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Economics and Finance

The Pacifying Flows of Virtual Water

In 1995, Ismail Serageldin, vice-president of the World Bank remarked that “if the wars of this century were fought over oil, the wars of the next century will be fought over water”. It makes sense; water is above all resources on earth most vital to human existence. An exponentially rising world population and increasing environmental degradation combine to create mounting ... Read More »

Death of a Dynasty: Change vs. continuity in Cuba

For the first time in almost six decades, Cuba is headed by a man whose last name isn’t Castro: former vice-president Miguel Díaz-Canel succeeded 86-year-old Raúl Castro on Thursday as head of state of the defiant Caribbean republic. But will new leadership signal change for the nation, or will Díaz-Canel stick to the course set by his predecessors? Although Díaz-Canel ... Read More »

Marketing for States – the Power of Nation Branding

The common war strategy of demoralizing the enemy by providing them with one’s own ideology over radio airwaves had found its way into the Cold War tactics. Western German radio stations were using frequencies that were so strong they could be easily received and thus heard in the East, behind the wall. The, so-called „Westfunk“, widely condemned by the eastern ... Read More »

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 »