23 May 2024

China’s Economic Slowdown: Strategic Responses and Global Implications

China, despite being the second-largest economy globally, encounters challenges such as a distressed real estate sector, reduced domestic consumption, and high debt levels. In response to these obstac...
22 May 2024

ASEAN’s Lessons: A Blueprint for Peace in the Middle East

This article was originally published on Ahram Online on May 21, 2024.   Southeast Asia’s history, marred by prolonged conflicts since the 1950s, offers pertinent lessons for strife-torn re...
20 May 2024

What’s Next for Iran?

Al Habtoor Research Centre’s Commentary articles allow researchers to provide quick, informed responses to ongoing topics, emphasizing personal perspectives and expert opinions without the weigh...
19 May 2024

The Politicization of EU Corruption: Where Does It Lead?

“I appeal to you to resist the temptation to exploit this moment for political gain.”   A statement made in December 2022 by Roberta Metsola, President of the European Parliament (EP), in respons...
16 May 2024

Why the EU Elections Matter

The stakes are high for the EU elections which are set to take place on June 6. Since the last elections in 2019, the bloc has faced a significant number of complex challenges with the COVID-19 Pandem...

Programmes

The Politicization of EU Corruption: Where Does It Lead?

19 May 2024
“I appeal to you to resist the temptation to exploit this moment for political gain.”   A statement made in December 2022 by Roberta Metsola, President of the European Parliament (EP), in response to one of the bloc’s biggest corruption scandals, reveals a larger story about the politicization of corruption in European politics.

China’s Economic Slowdown: Strategic Responses and Global Implications

23 May 2024
China, despite being the second-largest economy globally, encounters challenges such as a distressed real estate sector, reduced domestic consumption, and high debt levels. In response to these obstacles, the government is enacting policies aimed at encouraging domestic spending, mitigating the real estate downturn, and cultivating innovation to ensure sustainable development. The way these measures are implemented will not only impact the economic trajectory of China, but also that of the entire world.

ASEAN’s Lessons: A Blueprint for Peace in the Middle East

22 May 2024
This article was originally published on Ahram Online on May 21, 2024.   Southeast Asia's history, marred by prolonged conflicts since the 1950s, offers pertinent lessons for strife-torn regions seeking stability. The spectre of the Cold War transformed countries like Vietnam into battlegrounds for over two decades, pitting communist and capitalist ideologies in a gruelling contest. Laos, too, bore the scars of proxy warfare, enduring a protracted struggle between the communist Pathet Lao forces, backed by a sizable contingent of North Vietnamese troops of Laotian descent, and the royal government, in a conflict that spanned more than two decades.

Most Read

Why the EU Elections Matter
Programmes
16 May 2024

Why the EU Elections Matter

The stakes are high for the EU elections which are set to take place on June 6. Since the last elections in 2019, the bloc has faced a significant number of complex challenges with the COVID-19 Pandemic and ongoing Russia-Ukraine War shocking the bloc’s economy and energy security, bringing to surface critical questions about common foreign and defence policy and triggering a crisis of misinformation, potential foreign extortion, and anti-EU sentiment to name a few. While the 2024 elections are expected by many to be a difficult test for European solidarity and resilience, they also have implications that reach beyond the bloc.
The Economic Impacts of Boycotts Against Israel and Supporting Companies
Programmes

The Economic Impacts of Boycotts Against Israel and Supporting Companies

The documented history of employing a boycott as an economic weapon traces its origins to 432 B.C., Athens enacted the Megarian Decree, named after the city of Megara in ancient Greece. This decree comprised a series of economic sanctions, with a pivotal measure prohibiting Megarian goods from entering Athens. It extended to restricting Athenian ships from docking in Megara and, ultimately, barred Megarians from trading within the Athenian market.   In response, Megara and its allies in the Peloponnesian League took retaliatory economic actions, prominently featuring a boycott of Athenian goods. This reciprocal economic pressure adversely affected both entities, culminating in the onset of the Peloponnesian War. Lasting approximately 27 years, this conflict subsequently impeded the growth and continuity of Greek civilisation.   The following centuries witnessed the global utilisation of economic boycotts for various political purposes, primarily targeting the party subject to the sanctions, causing it to abandon a particular policy. Noteworthy instances include the Jews' first-century B.C. boycott of Roman goods, a protest against Roman occupation. In the 16th century, the Dutch Republic boycotted Spanish goods in opposition to Spanish rule. Additionally, during the 18th century, the U.S. colonies boycotted British goods as a protest against exorbitant taxes.   Contrary to common belief in the Arab world, the weaponisation of economic boycotts is not a recent phenomenon. Over the past two centuries, numerous academic studies have comprehensively examined and analysed its impact on both the boycotting and boycotted economies. These studies aim to gauge the effectiveness of economic boycotts in realising their intended goals.   The tactic of economic boycotts made its debut in the context of the Arab-Israeli conflict in 1922, when Palestinian Arab leaders initiated a boycott targeting Jewish-owned businesses in Palestine, aiming to inflict economic harm upon the Jewish population. These boycott attempts persisted sporadically throughout the 1930s and 1940s, with a notable instance occurring in 1936 when Palestinian Arab leaders advocated for a comprehensive boycott of all things associated with Jewish identity, even resorting to physical violence against Arabs who disregarded the boycott. Despite these efforts, the boycott proved unsuccessful, given the significant reliance of the Palestinian population on Jewish professionals such as lawyers, doctors, and hospitals.   Subsequently, the boycott assumed a regional dimension in December 1945 when the six states comprising the Arab League jointly issued the initial call for an economic boycott against the Jewish community in Palestine. This declaration went beyond mere encouragement and urged all Arab countries, regardless of their League membership status, to prohibit the trade of Jewish products.   In 1946, the situation evolved with the Arab League establishing the Permanent Boycott Committee, intending to heighten the implementation of the boycott. Despite these efforts, the boycott's lack of success became evident, as outlined in the first annual report of the Boycott Committee.   Following the committee's shortcomings, the League swiftly bolstered its structure, transforming it into the Central Boycott Office. Headquartered in Damascus, it established branch offices in every member state of the Arab League. The pivotal role of the county commissioner was instituted to lead the office, accompanied by appointed deputies serving as liaison officers accredited by each member state of the Arab League.   The Central Office in Damascus assumed the pivotal role of coordinating the boycott in tandem with its affiliated offices. It was responsible for presenting regular reports to the Council of the Arab League. Starting from 1951, semiannual meetings were scheduled to synchronise boycott policies and formulate blacklists of individuals and companies breaching the boycott. The punitive measures were executed locally, with each member state implementing decisions through legal and administrative executive procedures.   From 1951 to the present moment of composing this analysis, calls for boycotts have been recurrent with each political conflict between Palestinians and Israelis. They have been wielded as a means of resistance against Israeli occupation and its perceived unjust policies toward the Palestinian population. However, these calls have generally manifested in three distinct patterns, as explained below.
Has Moscow’s Control Over Europe Become Uncontrollable?
Programmes
8 May 2024

