Black Professionals and the ANC in the 2014 Election

Loosening Ties?

The growing black middle class of South Africa has increasingly become the subject of interest for political parties. Noticeably, more political parties campaigned for votes from that sector in society in the 2014 Parliamentary elections. Members of that group still show a stronger preference for the ruling ANC. However, prior to the general elections, there was reason to suppose that black middle class support for the ANC had begun to decline, and that this would prove a significant factor at the polls.

Brazil’s New Middle Class

Here to Stay?

More than ten years ago, one third of Brazil’s population lived below the national poverty line. Today, more than half of them belong to the middle class. Members of this group are trying to find their societal and political role. They are worried about how to secure their new modest wealth. What are the chances to consolidate and continue this success?

Britain Remains United, but What Now?

Das Schottland Referendum und seine Folgen

On 18 September 2014, the majority of Scottish voters opted against their country gaining independence from the United Kingdom. Everything indicates that, though the issue has been concluded (for now), the discussion about the political reorganisation of the country has only just begun.

Change in Government in the World’s Largest Muslim Country

Joko Widodo wird siebter Staatspräsident Indonesiens

More than 190 million Indonesians were called to the polls in July to elect a new president. The winner is Joko Widodo, Jakarta’s former governor and a favorite of the media. In order to enforce his ambitious reform agenda parliamentary and political power within his party are required. Jokowi enjoys both of these only to a limited degree.


The growth of the middle classes is a global trend. In that respect, the opportunities go hand in hand with socio-economic and complex political challenges. If the achievements of governments continually lag behind people’s expectations, this is likely to generate increasing potential for unrest in individual societies. With regard to these tensions, how can middle classes in emerging economies become politically engaged and remain competitive at the same time?

Rising Middle Classes in Emerging Economies

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The Middle Classes in Latin America

Media Hype and Detailed Analysis

The World Bank estimates that the Latin American middle class has grown to 152 million people between 2003 and 2009. However, a political or societal debate on the sustainability of this ongoing trend appears to be insufficient. What remains is an ambivalent feeling. Poverty is decreasing, growth is being praised, whereas risks and negative side effects are neglected. Therefore, a critical analysis of the consequences of the growth of the middle classes in Latin America is necessary.


Germany's and Europe's prosperity is based on a strong foreign trade. For this reason, it is important to engage in globalization and an open trade policy in a responsible manner. This includes a set of values, based on freedom, democracy and the social market economy. In that regard, the aim to finalize trade agreements with partners such as the United States is of great importance.

Free Trade Agreement between the EU und Vietnam

Difficult Partnership

After Singapore and Malaysia, Vietnam is the third Southeast Asian country aiming for a free trade agreement with the EU. Such an agreement could improve the integration into world trade and positively impact Vietnam’s economy. In contrast, critics fear negative effects for the Vietnamese agriculture as well as environmental problems. How could the trade agreement change Vietnam?

Inglorious Isolation

Argentina’s economic and financial policies are slowing down trade with its neighbours

Argentina has its back to the wall. In the wake of failed negotiations with U.S. hedge funds, the country is deemed to be insolvent. The fiscal policy of the government of Cristina Kirchner has a share in this. The Argentinean people are not the only ones who have to deal with the crisis. It will also affect the neighbouring countries and the intraregional trade.

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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