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How Truckers’ Protest Brings Change to Brazilian Politics

In Brasilia, the capital of Brazil, life is standing still. Since over a week, the main highway is blocked by countless trucks. Hundreds of uniform-looking school busses drive past, horns blaring in an unorchestrated concert. The vehicles are adorned with Brazilian flags, spray-painted in the national colours and wallpapered in protest-signs. “Stop the thieving” is one of the most common ... Read More »

Malaysia’s 92-Year-Old Comeback Kid, Mahathir Mohamad

With the surprise victory of the opposition on May 9th, it is the first time since its independence in 1957 that Malaysia has seen a peaceful transfer of power like this. The United Malays National Organization (UMNO) had long been the dominant political force in the country, using its far-reaching patronage system to maintain power and influence. It was a ... Read More »

Nice, new and smart missiles?

Three weeks ago, we watched as Trump, May and Macron announced their plan to attack Syria in a response to an apparent chemical attack. They each made passionate speeches where they tried to convince the general public that the airstrikes were indeed in their national interest. They stressed that the airstrikes would be limited to the Syrian chemical facilities and ... Read More »

Extraordinary Times: A New Era for Ethiopia

On February 16, 2018, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn stepped down from office. Desalegn will go down into history as the first Ethiopian Prime Minister to voluntarily resign. The resignation being a positive event in itself, what comes after has even more positive potential: Desalegn’s successor is capable of turning the undemocratic environment of Ethiopian politics upside down for the ... 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 »

Satire – A Humorous Means to Enhance Political Participation?

Satire has long been a tradition in many European countries. Historians describe caricature drawings of King Louis XVI of France having an impact on the French population on the eve of the French Revolution. Since large parts of the population were illiterate, caricatures were easier to grasp than the written word in leaflets as a means to raise awareness of ... Read More »

Will These Bullets Alter Brazil’s Future?

Cars were driving on one of Rio de Janeiro’s busy main streets. It was a regular day until one car pulled up to another. Nine shots rang. Four found their target. Three killed the driver. Two people died. One country was left speechless – but then its people took to the streets. After the killing of Marielle Franco, a prominent ... Read More »

Putin’s Power Politics – Why Putin Will Win This Sunday’s Election. And The One That Follows. And The One After That.

Tomorrow, the people of Russia will cast their votes in the Russian presidential election. Most observers agree that it is not doubtful whether Vladimir Putin will be reelected, but rather whether he will manage to get more than 70% of the votes or not. It is not an understatement to say that Vladimir Putin is one of the most experienced ... Read More »