Essay: Why Russia’s political regime is not changing, and how it can
Modi changes India’s Kashmir policy
For decades, India’s posture on the contested state of Jammu and Kashmir has been relatively stable, allowing autonomy in the region and seeking an agreement with Islamabad. Relations with Sunni Kashmiris have increasingly frayed, however, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has begun to shift its policy radically. India has ended ...
The EU presses pause on Western Balkans enlargement
French President Emmanuel Macron wants to put EU expansion on hold while the bloc reforms itself and the European Commission has downplayed any potential for Western Balkans countries to join the bloc soon. Meanwhile, the region languishes in limbo – the continuous delays make tackling corruption less urgent for their ...
Indo-Pacific elections: China in the public eye
Recent elections in the Indo-Pacific confirmed regional trends in balancing China and other regional centers of power, including most prominently, the U.S. Electoral outcomes in Australia, India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand indicate all will seek to maintain positive relations with Beijing with minimum impact on their ties to others.
The political corruption of monetary policy
The 2008 U.S. housing crash and the European debt crisis led many politicians to question the importance of independent central banks. However, this approach is not without consequences. There are now several patterns of influence on central banks, ranging from direct political meddling to more subtle institutional pressure. Left unchecked, ...
Nonrecognition and trouble in international relations
Detaching and protecting a part of the territory of a weaker state has become a surrogate for traditional armed conflict, played with open cards. As amply demonstrated in the cases of Ukraine, Cyprus, Serbia, Georgia or Moldova, pseudo-state entities emerging in such detachments have considerable staying power, even though they ...
Low interest rates: How long will savers be penalized?
Low, near-zero and negative interest rates around the world are depriving savers of potential earnings. Just a couple of years ago, it seemed as if a normalization of interest rates was on the horizon. Now, however, economic and political realities portend a “low-for-long” scenario. In fact, central bankers – in ...
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The enduring value of Japan’s emperor
Japan’s monarchy is unique: Its dynasty is the world’s longest-reigning, yet the country lacks many attributes associated with having a king or queen. In the allocation of political power and in the character of its institutions, Japan resembles a republic ...
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Regime change in Venezuela: the army will decide when
With the plight of Venezuelans getting worse by the day, it seems strange that the public outcry has not managed to oust President Nicolas Maduro. However, as far back as 2016, GIS guest expert Dr. Anthony Maingot pointed out that this was to be expected. President Maduro’s ability to remain in power “shows that words like ‘crisis’ and ‘intolerable’ are relative,” he wrote. The real arbiter of power in Venezuela is the military, which remains in President Maduro’s corner because the profits from drug trafficking keep lining the generals’ pockets. As long as this remained the case, the army would be willing to keep Mr. Maduro in power. If supplies of cocaine from Colombia were to fall, then competition could splinter the army and, “in return for legal immunity and control of the narcotics trade, the military will support new elections.”
Drug money keeps Venezuelan military in Maduro’s corner
Venezuela is in dire straits, with its economy contracting, its oil income falling and supplies of food and medicine dwindling. Against this backdrop, President Nicolas Maduro is resisting a recall referendum and installing generals in the top posts around him. Because he allows the military to profit from drug trafficking, ...
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Geopolitics are back on the agenda
Due to the fast changing international order geopolitics are back on the agenda. I believe that GIS makes a great contribution with analyses and insights that should help businesses and governments developing their responses.