US-Soldaten in Afghanistan

The Economist


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01.08.2019

"Are Western democracies becoming ungovernable?"

https://www.economist.com/international/2019/08/01/are-western-democracies-becoming-ungovernable

Der Economist hat sich mit der Frage beschäftigt, ob bzw. inwieweit westliche Demokratien heute tatsächlich immer "unregierbarer" werden. "Ungovernability can be thought of in four ways. No Western country is ungovernable in every one. But there are a few features that exist in more than one country and a few countries that look ungovernable in more than one sense. First, some countries cannot form a stable government either because (in first-past-the-post systems) the largest party does not command a majority in parliament, or because (in countries with coalitions) parties cannot organise a stable alliance on the basis of election results. (...) Next, ungovernability can mean that governments fail to pass basic laws on which the operations of the state depend. Spain’s could not pass a budget this year, triggering the election in April. (...) A third aspect of ungovernability is the systematic corruption of constitutional norms, making political processes haphazard or arbitrary. (...) Lastly, the past year has seen a return to the streets of mass demonstrations. In France, the gilets jaunes (yellow jackets), a populist grassroots movement, have blocked roads and staged some of the most violent demonstrations the country has seen since 1968. (...) Everywhere, parties are finding it harder to recruit and retain members and to mobilise voters. Parties are the organising forces of parliamentary democracy. They pick candidates, approve manifestos and get out the vote. Coalitions usually revolve around one large party. If parties continue to decline, political systems are likely to become at least more fluid, and at worst harder to govern."

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25.07.2019

"The EU’s relationship with Turkey is failing"

https://www.economist.com/europe/2019/07/25/the-eus-relationship-with-turkey-is-failing

Der britische Economist betrachtet den Umgang mit der Türkei als derzeit wichtigsten Test für die außenpolitischen Ambitionen der EU. Bisher verlaufe dieser Test nicht besonders überzeugend, da die EU weder Zuckerbrot noch Peitsche konsequent einsetze. "That the eu has been unable to halt its close neighbour’s drift is a sorry embarrassment. At times the union has been conciliatory, particularly during the migration crisis when Turkey agreed to act as its border guard in return for money and visas. eu leaders have often bitten their tongues rather than criticise the country’s slide into autocracy. But at other moments the eu has frozen Turkey out — sneering about 'Asia Minor', dismissing its accession prospects and now imposing penalties for Mr Erdogan’s transgressions. The result has been the worst of all worlds: not enough carrot to lure Turkey back into the fold but not enough stick to force it to comply. (...) Europe aspires to a greater role in the world. But if despite all the carrots and sticks it has at its disposal it lastingly loses a direct neighbour and would-be accession state that is controlling territory claimed by an existing member of the eu, it might as well give up. Turkey is a natural priority for the eu. It is also a test."

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06.07.2019

"Europe alone: July 2024"

https://www.economist.com/the-world-if/2019/07/06/europe-alone-july-2024

Der Economist entwirft in diesem Beitrag ein pessimistisches Szenario der Folgen eines amerikanischen NATO-Austritts für Europa. "By the summer of 2023, after months of wrangling, eu leaders agreed to establish a new European Treaty Organisation (eto), building on the eu’s embryonic military bodies. The learning curve was steep. (...) America, General Schmitt observed, had provided the bulk of nato’s air and missile defences; the lion’s share of intelligence and surveillance assets needed to see across the modern battlefield; most of the tankers needed to refuel warplanes; and the logistics to move everything across the continent quickly. It would, he said, take at least $300bn to fill these holes. (...) eto also faced a thorny nuclear gap. (...) As the year turned, things came off the rails. In January 2024, Italy’s parliament dramatically refused to ratify the alliance, with populist parties on left and right clubbing together. Greece and Spain followed weeks later. (...) The Nordic countries agreed a tight-knit defence pact — the Kalmar Arrangement — and invited Britain to join on equal terms. Poland, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria signed their own deal, the Metternich Pact, in February 2024. (...) Weeks later, Italy formed its own Adriatic Alliance, focused on beating back migration from north Africa. (...) Mr Trump’s own assessment, tweeted from the third hole of the Trump International Golf Club in Florida, was curt: 'Europe wanted to build its own army instead of paying its dues to nato. How did that work out for them?'"

