Geopolitics, Uncertainties and Business (6) : The Psychological Impact of the Islamic State Terrorist Attacks

This article is the second of a two-parts of a series seeking to identify the impacts of the current and most probably forthcoming terrorist attacks by the Islamic State and other jihadist groups, and focuses on major socio-psychological consequences. It follows a first article, which started outlining a framework for impact assessment out of our current understanding of the economic consequences of terrorism, which notably pointed out the need to use mapping as methodology if the complex and cascading characters of these impacts are to be properly assessed. The larger aim of the series is notably to understand if businesses should or not neglect these aggressions and related geopolitical uncertainties, while finding out ways to foresee these risks so as to best design answers (see Helene Lavoix, “Businesses and Geopolitics: Caught up in the Whirlwinds? (1)”, The Red (Team) Analysis Society, 17 Oct 2016)

To find out which could be the psychological impacts of the ongoing string of terrorist attacks, we

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Smart Agriculture, International Power and National Interest

Smart farming, the combination of agriculture, artificial intelligence (AI) and the internet of things (IoT), will help tackle the various challenges of food security, and usher the happenstance of a new world. It will also change what international food security means. We present here some of the features of the new “international smart food security”. […]

Towards a US-China War ? (1) The New Cold War and China’s Belt and Road Initiative Go to the (Warming) Arctic

This article explores the way the warming of the Arctic transforms this region into the new frontier of a new driver of the confrontation between the US and China… Read More

Which U.S. Decline? The View from the U.S. National Intelligence Council

The second decade of the 21st century appears to be rough for the U.S.. Could it mean that American power is waning? The question of a putative decline of the U.S. regularly emerges in international relations and in the media since at least the 1970s (Kenneth Waltz; Theory of International Politics, 1979: 177-178). However, each […]

Democracy: the Key to Avoiding Future Wars? (2)

In the Kantian framework, different kinds of agents pursue democracy at three levels: the individuals within a nation, the states in their relationships with one another and also with their citizens, and humankind. In this article, we shall look at how individuals within a nation should behave if they want to truly abide by democratic principles.

Should they rebel and when? Should they support war, and which type of war if any?

This article is the second part of a series reflecting upon Democracy, especially its link to war, in the framework of events, notably regarding Syria, Egypt and the “Arab Awakening” but also the 2010s European and American opposition movements. The first article can be read here, and the next and final one here.

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Signals: Talks between Iraqi forces and Kurdish Peshmerga; President Barzani Steps Down; Iran…

Impact on Issues ➚ ? ➃  Short term – Willingness of Iraq to capitalize further on their military victory against the Kurds, notably capturing Kurdish oilfields (uncertainty) ? Medium to longer term – capacity of Iraq to govern legitimately over its multi-sectarian multi-ethnic population (critical uncertainty) ➚ ➃  /➄ Iraq strength and international support ➘➘➘ ➂ Legitimacy of Iraqi Kurdish […]

Signal: High Turnout for the Iraqi Kurds Referendum

Impact on Issues ➙➚ ➁/➄ Iraq Kurds Referendum The Iraqi Kurds would need allies if they want to survive. However correct and right their right to self-determination, being landlocked, surrounded by countries opposing this right is hardly conducive to state-building. The question surrounding the Kurdish referendum is all the more crucial considering that the Islamic State remains a threat and thus that Iraq is still at war. Turnout high as Iraqi Kurds defy threats to hold independence vote ERBIL/SULAIMANIYA, Iraq (Reuters) – Kurds voted in large numbers in an independence referendum in northern Iraq on Monday, ignoring pressure from Baghdad, threats from Turkey and Iran, and international warnings that the vote may ignite yet more regional conflict. The vote organized […]

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The Kurds and Rojava, State-Building in the Syrian War

During the Autumn 2013 and Winter 2014, we witnessed a major reconfiguration of forces in Syria, as seen previously, including with the rise of Salafi-Nationalists. This article looks at the evolution that took place in Western Kurdistan, notably the birth of novel political institutions, Rojava, and how and why the Kurds relate to the Geneva conference that took place in early 2014. Creating Rojava We recall that on 10 July 2013, the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) declared starting making plans to move towards some degree of autonomy for Rojava or the Syrian part of Kurdistan (see for detail 4 Nov 2013 update, 2.1.). News about Rojava and its “project” can be followed on its own website, created in August 2013. The PYD moved forward on 11 November 2013 […]

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War in Libya and Its Futures – Tribal Dynamics and Civil War (1)

Tribalism in Libya’s civil war is a powerful dynamic that must be analyzed and understood before endeavoring foresight. Libya comprises 140 tribes, of which an estimated 30 to 40 have political influence, making it “one of the most tribal nations in the Arab world” (Kurczy and Hinshaw, The Christian Science Monitor, February 24, 2011; Varvelli, ISPI, May 2013). As a result, if a few or many of them side with one or the other warring groups, then this will impact the war. Tribal identity and its product of favoritism are dynamics that can have a profound effect on political allegiances (see section on Creating Grievances). Because tribes are inclusive and often have extended familial ties, they are naturally predisposed to favoritism […]

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