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10.07.2013
Standing Still in Armenia

Standing Still in Armenia

Sometimes doing nothing can look like the smartest political move. In Armenia, it seems to be the favorite political tactic of President Serzh Sargsyan.
10.07.2013
Either Democratize, Or Prepare for a Revolution

Either Democratize, Or Prepare for a Revolution

  • Boris Makarenko
There are two kinds of lessons that revolutions can teach: either you democratize to avoid a revolution in the conditions when the public sees no other way to attain liberty, or revolutions will open a way to it.
10.07.2013
For Whom the “Democracy” Tolls in Eurasia?

For Whom the “Democracy” Tolls in Eurasia?

In such a milieu, where the elite are occupied only with their own well-being, the “democracy” propagated by the Western NPOs loses its proper target—the ordinary people.
9.07.2013
Post-Soviet Space: Chances for Democracy

Post-Soviet Space: Chances for Democracy

Russia’s trajectory toward a harsher political regime and its attempts to contain the Western influence create formidable obstacles for the liberalization of the other post-Soviet states. The real breakthrough is possible only when Russia starts moving the ball, rejects the personalized power system, and begins searching for a new paradigm.
8.07.2013
To Remain Competitive, Democracy Needs Competition

To Remain Competitive, Democracy Needs Competition

For a long time, the rise of communism across Eurasia had stimulated democratic achievements and economic performance in the non-communist nations. Successful authoritarians can play a similar role now—if Eurasia’s democracies are able and willing to take up the challenge.
5.07.2013
Economic Achievements Nurture Civic Awakening. Economic Collapse Leads to Political Chaos

Economic Achievements Nurture Civic Awakening. Economic Collapse Leads to Political Chaos

Turkey’s recent troubles suggest it is on the upward curve not only economically, but politically as well. Egypt is spinning out of control and is becoming ungovernable.
5.07.2013
The Message From Turkey: A Peaceful Challenge to the Majority Rule

The Message From Turkey: A Peaceful Challenge to the Majority Rule

There is doubt whether the protests will have an imminent impact on Turkey’s parliamentary politics. But what is clear is that Turkish democracy has reached a new level of maturity by consolidating the peaceful right to dissent.
5.07.2013
Polyphonic Turkey

Polyphonic Turkey

No doubt, the history of Turkey knows many exclusionist approaches (the case of the Kurdish movement is an evident example). Such approaches were on the table in the case of the Taksim movement. Yet finally Ankara has chosen inclusive response to the Taksim challenge. The cancelation of the Artillery Barracks project which had trigged the unrest is a symbol of this response.
5.07.2013
How Turkish Islamist Supporters of Erdogan See the Current Situation in Turkey

How Turkish Islamist Supporters of Erdogan See the Current Situation in Turkey

As the protests are serious and give the impression that they will last, there is a risk of fissuring for the Justice and Development Party, especially since some of the prime minister’s allies have already expressed their reservations concerning his approach to the crisis.
4.07.2013
Questions to Russia in the Heat of the Day

Questions to Russia in the Heat of the Day

Capitalizing on the good weather, Russia hands from around the world come to pay their visits and hear “what Russia thinks.” The questions they are asking could be sometimes more interesting that the answers they get.
4.07.2013
It’s Not Just About Numbers or Even the Morale of Protesters

It’s Not Just About Numbers or Even the Morale of Protesters

It is common these days to talk about a rise of middle class revolts against their governments’ lack of respect for the citizens or their paternalistic practices. The main question remains: what makes such outbursts of civic sentiments successful and how one defines success?
3.07.2013
Turkish Summer vs Arab Spring

Turkish Summer vs Arab Spring

The Turkish protests have become a sort of a response to the Arab Spring. While in the Arab world the Islamism has gained strength, its moderate Turkish version has suffered a serious blow.
3.07.2013
Watching Erdogan Across a Closed Border

Watching Erdogan Across a Closed Border

The latest clashes and Erdogan’s crackdown in response reinforce a view in Armenia that the current Turkish prime minister is someone they cannot do business with. A reshuffling of the Turkish cards end up with Abdullah Gul as prime minister and re-championing a normalization with Armenia is not impossible.
2.07.2013
Turkey and Russia: What Their Protest Waves Say

Turkey and Russia: What Their Protest Waves Say

Both the causes and nature of the Russian and Turkish protests, as well as the two regimes’ reactions to them, are strikingly similar. Despite the criticism leveled at Putin and Erdogan, the protests in both countries are not threatening the principles that support the system and the state—yet.
1.07.2013
Turkey and Europe: Part or Partner?

Turkey and Europe: Part or Partner?

If the EU’s ambition were to be a mere trading bloc, it should be able to accommodate Turkey. If the Union, however, also aspires to be a political player, the rising power Turkey will hardly fit. The EU’s strategy must ensure that former Ottoman possessions in the Balkans eventually become part of Europe. As to Turkey, it should be turned into Europe’s close partner.
28.06.2013
Nuclear Iran: “The Era of Suspension Is Gone”

Nuclear Iran: “The Era of Suspension Is Gone”

The segregation of technical and political issues in the dialogue with Iran could create a positive atmosphere for its acceleration. The main goal of the dialogue ought to be full transparency of Iran’s nuclear program. Suggesting more ambitious goals will lead this dialogue to nowhere and finally allow Iran to become a virtual nuclear weapon state.
28.06.2013
Rowhani’s Election: Iran’s Regime Passes A Crucial Test

Rowhani’s Election: Iran’s Regime Passes A Crucial Test

In the foreseeable future, Iran’s neighbors, partners, and adversaries will have to deal with an Iran which is more united internally, more flexible at the tactical level, but strategically as determined as ever to be the dominant regional player. With Rowhani as president, it will be more difficult to present the Iranian leadership as irrational or unreasonable.
27.06.2013
How Much Can Iran’s Foreign Policy Change After Rowhani’s Victory?

How Much Can Iran’s Foreign Policy Change After Rowhani’s Victory?

Iran’s foreign policy was deadlocked by the efforts of the former president—the radical and eccentric Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Rowhani, who is dubbed “the sheikh of diplomacy” in Iran, will have to act both cautiously and decisively in correcting the errors of his predecessor and setting new trends.
26.06.2013
Iran's Relieved Neighbors in the Caucasus

Iran's Relieved Neighbors in the Caucasus

With Hassan Rowhani as president of Iran, the Caucasus countries will still be pulled between Iran and the West. But they will be better placed to make the argument that their Iran policies are a case of positive cultural diplomacy.
25.06.2013
On the Iranian Elections: How Matryoshka Reproduces Itself

On the Iranian Elections: How Matryoshka Reproduces Itself

Iranian system resembles Russian matryoshka–doll—you open one doll and there is another inside. The first matryoshka—the regime embodied by the presidency—is the subject for beating and for doing unpleasant things. Inside the shell is the real power—the authority of the Supreme Leader.
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