Foreign Policy Blogs

Tag Archives: Democracy

The Thatcher Legacy and Complex Pictures of Friendship

The Thatcher Legacy and Complex Pictures of Friendship

Beneath a vaulted marble sky adorned in constellations of angels, dragons, man and beast, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s coffin spent the evening before her funeral cloaked in the Union Jack inside the neo-gothic Chapel of St. Mary Undercroft.  Parliament, the starting block of Thatcher’s rise to iconic power, hovers above the Chapel in […]

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A Meeting of Ministers: Hague to make latest U.K. Syria bid

A Meeting of Ministers:  Hague to make latest U.K. Syria bid

The vice grip of prolonged violence suffocating Syria is sending the humanitarian situation there careening towards the fading lights of a blackout. With a death toll looming somewhere between 70-90,000 and a refugee population of over a million in two years time, international intervention to this point has been largely limited to food aid and […]

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The Politics of Managing Elections in Iran

The Politics of Managing Elections in Iran

  Iran’s presidential election will be held on June 14. Under Iran’s election law, observation of the voting process is a crime unless this monitoring is pre-approved. Generally, presidential candidates are only allowed to have one representative at each polling station to monitor the process. In 2009, it was claimed by Mir-Hossein Mousavi, the presidential […]

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Kenya Votes While Calm Reigns

Kenya Votes While Calm Reigns

In the spring of 2008, I met with a group of Kenyan human rights activists to discuss what they saw as the most pressing issues in East Africa. At one point, the conversation turned to the post-election violence their country witnessed just a few months before. “I know,” one of them said, shaking her head. […]

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A Candid Discussion on Iran’s Presidential Elections

A Candid Discussion on Iran’s Presidential Elections

The eleventh Iranian presidential election is scheduled to be held this June. Local council elections will also take place at the same time as presidential elections. To take an analytic look at this year’s Iranian elections from a number of relevant angles, the Foreign Policy Association (FPA) will be discussing the elections with leading observers and […]

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Is Liberty Losing Her Voice?

Is Liberty Losing Her Voice?

The history of Radio Liberty is the stuff of Cold War legend: dissidents huddled around a contraband radio in some dimly lit room in a cold and dreary gulag, hoping desperately to hear that the world recognized their suffering and that the promise of liberty was still within reach. Funded by the U.S. over decades, […]

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Tough Talk, No Strategy? Increasing role of sanctions in EU Foreign Policy

Tough Talk, No Strategy? Increasing role of sanctions in EU Foreign Policy

As the EU is dragged into coping with the ongoing financial crisis, there has been a lively discussion what will be the consequences on the EU’s foreign policy in the long-term forecast. Most of the arguments deal with a question of how the nature of the EU Crisis Management will change in the upcoming years, as EU […]

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EU Kicks Off a New Fund to Help Oppressed

EU Kicks Off a New Fund to Help Oppressed

Pro-democracy and human rights movements beyond the EU borders will have a new access to grants from a budget of the newly established European Endowment for Democracy (EED). However, even though The Board of Governors of the EED held its meeting in Brussels on 9 January 2013, which also marks its official launch, the future […]

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European Endowment for Democracy: What is on the menu?

European Endowment for Democracy: What is on the menu?

The socio-political development of the Arab Spring has been a real wake-up call for the EU’s policy-makers. Rapid changes in the South Mediterranean once again pointed the finger at the EU’s inability to act swiftly, decisively and audaciously to the events unfolding beyond the EU’s southern borders. Numerous policy changes have recently occurred in the […]

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Security Policy in Eastern Europe: Challenges for the EU

Security Policy in Eastern Europe: Challenges for the EU

By Dominik P. Jankowski and Paweł Świeżak The recently popular thesis concerning the EU turning to the South is an oversimplification and needs to be treated with reserve. Nevertheless, the interests and the involvement of the EU have been moving towards the African continent at least since 2010. This is clearly visible especially in the […]

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The EU’s Human Rights and Democracy Promotion Strategy Introduced: first signs of strengths and weaknesses

The EU’s Human Rights and Democracy Promotion Strategy Introduced: first signs of strengths and weaknesses

Two and a half years after the Treaty of Lisbon, the EU showed up with a new human rights face for its external relations. The often repeated words of Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, stating that human rights have to be a “silver thread” that runs […]

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All Eyes on Asia for U.S. Long-Term Strategic Foreign Policy

All Eyes on Asia for U.S. Long-Term Strategic Foreign Policy

U.S. President Barack Obama is returning to Asia for his first overseas trip since winning re-election. He will attend, for the second consecutive year, the East Asia Summit which is viewed by the U.S. as the emerging eminent multilateral forum for regional leaders from 17 other states to discuss salient strategic and security issues. The […]

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The Great Renewal of the Chinese Nation

The Great Renewal of the Chinese Nation

Reminiscent of the carefully-choreographed 2008 Beijing Olympics, China’s unveiling on Thursday of the lineup of the new Politburo Standing Committee, its highest leadership body, took every precaution to ensure an orderly transfer of power. Security in Beijing was tightened, shops were ordered to remove fruit knives from their shelves, hotels opened and inspected all stored […]

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Contrasting Elections in the U.S. and China

Contrasting Elections in the U.S. and China

When two of the world’s largest superpowers undergo political transitions at the same time, contrasts are inevitable.  One of the best comparisons comes from the above cartoon, which contrasts the bombardment of information from the American press with the deafening silence from China’s new leadership.  While many Americans are sick and tired of the relentless […]

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A Tale of Two Different Political Systems

A Tale of Two Different Political Systems

The late theologian and political analyst Reinhold Niebuhr in his essay entitled “Optimism, Pessimism, and Religious Faith” wrote the following about Soviet Marxism: “But after many five-year plans have come and gone and it is discovered that strong men still tend to exploit the weak, and that shrewd men still take advantage of the simple, […]

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