Dr Carole Nakhle

Ukraine’s energy and economic problems are largely home-grown. Ukraine is not lacking in energy resources, yet it remains heavily dependent on oil and gas imports coming mainly from Russia. The country’s vulnerability is worsened by the current political crisis. Energy and economic reforms are urgently needed but their implementation and impact will take some time to materialise. read


The growing attraction of Africa’s agricultural sector

Teresa Nogueira Pinto

The growing attraction of Africa’s agricultural sector

Teresa Nogueira Pinto

African governments are making agriculture a top priority to address the increasing problem of food security on the continent. This is expected to reach crisis point in the coming decades unless there is investment. At the same time, foreign companies and countries are seeing the potential for high returns for investment in agriculture in many sub-Saharan countries. But there are fears for the sector and populations if investment is not linked to local needs. read


Eka Tkeshelashvili

How Ukraine crisis will shape global order

Eka Tkeshelashvili

Tensions are rising rapidly in Ukraine’s east. Russia is changing the reality on the ground despite talks scheduled to take place in Geneva on April 17, 2014, between Russia, Ukraine, the US and the EU - the first four-way discussions since the crisis began. Kiev has rejected Russian pressure to turn Ukraine into a loose federation. However, the first casualties in the city of Slaviansk demonstrate that if Russia does not halt the clashes between its special forces and the Ukrainian army, military confrontation will become inevitable. This is a critical time. All action taken now in relation to Ukraine will determine the future of global international order for years to come. read


Geopolitics
Changes at the top as France tackles its economic nightmare

Dr Emmanuel Martin

Changes at the top as France tackles its economic nightmare

Dr Emmanuel Martin

France has a new Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, who was appointed after the ruling Socialists lost heavily in the March 2014 municipal elections. President Francois Hollande hopes Mr Valls is the right man to tackle France’s rising unemployment and public debt, but he faces a daunting task and his party is set for another disaster in May’s European Parliamentary elections. read


Professor Dr Michael Wohlgemuth

Eurosceptics could make their mark in European elections

Professor Dr Michael Wohlgemuth

Elections for the European Parliament in May 2014 are likely to see a record number of eurosceptic or populist parties from both ends of the political spectrum. This will mean no clear majority for a centre-right / liberal or a centre-left / Green coalition so what impact will this have on the parliament’s work? read


Economics
Euro hits high spots despite uncertainty on European economy and monetary policy

Professor Enrico Colombatto

Euro hits high spots despite uncertainty on European economy and monetary policy

Professor Enrico Colombatto

The euro’s value on international markets has risen against the dollar recently and it could go higher if Europe offers stability and the chance for economic growth. But investment in European business could spell danger for those companies which are not on top of their game with new technology and prepared to face international competition. read


Dr Joseph S. Tulchin

Financial deals could signal Argentina’s comeback

Dr Joseph S. Tulchin

Argentina has been excluded from international financial markets since defaulting on bonds in 2001. But change is on the way. A recent energy deal will allow exploitation of the vast shale oil reserves in the Vaca Muerta basin. And a potential settlement with ‘holdout’ bondholders would allow the current government to borrow whatever it needs to maintain its social programmes and control inflation. read


Professor Enrico Colombatto

Reading between the lines of European banking statements

Professor Enrico Colombatto

Statements emerging from the European authorities about a new approach in allowing banks in difficulties to fail have hit the headlines. But these may be coded messages which are more about claims to power than how matters will operate in the future. read


Defence & Security
India looks beyond Russia to build its defence forces

Dr James Jay Carafano

India looks beyond Russia to build its defence forces

Dr James Jay Carafano

India is struggling to establish a domestic defence industry and its arms imports have more than doubled in the last 10 years. Its traditional major supplier has been Russia, but now New Delhi is spending more in the United States as it tries to counter China’s military build-up in the Indian Ocean. What happens next probably depends on the outcome of elections now under way. read


Professor Stefan Hedlund

China moves to take leading role as global space power

Professor Stefan Hedlund

Space offers China the stage on which to assert itself as the world’s most powerful force. The rising nation is demonstrating its potential as it ramps up its space programme with a string of ambitious moves with plans to build its own space station, a manned lunar landing, and a manned missions to Mars. However, China’s growing spaceflight skills are concerning some observers who forecast the nation surpassing America and Russia as the world’s pre-eminent spacefaring power – a position made increasingly possible due to rising tensions between the Kremlin and Washington. read


Lisa Curtis

China, India and Russia prepare for terrorist resurgence after Nato leaves Afghanistan

Lisa Curtis

The future of Afghanistan will be determined not only by the US’s decision over whether some troops remain after 2014 but also by the credibility of the April 5 presidential elections and the policies of neighbouring countries which will have to deal with a security vacuum and an increased threat of terrorism throughout the region. These factors will each play a vital role in determining whether Afghanistan can avoid slipping into chaos and becoming again a base for international terrorism. read


Dr Uwe Nerlich

Nationalism stance by Japan’s Shinzo Abe raises stakes in Asia-Pacific

Dr Uwe Nerlich

History shows the need for accurate translations and interpretation in international diplomacy. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s comments about the risks of war in the Asia Pacific at the 2014 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, are another example of this. But Japan’s revival of nationalism and its denial of its Second World War atrocities are raising tensions further. read


Energy
 America’s shale gas revolution could free Europe from Russia’s energy grip

Nick Loris

America’s shale gas revolution could free Europe from Russia’s energy grip

Nick Loris

Russian gas, pumped through pipelines across Ukraine, fuels much of European industry. Some countries in Western Europe appear hesitant about imposing sanctions on Russia after its annexation of Crimea for fear of damaging their own economies. But Russia’s control of the energy market could be broken by a free market. read


Dr Carole Nakhle

Nuclear power enters a new phase

Dr Carole Nakhle

The nuclear debate is taking, once again, a new tone. Following the global anti-nuclear sentiment after the disaster at Japan’s Fukushima plant in March 2011, some major energy-consuming governments have drastically shifted their attitude and are pushing for the revival of the nuclear agenda. Despite this renewed enthusiasm, the contribution of nuclear power is likely to remain in line with the trend of the last 50 years. read


Dr Frank Umbach

Germany’s energy policy will cost growth, jobs and living standards

Dr Frank Umbach

Germany’s Energiewende or energy policy was introduced without consultation with its neighbours or the EU, but it is having an impact on both. The assumptions which led to the dramatic change from nuclear power to renewables has been proved wrong and this could accelerate costing Germany jobs, economic growth and a drop in the standard of living. read


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