Leiden Islam Blog

Dossier: Diplomacy and Global Affairs

  • Syria: Assad or opposition?

    Syria: Assad or opposition?

    Western reluctance to become militarily involved keeps the Syrian secular opposition powerless, leaving Syria one alternative for the Assad-regime: Radical Sunni groups. If these seize power, Syria as a multi-ethnic nation-state will cease to exist.
  • The Arab uprisings

    The Arab uprisings

    The Arab uprisings' initial demand, or hope, for democracy in the Middle East by now seems replaced by a fierce struggle for power – sectarian in character – between the different actors in the region.
  • No swift reconciliation in Syria

    No swift reconciliation in Syria

    With the recent Geneva II conference and current diplomatic efforts to mitigate humanitarian suffering in the city of Homs, the question arises whether reconciliation among the warring parties in the Syrian Civil War is viable.
  • Sochi 2014: The terrorists win

    Sochi 2014: The terrorists win

    Despite enormous security efforts by Russian authorities concerns remain regarding security at the Sochi Winter Olympics. The terrorists have already won.
  • Watch this Space

    Watch this Space

    More countries and corporations vie for a piece of the galactic pie. It will be interesting to see if attempts at developing mechanisms to oversee responsible behaviour in Space can ensure that these small steps for man equate to giant leaps for mankind.
  • Keeping NATO relevant: From Russia with love

    Keeping NATO relevant: From Russia with love

    Many people have questioned the relevance of NATO in the post-Cold War era. However, the recent crisis in Ukraine seemed to have turned the picture upside down. Can Russia be credited for solving the legitimacy problem of NATO?
  • Cyber war and the crisis in the Ukraine

    Cyber war and the crisis in the Ukraine

    Cyberwar conjures up images of hackers taking out critical infrastructure and paralyzing society. This hyperbole is certainly not applicatie to the situation in the Ukraine.
  • Operation Serval: the French Intervention in Mali

    Operation Serval: the French Intervention in Mali

    Despite initial successes of French military intervention against Islamists in Mali, the question remains to what extent the operation has managed to contribute to a long-term solution to the country’s troubles.
  • Libya: A battle for the future

    Libya: A battle for the future

    The 2011 NATO-intervention in Libya was heralded by some as a "model intervention". The events of the past year showed that this does not guarantee long term stability. How should we look at the current chaos in Libya?
  • PKK and Turkey: Time for peace?

    PKK and Turkey: Time for peace?

    PKK-leader Abdullah Öcalan has called for peace between Turkey and PKK. The following months will show whether Turkey and PKK trust each other enough – at least more than they trust their common enemy Islamic State – to reach a settlement.
  • Dutch women on jihad in Syria: why do they go?

    Dutch women on jihad in Syria: why do they go?

    Increasingly media report on women who undertake the trip to Syria to join the jihad. What drives these women to give up their comfortable, safe lives to undertake the journey to a country torn by violence?
  • European Female Jihadists in Syria

    European Female Jihadists in Syria

    The number of young European women travelling abroad to join the "Islamic State" (IS) continues to increase. Little is known about these women, including their motivations and roles within such organisations.