India’s Arms Race

Challenges for Foreign, Security and Defence Policy

India is arming and is now the world’s most lucrative market for military hardware. Since 2007 no other country has imported more arms and military equipment than the subcontinent. In view of India’s present and future arms deals and the military build-up in the neighbouring states of China and Pakistan there are now fears of an Asian arms race.

Military build-up Dynamics and Conflict Management in East and Southeast Asia

The greater region of East and Southeast Asia is not only the region with the highest rate of economic growth worldwide. The majority of the region’s states have also been increasing the spending on their military forces at above-average rates for years. Can these dynamics be mitigated through better regional cooperation?

Partisan Media in the U.S.

Danger or Opportunity for the Political Culture?

In the United States, the political debate is starkly divided into two opposing camps. This applies not only to party politics, where last summer the ideological differences between Republicans and Democrats brought the country to the brink of insolvency, but also to the media, which is becoming increasingly partisan.

A country on the brink of a region? Germany’s Baltic Sea policies

What is Germany’s interest in the Baltic Sea region (BSR) and regional cooperation? What are the country’s motivesand incentives? It seems that it is not that easy to answer these questions as certain contradictions in the German stance as well as contradictions in the perspectives on the region of the different actors and observers in Germany have been evident throughout the years.


In a few weeks time, Germany’s presidency of the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) will draw to a close. On 1 July, at the conclusion of the country’s twelve-month term of office, Germany’s foreign minister, Guido Westerwelle, will pass the baton to his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, who will take over the rotating presidency on behalf of the Russian Federation.

Foreign-Policy Discussions in Sweden after 1990

From Neutrality to NATO?

Sweden’s foreign policy has undergone fundamental changes since 1990. Whilst having relied on neutrality both in foreign and security policy for almost two centuries, the country has actually been sending troops to NATO missions for quite some time. Nevertheless, Sweden has not become a full member of the military alliance to this day. The rapprochement with the West in the area of security policy has been progressing relatively steadily and smoothly since 1990. However, in public political discussion the change has been neither fast nor smooth.

Iceland – a reluctant EU candidate

Iceland submitted an application for membership to the European Union in a letter dated 16 July 2009, the same day the Icelandic Parliament, Althingi, passed a resolution empowering the Government to submit application, and, upon the completion of negotiations with the Union, to hold a national referendum on a prospective Treaty of Accession. But the Icelandic Government is split on the membership issue.

Indigenous Participation in Latin America

The Gulf between Documented Rights and Everyday Reality

When Evo Morales of the Aymara people was elected President of Bolivia in 2005, the expectations of Bolivia’s indigenous population were running high. One of the reasons for Morales’ electoral success was his promise to involve indigenous people in government and to address their needs through his policies. In Europe, Morales was viewed as a shining light, with his rise to power and his policies being characterised as having almost mystical qualities. But after six years in office, this kind of euphoria is now all but forgotten.

Parliamentary Elections in Kazakhstan

Controversial Outcome, Uncontroversial President

The Kazakh parliamentary elections of 15 and 16 January 2012 resulted in a clear victory for the ruling Nur Otan party headed by Nursultan Nazarbayev, the country’s President. Whereas OSCE observers adjudged these elections to be undemocratic due to lack of transparency, election observers from the CIS described them as being open and transparent. But regardless of any assessment of these elections, the results will not have any impact on the forming of a new government or the future work of that government.

Poverty, Social Inequality and Conditional Cash Transfer Programs in Latin America

One of the many things that the countries of Latin America have in common is their extreme social inequality. Nowhere else in the world is there more income inequality than in Latin America; nowhere else do the richest 10 per cent of the populous earn a greater proportion of total income; and nowhere else do the poorest 10 per cent earn a smaller share of the total aggregate income.

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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