Editors desk

By Mitchell Belfer

Gaza, 2014: Where the Streets have No Names

It is a cycle. A deal sits within grasp. It literally sits on the table and awaits a nod, smile and elongated signatures. The deal is the result of a lull in violence that produces confidence and confidence generates channels of discussion and dialogue between the belligerents. Hamas may not recognise Israel, but it still speaks to it via European and Middle Eastern interlocutors. Fatah and Israel speak directly. In its turn, belligerent-to-belligerent dialogue is often the engine for…

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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…

2014 - Volume 8, Issue 2