Role for Financial Intelligence?
8 May 2014
What's one of the easiest and potentially valuable ways to track foreign nationals who are traveling to and from the Syrian
conflict? According to Tom Keatinge, it's the vast amount of raw data and intelligence that the financial services industry
(FSI) has to offer.» More
China SSBN Fleet Getting Ready – But For What?
9 May 2014
It's likely that China's J in-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) will start going on patrol by the end
of 2014. Today, Hans Kristensen wonders whether Beijing will operate them within its territorial waters or mirror the
deployment tactics of Western nuclear-armed states.» More
/// Video
After the Jasmine Revolution: Tunisia's Road Ahead
In this video, a mix of practitioners and experts review Tunisia's ongoing political transition. More specifically, they focus on 1)
the initial impact of the country's new constitution (January 2014), 2) the continuing role of civil society in promoting a stable anD
democratic state, and 3) some of the major hurdles the democratization processes still face.» More
This Week at ISN 2014-09-05.html[09.05.2014 16:15:04]

War! What is it Good For?
In this video, Stanford University's Ian Morris discusses his book, "War! What is it Good For? Conflict and the Progress of
Civilization from Primates to Robots." His thesis, at least by today's standards, is a politically incorrect one -- organized
violence and human progress are historically linked, particularly in the case of expanded and improved
governance.» More
On Colombia's Militants, Oil and Elections
In this video, Stratfor's Karen Hooper and Reggie Thompson first discuss the ongoing attacks by militant groups against
Colombia's oil pipeline systems. They then focus on the current status of Bogota's negotiations with the Revolutionary
Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), which continues to cast a long shadow over the country's 2014 presidential
elections.» More
Coming Up
Next week's theme: Democracy and Security
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