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29.06.2019

"The Gulf of Guinea is now the world’s worst piracy hotspot"

https://www.economist.com/international/2019/06/29/the-gulf-of-guinea-is-now-the-worlds-worst-piracy-hots
pot?fsrc=rss%7Cint

Der Golf von Guinea vor der Küste Westafrikas habe sich zum neuen globalen Piraten-"Hotspot" entwickelt, berichtet der Economist. "Elsewhere piracy is in decline. Between 2014 and 2018 the number of incidents each year in South-East Asia fell from 141 to 60, and to just three off Somalia, which in 2007-12 faced this century’s worst piracy crisis. Under-reporting is also less of a problem in these regions. The authorities in South-East Asia are more trusted; incidents off Somalia are reported to the international navies deployed there since 2009. (...) Unlike the Somalis, west African pirates never keep the vessels, as they have nowhere to hide them. Instead, armed with ak-47s and knives, they storm a ship, round up some of the crew and return to land, where they hide their hostages. Last year, says Mr Williams, they kidnapped 193 people. The pirates have struck across the region, but are primarily a Nigerian problem. (...) Piracy is intertwined with the oil-rich delta’s myriad other problems. Unemployment is at least 20%, and banditry and oil theft on land are widespread."

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23.05.2019

"How climate change can fuel wars"

https://www.economist.com/international/2019/05/25/how-climate-change-can-fuel-wars?fsrc=rss%7Cint

Anhaltende Dürreperioden und andere Konsequenzen des Klimawandels könnten in Afrika bald zu neuen Konflikten über den Zugang zu Wasser und fruchtbaren Böden führen, warnt der Economist. "Globally, the proportion of people who die violently has been falling for decades, as poverty has tumbled and wars between states have become rarer. But many fret that climate change will be so disruptive that it will make future conflicts more likely. (...) the most immediate threat is of civil wars, not inter-state ones, and one of the most vulnerable regions is the Sahel, an arid strip below the Sahara desert. Here, the roots of many conflicts lie in competition over dwindling fertile land. (...) Green campaigners and eager headline-writers sometimes oversimplify the link between global warming and war. It is never the sole cause. But several studies suggest that, by increasing the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, including floods and droughts, it makes conflict likelier than it would otherwise be. (...) Despite all these caveats, climate change clearly can play a part in fostering conflict. The Sahel is warming 1.5 times faster than the global average, owing to greenhouse-gas emissions. In future, most models suggest, it will experience more extreme and less predictable rains over shorter seasons. In a region where most people still grow or rear their own food, that could make millions desperate and restless."

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18.05.2019

"America still leads in technology, but China is catching up fast"

https://www.economist.com/special-report/2019/05/18/america-still-leads-in-technology-but-china-is-catchi
ng-up-fast

Der Economist schreibt, dass der globale Wettbewerb um technologische Innovationen dabei sei, zu einem Nullsummenspiel zu werden. In diesem Wettrennen sei China dabei, schnell zu den USA aufzuholen. "Some forms of competition can be fair but still end with the gains going mostly to one side. Notably, some technological fields give a 'first-mover advantage' that offers huge rewards to countries or businesses that take an early lead, allowing them to set standards that later entrants have little choice but to follow. In April the Defence Innovation Board, a Pentagon advisory committee of Silicon Valley luminaries, issued a report warning that China is on track to pull off this feat in the race to dominate 5g mobile telecommunications. This next generation of wireless technology promises to revolutionise existing industries and invent whole new ones with data speeds about 20 times those of 4g. A decade ago American firms took an early lead in 4g, setting standards for new handsets and applications that spread worldwide. That dominance helped Apple, Google and other American businesses generate billions of dollars in revenues. China learned its lesson, investing $180bn to deploy 5g networks over the next five years and assigning swathes of wireless spectrum to three state providers."

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20.04.2019

"How to predict when a despot will fall"

https://www.economist.com/international/2019/04/20/how-to-predict-when-a-despot-will-fall?fsrc=rss%7Cint

Der Economist präsentiert die Ergebnisse einer Untersuchung der Organisation One Earth Future (oef), die Daten zahlreicher Revolten gegen autoritäre Regierungen gesammelt und analysiert hat. "Coups and revolutions present unique challenges for forecasters. They are both extremely rare and, notes Andreas Beger of Predictive Heuristics, a consultancy, by definition conspiratorial — they do not advertise themselves in advance. Perhaps the most rigorous quantitative forecast of political upheaval comes from One Earth Future (oef), an ngo based in Colorado that publishes a predictive model, CoupCast. It reckons that the factors correlating most strongly with the risk of a coup include: the rate of economic growth; how long a regime has been in power; how long since a country’s most recent coup; and whether it has been hit by extreme weather, such as a flood or a drought".

