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eContribution

By David Erkomaishvili

Ukraine: Reflecting on the Downing of Flight MH17

Comfortable? Do you think the civil wars in Syria and Ukraine don't concern you? Time to think again! Imagine yourself on-board a flight from north Europe to Southeast Asia (as nearly 300 people were on MH17) not interested in the news or politics. And then, for nothing related to your life or persuasion, you are a victim and it is your family lost in grieving shock. The accident (it is likely an accidental downing) over Ukraine reveals the level of disintegration and instability facing the…

eContribution

By Nikol Chumová

In the Shadow of the World Cup: Israel vs. Hamas, A Redux

While the international public has been, largely, preoccupied by World Cup football, Israel and Hamas are at it again. In Prague, a modest demonstration-cum-protest is an apt reminder of the polarity this conflict generates among the few that care and the lack of interest by the clear majority of Czech's and Europeans more generally. The Prague event saw some 70 supporters of Palestine gather on 14 July; a handful at most, in the vibrant city centre that attracts thousands by the summer…

eContribution

By Hana Brediková

Violence Pays to Get Closer to the European Union

  The EU has been busy these past weeks. With crises seemingly lapping at all the EU’s frontiers, the DG office for European Enlargement has found itself at the centre of European attention and international controversy. The highlight has to be Štefan Füle’s technocratic waltz to woo three crisis-ridden, Russian penetrated, East European and Caucasus countries into the EU’s socio-political and economic sphere of influence. By signing Association Agreements (AA) with Georgia, Moldova and…

eContribution

By Nikol Chumová

Embers about to Catch on Fire in Kuwait

Five parliament seats. That’s all it took to jeopardise Kuwait’s praised political system. Recent by-elections in Kuwait, that aimed to replace five MPs who resigned, proved to favourably complete the pro-governmental oriented assembly. All this in the name of a principle?Corruption allegations are being dragged through society in increasing numbers; prodding the opposition to declare war. It is a war fought against corruption where there are no allied ‘soldiers’ amid the happenings as the last…

The Politics of Immigration

Book review

By Yana Brovdiy

The Politics of Immigration

There have never been so many people living outside of their country of origin as today. According to the latest estimates of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs international migrants constitute 232 million people or 3.2% of the world’s population. At the same time immigration continues to be very controversial and a highly politicised topic in the West. Support for immigration quotas, in a recent Swiss referendum won by a slim margin of 50.4% and shows a clear division on…

The Fanaticism of the Apocalypse

Book review

By Lukáš Makovický (University of Ottawa [Graduate])

The Fanaticism of the Apocalypse

About two thirds of Pascal Bruckner’s book The Fanaticism of the Apocalypse are, unfortunately to the theme, disappointing. To start, Bruckner is a celebrated French intellectual, a philosophy graduate and has written best-selling books on human guilt and masochism, to which Fanaticism seems an heir. The line selling this book says about the content – since we live in times close to an environmental, economic and political collapse, there is nobody else to blame, except for us, humans ... and…

The Politics of Energy Dependency: Ukraine, Belarus, and Lithuania between Domestic Oligarchs and Russian Pressure

Book review

By Marat Gizatullin (Metropolitan University Prague)

The Politics of Energy Dependency: Ukraine, Belarus, and Lithuania between Domestic Oligarchs and Russian Pressure

This book is focused on three countries that have experienced the rapid, and dramatic, change from being part of one energy rich country to political independence and energy dependence on supplies from a single source, Russia. Additionally, these states and serve as transit routes for the sale of energy resources from Russia to its main European consumers. Balmaceda, has spent much time in the case countries gathering and processing sources in local languages as well as conducting a series of…

European Identity

Book review

By Sophia Alifirova (University of Toronto)

European Identity

This edited volume considers why ‘various forces and claims are [...] fragmenting the possibility of one European identity even as the European economic integration has proceeded faster and further than anyone expected’ (p. 2). It evaluates the situational nature of identity and attempts to answer the question of whether a common European identity may be developed in light of strong challenges? In the introduction, Checkel and Katzenstein summarise the theoretical background for European…

Power in the 21st Century: International Security and International Political Economy

Book review

By Emilian Kavalski (Institute for Social Justice, Australian Catholic University, Sydney)

Power in the 21st Century: International Security and International Political Economy

The question of power forms one of the cornerstones of both the theory and practice of international relations. In spite of (or probably because of) its centrality, however, the notion and practices of power animate some of the most contested and tense debates in the study of world affairs. Thus, every generation of international relations scholars undertakes a reconsideration and probing of the concept of power in an attempt to place its own definitive stamp on one of the oldest conversations…

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Issue 8:2

By Hana Talandová and Milan Adámek

Shooting Training of CSI Staff

ABSTRACT: This article focuses on firearms training in the commercial security industry. The article is divided into three parts: in the first, the authors provide a description of firearms in the commercial security industry (hereinafter referred to as CSI). The second part presents and explores some general problems of training and orientation for the conditions of CSI. Analysis centres on target situations, types of targets, and the importance of stress and time elements. The final part of…

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Issue 8:2

By Aleš Karmazin

Across the Lines of the World State: The Case of the United Nations

ABSTRACT: This work asks how the UN attempts to bypass the current system of states while identifying a series of reinforcing UN efforts that could be utilised to hoist this organisation to the level of acting as a world government. The title of this work – which may be read in two distinct ways – illustrates a certain ambiguity in UN attempts. The first implies exceeding beyond the modern system of states and towards a new political order. The other way means that a new political order is far…

