The United States which is the largest contributor to the International Monetary Fund and has 17.68 per cent of voting rights in major decisions, said that it would examine closely Pakistan’s request of a loan from the IMF. U.S. officials may think that Pakistan found itself in such a situation because of Chinese debt. Pakistani authorities rejected this claim and pointed out that their indebtedness...

  Good Oligarch, Bad Oligarch (by Vladislav Inozemtsev) 31 July 2018   Vladislav Inozemtsev argues that the policy of marginalizing and stifling virtually all of the so-called Russian oligarchs is counter-productive and will only bring them into Putin’s warm embrace. Instead, he proposes to distinguish between those billionaires who actively endorse and finance the Russian...

A safari for Wagner (by Andrey Kamakin) 13 July 2018 This piece, first published in June 2018, has been republished following the tragic death of   three Russian journalists of the highest caliber in Central African Republic. The author discusses the role of so-called “Wagner”, a private military unit now ubiquitously claimed to be on the forefront of Russian geopolitical affairs but...

Uncertain territory. The strange life and curious sustainability of de facto states (by Thomas de Waal) 26 April 2018 In his new essay, Thomas de Waal raises a challenging question about the unexpected persistence of unrecognized post-Soviet states, as well as Northern Cyprus, which managed to establish regular civil life despite being more or less de-jure cut off from the world. He mentions that none of...

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...

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...

The 19th-century British colonization of India is often regarded as a milestone in Indian culture. The Colonists are frequently credited by modern day historians for establishing relative peace, constructing critical infrastructure, leading industrialization, banning obsolete practices such as sati1 and child marriage, and spreading Western ideas. From this standpoint, past British imperialism can be...

Myanmar has been worldly renowned for the quality, rarity, and variety of its precious stones since ancient times. Chinese Ming and Qing emperors, British colonizers, Burmese kings, Shan warlords, and current Myanmese military have all been gravitated by the alluring glitter and monetary value of the Burmese gems. The precious stones that can be found in Burmese lands include spinel, diamond, ruby,...

Recent Rohingya crisis has chiefly been examined as a byproduct of religious sectarianism and ethnic hostility. With main international focus concentrated around the Rohingya’s status as religious and ethnic minority subjected to “cleansing”, other motivations behind the crisis have been duly ignored. Economic and business interests of the Myanmar government have been one of these...

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