Iran among the ruins (by Vali Nasr) 13 February 2018 Vali Nasr provides a comprehensive analysis of the evolving role of Iran in the Middle East, arguing that demonizing Tehran and re-introducing sanctions against it is a bad policy for the U.S. He shows that the increasing Iranian influence in a range of countries- war-torn Syria, Iraq, Qatar- is due to a large extent to America’s own policy...

Amid the trade war going on between China and the United States, one may ask how China, one of the poorest countries in the world a few decades ago, grew into an economy that could challenge the United States, the sole superpower existing in the contemporary world. The strategy that lies behind China’s current economic power is its decision to bandwagon on globalisation, first by establishing Special...

In line with an instruction from President Vladimir Putin, in December 2017 the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office, in conjunction with Rosobornadzor [Federal Service for Supervision in Education and Science], presented a report on the voluntary study of national languages in Russian schools. Since September 2017 an inspection had been conducted on “a verification of compliance in the...

Dramatic perturbations have recently occurred in the British government. But what does all this chaos stand for? We spoke to our expert Murad Muradov on the issue.   What stands behind the recent turmoil within the British government?  Why have Ministers Davis and Johnson resigned? As it is the case with most of the turbulent events in British politics, the trigger is definitely the Brexit...

Chinese efforts to woo Saudi Arabia’s ethnic Chinese community highlight the People’s Republic’s effort to avert criticism from the Muslim world of its crackdown in the north-western province of Xinjiang and strengthen relations with the kingdom and Middle Eastern nations. The efforts to woo a community, a significant part of which is of Turkic origin, identifies itself as Turkestani, and...

Macron Has Changed France’s Political DNA (by James Traub) 5 June 2018 James Traub, contemplating about the major outcomes of the first year of Emmanuel Macron’s presidency in France, claims that he has managed to bring a substantially new approach to the country’ politics. Being rightly seen as technocratic and a supporter of top-down governance, Macron, in order to overcome the...

Till the beginning of the ‘Arab Spring’, Libya was considered one of the most sustainable states in the Arab world. Neither recurrent military conflicts (with Chad in 1972-1987, with Egypt in 1977), nor permanent tension in the region (according to the Index of Major Episodes of Political Violence developed by Center for Systemic Peace, in 1952-2012 an average indicator of internal and...

It was reported in October 2017 that President Donald Trump advised the U.S. trade representative to intimidate their South Korean counterparts by telling them he was a madman. “You tell [the South Koreans] if they don't give the concessions now, this crazy guy will pull out of the deal,” Trump said, referring to the U.S.-Korea free trade agreement. Interestingly enough, this report coincided...

The plan for a UN peacekeeping mission in the Donbas and stakes of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict Whatever its eventual outcomes, the 2018-2019 electoral seasons in Russia and Ukraine are and will be changing Eastern Europe’s political landscape. The Russian presidential elections of March this year and their current and future reverberations in Moscow’s power corridors as well as the...

A coin for the U.S.-North Korea summit. May, 2018. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)    South-East Asia: lots of elections, not so much democracy 26 May 2018 The Economist piece emphasizes the lack of democracy in South-East Asia and states while only one state can be categorized as wholly free (East Timor), remaining countries are either partly free or not free at all. The author also states that this...

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