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16.03.2019

"How NATO is shaping up at 70"

https://www.economist.com/special-report/2019/03/14/how-nato-is-shaping-up-at-70

Der Economist hat ein Dossier mit Beiträgen zum bevorstehenden 70. Jahrestag der Gründung der NATO eingerichtet. Daniel Franklin schreibt in seiner Einleitung: "Reaching 70 is an extraordinary achievement for the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. Most alliances die young. External threats change; national interests diverge; costs become too burdensome. Russia’s pact with Nazi Germany survived for only two years. None of the seven coalitions of the Napoleonic wars lasted more than five years. A study in 2010 by the Brookings Institution, a Washington think-tank, counted 63 major military alliances over the previous five centuries, of which just ten lived beyond 40; the average lifespan of collective-defence alliances was 15 years. 'Nato is the strongest, most successful alliance in history', says Jens Stoltenberg, the organisation’s secretary-general, 'because we have been able to change.'"

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31.01.2019

"France and Germany are pushing rival models for defence co-operation"

https://www.economist.com/europe/2019/02/02/france-and-germany-are-pushing-rival-models-for-defence-co-op
eration

Deutschland und Frankreich verfolgen beim erklärten Ziel einer engeren militärischen Kooperation trotz der demonstrierten Einigkeit unterschiedliche Strategien, schreibt der Economist. "Duelling visions of Europe’s military future have given rise to a proliferation of schemes. Seasoned diplomats with decades of experience in European defence policy admit that even they are occasionally baffled. Start with pesco, a collection of 34 eu defence projects launched with great fanfare in December 2017. Its members agreed 'to do things together, spend together, invest together, buy together, act together', as Federica Mogherini, the eu’s foreign-policy chief, put it. The plan would be lubricated with cash from the European Commission. But where Germany saw pesco as an opportunity to put wind back into the sails of the European project, France was irked that inclusivity had trumped ambition. (...) The bigger problem is the gap between the lofty rhetoric of political leaders and the essential modesty of these defence drives. The eu has always accepted that it should focus on crisis management (fighting the likes of pirates and traffickers) rather than collective defence (fighting Russians). For all the big talk, that remains so."

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08.11.2018

"Which countries are most likely to fight wars?"

https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2018/11/08/which-countries-are-most-likely-to-fight-wars

Anlässlich des Gedenkens an das Ende des Ersten Weltkriegs vor hundert Jahren stellt der Economist fest, dass die Welt seitdem um einiges friedlicher geworden sei. Dies sei auch auf die globale Ausbreitung der Demokratie und internationaler Normen zurückzuführen. "The simplest explanation is the advent of nuclear weapons, which deter major powers from fighting each other. But wars have declined among non-nuclear states, too. Another reason might be the spread of democracy and global norms. Bruce Russett and John Oneal, two academics, have found that countries that are democratic, trade heavily and belong to lots of international bodies fight each other less often than authoritarian, isolationist states do. The Economist has analysed all international and civil wars since 1900, along with the belligerents’ wealth and degree of democratisation (assigning colonies to their own category). We counted all conflicts involving national armies in which at least 100 people per year were killed, excluding deaths from terrorism, massacres of civilians outside combat, starvation or disease. The data show a strong correlation between democracy and peace, with a few exceptions. (The United States has been quite bellicose (...))."

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06.10.2018

"The Baltics fear European 'strategic autonomy'"

https://www.economist.com/europe/2018/10/06/the-baltics-fear-european-strategic-autonomy

In den Ländern des Baltikums werden dem Economist zufolge nicht nur die widersprüchlichen Äußerungen des US-Präsidenten zur NATO, sondern auch die Überlegungen anderer europäischer Länder über eine "strategische Autonomie" mit Sorge verfolgt. "In Berlin, Brussels and Paris it is becoming voguish to advocate 'post-Atlanticist' foreign and defence policies making Europe more independent from America. (...) Baltic leaders raise practical objections to the notion; Europe lacks the cash, but it also lacks the willingness to create a real substitute for America’s security umbrella. The EU’s existing battle-groups, part of its tentative shuffle towards a military capacity of its own, have remained in their barracks as politicians have argued about where and how they should be deployed. Anything like strategic autonomy would take decades of 'post-Atlanticist' investment and political evolution. To the Balts, that is a long time."

