“Notes on the Periphery” is a foreign affairs blog focusing on extracting lessons from the world’s “forgotten” conflicts. The primary purposes are to: (1) improve understanding and spur conversation on areas of the world that do not frequent the front page of the New York Times (read: less China, more Congo; less Afghanistan, more Armenia); (2) draw wider lessons from these conflicts (both present and historical); and (3) serve as a platform for budding international affairs scholars to express ideas and sharpen their analytical skills.

While the blog focuses primarily on conflicts on the “margins” or “periphery” perhaps overlooked in the press and elsewhere, no international security topic is strictly off-limits. The true goal of the narrower focus is not to prohibit certain issues from being discussed. Rather, it is to challenge readers and contributors to think outside the box, to blaze a path where few have gone before – by looking at conflicts from a unique angle, bringing in sources previously gone unread, etc.

And finally, as expected, all opinions expressed on this site are that of the author’s own and do not reflect the views of any school, organization, or other entity.

If this all sounds intriguing and you have an opinion of your own, consider submitting a guest post! Whether or not this is in the cards, look forward to having you join the conversation.


Andrew Wojtanik is the main administrator of the site. He is a recent graduate of Georgetown University with a B.S. in Foreign Service with a focus on International Security Studies and Africa. While at Georgetown, Andrew worked at the U.S. Department of State, National Defense University, and Council on Foreign Relations. He wrote a lengthy senior thesis on external intervention in African civil wars. He now works as a researcher at a university-affiliated think tank in the United States. Back in the day, he won the national and world geography bees, and he is the author of two books: Afghanistan to Zimbabwe (2005) and The National Geographic Bee Ultimate Fact Book (2012) He also blogs about hiking at Live and Let Hike(Disclaimer: Andrew’s views expressed on this blog are strictly his own; they do not reflect that of any organization with which he is associated.)

William Vogt is a primary editor of the site. He is the author of “Social Media in China: Supporting One-Party Rule in a 2.0 World” (Sinomedia, 2012) and a blogger for the EastWest Institute’s NextGen initiative, a select group of future leaders in international business and policy.  He is a graduate in Asian and Latin American Studies at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. (Disclaimer: William’s views expressed on this blog are strictly his own; they do not reflect that of any organization with which he is associated.)

Sara Plana is an occasional contributor to the site. She is a recent graduate of Harvard University.

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