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...

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...

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...

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...

Japan, China and South Korea get together 10 May 2018 This piece analyzes Mr. Abe’s invitation sent to the Chinese prime minister and the South Korean president, to come to Tokyo, and relates this step to Donald Trump’s recent steps towards North Korea. Furthermore, it states that the main push for this action had to do uncertainty over American role in the Pacific, as well as a possible trade...

The Topchubashov Center has interviewed Rovshan Ibrahimov, Associated Professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies on the reasons and consequences of the stunning events that unfold on the divided Korean peninsula. Interviewer: Murad Muradov   Muradov: You have been living in South Korea for quite a longtime. Has there been a wide social consensus on the need to build peace with the unruly...

Globalization is not in retreat (by Susan Lund, Laura Tyson) 16 April 2018 In this extensive essay, Susan Lund and Laura Tyson try to refute the now-popular thesis that the age of globalization is over, and instead suggest it has taken a new form, strikingly different from the “classic” one. Among the major features characterizing it, the authors emphasize the shift of trade growth from the...

What China Gained From Hosting Kim Jong Un (by Oriana Skylar Mastro) 9 April 2018 Oriana Skylar Mastro looks in depth at Xi’s hosting of Kim Jong Un and the main motives behind his action. The author states that although on the surface this action is perceived as Chinese desire to improve the Sino-North Korean relations, one of the main purposes was to shape the agenda of the upcoming North...

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