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 […]

Cambodian Elections: Hun Sen’s unbroken dominance

Cambodia’s vote in July is designed to confirm strongman Hun Sen. After quashing the opposition, he is geared up to extend his 33-year stint at the top. The result of Cambodia’s parliamentary elections on 29 July is already fixed. After dissolving popular oppositional Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) in November 2017, Prime Minister Hun Sen […]

Breaking BRICS: More Differences Than Similarities?

This month brings the tenth summit of the fast-growing BRICs nations – Brazil, Russia, India, and China and South Africa. But does the label still hold given the countries’ starkly different political and economic realities? Almost 17 years after Goldman Sachs coined the term “BRICs” for Brazil, Russia, India, and China, and later South Africa, […]

World Cup 2018 Confirms: Democracies Better at Playing Football

One of the many rituals of a football World Cup is to take comprehensive stock after the tournament. So it’s time to review our Democracy World Cup and analyze our predictions. Were we right in our thesis that there is a connection between a country’s democratic quality and the performance of its national football team? […]