OPINION

Latest Opinions

  • 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 ...
  • Trumpism, 21st Century Fascism, and the Dictatorship of the Transnational Capitalist Class

    Contrary to perception, Donald Trump is a member of the transnational capitalist class (TCC).  His vast business empire spans several dozen countries around the world. Much of his “populism” and his anti-globalization discourse have to do with demagogy and with political manipulation in function of the electoral campaign. Trumpism and the specter of 21st century fascism must be seen as a response to the crisis of global capitalism. Trump’s global business empire could ...
  • Turkey’s Quest for a New Middle Eastern Order

    Turkey, together with Russia and Iran, appears cautiously engaged in an attempt to broker an end to the bloodshed in Syria through a newly declared cease-fire between the regime forces and different non-jihadist rebel groups. Turkey’s motives behind its work to create a long-lasting cease-fire and its anti-ISIS [Daesh] military campaign launched in August 2016 are not too complicated to grasp. Turkey is attempting to neutralize the devastating effects on its national ...
  • The Middle East as the Pivot of the International System

    Over the last few years, many policy-makers and government officials in the United States have been advocating for an American ‘Pivot to Asia.’ Not to be outdone, the governments of other countries, such as the United Kingdom, Russia, and Australia, have all tried to also ‘pivot’ toward Asia. The idea of ‘pivoting’ or ‘rebalancing’ to Asia is based around the premise that the Asia-Pacific, particularly East Asia is the location of the most important trends in 21st ...
  • G20 and Global Development: Challenges for the German Presidency

    Beginning with the 2010 Seoul Summit, the G20 has embraced global development as a key concern. On that occasion, the leaders established a Development Working Group (DWG) as part of the Sherpa track. In recent years, the DWG has focused on important issues, such as inclusive business, vocational skills and cost reduction for workers’ remittances. However, the overall impact of such measures has been quite limited. The DWG should not be faulted for this. The reason ...