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Europe Finance

Towards a Digital Euro: What Does It Mean for the Safety of Europe?

The digitalization of the economy and the rapid spread of virtual currencies have created unprecedented opportunities for cross-border illicit activities. The most recent proposal of the European Central Bank for the development of a central bank digital currency is no exception. Known as a digital euro, the project is envisioned to differ from crypto-assets and stable coins in its centralized oversight and control of digital transactions. Hence, by allowing a central banking authority to monitor and verify online transactions, a digital euro could facilitate the fight against organized crime in the EU. Yet, the currently proposed design possibilities of a digital euro reveal vulnerabilities to compliance with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regulations, as well as pose a significant threat to the safety of children in the digital space. 

Africa Security

Is Climate Change Fuelling Al-Shabaab’s Resurgence in Somalia?

Somalia has long struggled with the dual challenges of armed conflict and climate change, as observers of the fragile state suggest that the two phenomena are inextricably interlinked. Somalia’s experience illustrates how these complex linkages are indirect and contextual as shifting migration patterns, internal displacement and increased resource pressures exacerbate communal tensions and place unprecedented strain upon traditional modes of conflict management. Al-Shabaab has proved adept at exploiting such natural resource pressures and interclan tensions to fuel their jihadist insurgency in a manner which ominously foreshadows the future climate wars of the twenty-first century.

Africa Technology and infrastructure

African Aviation: Ready for Take Off Once Again

The African aviation industry, like its counterparts around the world, has endured a tumultuous pandemic. Losses in revenue and traffic, as well as uncertainty about future prospects, have pushed some airlines to the brink of collapse and beyond. Yet, other operators have seized the opportunities presented, and the sector’s ambitions have never been higher.

Europe Security

The Afghanistan Withdrawal’s Impact on the EU’s Strategic Autonomy

The US withdrawal from Afghanistan throws the NATO alliance’s sustainability into a state of flux.  European policymakers may pursue a more deliberate course toward strategic autonomy if they determine that America is no longer a credible partner.  Some quarters consider  independent European security to be an impractical overcorrection given Europe’s capability deficiencies.  The withdrawal from Afghanistan provides the opportunity for transatlantic policymakers to reassess NATO’s strategic priorities. 

Asia Pacific Politics

Japanese Politics Heats Up: the Contest for the Next LDP Leader

Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), the country’s dominant political party, is set for a leadership election on 29th September. The outcome of the election will be significant as the winner will become Japan’s new Prime Minister and head the party in Japan’s general election, scheduled for late November this year. Competition is likely to be fierce for the LDP’s top spot. Presuming that the LDP wins this year’s general election, the victor of the leadership election will have the opportunity to shape Japan’s national trajectory.

Economics Middle East/North Africa

Stable but stagnant: Transforming Jordan’s economy

After attempts by Prince Hamzah bin al-Hussein and other government officials to destabilize the country, King Abdullah of Jordan is eager to bolster his already strong ties with the US. While foreign policy may be high on the agenda, Jordanian policymakers should pay more attention to the pressing economic issues weighing on the country.

Asia Pacific Risk Pulse

Myanmar: Southeast Asia’s Next Frontline of Jihadism?

In November 2020, Myanmar’s first explicitly Salafi-Jihadist militant group, Katibah al-Mahdi fi Bilad al-Arakan, declared jihad against Naypyidaw to avenge the persecution of Rohingya Muslims by Myanmar’s military junta. Now, Southeast Asia’s poorest nation grapples with a multidimensional humanitarian catastrophe in the aftermath of the 1 February coup d’état. Myanmar’s spiralling violence and the presence of over a million Rohingya refugees in squalid conditions in neighbouring Bangladesh has created a fertile ground for radicalisation, raising the prospect of a new jihadist front at the crossroads of South and Southeast Asia.

Insights Politics

Erdogan Seizes a Strategic Opportunity in Afghanistan

Following the Taliban takeover, Recep Tayyip Erdogan has decided that Turkey will maintain a diplomatic presence in Afghanistan while its fellow NATO allies complete their evacuation. This development in Turkish foreign policy may be seen as part of a shift in strategic thinking in Ankara. Although Erdogan’s assertive approach to foreign affairs has shored up his political standing at home, it has resulted in Turkey becoming increasingly isolated. With the situation in Afghanistan deteriorating, Erdogan is seizing the opportunity to reinvigorate his country’s strategic regional importance.

Latin America Politics

Colombia’s Tax Reforms: An Overview and Forecast

On 15th April, Colombia’s government presented its latest proposal for fiscal reforms to Congress, the so-called Sustainable Solidarity Bill (Proyecto de ley Solidaridad Sostenible). If made law, the bill will have wide ranging effects on taxation and social spending in Colombia. The bill has proved controversial, prompting criticism from parties on both the political left and right in the context of upcoming elections in 2022.

Economics Europe Politics

The Gatekeeper for PM David Cameron: An Interview with Kate Fall 

GRI’s co-founder Basim Al-Ahmadi sat down via Zoom with Kate Fall to discuss her pivotal role as Deputy Chief of Staff under Prime Minister David Cameron.