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International Politics

Australia Launches AUKUS Pact: A Masterclass in Diplomacy or a Diplomatic Disaster?

On 15th September, political leaders from Australia, the UK and the US announced their intentions to set up a trilateral security partnership. The deal, known as AUKUS, represents a commitment to combating China’s growing ambitions in the Indo-Pacific. As part of the agreement, Australia will build a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines in co-operation with the UK and US after scrapping a $90 billion-dollar submarine contract with France. AUKUS represents a revival of historical relations across the Anglosphere and a simultaneous deterioration of relations between members of AUKUS and the EU.   

 

Latin America Politics

Chilean Election Unlikely to Halt New Barriers to Immigration

On 21 November Chileans will go to the ballot box to decide on their next President. The decision will impact whether the status quo persists or a final rupture with the legacy of former dictator Augusto Pinochet follows. With a new Migration Law coming into effect in 2022 and leading candidates standing on starkly contrasting electoral platforms, there are far-reaching implications for migrants coming to the country.

Europe Politics

Europe’s Energy Dependence on Russia Leaves Moldova Vulnerable

The global surge in demand for natural gas following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions has had a devastating impact on Moldova’s energy security. Chisinau had no choice but to enter into negotiations with the Russian state-owned gas giant, Gazprom, to restore its energy supplies. As Russia is set to increase its share of European gas imports in Nord Stream 2, the EU must find a way to help protect Moldova from further Russian pressure.

Europe Politics

Germany’s Recent Election: The Unlikely Power Brokers

The opening of Germany’s 20th legislative period on 26th October 2021 made headlines for many of the reasons most German Bundestag elections do – Germany’s global economic might and political influence in the EU, the world’s largest trading bloc. It also signalled the departure of the country’s longstanding Chancellor, Angela Merkel, as the head of the government, having held the position since 2005. However, aside from the long-anticipated exit of one of Europe’s most familiar political figures, this election also marks the consolidation of political trends set in motion long before voters cast their ballots this September.

Africa Politics

The Coup in Sudan: can democratisation still be achieved?

Following last month’s coup, which dissolved the power-sharing agreement established between the military and civilian forces, protestors took to the streets of the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, demanding the reestablishment of the civilian government. After years of division in leadership, economic hardship and isolation from the international community, this comes as another stumbling block on Sudan’s road to democracy. Nevertheless, military General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, now the head of government, maintains that the military aims to oversee Sudan’s democratic transition by June 2023. Whether this will be possible remains to be seen. 

Middle East/North Africa Politics

Iran – Taliban Relations: What to Expect

On October 4, less than two months since the Taliban takeover of Kabul, leaders of the group met with members of the Iranian delegation in order to discuss trade and business relations. The Iranian embassy in Kabul was one of few to remain operational. Historically, Iran has been considered among the Taliban’s bitter enemies. However, the current developments are indicative of Iran’s commitment to realpolitik.

Europe Politics

French Cultural Pass Encourages Youth to Spend on the Arts

On May 21st 2021, French president Emmanuel Macron announced the Culture Pass. This program  provides €300 to all 18 year olds with the provision that it must be spent on French culture. This money will promote French culture among the nation’s youth and support an industry hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Europe Politics

Rutte for Fourth Term? Splintered Dutch Political Landscape

Approaching 7 months since the last Dutch general election, new cabinet formations have been marred by internal struggles, ministerial scandals, and political betrayals hampering party leaders from partaking in constructive discussions. The current and now demissionary Rutte III cabinet holds the record for the longest cabinet formation in Dutch history: a whopping 225 days, a situation politicians hoped they would never encounter again. However, Rutte’s aspirations to become the Netherlands longest-serving Prime Minister, in combination with the country’s fragmented political landscape, means Dutch citizens must brace themselves for a long formation if not new elections. Recent breakthroughs to restart the current coalition have signaled a possible end to formations, but if it falls through, new elections are inevitable.

India Politics South and Central Asia

Sher Bahadur Deuba’s Victory: What Does it Mean for Nepal’s Neighbourhood?

The electoral turmoil in Nepal witnessed a new development, when on the 20th of December, 2020 the nation’s president, Bidya Devi Bhandari dissolved its parliament. Months of uncertainty in Government, coupled with the disastrous impact of the pandemic drove the nation to a political stalemate, until Sher Bahadur Deuba secured the position of Prime Minister with the backing of the parliament. What is the future course that the new Nepalese government will take and how will it shape their future in the region?   K.P Sharma Oli’s exit has stalled China’s rapprochement of Nepal, leaving a vacuum that can be filled by neighbouring aspirations from India. Nepal’s future in the South Asian neighbourhood will be marked by its management of the two regional powers, and a potential balancing act that can protect its self interests.

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.