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30.07.2013
Japan Is Testing the Waters

Japan Is Testing the Waters

Will the breakthrough model suggested by Shinzo Abe, that is the combination of financial stimulus, concentration of powers in his hands, new nationalism, military strength, and return to geopolitics, be successful?
29.07.2013
Strategic Japan

Strategic Japan

Since winning the election to Japan’s lower house of parliament in December 2012, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has made the world talk about Japan in a new way: a country back on track, not on a long downward slope.
26.07.2013
Orthodox Diplomacy

Orthodox Diplomacy

The Kremlin appears to have found its distinct international role. It is based on conservative nationalism; support for traditional international law with its emphasis on national sovereignty and non-interference in internal affairs of states; and a strong preference for evolutionary path of development over revolutionary upheavals.
26.07.2013
North Korea: The Nukes Are Not Omnipotent

North Korea: The Nukes Are Not Omnipotent

The current nuclear program of North Korea would hardly deter a potential first attack, not to speak of ensuring nuclear retaliation which would require North Korea to have survivable nuclear forces capable of avoiding interception by the air and missile defense of the neighbor countries and the United States.
25.07.2013
North Korea As a Source of Labor Migration to Russia

North Korea As a Source of Labor Migration to Russia

  • Nikolay Petrov
Construction and agriculture are the two main industries where North Koreans work in Russia. Their work is in the mutual interest of both countries, providing for additional jobs and money in the case of North Korea and substituting for the decreasing labor force in the case of Russia.
25.07.2013
What North Korea Means for Japan?

What North Korea Means for Japan?

Today Japan does not have diplomatic relations with North Korea, but both have substantial bearing on each other’s society.
24.07.2013
The Two NKs

The Two NKs

Along with Kashmir’s Line of Control, North Korea and Nagorny Karabakh surely comprise the three most militarized borders in the world. All of them are disputed lines on the map that mark a truce rather than a political settlement.
23.07.2013
The Navalny Case: What Does It Say About the Russian Political Regime and Its Alternative

The Navalny Case: What Does It Say About the Russian Political Regime and Its Alternative

With Navalny’s current agenda the Navalny Myth cannot become a systemic alternative to the one man rule.
22.07.2013
100 Days After: How to Engage North Korea

100 Days After: How to Engage North Korea

Pyongyang needs to be drawn out of its self-made shell, not cornered there.
19.07.2013
Olympic Games and the Prospects for the North Caucasus

Olympic Games and the Prospects for the North Caucasus

The way forward in the North Caucasus will only be possible in case of major institutional changes within the Russian Federation. Trying to solve its problems by means of expulsion is an illusion.
18.07.2013
Unexpected Consequences

Unexpected Consequences

Owing to the mayor elections and the Navalny case, the political life in Russia has exploded in midsummer. The paradox is that the opposition has done nothing for this. The decisions of the government have been the main reason for these developments which benefit rather the opposition than the government.
18.07.2013
Sochi Olympics’ Safety: Kremlin’s Prestige at Stake

Sochi Olympics’ Safety: Kremlin’s Prestige at Stake

Hosting the Olympics in close proximity to the restive North Caucasus is not just a test of Russia’s athletic prowess but also—and more importantly—of the Kremlin’s prestige and its ability to ensure security in the most challenging of situations.
18.07.2013
The North Caucasus: An Insurmountable Problem and Irresponsible Policy

The North Caucasus: An Insurmountable Problem and Irresponsible Policy

The decision to host the Olympics in Sochi imposes an artificial deadline to the North Caucasus problem. But after the Games are over and there is no longer a “deadline” to meet, Russia’s government will inevitably pay less attention to this region.
17.07.2013
Georgia and Russia: Keeping Quiet on Sochi

Georgia and Russia: Keeping Quiet on Sochi

Can Russia and Georgia work together to thwart any security threat? The best evidence suggests that they are each planning for a quiet trouble-free Winter Olympics—but independently of one another.
16.07.2013
The North Caucasus: The Bomb Under the Russian Federation

The North Caucasus: The Bomb Under the Russian Federation

The Kremlin pays the price to pacify and accommodate the North Caucasus which is evidence of the Russian state’s fragility.
16.07.2013
Russia Minus Caucasus

Russia Minus Caucasus

  • Nikolay Petrov
The very idea to separate the Caucasus from Russia which seemed exotic a while ago, gets increasingly more supporters, not as much in the Caucasus as in the rest of the country.
15.07.2013
Sochi: Olympics and Politics

Sochi: Olympics and Politics

The Sochi Olympics are special in many ways. First, the North Caucasus where they are to be held is still restless. Second, Sochi lies close to Abkhazia, which broke away from Georgia at the time of the Soviet collapse, and whose independence Moscow recognized after the brief war against Tbilisi almost five years ago. Third, Sochi is the favorite residence of President Putin.
12.07.2013
National Democracy?

National Democracy?

In the situation where no country can be an island, the best way forward for the democrats is to organize the more modern sections of the elites; to reach out to the broader publics on the issues that matter to the ordinary citizens; and to develop a set of credible policy alternatives—so that when the time comes, they can be ready.
12.07.2013
People’s Democracy

People’s Democracy

Democracy is the process, passing through ups and downs. And a political leader is not a key factor here, even if he looks like a powerful figure. The main factor is the people, who can accept or reject this figure despite his power.
11.07.2013
Central Asia: The Lessons of the Arab Spring

Central Asia: The Lessons of the Arab Spring

Paradoxically, as the Central Asian authorities cite the Arab Spring to discredit democracy and justify the existence of authoritarian systems in the region, the events in the Middle East also made the local elites realize that changes are indeed necessary.
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