Opinion: Brexit and ‘peak populism’ in Europe
The UK Parliament’s moves to block Brexit from occurring without a deal on October 31, 2019, has prompted some to say that Europe has reached “peak populism.” As the British case shows, though, societies remain polarized and democratic rules continue to be bent. What happens next in the UK may ...
U.S. immigration and border security policy headed toward a crossroads
During President Donald Trump’s first term in office, immigration and border policy have become hot-button issues. The administration’s aggressive enforcement of border security has created a backlash in the Democratic Party, which is now leaning toward decriminalizing illegal entry. The future of immigration in the U.S. will be shaped by ...
Malaysia’s power transition: stormy conditions, steady course
The future of Malaysia’s ruling coalition and its ambitious reforms program hangs on the determination of two iconic leaders, formerly bitter rivals, to set aside their personal grievances and work together for the country’s future. This determination has been put to a test lately.
Turkey’s moves on the Libyan chessboard
Turkey provides considerable assistance to the Libyan Government of National Accord in its war against the Libyan National Army in the hope of gaining access to the oil-rich Mediterranean Basin. More than religious sentiment, it is Prime Minister Erdogan’s wish to see Turkey become a key player in the region ...
Mali and Mauritania: Instability in the Sahel
Mali and Mauritania are both politically and economically fragile. In these two countries, social divides and the state’s inability to fully control its own territory has led to the rise of radicalized armed groups. These challenges highlight the instability that threatens the entire Sahel region – a state of affairs ...
Opinion: Jihadists open a new front in West Africa
Since the mid-2010s, countries in the Gulf of Guinea have seen an increase in terrorist attacks. Lax border control allows jihadist violence to spread rapidly through preexisting criminal networks. National authorities are taking measures to counter the threat, but the issue will need to be addressed from a regional perspective ...
Caribbean economies face turbulent seas
The diverse Caribbean region offers plenty of economic opportunity and room for growth, especially in tourism and other services, as well as the energy sector. The problem is that these small, open economies are all very vulnerable to external shocks. One of these is severe weather, as hurricane Dorian made ...
GIS Dossier: Monetary policy stood on its head
Unconventional monetary policies saved many financial institutions in the U.S. and Europe after the financial crisis. However, near-zero to negative interest rates and central banks’ massive debt-purchasing programs, which pumped trillions of dollars and euros into economies, failed to restore growth and have had potent, negative and lasting side-effects. Relaxing ...
From decentralized democracy to centralized bureaucracy
Under the guise of Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation, which was implemented in 2018, EU governments are collecting and sharing citizens’ financial data in ways that violate democratic privacy rules and go well beyond the legitimate needs of combatting tax evasion and money laundering or terrorism. This overreach is part ...
U.S. economy awaits the next moves by Powell and Trump
U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell worries that the Trump administration’s trade dispute with China is hamstringing the American economy. President Donald Trump believes a more aggressive monetary policy is necessary. Both men want to burnish their image and consolidate their power. To do so, they may make moves that ...
Can Moldova set an example for Ukraine?
An unexpected alliance between Russia, the United States and the European Union helped broker a political breakthrough in Moldova – sending corrupt local oligarchs packing. There is no reason to discount the latest developments in Chisinau, which could prove a new dawn for Europe’s poorest country. Yet the West has ...
Looking for the best tax code
Ballooning modern governments collect an increasing proportion of their countries’ output in taxes, which spreads inefficiency and economic stagnation. The drivers of this process can be neutralized, and the economy-distorting impact of taxation mitigated, with better tax-system design. Among OECD member states, there are examples of sound solutions to emulate.
The U.S. and the new great power paradigm
According to the U.S.’s National Security Strategy, great power competition is back. That this is the geopolitical reality is a rare conclusion that both Republicans and Democrats agree on. The paradigm is therefore likely to outlast President Trump and shape American foreign policy for the foreseeable future.
Foreign policy during Modi’s second term
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who currently enjoys high levels of trust among world leaders, wants to make the most of this advantageous situation by simultaneously engaging with the U.S., China and other strategic geopolitical partners, in addition to fostering better relations with smaller South Asian neighbors.
Is the German coalition condemned to stay?
Election results in Saxony and Brandenburg show the Christian Democrats and the Social Democratic Party are losing ground. Unless voter concerns like migration, safety and a credible approach against pollution are addressed, both parties will fare poorly in the federal elections.
Europe’s strategic future in global competition, Part 2
With responsibility for European security devolving onto individual countries, an old question from the 1950s has resurfaced: What about Germany? One proposed answer is the revival of a European Army, which would allow the German military to be strengthened in a politically unthreatening fashion. However, this project is out of ...
Europe’s strategic future in global competition, Part 1
Defense does not rank these days very highly in Europe’s political discourse. Yet with multilateral structures increasingly ineffective and the attitude of the United States ever more ambivalent, its European partners need to find their own solutions. Simply waiting out a period of global turbulence is not an option.
Opinion: A possible scenario for Hong Kong
The turmoil in Hong Kong does not pose a direct threat to the power and survival of the party-state in China. Beijing must be frustrated by the Hong Kong government’s inability to pacify the protesters and has issued some dire warnings to them. Using the Hong Kong garrison of the People’s ...
Political and economic freedom in Africa
Development performance throughout the African continent reflects global trends. Free regimes tend to go hand in hand with economic freedom, resulting in growth and increased human development. With sound economic reforms, this virtuous circle could intensify.
GIS Dossier: The U.S.-China trade ‘war’
For years, the U.S.-China rivalry has been the main driver of geopolitical developments. When President Donald Trump entered office, the countries’ trade relationship became the central focus of that competition. His aggressive moves to implement tariffs have made geopolitical waves, but also opened up some opportunities. This Dossier reviews GIS ...
Greenland and Washington’s offer
President Donald Trump’s offer to buy Greenland was dismissed as a joke, but it reflects both American practice and a legitimate strategic concern.
Political culture and constitutional reform in Mongolia
Mongolia appears poised to amend its constitution. A draft reform has already been submitted by two-thirds of the parliament, and President Khaltmaa Battulga has joined the discussion with proposed amendments of his own.
Dim prospects for developing countries
Developing countries are facing some favorable global conditions, with cheap financing, rising commodity prices, and foreign investors looking for opportunity. But three roadblocks will prevent improved growth in Africa and other developing economies: government involvement in the market, an outsize bureaucracy, and an undereducated labor force. The solutions now being ...
Essay: Why Russia’s political regime is not changing, and how it can
Predictions of systemic transformation in Russia have invariably proved wrong. Sooner or later, however, fundamental changes in the current political regime must occur. Recent events suggest that they may start with a crucial yet often unappreciated element of the power structure.