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03.10.2018

"Russia’s growing threat to north Europe"

https://www.economist.com/europe/2018/10/03/russias-growing-threat-to-north-europe

Der Economist berichtet, dass die öffentliche Zustimmung für einen NATO-Beitritt Schwedens angesichts der empfundenen Bedrohung durch Russland zugenommen habe. Das schwedische Militär habe die Kontakte zu den europäischen Partnern in den vergangenen Jahren deutlich verstärkt. "Sweden may not be a member of NATO. But under Stefan Lofven, Sweden’s Social Democratic prime minister for the past four years, it has manoeuvred as close to the alliance as it is possible to get from the outside. (...) The four opposition parties that governed until 2014, including the Moderates, have all come out in favour of joining NATO over the past few years. Polls indicate public support swinging modestly in this direction: 43% in favour and 37% against. But there are several hitches. One decision for the next prime minister is whether to sign a UN treaty 'banning' nuclear weapons. (...) A more serious obstacle is that any Moderate effort to take Sweden into NATO might depend on the support of the far-right Sweden Democrats. (...) A third problem is that Sweden is reluctant to leave Finland in the lurch, if its smaller neighbour declines to join."

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06.09.2018

"Why Russia and China’s joint military exercises should worry the West"

https://www.economist.com/leaders/2018/09/06/why-russia-and-chinas-joint-military-exercises-should-worry-
the-west

Der Economist stellt das gemeinsame Militärmanöver Russlands und Chinas dem Umgang der US-Regierung mit ihren Verbündeten gegenüber. "Compare President Vladimir Putin’s deft military diplomacy in Vostok-2018 with Mr Trump’s capricious cancellation of joint exercises with South Korea — to the dismay of his generals. Japan frets that its military ties with America will become a bargaining chip in trade disputes (see article). And although Europeans are relieved that last summer’s NATO summit passed without a crisis, Mr Trump’s disparagement of allies, whether big countries like Germany or small ones like Montenegro, has frayed transatlantic bonds. The world’s democracies, led by America, should be mounting a collective defence of liberal values. Instead Mr Trump is busy wrecking them. He should learn one lesson from Mr Putin: friends are an asset, not a burden."

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30.08.2018

"America’s escalating Russian sanctions"

https://www.economist.com/europe/2018/09/01/americas-escalating-russian-sanctions

Trotz bzw. gerade wegen der russlandfreundlichen Haltung des US-Präsidenten hätten die USA in den vergangenen Monaten immer neue und härtere Sanktionen gegen Moskau verhängt, stellt der Economist fest. "In August alone, America has slapped penalties on Russian shipping firms accused of trading oil with North Korea; imposed restrictions on the arms trade in connection with the poisoning of ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal in Salisbury; and begun congressional hearings on two new pieces of legislation designed to punish Russia for its interference in elections. Further Skripal-linked measures may follow in three months’ time. (...) The irony is that the risk of new sanctions now emanates not only from Mr Putin, but from Mr Trump as well. His subservience to Mr Putin at a July summit in Helsinki spurred senators to draft the DASKA bill, says Andrew Weiss of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. '[The bills] are born out of a deep distrust of the president when it comes to Russia,' a senior senate aide concurs. Even if Russia behaves this autumn, tweets from Mr Trump could well spur their passage."

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18.08.2018

"The global arms trade is booming. Buyers are spoiled for choice"

https://www.economist.com/international/2018/08/18/the-global-arms-trade-is-booming-buyers-are-spoiled-fo
r-choice

Der Economist berichtet, dass der internationale Waffenhandel zuletzt deutlich zugenommen habe. Das große Angebot habe dazu geführt, dass Käufer nur wenig Rücksicht auf besondere Vorbedingungen der Verkäufer nehmen müssen. Dies bestätige sich aktuell im Streit zwischen Kanada und Saudi-Arabien. "After Canada’s foreign minister urged the release of some political prisoners on Twitter, the Saudi government declared that all new business with Canada was suspended. This left Canadians unsure if the kingdom still wants the arms deal. And if the Saudis do walk away, plenty of other countries will be happy to supply armoured cars. 'They could get their combat vehicles from Turkey, South Korea or Brazil,' says Pieter Wezeman, a researcher at SIPRI, a Stockholm-based think-tank. (...) Total demand is growing, the number of sellers is rising and the Western countries that have dominated the business are less confident of shaping the playing field. Above all, buyers are becoming more insistent on their right to shop around. For the likes of India, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, 'this is a buyer’s market,' says Lucie Béraud-Sudreau of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, a London-based think-tank."

