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Romania and the Belt and Road Initiative

Romania and the Belt and Road Initiative

Historically, Romanian territories have been frequently a key to the geopolitical ambitions of the rising players on the international arena due to their strategic geographic position, Romania being located at a crossroads between the East and West, between the CIS, Middle East and Western spheres of influence, on the Danube and the Black Sea’s shores, rich in natural resources and with one of the highest degrees of energy independence in Europe. Nowadays, an additional advantage comes from its human resources, its educated class standing out in essential niches like various branches of the IT sector. More

No. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017 2017


Space Debris – Visualizing the Risk and Informing Stakeholders

Space Debris – Visualizing the Risk and Informing Stakeholders

Everybody in a reasonably advanced society (and many of the not so advanced ones) uses products and services that are dependent on satellites and their specific capabilities, many of which cannot be substituted for on Earth. You may use satellite communications and weather prediction services, and sometimes you may use GPS (for transport, tourism and for tagging your friends on Facebook), but you are also consuming space services through intermediaries. Your Amazon order arrived safely, cheaply and on time through a GPS dependent global distribution service. The gadget you bought was the result of a globalized production chain kept viable by global communications, global transport and global finance. Your online payments, bank transactions and stock market investments are time stamped by atomic clocks located in GPS satellites. One day, you may even receive medical services or even have a robot perform surgery on you through telemedicine. And, in a crisis and emergency situation, space services such as Earth Observation are invaluable for decision makers and responders. The list goes on and on. More

No. 3, Jan.-Feb. 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. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017 2017


The Battle for Bahrain

The Battle for Bahrain

With a population of roughly 1.4 million, Bahrain represents the smallest state of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), but it is also, at the same time, the most important geopolitical pivot regarding the regional balance of power between Saudi Arabia and Iran. More

No. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017 2017


Cultural Diversity: Same Question, but a Different Answer. The Story of Azerbaijani Multiculturalism

Cultural Diversity: Same Question, but a Different Answer. The Story of Azerbaijani Multiculturalism

We live in a world where people are sacrificed for being a minority. They are sacrificed for being different, although the very notion of ‘different’ is a purely subjective one. More than 70 years ago, anti-Semitism culminated with the killing of millions in Europe. Yet nowadays, the US president announces his intention to build a wall at the Mexican border. On the Asian continent, the armed forced of Myanmar are supposedly seeking the repression of the country’s Muslim minority. Africa is plagued by numerous conflicts, most of them stemming from ethnic and religious reasons, such as the rampages of the group previously known as Boko Haram in Nigeria. And Europe is facing a rise of nationalism and anti-immigrant attitudes, displayed through episodes such as Brexit or the popularity of the far-right in the French presidential elections. While the scope and the approach changed, and its roots also vary, the general attitude of rejection towards those who share a different culture, ethnicity, or religion still persists.   More

No. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017 2017


The Chinese Dream – an Exhortation to Achieve

The Chinese Dream – an Exhortation to Achieve

35% of Chinese think that the USA is an ideal country, while 26% claim that China is the ideal country. Ten years from now, however, 42% of Chinese will claim that their country is the ideal one, while only 14% will say the same about the US. The figures come from a comparative analysis published in 2014 by the British advertising and communication group WPP, titled “The Power and Potential of the Chinese Dream”. More

No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016 2016


The 12 Labours of Narendra Modi: India’s Demonetisation Saga

The 12 Labours of Narendra Modi: India’s Demonetisation Saga

On the 8th of November 2016, the same day in which a revolutionary election took place, empowering Donald J. Trump to become the next President of the United States of America, the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, announced a radical decision for his country. In his address to the Nation, and in his endeavour to fight corruption and black money and to eradicate poverty and terrorism, Modi proclaimed that the five hundred and thousand rupee notes “will no longer be legal tender”, thus becoming “worthless pieces of paper”. More

No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016 2016


Saudi Arabia vs. Iran: From Proxy to Hybrid Warfare

Saudi Arabia vs. Iran: From Proxy to Hybrid Warfare

Formerly strategic partners, Saudi Arabia and Iran have transformed the entire Middle East in a geopolitical chessboard. The breach occurred in 1979 when, in the aftermath of large protests, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was forced to abandon Iran, allowing the regime led by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to seize power in Tehran. More

No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016 2016


Youth Engagement for Development in the Danube Region

Youth Engagement for Development in the Danube Region

The Danube river region has represented throughout history a cradle of civilization and of cultural, social and economic development. The choice for the motto of the European Union’s Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR) was obvious and it transmitted an important message of hope in order to marshal people and resources in the region towards the direction of development: “Danube, the river of opportunities”. More

No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016 2016


Tears in the Land of Smiles

Tears in the Land of Smiles

For most of us, Thailand is synonymous with exotic beaches, wildlife safaris, and tropical fruit unheard of in our part of the world – a well-deserved, yet too narrow portrait. Less is known, to the international public, about its social fabric and political struggles, although there are important evolutions to observe and discuss in these areas. Long story short, Thailand is one of the very few countries currently governed by a military junta, following a successful overthrow of the elected civilian government in May 2014, the second episode of its kind in the last decade. In fact, this country carries a long history of abrupt regime changes, having survived 19 coups in the past century, out of which 12 successful ones. In its oscillations between military authoritarianism and constitutional democracy, Thailand represents an interesting, rare mixture of monarchy, military rulers and civil politicians, being open and modern, yet unique in Oriental specificity.  More

No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016 2016


To a Sustainable, Secure and Safe Space Environment

To a Sustainable, Secure and Safe Space Environment

Space-based systems play an important role in our daily lives and businesses. Telecommunications, weather forecasting, financial services, positioning applications and television are just a few of the thousands of services that heavily rely on space-based systems. As space-based systems are vulnerable to various threats, protecting these systems requires us to pay attention to (a) the space segment, (b) the ground, or control segment that is used to upload data to the satellites, to control the satellites’ orbit and performance and its associated ground communications network, and (c) the user segment that consists of any device allowing either to access services. This protection shall consider all phases of the overall mission lifecycle e.g. design, manufacturing, operations including launch phase and disposal phase. More

No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016 2016


China is Playing Go on the Global Board

China is Playing Go on the Global Board

It has been almost a decade since the onset of the 2008 crisis and the global arena is defined more and more by new characteristics that reflect changes in the number and intensity of interactions among all sorts of economic, political, military, spiritual actors, the obsolescence of International institutions, as well as the advances of science and disruptive technology. More

No. 1, Sep.-Oct. 2016 2016


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OEconomica No. 1, 2016