For the second time in the modern history of South Korea, the Olympic games held on its soil represented a symbolic diplomatic breakthrough. The 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul came down in history as the benchmark of South Korea’s transformation into a global economic power when the international community finally took note of the ‘Miracle on the Han River’. Now, the PyeongChang Games earned the nickname of the ‘Peace Olympics’ as they provided an opening for negotiations regarding the politics of the peninsula after another series of rising security tensions. Though the commentators differed in their predictions on whether the political détente will outlive the games or not, it is undeniable that the Games brought about some unprecedented displays of soft power. The two Koreas marched under the same flag, put together a joint female ice hockey team and a combined Tae-Kwon-Do demonstration, and oversaw a set of art performances by the red-coated cheerleaders.
Malaysia has become well-known in the field of political science for its extraordinary appearance regarding electoral politics, having utilized a snap election process ever since the nation obtained independence in 1957. Going against this practice, the contemporary PM continues to postpone the date of the general election he is responsible for. Is there any motivation behind this abnormal action? Indeed there may be, with at least five key aspects that deserve a mention.
Rare earth metals (REMs) is a group of elements, which has a strategic usage in the production of high-end technology such as space satellites or defence technologies. Currently China controls the majority of sources producing REMs.
Between October 18 and 24, 2017, the Communist Party of China (CPC) held its 19th National Party Congress. National Congresses, recently organized every five years, bring together delegates from various sectors of the party, government, the military, social organizations and the countryside.
On October 24, 2017, the National Congress of the Communist Party ended in Beijing. Apart from dealing with procedural, doctrinal and policy-related issues, the most important decisions concerned personal aspect of Chinese politics.
On 18 March 2018, Russians will head to polls and Vladimir Putin will undoubtedly be elected as President for another six-year term. Even four months out from the election, few would be foolish enough to disagree with this, and yet, Russia’s political atmosphere feels uncharacteristically on edge. This, of course, cannot be attributed to the expected landslide for the incumbent Putin. Rather a number of trends have surfaced over the last few months and added some intrigue to an otherwise featureless political landscape.
Od konce minulého roku se v Rakhinském státě opět zvedla vlna nepokojů a konfliktů mezi tamními muslimy a buddhistickými Rakhinci, kterých je z celkové populace v Rakhinském státě většina. Nepokoje mezi těmito dvěma skupinami přitom mají mnohem delší historii a sahají až do 19. století, kdy do této západní části Myanmaru přišlo několik desítek tisíc muslimů ze sousedních států jako Bangladeš nebo Indie.
On September 14-20 Russia jointly with Belarus conducted large-scale strategic military exercise - the Zapad (West) 2017. The exercise takes place in the Western Strategic Direction, at ranges located in the Republic of Belarus as well as in the Kaliningrad, Leningrad, and Pskov regions every four years. This quadrennial exercise is not a new one, but the Zapad 2017 exercise has received a huge attention, even before it has formally started.
What is soft power? American political scientist Joseph S. Nye tried to simplify the definition of the key term power, essential to understanding the behavior of societies, saying that “… power is the ability to influence the behavior of others to get the outcomes one wants”. The concept of soft power, introduced by Nye, implies the possibility for an actor to“… obtain the outcomes it wants in world politics because of other countries – admiring its values, emulating its example, aspiring to its level of prosperity and openness – want to follow it” and, “… in behavioral terms, soft power is attractive power. In terms of resources, soft power resources are the assets that produce such attraction”.
Today, October 1, Spain’s autonomous region of Catalonia will strive to hold a referendum on its proposed secession from Spain, despite attempts by Spain’s central government and Constitutional Court to thwart it. Arrests, prosecutions, ballot box confiscations, referendum site and poll station shutdowns by police have plunged the region into a state of emergency. The crackdown has polarized the nation as well as foreign observers and exacerbated the secessionist spirit amongst Catalans, who no longer see the referendum as a fight for independence but also for democracy and freedom of expression.
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