Most Recent

China’s Economic Slowdown: Strategic Responses and Global Implications
Programmes
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 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
Programmes
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 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.
The Politicization of EU Corruption: Where Does It Lead?
Programmes
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 response to one of the bloc’s biggest corruption scandals, reveals a larger story about the politicization of corruption in European politics.
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.

Early Warning

The Politicization of EU Corruption: Where Does It Lead?
Programmes
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 response to one of the bloc’s biggest corruption scandals, reveals a larger story about the politicization of corruption in European politics.
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.
Twin Flames: Ethiopia, Somaliland and the New Horn of Africa
Programmes
17 Apr 2024

Twin Flames: Ethiopia, Somaliland and the New Horn of Africa

In January of 2024, landlocked Ethiopia officially considered the formal recognition of Somaliland, which declared independence from Somalia in 1991 and remains an unrecognised de facto state. This potential agreement, which would be in exchange for access to the Gulf of Aden through the port of Berbera, reignited tensions with neighbouring Somalia. Although the exact details of the agreement have not yet been fully disclosed, Somalia considers it to be an annexation of territory potentially. Still, its demands for an end to the agreement have seemingly been ignored by its neighbours.
The Vicious Cycle of Violence: Next Steps Post-Jordan Attack
Programmes
30 Jan 2024

The Vicious Cycle of Violence: Next Steps Post-Jordan Attack

On Jan. 28, 2024, a significant drone strike occurred at an American military outpost situated along the Jordanian-Syrian border. The targeted attack led to the death of three American troops, with 34 additional personnel sustaining injuries, as reported in the latest statement released on Jan. 30, 2024.   This event holds profound implications and is poised to instigate repercussions that warrant careful analysis and monitoring. Notably, it marks the first instance of American service members being killed by hostile fire in the Middle East since the commencement of the Israel-Hamas War. The attack's location and timing carry additional connotations, underscoring the need to anticipate and evaluate the potential developments that may occur.   Moreover, the Islamic Resistance in Iraq (IRI) claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement, explicitly stating, “We targeted four enemy bases, including three situated in Syria: Al-Shaddadi base, Al-Rukban base, and Al-Tanf base (located near the Syrian-Jordanian border). The fourth targeted base is within the occupied Palestinian territories, identified as the Zevulun Naval Facility.”

Economics and Energy

China’s Economic Slowdown: Strategic Responses and Global Implications
Programmes
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 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.
Rise of Regional Investment Blocs: A New Era of FDI Fragmentation
Programmes
17 Apr 2024

Rise of Regional Investment Blocs: A New Era of FDI Fragmentation

The world economy is at a turning point, with a visible tendency to reverse the integration that was seen in the last decades of the 20th century. Growing scepticism about the benefits of globalisation, particularly in developed countries, accompanied the sluggish recovery after the Global Financial Crisis (GFC). This uncertainty led to a purposeful policy change away from integration known as geoeconomic fragmentation (GEF). A variety of policies impacting capital flows, worker mobility, and trade are included in GEF. GEF policies are motivated by a variety of factors, such as correcting internal economic inequities, economic competition, and national security concerns. Foreign direct investment (FDI), which has been declining recently, particularly in emerging countries, is another indication of how this trend toward GEF has affected FDI and the need for quick action to reverse it.
The Fallout of Escalating Iranian-Israeli Tensions
Programmes
17 Apr 2024

The Fallout of Escalating Iranian-Israeli Tensions

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard's Air Force made a historic move by launching a direct assault on Israel in an operation dubbed "The True Promise," marking the first instance of such an attack originating from Iranian territory. Late on Saturday, April 13, 2024, Israeli cities were subjected to a relentless barrage of drones and ballistic missiles, signalling a significant escalation in tensions between the two nations. This offensive action follows Iran's earlier pledge to retaliate against Israel for its targeting of the Iranian consulate in Damascus, an incident that resulted in the deaths of seven Revolutionary Guard members, including two high-ranking leaders, on April 1.   This calculated escalation underscores Iran's unwavering commitment to defending its sovereignty and national interests while bolstering regional security. The global spotlight now shifts to the scale, sophistication, and broader implications of Iran's strike against Israel.   The Iranian assault on Israeli soil marks a pivotal moment in the ongoing conflict between the two adversaries, thrusting their hostilities from the shadows into the open arena of direct confrontation.   Against this backdrop, the Israeli response hinges on several key factors. Firstly, the extent to which Iranian proxies, such as the Houthis and Hezbollah, may actively participate in the conflict will influence Israel's strategic calculus. Secondly, the response will be shaped by the presence or absence of casualties among Israeli forces, as well as the effectiveness of its defence systems, bolstered by support from the United States, in mitigating potential damage. Lastly, how Israel opts to retaliate will be of paramount importance in determining the trajectory of the conflict.   Consequently, this analysis aims to elucidate the attack's ramifications and its economic repercussions on the parties involved in the conflict.
Israel-Hamas War: A Potential Breaking Point for Israeli Society
Programmes

Israel-Hamas War: A Potential Breaking Point for Israeli Society

The dynamics between the Haredi Jewish community and the state of Israel are intricate and peculiar, shaped by many complex factors. Despite their historical opposition to the state's establishment and its Zionist underpinnings, they have emerged as prominent beneficiaries within Israeli society. Despite their active involvement in politics, with dedicated parties and ministerial representation in successive Israeli governments, the Haredi community seeks to diminish government authority over them. They maintain superficial compliance while preserving their self-organised societal structures.   These contradictions have been a continual source of critique within Israeli society since the State's inception. Successive Israeli administrations have consistently granted numerous privileges to the Haredi Jewish community, influenced by their political and religious sway. Chief among these privileges is their exemption from mandatory conscription, unlike other societal groups, accompanied by various financial incentives. However, the landscape is poised for significant transformation following the Gaza war.   This analysis aims to delve into the economic traits of the Haredi Jewish community and explore their broader economic impacts on Israeli society.

Political Studies

ASEAN’s Lessons: A Blueprint for Peace in the Middle East
Programmes
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 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.
The Politicization of EU Corruption: Where Does It Lead?
Programmes
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 response to one of the bloc’s biggest corruption scandals, reveals a larger story about the politicization of corruption in European politics.
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.
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?