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France’s Fascination with the Far Right

France’s Fascination with the Far Right

Marine Le Pen is a savvier speaker than her firebrand father, but the National Front still embodies a xenophobic, racist, and anti-Semitic movement that seeks to lead France out of Europe and back down the road of narrow-minded populism.

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Ukraine’s Fahrenheit 451 Moment

Ukraine’s Fahrenheit 451 Moment

The western region of Ukraine is depicted as being drawn towards EU, the US, and NATO, and everything that they imply: liberal democracy, pluralism, and freedom of expression; while the east gravitates towards Russia, meaning authoritarianism, repression, and an intolerance to dissent. But, as recent developments in the propaganda war illustrate, this division may not be as clear-cut as it appears on paper.

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Kyrgyzstan’s Eastward Slide

Kyrgyzstan’s Eastward Slide

NGOs, aid workers and human rights groups will be the first to feel the wrath of Krygyzstan’s eastward slide.

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Turkmenistan and Europe’s pipe dreams

Turkmenistan and Europe’s pipe dreams

On paper, Turkmenistan would be a great match for Europe’s energy woes.

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Turkish Kurds: The Predicament of Opportunity

Turkish Kurds: The Predicament of Opportunity

Turkey’s historically troubled relationship with its Kurdish population has become less tense since the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) founder and current President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, became prime minister in 2003.

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Burkina Faso: The Black Spring blossoms

Burkina Faso: The Black Spring blossoms

With Western leaders occupied by rising tensions in Ukraine and the Middle East, it appears that the emergence of uprisings on the African continent has largely been overlooked. The recent protests in Burkina Faso and the subsequent overthrow of Blaise Compaoré on Oct. 31 from his 27-year reign, illustrates the far-reaching social and political changes taking place in Africa.

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China’s war for Africa’s hearts and minds

China’s war for Africa’s hearts and minds

China has made a badge of honor out of Zheng Bijian’s term coined in a seminal 2005 Foreign Affairs article, which described the Middle Kingdom’s path toward modernization as a “peaceful rise.”

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Northern Winds Upset Hungary’s “Illiberal Revolution”

Northern Winds Upset Hungary’s “Illiberal Revolution”

In his most recent flamboyant sign of making a clear break with the past, Viktor Orbán, Hungary’s Prime Minister, has taken the unexpected step of moving out of the Hungarian equivalent of the White House, choosing instead a not-too-shabby castle in the historical Buda Castle District, the former place of residence for Hungary’s kings of yore.

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The pitfalls of sanctions and financial warfare

The pitfalls of sanctions and financial warfare

Sanctions are all the rage in contemporary foreign policy circles. Following interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, Western populations rightly are less and less supportive of direct military action, especially of any initiative involving “boots on the ground.” Sanctions provide a tempting policy solution to decision makers all too conscious of public opinion; a sort of “financial […]

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Does the Greek Golden Dawn party threaten European unity?

Does the Greek Golden Dawn party threaten European unity?

“Who cares if six million Jews were exterminated? What I care about is the salary I have lost [and] the criminals who rule this country,” casually retorts a businessman sitting in a cafe in central Athens. Statements such as these clearly illustrate the ongoing frustration of the Greek population with their country’s shattered economy, and […]

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Cyprus: How to kill two birds with one stone

Cyprus: How to kill two birds with one stone

Is a solution to the ongoing, four-decade long Cypriot crisis finally at hand? Judging by the insinuated words of Joe Biden during his recent visit to the divided island, so it may seem. It is no happenstance that the second time a U.S. vice president visits Cyprus after Lyndon Johnson’s visit of 1962 took place […]

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From capitalism to oligarchy: What Piketty tells us about Ukraine.

From capitalism to oligarchy: What Piketty tells us about Ukraine.

From humble economist to international rock star: this has been the fate of Thomas Piketty, a French economist that has almost become a household name after publishing the modestly named Capitalism in the Twenty First Century. The 696-page book quickly shot up to the top of bestseller lists around the world (becoming Harvard University Press’ best […]

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Against the end of history

Against the end of history

Word has it that China will surpass the U.S. as the world’s largest economy by the end of this year, according to a recent World Bank report. This is an event of dramatic, albeit symbolic, importance for the way the world will conduct its affairs. With this in mind, what can be expected from international […]

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Hungarian elections: Why is Viktor Orbán set to win big?

Hungarian elections: Why is Viktor Orbán set to win big?

  With the Hungarian parliamentary elections just days away, Western media remains perplexed by the popularity of Viktor Orbán and his ruling Fidesz party in polls. Having been denounced time and again as a power-abusing autocrat by outsiders, Orbán’s image within his home country remains relatively unscathed. Many observers have misunderstood the reality of Orbán’s […]

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Talking about a revolution. Is shale gas the answer?

Talking about a revolution. Is shale gas the answer?

Ever since Moscow decided to up the ante and invade the Crimean peninsula, shale gas reentered journalist lingo. Many have chipped in the debate, including Speaker of the House John Boehner who has argued that American gas is the sole remedy for Russia’s dominance of the European energy market. His diagnosis was that since natural […]

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About the Author

Mark Varga
Mark Varga

Mark Varga is a Hungarian-American European Affairs Consultant residing in Budapest.

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