Spotlight on Geopolitics

Archives for Middle East

A few days ago while seeing the hundreds of refugees from the Middle East flock on Greek ferries, buses, taxis and trains in their drive north to the Macedonian border, I recalled a 20-page seminar paper I was required to write on the question of frontiers at Sciences po Toulouse. The year was 2010, just… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

Turkey has today announced its budget for 2015. Total spending is estimated at 225 billion dollars, whereas revenue is expected to be around 216 billion USD, leaving a deficit of only 9 billion USD. The biggest items on its expenditure list are health and education, with 38 billion dollars earmarked for each, which is a… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

The 2014 annual gathering of the world’s business and financial elite in Davos was initially supposed to consider major issues of our time, such as inequality and climate change. I say consider and not debate because one cannot rationally expect a serious discussion of possible ways to tackle inequality at a conference which reunites its… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

The New Year begins with a myriad of tribal, ethnic, religious or state-to-state conflicts affecting large areas of the world, from Europe to Africa and Asia. Closest to home is a long-running geopolitical confrontation between the West and Russia for the inclusion of Ukraine within their respective spheres of influence. The contest, which had started… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

Egypt’s “democratic” (sic !) coup d’etat is reminiscent of similar political events from pre-2002 Turkey. We can all recall the repeated interventions and coups d’etat perpetrated by the Turkish generals against democratically-elected politicians who happened to displease them, together with the killings, the tortures, arbitrary arrests and prison terms. The same scenario is now playing… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

Following this spring’s Arab revolutions, Tunisians and Moroccans have started their own experiments with the democratisation of their societies. In Tunisia, the moderate Ennahda Islamic party has won close to 40 percent of votes in October. Unable to govern on its own, it entered a coalition with a local liberal party and the left-of-centre Ettakatol… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

When it comes to geopolitics, few major shifts are more important than the emergence of an Islamic democracy in Turkey. Long resisted by the Turkish military and its western allies, the accession to power of Erdogan’s AKP party in 2002 has provoked major changes for the better in Turkey’s economic performance, institutional architecture and foreign… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

President Obama’s May 19th speech is seen as a welcome change from past US foreign policy blunders in the Middle East. The revolutionary wave currently sweeping the Arab world has determined the American president to admit that political change is inevitable: “the events of the past six months show us that strategies of repression and… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

Osama bin Laden’s capture and the April bombing in Marrakesh raise serious questions about government use of the terrorist threat as a tool in achieving policy objectives. In hindsight, it is hard to dismiss the possibility that at least some American agencies had known beforehand that the 9/11 attack was imminent, allowing it to happen… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi