Features

Turkey's August 2014 presidential election may bring change to the very core of the Turkish political structure, making it historic on a number of levels. This report analyses the results and their future implications on the country's political landscape. Ali Hussein Bakeer
Libya’s troubled transition has taken another turn for the worse with serious and sustained violence blighting both Tripoli and Benghazi. Although the battle has been raging in the east since May 2014, it is the conflict in the capital that has all but brought the country to its knees. Alison Pargeter
Japanese embrace of collective self-defence should be seen in the context of increasing unease over rising Chinese military power and assertiveness in East Asia. While Shinzo Abe’s move has been met by nationwide protests and disapproval from Beijing.
Samee Siddiqui
In the past, the KSA has been reluctant to receive any high-ranking Iranian officials, despite Iran’s persistent efforts to secure a meeting. However, in May 2014, the KSA's foreign minister announced their invitation to the Iranian foreign minister, signalling a strategic foreign policy shift.
Mansour al-Marzoqi al-Bogami

The abduction of 230 schoolgirls by Boko Haram sparked international outrage. Although much of the rage was directed at the armed group that has terrorized Nigeria for years,the Nigerian government was also criticized for its inability to protect its own citizens,and the poor response to the crisis.
Azad Essa
Israel believed that the current climate in the Middle East region would enhance the possibility for success in its assault on Gaza, but the surprising resilience of the resistance will likely ensure that the battle’s outcome will be in the interests of both sides.
Saleh Naami
Bashar al-Assad’s paramilitaries have been a key support for the regime as it attempts, for the fourth year in a row, to put down a popular uprising in Syria. This report outlines four key roles of these legitimate army units and examines their future in Syria.
Malak Chabkoun
On 3 July Kurdish President Masoud Barazani hit the headlines by calling for a referendum on Kurdish independence. Unsurprisingly Kurdish political parties rallied behind this call, displaying a united front in the face of the evolving national crisis
Alison Pargeter
This report seeks to highlight the rising tension between Western governments and Russia over the latter’s conflict with the Ukraine. Specific to Ukrainisation is the return of ‘Cold-War’-type posturing and rivalry marked by mutual distrust.
Karina Fayzullina
Traditionally, the populace used by the ballot box is based on a one man one vote electoral system to install governments of their choice to office. However, as the locus of power is moving from the majority representative governments to a fairly new power still to be defined.
Thembisa Fakude
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A North Korean actions are often discussed in the media in ahistorical terms, ignoring historical memory and the complicated regional security environment. While the major players for the DPRK in the region are the US and China, its relations with Japan should not be ignored.
Samee Siddiqui
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
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