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The 2017 Austrian Elections

The 2017 Austrian Elections

Since October 2006, Austria has been governed by a “big coalition” between the two major parties, the Conservative People’s Party ÖVP and the Social Democratic Party SPÖ. Years which, in the eyes of most, have been dominated by intergovernmental conflict and bipartisan obstruction. More

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


The Ebb of German-Turkish Relations

The Ebb of German-Turkish Relations

The political crisis in the relations between Germany and Turkey deepens as the tensions grow and bellicose statements and mutual accusations envelop more dimensions of the bilateral agenda. Millions of Turks are living and working in Germany, Germans, in their turn, traditionally make up to around fifteen percent of the country’s tourism arrivals. The bilateral trade volume is around 37 billion U.S. dollars p.a.. Relations between Germany and Turkey have always been subject to serious and long-term synergies. Both sides have much to lose, but this, however, is not a dampener on hostile rhetoric. More

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


The Saudi Shake-up

The Saudi Shake-up

News of the ongoing purge of numerous high-level officials and Saudi Royal Family members by the Saudi government has rattled global markets and raised further doubts regarding the stability of the Kingdom. What some are calling a counter-coup is presented as an anti-corruption move that saw over 1,200 bank accounts frozen and numerous assets being seized. Two Saudi princes have also died, one in an as yet unexplained helicopter crash near the Yemeni border and the other, the youngest son of King Fahd who ruled Saudi Arabia until 2005, died in a shoot-out between his security detail and government forces. More

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


Understanding Sudanese and South Sudanese “National Dialogues”

Understanding Sudanese and South Sudanese “National Dialogues”

Assessing the conduct and results of the recent National Dialogue in Sudan, and its current variation in South Sudan, reveals a lot about the countries’ political culture(s). The division of the biggest African state into an Arab-dominated, Muslim-majority North and the African, Animist-and-Christian South, completed in 2011, did not stop the flow of models of political “ways of doing things”. In many aspects, borrowing the neighbour’s ideas remains a natural choice.  More

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


Saudi Arabia and the New Middle East

Saudi Arabia and the New Middle East

The Arab Spring, also known as the Jasmine Revolution, represents a series of protests that embraced the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), since the end of 2010, resulting in the collapse of certain authoritarian regimes in the region. In practice, the Arab Spring was externally regarded by Riyadh as a threat to its strategic security, potentially undermining its regional influence, as well as the Saudi alliances More

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


Rendez-vous in Paris: Trump vs. Macron, Round No. 4

Rendez-vous in Paris: Trump vs. Macron, Round No. 4

Paris sera toujours Paris, as the title of a famous song rightfully acknowledges: traditionally a land of grace and sophistication that inspired poets and artists for centuries, and the shiniest jewel in Europe’s crown, which, through its charme et charactere, can impress everyone who happens to be its guest, including world famous political leaders. Recently, it hosted one of the most important events on the current international relations agenda, namely a high-level meeting between the newly elected chef d'État of the French Republic, the young Emmanuel Macron, and the President of the United States, an already controversial figure, although relatively new in his position as well, Donald J. Trump. After their first three meetings at the NATO and G7 summits in May, and at the G20 summit in early July, during which each of them has been trying to tilt the balance of power, Macron invited Trump over on Bastille Day to celebrate and extend France’s thanks on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the US entry in the First World War. The anniversary was an excellent pretext for the two to get together and talk real politics, settle disagreements and figure out common approaches to the most important international problems, such as terrorism and climate change. More

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


North Korea: “Reading the Tea Leaves”

North Korea: “Reading the Tea Leaves”

The “hermit kingdom” of North Korea is back in the news, at the center of a new round of exchanges of bellicose declarations, underpinned by failed tests for intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that, nevertheless, show the impressive progress of the country’s indigenous program. The missile capabilities are meant to provide a delivery device for the country’s nuclear weapons, the other great program beset by a string of failures and shoestring successes. Western observers are now attempting to “read the tea leaves” in order to predict when the country will have achieved the ability to threaten the continental United States, while the threat to its immediate neighbors, South Korea and Japan, remains real but uncertain. The weapon systems involved are complex and, as has been suggested of the recent failed test, prone to cyber-attacks and sabotage through the component supply chain. Rather, the immediate threat to a country like South Korea is all of the conventional artillery pointed at its capital, which would make flattening Seoul in a matter of hours a foregone proposition. With Donald Trump at the helm of the US and sending carrier groups in the vicinity, a man given to grand gestures as negotiating bids, the latest tensions with North Korea seem momentous, as if some form of denouement to the regime in Pyongyang is looming. The form it would take is critical to its neighbors, who fear both the ways in which the country can lash out violently, as well as the consequences of a collapse of power, such as millions of refugees trying to cross land borders or internecine warfare.  More

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


Water – the Ultimate Geostrategic Resource

Water – the Ultimate Geostrategic Resource

Water resources are a vital substrate and precondition of life and human development has increased this importance, by introducing considerations of agriculture, economics, industry (especially metallurgy) and energy extraction. Where there is a shortage of water, competition for limited supplies may cause nations to consider access to water as a matter of national security and act accordingly. History is abundant in examples of competitions and disputes over cross-border freshwater resources, which in John Waterbury's (1979) vision is called hydropolitics. More

No. 4, Mar.-Apr. 2017 2017


The Reconstruction of the National Defense Industry, a Historic Opportunity

The Reconstruction of the National Defense Industry, a Historic Opportunity

Prior to 1989, the defense industry in Romania was an important contributor to the state budget, bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars and providing extensive employment. At that time, Romania ranked ninth in the world in terms of export of armament. In the early 1980s, Romania exported arms worth $670 million. More than that, two thirds of the armament and ammunition required by the Romanian Armed Forces were covered by internal production, which is an important security factor in a country’s ability to sustain a prolonged conflict. More

No. 4, Mar.-Apr. 2017 2017


Terrorist Influence on Children in Cyberspace

Terrorist Influence on Children in Cyberspace

Terrorist groups are using cyberspace to propagandize ideological, political and religious concepts, for mutual communication and organization of activities, for planning attacks in the real world and for financing. Social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Telegrams have contributed to radicalization and recruitment, primarily of children and young people who accept the principles of terrorists and join their ranks. Modern ways of communication have enabled terrorists to successfully increase membership and their ranks without direct, physical contact. More

No. 4, Mar.-Apr. 2017 2017


The Youth Atlantic Treaty Association and Its Role in Promoting Euro-Atlantic Values

The Youth Atlantic Treaty Association and Its Role in Promoting Euro-Atlantic Values

The Youth Atlantic Treaty Association (YATA) is a network of young professionals and academics who are interested in international security policies. YATA consists of 36 member organizations or so-called National Chapters, all of which are the youth wings of established NGOs in their respective countries. These NGOs act as the national chapters of YATA’s parent organization, the Atlantic Treaty Association (ATA). YATA’s vision is to be the leading youth network to foster the values of democracy, rule of law, liberty, peace and security, and reinforce the transatlantic link. More

No. 4, Mar.-Apr. 2017 2017


Womenomics – Is It Worth Talking About Gender?

Womenomics – Is It Worth Talking About Gender?

Women Prime Ministers and Presidents are no longer newsworthy. At least not everywhere. Company presidents are so many that, again, the gender of a company’s CEO is not at all a newsworthy issue. At least no one wonders that the Northern countries, Ireland and some of the others have no issues with women in business or politics and generally consider diversity in almost all areas of public life as a norm. More

No. 4, Mar.-Apr. 2017 2017


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OEconomica No. 1, 2016