China’s “Silk Road” initiative – an excuse to impose China’s soft power across the globe or an attempt to placate discerning domestic audiences? [VIDEO]

When media around the world mention China’s new “Silk Road” initiative, it is often portrayed as a sinister strategy by the Chinese to pull various countries in Asia, Africa and Europe out of the West’s sphere of influence and under the patronage of China. Through extensive infrastructure projects and generous loans, many fear that  China is aspiring to create a proxy Empire that can rival the global hegemony of the US-led Western world order.

Continue reading “China’s “Silk Road” initiative – an excuse to impose China’s soft power across the globe or an attempt to placate discerning domestic audiences? [VIDEO]”

The puzzle of economic sanctions: Why do Western states impose sanctions when they rarely achieve the goal of democratising authoritarian states?

G7 Leaders Meet To Discuss Ukraine During Nuclear Summit

Photo credit: http://www.huffpost.com

In 1989, the Soviet Empire was revealing itself to be a failure and crumbled in front of the eyes of the world. In this year, an article entitled “The End of History?” was published. Its author, Francis Fukuyama, announced that the great ideological battles between east and west were over, and that western liberal democracy had triumphed. Since the end of the Cold War, many “triumphant” democratic countries, especially in the West, have increased their pressure on authoritarian regimes to democratise, and coerce them to find “enlightenment”.

Continue reading “The puzzle of economic sanctions: Why do Western states impose sanctions when they rarely achieve the goal of democratising authoritarian states?”

The Psychology of Fear and Trump’s Victory.

trump
Photo credit: http://www.insidegov.com

Fear is the most powerful primitive emotion in humans. It has enabled our species to both survive and evolve over millenia. This primal emotion is automatically elicited by threats or perceived dangerous events, involving little by way of  higher order reasoning. But, it exponentially increases our chance of survival in the face of peril.

Continue reading “The Psychology of Fear and Trump’s Victory.”

The Madman Theory of diplomacy from Nixon to Trump: shrewd brinkmanship or dangerous naivety?

Richard M. Nixon
Photo credit: http://www.salon.com

In 1968, Richard Nixon was elected US President.  He ran with a foreign policy platform promising to end the internecine war in Vietnam and allow the US to withdraw from the quagmire in South East Asia.v

Continue reading “The Madman Theory of diplomacy from Nixon to Trump: shrewd brinkmanship or dangerous naivety?”

The Communist Party of Vietnam: harnessing nationalism to strengthen government legitimacy

A post dedicated to my one reader.

islands-1650
South China Sea. Photo credit: http://www.nytimes.com
How does a non-democratically elected government ensure that it is viewed as the rightful and legitimate ruling power in a country? Continue reading “The Communist Party of Vietnam: harnessing nationalism to strengthen government legitimacy”