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Weekly articles on global issues.

The radicalization of politics

By Christian Ewert and Raphael Capaul On that fateful Tuesday, November 8, 2016, the United States elected Donald Trump as their President. Four years later, there is no doubt that he was one of the most radical and aggressive incumbents the USA have ever seen. Standing out not only for his inclination for authoritarian rule—as …

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De-stigmatising a natural body function: let’s talk about menstruation!

On May 28th we celebrate menstrual hygiene day to raise awareness on the importance of menstrual hygiene management and to change negative social norms about menstruation around the world.  Why is it the 28th of May you may wonder? The answer is simple: The average menstruation cycle lasts 28 days, during which girls and women have …

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Why people believe in conspiracy theories

Conspiracy theories have been around for as long as we can remember. From the “Flat-Earth-Society”, denial of the moon landing, crop circles to climate change denial. We are all searching for answers to events that shape our society. Especially for the ones which are not sufficiently explained yet. Since the outbreak of Covid-19, not only …

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73 Years of Israel: The Arab-Israeli conflict continues

Today, amid an escalating Arab-Israeli conflict, is the 73rd anniversary of the establishment of the state of Israel. While Israelis positively associate this day with the declaration of their own independence, Palestinians have a rather pessimistic and grieving view on it, as it is remembered as the gateway for the displacement of 700,000 Palestinians from their …

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Another Tigray? The Horn of Africa nears the brink again

A few months past, the Horn of Africa experienced an immensely costly conflict, the calamitous consequences of which are only gradually coming to light. Initially, Ethiopian prime minster and Nobel laureate Abiy Ahmed intended for a simple “law-enforcement operation” against the seditious Tigrayan Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF), who had fortified their native Tigray region in …

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How the environmental crisis is already affecting us and who really bears the consequences

We are all concerned about our future and that of our planet. The many issues related to climate change are known to all of us, but we see them primarily as a problem of the future. We do not necessarily pay primary attention to the acute effects and profound emergencies that the climate crisis is …

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Case study Nagorno-Karabakh: What happens when international cooperation fails?

A few weeks ago, we discussed the limitations of the international community when it comes to intra-state conflicts. Today, we focus on how international organizations can cooperate to prevent inter-state conflicts, what happens when cooperation fails and how future failures can be prevented: The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict serves as an ideal case study to examine these …

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How the past continues to haunt the present: The troubled trajectory of Myanmar

The chain of events following a general election in November 2020 has dealt a bitter blow to Myanmar: The country in Southeast Asia has been jolted by unrest ever since the army’s seizure of power on the 1st of February 2021. After the National League for Democracy (NLD) had won the election by a landslide, the military claimed …

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Is now everyone nuts? Reflecting on the pandemic, mental health and our political behaviour

We all want to be healthy. That’s why we exercise, eat healthily, wash our hands regularly and stay indoors as much as possible. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us all that health is important. But being healthy means not only being physically strong but also mentally. Unfortunately, this conclusion is not always a given in …

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Why we need to change the way we think about food

Our world is host to an enormous disparity and contrast in food and nutrition security: At a global level, production of most food has increased faster than population growth and now exceeds the nutritional caloric average requirements. At the same time, there are devastating food shortage threats at local levels, especially in Africa, where many new food safety problems have emerged …

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The 2020 EastMed Crisis – A Failure of European Solidarity?

“We almost went to war with Turkey three times last year.” This close did the Eastern Mediterranean come to erupting into conflict during the Summer of 2020. What’s more, this grim assessment did not originate in one of the conflict-stricken states bordering Turkey’s eastern and southern borders. It came from Greek Defence Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos.The question …

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How do we adress the limitations of the international community?

One day, a great friend of mine asked me what the international community should do regarding the crisis between Hong Kong and China (the former being a semi-independent state from the latter). At first, I gave him a personal and emotional answer, but then I realized that passionate responses are mostly useless in these kinds …

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From a local dispute to a regional powder keg: The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict explained

Almost 30 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh is grappling anew with the implications of a centuries-old dispute. Under international law, Nagorno-Karabakh, a mountainous region in the South Caucasus, to which both Armenia and Azerbaijan lay claim, is part of Azerbaijan – even though the majority of its population …

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The Moria Catastrophe and the collective failure of the European Union

COVID-19 and the US presidential election: If you’ve turned on the news anytime in the past few weeks, you will probably have realised that these topics have been dominating the headlines incessantly. Magazines are cluttered with news about the coronavirus pandemic sweeping across the world and were littered with coverage of a particularly heated election …

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Mali – is foreign involvement truly for the greater good?

