OPINION

Latest Opinions

  • 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 ...
  • What’s Shaping Globalization?

    Is liberalism in retreat? And with it, are the related concepts of multilateralism, openness and democracy also in disarray? Is nationalism inimical to globalization? This set of issues preoccupies discourse in many fora currently, including the Tokyo Dialogue organized by the Genron NPO earlier this month. Views there were as divided as they are more generally. But I am also struck by how much room there is for a convergence in views when a dedicated attempt is made to ...
  • Trump’s Gulf Geopolitical Approach: Whither the Middle Eastern Balance of Power?

    It’s all fine and good “to officially put Iran on notice” as Michael Flynn has affirmed. The rapidly escalating American punitive anti-Iranian measures came in response to both; an Iranian – missile test and in reaction to Houthi attack on a Saudi warship in Yemen. However, the main critical question centers on Trump’s Gulf geo-political approach whether it can embolden or disrupt the Gulf-Middle Eastern regional order? Washington under Trump will have to frame the main ...
  • Democracies without Accountability in the European Backyard

    The end of communism was heralded as a critical ‘juncture’ for the global diffusion of democracy. Three decades since, the record of democratic gains defies initial expectations. To be sure, democracy has become the end goal of regime change across regions previously infamous for boosting political alternatives- former Soviet territories, Central and Eastern Europe, Balkans and more recently the Middle East. By now, political parties, governing actors and civic groups ...
  • Shunned by the West and Menaced by Syria, Turkish Foreign Policy Turns South

    The Syrian civil war has become one of the greatest tragedies in human history in terms of its humanitarian consequences. The war has had huge ramifications for the Middle East, contributing greatly to the rise of ISIS, and is a particular nightmare for neighbouring Turkey and its foreign policy. Since the early 2000s, successive Turkish governments have invested greatly in a Middle East policy grounded on a common history, geography, shared destiny and civilisation. ...
  • Turkey in Africa: Lessons from Somalia

    The Republic of Turkey’s projection of hard and soft power in Africa has been positively received inside and outside Africa, in general. Turkey’s engagement with Somalia, viewed by many as the epitome of a failed state, is particularly noteworthy for its successes. Yet the drivers of Turkey as a rising power in Africa and its choice of Somalia, in particular, remain ephemeral and ill-defined. So too are answers to questions such as why Turkey’s engagement with Africa is ...