Category: Regions and Powers

The United States Must Be Viewed as a Flawed Democracy at Significant Risk of Transitioning into Dictatorship

A study of flawed democracies and semi-dictatorships describes a common pattern of events as follows: After having lost an election, the sitting president claims that the election was invalid, whereupon he attempts a coup d’état and his supporters storm the parliament. A few years ago, this sequence of events would have been unthinkable in any… Read more »

The Empire Strikes Back

In recent years, nationalist leaders have staked claims on lost territories in order to restore the glory of former empires. Lars-​Erik Cederman believes that this rise in revanchist nationalism poses a threat to geopolitical stability. populist nationalists have increasingly expressed a strong sense of longing for their states’ imperial past Imperialism is thought to be… Read more »

Bosnia and Herzegovina – a Failed State 25 Years After the Peace Accords

The people of Bosnia and Herzegovina are governed by three presidents, 14 prime ministers, 180 ministers, and 700 members of parliament (who sit in 14 different parliaments). A ping on my phone last fall told me that she was now a widow. The message was from my Bosnian friend in Sarajevo. Her husband had lost… Read more »

Pompeo and the Two-State Swan Song

On 19 November 2020 US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo became the most senior US politician to officially visit an Israeli settlement on the occupied West Bank. This visit, and his ensuing statement that products from Israeli settlements can be labeled as “Made in Israel”, mark the swan song of US support for the two-state… Read more »

Biden Presidency, Palestine-Israel, and the Prospects for Peace

The Biden Administration will be perceived differently by the various actors involved in the “Palestinian-Israeli conflict” and the so-called peace process. Yet, its position as a “dishonest broker for peace” will remain the constant variable, in line with previous US Administrations. It is not speculative to argue that the Biden Administration will follow a well-trodden,… Read more »

What a Biden Presidency Could Mean for the Middle East

With a winner finally announced in the US election, researchers at the PRIO Middle East Centre present a few thoughts on what a Biden presidency could mean for the Middle East. What are likely to be the guiding foreign policy principles of a Biden administration and how will regional and international actors’ positions be impacted?… Read more »

A Surprise in Cyprus? Recent Elections and the Return of the Populist Right

In October, North Cyprus experienced a highly contested leadership election after a COVID-imposed delay. This stirred new debates over the realism of a possible federal solution for Cyprus. During his five years in office, Mustafa Akıncı, the left-wing candidate running for re-election, had expressed strong support for federation and had been critical of the Turkish… Read more »

From Moria to the UN Security Council: Norwegian Domestic Politics and Foreign Policy Ambitions

The fire at the Moria camp underlines the depth of the crisis in the international system intended to protect people fleeing their home countries. Under the Refugee Convention, people in need of asylum must be given the opportunity to apply for it. The fundamental flaws in this system weighs heavily on the international community and… Read more »