Many of the articles in this issue deal, in different ways, with the relationship between social movements and governments. Particularly for those of us who are in the peace movement for the long haul, changing policy -- through lobbying, elections, investigative journalism, or nonviolent protest -- is how we largely measure our success.
Our cover story is an interview with Norine MacDonald, the Canadian lawyer who founded The Senlis Council back in 2002 to work internationally on the illegal drug trade. She talks to editor Metta Spencer about her work in Afghanistan, her own lobbying efforts with Western governments, and the apparently immovable rock of the current US administration.
René Wadlow reports from Dublin, where cluster bombs have just been declared illegal by 111 nations. Campaigning groups have a lot of lobbying ahead of them, both to bring the hold-out states into the fold and to ensure that supportive governments, like Canada's, ratify the treaty quickly.
Ramya Ramanathan tells us about the increasing support from Canadian politicians for the Department of Peace initiative. And in our centre pages, we've got a feature on the Rideau Institute, the new Ottawa-based outfit which is part pressure group and part think-tank. It's already had an impact in the halls of power, as you can read in Brian Adeba's article.
Finally, Marc Pilisuk and Jennifer Achord Rountree take us behind the curtain for a revealing look at the social networks which link corporations like Bechtel, private clubs like Yale University's Skull and Bones, and the highest reaches of the US government.
Ken Simons, managing editor
Peace editor Metta Spencer has been on a research trip to Russia. You can look forward to her interview with leading Putin critic Grigory Yavlinsky in our next issue, out on 1 October.