Syria, a Changing Middle East and the Construction of Arab Identity: A Conversation with Prof. Christopher Phillips

In an exclusive interview with InPEC, Christopher Phillips, Senior Lecturer in the International Relations of the Middle East at Queen Mary University of London and Associate Fellow at the Chatham House Middle East and North Africa programme, discusses the Syrian civil war’s regional implications, its effect on the discourse of Arab identity, and the possibility for its resolution. He is the author of Everyday Arab Identity: The Daily Reproduction of the Arab World and, most recently, of The Battle for Syria: International Rivalry in the New Middle East. 


By InPEC editor Batul K. Sadliwala, 18th March, 2017

Batul K. Sadliwala (BKS): In your latest book, your argument is that the war in Syria is a byproduct and an accelerator of a shift in the regional order of the Middle East. What is the change taking place? What is this new order you describe? Continue reading

Interview with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees on the Gender Issues Surrounding the Syrian Crisis

In an exclusive interview with InPEC, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees comments on the gendered environment that can confront women and children in a crisis situation.


By InPEC, 15th June, 2015

Abdulaziz: High Commissioner, thank you for talking with InPEC. The purpose of this interview is to highlight some of the gendered challenges facing some of the refugee women and children. We hope to hear your honest insights on how these challenges may be overcome, to help mitigate the suffering of the millions of people fleeing conflict zones.

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Feminicidio: la cara oculta de la guerra contra las drogas

En esta entrevista, la abogada chilena Patsilí Toledo nos presenta sus perspectivas en torno a los feminicidios en América Latina, después de haber investigado sobre estos fenómenos durante algunos años. La abogada comparte con nosotros su visión sobre la actual política anti-drogas que, lejos de disminuir el conflicto que existe con el narcotráfico, contribuye a aumentarlo.


Alba Franco, 10 de diciembre de 2012

Patsilí Toledo nace en Chile en 1976. Es Licenciada en Derecho por la Universidad de Barcelona y Doctorada en Derecho Público por la Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona. Su tesis está dedicada a la investigación de la tipificación del feminicidio-femicidio en países latinoamericanos, haciendo investigación de campo en Costa Rica, Guatemala, Colombia y Chile.

Entrevista concedida en fecha 10 de octubre 2012 en el bar “La candela”, Barcelona. Continue reading

“Global warming and climate change is a bigger security issue than military war”

The world has the money needed to address climate change; it is the will that is lacking, says the Rafto winner Nnimmo Bassey in this interview with Karina Reigstad. He believes renewable energy in small-scale energy systems will play an important role in Africa – and is strongly opposed to oil exploration in the Arctic.

Nnimmo Bassey was last Sunday awarded the Rafto Prize of 2012 for his longstanding commitment to the environment and human rights in Nigeria. Bassey is also chairman of the organization Friends of the Earth International. I met him for an interview in connection with his visit to Bergen, Norway, to receive the prize at an event at the National Theatre. The winner was also honored with a torchlight parade through the city.


By Karina Reigstad, 12th November, 2012. Continue reading

Angola’s Election Day – An interview with MC Carbono

A note on the run-up to the Angolon elections that were held on August 31st, 2012.


By Roberto Valussi, 4th September, 2012

The 31st August 2012 marks the day of the Angolan presidential elections; the second one after the 27 years of civil war of 1975-2002. The last time the Angolan population went to the poll was in 2008, when the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) – which emerged victorious in the conflict – obtained an enviable 82%.

The transparency of the electoral process was a concern then and it has only grown on this occasion. Many  have denounced the irregularities, some of which has already hit the international news. The main opposition party, UNITA – which lost the war – organised a rally last Saturday calling a postponement  of the elections until a decent standard of transparency is met.

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Entrevista a Arcadi Oliveres: “La historia es fundamental en la construcción de la paz”

In this exclusive interview, the president of the Barcelona-based non-profit Justice and Peace, Arcadi Oliveres, shares his views on some of the greatest challenges of the XXIst century, from poverty through to climate change, disarmament, peace, and structural violence.

En la siguiente entrevista, Alba Franco y Arcadi Oliveres debaten acerca de algunos de los retos del siglo XXI, desde la guerra al hambre, pasando por el cambio climático, el desarme, la paz mundial, y la violencia estructural del sistema.

