1. Background & Context
Perhaps the most noteworthy highlight of the 2017 African Union Summit in Addis Ababa Ethiopia was the decision by the majority of AU member states to welcome back into the organization the Kingdom of Morocco after a thirty-three year absence.
In previous pieces, we have analyzed the run up to the still-ongoing Brazilian recession as a combination of factors. Given an “anemia” of productivity increases, an appetite for public spending without prioritization led to a condition of fiscal “obesity”. The external factors that provided for a boom in the new millennium, notwithstanding underlying vulnerabilities, have dissipated. The economic policy adopted as a response to the growth decline aggravated those vulnerabilities. On top of those, a disruption of existing large domestic corporate structures followed broad corruption investigations (Canuto, 2016a) (Canuto, 2016b) (Canuto, 2016c).
En décembre 2010, je sortais d’une librairie du quartier de l’Agdal à Rabat lorsque je suis tombé sur un journaliste d’un quotidien de grande diffusion que j’ai connu comme étudiant de troisième cycle à la faculté où j’enseigne. Les événements de Tunisie battaient alors leur plein. Nous échangeâmes quelques commentaires sur les dernières péripéties du régime de Benali. Le lendemain, à ma grande surprise, sur « la une » du journal, je découvrais que j’avais fait une déclaration sur ce qui se passait en Tunisie, avec ma photo, alors qu’il n’en était rien. Le journaliste me faisait prendre position et même commenter les événements en cours ! Pourtant, à ce stade de la révolution tunisienne, je m’abstenais de tout commentaire, par prudence académique, les faits étaient alors encore confus. Le sens de ce qui se passait était peu lisible.
On July 15, Turkey’s tumultuous 2016 took a shocking twist as elements within the country’s military attempted a coup against the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The putsch rapidly snapped at the seams, and a night that began with soldiers blocking bridges yielded a morning with those same soldiers flogged by civilians in the street.
Political Developments: Towards a Political Transition?
Countries in the Sahel are facing political changes that seriously affect the African continent at large. This blog attempts to give an overview of the recent political developments in the region before focusing on the ongoing challenges.
In January 2016 the Chinese Government issued its first “China's Arab Policy Paper”, in which it stated: “We will enhance exchanges of experts and scholars from the two sides and actively explore the establishment of a long-term China-Arab exchange mechanism of think tanks.” I think that this line implies three things. First, it implies that the Chinese Government pays great attention to think tanks’ roles in China-Arab cooperation in the form of government document on the eve of President Xi Jinping’s first visit to the Middle East in his capacity of PRC’s President. Second, it implies that China looks forward to the Arab world would do the same and that China and Arab world should strengthen cooperation in think tank work in addition to our cooperation in other fields. Third, the Chinese Government is pragmatic enough to set low goals to start with by saying to “actively explore the establishment of a long-term China-Arab exchange mechanism of think tanks.”
Jointly organized by OCP Policy Center and Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, the roundtable on "Current African Economic and Strategic Challenges and Opportunities; Intersecting Views from China and Morocco" was a great opportunity to gather experts from both side, to brainstorm opportunities to enhance the role of think-tanks and civil society organization in the consolidation of the Afro-Asian cooperation more efficiently and in a more comprehensive way.
During the Lisbon Summit back in 2010, NATO adopted its third post-bipolar Strategic Concept acknowledging the structural and functional transformation process. In addition to its traditional mission of ensuring mutual defense, stabilizing its surroundings and global power projection capability now adds to the organization’s mission. As a matter of fact, the role of NATO could be shifting from a regional defense alliance to that of a global player. However, one can only wonder whether NATO will be able to fully fulfill its new role on the long run. How can the organization cope with the Russian threat in the short-medium run? What links does NATO maintain with the Mediterranean basin?