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Macedonia – The Sounds of War Drums Are Mass Auditory Hallucinations

Macedonia – The Sounds of War Drums Are Mass Auditory Hallucinations

It has been 16 years since the last war on the Balkan Peninsula. The last time anything resembling a war occurred, hundreds died and the small country of Macedonia was left with a reorganized political system, a crushed economy and a convulsing system of social relations. These days, we hear the dogs of war begin their gruesome growls yet again as rule of law collapses in the Republic of Macedonia, but you would be a fool to believe your ears. So what has been going on in Macedonia?  More

No. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017 2017


Politics in the Republic of Moldova – Strong Essences in Tiny Bottles

Politics in the Republic of Moldova – Strong Essences in Tiny Bottles

The Republic of Moldova is a post-Soviet geopolitical entity, underdeveloped and currently maintained by financial interests, domestic and abroad: because of its geostrategic position in Eastern Europe, it is being used as an interface between the Eastern and the Western financial markets, an enabler for transactions and other movements that would otherwise not take place or be more difficult, especially for Russian oligarchs. At the same time, under this cover, Russian operatives affiliated to SVR are maintaining clandestine operations within the Western hemisphere because they have in their possession a “launching pad” – Transnistria, the first “frozen conflict” and the 14th Russian Army base, which can be used as a “pressure point” in different negotiations. Through this “open window” to Europe, plus their tradecraft ability, they are able to penetrate and control large swathes of the Republic: Russian speaking minorities, mass-media organizations and different political parties through businesses and other actors. More

No. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017 2017


How to Steal a Billion in the Wild East

How to Steal a Billion in the Wild East

The Republic of Moldova is a very small state in the East of Europe, very far from the rich core of the continent. As an economy, it is one of the smallest in Europe, being the 41st largest economy of the continent (in Purchasing Power Parity methodology) and the 144th largest economy of the world, with a GDP of about 18 billion USD. In nominal terms, the size of the GDP is somewhere over 6 billion (6.8 last year, according to its own statistics). Small is not beautiful here: as an image for its poverty, the trade deficit is over 2 billion US dollars, about 30% of the GDP, and one fifth of the public budget is made up of foreign aid. More

No. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017 2017


The Russian Federation and the Implementation of the A2/AD System in the Black Sea: Risks and Threats to Romania

The Russian Federation and the Implementation of the A2/AD System in the Black Sea: Risks and Threats to Romania

The Crimean Peninsula was under Tatar control until the end of the eighteenth century when Catherine II announced the annexation of the region in 1783 to the Russian Empire. She established the main naval base of the Russian Empire on the Black Sea in the city of Sevastopol in 1785. It retained its importance until 1991 when the Soviet Union collapsed and the peninsula became part of independent Ukraine since it had been offered to the Ukrainian SSR as a gift in 1954 by Nikita Khrushchev, the leader of the Soviet Union at that time, celebrating 300 years of Russian-Ukrainian friendship. The breakup of the Soviet Union meant that its successor state, the Russian Federation, lost the strategic position and the freedom of maneuver which Crimea offered in the Black Sea region. However, Moscow would regain its position on May 28th 1997 when Russian President Boris Yeltsin and Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma signed the Treaty of Friendship Cooperation and Partnership in Kiev. Among other things, it created the division of the Soviet Black Sea Fleet in two parts and allowed the use by the Russian Federation of the Ukrainian port of Sevastopol and its territorial waters until 2017, for 98 million dollars per year.[5] More

No. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017 2017


Germany-Russia: Normative Deadlock and Confrontation Fatigue

Germany-Russia: Normative Deadlock and Confrontation Fatigue

Due to the Ukrainian crisis, political relations between Russia and Germany, which used to call each other “strategic partners” at an earlier date, have hit rock bottom. The Germans were embarrassed by the fact that Russia had undermined, in their view, the foundations of European security architecture of which Germany self-identifies as a key advocate. It even became known that Angela Merkel allegedly said, after one of the rounds of negotiations on Ukraine, that Vladimir Putin “exists in another reality”, which demonstrated very well the deepening communication failure. As a result, Germany was one of the initiators of economic sanctions against Russia, working closely with the Obama Administration on a common policy towards Moscow, and broke off all possible bilateral negotiation formats at the highest level. Some symbolic “red lines” were crossed: for instance, Germany became the framework nation for NATO reassurance forces in Lithuania, so the German army again approached the Western borders of Russia. Both sides described the current state of relations as a complete loss of trust. More

No. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017 2017


Serbia's Geopolitical Position and Challenges, According to Its Elites

Serbia's Geopolitical Position and Challenges, According to Its Elites

Serbia is a state in the Balkans whose foreign policy should be well balanced to be effective, given the heavy historical legacy of the region and its susceptibility to distortions of global politics. That is why Serbia’s elites should know the position of their country in international relations well, and act in accordance with this knowledge. The main problem with this is that most of these elites are predominantly driven by their group and personal interests, rather than the national one. More

No. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017 2017


Serbia – A Blockage of Options

Serbia – A Blockage of Options

The European continent is the most balanced from a civilizational and cultural standpoint, having a common history dating back at least a thousand years and whose co-evolution has meant that concepts of good governance, rule of law, checks and balances and others are interpreted in the same way, even though their application and success differ from one country to another. Despite this, there are four countries currently undergoing a crisis of options. In three of these cases, we are discussing a blockage of geopolitics and psychology, while the fourth option stands to resolve itself in time, according to current trends, even as reactionary forces try to stem the inevitable. This last state is the Republic of Moldova, whose Western path is more difficult and fraught with danger than for other countries, but whose direction is set by economic realities that cannot be denied. More

No. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017 2017


The turning point for Turkey

The turning point for Turkey

2016 proved to be a critical year for the Turkish economy, witnessing enhanced risks of falling into a recession.The situation has been marked by three important events that took place both internally and externally. First of all, last summer’s failed coup d’état and the subsequent repressive measures undertaken by the regime (with more than 50,000 people detained and other 100,000 sacked) outlined the instability of Turkey’s internal politics. Within this context, the European Union bestowed heavy criticism upon the Turkish authorities, and the European Parliament consequently decided on November 24th, 2016 to freeze the accession negotiations, on the basis of severe violations of human rights. More

No. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017 2017


The Clash of Realism and Liberalism: Understanding the Nature of Cooperation on Energy Security between Turkey-Azerbaijan and Georgia

The Clash of Realism and Liberalism: Understanding the Nature of Cooperation on Energy Security between Turkey-Azerbaijan and Georgia

The South Caucasus is home to both important reserves of hydrocarbon resources (oil and gas) and a crossroads of transport routes which connect East and West, as well as North and South. However, despite its geographic significance, as Amanda Paul stated, “the region is one of the most security-challenged and fragmented regions in the world”. It is particularly true that, since the end of the Cold War, the political map of South Caucasus has changed dramatically and the region became a focus point for conflict and competition on the international political agenda. More

No. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017 2017


Trumponomics

Trumponomics

Western political culture is adept at communication through soundbites and sloganizing. Adding suffixes (-nomics, -care, -ism) to names of politicians is one way of supposedly distinguishing their brand of ideology from that of another – Reaganomics, Thatcherism, Clintonomics, Romneycare, Obamacare. Echoing Bill Clinton’s famous campaign war cry, “it’s the economy, stupid!”, Trumponomics is possibly the most important component of President Donald Trump’s “greatness agenda” that won him a previously unthinkable electoral victory. His detractors have lambasted his views as being both heretical to current orthodoxies, as well as overly simplistic, which is another way of bemoaning Trump’s effectiveness as a political communicator and the current electoral revolt against the tyranny of the expert class consensus. However, Trumponomics is being shaped by dissident thinkers[i] encouraged by Trump’s anti-establishment ethos as a valuable and timely critique of past and current policies and how they have affected America itself, not just in the sense of abstract figures like GDP. While it may be a sign of the Trumpmania that swept stock markets in the period leading up to the inauguration, Deutsche Bank[ii] has already announced that Trumponomics will double yearly US growth and add another 0.5 percentage point to global growth by the end of his term, ending the worst economic recovery since The Great Depression:   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


Blurred Lines: Good vs. Good, Evil vs. Evil

Blurred Lines: Good vs. Good, Evil vs. Evil

The fundamental political changes of 2016 are shocking and depressing for some, while being heartening and refreshing for others. It marks the beginning of an era where the old ideological lines between the West and the East are blurring, not necessarily as a consequence of a new wave of politicians manipulating their way through the electorate, but rather due to a new wave of thought in citizens across the Western world. Once again, they are challenging the status quo and saying that the establishment and globalization need to go. More

No. 2, Nov.-Dec. 2016 2016


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OEconomica No. 1, 2016