Reading and Podcast Recommendations: December

We’ve put together a selection of readings and podcasts that we think you might enjoy in December.


Yemen’s Incomplete National Dialogue: Insights on the Design and Negotiations Dynamics by Ibrahim Jalal

An analysis of Yemen’s National Dialogue, identifying a number of lessons learned and the legacy and implications of the National Dialogue for peacemaking efforts in the country going forward.

Recommended by Alex Shoebridge

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

It is a classic on describing the horrors of war and the dangers of hyper-nationalism and propaganda. It is beautifully written and also manages to find a deep humanity in the chaos that humans can bring upon one another. It follows a young German who enthusiastically enlists in WWI and then is soon mired in the atrocity of the trenches. A story of great humanity and still extremely timely. There is also a film out on Netflix now.

Recommendation by Rainer Gude

Ideology and Mass Killing: The Radicalized Security Politics of Genocides and Deadly Atrocities by Jonathan Leader Maynard

Maynard’s book, Ideology and Mass Killing: The Neo-Ideological Motivation behind Genocide and State Terror, advances an alternative ‘neo-ideological’ perspective which systematically retheorises the key ideological foundations of large-scale violence against civilians. By combining cutting-edge research from multiple disciplines — ranging from political science and political psychology to history and sociology — to demonstrate how ideological justifications for violence shape such violence in ways that go beyond deep ideological commitment. Most disturbingly of all, the key ideological foundations of mass killings are found to lie, not in extraordinary political goals or hatreds, but in radicalized versions of those conventional, widely accepted ideas that underpin the politics of security in ordinary societies across the world.

Recommended by Nick Ross


Crisis Group “Hold Your Fire” Season 3, episode 12: Football and Politics in the Gulf

In honour of the self-styled Greatest Show on Earth™, Crisis Group’s “Hold Your Fire” series has an episode on Football and Politics in the Gulf. One of the respondents is Dina Esfandiary, an extremely astute observer of all-things MENA and particularly Iran (with whom I had the pleasure to work in a previous professional life).

Recommended by Alex Bramble

Into Africa (produced by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington D.C.

This bi-weekly podcast discusses security, political, economic, and cultural themes that occupy the continent. An exciting and enjoyable opportunity to stay updated on and better understand the multi-faceted change that African countries are currently undergoing individually and/or collectively, including the opportunities and challenges that they are encountering.

Recommended by Philip Poppelreuter

Seeking Peace podcast

The Seeking Peace podcast, produced by the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security in partnership with UN Peacekeeping and Our Secure Future, explores women’s roles in bringing lasting peace to communities—whether it be through grassroots activism, peace negotiations, journalism, politics, or as uniformed peacekeepers. The podcast has covered themes such as the role of women in negotiations , building peace , defying gender norms , leadership and allies , and more. Interviewees range from grassroots activists and peacebuilders to scholars and academics to UN officials.

Recommended by Wairimu Wanjau