The Syrian civil war is becoming simultaneously more brutal and more confusing. As the battle for Aleppo has dragged on and diplomatic efforts to forge a peace deal have been derailed, it has been hard to assess whether Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his regime are close to collapse or able to sustain a protracted war. Yet there is a growing sense that, if and when Assad falls, some sort of international peacekeeping force will likely be needed to prevent Syria from descending into worse chaos.

Aug 13, 2012
Richard Gowan
Europe, Middle East, Syria

With the Syrian refugee population swelling in his home country, Jordan’s envoy to the United Nations made a desperate plea during a meeting of diplomats last month: Visit the squalid camps and help Jordan cope with the crisis.

Read the full Washington Post article here

Jun 04, 2013
Europe, United States
United Nations

Is the United Nations on the verge of a disastrous summer? The organization is always vulnerable to political shocks as it juggles its peacekeeping duties, humanitarian aid and crisis diplomacy. It now faces an especially perilous period as it tries to navigate the wreckage of peacemaking in Syria while launching a potentially flawed peace operation in Mali. U.N. troops are also preparing to mount risky offensives against militias in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). If the U.N.

Jun 03, 2013
Richard Gowan
United Nations

Once upon a time, skittish European leaders came to Washington to warn their trigger-happy American counterparts about the dangers of war. Not anymore.

Read the full Daily Beast article here

May 14, 2013
Richard Gowan

The Obama administration signaled that it intends to set the diplomatic pace over Syria as the U.S. and Russia announced joint plans for a peace conference. This was not only an accommodating gesture to the Russians, who have made immense political capital out of the conflict, but also a setback for Britain and France, which have agitated for a more hawkish Western line, including arming the Syrian rebels.

May 13, 2013
Richard Gowan

In this exclusive interview with ECSSR Website Richard Gowan, talks about a range of issues related to conflict prevention and resolution. Gowan also sheds light on the progress on United Nations reforms, EU’s peacekeeping ambitions, ongoing conflict in Syria and possibilities of conflagration in the Korean peninsula. The interview was conducted on the sidelines of ECSSR’s 18th Annual Conference – The Future Warfare in the 21st Century.

Apr 15, 2013
Richard Gowan
East Asia, Europe, Middle East, Syria
United Nations

On April 15, 2013, Norway's Minister of International Development, Heikki Eidsvoll Holmås, spoke at the NYU Abu Dhabi Institute. Mr. Holmås' lecture focused on issues of development, income inequality, and global poverty.

Apr 15, 2013
Heikki Eidsvoll Holmås
Europe, United States

Does China have any real interest in cooperating on international crisis management with the West? 

Read the full World Politics Review article here.

Mar 11, 2013
Richard Gowan
China, Europe, Middle East, Syria

Diplomats are rarely dreamers or gamblers. The experience of grinding negotiations means that most ambassadors and their advisers dislike big ideas and unnecessary risks. But sometimes they have to take a gamble in pursuit of national goals.

Read the full World Politics Review article here

Mar 04, 2013
Richard Gowan

European soldiers, often mocked by American analysts in recent years, are back in fashion.

Read the full World Politics Review article here

Feb 11, 2013
Richard Gowan