OPINION

Latest Opinions

  • China, Russia and Security in Central Asia

    In February, Central Asian news outlet Ferghana News quoted a number of officials in Afghanistan’s Ministry of Defense who stated that an agreement had been reached with the Chinese government to open a base in the Afghan province of Badakhshan, near the border with Tajikistan. Chinese officials were quick to deny these reports, with the Afghan officials then reaffirming them. The base, if opened, would be China’s second foreign military base following the opening of a ...
  • Chaos in the Middle East: Its Historical Roots and a Sykes-Picot 2.0 to the Rescue

    In January 2018, Turkey started a military offensive in Afrin, Syria. The official aim of Operation Olive Branch is fighting (a non-existent-in-the-region) ISIL and the Kurdish-led Democratic Union Party (PYD) in Syria, its armed wing People’s Protection Units (YPG), and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). In February, a US-led coalition struck pro-regime forces while Israel did the same with Iranian targets in Syria. These military operations are the latest events happening ...
  • Rising Powers’ Efforts to Stamp Corruption: The Chinese Case

    BRICS efforts to stamp corruption in all its forms and shapes is an essential factor for achieving a number of objectives: strengthening state-systems, societal enablement and national human development. Furthermore, such strenuous, risky and long drawn efforts to stamp corruption “if permitted and endorsed” can go a long way in restoring the image of honesty, integrity, and international trust to the Rising Powers systems and policies. From this perspective, analysing ...
  • China and Brazil: Far Away, So Close

    The 17,000 kilometers that separate Beijing from Brasilia are no obstacle for China and Brazil’s increasing proximity. Starting in the mid-2000s, the bilateral relationship has grown at an impressive pace. Since 2009, China is 1) Brazil’s number one trading partner, with the total flow traded between the two countries having tripled between 2006 and 2016, and 2) the primary destination for Brazilian exports. In 2017, close to 22% of Brazil’s exports went to China – ...
  • Rising Powers and a Gulf Order in Flux

    A transition in the international order has long been anticipated, with the BRICs representing the ‘rise of the rest,’ and the closing gap in relative power has indicated that the unipolar moment was just that: a moment.  This is not to argue that the US is in decline, but instead recognizes that others are catching up, far faster than anticipated.  After a year of the Trump administration, the US vision of global leadership is unclear, but the perception of a reduced ...
  • Is American Power in Decline? Rising Powers in the Era of Trump

    The twenty first century has brought thus far a perceived and perhaps unprecedented sense of uncertainty in regard to the future of US dominance in global governance. Notably, various events — the 9/11 attacks, the war on terror, the remarkable economic growth in many countries outside the West, the global financial crisis and economic stagnation in Europe, and the apparent democratic regress in the US due to the Trump presidency— signal that American power is under ...
  • US Comeback and Counter-measures in the Balkans

    Recent political maneuvers in the Balkans indicate that the US has decided to more effectively counter growing Russian assertiveness in the Balkans. Russia has become a serious factor of destabilization in the region as the West has forsaken the region. Now the US has decided to play its card. After the crisis over Ukraine and Crimea back in 2014, the Kremlin has taken a dangerous yet from its perspective a necessary premise in the foreign policy. Russia is actively ...
  • Africa’s Structural Transformation: The Untapped Potential of India’s Development Partnerships

    India and most African countries have in common that the structural transformation of their economies is taking place in uncharted territory. Structural transformation is the process in which countries move up the escalator of economic development by shifting activity from lower to higher productivity sectors. Historically, the shift from agriculture to manufacturing has been the main driver of this process, notably in Western and East Asian countries. Similar to India, ...
  • Indonesian Presidential System and Lessons for Turkey

    Turkey’s transition to a presidential system has already started to shape the Turkish political scene. Long before the 2019 presidential election, political parties have commenced debating the pros and cons of forming alliances and which candidates to support in the first or second round of the presidential election. The debates about the presidential system in Turkey revolve around either the past experiences of Turkish politics or lessons that can be learned from ...
  • Iran Protests, in the Crossfire of a Battle of Words and Images: A Six-Question Analysis

    On December 28, 2017, a series of protests started in several Iranian cities, and they are continuing despite a firm state response. Protests are spreading like wildfire, even with casualties (21 dead and hundreds arrested as of January 2nd) and gaining momentum day by day. What happened all of a sudden in Iran to trigger such protests? To answer this question, let’s go back to the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of action (JCPOA) on January 16, 2016. At ...