Europe Through the Looking Glass: Could the Debt Crisis Negate Decades of Integration?

By Panos Stasinopoulos 

Those of us engaged in research in the field of European studies are, it is safe to say, “Europhiles”. In many cases this is owing to a story we have relating to the EU, or an 8-year-old’s memory of the signing of the Maastricht Treaty and the birth of EU citizenship. There are many other reasons, historical and cultural, of course, but these are not a panacea; what we perceive as Eurosceptism is now growing. This is apparent not only in the UK, a traditionally distant bedfellow of the European experiment, but in other, more pro-EU member states. 


Lebanese Politics Gridlocked by Syrian Turmoil

By Seraina Benz

As the populist pro-democracy wave sweeps across the Arab world, provoking revolutionary change in some of the most entrenched authoritarian Arab regimes, the Republic of Lebanon lies in ruins. Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s cabinet was brought down on 12 January by the resignation of Hezbollah and its allied ministers after Hariri had refused to comply with the Shia organisation’s demands to cease all cooperation with the UN-backed international tribunal investigating Rafik Hariri’s assassination. The tribunal is expected to issue indictments against Hezbollah members and their Syrian patrons. Recovery has been anything but rapid and is likely to be stalled further as Syria, Lebanon’s traditional power-broker, is in the throes of a popular uprising which impacts heavily on Lebanon’s chances of political recovery due to the inextricable political entanglement linking the two neighbouring countries.

Arms Race

Triggering an Arms Race in the Middle East?

By Ramee Mossa

The Arab Spring has forever changed the course of politics in the Middle East. The ongoing developments are forcing experts to discard former strategic analyses and re-evaluate short and mid-term strategic forecasts of the region. In less than three months, circumstances in both Libya and Bahrain resulted in foreign power military interventions with noticeable consequences. On one hand, the gains of Libya’s pro Gaddafi forces seem to have weakened the NATO alliance, which was also harmed by the increasingly diverging strategies amongst its member states. 


Will Dissident Irish Republicans Achieve Their Aims? A Citizen’s View

By Gavin Norris

Few will have heard of Beragh, County Tyrone. It is a small village of just over five hundred inhabitants, only eight miles east of Omagh, the site of the worst terrorist atrocity of Northern Ireland’s Troubles. However on 6 April, Beragh was the site of one of the most symbolic gatherings in modern Irish history as hundreds of people from across the country’s political divide came to pay their respects to PC Ronan Kerr of the Police Service of Northern Ireland. 


So South Sudan Is Born, Now What?

By Luis Miguel Bueno Padilla

Leaders in South Sudan have much work ahead to establish strength in the brand new nation. Success will be underpinned by four points: coordination, nation-building, civil peace and stability. But before looking toward the future, let us first examine the past. South Sudanese longings for independence go as far back as 1899. Under the British Condominium, the whole of Sudan was governed through what the British labelled "Indirect Rule" or "Devolution", and therefore administered by indigenous structures. The British Foreign Office initially devised this ruling model into two separate administrations (North and South), which eventually led to growing disparities between them. 


What Social Media Offers Diplomacy

By Lola Adeniyi 

Discussion of topical news events such as the Arab protests, the Wikileaks fiasco, or the 2009 Iranian student movement cannot be complete without considering the increasing relevance and impact of social media on commerce, politics and activism. From pure entertainment to business networking, the democracy of social media platforms presents an opportunity to acquire and assess the public’s perception of current events. Conversely, it provides the chance to tap into the public’s conscience on political and activist issues.

Bahrain Protests

Hijacked by Elites: Bahrain’s Protests

By Ramee Mossa 

On 14 February 2011, the pro-democracy Arab protest movement spread to the tiny Gulf Kingdom of Bahrain. While the first protests there began at a modest pace, the heavy handed military tactics of the government resulted in an explosion in the size and ferocity of the popular demonstrations which finally gained worldwide media attention.