We work to understand and explain the global environment and the local realities of our world today, and share our insight, observations and debates with you.



We develop and apply ideas to topics where we can make a difference, transforming our knowledge into practice together with partner organisations.


Recent Publications

The Polis

Have you ever thought about why development cooperation is often ineffective? So have we.

The Polis is ReSET’s flagship project. It stems from seeing that development cooperation does not work when its projects are not locally formulated and led. Moreover, when projects are local-led, they often encounter problems in finding the necessary resources to turn idea into reality.  
The Polis creates Local-Led Connections. These are a match between locally demanded services and global resources, and allow local needs and ambitions to be satisfied in a simple and effective way.

Read more

Colombia’s indigenous people: Facing the clash of local, national and global interests

/ 25th September 2014 /

The U’wa people of Colombia have been struggling, through peaceful protests, to keep their territory free of multinational companies. This has cost the Colombian state over $136 million in oil revenues.  When addressing the situation, Bogotá needs to find a way to consolidate the U’wa’s interests while considering options to compensate for Colombia’s economic losses.

Read more

The Islamic State and the West: the dangers of having a “non – strategy”

/ 22nd September 2014 /

On Friday 19 September, France launched its first air strikes on the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq. The latest advances of IS have led many Western governments to change policy with respect to the Middle-East. Some governments have delivered weapons to the Peshmergas, others announced their willingness to back Syrian rebels, while aerial strikes continue

Read more

UN Sanctions on Guinea-Bissau: Waiting For a Coup to Happen

/ 3rd September 2014 /

In April 2012, eleven military leaders involved in the coup d´état in Guinea-Bissau were subjected to a UN travel ban. Although neatly in line with United Nations (UN) sanctions policy regarding sovereignty, in reality the sanctions were a painstakingly late reaction to the uprising of Guinea-Bissau as Africa´s first “narco-state”, which had been corroding politics

Read more

Western media and Ukraine: global ideology versus local realities

/ 23rd July 2014 /

With past week’s tragedy still dominating headlines across the world, the differences between local and Western press in how the conflict in Ukraine is viewed are starker than ever. This is a recurring phenomenon in our globalised world, with local and global media offering completely different interpretations of the same events as long as victims

Read more

The Future of Offical Development Assistance

/ 3rd July 2014 /

Official Development Assistance has failed. Donor and recipient activities in the past decades have shown little success, and ongoing practices and ideas are subject of continuous criticism. What are the lessons learned and is the criticism valid? This article elaborates on those questions by shedding light on two cases from the 1990s in which the

Read more

South Sudan: Global Succes Despite Local Failure

/ 27th June 2014 /

International cooperation is a permanent clash between broad, unspecified political goals and a system of narrow, actor-specific agendas using those broad goals to advance individual interests. This is true of transnational diplomacy, war, development cooperation, and any other such area. They all have in common that seemingly straightforward decision making hides the amalgamation of organisations,

Read more