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Nice: Entering the gray zone

Nancy Scheper-Hughes, anthropology professor | July 19, 2016

“I hope someday you’ll join us And the world will live as one” — John Lennon, “Imagine” So close to home, one of our own, Nicolas Leslie, a UC Berkeley student abroad in France, after being missing for four days, was confirmed dead, one of the 84 victims of the terrorist attack in Nice. Three other … Continue reading »

Surviving new terrorist attacks in 10 steps

Bruce Newsome, Lecturer in International Relations | November 18, 2015

Multi-method terrorist attacks – like the attacks in Paris on the night of Friday 13th November 2015 – are becoming more frequent and deadly, while official authorities are struggling to protect their residents, so how can we protect ourselves? Terrorism is still extremely rare compared to other crimes, but terrorism risk is increasing, and terrorism tends … Continue reading »

Molenbeek, Europe’s capital of jihad?

Jeroen Dewulf, director, Institute of European Studies |

Belgium has a sad record. With some 450 jihadists, it is Europe’s largest contributor per capita of ISIS fighters in Syria. The country has also been mentioned in connection to a series of recent ISIS attacks: In May 2014, a returned jihadist from Syria opened fire at the Jewish Museum in Brussels. In January 2015, … Continue reading »

Terrorism in Paris: hard lessons for soft borders

Bruce Newsome, Lecturer in International Relations | November 15, 2015

Terrorism in Paris is not France’s fault, it’s Europe’s fault. In less than three hours on the night of Friday 13 November 2015, seven men killed 129 people, wounded 352, mostly with small arms (their suicide explosives were used to martyr themselves at the end of their killing sprees). The Islamic State in Syria, Iraq, … Continue reading »

How to defeat ISIS (and why it probably won’t happen)

Bruce Newsome, Lecturer in International Relations | March 2, 2015

Air strikes won’t defeat ISIS. A Western ground invasion would, but the West is far short of that commitment, to its increasing peril. ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham; more transliterately known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL; most derogatively known by its Arabic acronym “Da’ish”) is an … Continue reading »

France: Repression is not the answer

Jonah Levy, associate professor of political science | January 9, 2015

France has suffered a terrible trauma. On Wednesday, 12 employees of the satirical journal Charlie Hebdo were massacred by two French-born Islamic militants, brothers Saïd and Chérif Kouachi, who claimed to be avenging the publication by Charlie Hebdo of a series of cartoons mocking Islam and the prophet Mohammed. The next day, a police officer … Continue reading »

The murder of journalists puts news media in a quandary

Edward Wasserman, former dean, Graduate School of Journalism | September 3, 2014

The murders of the U.S. journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff by their Islamist captors were trivial horrors in the spiraling calamity that has engulfed Syria and Iraq. Still, to me they were uniquely painful for reasons unrelated to the region’s incomparably greater misfortunes: They were the needless deaths of brave and committed professionals, they pointed … Continue reading »

MH17

Yuriy Gorodnichenko, associate professor of economics | July 21, 2014

I flew to Ukraine on July 16, 2014. It was a typical flight and travelers thought they could abstract from the war in the East of Ukraine. The next day changed everything. Pro-Russian separatists shot down MH17, a passenger airplane with 298 people aboard, 80 of which were children. This is an unspeakable crime that has … Continue reading »

“Why were you destroying government property in Afghanistan?”

Malcolm Potts, professor of population and family planning | October 20, 2013

I first went to Afghanistan in December 1969. I still remember the bitter cold. USAID had begun to invest in family planning and an American gynecologist had been assigned to the US embassy in Kabul to start a program. He was who had invented a new experimental  intrauterine device. It looked to me rather like a … Continue reading »

Tips for resilience in the face of horror

Jason Marsh, editor-in-chief, Greater Good Science Center | April 19, 2013

In December, in the wake of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, we created a list of resources for helping children cope with trauma. We had hoped that we would not have to feature that list again anytime soon. Sadly, a number of these resources are newly relevant after the explosions at the Boston Marathon, … Continue reading »

Ding, dong, the witch is dead!

Richard Abrams, professor emeritus of history | May 4, 2011

Ding! Dong! The Witch is Dead!  Which old witch?  The wicked old witch.  The self-righteous, pathological murderer, Osama bin Laden, took a bullet in the head and is now gone. Riotous celebrations in the streets of many American cities with television images of (mostly young people) flashing “Victory!” signs, and robotically chanting, “USA! USA! USA! … Continue reading »

Revenge, retribution, justice: killing Osama bin Laden

Jonathan Simon, professor of law |

President Obama said “justice has been done.” Many headlines were more direct. “Revenge” was the headline in the Scotsman, here in Edinburgh, while the the New York Daily News went right for “Rot in Hell you Bastard.” Whatever our emotions on learning the news, the killing of Osama bin Laden by a Navy Seals “kill” … Continue reading »

The coming generation of Osamas

Malcolm Potts, professor of population and family planning | May 3, 2011

Bin Laden’s death does not make one iota of difference to the  dynamics of global terrorism. Osama was the 17th child of a man who had 57 children  – and who would have had more if he had not died in an air crash. If we are to confront terrorism then we must look up … Continue reading »