Uncertain territory. The strange life and curious sustainability of de facto states (by Thomas de Waal) 26 April 2018 In his new essay, Thomas de Waal raises a challenging question about the unexpected persistence of unrecognized post-Soviet states, as well as Northern Cyprus, which managed to establish regular civil life despite being more or less de-jure cut off from the world. He mentions that none of...

A safari for Wagner (by Andrey Kamakin) 13 July 2018 This piece, first published in June 2018, has been republished following the tragic death of   three Russian journalists of the highest caliber in Central African Republic. The author discusses the role of so-called “Wagner”, a private military unit now ubiquitously claimed to be on the forefront of Russian geopolitical affairs but...

A coin for the U.S.-North Korea summit. May, 2018. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)    South-East Asia: lots of elections, not so much democracy 26 May 2018 The Economist piece emphasizes the lack of democracy in South-East Asia and states while only one state can be categorized as wholly free (East Timor), remaining countries are either partly free or not free at all. The author also states that this...

Globalization is not in retreat (by Susan Lund, Laura Tyson) 16 April 2018 In this extensive essay, Susan Lund and Laura Tyson try to refute the now-popular thesis that the age of globalization is over, and instead suggest it has taken a new form, strikingly different from the “classic” one. Among the major features characterizing it, the authors emphasize the shift of trade growth from the...

What China Gained From Hosting Kim Jong Un (by Oriana Skylar Mastro) 9 April 2018 Oriana Skylar Mastro looks in depth at Xi’s hosting of Kim Jong Un and the main motives behind his action. The author states that although on the surface this action is perceived as Chinese desire to improve the Sino-North Korean relations, one of the main purposes was to shape the agenda of the upcoming North...

The 19th-century British colonization of India is often regarded as a milestone in Indian culture. The Colonists are frequently credited by modern day historians for establishing relative peace, constructing critical infrastructure, leading industrialization, banning obsolete practices such as sati1 and child marriage, and spreading Western ideas. From this standpoint, past British imperialism can be...

Myanmar has been worldly renowned for the quality, rarity, and variety of its precious stones since ancient times. Chinese Ming and Qing emperors, British colonizers, Burmese kings, Shan warlords, and current Myanmese military have all been gravitated by the alluring glitter and monetary value of the Burmese gems. The precious stones that can be found in Burmese lands include spinel, diamond, ruby,...

Recent Rohingya crisis has chiefly been examined as a byproduct of religious sectarianism and ethnic hostility. With main international focus concentrated around the Rohingya’s status as religious and ethnic minority subjected to “cleansing”, other motivations behind the crisis have been duly ignored. Economic and business interests of the Myanmar government have been one of these...

In the 72nd UN General Assembly session, Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi categorically told the international community that “Pakistan won’t be a scapegoat in the Afghan War.” This statement is an indirect response to Trump’s new Afghan policy. During his speech PM Abbasi has firmly said that Pakistan believes on “urgent” and “realistic” goals...

On December 26, 1971, Pakistan finally decided to withdraw its forces from its former territories in Eastern Bengalia after the 9 months of a severe war that followed the declaration of independence of Bangladesh. A great contribution to the victory of the liberation movement was made by India, the regional superpower. But what considerations did Indian government take into account when it decided to use...

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