Federica Mogherini recently outlined a new EU strategy for improving connectivity between Europe and Asia. Thomas Kruessmann examines the proposals, which are widely viewed as a response to the ‘Belt and Road’ initiative launched by China in 2013. He argues that the overall direction of the strategy is misguided and that it largely ignores the potential to capitalise on […]
The value of the Turkish lira has hit record lows during 2018, with fears of the country slipping into an economic crisis. Didem Buhari-Gulmez explains that beyond the impact on Turkey’s economy, the crisis also has important geopolitical implications. The situation might deepen existing divisions between Turkey and the West, while encouraging the country to seek new allies among […]
Hashim Thaçi, the President of Kosovo, is due to meet with his Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vučić on 7 September. Bekim Çollaku, Chief of Staff to the President of the Republic of Kosovo, writes that the current limbo over Kosovo’s status serves no one’s interests, and that while a deal between Serbia and Kosovo might be opposed by some actors, […]
Kosovo and Serbia have recently discussed an exchange of territory, with some commentators suggesting a deal on a ‘land swap’ might be imminent. Andrea Lorenzo Capussela writes that while critics have rightly decried the plan as a redrawing of borders along ethnic lines, they neglect the fact that Kosovo itself is the product of a unilateral, ethnicity-based partition. He […]
Book Review: Hotels and Highways: The Construction of Modernization Theory in Cold War Turkey by Begüm Adalet
In Hotels and Highways: The Construction of Modernization Theory in Cold War Turkey, Begüm Adalet offers an account of the historical construction of the ‘Turkish Model’ as a manufactured product of American Cold War policy juxtaposed with Turkish domestic politics. Exploring the conceptualisation and execution of modernisation through examples of survey research, infrastructure and architecture, this is a valuable study of the politics of […]
The Southern Gas Corridor is an initiative put forward by the European Commission to transport natural gas from the Caspian Sea to Southeastern Europe and Italy. As Marco Siddi writes, the project raises several important economic, security, ethical and ecological concerns. He argues that these issues have not been properly debated at the European level, and that cheaper and […]
Book Review: Crime and Global Justice: The Dynamics of International Punishment by Daniele Archibugi and Alice Pease
In Crime and Global Justice: The Dynamics of International Punishment, Daniele Archibugi and Alice Pease delve into the hypocrisies and failings of international justice projects. Their book offers a timely reminder that the current international justice regime has not offered a silver bullet for complex political problems, writes Teemu Laulainen.
Crime and Global Justice: The Dynamics of International Punishment. Daniele Archibugi and Alice Pease. Polity Press. […]
EU leaders agreed in June to open accession talks with Albania in 2019, subject to the country making sufficient progress on judicial and anti-corruption reforms. Andi Hoxhaj assesses where Albania now stands and what the priorities will be over the next year as the country seeks to demonstrate tangible results to its EU partners.
In June, the European Council recognised […]
Moldova’s political crisis is calling the country’s commitment to European integration into question
The EU has voiced criticism of Moldova following a decision by the country’s Supreme Court to invalidate recent mayoral elections in Chisinau. Alexandru Damian explains that with parliamentary elections scheduled for later this year, there is concern in the West at the direction the current government is taking, and the possibility of the pro-Russian Party of Socialists winning power.
Sitting on the fence: How the London summit exposed the inertia in the EU’s reconciliation policy for the Western Balkans
The 2018 Western Balkans Summit was held in London on 9-10 July. As Denisa Kostovicova explains, there was hope that the summit might officially launch a regional fact-finding commission – RECOM – which would record the victims of human rights violations to help aid the reconciliation process in the region. However, even though the summit put legacy issues on […]
Many of the protests that took place against Donald Trump during his visit to the UK focused on his policies toward refugees. Amanda Russell Beattie, Gemma Bird and Patrycja Rozbicka argue that while the protesters were right to voice opposition to Trump’s policies, the treatment of refugees at Europe’s borders is just as worthy of criticism.
Donald Trump arrived in […]
In 1917: War, Peace and Revolution, David Stevenson offers a detailed and well-structured narrative of the complex, interlocking events of this fateful year, with an eye to their subsequent impact on the unfolding twentieth century. Stevenson’s masterful account should be essential reading for anyone with a particular interest in the First World War, recommends Benjamin Law.
1917: War, Peace, Revolution. David Stevenson. Oxford University Press. 2017.
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Last year […]
In Journey into Europe: Islam, Immigration and Identity, Akbar Ahmed scrutinises the experiences of Muslims living in European nations that are facing challenge to their hegemonic position in a global age. This is no ordinary book project, writes Tahir Abbas, praising the unprecedented wealth of information contained in this gripping, engaging and immersive study.
Journey into Europe: Islam, Immigration and Identity. Akbar Ahmed. Brookings […]
An agreement has been reached in the long-running name dispute between Greece and Macedonia. Thimios Tzallas writes that although the agreement is still subject to approval by the parliaments of both countries, Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev has sent a strong message to Brussels in advancing the country’s case for EU membership.
The long-running disagreement over what to call ‘the […]
In Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine, Anne Applebaum offers a new comprehensive account of the Holodomor: the famine that led to the deaths of millions of Ukrainians through starvation in the early 1930s. Drawing on archival documents, written and oral testimonies and historical scholarship, this is a valuable addition to our understanding of this devastating and long-neglected event, reccommends Vlad Onaciu.
If you are interested in […]
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan held a rally in Sarajevo on 20 May ahead of the upcoming Turkish elections scheduled for 24 June. Vuk Vuksanovic draws three lessons from the rally: that Turkey is in the process of adopting a more assertive approach to foreign policy in the Balkans; that Erdoğan is intent on using foreign policy in the […]
Book Review: Near Abroad: Putin, the West and the Contest over Ukraine and the Caucasus by Gerard Toal
In Near Abroad: Putin, the West and the Contest over Ukraine and the Caucasus, Gerard Toal offers a detailed geopolitical account of the Russian conflicts with Georgia and Ukraine in 2008 and 2014 respectively. While questioning some aspects of the book’s analysis, April Curtis welcomes this as a highly nuanced work that will enable readers to have a deeper awareness of how Russia views its role in […]
Tensions have escalated between Greece and Turkey in recent months over territorial disputes in the Aegean, with a collision between a Turkish cargo ship and a Greek war ship on 4 May prompting a nervous response from some observers. Thimios Tzallas writes that although there are incentives for Greek and Turkish politicians to give the impression they are playing […]
The European Union is in the process of implementing a number of new defence initiatives, notably a new Permanent Structured Cooperation on security and defence (PESCO) and a European Defence Fund. Antonio Calcara examines how these new initiatives are likely to affect relations with the United States, with some figures in the US already expressing concern that the new […]