Curated expert opinion on intractable contemporary issues
By Ramesh Thakur | 08 February, 2021
In 1984, President Ronald Reagan noted the nuclear emperor had no clothes: “The only value in our two nations [U.S. and Soviet Union] possessing nuclear weapons is to make sure they will never be used. But then would it not be better to do away with them entirely”? Indeed it would. The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) tries to do so through a new normative settling point on the ethics, legality and legitimacy of the bomb.
By Medinat Abdulazeez Malefakis | 29 January, 2021
On October 3 2020, a video of a Nigerian Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) attack on a victim began to spread on social media, showing a young man shot and SARS operatives driving away in a Lexus SUV. The attack sparked public outrage, and the #ENDSARS hashtag became the most popular Twitter trend in the world, garnering about 28 million tweets on the first weekend. Young people took to the streets, beginning on October 8 2020, to peacefully demand the abolition of SARS.
By Paula Green | 25 January, 2021
President Biden frequently calls for “healing the soul of our country.” Lincoln wrote of “binding up the nation’s wounds.” Has the current exposure of our nation’s brokenness revealed an opportunity to give these words new meaning? Can we stop the bloodshed, diagnose symptoms, treat root causes?
By Herbert Wulf | 23 January, 2021
The attack on the Capitol in Washington was not just the result of a president out of control. The legitimate state monopoly on the use of force was never fully recognised in the United States.
"I wish we could say we couldn't see it coming," said President-elect Biden after the assault on the Capitol. "But that's not true, we could see it coming." And former President Obama added, we would be fooling ourselves, if we treated it as a total surprise.
By Lisa Schirch | 21 January, 2021
US-based right-wing extremists harnessed social media platforms to spread disinformation, to recruit new members, to plan a siege on the US Capitol building, and to fuel the flames of hate and division in the US. Even before the January 6 siege on the US Capitol, counterterrorism and counterinsurgency experts have been describing the “mass radicalisation” of Americans via social media-driven conspiracies. According to a Reuters poll, 13% of the US population supported the siege.
By Ramesh Thakur | 19 January, 2021
Critics of nuclear weapons have long pointed to two sets of risks. First, deterrence stability depends on all fail-safe mechanisms working every single time in every bomb-possessing country. That is an impossibly high bar for nuclear peace to hold indefinitely. Second, it also requires that rational decision-makers be in office in all the world’s nine nuclear-armed states.
The views and opinions expressed in Global Outlook are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Toda Peace Institute.