Highlights

How Long Will ISIS Last Economically?

How Long Will ISIS Last Economically?

Eckart Woertz, Senior Research Fellow, CIDOB

“There’s no trade without war; there’s no war without trade,” the famous quip by Jan Pieterzoon Coen, a leading officer of the Dutch East India Company in the 17th century, not only points to the dark beginnings of capitalism, it also spells out a basic fact: You need money to wage war, loads of it.

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In Libya, is Despair Key to a Turnaround?

In Libya, is Despair Key to a Turnaround?

Ethan Chorin, CEO of Perim Associates, LLC, a Middle East/ North Africa expert services firm, and Francis Ghiles, Associate Senior Researcher , CIDOB

The carrion-eaters screaming ‘Libya is a failed state’ have cause. If there are grounds for optimism in the current morass, it is that the chaos and despair gripping Libya is cutting some knots, sealing off some unproductive policy options, and consolidating positions across parties previously reluctant to speak with one another.

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Sources of Tension in Afghanistan & Pakistan: Perspectives from the Region in 2013 & 2014: 6. Iran

Sources of Tension in Afghanistan & Pakistan: Perspectives from the Region in 2013 & 2014: 6. Iran

Emma Hooper and Roberto Toscano, Associate Senior Researchers, CIDOB

Under CIDOB’s “Sources of Tension in Afghanistan and Pakistan: RegionalPerspectives (STAP RP)” policy research project on the regional powers and their interests, this series is a product of field research visits to a number of the key regional powers identified in the 2012 MappingDocument http://www.cidobafpakproject.com/ by the STAP RP project team.

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Central Europe ten years after: punching above weight in the EU?

Central Europe ten years after: punching above its weight in the EU?

Paweł Świeboda, President of demosEUROPA – Centre for European Strategy

When Central European countries joined the EU in 2004, it created a lot of unease around Europe. Never before had there been such an extensive enlargement of the European Union.

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The World Bank Eats Humble Pie,  But Will the West Really Help Tunisia?

The World Bank Eats Humble Pie, but Will the West Really Help Tunisia?

Francis Ghilès, Associate Senior Researcher, CIDOB

The World Bank’s latest report on Tunisia makes for sober reading. For many years until the fall of Ben Ali, the country was the darling of the WB, the IMF, The European Investment Bank and the Davos World Economic Forum.

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Afghanistan: Monitoring the Key Regional Powers.3

Afghanistan: Monitoring the Key Regional Powers. Report 3

Malaiz Daud, Associate Researcher, CIDOB

The purpose of this series of quarterly monitoring reports (2014) is to monitor and track the actions, public statements of five key STAP RP regional actors (India, Iran, Russia, China, Saudi Arabia) on Afghanistan; the development of, and their participation in relevant international and regional discussion meetings, including the Istanbul Process, Heart of Asia, RECCA, SCO; the five key regional actors’ economic decisions and agreements, including, but not limited to, the energy and infrastructure sectors, which have implications for the identified sources of tension in Afghanistan with regional implications (see CIDOB STAP RP Mapping Document at www.cidobafpakproject.com).

The purpose of this series of quarterly monitoring reports (2014) is to monitor and track the actions, public statements of five key STAP RP regional actors (India, Iran, Russia, China, Saudi Arabia) on Afghanistan; the development of, and their participation in relevant international and regional discussion meetings, including the Istanbul Process, Heart of Asia, RECCA, SCO; the five key regional actors’ economic decisions and agreements, including, but not limited to, the energy and infrastructure sectors, which have implications for the identified sources of tension in Afghanistan with regional implications (see CIDOB STAP RP Mapping Document at www.cidobafpakproject.com).

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“Going, Going ... Once Again Gone?”  The Human Capital Outflow from Afghanistan Post 2014 Elections

The recent buzz about the impact of the political and security transition in Af­ghanistan (withdrawal of international military by the end of 2014 and mid-2014 presidential elections) has overshadowed a far more important underly­ing demographic and development challenge that the country shares with other least developed nations: rapid population growth1 and urbanization

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Pakistan: Monitoring the Key Regional Powers. Report 3

Pakistan: Monitoring the Key Regional Powers. Report 3

Pak Institute for Peace Studies,Islamabad

The purpose of this series of quarterly monitoring reports (2014) is to monitor and track the actions as well as public statements of five key STAP RP regional actors (India, Iran, Russia, China, Saudi Arabia) on Pakistan; the development of, and their participation in relevant international and regional discussion meetings, including the Istanbul Process, Heart of Asia, RECCA, SCO; the five key regional actors’ economic decisions and agreements, including, but not limited to, the energy and infrastructure sectors, which have implications for the identified sources of tension in Pakistan with regional implications (see CIDOB STAP RP Mapping Document at www.cidobafpakproject.com).