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02.08.2018

"Countries team up to save the liberal order from Donald Trump"

https://www.economist.com/international/2018/08/04/countries-team-up-to-save-the-liberal-order-from-donal
d-trump

Der Economist wirft einen Blick auf die neu entstehenden Koalitionen von Ländern, die die liberale Weltordnung trotz des Rückzugs der USA unter Donald Trump aufrechterhalten wollen. "The next few years are likely to see a boom in what might be called the like-mindedness industry. (...) Like startups in the business world, many new coalitions of the like-minded will fail. But some could flourish. [Allan Gyngell, a former head of Australia’s Office of National Assessments, Australia’s main intelligence agency,] predicts that the current 'hub and spoke' order will give way to a power grid in which 'networks and links will be ever more important.' This effervescent, entrepreneurial period in global affairs could help to save the existing world order — or start to shape a new one."

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05.07.2018

"How Iraq was deprived of its weapons of mass destruction"

https://www.economist.com/international/2018/07/05/north-korea-presents-nuclear-disarmaments-biggest-chal
lenge-yet

Der Economist erläutert, warum eine vereinbarte Abrüstung des nordkoreanischen Atomwaffenprogramms nicht mit bisherigen Präzedenzfällen zu vergleichen wäre. "Larger arsenals have been dismantled elsewhere, but in kinder political climates. And well-run programmes have monitored pariah states suspected of coveting the deadliest of weapons. But none involved an arsenal or a nuclear-fuel cycle as lethal, big or elusive as North Korea’s. (...) If 'dismantling programmes' means renouncing the capacity for further development, this could indeed be done in a year or two. For example, reactors that produce plutonium could be paralysed; and missile-testing sites destroyed, as Mr Trump (wrongly) claimed was happening already. But verifiably dismantling the existing arsenal and deploying inspectors across all sites would take much longer; Mr Hecker and others have suggested a decade. Mr Bolton’s brisk approach leaves some analysts gasping. 'If you knew everything they had, if they were fully committed and if you had unlimited resources, something might be achieved quite rapidly,' says Tom Plant of RUSI, a London think-tank. 'But all those conditions are hypothetical.'"

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23.06.2018

"Can Muhammad bin Salman’s gamble work?"

https://www.economist.com/special-report/2018/06/23/saudi-arabia-turns-against-political-islam

Der britische Economist hat sich in einem neuen Schwerpunkt mit den Hintergründen und Erfolgsaussichten der Reformpolitik des saudi-arabischen Kronprinzen Mohammed bin Salman beschäftigt. Im Beitrag "Saudi Arabia turns against political Islam" geht es um den Versuch des Königshauses, den in Saudi-Arabien verbreiteten Wahhabismus vom Dschihadismus zu distanzieren. "The more relaxed social rules now being introduced are thus no heresy, says the crown prince; they are simply a return to a pre-existing normality. “Islam is moderate in its ways. It is unfortunate that extremism has hijacked this religion,” says Sheikh Mohammad Alissa, head of the Muslim World League, a body that has long spread ultra-puritanical ideology. (...) For Stephane Lacroix of the Sciences-Po university in Paris, the crown prince is building a myth: 'Saudi Arabia’s religious authorities were extreme even before Ayatollah Khomeini ruled over Iran.' The difference, he says, is that after 1979 they were given free rein to impose their rules in corners of the kingdom from which they had previously been kept out, such as wealthy neighbourhoods of Riyadh. With the emergence of global jihad, Saudi rulers have struggled to avoid association with extremist groups such as al-Qaeda, the Taliban and Islamic State (IS), whose religious practices and doctrines resemble those of Saudi clerics except in when and where to resort to political violence."

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16.06.2018

"After decades of triumph, democracy is losing ground"

https://www.economist.com/international/2018/06/16/after-decades-of-triumph-democracy-is-losing-ground

Der Economist fragt nach den Ursachen für die Krise der Demokratie, die in den letzten Jahren in vielen Ländern zu beobachten sei. Organisationen wie Freedom House markieren demnach die Finanzkrise 2008 als Beginn des aktuellen Trends. "The mature democracies of the West are not yet in serious danger. Donald Trump may scorn liberal norms, but America’s checks and balances are strong, and will outlast him. The real threat is to less mature democracies, where institutions are weaker and democratic habits less ingrained. Nonetheless, what happens in the West affects these places. (...) Globally, public support for democracy remains high. A Pew poll of 38 countries found that a median of 78% of people agreed that a system where elected representatives make laws was a good one. But hefty minorities approved of non-democratic alternatives. (...) Much has been said about the failures of liberal democracies. Although they are typically rich and peaceful, many of their citizens are disgruntled. Globalisation and technology have made them fear for their jobs. The culture wars ensure that more or less everyone feels disrespected by someone. The rise of autocracy is in part a reaction to these big historical trends. But it is also because power-hungry leaders have learned how to exploit them."

