Global warming and melting of Arctic ice

Rossiiskaya gazeta published a report from a scientific conference where the proposition on global warming and melting of Arctic ice was effectively disproved. The fact that September 2013 ice was by as much as 50% larger than September 2012 ice is indeed under-reported. What is odd about this emphasis, however, is that it goes strictly… Read more »

Old Wine in an E-bottle (or, The Text that Mistook Itself for a Tactical Shift)

On January 24th Barbara Walter wrote a fascinating blog entry entitled “The Text that Changed the World”. It noted that the “Ukrainian government” had issued a text message to “thousands of protesters” effectively telling them that they had been busted (i.e., they were identified as participating in a protest event). While it is useful to… Read more »

The Northern Fleet

It is rather unusual for the official news agency to publish an expert opinion that “the Northern Fleet in its current strength cannot perform even elementary tasks on ensuring national security in this vast region“. The volume of assertive statements has much increased after the short cruise of a squadron led by Petr Veliky along… Read more »

The Battle for Bangkok

In the wake of the power struggle between the political elites in Thailand, we are now seeing a popular uprising. Once again Thailand’s capital is paralysed by demonstrations. The streets are filled with Thai flags and demands that the prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, must step down. “Shut down Bangkok – Restart Thailand!” But behind the… Read more »

Why does Democratization Occur in Waves?

The ‘Arab Spring’ demonstrated that political transitions tend to occur together in space and time. Samuel Huntington coined the term ‘Waves of democratization’ in his book The Third Wave. The figure above shows that changes to the proportion of the world’s countries that are democracies occurs in spurts. Confirming Huntington’s three waves of democratization, spurts occurred from the … Read more »

“Hard security” matters in the Arctic

Russian officials added emphasis on the “hard security” matters in the Arctic in the end-of-the-year self-congratulations. Nikolai Patrushev, the secretary of the Security Council and a big fan of Far North, asserted that “strategic risks for Russia in the Arctic are increasing“. Vice prime minister Dmitry Rogozin argued that “serious players are engaged in a battle,… Read more »