Adrian-Ioan Damoc
Adrian-Ioan Damoc
Economist, Ph.D. candidate, the Bucharest University of Economic Studies, interested in international relations and economic diplomacy
The Grand (Binary) Chessboard: Security, Geopolitics and Geoeconomics in the Cyber-era

The Grand (Binary) Chessboard: Security, Geopolitics and Geoeconomics in the Cyber-era

For each age that we think to define, there are words that describe the aspects or characteristics that are thought to define it best. The mid-twentieth century was known as the ‘Atomic Age’, when the results of research into nuclear physics were brought to the forefront with the detonation of nuclear bombs. Shortly thereafter, it was succeeded by the Space Age, with the drive to explore outer space and the competition between the world’s superpowers to develop technology to that end. Somewhere from the 1970s, the Information Age is believed to have begun, sprung by the Digital Revolution, with information technology playing an increasingly greater role in human affairs on an ever-growing number of levels: the economy, society, culture, language and politics. Thus, geographic distance became less and less relevant in defining human interaction, and physical contact was no longer an imperative for relations between people. More

No. 7-8, Sep.-Dec. 2017 2017


À la recherche de l’identité perdue

À la recherche de l’identité perdue

In most contexts, the name Catalonia is typically associated with the world of culture, arts, architecture and sports. It evokes the splendour of the Sagrada Familia, the distinctive styles of Antoni Gaudi and Salvador Dali, the venerable Montserrat Caballé and, of course, the famous Barcelona FC. Yet, in the aftermath of the declaration of independence passed by the Autonomous Community’s Parliament on October 27, 2017, the name is now also associated with the increasingly prominent trend towards fragmentation that has defined socio-political dynamics in the Western world in recent years, in particular Europe. More

No. 7-8, Sep.-Dec. 2017 2017


The Matter of Persia: Discerning Meaning from Strife and Unrest

The Matter of Persia: Discerning Meaning from Strife and Unrest

The year 2018 began with a renewal of some of last year’s main geopolitical clashes, the most prominent being the nuclear threats exchanged between North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un and Donald Trump, China’s President Xi Jinping delivering grim speeches to his army, urging troops to be ready for war, and analysts offering generally gloomy forecasts for this year. One other significant event that has erupted near the end of 2017 were the unexpected and violent protests in Iran that have continued up to at least the first week of 2018, with mass demonstrations held both for and against the country’s current government and an uncompromising crackdown by Iranian police. More

No. 7-8, Sep.-Dec. 2017 2017


From the Queen to the Tsar: on Trump’s Travels to Europe

From the Queen to the Tsar: on Trump’s Travels to Europe

An eventful week passed from July 12 to 17 as US President Donald Trump made two high-profile visits to Europe: one to the United Kingdom where he met with the British monarchy and government officials, and one to Helsinki where he met with Russian President, Vladimir Putin. These events occurred in a complicated geopolitical context: on the one hand, it appears we are witnessing a paradigm shift in US-EU relations, with increasingly divergent viewpoints on a number of key issues, most notably security in Europe’s Eastern flank and the Middle East; on the other hand, the suspicions of Russian involvement in the US elections in order to skew the votes in Trump’s favour are still alive in the eyes of certain US officials and part of the American electorate.  More

No. 7-8, Sep.-Dec. 2017 2017


Fortress Europe under Siege: The Ongoing Refugee Crisis

Fortress Europe under Siege: The Ongoing Refugee Crisis

The term “Fortress Europe” was used during World War II to denote European territories occupied by Nazi forces, as well as military operations conducted by the British military against mainland targets in Germany. It was also used by Britain’s enemy, Nazi Germany, to refer to its goal of conquering the entirety of Europe so as to create an impenetrable powerbase. After the war ended, the term was used in the context of the European Union’s policies on immigration, border control and trade matters, with positive connotations for conservative factions opposing migration and negative for the more open factions.  More

No. 5-6, May.-Aug. 2017 2017


South-Asian Standoff: The Broader Implications of Russian Involvement in the South China Sea

South-Asian Standoff: The Broader Implications of Russian Involvement in the South China Sea

Sino-Russian relations are never easy to categorise neatly. Marked in equal measures by common interests and a mutual distrust, by a tendency to cooperate as well as the pressure of the competition that their geopolitical profiles consign them to, China and Russia have not had any significant clashes since the end of the Cold War, when a Sino-American alliance was forged as part of the US strategy to contain the USSR. Over the years, there have been various efforts on both camps to capitalise on their mutual interests and solidify their collaboration. Both countries are part of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, and China has resumed importing Russian military gear following a European Union-enforced arms embargo in the wake of the Tiananmen Square protests. The NATO presence in Central Asia and the Middle East has also driven Russia and China to seek common ground in order to avert the expansion of American influence in the region. Moreover, in 2014, China and Russia signed a 30-year deal to sell energy to China and to build the ambitiously named Power of Siberia, a pipeline which would transport Russian gas to the Far East. More

No. 4, Mar.-Apr. 2017 2017


Robots and Empire(s)

Robots and Empire(s)

Few concepts have ever been as tightly related to the notion of technological advancement and the future in general as that of artificial intelligence. The idea of highly intelligent, even sentient robots permeating various facets of human activity and society has been a staple of science fiction since the past century. Though the term “robot” itself was introduced to the English language and the world by Czech playwright Karel Capek in 1920 (“robot” meaning “work” in Czech), robots and artificial intelligence were developed most prominently through the works of such authors as Isaac Asimov (one of whose novels lent its title to this article), Arthur C. Clarke and Philip K. Dick, while Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein has also been viewed as another example of artificial beings appearing in fiction. The concept has been heavily featured in several blockbuster science fiction films and TV series as well, either as the main theme or as part of the technologically advanced future. Prominent examples include 2001: A Space Odyssey, Aliens, Star Wars, Terminator, The Matrix and more recently, Interstellar and Ex Machina. More

No. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017 2017


The Triangle of Terror

The Triangle of Terror

A lorry crashes into a crowd of people gathered at the Berlin Christmas fair, killing 12 and injuring 56. At an art exhibition in Ankara, Turkey, Russian ambassador Andrei Karlov is shot dead by a young police officer who shouts Allah’s name and vindictive slogans against military actions in Syria before being gunned down himself by the Turkish police. More

No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016 2016


Quo Vaditis, Civitates Foederatae Americae?

Quo Vaditis, Civitates Foederatae Americae?

The morning of November 9, 2016 bore witness to what most media trusts from the US and abroad, and many observers from around the world, from ordinary citizens to Hollywood celebrities and politicians at the highest level, thought possible only in an alternate dimension where logic, reason and probably nature itself obey principles completely alien to our own: famous businessman, media personality and Republican Party nominee Donald J. Trump won the US Presidential Elections, garnering more electoral votes than his more politically experienced opponent, Hillary Clinton of the Democratic Party, wife of former US President Bill Clinton. More

No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016 2016


Is World War Three Upon Us?

Is World War Three Upon Us?

It will not take more than a brief Google search to notice that this topic is the subject of a debate among analysts and journalists alike. Entering “is World War 3 coming” in the search bar will yield a plethora of authors and their diverse opinions. There is no shortage of modern-day Cassandras prophesizing Armageddon itself, as well as naysayers to dismiss such claims as unrealistic fear-mongering. More

No. 1, Sep.-Oct. 2016 2016


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OEconomica No. 1, 2016