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EU-Morocco relations between “success story” and hamster’s wheel

During his last visit to Morocco in May 2014, EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Stefan Füle stated that “the EU-Morocco relation is a ‘success-story’ in the southern neighbourhood” and that it is becoming part of the “terms of reference in the region”. As a matter of fact, the number of initiatives taken in all fields of bilateral relations over the last 15 years since the accession to the throne of King Mohamed VI in July 1999 is impressive.

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The No Vote Offers a Reprieve – No More

The No Vote Offers a Reprieve – No More

Francis Ghilès, Associate Senior Researcher, CIDOB

England, and the rest of the United Kingdom outside Scotland, has been spared the humiliation of loosing 30% of its landmass, 10% of its population and the sheer wit and culture of people of whom the writer George Bernard Shaw once said: “God help England if she had not Scots to think for her”.

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Mogherini's Challenge

Mogherini's Challenge

Roberto Toscano, Associate Senior Researcher, CIDOB

Federica Mogherini should be satisfied, and indeed she looks very happy: her path to the job of High Representative, the EU foreign policy chief, was not an easy one. In a way it was an uphill fight. In part this was due to the complex alchemies related to the sharing of the top jobs in the Union’s structure, but there were also other hurdles to overcome. Her young age, alleged lack of experience and, more ominously, the explicit accusation – picked up and broadcast by several media – of being “soft on Russia”.

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A yes Vote will Truncate the United Kingdom

A Yes Vote will Truncate the United Kingdom

Francis Ghilès, Associate Senior Researcher, CIDOB

Are the United Kingdom and Europe sleepwalking into a crisis whose consequences will be far reaching and unpredictable? If Scotland decides to go its own way on September 18th, it would amount to “an utter catastrophe for this country because a fundamental part of our identity will have been killed.” The sense of foreboding expressed by the popular mayor of London, Boris Johnson, is shared by a majority of British people – whether they live in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. It is ironic and, in the view of many, a denial of democracy that the electorate consists of EU nationals resident in Scotland, Commonwealth citizens who have a residence permit but not the 750,000 Scots who live in the British Isles outside Scotland. The future of this nation is being decided with no reference to the vast majority of the inhabitants of the United Kingdom.

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 A decisive autumn for Ukraine

A Decisive Autumn for Ukraine

Nicolás de Pedro, Research Fellow, CIDOB

The destiny of Ukraine is at stake and the next six weeks will be decisive. The negotiations with Russia taking place in the context of a fragile ceasefire, and the parliamentary elections of the 26th of October will make the situation increasingly tense, putting the brittle Ukrainian stability to the test and with it, perhaps, the very idea of an independent, sovereign Ukraine.

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Extra-Territorial Voting in Turekey: Lessons Learnt

Extra-Territorial Voting in Turkey: Lessons Learnt

Özge Bilgili, Research Fellow, CIDOB

For the first time in history, on 10 August 2014, the president of Turkey has been elected by the citizens rather than by the Members of the Parliament. This means the election results were determined by a pool of more than 55 million voters, about 5 per cent of them were citizens living abroad. This corresponds to near 2.8 million voters. This is a significant number. Firstly because voters could potentially have a substantial influence on the results of the elections. But secondly, because this large number illustrates why extraterritorial voting is a right to be be taken into account. Even if the voting turnout was very low, it was a good exercise to reflect on the challenges of external voting and to discuss the ways to enhance participation in the next elections.

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Gaza: Back to the  Status Quo

Gaza: Back to the Status Quo

Moussa Bourekba, Project Manager, CIDOB

As Ban Ki-moon said, “any peace effort that does not tackle the root causes of the crisis will do little more than set the stage for the next cycle of violence”. In this regard, the current context in Gaza gives no indication that the recent ceasefire agreed between Israel and Hamas will lead to a genuine long-term truce.

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Will Islamic State save Bashar al-Assad?

Will Islamic State save Bashar al-Assad?

Héctor Sánchez Margalef, Research Assistant, and Eduard Soler i Lecha, Research Coordinator, CIDOB

That’s what Bashar al-Assad himself expects. The brutality of Islamic State (IS), (previously the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)), is contributing to Assad’s appearance, both inside and outside Syria, as a lesser evil and a necessary collaborator in their containment.

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The Consequences of Afghanistan’s 2014 Presidential Election Impasse

As Afghanistan’s election saga dragged on, the international community was desperate to have the new president in place in time to attend the NATO summit in Wales on September 4th of this year. That did not happen. Because of the inconclusive presidential election, there is uncertainty about the level of presence or complete withdrawal of the international military forces and civilian aid from Afghanistan beyond December 2014.

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