OPINION

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  • Power and Money: How Cash Transfers Can Change International Humanitarian Assistance

    Conflicts and disasters take a huge toll on people’s lives and aspirations. The loss of life, livelihoods, homes and assets is a testament to the destructive impacts of crises. When the ability of communities and governments to provide relief and protection to affected people is lacking or overwhelmed, international humanitarian actors try to meet these needs. They are often described collectively as the ‘international humanitarian system’, and include donor governments, ...
  • What’s Next for Brazilian Peacekeeping?

    With the drawdown of the UN Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), the most significant contribution to UN Peacekeeping in Brazil’s history will soon be coming to an end. Since 2004, the country has constantly provided military force commanders and the largest troop contingent to MINUSTAH. This engagement was part of Brazil’s activist foreign policy under President Lula da Silva (Worker’s Party, in office 2003 – 2011). The aim of showing regional leadership as an ...
  • Why Balkans Matter for Turkey?

    In the last few years we are witnessing a shift in Turkey’s foreign policy, moving from once being a bastion of Western civilization to a more undefined Eurasian understanding. Turkey’s leadership started flirting more actively with Moscow with ties getting normalized, after the apology for downing of a Russian airplane over Syria. Vladimir Putin was faster than Western politicians in condemning the failed coup. Some even say Putin himself warned Turkey’s president that ...
  • Brazil: the Next OECD Member?

    According to recent reports, there are serious ongoing talks of Brazil requesting full membership to the OECD in the next couple of weeks. If this process does indeed go through, the country would be the largest emerging economy in the Organization, and the third in Latin America, following Mexico and Chile. This would also make Brazil the first of the OECD’s “Key Partners” – the others being China, India, South Africa, and Indonesia – to take the leap from the “Enhanced ...
  • Can Macron Revive Idea of Europe?

    The first round of the 2017 French presidential election has brought with it surprises and hopes. France will go to the second round of elections where the candidates of the main political parties from the right and the left will not be competing for the first time in the last 60 years. And it will probably have for the first time a young president, who has never held elected office and who does not have an organized political base. How has 39-year-old Emmanuel Macron ...
  • Things Fall Apart: Has South Africa’s Future been Junked

    South Africa’s foreign policy contends that our national interests are better safeguarded by not just focusing on our own national interests, but broadly, on the interests of our region and our continent….as a member of the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa bloc (BRICS) is playing an important role towards the shifting and distribution of power internationally. This shift is expected to give rise to a multi-polar world order. Nkosana-Mashabane, 2013 We must ...
  • Building a Resilient Human Security Framework

    If the recent US (59) missiles’ attack against Assad’s Al-Sharyat Air Base northwest of Damascus early April 7th is considered symbolic coming in response to deadly Syrian chemical attacks against innocent civilians then one would anticipate that no further attacks will be forthcoming. In short has the Syrian regime learned the painful lesson? A troubling question only time will tell if turns to be true. However, the news coming from Washington has indicated that if the ...
  • Turkey’s Raqqa Dilemma

    Turkey’s Syrian policy has undergone several shifts since late 2010 when the first popular revolts occurred against the regime of Bashar al-Assad. From the early stages of the crisis until the break with the Assad government in mid-2011, Ankara exerted great diplomatic effort to convince Damascus to introduce democratic reforms in favour of the opposition. However, Ankara’s attempts remained fruitless. After cutting off relations with Assad, Turkey openly supported the ...
  • The Latest Bump in the Road of Turkey’s Quest to Join the EU: European Ultra-nationalism

    The rift between Turkey and Europe is growing. From a Turkish perspective, Ankara’s long and winding quest to join the European Union, which began in 1987, has never been less likely than it is today. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has invoked Nazism in his criticism of his European counterparts. And a recent dispute between the Turkish government and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte over Turkish ministers campaigning in Rotterdam cast a shadow over the March 15 ...
  • Rising Powers: Germany Needs to Deepen its Engagement

    Germany’s cooperation with rising powers is in our own interest – and also a goal in itself: only through cooperation can we create sufficient trust to engage in joint solution-seeking. We are increasingly engaging in a “world of uncertainties”, and thus need partners for problem-solving, both regionally and globally. There are hardly any reasons to engage in “traditional development cooperation” with rising powers, if we understand development ...