Author profile: Stefan Wolff

Stefan Wolff

Stefan Wolff is Professor of International Security at the University of Birmingham, England, UK. He specialises in the management of contemporary international security challenges, especially in the prevention, management and settlement of ethnic conflicts and in post-conflict stabilisation and state-building in deeply divided and war-torn societies.

The European Union’s South Ossetia Dilemma

The European Union’s South Ossetia Dilemma

Not supporting the people of South Ossetia in their determination to make their voices heard and their votes count undermines the credibility of EU efforts to promote and support democracy and sends a message that it may yet be possible to get away with stealing elections.

What should we expect from the Afghanistan Conference in Bonn?

What should we expect from the Afghanistan Conference in Bonn?

The 2011 Conference needs to make clear that the Afghan government and people, and their international partners, are united in their efforts to make tangible and sustainable progress towards a more stable Afghanistan in a more stable region.

Three lessons from the Arab Spring

Three lessons from the Arab Spring

Local leaders, activists, and regional and international organisations have a responsibility to make sure that these revolutions do not just result in a different brand of self-serving rulers.

What role for the EU in the new Libya?

What role for the EU in the new Libya?

Perhaps, looking back at the EU’s performance in the Libyan crisis in five years’ time, the best lesson to (re-) learn is that the EU is not good at hard security policy, but does a very decent job when the task is about dealing with the aftermath of conflict. Stable democracies cannot be built on the battlefield. They require a whole different set of capabilities than what NATO can offer.

Libya’s Draft Constitutional Charter for the Transitional Stage: Promise and Drawbacks

Libya’s Draft Constitutional Charter for the Transitional Stage: Promise and Drawbacks

The draft constitution creates an enormous and unprecedented opportunity for Libyans to shape their future in ways that will mark a clean and decisive break with the past. Yet, truly democratic state-building after conflict is not without perils, and democracy is not a foregone conclusion at the end of any authoritarian regime.

Building a democratic state for the new Libya: A task list

Building a democratic state for the new Libya: A task list

Building democratic states is a complex and challenging task at the best of times. After violent conflict this task is additionally complicated by the fact that peace needs to be secured, institutions need to be comprehensively reformed, if not built from scratch, civil society and political culture need to be reinvigorated, and economies need to be put back on a path to sustainable growth.

Three questions on Libya and one on the region

Three questions on Libya and one on the region

The Gaddafi regime appears to be falling in Libya, but important questions must be answered if the transition to a new government is to be peaceful. Where have Gaddafi’s fighters gone; what are their plans? How united are the rebels and who is in command? Who will lead international post-conflict reconstruction efforts? And what are the implications for the Arab Spring more broadly?

The ICJ and Kosovo’s Declaration of Independence: Anything Resolved?

The ICJ and Kosovo’s Declaration of Independence: Anything Resolved?

I always tell my students, when sitting an exam, that they have to answer the question that has been set rather than one that they feel comfortable with. No analogy is ever perfect, but this one sums up pretty neatly the outcome of the deliberations by the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

The many dimensions of ethnic conflict: South Ossetia, Georgia, Russia, and the ‘precedent’ of Kosovo

The many dimensions of ethnic conflict: South Ossetia, Georgia, Russia, and the ‘precedent’ of Kosovo

The recent events in the South Caucasus once again highlight the pervasive and destructive forces inherent in ethnic nationalism. These should not be misunderstood as simply local phenomena for they have wider ramifications and are shaped by factors well beyond their locale.

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