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Adobe Stock / Xand777

Primaries in Argentina

Surprising landslide victory for Javier Milei

On Sunday 13 August, the Primarias Abiertas, Simultáneas y Obligatorias, or PASO for short, took place in Argentina. Since 2009, the candidates of the parties for the parliamentary and presidential elections have been determined in the open primaries, which are obligatory for all citizens entitled to vote. The PASO are particularly important for smaller parties, as they decide which political forces will ultimately be allowed to stand for election on 22 October. To do so, they have to win at least 1.5 % of the vote.

Jarama / Adobe Stock

Principles of Administrative Modernization

The German state is in need of a fundamental modernization of its public administration.

Germany needs a fundamental modernization of its public administration. Proposals to this end are legion, rarely differing in their goals, but often neglecting the multitude of veto players: decisions appear opaque, procedures lengthy, administration inefficient and the potential of digitalization lies idle. The discussion about administrative modernization is oftentimes used to project state criticism. What it could be, however, is a debate about the principles of state organization.

IMAGO / Gruppo LiveMedia

The battle for Berlusconi's political legacy

Between tidying up and a complete overhaul: Forza Italia's survival now depends on Antonio Tajani

After the death of Silvio Berlusconi, Forza Italia must reinvent itself under its new party leader Antonio Tajani. He obviously has a clear idea: the former political club should take on the historic legacy of the "Democrazia Cristiana". Exactly 30 years after its demise, there is a longing in Italy for a new DC. But Tajani could be too late with his plans: Giorgia Meloni with her Fratelli d'Italia is already well on the way to collecting the voters of political Catholicism. If she succeeds with her strategy of gathering national conservatives and Christian Democrats under one roof, this is likely to result in the creeping death of Forza Italia and permanently change Italy's party landscape.

Adobe Stock / Vitalii Vodolazskyi

Saudi Arabia: After Iran, now Israel?

New Conditions for a Saudi-Israeli Rapprochement

It would be the deal of the century - but so far it is still a long way off. An agreement between Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United States on the recognition of the Jewish state by the guardian of Islam's holiest sites would be a political earthquake in the region and beyond. Not only could it transform the already existing unofficial cooperation between Israel and Saudi Arabia into a new regional political alliance while also complicating the recent rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and Iran. It might also cement the decades-old alliance between Riyadh and Washington and counter current trends in international geopolitics, particularly the Gulf states' strategic orientation toward China. But while U.S. policymakers are already dreaming of a foreign policy coup, major hurdles to rapprochement remain: Riyadh wants advanced weapons, a civilian nuclear program and security guarantees from the United States. And last but not least, concessions from Israel in the conflict with the Palestinians.

Adobe Stock / Studio Romantic

From Marital Splitting to Family Splitting?

An Attempt to Rationalize the Debate

Marital splitting (tax brackets: Married Filing Jointly) was introduced in 1958 as a means of supporting families. But in the past 65 years, the realities of life for many families have changed dramatically. Today, the majority of marriages are childless and more than a third of all children are born out of wedlock. It is important to consider how families with children can be better supported. Family splitting is a model that has been mentioned again and again. However, a reform is only conceivable if it is cost-neutral in times of tight public coffers - and thus has winners and losers.

IMAGO / Xinhua

The EU's migration agreement with Tunisia

Perception in Tunisia and Macroeconomic and Geostrategic Relevance

"Recently, the European Union and Tunisia signed a memorandum of understanding on a "strategic and comprehensive partnership." In addition to the planned closer cooperation in the areas of economy and trade, long-term energy and mobility partnerships are to be established. The core area, however, is migration management to limit irregular migration across the Mediterranean. For the EU, the agreement is the first yardstick for its future migration policy with the countries of North Africa. For the Tunisian government, the prospect of early financial aid and an expansion of economic cooperation in the midst of a national budget and debt crisis represents an important potential lifeline. However, key questions regarding the implementation of the agreement remain unclear. "

IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development 2023 – a blueprint for the SDG Summit?

How can we build on the momentum from the HLPF for a successful SDG Summit?

In July 2023, Member States came together to assess progress on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the United Nations (UN) High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development. As we reach the halfway point to the deadline of achieving the 2030 Agenda, the HLPF discussions concentrated on the key policy areas in which accelerated progress is needed. At this critical inflection point, only 12% of the 140 SDG targets are on track and the UN Secretary-General’s latest SDG Progress Report issues a dire “Rescue Plan for People and Planet” to put the world on a better path. The SDG Summit, taking place from 18-19 September 2023 in New York, will be an opportune moment to reverse our current trajectory and redouble efforts towards SDG implementation. This country report offers a synthesis of key themes from the HLPF and prospective outlook on the SDG Summit.

IMAGO / ITAR-TASS

The Wagner Group in Belarus

Possible scenarios based on their previous activities worldwide

The alarming reports about the relocation of the private military company (PMU) Wagner to Belarus after the aborted "March on Moscow" raise a number of questions with regard to national and regional security: Will the Wagner Group act as a political actor in Belarus? Which "instruments" from previous missions in other parts of the world could it bring to bear? And what danger is there for Ukraine and NATO countries if Lukashenka openly fantasises about "excursions" to Poland by his new guests?

IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

Spanien hat entschieden - vorläufig

Nationalwahlen am 23. Juli. Fast alle Parteien sind Wahlgewinner und Wahlverlierer

Es erscheint paradox: Bei den Nationalwahlen an diesem 23 Juli sind fast alle Parteien sowohl Wahlgewinner als auch Wahlverlierer. Nur VOX ist ausschließlich Wahlverlierer, weil diese Partei nach dem Verlust von 19 Mandaten und 623.235 Stimmen über keine machtpolitische Option verfügt.

IMAGO / Kyodo News

How the election in the Kingdom of Cambodia prepares the country for a new role in the region

Same same but different?

On 23 July 2023, the Cambodian people cast their votes in the national parliamentary elections. With 120 of 125 seats in the national parliament, the Cambodian People's Party (CPP) is once again the strongest ruling party. At first glance, this result is unsurprising, as it continues the pattern from the last election in 2018. However, a closer look reveals that the preconditions for this year's election, as well as its consequences for the years to come, outline a new political landscape in Cambodia. The consequences for the region are significant.