CI Magazine / New issue

Commentary: "Armenia’s “Velvet Revolution”: The Next Chapter" by Amanda Paul

By Editor CI

Jul 7, 2018 - 1:30 PM

Armenia’s “Velvet revolution” has opened a new page in the country’s history. Fed up with corrupt governance and dire socio-economic conditions, Armenians took to the streets. Their steely determination led to the resignation of veteran leader Serzh Sargsyan. Nikol Pashinyan was elected Prime Minister. The biggest challenge that Pashinyan faces is meeting the huge expectations of society. His ability to deliver remains constrained by a need to secure a popular mandate through the ballot box, and by Armenia’s complicated military and strategic relationship with its neighbours. While Pashinyan has opted to maintain continuity on foreign and security related issues, his domestic agenda is very ambitious. However, with the Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) continuing to have strong influence over the key branches of power, bringing real change will not be easy. Furthermore, the network of Armenia’s corrupt elites and oligarchs that have plundered the state since independence will not give up without a fight. Hence to what extent Pashinyan will be able to succeed, remains to be seen. Read more...

Commentary: "Georgia Before the Presidential Elections: The General Overview" by Aleksandre Kvakhadze

By Editor CI

Jul 7, 2018 - 1:22 PM

The present paper aims to provide an overview of the pre-election political landscape in Georgia and illustrate recent developments and their interconnection with each other. The paper will describe and analyze three main trends observed in Georgia in recent months, including factors such as Mikheil Saakashvili, the return of Bidzina Ivanishvili to politics, and the protest rallies in Tbilisi. The paper will also evaluate the chances of various candidates in the upcoming presidential elections in the context of the current economic situation and the recent public opinion surveys. The article concludes that victory in the presidential elections is crucial for the ruling party, but the opposition also has the opportunity to consolidate. Read more...

"The EU’s Ambiguous Stance on Separatism: Lessons from Catalonia, Kosovo, and Nagorno-Karabakh" by Ayaz Rzayev

By Editor CI

Jul 3, 2018 - 12:11 PM

In October 2017, the Catalonian government held a referendum on Catalan independence which was subsequently declared illegal by Spain on the grounds that it violated the Spanish Constitution. The vote triggered the invocation of Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution, which allowed the central government in Madridto suspend Catalonia’s self-rule. The situation has forced Catalonia into the international spotlight as a potential precursor of other breakaway regions in the EU. Since these separatist movements pose a threat to global and regional stability, their potential spread throughout Europe brings to the fore a pressing challenge that the EU urgently needs to address. The events in Catalonia are the result not only of the complexity of internal Spanish politics, but also reflect a more fundamental issue of how European institutions decide to handle matters of territorial integrity and self-determination in general while continuing to test the adequacy of the EU’s response to these issues in the changing context of international politics. Therefore, this new political context represents a good opportunity to assess whether the EU’s stance on these issues has been consistent so far and whether the EU has, perhaps unintentionally, enabled separatist movements. Read more...

BOOK REVIEW: “Eurasia’s Shifting Geopolitical Tectonic Plates: Global Perspective, Local Theaters” Alexandros Petersen

By Editor CI

Jul 3, 2018 - 12:09 PM

This anthology features articles, short studies, and interviews written by Alexandros Petersen (1984–2014) over the span of ten years starting in 2004, and insightfully addresses the implications of the West withdrawing from its engagement with the Caucasus and Central Asia, the expansion of Chinese influence, and Russia’s strategic interests. Read more...

Caucasus Under Review - Recently Published Books

By Editor CI

Jul 3, 2018 - 12:05 PM

While the Caucasus is a region of enormous diversity and potential, it is also a region about which relatively little is known. However, during the last decade, numerous publications on the region have expanded both regional and international understanding of this diversity and potential. This overview of recent publications provides an up-to-date reading list for anyone interested in the region. This issue presents recently published books which delve into a range of issues, from the Cold War to new geopolitics; Russian geopolitics to the Sasanian Empire; the Cultural Revolution to new media; from Azerbaijan’s foreign policy and the EU’s role in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to East-West transportation corridor. Read more...
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