Has Moscow’s Control Over Europe Become Uncontrollable?

It appears that Russian influence has been steadily spreading across Europe, stretching from the eastern regions of the continent to its central and western borders. Moscow's reach isn't confined solely to nations within its sphere of influence; it also affects broader European foreign policy and the trajectory of the bloc's future.
Macron’s War Rhetoric and his Desperate Quest for Prestige
Programmes
10 Mar 2024

Macron’s War Rhetoric and his Desperate Quest for Prestige

“Nothing should be ruled out” said French President Emmanuel Macron when asked about possibilities of sending troops to Ukraine. By speaking about going to war, Macron may have aimed to dispel a long-standing joke about the French always surrendering. However, both French and NATO leaders have publicly rejected the idea of sending European or alliance troops to Ukraine. Prominent figures such as U.S. President Joseph Biden, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, and others have asserted that such action is not on the table. The widespread domestic and regional opposition implies that even if Macron was genuinely considering sending troops to Ukraine, he would not receive the necessary support for such a radical decision.
The War on TikTok: Security Concerns and Anti-Semitism
Programmes
22 Apr 2024

The War on TikTok: Security Concerns and Anti-Semitism

Social media has played a pivotal role in reshaping the narratives of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict since the outbreak of Oct. 7. The dissemination of news and information now extends far beyond traditional media outlets. Instead, social media platforms have emerged as potent influencers, surpassing the resonance of weapons and delineating a global divide between Israel and Palestine. These platforms have become arenas of contention, with users segregating into supporters and opponents, rendering them susceptible to content-related pressures amid the war. The war on Gaza has once again thrust TikTok into a heated discourse regarding the application's dangers and impact as a global forum for ordinary individuals to voice their opinions while also serving as a battleground for political factions to vie for narrative control. This debate assumes added significance as the audience of traditional news outlets continues to dwindle.   Recently, numerous TikTok videos concerning the war on Gaza garnered widespread attention, accompanied by pro-Palestinian hashtags, prompting Israeli President Isaac Herzog to engage in discussions with TikTok executives in February 2024. Expressing apprehension over the surge in antisemitic content on the platform since the onset of the Israeli war on Gaza, they assured President Herzog of their commitment to address the issue in the future. In a related context, social media companies based in the United States have already demonstrated a readiness to censor pro-Palestinian content. Human Rights Watch, in its December 2023 report, documented over 1,050 instances of content removal and suppression on Instagram and Facebook by Palestinians and their supporters between October and November 2023.   In this context, U.S. legislators, conservative activists, and technology investors have voiced calls to ban TikTok in the U.S., citing escalating concerns. These calls gained significant traction on March 13, 2024, when the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted in favour of a bill. The bill places ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, with two options, both fraught with implications: either sell the application to a U.S.-based company or confront a ban on distribution through significant platforms and application stores. President Joseph Biden voiced his backing for the bill and signalled his readiness to sign it into law pending Senate approval. However, the U.S. initiative this time brings forth broader concerns beyond national security, encompassing the application's ramifications on Israel's reputation. The country's standing has been damaged due to the swift dissemination of content depicting Israel's crimes against civilians in the Gaza Strip.   This analysis aims to elucidate the reasons behind the shift in the U.S. perspective on TikTok, moving from security concerns to the perception of promoting antisemitism. What repercussions would the embargo have on both the United States and Israel?

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What’s Next for Iran?

20 May 2024

Global Navigation Systems and Houthi Missiles

19 Feb 2024

Israel and the ICJ: Resuscitating Global Order

11 Jan 2024

Taiwan’s Elections: What Does it Bring for the World?

14 Jan 2024

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