On the Situation of Christians in Syria and Iraq

The exodus of Christians in the Middle East is not a new phenomenon. However, in Syria and Iraq things could even get worse. Pacification of the ongoing conflicts in the two countries is the only hope for the remaining Cristian population. If the exodus continues, it could lead to an isolation of moderate forces and a strengthening of radical Islamists.

One Year on from the Annexation of Crimea

One year on from the Annexation of Crimea, Russians’ attitude toward the West has deteriorated. The Russian government uses the situation to fuel patriotism and isolate critics. Besides, the Ukraine conflict shows that Russia follows its own cost-benefit ratio, neglecting its economic interests.

Power Struggle or Religious War?

The Confessionalisation of Conflicts in the Arab World

Armed conlicts in the Arab region are often referred to as “ethnic” or “religious wars”. However, some overservers deny an ethnic, religious or tribal motivation to these conflicts. According to them, such motives are merely exploited in a struggle for power. This raises the question: To what extent are conflict parties in the Arab world driven by ethnic or religious identities?

Ring of Friends or Ring of Fire?

Eastern Europe between the European and Eurasian Union

Russia and the European Union offer two completely different models of integration to the countries in their common neighbourhood. The EU offers help with modernization and economic reforms, while Russia promises loans and military help if countries join the Eurasian Economic Union. In this regard, the war in the Ukraine shows the incompatibility of the EU’s integrative approach with Russia’s spheres of influence thinking.

Cooperation between Antagonists

The Gulf States’ Complex Relationship With Iran

With the election of Hassan Rohani as president of Iran in 2013 and the nuclear dispute settlement between Iran and the E3+3 being under way, the Arabic-Iranian relationship has experienced a break with tradition. The time has come for the Gulf Cooperation Council to agree on a joint foreign policy towards Iran – a challenge considering the Gulf States’ particular national interests and the diverging signals coming from the two regional big players Saudia Arabia and the United States.


The transatlantic relations are characterized by close political and economic cooperation as well as intense cultural exchange. While a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) would enable us to actively shape the future world economic system in our sense, current political challenges require permanent dialogue between the transatlantic partners.


A Marshall Plan for Africa!?

Conventional development policy can no longer react effectively to flows of refugees from Africa to Europe and to Africa’s immense population growth. What is necessary instead is a European-African initiative, realized by a public-private partnership, with the goal of developing a conurbation in terms of economic policy, which creates completely new economic cycles as well as humane economic and social conditions in the Mediterranean – so to speak a Marshall Plan for Africa. Such a project would also be a great chance for Europe.

Open Markets, Prosperity and Global Standards

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

The TTIP negotiations are strongly criticized by many consumers in Germany, especially with regard to their (alleged) opaque nature, the creation of an International Investment Court and the supposedly lower level of consumer protection in the US. In view of Europe’s waning economic influence, it is imperative to seize the opportunity of a meaningful transatlantic economic area and to exert more influence on the new international economic order.

Taking Confucius to Africa

How foreign cultural policy conveys China’s voice and perspective to the world

Looking at numbers, the expansion of China’s foreign policy institutions and programs related to culture is impressive. Over a short period of time, China has become an important global actor in the realm of foreign cultural policy. By using the cultural “factor”, the Peoples Republic seeks to convey its social and political values, for which it is heavily criticized.

The End of the Status Quo?

A Contribution to the Debate on Normalization and Anti-Normalization in Palestinian Society

The issue of normalization is widely discussed in Palestinian society. Opinions on whether and in what form Palestinians should enter into dialogue with Israelis diverge dramatically and split the Palestinian society. It is striking that openness to dialogue has waned considerably in almost all strata of Palestinian society over the past few years.

About this series

This periodical responds to questions concerning international issues, foreign policy and development cooperation. It is aimed at access of information about the international work for public and experts.

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