The European empires in 1914.
Blog / International Security

The End of Imperial History?

The European empires in 1914; Andrew0921 via Wikimedia Commons

World War II dealt a death-blow to the European colonial system, and the break-up of the former Soviet Union in 1991 completed the decolonisation of global politics. As the world gets progressively less Euro-centric, some of these lines are now beginning to vanish entirely. 2014 has …

If only it were that easy...
Blog / International Development

Vive la Revolution? Think Again

If only it were that easy .Photo Source: mookiefl via Flickr Creative Commons.

There is something naïve about rejoicing at a revolution. Whether across the Arab world or in Ukraine, the fall of decadent regimes is met with euphoria. Euphoria and a tendency to forget that revolutions are often successions of failures, occasionally yielding something …

Heartland
Blog / Europe

Geopolitics and Ukraine

The map showing the Heartland area from Mackinder’s 1904 work ‘The Geographical Pivot of History’. Photo source: Halford J. Mackinder. Original uploader was Marc-king at nl.wikipedia via Wikimedia Commons.

Media coverage of the on-going Ukraine crisis regularly refers to geopolitics. Whilst the term is often misused as a synonym for geography, and the theoretical background …

IAF Sufa Fighters fly in formation over Israel. Photo Source Israel Defense Forces via Flickr Creative Commons.
Blog / Middle East and North Africa

Ukraine: An Israeli Problem?

IAF Sufa Fighters fly in formation over Israel. Photo Source: Israel Defense Forces via Flickr Creative Commons.

The Ukraine crisis has redefined the established parameters of international politics and upended the rational expectations of the West; prior to February it was unthinkable that Russia would resort to military force to protect its foreign interests in …

Vladimir Putin
Blog / Russia and Eurasia

Understanding Russia

Vladimir Putin. Photo Source: www.kremlin.ru via Wikimedia Commons.

On 18th of March, Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered a speech to Russian parliamentarians, putting forward his case for why he is supporting Crime’s choice to join the Russian Federation. His speech was passionate and at times emotional, pushing the right buttons that touched the souls of many …

Referendum in Crimea
Blog / Russia and Eurasia

Sanctions against Russia will not work

Referendum in Crimea. Photo Source: Aclacko via Wikimedia Commons.

On 16 March Crimea voted on a referendum to decide whether they want to join the Russian Federation. The outcome is a foregone conclusion, as the majority of people living in Crimea are ethnically Russian and support Crimea’s secession from Ukraine. The United States and the …

800px-Golden_Statue_of_Saparmurat_Niyazov_in_Ashgabat
Blog / Russia and Eurasia

Symbolic Politics, Social Media and Writing on Foreign Affairs

Analysis of Turkmenistan is dominated by talk of its bizarre cult of personality, notably in Ashgabat’s golden statue of its former president. Photo Source: David Stanley via Wikimedia Commons.

Having recently examined the role of symbolic politics in the regimes of Central Asia, I started to think about the wider parallels between this and the …

ukraine
Blog / Russia and Eurasia

Questions unanswered in Ukraine

Photo Source: Mstyslav Chernov/Unframe via Wikimedia Commons.

The events of the last few days in Ukraine seem to travel at the speed of light. One moment Victor Yanukovich was signing an agreement with the opposition to end the violence on the streets of Kiev, the next moment Yanukovich was in hiding and the opposition took …

ch23
Blog / Environment & Energy

Ghosts of Chernobyl

Photo from Adam Lenton ©

It’s not often a chance to visit a place like Chernobyl crops up, and naturally I jumped at the chance. My main motivation for visiting was to see the abandoned city of Pripyat, untouched since the time of the Ukrainian SSR when its 50,000 inhabitants were forced to evacuate.

The trip …

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