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Tag Archives: EU Foreign Affairs

Revealing schemes: The politics of conspiracy in Russia and the post-Soviet region

What motivates governments and other political actors to promote conspiracy theories? And what impact do these theories have on society? Drawing on a new book covering Russia and the post-Soviet region, Scott Radnitz explores the causes, consequences, and contradictions of conspiracism in politics. Conspiracy theories have been in the news of late, often in discussions about the harmful spread of misinformation on social media. This ‘horizontal’ contagion of conspiracy theories through...

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Talk of secession in Bosnia-Herzegovina is obscuring the real problems faced by ordinary citizens

Recent statements made by Milorad Dodik, the Serb member of Bosnia-Herzegovina’s three-person presidency, have prompted fears about the country’s future. Ivor Sokolić writes that while Dodik’s actions are unlikely to result in the imminent breakup of Bosnia-Herzegovina, they hide a more pressing problem: the growing inability and lack of willingness of the state to make the lives of ordinary Bosnians better. Instead, key political actors use state institutions and international actors...

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Book Review: Ending Fossil Fuels: Why Net Zero is Not Enough by Holly Jean Buck

In Ending Fossil Fuels: Why Net Zero is Not Enough, Holly Jean Buck argues that the framework of net zero and its concentration on emissions diverts public and policy attention from the fundamental task of ending the use of fossil fuels to ensure effective and lasting climate change mitigation. Reviewing the book ahead of the start of COP26, Sibo Chen recommends this thought-provoking analysis of the barriers to decarbonisation to anyone concerned about the looming climate...

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Ending the ‘rule of thieves’: Maia Sandu and the fight against corruption in Moldova

The election of Maia Sandu as President of Moldova in 2020 and the victory for the party she founded at this year’s Moldovan parliamentary election have been viewed as watershed moments in the fight against corruption within the country. Dorina Baltag and Isabell Burmester argue that while Sandu’s electoral success provides a window of opportunity, a parliamentary majority alone will not be enough to bring genuine change. Only by embedding new norms of governance in Moldovan society...

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Ending the ‘rule of thieves’: Maia Sandu and the fight against corruption in Moldova

The election of Maia Sandu as President of Moldova in 2020 and the victory for the party she founded at this year’s Moldovan parliamentary election have been viewed as watershed moments in the fight against corruption within the country. Dorina Baltag and Isabell Burmester argue that while Sandu’s electoral success provides a window of opportunity, a parliamentary majority alone will not be enough to bring genuine change. Only by embedding new norms of governance in Moldovan society...

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The iron cage revisited: How Brexit constrains the UK

In recent weeks, the Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the UK and the EU has once again been making headlines. Bob Hancké reports on a recent study which suggests not only that the agreement has made trade in goods between the UK and the EU very difficult, but that it has also severely limited Britain’s ability to conclude free trade agreements with the rest of the world. Taking back control, especially in international trade, was one of the perhaps few tangible benefits that...

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The sovereignty cartel: What citizenship for sale schemes tell us about the nature of sovereignty

What makes sovereignty possible? Drawing on the example of citizenship for sale programmes, J. Samuel Barkin argues that sovereignty is built on state collusion – states work together to privilege sovereignty in global politics because they benefit from its exclusivity. Last summer, the Guardian published a series of stories on the alarming participants in the ‘citizenship for sale’ programme in Vanuatu. They reported that the programme, which charges $130,000 USD for a single person...

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MEPs are more likely to oppose close EU-Ukraine ties when they represent areas that receive high levels of Russian investment

Do Russian investments in Europe help further the country’s interests when it comes to political decision-making? Drawing on a new study, Sara Norrevik presents evidence that MEPs representing areas that receive high levels of investment from Russia are more likely to have voted against closer EU-Ukraine ties in the European Parliament. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the European Union from major foreign powers has caused concern in Brussels and European capitals in recent years....

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Assessing Ukraine’s future thirty years after its independence

Ukraine recently marked the thirtieth anniversary of its independence. Oleg Chupryna argues that if Ukraine is to continue to survive as an independent state, it will need strong support from the West in its relations with Russia. On 24 August, Ukraine celebrated its thirtieth anniversary of independence from the USSR, the modern incarnation of the centuries-old Russian Empire. Some may argue that Ukraine achieved its independence accidentally due to a perfect storm created by several...

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Using refugees as leverage? Greece and the instrumentalisation of the European migrant crisis

How does forced migration feature in the foreign policy approaches of EU member states and how does it affect their bargaining strategies? Drawing on a new study, Gerasimos Tsourapas and Sotirios Zartaloudis assess the foreign policy response of Greece during the 2015-16 migrant crisis. They detail how the Greek government first adopted a ‘blackmailing’ strategy focused on threats, before shifting to a ‘backscratching’ strategy of co-operation once the numbers of asylum seekers within...

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