Bruno De Cordier

Bruno De Cordier works for the Conflict Research Group of Ghent University. His research interests include humanitarian aid and –policy, the social impact of globalization and, geographically, Eurasia (the former USSR) and Pakistan. Before joining the university, he worked as a field officer and in humanitarian coordination for the UN. In that capacity, he lived, worked and traveled for more than six years in his region of interest and returns regularly, convinced that an actively interested traveler observes best what actually happens on the grounds. Bruno De Cordier also worked and lived for one and a half year in Bangladesh, and did a series of short- and long-term observation and monitoring missions for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and for the European Union in Eurasia, Pakistan and the Balkans. He publishes regularly in specialized journals and readers, and has authored several books.

The “Gender Industry” — Controlling the Periphery

More than contributing to just and humane societies, the international gender industry, feminism’s institutionalized offshoot, has undeniably become part of multi-faceted attempts at periphery control. Just like threats and enemies often don’t turn out to be who we are told or believe them to be, measures and movements with an apparently noble and humanist purpose do not always serve... Continue Reading

Fair Observer

The Black Flag and the White Flag

The emergence of a multi-polar world order and the decline of neoliberal hegemony make the creation of a new caliphal entity not that unlikely. Even if the where and how of such a development remain largely shrouded in speculation for now, Pakistan is a possibility. In an editorial published earlier this year, the Russian publicist and Islamic social activist Geidar Jemal suggested that one or... Continue Reading

Fair Observer

The Mark of the Jackals

The recent collision between insurgents and government forces in Khorog, Tajikistan, has little, if anything, to do with a Taliban incursion. It has much more to do with the control by various groups and the regime over this part of the Tajik-Afghan border and its economic assets. It was a rather unusual awakening that early Tuesday morning of July 24 for the inhabitants of the town of... Continue Reading

Fair Observer

The Sandbank People of Bangladesh

Chars are inhabited sandbanks in the Brahmaputra river that crosses Bangladesh from north to south. The chars comprise less than 1.5% of the country’s total land area but accommodate an estimated 5% of its population. Some char settlements only last one or two monsoons after which they disappear into the river and the inhabitants move to another one. Others, like Chauhali char, have been... Continue Reading

Fair Observer

Afghanistan: The Recoil of the Closed Society

Whether deemed acceptable or not, the idea of including the Taliban in any settlement and international exit strategy in Afghanistan is much more the outcome of a fait accompli on the grounds than of long-term diplomacy. Beyond the Mubarak mosque in Kandahar, the historic capital of Afghanistan, is a shrine with a silver coffer that contains a cloak which, according to tradition, once belonged... Continue Reading

Fair Observer

Life After the Taghut: Part 3

Perspectives and scenarios for regime transition in Uzbekistan. * The Arabic: طاغوت(taghut) means to “cross the limits, overstep boundaries” or “to rebel” vis-à-vis divine authority. Traditionally a term connoting idolatry, it is mentioned in the politically significant Qur'anic verse 4:76. During the medieval period, it has was used by Muslims to... Continue Reading

Fair Observer

Life After the Taghut : Part 2

Perspectives and scenarios for regime transition in Uzbekistan. * The Arabic: طاغوت(taghut) means to “cross the limits, overstep boundaries” or “to rebel” vis-à-vis divine authority. Traditionally a term connoting idolatry, it is mentioned in the politically significant Qur'anic verse 4:76. During the medieval period, it has was used by Muslims to... Continue Reading

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