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Politics South and Central Asia

Russia-Armenia Ties Complicate Turkish Regional Plans

In ending Armenian occupation of Azerbaijani territories in Nagorno-Karabakh, the Russian-brokered accord between Armenia and Azerbaijan in November 2020 removes the Azerbaijani condition for the creation of a regional stability pact in the South Caucasus first proposed in 1999. The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, hopes that Armenia will now take the steps needed to establish such a security system. However, the political crisis in Armenia since the November ceasefire calls into question whether Yerevan will have the willingness to commit to this regional initiative.

Politics Southeast Asia

Potential Backlash of EU Sanctions for People of Myanmar

Countries around the world have had conflicting responses to the military coup that removed Aung San Suu Kyi and replaced Myanmar’s democratically elected government with the Tatmadaw. While some countries, such as the United States, are choosing to target specific members of this junta, the bloc of nations that comprise the European Union (EU) are considering targeting military businesses with sanctions following the violent crackdown that has left 61 peaceful protesters dead. If the EU places sanctions on these junta affiliated conglomerates, a true quagmire will reveal itself, as the general population in Myanmar will be the most afflicted. 

Latin America Politics

Cuba: Will Political Change follow Economic Liberalisation?

In response to crippling economic stagnation, Cuba has passed regulations which hint at a turn towards a more market-driven economy. However, political control over key sectors including education and the media still lies heavily with the state. The most striking policy, which allows thousands of professions to run outside the remit of the state, will change the character of business within Cuba and may lead to increased innovation and interaction with international markets. Could Cuba’s economic liberalisation lead to further political freedoms?

Africa Politics South Africa

South Africa’s Secondary Pandemic: A Crisis of Gender Based Violence

In South Africa, sometimes known as the ‘destination of femicide’, more than 2,700 women have been murdered as result of gender-based violence (GBV) since 2000. Although grassroots organisations have persistently campaigned to end GBV, many women in South Africa continue to suffer abuse. Now, South Africa’s GBV problem is worsening, as lockdown measures have trapped women inside with their abusers.

 

Africa Politics

Somalia’s Election Impasse: History Repeating Itself

Somalia has found itself in a situation that is very familiar – an election impasse. Despite hopes of a smooth transition of power and a new election model being implemented, multiple challenges faced the election, which was scheduled for February 8th, 2021. However, these challenges are not new, and one has to wonder how Somalia has found itself in this situation again. Regardless of the outcome of the election impasse, the impacts thereof will have long lasting effects on Somalia’s democratic hopes.

Middle East/North Africa Politics

The Precarious Balancing act of President Tebboune

President Tebboune has undertaken several political manoeuvres since the start of the year to balance against a number of threats presented by both the Hirak Movement and internal opposition. Whilst calculated, Tebboune’s balancing act is not likely to soothe Hirak frustrations, particularly when his reforms are so shallow in nature. Coupled with the increasingly perilous economic conditions, Algeria is set to see a resurgence in the Hirak movement once again.

Middle East/North Africa Politics

Lebanon: State Paralysis is Fomenting Political Violence

Amidst persistent economic deterioration and governmental breakdown, Lebanon has increasingly seen a worrying trend towards civic unrest and political violence. As the breakdown sees no sign of abating, public dismay at the elite is leading to riots which are being brutally repressed by the Lebanese authorities. Concurrently, one can witness a rise in tensions both within and outwith the sects. Lebanon suffered fifteen long years of conflict, raising the question of whether the country will see a repeat of previous misery.

Politics Southeast Asia

Japan’s Glass Ceiling: Obstacles to Women’s Participation in the Workplace

Female participation in Japan’s workforce has increased in the last few decades but Japan still ranks poorly in terms of women’s participation in politics and corporate organisations relative to other developed economies. Initiatives to rectify this inequality struggle due to gendered social expectations and unfavourable political conditions.

Africa Politics

Côte d’Ivoire – Do new EU laws promise sweet success or a bitter aftertaste?

Impending EU legislation seeks to reduce the Côte d’Ivoire cocoa industry’s reliance on minimum wages, child labour, and environmental degradation. Yet these efforts may be hindered by the coronavirus pandemic, and cynical buyers seeking alternative sources. The EU’s efforts also come as the industry in Côte d’Ivoire sits in the midst of several complex political and legal storms.

Africa Politics

East African Federation Looks Set for Further Delay

The creation of an East African Federation (EAF) has been steadily progressing since the latest initiative began at the very end of the 20th century. The proposed ‘super-state’ has received rhetorical support from African leaders and would be an exciting development in sub-Saharan Africa. However, such progress has been repeatedly beset by setbacks and delays and looks certain to be delayed once again, with the 2023 target for confederation almost certain to be missed. Several underlying issues need to be resolved if the project is to avoid the complete collapse that befell previous attempts.