Volume 10, Issue 1: Spring 2015

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Dov Friedman

Editor-in-Chief (2014-2015)


David Babayan

New Silk Roads in the Southern Caucasus: Chinese Geopolitics in a Strategic Region

The South Caucasus has historically been, and continues to be, an important region that has been the subject of both competition and cooperation between many regional and global powers. Currently, the region looms large in European, Russian, American, Turkish, and Iranian geopolitical considerations. As such, the policy, strategy, and tactics of these global and regional powers toward the South Caucasus have become a major focus in the literature today with a particular emphasis on bilateral relations with these powers as well as relations within the region. Surprisingly, little analysis has been done on the policy of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in the Southern Caucasus. While the Southern Caucasus appears distant from China both politically and geographically, Beijing has had position there. If the current trend continues, China could become one of the most influential players in Caucasian geopolitics.

Lauren Eades

From “Mexico’s Moment” to Mexico’s Massacre: How (Not) to Get Away With Murder

The disappearance of 43 underprivileged students at the hands of the municipal police and a local criminal gang in the state of Guerrero, Mexico horrified the country. In a country in which kidnappings and massacres are troublingly common, this came as a surprise. Why, though, in a country so inured to violence, did this particular event capture the public’s attention and set it apart? The answer lies in the confluence of factors surrounding Ayotzinapa: the students’ identity, the role of the police, the government’s involvement and mismanagement, the persistence of the students’ families and community, and the emptiness of the government’s “Mexico’s Moment” narrative.

Anders Fridén

Why It’s Time: The Case for Swedish Membership in NATO

A watershed moment occurred in European security during the early months of 2014, when Russian forces occupied the Crimean peninsula and subsequently claimed that the territory was part of the Russian Federation. Immediately after the successful overtaking of Crimea, “pro-Russian militias” began demanding independence from Kiev for regions in the eastern part of Ukraine, most notably Donetsk. Within weeks, the event had clearly shifted the paradigm of European security and the strategic balance on the continent. Russia had successfully changed the de facto borders of the continent through military means, while assembling troops with heavy weapons along the Ukrainian border. The relative calm that had marked the security relations between Russia and Western Europe since the collapse of the Soviet Union appears to have ended.

Benjamin Locks

Extortion in Mexico: Why Mexico’s Pain Won’t End with the War on Drugs

Since 2007, many Mexicans and international observers have blamed drug traffickers from Mexican cartels—and former President Felipe Calderón’s heavy-handed response—for the reign of violence that, according to Human Rights Watch has left more than 60,000 people dead through 2012. Enrique Peña Nieto’s winning 2012 presidential campaign capitalized on domestic frustration, offering policies that would focus on the economy over fighting the cartels. Yet, Mexico’s violence stems from more than just drug trafficking; extortion and kidnapping are driving a new wave of violence as cartels diversify into less risky, yet still profitable, criminal enterprises.

Peter Oesterling

Changing Policy for a Changing Climate: The Social Implications of Rapid Glacial Recession in Peru

As anthropogenic climate change alters the world’s ecosystems, one effect has been glacial recession across the Andes, the Himalayas, the Alps, and the Rocky Mountains. These glaciers have been receding at an alarming pace since the mid-1900s, and many are projected to disappear completely within this century—creating profound consequences for the communities and businesses that depend on these watersheds.


Nandita Das

Investigating Contemporary Issues in Indian Society and Film

Nandita Das is an award-winning Indian film actor and director who has leveraged her international profile to campaign on social issues concerning women, children, and marginalized communities.

Michèle Flournoy

“Thinking Over the Horizon”: Prudential Foreign Policy in the World Today

Michèle Flournoy is Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). Ms. Flournoy also served as the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy from 2009 to 2012.

Ronald Jumeau

“If You Save Us, You Save Everybody”: Small Island Developing States, Climate Change, and International Diplomacy

Ronald Jumeau is the roving Ambassador for Climate Change and Small Island Developing States Issues for the Republic of Seychelles and the former Permanent Representative for the Seychelles to the United Nations.

Patrick Murck

Enabling Access to Markets: Bitcoin’s Vision of a Participatory Digital Economy

Patrick Murck is a founding member and Executive Director of the Bitcoin Foundation, prior to which he served as General Counsel of the Bitcoin Foundation.

Former Prime Minister of Kenya Raila Odinga

Cautious Optimism:
A Realistic Approach to African Development

Raila Odinga was Prime Minister of Kenya from 2007-2012. He currently serves as the head of Kenya’s opposition party, Orange Democratic Movement (ODM).

Eric Rubin

Reconsidering “Reset”: Engaging with Russia during the Obama Administration

Eric Rubin is the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs. From 2008 to 2011, he served as the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.


Arthur De Liedekerke

Political Cacophony in the East: Višegrad Fraying at the Seams

Chris Lockyear

South Sudan: Don’t Fire the Foreigners

Jack Miller

The Evolution of Islamic Militancy: Military Developments and the Implications for State Actors


Isaac Medina

Reviewing: Cold Peace:
China-India Rivalry in the Twenty-First Century 

Faizah Zakaria

Reviewing: Incomplete Democracies in the Asia-Pacific: Evidence from Indonesia, Korea, the Philippines, and Thailand (PDF)


Enni Kallio

A New Generation:
Life in Rwanda 20 Years after the Genocide

Charlotte Juergens

Revisiting 70 Years after D-Day: Normandy

Tejus Parikh

Hidden Perspectives in Bhutan

Tyler Gathro

Cairo’s Coptic Christian Neighborhood

Narayan Kaudinya

Winter Highways: The Wait of Baltistan

Sugato Mukherjee

Sulfur Miners of Kawah Ijen








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