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Religion Peace CSS Blog

Mediation Perspectives: Trump, the Bible, and the Instrumentalization of Religion

Image courtesy of The White House/Flickr

Mediation Perspectives is a periodic blog entry that’s provided by the CSS’ Mediation Support Team and occasional guest authors.

In the evening of 1 June, one week into nationwide protests in the wake of the murder of George Floyd, US President Donald Trump left the White House and made his way to nearby St. John’s Church. He stopped in front of the church and posed for the media holding a Bible.

Categories
Politics Coronavirus CSS Blog

Europe’s Outlier: Belarus and Covid-19

Image courtesy of Benno Zogg.

This blog belongs to the CSS’ coronavirus blog series, which forms a part of the center’s analysis of the security policy implications of the coronavirus crisis. See the CSS special theme page on the coronavirus for more.

Instead of taking meaningful measures, the Belarusian government downplayed the threat of the coronavirus and suggested obscure cures. This is a dangerous bet by a regime afraid of economic downturn and appearing weak – similar to several other regimes with strongman leaders. Given Belarusians lack faith in the government’s response and official data, they are taking personal responsibility for their fate. This goes against the grain of the political culture in the country and underscores that authoritarian regimes’ habitual methods may reach their limits during such a crisis.

Categories
Politics

Keeping His Options Open: Why Putin Decided to Stay On

Image courtesy of Kremlin.ru. (CC BY 4.0) 

This article was originally published by the Carnegie Moscow Center on 13 March 2020.

Putin, a man torn by conflicting impulses, has opted for stability in moving to stay on as president after 2024. In doing so, he surprised the elite and even some in the presidential administration, deceiving those around him—though not the public—with his talk of changes in leadership and overhauling Russia’s political system. His real intentions are impossible to know, but his priority is clear: keeping his options open.

Categories
Politics

Mikhail Mishustin, Russia’s New Prime Minister

Image courtesy of Kremlin.ru. (CC BY 4.0)

This article was originally published by the Centre for Eastern Studies (OSW) on 17 January 2020.

On 15 January, shortly after President Vladimir Putin delivered his annual address to the Federal Assembly, in which he announced changes to the constitution, it was reported that Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev and his government had resigned. The President entrusted the previous cabinet with the task of governing in the interim, but he then announced that he had nominated Mikhail Mishustin, who had hitherto been the head of the Federal Tax Service of the Russian Federation, for the post of prime minister. The new prime minister was approved by the State Duma on 16 January.

Categories
Elections

The Path to Politics: Belarus Prepares for Double Elections

Image courtesy of Cencillería del Ecuador/Flickr. (CC BY-SA 2.0)

This article was originally published by the Carnegie Moscow Center on 20 August 2019.

Elections in Belarus are traditionally administrative rituals. However, amid growing tensions with Russia and increased discussion of a future presidential transition in Minsk, the upcoming Belarusian parliamentary and presidential votes may be the start of cautious political change in the country.