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.
© Chappatte, Der Spiegel www.chappatte.com
A pandemic is not just a medical emergency – it is also a political, economic, and social crisis. It implies new challenges for democratic institutions and practices, for citizenship rights and human rights as some of the restrictions on civil liberties put in place by liberal and illiberal democracies may well outlive the coronavirus. This special issue explores some tensions and dilemmas of democracies faced with the current crisis. “Politics of the Coronavirus Pandemics” addresses questions like: Can we speak of a decline in politics during the pandemic? While states have been using the full gamut of their sovereign prerogatives, has the political (temporarily) faded in the face of, for example, “expertise”? What will be the lasting impact of the rule by administrative fiat, and of emergency powers put in place in many countries? What kinds of agenda and instruments of civic activism are likely to emerge given that courts are rarely in session and public protest not permitted due to distancing rules? What are the likely consequences of these reconfigurations for democracy, governance, and welfare systems in the global South and North?
Covid-19: A Modern Apocalypse or a Temporary Shock to the System?Reading time: 5 min
The Vaccine Race: Will Public Health Prevail over Geopolitics?Reading time: 6 min
Institutions under Stress: Covid-19, Anti-Internationalism and the Futures of Global GovernanceReading time: 5 min
Covid-19 and Even More Unconventional Economic PoliciesReading time: 6 min
Covid-19 and States of EmergencyReading time: 6 min
Pandemic as Revelation: What Does It Tell Us about People on the Move?Reading time: 5 min
Pandemic and Political GeographiesReading time: 5 min
The Western Flu: The Coronavirus Pandemic as a Eurocentric CrisisReading time: 6 min
A Gendered Perspective on the PandemicReading time: 6 min
A National-Liberal VirusReading time: 5 min
Depoliticising through Expertise: The Politics of Modelling in the Governance of Covid-19Reading time: 5 min
The Politics of Covid AppsReading time: 5 min
Human Rights and Covid-19Reading time: 6 min
Emergency Use of Public Funds: Implications for Democratic GovernanceReading time: 6 min
Unequal Impacts of Covid-19: Political and Social ConsequencesReading time: 6 min
Covid, Hysteresis, and the Future of WorkReading time: 4 min
Populism 4.0 and Decent DigiworkReading time: 5 min
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.