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This Week at ISN
10 – 14 February 2014

Our Weekly Editorial Roundup
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//    Europe's Geopolitical Future
According to some observers, Europe faces a stark choice between closer political integration, which could ultimately make it a global superpower, or diluting its existing institutions, which could revive intra-regional conflict. To others, this either-or choice is a bogus one, especially given their belief that the current weaknesses of European states are attributable to their own timidity – i.e., their inability to capitalize on the full benefits of integration. In any event, most analysts agree that a united Europe will be better suited to address the continent's varied security problems, which include restraining a resurgent Russia, helping pacify a fractious Asia, and safeguarding the global commons.  » More

Superpower Europe or Disintegration?
10 February 2014

Past debates on the EU's possible emergence as a superpower have usually focused on its influence abroad. As Bastien Nivet reminds us, however, the EU's ability to project power and influence will also shape its internal future – by either proving its utility to member states or not.  » More

The Paradox of Post-National Europe
11 February 2014

The belief that Europe's states have been undermined by a sovereignty-trumping EU has become as popular as it is inaccurate, argues Ada Regelmann. The real threat lies in these states' inability to capitalize on the benefits of political integration in what is fast becoming an interdependent world.
» More

Russia in Europe: Strategic Challenges
12 February 2014

Russia's revived great power ambitions represent both a strategic challenge for Europe and a key test of its ability to respond in a unified way. As Jonas Grätz sees it, however, the response needs to combine strategic cooperation with strategic competition.» More

Divided Asia: Implications For Europe
13 February 2014

Asia isn't interested in Western-style multilateral security institutions or methods, argues Francois Godement. If Europe really wants to increase its influence in the region, it needs to build up its arms trade with Asian states, and thereby play a more central security role in the region.  » More

Europe's Fight Against Piracy: From the Barbary Coast to Operation Atalanta
14 February 2014

Can European integration help the region become a credible global security actor? According to Jorik Larik, Europe's measures against maritime piracy – from the fight against the Barbary Pirates to the EU's recent Operation Atalanta – prove that it already has. » More

//    Security Watch
Elections in Bangladesh: Political Conflict and the Problem of Credibility
10 February 2014

Political violence is intensifying in Bangladesh. While some analysts blame the country's recent war crimes tribunals and the growing role of religion in public life, Jasmin Lorch believes the violence is strictly political in nature and doesn't reflect a fundamental cleavage in Bangladeshi society.  » More

The Future of U.S. Bases in Europe-A View from America
11 February 2014

Will fewer US facilities and forces in Europe limit Washington's ability to project power into unstable regions? Luke Coffey thinks so. He also believes these reductions will send the wrong signal about the US's commitment to NATO, and therefore embolden Europe's adversaries. » More

China's Recent Worrisome Moves in East Asia: Rising Regional Tensions
12 February 2014

China's growing assertiveness in the South China Sea continues to heighten tensions and mutual suspicions across East Asia. As Justyna Szczudlik-Tatar sees it, it's time for the EU to make its presence felt more keenly in the region's politics, economic activities and security dynamics. » More

India's Defense Sector Still Plagued by Corruption
13 February 2014

Despite attempted reforms, India's defense procurement system remains tainted by corruption and wrongdoing. Today, Deba Mohanty explains why New Delhi has failed to solve a problem that puts the country's military modernization efforts at risk. » More

Understanding al Qaeda's Revival in Iraq
14 February 2014

What explains the uptick in violence now occurring in Iraq? Eric Tope blames the phased departure of US forces, brassknuckled sectarian violence and an influx of foreign Jihadists from Syria. The latter are swelling the ranks of al Qaeda in Iraq and providing the group with renewed strength. » More

//    Blog
Winners and Losers in the Syrian Civil War
10 February 2014

Whatever the outcome of Syria's civil war, the strategic calculations and interests of Iran, Israel, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey will all be affected. Today, Mohammed Nuruzzaman explains the positions these states have taken in this conflict and what they stand to win or lose.  » More

Signing Up for Peer Review Will Test Both Obiang and the AU
11 February 2014

Equatorial Guinea's Teodoro Obiang recently signed up to the African Union's Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), which aims to hold heads of state accountable for their government's failings. Today, Peter Fabricius examines whether the support of Africa's longest-ruling autocrat will help the APRM process. » More

Central Asia: A Dangerous Thirst
12 February 2014

Uzbekistan's President Islam Karimov has promised to invade both Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan if their planned hydroelectric projects prevent his farmers from irrigating their crops. As Alina Dalbaeva sees it, all three countries are now on the verge of letting a local water dispute become an international crisis.
 » More

Tunisia Offers a Beacon of Hope
13 February 2014

With the assassination of two leading opposition figures in 2013, Tunisia seemed on the brink of political disaster. So why didn't it happen? According to the CSS' Lisa Watanabe, we need to look no further than the spirit of compromise that actually prevails among Tunisia's political elite. » More

Amid Security Concerns, Poaching Moves Up International Agenda
14 February 2014

Sharp increases in ivory prices have turned elephant poaching into an international security problem, argues John Eller. The poaching not only involves violence against animals and people, it also threatens the rule of law and increases instability in central Africa. » More

//    Video
Is Europe Working?
In this video, Christopher Pissarides, who is a Regius Professor at the LSE, presents his inaugural lecture on the 'State of the Union of the Eurozone', which he concludes will fail without needed reforms.  » More

The Origins of Mass Killing: The Bloodlands Hypothesis
In this video, the LSE's Timothy Snyder discusses the mass killings perpetrated by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union in the 'bloodlands' of Eastern Europe between 1933 and 1945. More specifically, he outlines how ideology and ideas of territory, power, and timeliness drove institutions and regimes to be as brutal as they were. » More

Europe after the Euro Storm: Institutional Change, Public Discontent?
In this video, Luuk Van Middelaar, who is an advisor to the President of the European Council, discusses the impact of the 2007-2008 financial crisis on European integration. In particular, he looks at 1) how the crisis tested the 'European Project', 2) what institutional adaptations and changes subsequently occurred, and 3) how the European public's opinion of the EU has changed in recent times. » More

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Next week's theme: Do Nuclear Weapons Still Matter?

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