In Visions of Empire: How Five Imperial Regimes Shaped the World, Krishan Kumar analyses five key historical empires – the Ottoman, the Habsburg, the Russian/Soviet, the British and the French – making the case for how the ideas and ideologies of each shaped their mode of imperial rule and enduring influence. Due to a lack of clarity in the book’s central thesis and its […]
Not in my sandwich: How GMOs, hormones and values combined to make CETA and TTIP so heavily politicised
The EU’s free trade agreement with Canada (CETA) and the ultimately unsuccessful negotiations over a trade agreement with the United States (TTIP) proved extremely controversial. But why were these two initiatives, as opposed to those the EU has agreed with other countries, so heavily politicised? Francesco Duina argues the explanation lies in the values and identities which were at […]
The trade war between the United States and China has already had an impact on European economies. And as Robert Basedow explains, with the conflict centred on global economic and political leadership, it is unlikely to be resolved in the foreseeable future. This will create important challenges and opportunities for both the EU and the UK in the coming […]
Lessons from pre-Brexit Britain: What makes for effective norm advocacy in the EU’s international cooperation policies?
The next decade will see renewed efforts from the EU to address a number of pressing global trends by strengthening international partnerships. Yet the EU will also be faced with the challenge of building cooperation within Europe in the aftermath of Brexit. Sebastian Steingass examines British participation in EU norm advocacy in international development cooperation prior to the Brexit […]
Book Review: Eric Drummond and his Legacies: The League of Nations and the Beginnings of Global Governance by David Macfadyen et al
In Eric Drummond and his Legacies: The League of Nations and the Beginnings of Global Governance, David Macfadyen et al show how the emergence of an international bureaucracy of civil servants and their role in the development of the League of Nations rested on Eric Drummond and the early internationalists around him. This book provides a much-needed historical and biographical perspective on the […]
It has been a mixed summer for relations between Brazil and Europe. In June, the EU and the South American economic bloc Mercosur reached agreement on a free trade deal, but a diplomatic rift has since emerged between Brazil and France over the environment. Miriam Gomes Saraiva writes that implementing the EU-Mercosur agreement now rests on successfully balancing Brazil’s […]
Since 2018, Italy and Malta have restricted access to their ports for NGO migrant rescue vessels. Nadia Petroni writes that while both countries have faced criticism for this policy, it should be noted that since the 1990s, most EU member states have erected barriers along their borders to prevent irregular migration. There is therefore a degree of hypocrisy in […]
When the Lisbon Treaty came into force in 2009, many observers anticipated the newly established High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, together with the European External Action Service, might facilitate greater unity and coherence in EU foreign policy. Drawing on evidence from the EU’s role in the Middle East Peace Process, Federica Bicchi and Lisbeth Aggestam illustrate […]
Book Review: Unwanted Neighbours: The Mughals, the Portuguese and their Frontier Zones by Jorge Flores
In Unwanted Neighbours: The Mughals, the Portuguese and their Frontier Zones, Jorge Flores explores the ways in which the Portuguese Estado da India—situated on the coastal peripheries of the Mughal empire—dealt with their Timurid neighbours from c. 1570 to c. 1640. Unwanted Neighbours is a book that is extremely rich in thematic concerns, empirical details and includes a varied cast of characters. It also […]
Why EU states are converging on restrictive migration policies, despite their different political traditions
Differing political cultures and migration traditions among EU member states have given rise to a variety of national policy approaches toward irregular migration. Nadia Petroni explains that while in principle this diversity hinders agreement on common asylum and migration policies, EU member states are now increasingly converging toward more restrictive migration policies.
National policy approaches are deeply rooted in historical […]
A significant percentage of greenhouse gas emissions stem from agriculture, but many national climate policies still overlook the agricultural sector. Drawing on a new study, Nicole M. Schmidt shows that while mentions of agriculture in national climate policies are growing, particularly in the EU and Africa, there remains a highly fragmented picture globally, with over half the policy documents […]
Men between the ages of 18 and 39 are often assumed to be the most likely to survive troubling conditions in refugee reception centres. Drawing on recent research on the Greek island of Samos, Gemma Bird highlights that this is not always the case. Vulnerabilities are not fixed, and in environments such as the one on Samos, the basic […]
A new EU Central Asia Strategy was adopted by the European Council on 17 June. Thomas Kruessmann assesses the content of the new strategy, writing that the EU’s efforts to pursue ‘non-exclusive partnerships’ with Central Asian countries are likely to be heavily restricted by China and Russia’s influence in the region.
The new EU Central Asia Strategy (The EU and […]
In For the Love of Humanity: The World Tribunal on Iraq, Ayça Çubukçu illustrates how different and sometimes colliding understandings of justice, human rights, legitimacy and international law co-existed in response to the Iraq occupation through the case of the World Tribunal on Iraq, which sought to document and provide grounds for adjudicating war crimes committed by the US, the UK and their allied […]
In 2009 the EU adopted the Concept on Strengthening EU Mediation and Dialogue Capacities, its first-ever strategic document focusing specifically on mediation. Ten years later, the EU’s concept and practices of mediation need an update, write Julian Bergmann, Toni Haastrup, Arne Niemann and Richard Whitman.
The first two years of implementation of the EU Global Strategy focused on advancing the […]
EU defence policy has traditionally been intergovernmental in nature: member states have typically adopted decisions through unanimity, while supranational institutions, such as the European Commission and European Parliament, have had little formal power. Pierre Haroche writes that recent developments are now changing this approach, with defence policy becoming increasingly supranational and politicised.
On 18 April, the European Parliament (EP) approved, […]
Book Review: International Courts and Mass Atrocity: Narratives of War and Justice in Croatia by Ivor Sokolić
In International Courts and Mass Atrocity: Narratives of War and Justice in Croatia, Ivor Sokolić focuses on the contradictions that can arise between the ‘truths’ provided by international courts’ judgments and national war narratives, focusing on the understudied case of Croatia. This is an in-depth analysis that will be a must-read for transitional justice scholars and practitioners both in the Balkans and […]
From 1974 to 1979, the EEC and Arab League met regularly for the Euro-Arab Dialogue, but efforts to establish close relations failed to meet expectations. Philipp Hirsch writes that today, the European Union and League of Arab States are once again attempting stronger cooperation. But based on historical experience, Brussels should not invest too much hope in the capacity […]
The campaign for the European Parliament elections on 23-26 May offers an opportunity for key EU policy areas to be debated. Yet as Anna Nadibaidze writes, the issue of EU enlargement in the Western Balkans has so far remained far from the agenda. She explains that with public opinion focused on other topics and both mainstream and Eurosceptic parties […]
After two decades in power, Abdelaziz Bouteflika has announced that he will resign as President of Algeria. Luigi Lonardo explains that despite the announcement, there are signs it may not yet be game over for the country’s regime.
Almost ten years after the Arab uprisings, twenty years after taking power, Algeria’s president Bouteflika announced on Tuesday 2 April that he […]