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Issue 8:2

By Miloš Balabán

The New Age of the US-EU-Chinese Relations and Dilemmas

ABSTRACT: This article examines the world’s key actors: the US, EU and China, and analyses their political, economic and security relations, as well as stances on geopolitical and global economic development. Asia-Pacific is investigated as the chief determinant of the global development and also, thanks to US-China relations, as the new geopolitical centre of gravity. This research explores the contradictory nature of this relationship, which apart from being mutually beneficial in terms of…

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Issue 8:2

By Barthélémy Courmont

The ‘Marine’ Factor: The Lepenisation of French Politics, and What it Really Means

ABSTRACT: Marine Le Pen, President of the French extreme-right party ‘Front National,’ emerged on the political scene, not only as the daughter and heir of her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, but as a smarter and most seductive leader. Her rise – just a few months before the 2012 French Presidential elections – and impressive results in the first round, demonstrated that she will most likely play a significant role in future French politics and affect the traditional political chessboard. In that…

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Issue 8:2

By Vasiliki Papatheologou

Interregional Divergence of EU-ASEAN Relations: Achievements, Challenges and External Influences

ABSTRACT: Interregionalism is a pragmatic strategy of the EU’s external action and a tool to extend norms and European values to the developing world as well as a tool in the promotion of global governance. In this sense, the EU has built several interregional and trans-regional frameworks around the developing world in Asia, Africa and Latin America. However, this work focuses on the interregionalism as a tool of the EU to promote regional governance in East Asia, by examining the case of EU…

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Issue 8:2

By Martina Ponížilová

Limits of Human Development in a Weak and Religiously Fractured State: The Case of Lebanon

ABSTRACT: Deploying Lebanon as a case study, this article links the concept of human development to weak and failed states to provide insights into ways to enhance the effectiveness of implementing development strategies. Lebanon serves as an example of a weak state characterised by strong religious cleavages. This study introduces Lebanon’s weak statehood in connection with development practice and fulfilling human development, which is very limited due to weak state institutions and the…

Issue 8:2

By Petr Kučera

Israel and Turkey: From Realpolitik to Rhetoric?

ABSTRACT: This article analyses the media discourse on Israel in Turkey during the crisis period that followed Israel’s Operation Cast Lead (2008) and culminated in May 2010, when Israeli armed forced attacked the Mavi Marmara, a ship operated by a Turkish Islamic NGO, leaving nine Turkish activists dead. For the purpose of the inquiry, two leading Turkish newspapers were chosen, Zaman, the most-sold Turkish daily with Islamic-conservative leanings and mostly supportive of the government, and…

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Issue 8:2

By Nancy Jamal

The British Broadcasting Company (BBC): Half a Century of Covering Bahrain

ABSTRACT: Until 1968, Bahrain was a protectorate of the British government during its days of imperial glory, and home to its political agent in the region. Research shows that the first television programme covering events in Bahrain dates back to the 1950‘s making, the British Broadcasting Company (BBC), the very first international television station that presented news of Bahrain to the world. This work focuses on what vocabulary was being used by the BBC then, and how it developed over…

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Issue 8:2

By Ibrahim A. El-Hussari

Yet Another Version of the ‘Arab Spring:’ Ramifications of the Syrian Conflict on the Existing Arab Order and Beyond

ABSTRACT: At the outset of 2011, the turn of events in some of the most stable Arab countries betrayed signs of unpredictable developments on the local level and beyond. Nine out of 22 Arab League members were, to various degrees of intensity, undergoing unprecedented mass gestations promising some form of a long-awaited, but yet unscheduled, divergence from the existing Arab order. Although the Arab world was often criticised for chronic problems ingrained in bad governance, it was the common…

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eContribution

By Arthur de Liedekerke

An unlikely winner – How Belarus is making the most of Eastern Europe’s turmoil

Belarus has long been the European Union’s bête noire, a nagging reminder that its foreign policy is ineffective. Relations have at best been lukewarm and the countless attempts to reign in “Europe’s last dictatorship” have proved unsuccessful as Alexander Lukashenko still defiantly rules the country with an iron fist. Russia on the other hand has been a historically close, albeit wary, ally of this small, landlocked country which remains firmly immersed in Soviet-era nostalgia. However the…

Editors desk

By Mitchell Belfer

Enriching Iranium

Iran is being rewarded for temporarily halting a fraction of its nuclear activities, while the al Quds Force, Revolutionary Guards and its Hezbollah proxy mop-up the last of the Syrian resistance and mobilise to fully bring Iraq into its sphere of influence. Nearly 35 years ago, US diplomatic staff were taken hostage by a group of young Iranian revolutionaries, which included former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The crisis, which lasted some 444 days, coupled with the failed rescue…

Egypt's Liberation: The Philosophy of the Revolution

Book review

By Lucie Švejdová (Metropolitan University Prague)

Egypt's Liberation: The Philosophy of the Revolution

Every revolution unleashes forces beyond the control even of those who stand responsible of pulling the trigger. Analogous with Clausewitz’s “fog-o-war,” the evolution and outcome of a particular revolution is blurred by the chaos it inevitably instils. To manipulate and navigate such forces so that the aimed goals of its initiators are ultimately met is an art itself for there is no rule guaranteeing victory for the instigators. Even the architects of the revolution may be swept away by the…

2014 - Volume 8, Issue 2