Russia post March 4, 2012: Elections are over but questions remain (by Tatiana Romanova). Russian elections brought little surprise. The biggest intrigue was not who would win for no sane person either in Russia or abroad doubted that Vladimir Putin would return to the Kremlin. What caused the debates, however, was whether he would make it in one round or two. As it is now well-known, … MORE

Europe’s next big idea (by Nicholas Karides). The European Union is enjoying its lengthiest ever period without conflict. It is also suffering its longest spell without economic growth. The once unfathomable goal of Europe-wide peace, which is set out to achieve in the aftermath of World War II, and one it sought by pursuing economic integration may not be at risk yet, but the picture is fading. … MORE

The turmoil in the Middle East: Changes and Challenges (by Shlomo Avineri). Reviewing developments in the Arab world in the last year, two things stand out – one that happened, the other that did not. What happened was that the first time in modern Arab history, authoritarian regimes and rulers were toppled, or seriously challenged, by popular demonstrations. In a region which had … MORE

Turkish-Iranian race for hegemony in the light of the Arab Spring (by Sotiris Roussos). Turkish-Iranian relations have been all the time full of contradictions, nuances and shared interests. However, since the Treaty of Erzurum in 1847 between the Ottoman Empire and Qajjat Persia, hostilities have ceased for more than one and a half centuries. During the Cold War era the two … MORE

The Arab Spring and its impact on native minority communities (by Habib C. Malik). The subject I will try to cover is hardly touched upon by anyone considering the Arab Spring, namely its impact on native minority communities. This is a talk about phobias. Apprehensions run deep among a variety of the Arab east’s native minority communities as the Arab Spring unfolds into … MORE

Freedom of press in Turkey (by Ismail Kemal). Nearly 100 journalists are imprisoned in Turkey on terrorism charges. Nedim Sener and Ahmet Sik are among these journalists. They were jailed for 375 days on charges of being “members of a terrorist organization.” They were accused of being members of Ergenekon. According to the prosecutors, Ergenekon is an underground terrorist … MORE

Israel and Iran: A new conflict in the making? (by Eleni Stavrou). Following the overthrow of the Shah of Iran by “the religious clerics and the people” in 1979, Iran’s dependency on the West ended, awakening the ambitions of the newly-established regime to become a peripheral, leading force of Shi’ite Islam … MORE

The response of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the Arab Spring (by Farid Mirbagheri). Some key observations have to be made at the outset of this analysis. Firstly the I.R. of Iran is not, in the strict sense of the word, a conventional state seeking to enhance perceived Iranian national interests. The foundational pillars of the Iranian system since 1979 ask for the pursuit of wider … MORE