In April 2016, the launch of Saudi Vision 2030 was announced by the crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman as a development programme aimed at reducing the country’s dependency on oil rent. In fact, as the largest oil-exporter of the world, 30-40% of Saudi Arabia’s real GDP derives from oil revenues under the form of rent. Saudi rentier economy is therefore largely sustained by public expenditure, notably altering the fiscal function of the state, which establish itself as an allocative agent instead. By enhancing its distributive role, rentierism suppresses the need for democratization. The foreseeable decline in oil revenues and rent circulation has however exposed the vulnerabilities of a constant dependency on oil prices, highlighting the urgency of economic diversification, an issue that oil-based economies in the Gulf have been trying to address since the onset of oil production. The Saudi Vision 2030 aims at addressing such concerns though a plurality of programmes, investing different economic and social aspects of the country.
When former president Obama first took office in January of 2009 he inherited a new war on terror (WoT) started by his predecessor George W. Bush in response to the 9/11 attacks in 2001.The illegal invasion of Iraq had received strong world wide condemnation and the American public was dissatisfied with the continued presence of US troops on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama’s promise to bring home the troops has been considered a major contributing factor to him winning the presidential race (The Washington Post, Jaffe:2015). A key part of his plan were the use of drones. These were used for surveillance and for the targeted killing of suspected Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters in Afghanistan. However, the programme has been shown not to be as surgical and effective as Obama had hoped and this article makes the case that the programme in fact morphed into western state terrorism.
The Chinese government has notoriously been running internment camps in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region since 2014. Claiming to be “re-education facilities to fight extremism” for the region’s predominantly Muslim population, the release of new information in the wake of a leak made to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) provides the international community with inside evidence of the cultural genocide being perpetrated by the Chinese Communist Party.
In 2015, Iran and several global actors including permanent members of the Security Council established Nuclear Deal, officially named JCPOA – Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. The main actors it this pact have been the USA, UK, France, Germany, Russia, China, and the EU. It came to power in 2016 and the main aspects of this deal were to limit the process of enriching uranium to the level of 3,6% and to restrict or limit the production of plutonium. Of course, the limitation went towards the equipment and technologies. In return, the main promise was the USA and the EU would stop all sanctions related to its nuclear program and enable Iran to trade its gas and oil as they wish.
Mezinárodní Politika has established cooperation with the Peace Research Center Prague, a newly-established interdisciplinary center of excellence at the Charles University, with focus on prevention, management, and transformation of conflicts in world politics. This article is part of the policy brief series published by the PRCP and Mezinárodní Politika. For more information, visit http://prcprague.cz.
The main idea of an emission trading scheme (ETS), or carbon market, is the idea that regulators should set mandatory limits for GHGs emissions and issue permits to pollute up to the given limit. These permits are traded among companies and their price is given by demand and supply, while companies can either stay below the limits or exceed by purchasing more permits – with the consequence of increasing their price.
The integration of Western Balkans has been long promised by the European Union. It has, however, recently shown a rather reluctant position towards another enlargement. At the same time, we assist to a certain “promise fatigue” in the Western Balkans, where the EU transformative power to incite reform via the conditionality of acquis communautaire, is fading alongside with its popularity in the region. This article argues, why the Health sector represents one of the key areas for the EU to invest in. It focuses on mutual problems and challenges brought by accession in the area of Human Health and it calls for more political action, finance as well as academic studies on the topic.
In last few decades, Hezbollah has established itself as a solid part of Lebanon’s governmental politics and has gradually become a hybrid terrorist organization operating on different interdependent and interconnected levels – social welfare and religious education; military resistance; and the political plane. Also, the organization has been one of the examples of more influential role of sub-state actors in international relations and security, including specific regional conflicts. In case of Syrian civil war, this phenomenon is caused by strong linkages to Iran and the regime of Bashar Assad, whose position Hezbollah defends. The analysis of Hezbollah’s development and present position will thus open space for reflection of its regional connections and activity, especially in Syrian conflict.
In the 1950s, the modernization theory emerged as an attempt to explain how societies in North America and Western Europe developed. This development was seen as depending “primarily on the importation of technology as well as a number of other political and social changes believed to come about as a result” [CROSSMAN, 2017]. According to social scientists of the mid-twentieth century, modernization is a process that involves industrialization, urbanization, rationalization, bureaucracy, mass consumption, and the adoption of democracy and from that it evolved to contemporary societies as of today. The process of modernization impacted society with the wider access of all sorts. This theory is, however, centralized in Western European ideas conceptualized with a capitalist economy point of view, which can be Eurocentric and do not consider the colonization era, slave labor, environmental sense and sustainability. When it comes to the modernization, the Islamic State is a an example of how modern communications enable spread of beliefs; how modernization enabled both state and religion to increase their sphere of influence and how modern religious organizations contribute to political activity.
Conventionally, gun rights advocates have sought to claim that stricter firearms legislation “does not hit the target” (Charles Cooke) and that the success of Australia’s prohibitive firearms regime in particular, is a “myth” (Ryan McMaken). Nonetheless, as this article will seek to demonstrate, such contentions rest on false presumptions. Legislation in Australia has proven strikingly efficacious and assumptions of the inherent inapplicability of such laws to America are exposed as largely unfounded. The Australian model of rigorous checks and limitations, coupled with the role of civil society actors in utilising major incidences of firearms-related violence to seize the normative initiative and present the nation with stark choices over the future direction of its society, is here posited as the key to passing successful legislation on guns.
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