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Global Challenges
Issue no. 5 | April 2019
New Grammars of War:
Conflict and Violence in the 21st Century
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Articles for this issue
Global Challenges
Issue no. 5 | April 2019
New Grammars of War: Conflict and Violence in the 21st Century

The Dossier aims to explore new trends and expressions of violence in armed conflict in the 21st century. Taking as a starting point the changing paradigm of armed conflict – from conventional wars with clear contours towards more non-linear, fragmented and protracted types of civil and international conflict — it adopts a broad approach to portray changing forms of violence across different types of armed conflicts (including terrorism, international/civil wars or urban warfare). In the context of a fragmenting international order, with increasingly blurred lines between state and non-state, combatant and civilian, domestic and international, the number of actors involved in conflicts and concurrent strategies of violence have multiplied. In face of the ubiquity of violent conflict — despite an overall decline in interstate conflict and global number of casualties — the Dossier aims to shed light on new or changing forms of violence, their contexts, actors and victims. It explores the novelty, heterogeneity, scales and vectors of violent practices in contemporary conflicts by investigating the impact of a series of factors such as new military technologies (drones, robots), new communication tools (social media), gender, migration, or the subcontracting of security to private actors.

Articles for this issue

New Grammars of War:
Conflict and Violence in the 21st Century
  • I
     
    Seamless pattern of doodle violence

    Homo Conflictus: The Protean Nature of Armed Violence in a Fragmenting World

    Reading time: 5 min
  • 1
     
    Symbolic image of the battle, where robots attacked people

    On (Political) Violence

    Reading time: 4 min
  • 2
     
    Orange and black figures pottery amphora painting of troy war with achilles fighting

    What Is Really New about the New Wars?

    Reading time: 3 min
  • 3
     
    Battle of the Goldroad from Game of Thrones - Season 7 Episode 4 on the official tapestry produced in Northern Ireland.

    The Privatisation of War

    Reading time: 4 min
  • 4
     
    Giant evil robot destroying the city

    Welcome to the World of Killer Robots

    Reading time: 5 min
  • 5
     
    Human Miseries, from the Suite of Late Wood-Block Prints

    Sexual Violence: A New Weapon of War?

    Reading time: 4 min
  • 6
     
    Graffiti artist illegally abandoned in a ruined building

    The Morphology of Urban Conflict

    Reading time: 6 min
  • 7
     
    Émile Friant's drawing of Marie Marvingt and her proposed air ambulance. Émile Friant [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

    Humanitarians as Targets of Violence?

    Reading time: 4 min
  • 8
     

    The Fog of Crime: Gang Transformation and the Unpredictability of Violence in Central America

    Reading time: 4 min
  • O
     
    Medieval symbols big set of swords, knife and mace vintage, engraved hand drawn in sketch or wood cut style

    Reflections on the Future of Violent Conflict

    Reading time: 4 min
Other Issues
Issue no. 8 | November 2020
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The New Frontiers of Risk
Global Challenges
Issue no. 8 | November 2020
The New Frontiers of Risk

After the outbreak of COVID-19 – a virus constituting a genuinely worldwide risk – fear internationalised in just a few weeks. As the COVID crisis has profoundly shaken societies on a global scale it has contributed to a reconfiguration – perhaps a multiplication – of risks and their perceptions. While foremost constituting a biological hazard, the pandemic has large repercussions on other types of risks, ranging from long-term economic and digital disruption to psychological distress and political confrontation. The nature and frontiers of risks are thus moving as the multilateral system, the most adequate framework to deal with global risks, is ailing and current risk mitigation strategies are increasingly put to question. The six articles of the present Dossier explore these changing hierarchies of risk and the underpinning structural issues that endanger our existence.

Issue no. 9 | March 2021
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The Moving Fault Lines of Inequality
Global Challenges
Issue no. 9 | March 2021
The Moving Fault Lines of Inequality

While poverty has been diminishing in absolute terms and relative income has been growing on a global scale for over two centuries, inequality – as measured by instruments such as the Gini coefficient – has been increasing steadily since the early 1980s. With the financial crisis of 2007, the growing digitalisation of the economy and the current pandemic, global inequality has further worsened, seeing the fortunes of the superrich attaining unprecedented levels and revenue concentrating in the top percentiles of societies.

Concurrently to the aggravation of the social fracture, additional fault lines have been opening or hardening along logics of race, gender, ethnicity and religion. Identarian revendications and logics of difference and exclusion have come to complement, compete with or supersede more traditional struggles for equality in a postmodern and neoliberal context that has normalised inequality, homogenised societies and done away with earlier grand narratives and collective agendas. 

The consequences of inequality(ies) are dramatic, as reflected in the polarisation and fragmentation of societies, worsening health and mortality indicators, political tensions and violence, a decline in democracy, and mistrust in state institutions. The objective of the current issue of Global Challenges is therefore – by reverting to the analytical tools of social science – to reflect on the causes behind the multifaceted growth of inequality(ies), anticipate their noxious fallouts and explore potential remedies.