The language of the interview is Spanish.
La entrevista está publicada íntegramente en español.


By Alba Franco, 11th July 2012
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After Moscow: Will There Be War or Peace – Part II of II

In the second part of this interview, Iranian researcher Shirin Shafaie interviews Russian scholar and independent analyst Dr. Nikolay Kozhanov on US/Russian relations over Iran, the implications of UNSC Resolution 1696 and the potential for a peaceful outcome after Moscow. It was conducted ahead of the next round of meetings in Moscow between the P-5+1 and Iran. As tensions rise and negotiating parties stick to their scripts, who will take the first positive step?


By Shirin Shafaie, 20th June 2012.

The Russian scholar and independent analyst Dr. Nikolay Kozhanov shares his in-depth insight into the Russian approach towards the upcoming Moscow negotiations between P5+1 and Iran with Shirin Shafaie. Dr. Kozhanov was an attaché at the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Tehran from 2006 to 2009, where he worked on Iran’s nuclear issue among other socio-economic and energy-related issues. He is currently a visiting fellow at the Washington Institute, a scholar at the nongovernmental Institute of the Middle East and a visiting lecturer at the School of Economics of the St. Petersburg State University. Dr. Kozhanov’s monograph, Economic Sanctions Against Iran: Aims, Scale and Possible Consequences, was published in Moscow in June 2011. This is part 2 of 2.

Read Part 1 here. Continue reading

After Moscow: Will There be War or Peace? – Part I

In this interview, Iranian researcher Shirin Shafaie interviews Russian scholar and independent analyst Dr. Nikolay Kozhanov ahead of the next round of meetings in Moscow between the P-5+1 and Iran. As tensions rise and negotiating parties stick to their scripts, who will take the first positive step? Will Russia just stand aside and look? And will there be war or peace after Moscow?


By Shirin Shafaie, 14th June 2012

The Russian scholar and independent analyst Dr. Nikolay Kozhanov shares his in-depth insight into the Russian approach towards the upcoming Moscow negotiations between P5+1 and Iran with Shirin Shafaie. Dr. Kozhanov was an attaché at the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Tehran from 2006 to 2009, where he worked on Iran’s nuclear issue among other socio-economic and energy-related issues. He is currently a visiting fellow at the Washington Institute, a scholar at the nongovernmental Institute of the Middle East and a visiting lecturer at the School of Economics of the St. Petersburg State University. Dr. Kozhanov’s monograph, Economic Sanctions Against Iran: Aims, Scale and Possible Consequences, was published in Moscow in June 2011.

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Who said Psychoanalysis is dead? Psychoanalysis, politics and culture in the twenty first century – Part II

In this interview, Carmen Gallano, an experienced psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, analyses the relevance of psychoanalysis and psychoanalytical philosophy in contemporary politics and culture. It covers the importance of a single ‘like’ on Facebook, the combination of narcissism and cynicism as well as the mental ‘concentration camps’ of modern capitalism.


4 June, 2012

Q. You have previously noted that family and social bonds are diluting. Based on your 30 plus years of clinical practice, what role do you think social networks and the rapid emergence of virtual life are playing in human life?

A. Individuals use social networks in order to compensate for the breach of social bonds. New means of technology offer virtual connections that facilitate the establishment of global networks of contacts. These, in turn, may or may not bring about local and territorial connections with physical individuals. In order to better understand the rising impact of social networks I have sought guidance in the works of Lacan, in particular his studies on the move from a discourse of the Master to a capitalist discourse and his theory of the subject.

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Interview with Peter Jenkins | Iran-West Negotiations: Getting to Yes

In this interview, David J. Franco and Peter Jenkins discuss on the current state of negotiations between the West and Iran ahead of the April 14 meeting in Istanbul between the P-5, Germany, the EU and Iran.


By David J. Franco, 13th April, 2012

Peter Jenkins was the UK Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) between 2001 and 2006. Prior to that, he held diplomatic posts in Vienna (twice), Washington, Paris, Brazil and Geneva. At present, he leads ADRg Ambassadors in the development of its relations with the UN and other important international organisations including the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO). For some time he has advocated a more cooperative approach towards Iran in relation to the West’s standoff over the former’s nuclear programme and ambitions. In this interview, David J. Franco asks questions to Peter Jenkins on the current state of negotiations ahead of the 14 April meeting in Istanbul between the P-5, Germany, the EU, and Iran. Will Iran and the West ever get to yes? Let us hope that they do, for the contrary may have devastating consequences for the region and the rest of the world.

