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Country Reports

Short political reports of the KAS offices abroad



Russia's Demographic Policy in the Context of the War

Long-term challenges for the Russian Federation

This country report explores the demographic policies of Russia in the context of the war in Ukraine. It traces Russia's demographic changes over the past century, from the Tsarist era to the present Russian Federation, and discusses the various measures the government has taken to address the demographic challenges, especially the declining birth rate. The conflict with Ukraine has introduced additional challenges, including the loss of life and mass migrations. While government initiatives have shown some positive results, the demographic situation remains complex and precarious, with regional disparities, urbanization, and external factors influencing the population dynamics.

Andreas Klein/KAS

Mit Erfahrung und Optimismus in die Zukunft

Tharman Shanmugaratnam zum neunten Präsidenten der Republik Singapur gewählt

Mit einem überzeugenden Ergebnis von 70,4 Prozent ist der langjährige Finanzminister und Parlamentsabgeordnete Tharman Shanmugaratnam am 1. September zum neunten Staatspräsident Singapurs seit der Unabhängigkeit im Jahr 1965 gewählt worden. Nach einem kurzen Wahlkampf von nicht einmal zehn Tagen setzte er sich in der Wahl, zu der 2,7 Millionen Singapurer und Singapurerinnen aufgerufen waren, deutlich gegen die beiden Mitbewerber Tan Kin Lian und Ng Kok Song durch. Shanmugaratnam tritt die Nachfolge von Präsidentin Halimah Yacob an, die als erste Frau und Muslima in der 58jährigen Geschichte der Inselrepublik von 2017 bis 2023 als Staatsoberhaupt diente. Die vor wenigen Tagen 69 Jahre alt gewordene Staatspräsidentin, ehemalige Parlamentssprecherin und Ministerin hatte am 29. Mai 2023 angekündigt, keine zweite Amtszeit anzustreben, sondern in den politischen Ruhestand überzugehen.

wikimedia/ Government of India

India's G20 Presidency 

Hugs and a voice for all

On 9 and 10 September, the G20 summit will take place in New Delhi. But what are the prospects for concrete substantive breakthroughs on key issues such as the reform processes of multilateral organisations? And how can India's G20 presidency be assessed in times of deeply divided G20 member states? The following country report explores these questions and also sheds light on the extent to which Prime Minister Modi's government has seamlessly linked the foreign policy agenda of the G20 with its domestic political ambitions.

Foco Uy / Gaston Brito

Uruguay starts election marathon

Uncertain outcome despite stable government polls

Even though Luis Lacalle Pou’s government will remain in office for another year and a half, the political landscape of Uruguay is already gearing up for the upcoming elections next year. With the possibility that the incumbent from the Partido Nacional may not seek re-election, the current ruling party is grappling with the selection of potential candidates. Nevertheless, more and more aspirants from the other parties are also emerging for the forthcoming marathon election campaign. Despite the government's steady approval ratings and favorable economic indicators, the electoral contest remains wide open.


BRICS invites Argentina in troubled times

BRICS Group welcomes admission of South American country

During the XV BRICS Summit held in South Africa, the group took a significant step by deciding to extend the alliance to include Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on January 1, 2024. The Argentinian government formally applied for a membership in 2022, but the decision came as an unexpected development, especially considering the recent absence of consensus within the group regarding potential expansion. Consequently, Argentina refrained from sending any delegates to the Johannesburg summit. This strategic maneuver adds an unexpected dimension, as the discourse around BRICS membership coincides with the presidential election campaign, thereby underscoring the country's pronounced political polarization, even concerning foreign policy matters.

IMAGO / APAimages

The Jordanian Paradox

Participation and control

Jordan wants to enable more political participation and strengthen parliamentarism. The legal course has been set. At the same time, the scope for critical expression of opinion is narrowing, most recently as a result of a new law to combat cybercrime. But the country's modernization can only succeed if the state has confidence in its citizens.

Adobe Stock / UPI Photo

The Gulf goes BRICS

Gulf states form the core of the latest BRICS expansion

In a surprising expansion, three states from the Gulf region are now part of the BRICS group of states. The inclusion of Iran, Saudi Arabia and the UAE is not a watershed event, but follows an already familiar pattern: middle powers in the Gulf and elsewhere strengthen their international position in the context of global great power rivalries. While Riyadh and Abu Dhabi seek to diversify their foreign policy relations, the regime in Tehran is once again trying to break through its international isolation. All three Gulf states are hoping for economic stimulus as well as a gain in power. The traditional BRICS agenda of establishing an alternative global financial and monetary system could also gain new momentum with three important energy exporters as new members.


Israel's regional foreign and security policy

Between Domestic Volatility, Regional Frictions and External Threats

Just days after Israel's President Isaac Herzog reassured the Biden administration about the state of democracy in Israel and praised the importance of bilateral relations with the US in his speech before the US Congress, the Knesset passed a portion of the controversial judicial reform shortly before its parliamentary summer break in late July. The debates surrounding the reform, which its opponents view as a threat to the democratic nature of the state, along with protests from various groups, have significantly heightened societal polarization in Israel over the past few months.

Additionally, security experts have increasingly warned of risks to Israel's internal and external security. These concerns were seemingly confirmed when, in the course of the last few weeks, more and more reservists declared their refusal to serve - in protest against the government's plans. Fears of a progressive erosion of social cohesion and consequently diminishing national resilience, which is considered by Israelis as an essential component of both internal and external security, are finding their foreign and security policy equivalent in the tense security situation on Israel's northern border, an escalating spiral of violence between Israelis and Palestinians, a more aggressive settlement policy under the current government, as well as closed doors for Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington and in the Arab Gulf.

Israel's Prime Minister, who in the past was attested by supporters and opponents alike to have an excellent sense of foreign and security policy – often referred to as "Mr. Security" – has propelled himself into a predicament in this area as well; his hardline political coalition partners have played a not inconsiderable role in this. An overview of the current regional foreign and security policy developments highlights the various areas of tension.

IMAGO / Xinhua

BRICS is growing

Ethiopia’s new relevance in geopolitics and trade

The BRICS community of states will be history from 1 January 2024 and will receive a new acronym through the admission of six new member states. Ethiopia will also join the BRICS next year and has high hopes for its membership. But what does this mean for the fundamental positioning of Africa's most populous country after Nigeria in world politics?

Pixabay / dMz

The world's most populous country

Blessing or curse?

According to the latest UN report entitled "8 Billion People, Infinite opportunities", which was published in April 2023, India is now the most most populous country in the world. It has surpassed its geopolitical rival China, whose population in 2022 declined for the first time in six decades, with a birth rate of only 1.24 children per woman. The average Indian is now is now about 10 years younger than his Chinese counterpart. But what are the consequences and implications of India's population increase? Are these effects bound to national borders or do they have international implications? Can we speak of a demographic dividend or rather of a demographic crisis? And what impact does the demographic trend have on the country's rapid economic growth?

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About this series

The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung is a political foundation. Our offices abroad are in charge of over 200 projects in more than 120 countries. The country reports offer current analyses, exclusive evaluations, background information and forecasts - provided by our international staff.

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