Italy’s Draghi leverages the EU Covid fund to push reforms
Former ECB head Mario Draghi has made some adroit moves as Italy’s prime minister. He also has the credibility in Brussels that his predecessors lacked, a clever plan for using the EU’s Covid funds for domestic reforms, and even a measure of good luck. Can a Trojan horse strategy work ...
Supranational bodies do not thrive in Africa
Supranational and interstate organizations play a role in some regions of Africa. However, by their nature they oppose the notion of absolute state supremacy, meaning they face plenty of resistance in a continent largely made up of postcolonial states founded on the ideals of independence and sovereignty.
The betrayal of the Afghan people
The Biden administration botched the U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan, leaving the country in chaos. The Afghans who took part in the Western modernization attempt have been left at the mercy of the victorious Taliban. Letting a 20-year-long intervention go to waste in this manner will have negative geopolitical consequences
Scenarios for the future German government: Part 2
Once the dust settles after the September elections in Germany, the parties will have to form a government. Looking at the polls, it will likely include the CDU/CSU, the Greens, and potentially the FDP. What would this mean for Germany’s future in the three key areas of foreign affairs, climate ...
Scenarios for the future German government: Part 1
Next month, Germany holds a general election to determine who will succeed Angela Merkel as the country’s chancellor. In the first installment of this two-part series, Dr. Michael Wohlgemuth looks at which parties are leading and examines the various coalition possibilities, explaining why a “Jamaica” combination could be on the ...
Chile’s year of change
Chile is entering a new, unpredictable political era. Dissatisfied with the status quo, its voters have left the traditional parties in droves and are supporting new, independent candidates. Such independents have been tasked with writing the country’s new constitution, while presidential elections later this year could put a nontraditional politician ...
Japan: The danger of return to short-termism
After the longest-ever tenure of Shinzo Abe, Japan faces a possible return to the era of short-term prime ministers. Whether or not Yoshihide Suga remains in charge after the upcoming elections, Tokyo must give more emphasis to future planning, especially on China and security issues.
GIS Dossier: India and China’s conflict in Tibet
The poorly defined border on the Tibetan plateau has for decades been the scene of skirmishes between China and India. Now part of a broader geopolitical confrontation driven by Beijing’s push to dominate Asia, this conflict is gaining momentum and becoming ever harder to manage.
Managing China: Scenarios for U.S.-Europe cooperation
The West has awakened to the challenge from China, but how far will it go in coordinating its response to Beijing’s combative policies? This depends on a reconciliation of diverging priorities of the leading Western countries.
El Salvador: Bukele consolidates power
El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele has trampled over democratic norms, but he has also drastically reduced violence and brought stability to the troubled Central American country. Now that recent elections have solidified his power, the Biden administration will have to decide how to deal with him.
Mongolia faces a challenge to its democratic development
A recent constitutional amendment bars Mongolia’s sitting president from running for a second term in the June 2021 elections. In response, he has moved to delegalize the country’s ruling political party. The crisis threatens the country’s democratic transition and may undermine its geopolitical standing.
Supranational bodies and the lack of democratic accountability
Supranational bureaucracies are expanding their influence by promoting global tax harmonization. In cahoots with politicians, they covertly advocate for systems that ramp up the tax burden and weaken the very foundation of democracy
Ethiopia’s conflict escalates
Addis Ababa maintains its forces have quelled the rebellion in the Tigray region, but tensions endure, conflicts multiply, and this may lead to a full-blown, multiethnic civil war in Ethiopia. The consequences for both the country and the region could be profound.
The crisis in Chad deepens instability in sub-Saharan Africa
The death of Chadian President Idriss Deby will have a regional impact. France and the U.S. considered the ironfisted Deby regime a linchpin in the fight against Islamist extremism in West and Central Africa.
The geopolitical rivalry in Central Asia will only intensify
In Central Asia’s quickly evolving geopolitical setting, the more economically and politically advanced states keep opening doors wider to Europe and the U.S. while skillfully balancing relationships with Russia and China. The pandemic and economic slowdown have intensified this political rivalry.
The EU’s new, multifaceted China strategy is stress-tested
When the EU joined three other Western powers in sending finely calibrated warnings to China over its human rights violations, Brussels did not anticipate the fury of Beijing’s response. As the exchange of sanctions shows, the EU’s new strategy of combining cooperation with assertiveness may have its limits.
World race to self-sufficiency in strategic manufacturing
Global value chains have been shrinking for a decade; the pandemic has only accelerated the process. Western countries are now racing to reshore parts of their strategic manufacturing and make supply chains more resilient. China, meanwhile, continues its quest for dominance and competes with the West for access to strategic ...
What can be expected from the Draghi government
When it is in dire need, Italy has a history of reaching for figures outside the political spectrum to right the ship of the state. The coming to Rome of former ECB President Mario Draghi fits that pattern, but only to a point.
An uneasy truce in the Gulf
Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt officially ended their diplomatic and economic boycott of Qatar. Riyadh’s attempt to get in the Biden administration’s good graces has led to a truce between strategic U.S. allies in the Gulf, but Qatar has made only vague promises to change policies that its ...
New Opportunities 2021: Latin America’s difficult outlook
Economic downturns, political mismanagement and natural disasters have sharply increased poverty rates and inequality. As discontent grows, populist politicians could make big gains. China will look to increase its influence in the region, challenging the Biden administration’s commitment to cooperation and multilateralism.
Why Hungary and Poland are sticking together
When Poland's and Hungary’s leaders jointly threatened to veto the EU’s Covid recovery fund last December, they argued it was in defense of their sovereignty. The nations’ historical traumas notwithstanding, both governments are rumbling down the path toward authoritarianism.
Systemic competition: China’s challenge to the West in 2021 and beyond
This year marks the centenary of the founding of the Communist Party of China. By its end, Beijing wants to have built a “moderately prosperous society.” In parallel, President Xi Jinping seems ready to embark on an all-out contest between statist China and the liberal Western economies. While the Middle ...
The Kremlin’s Chechen factor
The latest violent chapter in the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh has rebalanced geopolitical realities in the South Caucasus. Turkey has made significant progress in expanding its role there. Even more disturbingly for the Kremlin, the 2020 war has been associated with a surge in radical political Islam that threatens to spill ...
The loss of constitutional protection
In an atmosphere of panic over the Covid-19 crisis, European governments are enacting more and more open-ended measures that are often of dubious utility for containing the pandemic but severely restrict personal freedom, privacy and entrepreneurship. Alarmingly, citizens’ rights enshrined in constitutions are being set aside.