Serbian-Chinese Ties: A Potential Threat for the EU?

While many EU members have been heatedly debating whether the Chinese company Huawei should be banned from their national 5G networks, EU candidate Serbia is beefing up its ties with China. Does this pose a security risk to the European bloc? Since the early 2010s, China has been assertively seeking to increase its clout in […]

Korea’s Anti-Corruption Efforts an Inspiration for Other Countries

South Korea has recently strengthened its anti-corruption policy. The BTI and other international benchmarks note that institutional changes such as the Kim Young-ran Act are now bearing fruit. There has been less success in curbing corruption and influence peddling by big business groups. Anti-corruption is an important pillar for the current South Korean government. This […]

Untold Billions, Too Little Change

Energy policy is a crucial and often underappreciated cause for public discontent. Most severe irregularities occur in opaque upstream deals. The EITI multistakeholder initiative has significant unrealized potential to inform the public about irregularities around energy governance. Failed resource governance remains one of the leading causes of civil unrest in resource-rich countries, exhibited en masse […]

Domestic Divisions Overshadow Climate Prospects

Tackling climate change numbers among the most pressing issues for governments worldwide. But after the United Nations struggled to even find a host for its upcoming international climate meeting, will domestic politics limit its success? Even before global leaders travel to the United Nation’s annual climate conference from December 2-13, domestic politics have already cast […]

Why the Conflict Over Nagorno-Karabakh Could Heat Up Again

The honeymoon is over for Armenia’s popular prime minister, Nikol Pashinyan. In addition to a series of problems at home, he has no choice but to deal with a perennial headache: the three-decades-old conflict with Azerbaijan over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, which dates back to the last years of the Soviet Union in 1988. […]

New Walls IV: The Developing World and the Rise of Protectionism

The rising use of restrictive trade measures around the world and political incidents like the trade disputes between China and the US show that the world order, which has been predominantly liberal over the last decades, is currently shifting towards protectionism. In this post, we discuss the role of restrictive trade policies and the possible […]

New Walls III: Internet Shutdowns in Africa

While the Berlin Wall was toppled thirty years ago, new walls have continued to crop up around the world – virtual ones, blocking or limiting internet access to avert political dissent. As of August this year, Ugandan social media influencers – a group including musicians, commentators and media personalities – must register their activities with […]

New Walls II: The Great Firewall of China

China’s so-called “Great Firewall” blocks citizens’ access to the outside world and to each other. But in the end, the virtual blockade might undermine the communist party’s own goals. — Episode 2 of our “New Walls” series. Over time, empires and nation-states have erected walls to protect their people and limit their interaction with “the […]

Elections in Bolivia: President Morales Poised to Cling to Power

Ahead of Bolivia’s presidential elections in October, President Evo Morales looks set to win a fourth consecutive mandate, despite a referendum in which a narrow majority voted to block such a move. Is the South American nation about to take a step backwards? Bolivia serves as a reminder that, all too often, democracies are only […]

New Walls I: Militarizing Borders in Europe

What has become of the hope for freedom in a borderless world, thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall? Instead of disappearing, more and more hard border fortifications arise. — Episode 1 of our “New Walls” series. After the end of the Cold War, borders were seen as a legacy of the past. […]