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03.05.2018

"Anti-Semitism in Europe may not in fact be rising"

https://www.economist.com/news/europe/21741571-it-much-more-visible-because-social-media-anti-semitism-eu
rope-may-not-fact-be

Trotz vieler Berichte über antisemitische Vorfälle in Europa glaubt der britische Economist nicht an einen zunehmenden Hass gegen Juden. Es spreche einiges dafür, dass die sozialen Medien den seit langem bestehenden Antisemitismus einfach sichtbarer gemacht haben. "Surveys by the Pew Global Attitudes project and by the Anti-Defamation League, an American Jewish watchdog, find that in Europe negative feelings towards Jews have mostly declined over the past 15 years. Lars Rensmann, who studies anti-Semitism and populism at the University of Groningen, thinks anti-Jewish hatred has not proliferated so much as grown more visible with the rise of social media. He adds that the rise of fake news and conspiracy theories about globalisation feed anti-Semitism, 'the quintessential conspiracy myth'. (...) Indeed, in most countries, anti-Semitism rises or falls in concert with nationalism and identity politics. David Feldman of the Pears Institute notes the importance of 'competitive victimhood', in which claims of oppression by Jews, Muslims and other groups step on each others’ toes. Dariusz Stola, head of the Polin Museum of Polish Jewish History, says the same is true in Poland, where the national story is one of victimisation by Germany and Russia. It is more accurate, he thinks, to see anti-Semitism as part of a general wave of chauvinist sentiment since the migrant crisis of 2015; levels of hostility to Muslims, gays and Roma have risen too. Says Mr Stola: 'Xenophobia is not selective.'"

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12.04.2018

"The new Germans - The somewhat reluctant hegemon"

https://www.economist.com/news/special-report/21740312-germanys-traditional-foreign-policy-doctrines-are-
coming-under-pressure-germany-has-been

Der britische Economist hat sich in einem Spezial-Dossier mit den "neuen Deutschen" beschäftigt. Im Beitrag über die außen- und sicherheitspolitischen Aspekte des festgestellten Wandels heißt es: "Across all aspects of Germany’s foreign policy, the country is beginning to give up its cautious traditional doctrines, but much more slowly than many of its allies would like. (...) One reason why Germany needed to think bigger was the refugee crisis. With its geopolitical wings clipped after the second world war, and without Britain’s or France’s imperial legacy, the country long did not engage much with the world beyond Europe and big partners like America and China. The arrival of hundreds of thousands of poor Arabs and Africans in recent years has broadened its strategic horizons. (...) Even as the world is asking Germany to ditch its traditional caution, the country still sees itself as closer to Switzerland than America in scale and thus responsibility."

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15.03.2018

"Global powers need to take the geopolitics out of energy"

https://www.economist.com/news/special-report/21738584-collaboration-and-localisation-will-help-global-po
wers-need-take-geopolitics-out

Der Economist spricht sich für eine Entpolitisierung der internationalen Energiepolitik aus, um "grüne" Energieressourcen auf eine Weise zu entwickeln, die möglichst vielen zugutekommt. "Access to abundant energy helps a country fight wars. It also supports peaceful projections of power. This special report has argued that those with the most readily available and reliable sources of energy, and the ability to produce and export new technologies, will be winners as the world reduces its dependence on oil. The losers will be those whose vested interests and lack of alternatives keep them wedded to fossil fuels. But the transition need not be a geopolitical battleground. Two factors could help: better collaboration and greater localisation. (...) Such 'energy democratisation' could provide better access to electricity for the 2bn people likely to be added to the global population in the next few decades. It could help decentralise economies and counter the perception that the market works just for the rich and powerful. It could also open up a whole new realm of innovation, just as oil did with motor cars, suburbanisation, air travel, plastics and mass food production in the 20th century. The great game of green energy need not be winner takes all."

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15.03.2018

"The president has had enough of being challenged over foreign policy"

https://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21738880-foreign-affairs-america-just-moved-closer-one-man-r
ule-president-has-had-enough

Mit der Entlassung von US-Außenminister Rex Tillerson sei Präsident Trump seinem Ziel, jeglichen internen Widerspruch zu seiner Außenpolitik zu beseitigen, einen weiteren Schritt näher gekommen, schreibt der Economist. Auch die Entlassung von Sicherheitsberater McMaster oder Stabschef Kelly sei vor diesem Hintergrund nicht unwahrscheinlich. "Foreign diplomats are braced for the possible sacking of the National Security Adviser, Lt. General H.R. McMaster, who rubs Mr Trump up the wrong way. They would not be astonished to see the axe fall on the White House Chief of Staff, John Kelly, a former four-star general who has sought to bring order to Trump-world, irritating his boss. (...) Experienced envoys have retired or resigned in droves. John Feeley resigned as ambassador to Panama on March 9th. He is no squishy hand-wringer. A former Marine helicopter pilot, he oversaw cartel-busting operations as deputy chief of mission in Mexico. He wishes Mr Pompeo well but fears: 'The fundamental problem is that the president thinks he can frame and execute a one-man foreign policy.'”