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Who said Psychoanalysis is dead? Psychoanalysis, politics and culture in the twenty first century – Part I

In this interview, Carmen Gallano, an experienced psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, analyses the relevance of psychoanalysis and psychoanalytical philosophy in contemporary politics and culture.


4 April, 2012

This interview was conducted at the private practice of Ms Carmen Gallano in Madrid, Spain, in early March. Ms Gallano studied medicine and psychiatry and worked several years in hospitals and mental institutions before training in psychoanalysis at the Paris School of Jacques Lacan. She is a member of the International School of Psychoanalysis of the Forums of the Lacanian Field (EPFCL), and she has worked many years in her private practice in Madrid. Ms Gallano further combines her work with teaching and she has published extensively in Spain and abroad including two books titled “The feminine alterity” and “Desire, texts and conferences” (available only in Spanish: “La Alteridad Femenina” and “Deseo, textos y conferencias”). Photographs included in these series are courtesy of Ms Gallano.

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Interview with Dr Dan Plesch (Part II) – ‘As a concept, SCRAP is a tool to be used’

In this second issue of a two-part interview, longstanding disarmament activist and Director of the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy (CISD) at the London School of Oriental and African Studies, Dr Dan Plesch, answers questions on SCRAP (or Strategic Concept for the Removal of Arms and Proliferation), the CISD project on global disarmament.


By David J. Franco, 23 Feb, 2012

In 2011 the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy (CISD) of the London School of Oriental and African Studies formally launched SCRAP, a holistic approach to global disarmament that proposes the adoption of an international legally binding agreement for complete and general disarmament with a ten-year implementation period. Originally developed in Dr Plesch’s book, the Beauty Queen’s Guide to World Peace, SCRAP was recently presented at the UN Headquarters in Geneva, during a Consultation on Disarmament Education co-organised by the Costa Rican and the Philippines delegations to the UN, the International Peace Bureau, and the CISD.

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Interview with Dr Dan Plesch (Part I) – ‘Disarmament is the Cinderella while Weapons and Non-Proliferation are the Mean Sisters’

In this issue of a two-part interview, longstanding disarmament activist and Director of the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy at the London School of Oriental and African Studies, Dr Dan Plesch, answers questions on disarmament.

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By David J. Franco, 21 Feb, 2012 Continue reading

Grassroot Diplomat: The Power of Relationships

In this interview, young policy leader and entrepreneur Talyn Rahman-Figueroa discusses her new project, Grassroot Diplomat, and gives her view on different hot-topics, from gender through to disarmament and UN Reform.

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By David J. Franco, 31 Jan, 2012

InPEC has conducted this interview with Talyn Rahman-Figueroa at Grassroot Diplomat’s office in Central London. Ms Rahman-Figueroa is a young policy leader and enthusiastic entrepreneur with a clear goal: to bridge the existing gap between civil society and leaders. With an impressive academic and practical background in diplomacy, Ms Rahman-Figueroa set up the first Diplomatic Business Consulting firm of its kind. Five months later, Grassroot Diplomat has grown to include a team of six experts in their respective fields as projects proliferate rapidly in all continents. Despite her young age, Ms Rahman-Figueroa is determined to tear down traditional barriers and work towards moving from a culture of national interests to a culture of people interests. ‘Success depends on one thing’, she argues, and that thing is the ‘power of relationships’.

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Iran, Israel and the US: who’s threatening who?

In this interview, Iranian political analyst Shirin Shafaie answers questions on Iran following the IAEA’s November Report and the latest developments leading to an increase of tensions and failure of diplomacy between Iran and the West.

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By David J. Franco, 22 Dec, 2011

InPEC has conducted this interview with Shirin Shafaie at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. Shirin Shafaie is an Iranian researcher and PhD candidate at SOAS. She was educated in Iran (BA in Philosophy and MA in Philosophy of Art) and in the UK (MSc in Middle East Politics). The core of her research is critical war studies in general and the Iran-Iraq War in particular. The links in the answers are added by Shafaie.

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