Features

On 25 June 2013, an important political transition occurred in Qatar when the ruling emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, voluntarily relinquished power to his son, Crown Prince Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani. This report examines how this change in power has influenced Qatari foreign policy. Dr. Jamal Abdullah and Nabil Al-Nasiri
A Sino-Russian gas deal for 30 years and $400 billion dollars was signed by Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin on 21 May 2014. The agreement surprised many international economic experts and prompted great speculation about the motive and calculation for both China and Russia. Raymond Lee
Libya has geared itself up for elections to a new house of representatives that was held on 25 June. These elections appear to have offered the chance of a new beginning and the possibility of kick-starting the transition that has all but ground to a halt over the recent months.
Alison Pargeter
Over the past few decades, Afghanistan underwent several transformations. Nonetheless, 5 April 2014 was exceptional in that it marked the first ‘peaceful’ transition of power through electoral mean, with a second round due to be held on 14 June.
Safiullah Taye

Results from India's May 12 elections are expected to be announced soon. These elections were the largest in the country's history and were largely influenced by domestic rather than foreign factors.
Emad Kaddoura
Kenya’s foreign policy since the ascension to power of the Jubilee coalition in March 2013 has been faced with serious ambiguity. This is attributed to the two cases at the International Criminal Court (ICC) facing President Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto.
Dr. Luke Obala
As LNG consumption is projected to increase over the next 10 years, there is a real opportunity for gas producing states to replace Russia in Europe’s energy mix. Qatar, the world’s global leader in LNG supply, is in an interesting position to move into Europe’s energy market.
Florence Gaub
The current crisis in the CAR began well before the Seleka coalition seized power in March 2013. The current security crisis is the culmination of a crisis dating back to the ten-year rule of General François Bozizé, combined with a socio-economic crisis that pre-dates his time in power.
Thierry Vircoulon
On 14 April 2014, a bomb-laden vehicle exploded at a crowded bus park in Nyanya, killing 71 people.. The leader of Nigeria’s Boko Haram, claimed responsibility for the bombing. This report examines the Nyanya bombing, emphasising why the attack was carried out.
Dr Freedom C Onuoha
This report is based on the results of a recent fact finding mission in Lebanon. The interlocutors we worked with included the heads of political parties, Members of Parliament, clergy, prominent figures from civil society and political parties and members of the security forces.
Manuela Paraipan
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Amidst continuing violence, political instability and socioeconomic insecurity, Iraq stands at a crossroad with the next national elections scheduled for April 30, 2014. This will be the first legislative poll since the American withdrawal from the country in December 2011.
Myriam Benraad
Turkey left behind its referendum-like local elections held on 30 March. According to unofficial results, the governing AKP received around 45.5% of the vote, whereas the main opposition Party (CHP), the (MHP), and the pro-Kurdish Peace & (BDP) respectively received 27.8, 15.2, and 6.1% of the vote.
Galip Dalay
CHP was founded in Turkey as a single party state where governors served as the party’s local organisation chiefs, making the party and the state almost synonymous. Following Atatürk’s death in 1938, inonü assumed the party’s leadership. His main objective was to maintain the integrity of the party.
Koray Caliskan
The UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have withdrawn their ambassadors from Doha in an unprecedented move since the Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) establishment decades ago, announcing in a joint statement that their actions are a result of Qatar’s intervention in Gulf states’ internal affairs.
Dr. Jamal Abdullah
While the Nour party may have initially gained much power from their decision to side with the military, it has now forced the party to make considerable concessions, caused fractures within its ranks, and come at the expense of much of its grassroots support.
Kristen McTighe
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