Could Spain Go the Way of Yugoslavia?
In recent years, the European Union has been bogged down by one crisis after another—from Greece to the Euro to Brexit. But happily, none of these have endangered what has underpinned European integration since the late 1940s: securing lasting peace among European states. Europe has not been spared political violence, as residents of Northern Ireland and the Basque country can attest to. But to almost all Europeans, the notion of armed conflict within their midst is no longer even thinkable. While the Catalonia crisis is not destined to degenerate into large-scale violence, European and American leaders do not appear to take the potential for conflict seriously. They are mistaken.
The Catalan crisis was triggered by utterly irresponsible behavior on the part of both the region’s and Spain’s leaders. While opinion polls show a majority of Catalonia’s residents oppose independence, Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont called a referendum on independence that was rushed through the local parliament and was, by all standards, illegal. Unsurprisingly, since opponents of independence would not cast a vote in an illegal poll, less than half of eligible voters took part. Yet defying logic, Puigdemont concluded the pre-ordained yes vote gave the region a “right” to independence.
The Raucous Caucasus
The United States must restore its leverage and credibility in the restive region caught between Russia, Turkey, and Iran. The news from the Caucasus that reaches the United States these […]
A Reflection on U.S. Grand Strategy: Trump and the Challenge for South Korean Diplomacy
Where does President Trump’s foreign policy fit within the existing paradigms envisioning America’s role in the world? Or does it represent a radical new departure? Providing a historical perspective, Ildo […]
The International Politics of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Conflict
This book frames the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh in the context of European and international security. It is the first book to focus on the politics of the conflict rather […]
The Great Rejuvenation? China’s Search for a New ‘Global Order’
Executive Summary This Asia Paper explores how China, a ‘partial’ global power, can set the agenda and determine the rules in a global order dominated by a declining yet unyielding […]
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 […]
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.