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...

After the decade-long dispute over the toponym Macedonia, the prime ministers of Greece and Macedonia have finally reached an official agreement. The settlement that has offered a new name, Republic of North Macedonia, was simultaneously hailed as “historic” and criticized. Kristjan Fidanovski, political science graduate and editor-in-chief of The Vostokian, will share his opinion on the recent...

Two of the most important directions of anti-Western thinking in today Russia are classical Eurasianism that originated outside the Soviet Union, in the 1920s-1930s, and post-Soviet, so-called “neo-Eurasianism.” The latter school of thought is far better known in the West than the former, and often also simply called “Eurasianism.” It has been, from the end of the 1980s, principally...

  Iran among the ruins (by Vali Nasr) 13 February 2018 Vali Nasr provides a comprehensive analysis of the evolving role of Iran in the Middle East, arguing that demonizing Tehran and re-introducing sanctions against it is a bad policy for the U.S. He shows that the increasing Iranian influence in a range of countries- war-torn Syria, Iraq, Qatar- is due to a large extent to America’s own policy...

The term Matryoshka-nationalism comes from the name of a wooden Russian doll called matryoshka which, reveals another, smaller doll inside, with the latter containing an even smaller doll.  The notion of Matryoshka-nationalism as a specific phenomenon of post-Soviet nationalism refers to separatist movements that emerged upon the dissolution of the USSR and implies the existence of a smaller ethnic...

As a part of the DESCnet and Jean Monnet sponsored initiative to enhance the level of European Studies in the Caucasus region, Yeditepe University is glad to host the Summer School: "European Integration and Rivalry between Regional Integration Systems in the South Caucasus" on 9-13 July 2018, Istanbul (Turkey). The school hopes to increase the network of the nine DESCnet member institutions by...

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...

  Decades under the influence (by Markus Wagner, Thomas Meyer) 4 April 2018 The rightward shift of the European politics is not a new phenomenon at all, claim the authors of this piece published at the Foreign Affairs. The analysis of party manifestos in 17 Western European countries demonstrates that the process has been gradually going on since the 1970s, and the recent immigration crisis has just...

  Northern Ireland's Brexit Problem (by Henry Farrell) 29 March 2018 The problem of the Irish border after Brexit has been the British government’s Achilles heel ever since the withdrawal negotiation with the EU started. The free border between the independent Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland which remains part of UK, has been one of the major conditions that cemented the 1997 Good...

The University of Tartu (Estonia) announces a call for applications for doctoral candidates and PhD-holding academics in the Social Sciences for a five-month fellowship at the Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies, supported by the Eurasia Programme of the Open Society Foundations. The call is addressed to citizens of Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan,...

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