OPINION

Latest Opinions

  • Russia Against the Rest: Stasis and the Emergence of the Anti-Hegemonic World Order

    Structural factors undoubtedly shape international politics, but there is no consensus about what are the relevant structures. Offensive realists stress the importance of anarchy as the primary condition, with international relations determined by the struggle for power and predominance by an international system populated by ‘billiard ball’ states, in which domestic regimes and systems of governance are irrelevant. At the other extreme are constructivists, who argue ...
  • BRICS Response to the Kurdish Referendum: The Chinese Case

    The highly acclaimed result of the Kurdish referendum delivered a decisive yes vote (More than 92%) for the creation of a new aspired Independent Kurdish state may change (though not necessarily) the geopolitical dynamics beyond the Middle East. The referendum called by Masoud Al-Barzani the illegal President of the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) is the first concrete daring step for Iraqi Kurds to realize a more than a century dream of launching an independent ...
  • Caught by Surprise: Chinese Challenge for Russia in Central Asia

    For a long time Central Asia has been part of Russian empire and only in the 1990s did this region fully gain independence. Immediately, it faced a choice: either these states could continue to follow Russian-led path, or they could set off for the search of their own place in the world. Current foreign policy of this region can be best described as multi-polar: Central Asian countries do their best to benefit from all involved parties: China, Russia, USA, the European ...
  • The Rise of Emerging Powers & China and the Enlargement of ‘Room for Maneuver’ and ‘Upward Mobility’

    The world system theory developed by Wallerstein (1974, 1979, 1997, and 2004) provides a broad theoretical perspective to understand the historical evolutions and changes involved in the rise of the modern capitalist world system. This capitalist world system expanded over a long historical spectrum and brought different parts of the world into its division of labor, leading to a perpetual condition of economic core-peripheral relations. Under this single division of ...
  • Aung San Suu Kyi and The Rohingya Crisis… Or When Political Utilitarianism Overrules Universal Morality!

    The Rohingya crisis has (finally) stirred international public opinion and mainstream media interest, putting increasing pressure on Aung San Suu Kyi to respond, but what is aberrant and surprising is her silence, a silence full of meaning coming from the recipient of the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of thought and the Nobel Peace Prize! During her house arrest and her ban from accessing the Burmese political sphere, the West was her lifeline thanks to its support over the ...
  • China’s Crucial Role in Resolving North Korea’s Yin and Yang Crisis

    The Korean War was never over. Instead, an armistice was signed with each protagonist remaining on his guard. From America’s point of view, the North Korean question remains a thorn in their flank since the 1950’s. It is a reminder of the Cold War era. During the Korean War, the US troops had significant losses, which pushed General MacArthur to suggest the idea of launching an atomic bomb in North Korea, but his suggestion was dismissed. From the North Korean point of ...
  • BRICS and Dispute Resolution

    One conventional criticism of the role and future of the BRICS grouping is internal tensions and conflicts between its members. We may just have witnessed the opposite effect. The firm deadline of the next summit in Xiamen from 3–5 September exerted an external discipline on China and India to resolve a ten-week military standoff at the tri-junction with Bhutan. The narrow Doklam Plateau is a 90km strip at an altitude of over 4,000 metres that China lays claim to as ...
  • Stresses on the BRICS’ Club Culture at the Xiamen Summit

    The BRICS have long defied the expectations from its detractors that it is an artificial and unsustainable construct. Moving beyond the original identification of specific countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) deemed to possess a similar set of developmental characteristics by Goldman Sachs, BRICS took on an institutional format. With annual summits since 2009 BRICS has taken on a sustained personality. In terms of membership the profile of BRICS has been extended ...
  • Russia in the SCO: How and Why the Attitude Changed Over Time

    The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation represents a rare example of two rising powers establishing their own organisation. It fulfils several roles: an alternative to West-led institutions, a driver of regional integration, and an unaffiliated platform for Russian-Chinese negotiations. Both countries perceive Central Asia important for themselves. For China, it’s a land of opportunities: natural resources (above all – gas) and logistics (infamous project of ...
  • How Can the G20 Promote the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development (SDG 17)?

    The G20, the club of the supposedly 19 most important countries plus the European Union, is in deep trouble. The gnawing question on legitimacy has been joined by fundamental doubts whether the elitist format at the apex of the global system can, indeed, deliver in face of rising nationalism and authoritarian egotism. The G20 sees itself not as concert of powers but rather as guardian of the global common good, determined to promote the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable ...