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Author Archives: Sander Des Tombe

Is the Enemy of your Enemy in Fact your Friend?

Sometimes the art of international relations is paraphrased into truisms. One famous example is that ‘the enemy of your enemy is your friend’. As it is publicly known that India shares tense bilateral ties with both China and Pakistan, could we see a new friendship arise between the latter two? The Sino-Pakistan Trade Corridor Project seems to support this notion and ... Read More »

The Walter White That You Should Know

As the main character in third most watched show in US cable history, most people will know Breaking Bad’s Walter White. But instead of finding out on who this tv series is based, it might be interesting to note that there was once another man called Walter White. And he deserves all the attention a man can get. In 1893, ... Read More »

Bringing Atrocities to the Public Eye

As we can see now with the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, mass coverage can bring social tragedies to the public eye. With regards to China, this happened with the Olympic Games of 2008. After that, however, media coverage of social atrocities has dwindled to a painstaking low level. Some positivism seemed therefore appropriate when the Tiananmen Protest Anniversary was widely covered ... Read More »

Is the ‘ASEAN Way’ finally bearing fruit?

For years, ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) was criticized and seen as stumbling block for the improvement of diplomatic relations. Today, this multilateral organization is only a few steps away of forming an economic community and has already concluded free trade agreements with China, Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and India. Have we now been proven wrong in our criticism of ... Read More »

Turkey: A Country Torn Between Going East or West

By Yuri van Hoef With corruption scandals coming to light in December 2013, Istanbul’s Taksim square once again became the site of major anti-government protests. Earlier, in May 2013, what started as a small environmental protest against the demolition of parts of the park, quickly escalated into full-blown protests against the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his ... Read More »

Has Global Warming Reached its Expiry Date?

The 2013 UN Climate Change Conference in Poland is being considered an utter failure. With 132 walkouts and an all but promising final agreement, one might conclude that creating follow-up for Kyoto has fallen out of most countries national interest. So what are we doing wrong? As early as 1917, Alexander Graham Bell wrote about fossil fuels causing the greenhouse ... Read More »

Study Abroad: Scotland

Checks&Balances is writing a series of blogs from IRIO students studying abroad. Sander des Tombe is currently studying in Aberdeen, Scotland. In a stroll through the city, I noticed the absence of sale signs and I came to understand that Aberdeen’s house prices have actually doubled over the last ten years. Along with London, Aberdeen is unique in the U.K. ... Read More »

Hands up! It’s the Language Police!

Oh no, you have not misread the title. This specialized office has the remarkable duty of, for example, fining restaurants that inaccurately call their pasta ‘pasta’ or those who give away plastic spoons with only English writing on it. Where on earth, you might ask yourself, does the police involve itself with such surreal and seemingly trivial practices? Dictating the ... Read More »

Review: The Fog of War

With the academic year nearly at an end, is it possible that you over-satisfied your yearly reading needs? Apart from some well-deserved relaxation, the decade’s worth of documentaries that is freely dispersed over the internet can provide you with sufficient food for thought. In the field of IR, The Fog of War is often considered as a standard work among ... Read More »

Southern Ambition: from and for the South

Development aid has always been an incredibly sensitive and difficult area for NGOs to achieve success in. In an interview with Moses Karmali, the founder of Southern Ambition, we discussed the unique aspects and underlying motives of his African-rooted development aid organization. An interview by Hendrik Depenau and Sander des Tombe. Some eight years ago, a young Moses left Uganda ... Read More »