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15.03.2018

"States are finding new ways of killing enemies abroad"

https://www.economist.com/news/international/21738876-they-have-produced-new-legal-justifications-well-st
ates-are-finding-new-ways-killing

Im Licht des Mordanschlags auf den russischen Ex-Spion Sergei Skripal wirft der Economist einen Blick auf die Praxis von Staaten, erklärte Feinde im Ausland durch Attentate zu eliminieren. "Russia is far from the first country to seek out and kill supposed enemies abroad. During the Cold War, military regimes in South America co-operated to kidnap and murder leftists who had sought exile in countries outside their own. Under apartheid, the South African government assassinated members of the now ruling African National Congress in neighbouring countries. The state that over the past half-century has most actively pursued a policy of hunting down and killing enemies abroad is surely Israel. (...) after Osama bin Laden’s attack on the Twin Towers on September 11th 2001, the American administrations of George W. Bush and then Barack Obama, and more recently the British and French governments, have in some respects followed the example of the Israelis in tracking down and killing enemies abroad, sometimes including their own citizens, by using drones. (...) Whereas attacks such as the one on Mr Skripal have been almost universally condemned, the use of drones to kill targeted individuals has been more contentious. Many human-rights lawyers see them as unlawful."

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09.03.2018

"The pros and cons of a summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un"

https://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2018/03/history-making

Viele Kritiker des US-Präsidenten sind dem Economist zufolge der Ansicht, dass Donald Trump das komplexe Verhältnis der USA zu Nordkorea nicht verstehe und durch das nordkoreanische Angebot eines Gipfeltreffens mit Kim Jong-Un manipuliert werden soll. Andere Experten glaubten dagegen, dass das Gesprächsangebot die Folge einer neuen Situation sei, die sich unabhängig von Donald Trump ergeben habe. "Instead, their judgment reflects a grim new reality. After a string of rapid breakthroughs with long-range missiles and tests of nuclear explosives, North Korea may feel it is in a position to negotiate with the Americans as something close to an equal. (...) Still allies have grounds to worry. Mr Trump may have something more ambitious in mind than a listening exercise. Reporters asked a senior administration official why a face-to-face leaders’ meeting did not need to be preceded by rounds of talks by lower-level officials. He said 'President Trump made his reputation on making deals. Kim Jong Un is the one person who is able to make decisions under their authoritarian — uniquely authoritarian — or totalitarian system. And so it made sense to accept an invitation to meet with the one person who can actually make decisions instead of repeating the, sort of, long slog of the past.' What could be more satisfying than a sudden, historic deal to make all those mocking experts and diplomats eat their words? And to pull off a quick win, Mr Trump the salesman has long been willing to promise anything — especially when someone else will pay the price for failure."

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25.01.2018

"The new battlegrounds - The future of war"

https://www.economist.com/news/special-report/21735477-war-still-contest-wills-technology-and-geopolitica
l-competition-are-changing

Der Economist versucht sich an einer Prognose über die Entwicklung der Kriegsführung in den kommenden 20 Jahren. "(...) intrastate or civil wars have been relatively numerous, especially in fragile or failing states, and have usually proved long-lasting. Climate change, population growth and sectarian or ethnic extremism are likely to ensure that such wars will continue. Increasingly, they will be fought in urban environments, if only because by 2040 two-thirds of the world’s population will be living in cities. (...) Even though full-scale interstate warfare between great powers remains improbable, there is still scope for less severe forms of military competition. In particular, both Russia and China now seem unwilling to accept the international dominance of America that has been a fact of life in the 20 years since the end of the cold war. (...) At least the world knows what it is like to live in the shadow of nuclear weapons. There are much bigger question-marks over how the rapid advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning will affect the way wars are fought, and perhaps even the way people think of war. The big concern is that these technologies may create autonomous weapons systems that can make choices about killing humans independently of those who created or deployed them."

