Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, 15 new states had emerged and started settling themselves on the global arena, changing the geopolitical condition of the world. Nevertheless, for some post-Soviet little states, it was difficult to discard the Russian shadow in the domestic as well as the foreign policy. Georgia, a neighbor state of the “Russian bear”, had been struggling to gain sovereignty and function independently. However, when the leader of the Rose Revolution, Mikheil Saakashvili, took rule of the country in 2004, a new era in the Georgian history started, shifting the country’s orientation to the West. Driven by a will to have stronger allies, the Western course of Georgia evolved to a motivation to become a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO. Consequently, the ties between Georgia and Russia had crumbled, causing a discontent of the big neighbor, which, later, turned into a war, known as the August War.
With ISIS losing its positions, young women that have been driven to the group, predominantly to marry Daesh militants are expressing their sentiments to return back to countries of their origin. This induces a debate whether they need to be allowed back or not. The discourse is polarized with ones claiming for a second chance and ones arguing against it. While politicians, scholars, civil society and journalists debate on this matter by trying to justify their arguments, it is crucial to understand why radicalization happens in the first place. The following article aims to explore the reasons why women from democratic states travel to war zones such as in Syria and join the terrorist network.
Governmentality, Immigration, and Brexit; or the Extraordinary Tale of a One-nation Tory Stitch-up Once upon a time a group of waning imperial powers decided, in the wake of the most egregious manifestation of imperial carnage on their home soil, to try and overcome their own internal squabbles by bundling their powers through the formation of a European association. Although this so-called European Union long flourished and steadily expanded in size, one member-state by the name of the United Kingdom, itself a reluctant latecomer to the club, had grown increasingly anxious of the union it had once voluntarily joined. The European Union, or so the British said, had over the years been unmasked as a German-led gargantuan monster that had slowly eaten away their cherished sovereignty. Even though most of the other nations disagreed with this reading of events, they had nonetheless generally been susceptible to these recurring episodes of British bluster. Yet despite having gradually granted them an array of concessions, ranging from a ‘rebate’ to a seemingly endless list of ‘opt-outs’, the British only grew more discontented. They hence decided to hold a referendum to settle the question of British membership to the Union once and for all. Upon hearing that it was ‘the will of the British people’ to become the first nation to leave their European Union, the remaining members could only muster one unified yet baffled response: how on earth did this happen?
Around three decades ago, American political scientist and professor from Harvard University Joseph Nye put forth idea called „soft power“, a concept that caught fire and went on to define the post-Cold war era. This type of power is not based on military resources, which are classified under "hard power". Joseph Nye defined term soft power as the ability of a country to persuade others to do what it wants without force or coercion. In recent years many different organizations, NGOs, companies or political groups have also shown a diplomatic activity with soft power approach. This development should be jointed with the extension of the public diplomacy, a diplomacy targeting a wide variety of non-institutional audiences. It brings together a range of propaganda practices aimed at manipulating the perception of foreign audiences to enrich national interests. The digital age and social media amplify the ethical dilemmas inherent in public diplomacy practices.
Current refugee crisis has been one of chasms that could crack sustainable European integration. Recent election results in major European countries shows consolidation of far-right and populist parties, which indicates those parties are planting themselves over refugee crisis in Europe. Current rise of populism and nationalism raises political and also social tensions in Europe.
The issue of the global warming has been long time known among the all world society. However, the strong actions in order to make the fight against it real has only started to be implemented in the humble and quite frugal way. The society is not fully aware about the dreadful repercussions that the slight change of the average world temperature can bring, we are still more oriented to the short-run terms of living, characterised by the priority of the consumption not creation or sustainability. However, during past 30 years the situation started to change for the better, mainly because of the EU activities against global warming.
On March 14, 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump announced the plans to create a separate U.S. space force (USAF) that would have equal status with long-existing U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Force by 2019. That statement has sparked discussions among the American politicians and military on whether such move is feasible under current circumstances. President Trump himself seemed not paying much attention to the idea of separating the outer space military command from USAF during his first year in office, even despite the discussion in the Congress, while Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis was openly against the separation. The President’s stance had changed by the end of 2017, though, and in December 2017 outer space was included by Trump into the new National Security Strategy as a priority warfare domain together with cyberspace. In the end, Trump openly remarked that his National Security Strategy “recognizes that space is a war-fighting domain, just like the land, air and sea”.
Saudi Arabia is known as one of the most autocratic countries in the world with alarming gender inequality. However, in June 2018, women were finally given the legal right to drive. Does this, along with the other social reforms put forward by the Crown Prince, suggest times are changing for the better and the Saudi society is on its way to modernity and gender equality?
Gender and NATO: How NATO deals with gender equality issues and the prospective changes after NATO summit Over the past decade, gender has become an institutional part of NATO through the United Nations Security Council resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (UNSCR 1325). The adoption of this resolution has led to many important reforms within NATO in terms of the structure of the offices and military operations, as well as external reforms such as the shift towards a more open attitude regarding the adoption of gender perspectives into everyday practices. However, discussions such as the one held at the IIR with H.E. Kerry Buck, LTC Magdalena Dvořáková, and Researcher Míla O’Sullivan are still crucial in facilitating a more in-depth understanding of these practices. These experts each have a different professional background, but together they provided a fruitful conversation about the position of gender within NATO, and the work that still needs to be done.
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