April 30, 2017

Empowering Kurdistan

A girl in the crowds at an HDP meeting calling for peace, justice and reconciliation, Istanbul, May 2015. (Photo by Julia Buzaud, Creative Commons License)

What made a Kurdish victory possible in Turkey’s recent elections – and what does the future hold? Read More »

Iran Nuclear Deal: Beginning of Peace Marathon?

Official photo of the "Iran Deal". EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini attends with foreign ministers at the UN headquarter, the venue of the nuclear talks in Vienna, Austria on July 14, 2015. (Photo by European External Action Service, Creative Commons License)

International diplomacy has witnessed yet another astonishing event – this time around with the seven-nation accord on Iranian nuclear ambitions announced on July 14. Read More »

Greece and its ‘Eurogeddon’

(Photo by desbyrnephotos, Creative Commons License)

Despite the European Commission’s pronouncement of a Grexit scenario having been in place, this seems unlikely. In all likelihood it will be the euro that will suffer more and possibly fall apart if Greece exits in one way or another. Read More »

Armenia: Approaching the Precipice

Armenians protest against increase in electricity prices. (Photo by HyeMedia)

Armenia is now approaching a precipice, with an increasingly stubborn government unwilling or unable to offer any concessions set against an ever more resolute group of empowered and enthusiastic youth activists. Thus, there seems to be no clear way out of this stalemate, as each side finds it more difficult to back down from its demands. Read More »

Saudi Arabia is Simmering at Home?

King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud receives governors of regions in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on the occasion of their 22nd annual meeting. (Photo courtesy SPA)

To hear Saudi leaders tell it, the kingdom is under constant threat from Iran. But graver threats of their own making lurk at home. Opinion-makers in Saudi Arabia itself have a different narrative about the growing instability in the region. Here is what they argue. Read More »

Ghostly Bulgaria

A stop sign and an empty bus stop at the Bulgarian village of Raykova mogila near the Turkish border. (Photo by Hristo Rusev, via New Internationalist)

Tales of poverty, depopulation and despair in the Balkan nation’s border regions with Turkey. Marked by steady unemployment and lack of hope, thousands of Bulgarians have fled their native places in search of a better life deeper in the country or abroad. This exodus has left a trail of destruction. Read More »

Asian Century Must Begin with Great-power Accommodation

President Barack Obama with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping. (Photo by Prachatai, Creative Commons License)

Leadership is ineluctably a zero-sum game. It is much more likely that a stable and collaborative new leadership order in Asia will only emerge if political leaders are willing to work hard and make real sacrifices to create it. As a first step, both the US and China would need to recognize and acknowledge the need for mutual accommodation. Read More »

Rohingya’s Life After the Boat Journey to Malaysia

Photo credit: The Spacemen

Though many many Rohingya refugees are grateful to be living in Malaysia, some can see no future there and hope for resettlement in another country, while others dream of a day when Burma is peaceful, democratic and accepting of them so they can return home. Read More »

Redefining Japan’s Asia Diplomacy

Japan's PM Shinzo Abe coming out of his official aircraft. (Photo via APEC 2013, Creative Commons  License)

Japan, along with the rest of Asia, must seize anew the opportunity to join in shaping the future of the regional architecture. During the lost decades, Japan’s Achilles heel was its inability to see the bigger picture. Japan must now ‘think big’ and engage multilaterally for the Asian regional order. Read More »

Central Asia’s Future: Three Powers, Three Visions

Participants in the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council meeting. (Photo courtesy Presidential Press and Information Office, Kremlin)

China, Russia and the U.S. each have visions to connect Central Asia with the rest of Eurasia. Read More »