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Haiti: Island Nation of Disasters?

With its pleasant climate, beautiful beaches, colonial architecture, and unique cultural history, the island nation of Haiti should be among the top tourist destinations in the Caribbean. However, persistent political instability and a devastating earthquake in 2010 that essentially levelled the capital Port-au-Prince and killed up to 220,000 people have contributed to making the country […]

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Turkey and the Ukraine War: One Country’s Tragedy, Another Country’s Opportunity?

urned into the worst humanitarian disaster in Europe since the end of the Second World War. The economic costs for Ukraine are already immeasurable, and the war is wreaking havoc across the globe. Yet for Turkey, the war might just also offer a unique opportunity. Not only has the country emerged as a crucial diplomatic mediator between the warring parties, the conflict has also massively boosted its significance as an aviation and tourism hub. Thus, if it plays its cards right, could Turkey possibly emerge as one of the unlikely winners of the Russo-Ukrainian war?

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Crisis in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Another Pyre for Europe’s Ring of Fire

Of all the controversial remakes and sequels of recent years, a remake of the Yugoslav Wars probably ranks among the least desired. While Europe’s collective attention is firmly focused on the imminent prospect of war between Ukraine and Russia (A3M report see here), another serious calamity in the northwestern part of the Balkan peninsula might already be brewing. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, Muslim Bosniaks, Croats, and Serbs are locked in a bitter stand-off in the worst political crisis since the country’s foundation. This crisis not only threatens to rip apart Bosnia and Herzegovina, but also to engulf the battle-scarred Balkans in yet another armed conflict.

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China and COVID-19: Going Full Hermit Kingdom?

An East Asian nation walled off from the outside world, suspicious of foreigners and of any contact with them. No, this description is not referring to North Korea, but increasingly also appears to fit the People’s Republic of China. In its fight against COVID-19, the People’s Republic has imposed some of the world’s most extreme pandemic control measures, both within the country as well as when it comes to entry restrictions for international travellers. Moreover, China is the last major country to follow a so-called “zero-COVID” strategy of ruthlessly stamping out any and all outbreaks through strict lockdowns and mass testing. However, with new COVID variants becoming ever more transmissible, how much longer can the world’s second-largest economy maintain this state of permanent semi-isolation?

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Crisis in Eastern Europe: Putin’s Creation and Lukashenko’s Contribution

Increasingly shrill rhetoric, thousands of desperate people stuck without shelter in wintry conditions, and multiple dead amidst an escalating geopolitical stand-off. This situation at the border between Belarus and Poland is the result of Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko following through on his threat to “flood the European Union with migrants” in retaliation for EU sanctions. Naturally, when it comes to weakening the EU, Russian President Putin has been more than willing to lend a helping hand, by offering the regime in Minsk rhetorical backing, logistical support and military shows of force at the Polish-Belarusian border. However, the Kremlin might have set its sight on something higher than merely embarrassing the EU. Fears are growing, that while the world’s attention is fixed on the border between Poland and Belarus, Russia could go to war in Ukraine.

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Lebanon: State Failure in Slow Motion?

Entire neighbourhoods levelled, over 200 people killed, thousands injured, and hundreds of thousands more homeless. The gigantic chemical explosion that devastated the Lebanese capital of Beirut on 4. August 2020 would have been an unmitigated disaster for any state, but for Lebanon, it just marked the high point of a year of calamity. The current situation in the country can only be described as bleak and deteriorating: A currency in free-fall, more than half the population below the poverty line, daily nationwide power outages, people fighting each other for daily necessities all amount to one of the worst economic crises ever recorded. Bleak may have been too optimistic a term, at this point describing Lebanon as a nation in the process of state failure, seems arguably more fitting.