OPINION

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  • 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 ...
  • 2017: A Year of Yin and Yang Diplomacy, Featuring Donald Trump and Xi Jinping in Action

    With the end of the year comes the traditional retrospective of the major events that marked the last months and predictions for the coming year. My retrospective is summarized in two main events revolving around two major actors: Donald Trump and Xi Jinping. Each of them has marked the year with his signature. Let’s start with the first major event! Trump effect tsunami-like on the planet: ‘‘Après moi, le déluge!’’ 2016 ended with a major surprise: Trump’s election as ...
  • For Rising Powers, Money is the Path to Influence in Postwar International Institutions

    Whether and how rising powers will find greater influence in postwar international institutions serves as a central question in contemporary international politics. Formal reform efforts, for example, to reallocate influence through the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) quota system, have proven difficult and yielded modest results. Campaigns to expand the UN Security Council to grant permanent membership to the world’s largest democracy (India), or a state from the ...
  • David vs. Goliath: The Korean Peninsula Crisis in Four Questions

    On November 29, North Korea conducted its twelfth (out of fourteen) successful ballistic missile tests in 2017, a test whose range is estimated to be 13,000 km. This last test comes after a very-welcome lull during Trump’s trip to Asia that lasted several weeks. By tacit agreement, Kim Jong-un observed a relative calm, leaving the door open to diplomatic channels. Trump, meanwhile, was reserved and was not as brave during his Asian journey, as he let it be known in his ...
  • Remaking Asia-Pacific Multilateralism at the November Summits

    The recent Asia-Pacific summits could have crucial consequences for international and regional relations. I recently wrote an opinion piece for the G20 Research Group at the University of Toronto, contextualizing these summits within the broader shifts in global economic governance analyzed in my new book. The present commentary assesses the results and significance of these gatherings, which also raise key questions about influential scholarly approaches to ...
  • Brazil’s Socio-integrated Model vs. Kurdish Predicament of an “Independent Statehood”

    Brazil a BRICS state enjoys various distinctive qualified popular advantages in short sharp terms: “A democracy with competitive elections and vibrant civil society engagement.” However, in recent years it has confronted serious challenges such as: “a severe economic and political crisis [which] has significantly challenged the functioning of the government.” Admittedly, despite adversity Brazil still benefits from the legacy “Good-Governance” which necessarily may ...
  • The Fate of the Nation-State, Globalization vs. Regionalization: The Catalan Case

    On October 27, 2017, the Catalan Parliament declared unilateral independence from Spain. The Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy vowed to “restore legality” as reported by AFP. Is Catalonia looking to repeat the tragic events it experienced during the 1930s? Spain is insisting on maintaining a Catholic marriage with Catalonia: Once you are in, there is no way out! Why this reaction? To answer this question, let’s go back to the early 1990s when the breakup of Yugoslavia ...