The CSS Blog Network

Central Asian States: Is Intra-Regional Integration Possible?

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

This article was originally published by the Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI) on 3 October 2019.

For a long time, the five Central Asian republics have presented a puzzle to researchers and policymakers regarding regional cooperation. They have a range of historical, linguistic, religious and political aspects in common: they were all part of the same bloc, the Soviet Union; they have Russian as a lingua franca, while most national languages are part of the Turkic linguistic family and largely mutually intelligible; Sunni Islam is the region’s predominant religion; and they exhibit similar political systems. Furthermore, Central Asian states share the fate of being situated in a largely neglected, landlocked region surrounded by more populous, powerful neighbours, namely Russia and China.

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External Relations of the EAEU

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This week’s graphic maps the external relations of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). This includes states that have an observer status in the organization, who are members of the Eurasian Bank of Development, have a free trade agreement (FTA) with the EAEU, and more. For an analysis of the EAEU’s role in Russia’s Eurasian strategy, read Jeronim Perović’s chapter for Strategic Trends 2019 here.

Navigating Complexity: The EU’s Rationale in the 21st Century

Image courtesy of United Nations Photo/Flickr. (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

This article was originally published by the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) in January 2019.

For my parents, Europe was an ideal: it meant peace after the unspeakable death and destruction brought about by two World Wars. Europe was a dream, admittedly a minoritarian dream, whose power fostered the longest era of uninterrupted peace on the continent, first in Western Europe, then expanding eastwards after the end of the Cold War.

For me, Europe has been the opportunity of a lifetime: from the thrill of interrailing as a teenager, to my studies in the UK, my first job in Belgium, my wedding in Spain, up to the relief of not having to switch off data roaming every time my flight landed in the Union. For me, and for many, Europe has been a luxury.

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Belarusian Integration

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This graphic maps the different regional integration projects and organisations Belarus is a member of. For more on how Belarus’ relations with the East and the West will develop, see Benno Zogg’s recent addition to the CSS Analyses in Security Policy series here. For more CSS charts, maps and graphics on proliferation, click here.

Lessons Learned from the Pioneers of African Unity

On the beach of Chitimba, Malawi

“Africa” written in the evening sky in Malawi, courtesy Jack Zalium/Flickr

This article was originally published by The Nordic Africa Institute on 31 May 2016.

May 25th is a memorable day for Pan-Africanism. This is the day when, 53 years ago today, representatives of 32 African governments signed a treaty in Addis Ababa to establish the Organisation of African Unity (OAU).

Many meanings and ideas can be projected into Pan-Africanism, and indeed there has been, and will continue to be, a lively debate about the definition of this too often politicized term. However, the merit of such a debate is far less important to the discussion here than the fact that there are dimensions of Pan-Africanism, and also that Pan-Africanism has passed through many phases before its present phase where it is being celebrated as an ideology for African development. This conception of Pan-Africansim seeks and emphasises the unity and solidarity of all Africans for the purpose of African development.

Pan-Africanism gained prominence in Africa, especially in the 1950s, and became a veritable tool for anti-colonial struggles. The influence of Trans-Atlantic Pan-Africanism as a movement of ideas and emotions was remarkable. Much in this regard can be attributed to the efforts of black Pan-Africanists in diaspora. The pursuit of Pan-Africanism as a movement of liberation in the 1950s helped in promoting awareness about the essence of ‘African unity’. For example, there was broad consensus among African leaders on the need to promote the unity of African countries towards the total liberation of Africa. However, the movement towards African unity was evidently characterised by differences among African leaders.

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