This week’s featured graphic provides an overview of Algeria and Egypt’s top trading partners. Russia’s absence from the top five trading partners list of either country highlights that despite Moscow’s revival of its ties with Cairo and Algiers, it remains overshadowed by other actors in the economic sphere. To find out more about Russia’s strategy in the Middle East and North Africa, read Lisa Watanabe’s chapter for Strategic Trends 2019 here.
“The small is as important as the bigger picture. It is these smaller things, if they are coordinated, that can lead to the transformation of the bigger picture” (p. 10). These are the first two sentences of a recently published book on mediation in fragile contexts, written by Kenyan-Somali peacebuilder, Dekha Ibrahim Abdi, and Swiss researcher-practitioner, Simon Mason. These opening lines capture the essence of the book. The book is broadly concerned with how to deal with violent societal conflict ranging from intercommunity and community-state to nationwide ethnopolitical conflict. A common thread throughout the book is how small steps in peace processes taken by mediators and conflict parties from the bottom up can eventually lead to peace.
For ASPI’s 2019 conference, ‘War in 2025’, I was asked to identify the geopolitical realities that will shape the world of that year. Here I outline some of the strategic constants which—barring major catastrophes—will still most likely be in place in six years’ time.
This graphic shows how the the overall level of internal trade among the member states of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) remains relatively low at 14.6 percent, especially when compared to the European Union (EU), where around 64 percent of trade was between members in 2017. The graphic also shows the percentage of external trade for both unions. For an insight into Russia’s policy towards the EAEU and how this fits into Moscow’s Eurasian strategy, see Jeronim Perović’s chapter in Strategic Trends 2019 here.
In many African countries where civil war raged not so long ago, former warlords are today running for office in elections. This policy note assesses the effect that these warlord democrats have on democratisation and security.