A major characteristic of the entire region stretching from Turkey to China is the complex processes of state-building and political development in the states that compose this region. This is especially true for the states of the former Soviet Union, that were in many ways forced to build their states from scratch at independence. The process is nowhere more dramatic than in war-ravaged Afghanistan, which is experiencing the perhaps most vibrant political, economic and social changes in the region. But it is also true for more established states, be it China, Pakistan or Turkey, that are experiencing very rapid changes in their political and economic systems.
The processes taking place reach the west mainly in the form of news about velvet revolutions; but the processes taking place in the region are far more complex and differentiated than that, involving the evolution of political systems and the long-term building of statehood. As such, a major emphasis is placed in the ISDP on the processes of state-building and political systems.
Turkey and the West: How Bad is it?
The U.S. suspension of visa services in Turkey is an indication of the depth of the fissures between the West and Turkey. While Turkish bureaucrats are trying to maintain functioning relations with the West, there are growing calls in Washington, Ankara and Berlin to redefine Turkey policy. Is Turkey headed for an incremental divorce with the West?
Reforming South Korea’s “Imperial Presidency”
South Korea’s constitution vests too much power in the office of the president, which raises the risk of the post being misused. This was brought dramatically into focus earlier this […]
Bad Solutions in a Complex Situation: China’s Relations with North Korea
China’s relations with North Korea are complex with a variety of bad choices and suboptimal solutions. It could be argued that the actor that has lost most in the recent tensions […]
A Balancing Act: the 16+1 Cooperation Framework
Since 2012, the 16+1 Cooperation Framework (hereby 16+1) has been the focal point of relations between China and Central Eastern Europe (CEE). However, this initiative is marked by various asymmetries […]
The EU and Central Asia: Expanding Economic Cooperation, Trade, and Investment
Since the independence of the Central Asian states, this landlocked region has taken time to reconnect with the world, including Europe. Twenty-five years ago, many underestimated the diverse challenges – infrastructural, economic, political – that impeded the region’s trade and connectivity with the rest of the world. Yet as trade statistics show, much has been accomplished in a quarter century.
The European Union’s Political and Security Engagement with Central Asia: How to Move Forward
Despite an ambitious set of policy initiatives for Central Asia, the EU is punching below its weight in a region where Russia and China are far more influential. Ten years after the EU launched a strategy for Central Asia, the EU is still facing substantial challenges in implementing its strategy successfully.