The Militia System in Kunduz

by Adam Baczko and Gilles Dorronsoro

To contain the impact of the withdrawal of international forces, the Afghan government has, at US behest, established militias in most Afghan provinces. With decisive backing from US Special Forces, militia units have been formed in Wardak, Logar, Ghazni, Paktya, Paktika and Kunar Provinces. This strategy was previously tested in Iraq by the same US general, David Petraeus, who in 2011 led ISAF (the International Security Assistance Force) in Afghanistan. In Iraq, such militias, generally from Sunni tribes, were—probably somewhat excessively—credited with stabilizing the security situation.

Read more

The 2012 Local Elections in the West Bank: a Display of Discreet Authoritarianism?

by Xavier Guignard

Criticisms of the authoritarian drift or power confiscation engaged in by Mahmoud Abbas and his entourage arise from the very heart of the Palestinian state apparatus1. Yet, the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) continues to display all the indicators of a certain democratic vitality: political pluralism, more or less regular elections (whilst the country is under occupation), glowing reports by the international institutions in charge of supporting the PNA.

Read more

Qui est l'Etat Islamique

by Collectif Noria

Noria analyse les processus de continuité et de ruptures politiques et sociales qui reconfigurent le paysage politique international. Cette série de publications, signée collectivement par nos chercheurs, vise à apporter des clés de compréhension des problématiques liées à la question de l’Etat islamique et aux conséquences des attentats en France.

Les termes se sont multipliés pour caractériser les auteurs des attentats de novembre 2015 : islamistes, salafistes, djihadistes, syriens, irakiens, français, de familles musulmanes, descendants d’immigrés, convertis. Sont-ils des terroristes, des fondamentalistes, des fanatiques, de nouveaux barbares ? Comprendre qui est le commanditaire des attaques est tout aussi compliqué.

Read more

South Asia Papers – #2 Muslims of Bangalore under Narendra Modi’s regime: Perspectives from South India

by Aminah Mohammad Arif

In May 2014, the victory of the Hindu nationalists at the legislative elections led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), allowed Narendra Modi to rise to power as Prime Minister, though his level of responsibility in the anti-Muslim pogroms in Gujarat in 20022 was at the centre of a number of controversies 3. Modi certainly did lead a campaign focused on a type of development in India that would associate society as a whole, including religious minorities. However, a few months into the BJP’s victory, the highest spheres of the central State led attempts to polarise the Hindu majority and the religious minorities.

Read more

Exiled Between Two Authoritarianisms: the Sudanese Exiled in Cairo, from Hosni Mubarak to Abdel Fattah El-Sisi

by Maaï Youssef

The travesty election of the Marshal Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to the presidency of the Republic in July 20131 demonstrates the permanence and the solidity of the authoritarian basis of the Egyptian State apparatus. Despite the political changes that have taken place since 2011, the prolonged presence, including during Mohamed Morsi’s presidency, of the same political actors within the security apparatus, has led, if not to an authoritarian “restoration”, at least to its re-composition within a counter-revolution movement.

Read more

Land Grabbing and Peace Negotiations in Colombia

by Mathilde Allain

In November 2014, the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) managed, rather surprisingly, the best take of their history: a general of the Colombian army, captured in the Chocó department. Newly re-elected in June 2014, Juan Manuel Santos then immediately suspended the peace talks taking place since 2012 in Havana between the guerrilla and the government.

Read more

Focus on the Islamic State