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18.01.2018

"How to stop countries sliding back into civil war"

https://www.economist.com/news/international/21735030-ensuring-peace-holds-may-mean-striking-grubby-deal-
how-stop-countries-sliding

Um in Bürgerkriegsländern nach einem Friedensschluss einen erneuten Ausbruch von Feindseligkeiten zu verhindern, seien oft "schmutzige Abkommen" nötig, stellt der britische Economist fest. In Afrika, Asien und Lateinamerika gebe es zahlreiche sogenannte DDR-Programme (“disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration”) zur gesellschaftlichen Wiedereingliederung ehemaliger Kämpfer. Diese Programme hätten insgesamt eine eher gemischte Erfolgsbilanz, seien aber trotzdem alternativlos. "At the heart of any DDR programme is a bargain: disarm, cause no more trouble — and you will benefit. Sometimes combatants will pocket the cash and hold themselves ready to remobilise at a moment’s notice. Those who do stand down may be unfit to aid in their country’s reconstruction. Civilians may resent the fighters at whose hands they suffered being paid off. But even a very grubby deal is worth striking if it helps secure lasting peace."

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11.01.2018

"Georgia opts for less confrontation with Russia"

https://www.economist.com/news/europe/21734400-and-eu-happy-georgia-opts-less-confrontation-russia

Die Regierung in Georgien verfolge heute gegenüber Russland einen pragmatischen Kurs, berichtet der Economist. Die Standpunkte in den wichtigen Fragen hätten sich zwar nicht grundsätzlich geändert, die Beziehungen seien allerdings deutlich weniger feindselig. "The two countries still have no diplomatic relations. But their officials hold regular bilateral talks. And practical initiatives are easing trade, travel and transport between the two. 'This government is bending over backwards not to antagonise Russia,' says Ojars Kalnins, a Latvian politician and diplomat. (...) So is Georgia slipping away from the West and back into Russia’s orbit? Not quite. 'The confrontational tone that was dominant during the Saakashvili era has been replaced by a muted tone. But the content itself is not very different,' says Salome Zurabishvili, a former foreign minister under Mr Saakashvili and now an independent MP. Georgia is still keen on Europe, and aims to join the European Union. On the key issue of borders, it remains firm."

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19.12.2017

"Whither nationalism?"

https://www.economist.com/news/christmas-specials/21732704-nationalism-not-fading-away-it-not-clear-where
-it-heading-whither

Entwicklungen in den USA und in Osteuropa, aber auch in Regionen wie Katalonien oder Kurdistan lassen den Economist in diesem umfassenden Essay zu dem Schluss kommen, dass der Nationalismus auch künftig eine zentrale Rolle in der internationalen Politik spielen wird. Dies habe neben einigen durchaus positiven auch erkennbar negative Folgen. "Nationalism is an abiding legacy of the Enlightenment. It has embedded itself in global politics more completely and more successfully than any of the Enlightenment’s more celebrated legacies, including Marxism, classical liberalism and even industrial capitalism. It is not an aberration. It is here to stay. Putting aside the concerns of a cosmopolitan elite, this is not necessarily a bad thing. Like religion, nationalism is capable of bringing out the best in people as well as the worst. It can inspire them to bind together freely in pursuit of the common good. But it can also fill them with a terrifying, righteous certainty, breeding strife and injustice. Sadly, the new nationalism plays to the paranoid, intolerant side of this legacy. It sees every 'citizen of the world' as a 'citizen of nowhere', in the mocking phrase of Theresa May".

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07.12.2017

"How sharia marriages can hurt women in the West"

https://www.economist.com/news/international/21732105-differences-marital-law-provide-opportunity-unscrup
ulous-men-how-sharia-marriages

Die teilweise Anwendung des Scharia-Familienrechts und der islamischen Ehe in einigen europäischen Ländern wird vom britischen Economist kritisch beurteilt. "Under the basic principles of so-called private international law, courts in country A can enforce the legal norms of country B as they apply to people who are clearly from country B and to transactions which occurred in country B. (...) the risk of being trapped between systems is acute for those in transition from the Islamic world, which has detailed prescriptions for marriage, divorce, custody and inheritance, to Western countries where egalitarian, secular standards prevail. (...) a complex reality is no argument for inequality of rights, and a forum exists where this should be sorted out. Whatever the fate of the continent’s other clubs, there is one institution, the Council of Europe, whose job is to uphold the rule of law and basic human rights across its 47 member states (28 of which belong to the EU). Without trying to harmonise every piece of family law, the council could do useful work by pooling experience and elaborating some common standards to ensure that no European lives under a harsh marital regime through being born into the wrong religion, the wrong country or the wrong sex."

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