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Economics and Finance

Power of the Passport and Controversies of Investment Immigration

This article was inspired by an open lecture on the 13th of February given by a RUG professor from the faculty of law, Dimitry Kochenov. In this lecture, which carried the title “What is the value of your nationality?”, Kochenov aimed to highlight that nationality for most people is in fact a restricting, rather than an empowering institution. To consolidate ... Read More »

A Link between Worlds: The History and Future of the Silk Road

When taking a look at the countries that once constituted the Soviet Union, one notices either violent internal unrest and bloody civil wars, or ongoing stagnation and economic crisis. Even several developing countries in the global South seem to outpace the former Soviet Republics due to their lack of dynamism. This has not always been the case, however, for central ... Read More »

It’s the Economy, Stupid: Rising Food Prices Provide Impetus for Protests in Iran  

In the last days of 2017, Iran experienced the largest protests in the country since the protests that followed the disputed Iranian presidential elections in 2009. After incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared victory, protests arose and culminated in what became known as the Green Movement. These street protestors challenged the results of the election, alleging that voting fraud and irregularities ... Read More »

An Economic War: Sino-Japanese rivalry in Southeast Asia

While the international community has been focusing on the possibility of an armed conflict on the Korean peninsula, a war – even though not mentioned in the headlines – is already being fought between China and Japan. The battleground of this conflict is Southeast Asia, the soldiers are bankers and the bullets are investment loans. One does not have to ... Read More »

Bitcoin mining: Undermining state legitimacy?

Cryptocurrencies are digital assets meant to work as mediums of exchange. They do not rely on central regulation but cryptography which, in the absence of banking control, secures transactions, verifies asset-exchanges and controls the creation of additional units. The first-ever introduced cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, created in 2008 by allegedly pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto, has gradually cemented its position as a valid alternative ... Read More »

Covert Partisan Electoral Intervention 101: How to interfere in a democratic election process

Does your next-door-neighbor-democracy have elections coming up, but you are not convinced that they will make a choice that best benefits your country? Don’t worry! Interference in democratic election processes is widely used tactics to get your most-favored candidate to power without caring about international principles such as ‘equal sovereignty’ or ‘par in parem non habet imperium’. These tactics are ... Read More »

Natural Heritage as a Diplomatic Tool?

With its rise as the second most promising economic power over the last decade, China, by far regarded as the leading actor in using economic models in diplomacy. Whereas in the American Peninsula this is observed as dominance over oil reserves in the world, Canada as one welcoming immigrant policy and Europe over green energy promotion, the outstanding Asian actor ... Read More »

The Fall of Venezuela

Although Venezuela has been characterized by political turmoil in much of recent history, many claim it is currently experiencing its lowest point in the century. The land gifted with the largest petroleum reserves is now caught up in the middle of a crisis that comprehends every aspect of life in the country. The situation in Venezuela encompasses much more than ... Read More »

M-Pesa: the mobile revolution in Kenya

In our world, technology has always been a driver for innovation. However, nowadays we tend to perceive it  more and more often as a burden – being available all the time, having to reply to masses of emails and feeling the urge to check our phones every minute of the day. For some it is hard to imagine that in ... Read More »

The Wounded Invisible Hand Regulating the World

China, the once communist nation, is turning into a capitalist country. According to the Financial Times, the Chinese government is even willing to privatize its education and health system. In order to establish this, China asked the British Financial minister, George Osborne, for help. The question is why China explicitly chose Great Britain as guidance in its transformation from communism ... Read More »