Juan Manuel Santos’ second term in office

Colombia divided on its path towards peace

After Juan Manuel Santos has been confirmed as President of Colombia in June 2014, he must confront the issues which remained unresolved after his first term: need for action in the education and health sector, reforms targeting the labour market. Moreover, the peace process is also expected to show results. Santos must overcome the disunity of the country in order to tackle these tasks.

Political Factors in the Negotiations on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership in the U.S.

For more than a year, the EU and the United States have been discussing a transatlantic free trade agreement. On the American side, the political calendar plays a significant role in the negotiation process. With regard to the next Presidential Elections in 2016, time is running out to seal an agreement. In Congress, the debate is controversial. What other factors determine the approach to and outcome of TTIP in the United States?

Trade Relations and Trade Agreements

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An Anchor in Society

The Importance of Soldiers and the Military in the USA

Apart from a short period during the Vietnam War, the American people have always supported their military, which in turn is strongly anchored in society. It knows its place within a democracy where elected politicians decide about military operations. However, like other nations, the USA is also challenged to offer its soldiers that kind of support necessary to fulfil their tasks.

Army and Society

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Child Abuse in Conflict

Child Soldiers in Congolese Society

Current estimates put the number of child soldiers, boys and girls, worldwide at 250,000. The biggest use took place during the two Congo Wars (1996 to 2003). The Democratic Republic of Congo and the international community have been trying not only to demobilise those children. More importantly, they have been struggling to reintegrate them socially. A difficult task.


When we commemorate the outbreak of the First World War a hundred years ago, today’s hotspots can hardly be overlooked. Media coverage often neglects the pressures faced by societies that are directly affected by war. Moreover, the challenges of countries whose armed forces are involved in international missions also need a closer look. To what extent do people care for soldiers who are deployed abroad? How is society reflected in its armed forces?

From an Instrument of Power Politics to Democratic Values

Decentralisation in Morocco

When Morocco’s new Constitution took effect on 1 July 2011, a considerable step was taken toward democratisation. In that respect, a decentralisation policy is also being implemented. In order for those measures to contribute to the sustainable stabilisation of the country, decentralisation must not be based on power and control. It should rather stem from the knowledge of the man’s dignity and his right to self-determination.

North Korean Refugees in South Korea

Arduous Escape and Difficult Integration

Since the division of states and the subsequent military conflict between North and South Korea, thousands of North Koreans fled their country in view of political repression and economic despair. Their target destination is South Korea. But there, refugees face a difficult integration. Prejudices, cultural differences and a modern life-style cause tensions.

The Relationship Between the Military and Society in Israel

The Entire Nation Is an Army, the Entire Country the Front Line

National security is inextricably linked with Israel’s political culture. In view of the Middle East conflict, the people and politicians regard a strong military as existentially important for the State of Israel. The army is reflected in society in many ways. In order to maintain this character, the Israeli Defense Forces have to take societal changes into account.

About this series

This periodical responds to questions concerning international issues, foreign policy and development cooperation. It is aimed at access of information about the international work for public and experts.

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