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Latin America Politics

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.

Insights Latin America Politics

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. 

Debate Corner Europe Politics

Does Scotland Need the EU?

Scottish independence is trusted back into the spotlight after the Brexit referendum, and EU membership is key to that dream. However, Britain does not oppose Scottish independence alone, as Scotland leaving the UK and joining the EU helps Catalonia argue for their own independence from Spain.

Middle East/North Africa Security

The United Arab Emirates and Houthi Attacks: Successes and Risks

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been exposed to a recent wave of drone and missile strikes from Houthi militants in Yemen. These attacks are in retaliation to a change in the UAE’s strategy in its intervention in Yemen’s civil war. The UAE’s robust defense systems have been able to thwart Houthi attacks. However, the UAE’s continued intervention in Yemen risks provoking Houthi rebels into adopting military tactics that target civilians. The mere risk of such an attack would negatively affect the UAE’s perception of security, which is crucial for the UAE’s success as an economic powerhouse of the Middle East. 

Europe Security

Political Tensions and Russian Influence: Threats to Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Rising tensions in Bosnia and Herzegovina are dragging the country into its most precarious political situation since the Bosnian War of 1992-1995. In early October 2021, Milorad Dodik – Bosnian Serb leader and member of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s tripartite presidency – announced plans to form an independent Bosnian Serb Army and pull out of joint state institutions. With international presence in the region waning, unresolved rivalries and opposing interests among the various ethnic groups have resurfaced. Combined with political interference from both Russia and Serbia, the situation threatens to damage the Dayton Peace Agreement of 1995.

Environment International Natural resources and energy

Geopolitical Impact of “The Hydrogen Factor”

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. 

Europe Politics

Opinion: Leveling Up Britain: Long-awaited White Paper Details Promised Post-Brexit Economic Policy

In the first week of February 2022, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities published a long-awaited White Paper. The White Paper details a series of promised policies espoused by the Conservative Party aimed at helping grow the UK’s economy, while balancing regional inequalities.

Europe Insights Politics

Italy’s Presidential Election: What Comes Next?

On 29 January 2022, after eight rounds of voting, Italy re-elected Sergio Mattarella as President of the Republic. To many, this result came as a surprise, because Mattarella himself had clearly expressed his intention to step down based on moral grounds: while not expressly forbidden by the Constitution, the re-election of an incumbent head of state should be avoided–as then President Antonio Segni put it in a speech delivered in 1963 and recently cited by Mattarella–because the sheer possibility of it may create incentives for the incumbent to engage in acts meant to favor his or her re-election, de facto calling into question the impartiality of the President.

China Insights

A Dark ‘n’ Stormy Future for Chinese Economic Coercion?

The opening shots in a Taiwanese trade response to Chinese economic coercion appear to be filled with Lithuanian rum. The Taiwanese National Development Council recently posted on Facebook recipes for “dark ‘n’ stormy” cocktails, French toast, and steak, among other items in an effort to promote consumption of the 20,400 bottles of rum diverted to Taiwan. The large shipment was purchased by the country’s state-owned Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor (TTL) company. While Taiwan’s decision does encourage citizens to try fun new cocktails and recipes, it appears to be primarily a strategy to offset risks for friends and partners in international trade.

Insights

Meet The Man Behind Brexit: An Interview With Dr. Alan Sked

GRI sat down with Dr. Alan Sked to discuss his founding of UKIP (UK Independence Party), why he became a Eurosceptic and advice for the next generation of public servants.