Professor Colleen Graffy

As national debts rise and governments look for extra sources of revenue, identifying tax evaders has come under renewed scrutiny. Thanks to globalisation and technology - and a new law called FATCA - the United States is redrawing the rules on banking transparency and with it the ability to discover tax dodgers. Expensive implementation costs for financial institutions and the unintended consequences for American citizens overseas leaves many questioning whether the benefits outweigh the problems, and whether the era of banking secrecy is really over. read


A landslide victory but the question of succession in Uzbekistan becomes more urgent

Eka Tkeshelashvili

A landslide victory but the question of succession in Uzbekistan becomes more urgent

Eka Tkeshelashvili

A significant number of factors are placing Uzbekistan, governed by one of the world’s most repressive and authoritarian regimes, centre stage in a potential rebalancing of the security dynamic of Central Asia. The recent presidential elections placed the 77-year-old autocratic leader, Islam Karimov, back at the helm of Uzbekistan - but the question of succession needs to be urgently addressed otherwise suppressed and deep-rooted problems in the nation’s society could resurface. read


Professor Stefan Hedlund

Sanctions drive Russia to partner China in its Far East

Professor Stefan Hedlund

New laws to lure Russians to invest in its huge, sparsely populated and remote Far East by offering free land is just the latest move in its pivot to Asia. Western sanctions imposed on Russia are also driving it into the arms of China. But this is an unequal partnership favouring China’s long-term goals and the deals with Russia are secured on China’s terms. read


Geopolitics
Economics
Unrealistic expectations of growth lead to wrong decisions

Professor Enrico Colombatto

Unrealistic expectations of growth lead to wrong decisions

Professor Enrico Colombatto

Governments have been ignoring the hard economic facts of life to deliver political dreams which meet the expectations of voters. They have been living in a world of make-believe by failing to deliver the reforms which current economic positions demand but meddling with more and more government intervention. read


Foreign firms' concern over China's antitrust investigations

free access Foreign companies, lured by the prospect of sharing in China’s growth and sales to a population of 1.4 billion, are increasingly concerned about being caught up in the country’s anti-corruption campaign and rising economic nationalism. Several court cases have underlined the dangers for multinationals as they do business in a country where corruption has been widespread and the law seems to demonstrate a greater willingness to prosecute foreign companies. GIS guest expert Cameron Frecklington looks at why foreign companies seem to feel besieged and confused. read


Professor Enrico Colombatto

China slowdown could be good news for Western economies

Professor Enrico Colombatto

China’s economy is slowing but it is still growing at a remarkable rate by global standards. Its employment continues to grow significantly and while foreign investment and its property market are facing difficulties, China’s authorities will find new ways of investing abroad in new initiatives like the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. read


Professor Enrico Colombatto

China’s AIIB attracts 47 global members to challenge for opportunities

Professor Enrico Colombatto

China is leading a new initiative to compete against the IMF and the World Bank which seem to have outgrown their original creation 71 years ago. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank - a minnow in finance compared with the World Bank - has had 47 countries applying to join, including major global economies, and will target financial help for infrastructure. read


Defence & Security
ISIS: Its origins, strategy and prospects

Professor Dr Amatzia Baram

ISIS: Its origins, strategy and prospects

Professor Dr Amatzia Baram

ISIS has expanded its influence in Syria and Iraq and risen with speed to terrifying power in its efforts to resurrect an Islamic state across the entire Fertile Crescent and into Africa and Asia. But the strategy of ISIS, one of the wealthiest and most violent jihadist groups in history, has led to the start of its undoing. Its aspirations to rule are becoming increasingly difficult in the face of the US-Iraq-Kurdish-Iran campaign against it. read


Luke Coffey

Without change, Nato’s future looks bleak

Luke Coffey

There is an increasing belief inside Nato that the Alliance needs to refocus on territorial defence in the North Atlantic region as it views a resurgent Russia on its eastern border, and the militant Islamist movement ISIS on its southern border. But Nato is only as strong as its members. The wars in Afghanistan, Libya, and the air campaign against ISIS have shown the shortcomings of European military capability. The intergovernmental security alliance faces some major institutional challenges in the coming years. Nato is long overdue for a new strategic concept. read


Professor Stefan Hedlund

Russia 'unprepared' for modern war pushes forward nuclear option

Professor Stefan Hedlund

Russia’s handling of recent security challenges demonstrates its military capabilities are in no state to cope with invasion and sustained warfare, despite the Kremlin’s huge spending on upgrading its forces. This reflects poorly on the outcome of the military reform designed to create modern ‘permanent readiness’ units. Russia may be a force to be reckoned with against Ukraine, but as a military threat to Nato, it is no match – making the use of nuclear as a deterrent increasingly likely. read


Dr James Jay Carafano

India-US defence cooperation could transform global arms industry

Dr James Jay Carafano

India, one of the world’s largest arms buyers, has recently forged deals with the United States as the Southeast Asian nation looks to upgrade its Soviet-era military hardware and takes steps to turn India into a global arms manufacturing hub. This link with the US could see India on the path to become a significant exporter of military equipment. read


Energy
Lower oil prices: an opportunity for oil and gas companies

Dr Carole Nakhle

Lower oil prices: an opportunity for oil and gas companies

Dr Carole Nakhle

The global drop in oil prices has analysts mulling over the shrinking profitability of the oil industry. But it is not all doom and gloom. On the contrary, companies may be in a stronger position today to negotiate better deals with host governments, compared with when prices were high. read


Dr Carole Nakhle

India energy: The world’s wildest card

Dr Carole Nakhle

India, the world’s largest democracy, is increasingly asserting its influence on global energy and climate change discussions. With an expanding economy, a growing population and an increasing dependence on fossil fuels, particularly coal, India’s energy policies and consumption are being watched closely by world leaders and energy experts. read


Dr Frank Umbach

Ukraine pressured on price in gas deal with Russia and the EU

Dr Frank Umbach

A short-term deal over gas supplies between Russia, Ukraine and the European Union, has ensured European gas supplies during the winter. But it falls far short of what Ukraine negotiators wanted. And longer-term decisions over Ukraine’s gas prices, outstanding debts and agreements with Russian energy giant Gazprom will be determined by an arbitration court only at the end of 2015 read


China’s energy strategy in the 'New Normal' economy

China’s energy strategy is entering a transition phase caught up in President Xi Jinping’s ‘New Normal’. The coming years will see China pull back from its world-wide hunt for energy as the government emphasises consumer consumption over polluting industry – already suffering from overcapacity. A new Action Plan focuses on domestic energy production, control of energy use, and a series of policies aimed at limiting carbon emissions as part of an aggressive environmental agenda, writes GIS guest expert Yuge Ma. read


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Professor Dr Stefan Lippert

Shinzo Abe provides Japan with a feel-good factor free access
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