In April 2016, some important oil-producing Middle Eastern countries, as the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and Iran, were present among the representatives of more than 155 countries headed to the U.N. in New York to ratify the international climate accord negotiated during the Paris COP 21 (“UAE vows to make climate deal work”, The National UAE, April 23, 2016). Less than a month later, from North America to Russia, places especially vulnerable to climate change are shaken by immense wildfires. Prominent among these extreme weather events, is the mega wildfire that devastates the region of Fort Mc Murray, in the Alberta state of Canada (Bryan Alary, “Fort Mc Murray blaze among “most extreme” of wild fires says researcher”, Phys.org, May […]
This article focuses on the “rise of populism”, the second explanation given for two of the major recent political and geopolitical surprises – i.e. the Brexit and the election of Donald Trump as U.S. President, and a major concern for many regarding the future evolution of Europe, the EU, and more largely the liberal paradigm in its globalisation guise.
Previously, we presented the current scholarly definition of populism, and suggested that it was less representative of reality than thought at first glance (“A perfect definition?“). Here, we shall focus on a too often forgotten aspect of “populism”, the way the word is actually used to disparagingly brand a protest movement or party and reinsert it within a larger political science framework. We shall explain how this practice of “populism-labelling” is actually fraught with three main dangers, which, furthermore, interact.
This article and the next focuses on the “rise of populism”, the second explanation given for two of the major recent political and geopolitical surprises – i.e. the Brexit and the election of Donald Trump as U.S. President. Populism and its rise are potentially at the heart of a possible crisis in Europe, and world-wide, should “populist” and anti-European parties be successful enough in the 2017 elections to be able to implement their program. The fear is high enough in Europe to lead in the Dutch parliamentary elections held on 15 March 2017, their opponents to astonishingly hail as a “terrific” victory the loss of eight seats by the centre-right VVD party, remaining nonetheless the first political force in the country with 33 seats, while the […]
The summer of 2016 has been a major pivot in the history of mankind. In effect, on 30 August, the definition of the current geological epoch as the “Anthropocene Era” has been officially validated, during the 35th International Geological Congress, in Cape Town, South Africa (Noel Castree, “An Official Welcome to the Anthropocene Epoch”, RD […]
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is devising a grand strategy to ensure its global security during the 21st century. In 2010, the UAE’s government published the “UAE Vision 2021”, establishing the will “to ensure a sustainable development”. In 2011, the UAE’s political authorities created a national marine environment research centre. In 2014, they created the […]
Modern societies, economies and businesses become increasingly unsustainable because of the convergence of their complex and in-built vulnerabilities with climate change. However, the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) has initiated a very interesting strategy: the experimentation with and promotion of sustainability on a national and international scale, in order to support an adapted way of life […]
On 3 November 2015, the Dutch Ministry of foreign affairs organises the conference “Planetary Security: Peace and Cooperation in Times of Climate Change and Global Environmental Challenges” at the Peace Palace in the Hague. This conference accompanies the worldwide mobilisation for the United Nations summit on climate change (known as “COP 21”), which will take place in Paris, France, from 30 November to 11 December 2015. The peculiarity of this conference lies in the fact that it infuses the idea of security with a political, strategic and societal meaning, while security also remains clearly defined as a moment of exchanges between policy-makers and experts on the threat caused by climate and environmental change. In other words, the very existence of […]
Parliamentary election in Ukraine will be held on 26 October 2014. Meanwhile, the road towards full peace in Eastern Ukraine is still uncertain, despite the 5 September Minsk protocol and its 19 September memorandum (OSCE), witness, among others, the battles for Donetsk airport and latest fighting in Luhansk or near Mariupol (OSCE SMM reports). Furthermore, on 2 November, the special status territories of the Donbass, the “self-proclaimed” Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) will vote to elect their respective heads and representatives at the People’s Assemblies (Ria Novosti, 11 October 2014). It is thus all the more important to continue our evaluation of the state of play for the various Ukrainian actors. Ukraine is indeed more than ever poised […]
In May 2013, several Asian countries obtained the status of “permanent observer” at the Arctic Council, the body that gathers the eight countries bordering the Arctic. These new “observers” are China, India, South Korea, Singapore, and Japan (Russia Today, Northern exposure, May 15, 2013). This rush of Asian (some of them tropical and equatorial) countries to the Arctic is one of the most important dimensions of the current global race to the Arctic region (see Valantin, “Arctic, the New great game”), triggered by the combination of the rapid warming of the North and the global competition for natural resources (Klare, The Race for what’s left, 2013). The new grand strategies ruling over this race to the Arctic, which combine national […]