economic sanctions

Stakes in Iraq: U.S. and Iran vie for power

The United States’ tough stance on Iran has left many nations in a fix. Iraq is among those most afflicted by the battle for influence – and it remains to be seen whether Iran or the U.S. will prevail. When it comes to American foreign policy, few publications are as gung-ho as the Wall Street […]

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, […]

Partially Blurred Image of Iran on a Map

Compliance for a Treaty, Credibility for Partnership

So he really did it. On May 8, US President Donald Trump decided that the economic sanctions against Iran suspended under the multilateral nuclear agreement should be resumed and even tightened and unilaterally terminated the agreement. Europeans should try to save the deal – and someone should explain to Trump the diplomatic ABC of the […]

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 […]

How Western Populism Weakens Democracy in Ukraine

Populism in Europe, and in the West generally, plays into the hands of anti-democratic forces in Ukraine – and supports Russia’s destabilizing influence. Europe’s rising populist surge threatens Ukraine’s democratic future. During the Euromaidan protests in 2013/2014 and their aftermath, when the anti-Yanukovych opposition came to power, some European media denounced what they described as […]

Picture: Cracked EU vs Russia flags. Ukrainian crisis conceptual image. Foto: Bröckelnde Flaggen der EU und Russland.

EU-Russia Sanctions: An Unsteady Deadlock

The European Union and Russia have been locked in an economic struggle over Ukraine for two years. With Donald Trump the next president of the United States, the West’s Russia policy might substantially change – and Europe’s Eastern policy is today more uncertain than ever. In July 2014, following Russia’s unilateral annexation of Crimea and […]

A Last day of Hajj - all pilgrims leaving Mina, many already in Mecca for farewell circumambulation of Kaaba
Partially Blurred Image of Iran on a Map

Iran: Euphoria Following the Nuclear Deal Has Passed

Four months on from the reformist victory in the double election and five months after the closing of the nuclear deal new prospects for Iran have opened up on the international stage. Yet, a climate of insecurity in the Islamic Republic remains and the country stays unpredictable. On 26 February 2016, Iranians went to the […]

Anti-government protests in Kiev, December 2013 © Maksymenko.com.ua via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Democracy in Limbo

While in Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine commitment to European integration and political will to reform seem to have fostered democratization, prospects in Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Belarus remain gloomy. As we enter 2015 it is worth taking another look at the political developments in the EU’s neighbourhood. A glance shows us that democracy progress in the […]

Vladimir Putin and the Armenian president Serzh Sargsyan, December 2013 © The Presidential Press and Information Office

An Offer Yerevan Could Not Refuse

In the run-up to the Ukraine crisis, Armenia rejected an association agreement with the European Union in favor of cooperation with Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. Yet the country’s future in the Eurasian Economic Union seems uncertain – and the door to Brussels might not be completely shut. On September 3, 2014 it was exactly one […]

The centre of Yangon, Myanmar's largest city © Francisco Anzola via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Is Myanmar’s Progress about to Unravel?

Buddhist monks who incite hatred against Muslims are gaining political ground in Myanmar as President Thein Sein and his administration continue to turn a blind eye to the worsening conditions of the Rohingyas, an ethnic group and a Muslim minority, living mainly in the state of Rakhine. Some fear a proposed set of laws will […]