Opinion: The Russian Invasion of Ukraine in Context

History provides the vital context to explain why events have come to pass in the international arena. Why did Russia invade Ukraine? Why might conflict in that region persist? In the current conflict, many commentators look to the past few decades as the source of aggression. But, Russian aggression is shaped not exclusively by events in the recent past. Russia today does not embody a civilisation of just the last 30 or 100 years.

Opinion: The Russian Invasion of Ukraine in Context
The Role of International Organizations in Climate Governance

International organizations like the United Nations (UN), the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the World Economic Forum (WEF) are in many ways the leaders of global climate mitigation efforts. With their professional knowledge, monitoring functions, and facilitating capabilities for collaboration, international organizations should receive as much data as possible regarding the international execution of climate policies from state actors. In turn, they should use the findings to bridge existing gaps between countries in order to instigate a more efficient and globally coordinated effort to mitigate climate change.

The Role of International Organizations in Climate Governance
A Major Shift? The Significance of Colombia’s Upcoming Presidential Election

The results of Colombia’s 13th March presidential primary elections have shed light on who the leading candidates are for the country’s approaching presidential election on 29th May. Leader of the Historic Pact (Pacto Histórico) coalition and ex-guerrilla fighter Gustavo Petro stood out among his competitors by receiving 3 million votes, the largest number of votes received by any candidate during the primaries. Federico Gutiérrez, former mayor of Medellín, emerged as his closest competitor, netting around 1.4 million votes.

A Major Shift? The Significance of Colombia’s Upcoming Presidential Election
Opinion: Colombia’s Violent Start to 2022: A Key Electoral Cycle

The New Year has not had a happy start for many Colombians: An already alarming security situation is currently escalating into new record levels of violence in several parts of the country. Although the perpetrators vary regionally, the main affected are the same: the civilian population in general, and social leaders and human rights defenders in particular. In addition to the weak response of the Colombian state so far, observers expect a further deterioration linked to the upcoming legislative and presidential elections. 

Opinion: Colombia’s Violent Start to 2022: A Key Electoral Cycle

Politics

Colombia’s governing right was defeated in March’s legislative elections. However, significant discrepancies between the preliminary and the final vote count have led to  allegations of fraud and calls for a nation-wide recount. Ahead of crucial presidential elections this month, this crisis is likely to foster further distrust and popular disenchantment with Colombian politicians and the state more generally.

Economics

Since partition in 1921, the Irish border has economically, politically, and culturally divided the island. Despite this, cross-border relationships have formed and evolved. Governments have a strong hand in promoting or denouncing said evolution, with development funds and projects historically being the most effective and visible means. However, as Brexit disrupts the status quo, private funds are gaining influence over the cross-border relationship. This article will analyze the implications of economic fluctuations on Northern Ireland’s political stability and the subsequent ramifications for British politics.

Finance

Monetary easing and bailout expectations are embedded in post-2008 central banking, often justified on the grounds of systemic stability or public expectations. The truth is that on top of nurturing moral hazard, the Fed put impedes innovation and productive investment. 

Security

Azerbaijan has sought to exploit the world’s and Russia’s preoccupation with the war in Ukraine in order to militarily resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh crisis. As Moscow becomes extensively embroiled in its so-called ‘special military operation’ against Kiev, it is highly likely that Baku will feel emboldened enough to push further into the contested region, even if this results in the antagonisation of Russian peacekeepers.

Natural Resources

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Energy security has been at the center of the geopolitical conversation in recent weeks, as the invasion of Ukraine has shed a light once more on Europe’s dependency on Russian oil & gas. The incident has left leaders scrambling for alternative energy supply, manifesting in part through the unveiling of the EU’s plan to end their reliance on Russian gas. Hydrogen as an energy carrier is a core pillar of this plan, with the European Commission calling for a quadrupling of hydrogen use by 2030. 

Technology

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Ten years after the Arab Spring, the shockwaves from the surge of democratic protests across the Middle East continue to reverberate throughout the region in the form of smouldering multidimensional proxy conflicts in Syria, Libya and Yemen. Great and regional powers’ increasing employment of drones, disinformation and local proxies are exacerbating broader global trends associated with hyper-globalisation, emerging technologies and societal fragmentation. Collectively, these trends fuel the multidimensional geopolitical contest being played out across the Middle East; an ominous harbinger of the murky shadow wars representing the new face of conflict in the twenty-first century.