Money Can’t Buy You Love – but Influence, Apparently

China under Xi Jinping is deeply concerned with its global status and standing and aims to regain its deserved place on the global stage. This has dramatic consequences not only for China but for the rest of the world. One of the most important developments with regards to China has been the bold departure from […]

Brazil: The Drama of Unpredictability

Uncertainty about the 2018 presidential elections, which will be held in October, weigh heavily on Brazil. A court decision this week may cost former president Lula da Silva his candidacy. As Brazil braces for its most important election in decades, hopes of stabilization are dwindling. The country is slowly stepping out of an almost three-year […]

Moldova’s European Integration Is on Hold

In late November, the leaders of the European Union met with six Eastern Partnership countries in Brussels to review what has been achieved since their last summit in 2015. A matter of concern was the former symbol of hope: Moldova. Just a few years ago, Moldova used to be seen as success story of the […]

Race to the Bottom: Ethiopia’s Accelerating Crisis

An economy in free fall, ever-deepening repression, a deteriorating security, inter-ethnic violence, and a vicious infighting within the ruling party – Ethiopia is on the cusp of political explosion. Ethiopia has largely been seen in Western capitals and think tanks as “an Island of stability in a troubled region”. Within the last two years, however, […]

Somaliland after the Elections: Old Traps, New Challenges

Despite the lack of international recognition, Somaliland has created a relatively stable enclave in the unsecure region of the Horn of Africa. However, the successful consensus politics of the past decades shows first deep cracks. Is Somaliland falling into the old traps of clan rivalries and foreign geopolitical interests? The Republic of Somaliland is recognised as […]

The Albatross around the ANC’s Neck

Last summer, President Jacob Zuma was celebrating his narrow success of surviving another no-confidence vote. But while the ANC’s 54th National Elective Conference is approaching, many within the governing party are beginning to count the cost of a leader who lacks the public’s trust. In December 2007, delegates at the National Elective Conference of South Africa’s ruling African […]

Bulgaria’s EU Presidency: Normalizing Nationalism?

Some of the Bulgarian politicians who will preside over European meetings in Brussels in the first half of 2018 are nationalists. Is the EU to be blamed for letting them play a role on the European stage? Will the Bulgarian liberal-conservative majority be able to tame its patriotic coalition partner? After many years of economic […]

Time to Listen to Severely Threatened Islands

For the first time, a paradise in danger will host the UN climate talks. Can Fiji’s presidency bring about the desperately needed global partnerships for island nations? 03.11.2017 | by ALISON SINGER The 23rd UN Climate Change Conference will take place November 6 to 17, in Bonn, Germany. The government of Fiji with its Prime […]

Why Optimism is Fading in Pakistan

70 years after independence, Pakistan is caught in political chaos, and it seems as if the reasons to be optimist about the country’s democratic future got fewer. Next years’ elections could turn out to be a crossroads in its history. In a historic yet controversial decision in July 2017, Pakistan’s Supreme Court disqualified former PM […]

Georgia: Backsliding on Justice?

On 10 June 2017, thousands of Georgians protested on the streets of Tbilisi in support of two young rappers, members of the group Birja Mafia, who were arrested on drugs charges that they say were trumped up. The protests marked another step in Georgians’ decline in trust for their law enforcement system. Former President Mikheil […]