• Photo: Ahmet Sik / Stringer / Getty Images.Research paper

    The Impact of the Syrian War on Kurdish Politics Across the Middle East

    The demise of state authority in Syria is creating an unprecedented opportunity for Kurds in the region, but their long-term success will depend both on the actions of regional powers and their ability to cooperate with each other.

    Cengiz Gunes, Associate Lecturer, Open University, UK and Robert Lowe, Manager, Middle East Centre, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

  • Photo: Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images.Chatham House Briefing

    Military and Civilian Assistance to Afghanistan 2001–14: An Incoherent Approach

    A key lesson from the intervention in Afghanistan is that civilian perspectives must carry more weight in setting realistic timelines, priorities and allocation of resources for durable state-strengthening.
    Michael Keating

    Barbara J. Stapleton, Independent Consultant

  • Other

    Annual Review 2014-15

    Explore the institute's output, activities and achievements from the past year examining global power dynamics, challenges of interdependence and sustainable economic growth.

  • IA thumbnailInternational affairs

    Book reviews

    914
  • IA thumbnailInternational affairs

    Index of books reviewed

    914
  • IA thumbnailInternational affairs

    Abstracts

    914
  • IA thumbnailInternational affairs

    Contributors

    914
  • Iranian flag next to rocketInternational affairs

    Living with nuclear hedging: the implications of Iran's nuclear strategy

    This does not change the need to contain Tehran’s proliferation potential, yet it does add another layer of complexity to the challenge. Iran will retain a low level of latency whatever the final outcome of longstanding diplomatic efforts to constrain the scope and pace of its nuclear efforts. This article will explore the implications of Iranian nuclear hedging and consider how regional rivals might interpret and respond to Tehran’s nuclear strategy. On a larger scale, the article will explore the potential impact of the international community’s approach to the Iranian case—implicitly recognizing, even giving legitimacy to, hedging—both in terms of the future of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the ability of the international community to limit the negative effects of this form of proliferation behaviour.
    914

    Wyn Bowen and Matthew Moran

  • IA thumbnailInternational affairs

    A special responsibility to protect: the UK, Australia and the rise of Islamic State

    In the summer of 2014 Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) emerged as a threat to the Iraqi people. This article asks whether the UK and Australia had a ‘special’ responsibility to protect (R2P) those being threatened. It focuses on two middleranking powers (as opposed to the US) in order to highlight the significance of special responsibilities that flow only from the principle of reparation rather than capability. The article contends that despite casting their response in terms of a general responsibility, the UK and Australia did indeed bear a special responsibility based on this principle. Rather than making the argument that the 2003 coalition that invaded Iraq created ISIS, it is argued that it is the vulnerable position in which Iraqis were placed as a consequence of the invasion that grounds the UK and Australia’s special responsibility to protect. The article addresses the claim that the UK and Australia were not culpable because they did not act negligently or recklessly in 2003 by drawing on Tony Honoré’s concept of ‘outcome responsibility’. The finding of a special responsibility is significant because it is often thought of as being more demanding than a general responsibility. In this context, the article further argues that the response of these two states falls short of reasonable moral expectations. This does not mean the UK and Australia should be doing more militarily. R2P does not begin and end with military action. Rather the article argues that the special responsibility to protect can be discharged through humanitarian aid and a more generous asylum policy.
    914

    Jason Ralph and James Souter

  • IA thumbnailInternational affairs

    'Beyond anything we have ever seen': beheading videos and the visibility of violence in the war against ISIS

    This article examines the role of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria’s (ISIS’s) beheading videos in the United Kingdom and the United States. These videos are highly illustrative demonstrations of the importance of visual imagery and visual media in contemporary warfare. By functioning as evidence in a political discourse constituting ISIS as an imminent, exceptional threat to the West, the videos have played an important role in the re-framing of the conflict in Iraq and Syria from a humanitarian crisis requiring a humanitarian response to a national security issue requiring a military response and intensified counterterrorism efforts. However, this article seeks to problematize the role and status of ISIS’s beheadings in American and British security discourses by highlighting the depoliticizing aspects of reducing a complicated conflict to a fragmented visual icon. The article concludes by emphasizing the need for further attention to how the visibility of war, and the constitution of boundaries between which acts of violence are rendered visible and which are not, shape the political terrain in which decisions about war and peace are produced and legitimized.
    914

    Simone Molin Friis

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