Shiite nationalism? Sistani, Present in Absence

by Robin Beaumont

The recent decision by Ayatollah Sistani to restrict his level of political expression cannot be interpreted as a return to “traditional quietism” on the part of the Shiite religious leadership. It instead reflects a tactical shift by the Iraqi marja‘iyya, in a context of fragmentation of Shiite political authority.

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The ICC and the Crime of Genocide: Maneuvering the Status of Minority in Darfur

by Philippe Gout 

This analysis focuses on the recent failures of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in Sudan. The court has tried to secure the arrest of Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir, but the ICC’s actions and the political hurdles necessary to justify charges of genocide have had dramatic consequences on the legal status of minorities in Darfur.

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Back to 1945: the Memorial and Strategic Meaning of the 70th Anniversary of the Japanese Defeat in East Asia

by Victor Louzon

On September 3, 2015, the largest military parade ever organized in the People’s Republic of China was held in Beijing. 12,000 troops were reviewed by President Xi Jinping, joined by many foreign dignitaries including around 30 heads of state, mainly from friendly regimes (Russia, Central Asian countries, Pakistan, Egypt, Sudan…). A show of force was expected sooner or later, to crown the “Great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation” dear to Xi. Such pomp, however, is usually reserved for the anniversary of the regime’s founding in 1949. This year’s anniversary was unrelated to the Revolution: it commemorated the Chinese victory of 1945 in the War of Resistance against Japan, as the 1937-1945 conflict is dubbed in China.

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South Asia Paper - #3 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.

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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.

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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.

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Focus on the Islamic State