Tag Archive | European Union

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Britain’s EU Referendum Demonstrates the Volatility of Populist Politics. Is the US Listening?

In trying to puzzle through the populism animating the right and left after the 2008 global financial crisis and the 2015 European migrant crisis, we can draw a worrying parallel between the UK referenda and social and economic populism in the US. As in the US presidential race, the UK’s Remain/Leave debate is complex: it […]

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Posted in Europe, UK News, US, World

Image by Abegum

The ‘Pure Wind’ of the Leave Campaign Shows Contempt for UK Voters

George Orwell famously wrote that “Political language … is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.” Having lived through the Scottish independence referendum, it is hard to believe that less than two years on from that experience the people of the UK are […]

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Posted in Europe, European Union, UK News, World

Hofburg in Wien

The Renaissance of Right-Wing Populism – Learning from the Case of Austria

Many parts of Europe currently face a renaissance of the xenophobic political right. Thus, it is certainly no coincidence that in a recent issue of the “New Statesman” Rowan Williams reminds us that “the toxic brew of paranoia and populism that brought Hitler to power” may not be so far away from liberal democracies as […]

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Posted in Europe, European Union, World

Image by DrabikPany

Poland: A Foreign Policy in Flux

Just three weeks after entering office, Polish President Andrzej Duda’s first official visit to Berlin on August 28 allayed concerns in some quarters that his presidency would resurrect the combative foreign policy his right-wing party, Law and Justice, practiced the last time it was in power from 2005 to 2007. Back then, prickly ties with […]

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Posted in Conflict, Economic Security, Europe, Germany, Political Security, Russia, Security Issues, Ukraine Conflict, World

Image by Marcio Cabral de Moura

Solidarity or Self-interest? European Integration and the German Question

This article was originally published by The Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs in Carnegie Ethics Online on 17 August 2015. In Klaus Harpprecht’s 1995 biography of Thomas Mann, he highlights a statement which Mann wrote in 1947, which, as Harpprecht puts it, “one reads with a distinct shiver half a century later”: In […]

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Posted in Europe, Germany, Global Economy, World

Image by Alex E. Proimos

Fear or Facts: the Case for ISDS in Modern Trade Agreements

At the stakeholder briefing during the ninth round of negotiations of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), U.S. chief negotiator Dan Mullaney quipped that everyone was discussing Investor to State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) systems except the negotiators. The latter have not discussed the issue since January 2014, when the European Commission launched a public consultation, […]

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Posted in Asia, China, Economics, Europe, Global Economy, US, World

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Why Israel Is Losing the Public Relations War

Almost everybody thinks badly of Israel. That’s what a poll published by the BBC World Service in 2014 shows. More precisely, Israel ranks as the fourth most negatively viewed nation, right after North Korea, Pakistan and Iran. What explains the differences between European and American views on Israel, and how does such an overall negative […]

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Posted in Conflict, Economics, Israel, Israeli Palestinian Conflict, Middle East, Political Security, Security Issues, World

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Save TTIP or Risk the Alliance

The European Union (EU) and the United States (U.S.) have been negotiating the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) since 2013. Intended to revive the transatlantic economies by eliminating tariffs and accepting various degrees of regulatory convergence or mutual recognition across a wide range of sectors, and solidify EU-U.S. relations, it now appears to be […]

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Posted in Economic Security, Economics, Europe, Germany, Global Economy, Political Security, Security Issues, US, World

Image by Martin Schultz - EP President

ISIS, Islam and Credulity: More Irreverence Needed in the Fight Against Extremism

This week, King Abdullah of Jordan appealed to European parliamentarians to help root out both terrorism and ‘Islamophobia’. Setting aside this interesting conflation, the wholesale failure of Arab and majority Muslim countries to embody either mutual respect or inclusivity towards many of their ethno-religious minorities bespeaks of an imbalance in critical attention to how those […]

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Posted in Europe, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, Political Security, Religion, Security Issues, Syria, Terrorism, World

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Russia and the West: How the Empathy Was Lost

Last year I criticized some of the hawk-like voices, including that of David Brooks of the NYT, which were calling for Barack Obama to increase the fear factor in dealing with Vladimir Putin over Ukraine. I should point out that I am decidedly not a fan of Putin, whose actions in Crimea and Ukraine have been reprehensible. However, we need […]

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Posted in Conflict, Europe, Russia, Security Issues, Ukraine Conflict, Uncategorized, US, World

Image by Glyn Lowe Photoworks

Merkel’s Warning to the Germans a Lesson for UK Politicians

I haven’t been wildly impressed by how Angela Merkel has handled the eurozone crisis, but this speech to the German people shows why (for my money) she’s easily the most impressive political leader in Europe, if not the world, right now. At a time when too many UK politicians have been pandering to extreme tendencies in a craven attempt […]

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Posted in Economic Security, Europe, Germany, Global Economy, Refugees, World

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Independence: the Nationalist Lottery

I’m voting ‘No’ this Thursday. I’ve been leaning ‘Yes’ for a while, but as the referendum approaches I’ve found myself changing my mind. There are real potential benefits to a ‘Yes’ vote: I believe that a parliament based on proportional representation will give us better (though more boring) governance over the long term and more accurately […]

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Posted in Europe, Scottish Independence, World

Image courtesy of c_nilsen

We need a Parliament and Constitution for the Whole Country, not SNP and UKIP Delusion

This piece was originally published in Huffington Post on 20 February 2014 Apart from 2014 being the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn, the year Glasgow hosts the Commonwealth Games, and that Scotland plays host to the Ryder Cup, the vote on Scottish independence is also being held 100 years after the outbreak of […]

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Posted in Europe, Scottish Independence, World


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