The newest episode of the Democracy in Question podcast, hosted by Central European University (CEU) President and Rector, Shalini Randeria, features Mary Kaldor. It's a great pleasure to welcome Mary Kaldor. In fact, welcome her back. She has already been my guest last year. Mary is Professor Emeritus of Global Governance and Director of the Conflict Research Program at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She has had a long and illustrious academic career, but she's also been an activist since the 1980s.
She was a founder of the European Nuclear Disarmament Movement, and was co-chair of Helsinki Citizens' Assembly, and People's Europe, and also a member of the Goldstone Commission investigating the Kosovo crisis. She has co-edited several influential volumes, among them "Dealignment", and "The New Detente" both with Richard Falk, on restructuring the global military sector, on democratization in Central and Eastern Europe, and most recently, EU global strategy, and human security. Moreover, she's the author of several agenda-setting books, among them "Global Civil Society: An Answer to War", "Human Security: Reflections on Globalization and Intervention", and the highly acclaimed "New and Old Wars: Organized Violence in a Global Era”, which is in its 3rd edition, all three of which we'll discuss in our conversation today.
In this episode "Nato, Human Security, the Changing Face of Global War and the Effectiveness of Sanctions and Debt Cancellation" published August 17, Shalini and her guest discuss the new world order where according to Kaldor, perpetual violence has become the norm. How come these so-called new wars, or “forever wars” as Kaldor refers to them, are not tied to contest over national territory? Furthermore, does NATO still adhere to Cold War patterns of thinking and is there a willingness in the organization to change the focus towards matters relating to human security? Is Putin's war of aggression in Ukraine not a throwback to the old wars fought for control over territory against neighboring states? And where can we locate the sights and actors of successful resistance, and should these be civilian rather than military? Can the military even be part of the solution, or is the inherent logic of the military industrial complex part of the problem in the first place? Given the current geopolitical tensions can democratic status quo be preserved by relying on a self-limiting and limited capacity for defensive deterrence mixed with policing functions?