Since the 19th of August 2020, when a military coup forced the democratically elected but unpopular president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita to resign, Mali has been struggling to return to stability. The coup was the culmination of weeks of mass protests against the president who was accused of corruption and mishandling a spiralling security situation in the …

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Genocide: The power of history and collective memory

As our thoughts today go out to the six million Jews who lost their lives in the Holocaust and we remember the atrocities that were committed by the Nazi regime, we are reminded of the importance of remembrance, so that a similar tragedy may never happen again. The Holocaust, whose scale and organization were unprecedented, …

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US meddling in Africa and the Middle East: Does foreign intervention make sense?

It has gone down in history as the most rapid mass slaughter ever recorded: The genocide in the African state of Rwanda in 1994, where up to a million people were slaughtered by ethnic Hutu extremists while the outside world watched what was going on – and did almost nothing to stop it. And yet …

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The tropical Trump without Trump: the future of Brazilian president Bolsonaro

Brazil and the United States have always maintained a close relationship, but during the presidency of Bolsonaro (also known as the tropical Trump) in Brazil and Trump in the US, the two countries collaborated even more intensively. For this reason, with Trump losing the election in November 2020, Brazilian president Bolsonaro has surely lost a …

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A stain on our post-colonial world: The western world’s condescending attitude towards Africa

When we hear the word “racist”, most of us probably think of an overtly aggressive, extremely prejudiced person – maybe a far-right protester marching through the streets with a «refugees not welcome» sign or a person insulting someone with a racial slur. However, there is also a more subtle form of racism, which is not …

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The influence of right-wing populists on Sweden’s government policy

In 2017, politicians all over Western Europe were afraid of a ghost: the ghost of right-wing populism. It was not a new phenomenon in the world of politics but ever since the early 2010s, it has gotten more and more real. Parties such as the Alternative for Germany (AfD) in Germany, the Front National (FN) …

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Uruguay – good things come in small packages

Throughout the entire geopolitical context of Latin America, democracy represents more of a theoretical concept rather than a real system. The ongoing socio-economic crisis, which has plagued the region since the ’60s, has tended to favor elements such as corruption and violence instead of modernization. In this scheme, however, Uruguay is the exception that confirms …

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Jacinda Ardern – the silver lining in times of crisis

Politicians are believed to be selfish, hungry for power, ignorant, and untouchable. Jacinda Ardern seems to be the exact opposite. The Prime Minister of New Zealand made herself known to the global public with her strong speech in front of the United Nations General Assembly in 2018, her immediate implementation of stricter gun laws after …

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False information: a dangerous threat to liberal democracy

A lie travels ten times faster than the truth: How often have we heard this sentence in the last few years and been warned of the dangers of fake news? In a world of constant, immediate, and effortless access to information it is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish fact from falsehood. Not only does this have …

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African art restitution – a vital step towards decolonisation

In a post-colonial world, the issue of colonialism and its consequences may seem to belong to the past, as society has moved on and everyone generally agrees that colonialism was a very dark chapter in world history that should never be repeated again. However, this does not in any way mean that this complex issue …

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Pride vs. Prejudice: The struggle for LGBTQ+ equality in Poland

A mosaic of rainbow flags glittering on a grey and grim day, stunning dancers and meticulously designed, colourful costumes: That’s how the 2020 Pride March in Slubice, Poland, on September 5th, will be remembered. But not even the most incredible artistic ability could conceal the gloomy reality behind the glitzy façade … Polish president Andrzej …

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Chile’s interminable journey towards democracy

In the last years, Chile was largely thought of as one of the most democratic and safe countries of the entire Latin American region. These important considerations had both been proven empirically and by research. Therefore, it was commonly understood that Chile had reached a sort of democratic stability and would no longer subjected to …

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Why federalism hinders effective policies against Covid-19

Our world is facing the same problem, but different governments have reacted with different measures and strategies – and with different levels of success. Hong Kong and South Korea seem to have been the most successful countries in the fight against Covid-19. Both reacted quickly and implemented strict measures such as surveilling the movement of …

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The forgotten war: A breakdown of the humanitarian crisis in Yemen

A fast-mounting death toll, hospitals teetering on the brink of collapse, relatives unable to bid farewell to their loved ones. For most of us, such images are reserved for TV coverage of war or other kinds of catastrophic disasters. For Yemenis in Sanaa and Aden, however, this has become the tragic and sobering reality. The …

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Angola – where the Cold War still is a silenced reality

Those who like investigating the meaning of countries’ flags will certainly be fascinated by the flag of Angola. The latter presents two parallel and horizontal stripes (red and black) which serve as background for the iconic, golden symbols of communism: the hammer and the sickle shown with the support of a star.  On the one …

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