Peace on Earth? The quality of conflict management is in decline

No peaceful Christmas again this year. On the contrary: Not only are wars, civil wars and massive political violence widespread worldwide, but – as explained in the previous blog post – the level of polarization and the intensity of conflicts have, on global average, even increased in recent years. Which factors are driving the marked […]

Elections in Libya: The Difficult Way Ahead

The Libya conference in Palermo has ended in a renewed push for elections in the crisis-ridden country. But is Libya really in a fit state to deliver on this commitment? Since the fall of Gaddafi’s regime in 2011, Libya has had three distinct electoral experiences, which have in turn given birth to three political institutions: […]

Peace on Earth? Conflict intensity on the rise worldwide

Every year it is an unfulfilled Christmas promise, not only for the approximately 30% of the world’s population of Christian faith: that conflicts may rest and peace may return. However, not only do wars, civil wars and political violence continue to be widespread throughout the world. Measured by long-term trends, the number of war and […]

Poland’s Difficult Balancing Act

Paris Climate Agreement stakeholders are convening in Poland to set the speed of the world’s response to climate change. But can Poland balance its appetite for coal with the international push for decarbonization? From December 03 to 14, Poland will host the 24th Conference of the Parties (COP24), the key meeting of the stakeholders of […]

Row of G-20 countries' flags

The G20 is Turning 20: Time to Take Stock of Multilateralism

On 30 November, heads of state and government will meet in Buenos Aires for this year’s G20 summit to discuss common solutions for global challenges. Yet things currently do not bode well for international cooperation. From the Paris climate agreements to the UN migration pact, global cooperation is increasingly being eroded by nations acting unilaterally. […]

100 Years of Solitude: Latvia Celebrates its Independence

The Baltic States are still struggling to be seen on the international stage. One hundred years after declaring independence, fears of getting swallowed up by Russia remain strong in Latvia and spurs on the country in building up reliable ties. In a moment of self-awareness back in 1919, Kaarel Robert Pusta, head of the Estonian […]

Election in Brazil: Testing a Fragile Democracy

Economic malaise is pushing Brazilians towards outsider parties in the run-up to the October vote. But with no candidate promising to undertake much-needed economic reform, the country’s woes look set to continue. Brazil has rarely had it so bad. As the 2000s boom in commodity prices waned, the country’s gross domestic product plummeted. Unemployment reached […]

Militaries Hold the Key to Power in a Dictator’s Endgame

Which factors shape the armed forces’ decision to boost or bust the rule of an incumbent autocrat in times of political turmoil? Political scientists at Heidelberg University analyzed non-violent mass mobilizations since 1946 and developed a game theory model that aims to explain the different military responses. Autocrats live dangerously. Although their average tenure is […]

Indonesia as a Pillar in the EU’s “Pivot to Asia”

The EU’s external relations are in turmoil. In the West, the United States has shaken the once reliable and stable transatlantic partnership to the ground. In the East, China is rising as a strong and self-confident power with political and economic interests that are not always in line with those of the EU. In these […]