Spotlight on Geopolitics

The SCO expands

The EU’s expansion into Ukraine obeys the law of unintended consequences. Alliances that were probably decades into the making are starting to take shape in months, if not weeks. Thus, after ten years of protracted negotiation, Russia agreed to sign the huge gas-supply contract with China last June. The two countries have reinforced their diplomatic… » read more

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Posted by Florian Pantazi

One hundred years to the day, the multi-ethnic, multi-cultural state model received its first major blow. A few years later in the wake the first world war, the multi-ethnic Austro-Hungarian monarchy collapsed and was replaced by a plethora of new national states. Not all of these states, however, were built as purely ethnic entities. Yugoslavia… » read more

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Posted by Florian Pantazi

The tragic accident of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 has shocked the European public – and with good reason. Less justified, however, is the attitude of some EU national leaders who are trying to use this tragedy in order to slap more sanctions on Russia. Dmitri Trenin, director of the Carnegie Endowment for Peace in Moscow,… » read more

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Posted by Florian Pantazi

President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan has officially invited Turkey to become a member of the new Eurasian Union during a 2-day conference on the 4th and 5th of June 2014 which took place in the Turkish seaside resort of Bodrum. ( I have alluded to this opportunity in my previous post.) In extending the invitation,… » read more

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Posted by Florian Pantazi

The recently-signed Eurasian Union agreement between Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan in Astana has brought into being the world’s newest trade bloc, as envisaged by President Putin since 2010. The current size of the bloc is rather small, as it includes only about 170 million consumers. If, however, the Eurasian Union is destined to be the… » read more

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Posted by Florian Pantazi

In the allocation of world power, the periods of hegemonic transition have always been fraught with major confrontations. One hundred and ten years have passed since the British geographer and economist Halford J. Mackinder published his notorious paper on geopolitics, The Pivot of History, otherwise known as the Heartland Theory. In his view, economic and… » read more

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Posted by Florian Pantazi

Current developments in Ukraine might lead us to forget why the crisis has erupted in the first place. In short, Putin’s project for an Eurasian Union and his desire to include Ukraine within it had prompted the Maidan protests and the overthrow of the Yanukovych administration. Less debated these days is Mrs Clinton’s role in… » read more

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Posted by Florian Pantazi

“Groupthink is said to occur when a group makes faulty decisions due to group pressures to conform. Groupthink often leads to deterioration in moral judgment, a demonization of other groups, ignorance of alternative approaches and, ultimately irrational actions.” In cursul iernii trecute, vestul a hotarat, fara acordul Moscovei, sa aduca la putere la Kiev un… » read more

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Posted by Florian Pantazi

Last Saturday, Thomas Piketty and a group of French intellectuals have launched a manifesto which is intended as a guide to would-be reformers of the European Unions’ policies and institutions. Central to the manifesto is the idea of introducing an EU-wide corporate income tax which, according to its authors, will prevent both fiscal dumping and… » read more

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Posted by Florian Pantazi

The landslide success of Erdogan’s party, the AKP, and Vladimir Putin’s skyrocketing domestic popularity in the wake of the Crimean crisis are golden opportunities for a rethink of Western officialdom’s policies towards Turkey and Russia. Unlike my counterparts in Washington, I prefer to label the Turkish and Russian political systems as “alternative democracies”. Sure, on… » read more

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Posted by Florian Pantazi