OPINION

Latest Opinions

  • 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 ...
  • Will Trump’s Doctrine Disrupt or Embolden Rising Powers’ Role in Creating a New International Order?

    Since Trump’s inauguration on the 20th January 2017 a sense of uncertainty and unpredictability has increasingly pervaded the post 1945 international order. Trump’s “populist doctrine” may either raise a spirited beacon of hope for US domestic, foreign and defence policies along realpolitik line or rather create a despair feeding into what may turn to be a chaotic imbalanced international order. Equally important is the issue of addressing “Rising Powers” perspectives, ...
  • Turkey After Astana, Syria and Global Interplay

    The Astana talks have managed to gather the Syrian opposition, the Assad regime and the three regional actors — Turkey, Iran and Russia — around the negotiation table with positive results that will hopefully be lasting with the Syrian Civil War having taken on a new dimension after the battle for Aleppo. So, at this point, it is important to understand how Turkish foreign policy is likely to be affected, both on a regional and global scale, by the course of ...
  • BRICS and their Soft Power

    In traditional terms, the significance of a country’s political power was assessed according to its military might: the nation with the largest army had the most power. But that logic was not always reflected in reality. The US lost the Vietnam War; the Soviet Union was defeated in Afghanistan. In its first few years in Iraq, and despite its military victory in the original war, the US discovered the wisdom of Talleyrand’s adage that the one thing you cannot do with a ...
  • Brazil’s Political Crisis: the Bright Side

    Out of all emerging countries, Brazil is the one which has probably had the roughest time in 2016. There is little question that the country is living a deep political crisis. In the last six months, the list of scandals, surprises, and downfalls seems to have been updated on a daily basis. Among the casualties are President Dilma Rousseff, impeached late August through a highly contested process; Eduardo Cunha, former House Speaker, now in jail for corruption, as are ...
  • Turkey Turns Closer to Russia After Ambassador Assassination

    The assassination of the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Andrey G Karlov, by an off-duty Turkish police officer in the Turkish capital Ankara appeared, at first glance, to be a game changer in the ongoing Syrian war. When Karlov was gunned down at a public event by Mevlut Mert Altintas, the war had already entered a new phase with the fall of Aleppo through the support of Russia and Iran. But far from bringing about the beginning of World War III, the assassination has ...