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Vince Musi / The White House, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

30 years of the Oslo Accords 

Will there be a new upheaval in the Middle East Conflict? 

30 years after the historic handshake between Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat in the garden of the White House in Washington, D.C., the peace process has come to a standstill; the political majorities in Israel and an escalating spiral of violence in the Palestinian Territories put hope of a diplomatic solution with two coexisting states into the distant future. Rather, after 30 years of the Oslo system, the question arises: How much longer will these agreements be viable? 

Seksan Rochanametakul

Thailand's New Government - Coalition of Arch Enemies Opposes Political Change

The priorities of the new head of government, Srettha Thavisin, are in the economic sphere, also for Thailand's foreign policy

The May 14 parliamentary elections in Thailand were deemed a success for the democratic process by all observers, with the Electoral Commission recognizing a large victory for the progressive Move Forward Party (MFP), which became the largest faction in the House of Representatives. The unelected Senate – appointed by the former military government – prevented the MFP from forming a government, while the Constitutional Court suspended its leader Pita Limcharoenrat over an alleged breach of election rules. The outcome of the 2023 electoral cycle reflects the balance of power in Thailand under the current constitution, under which conservative elites and the military continue to exert control over the political process in order to protect their interests. This election demonstrates what appears to be their collective goal -- maintain control over political outcomes, while creating enough democratic space to ensure that Thailand saves face internationally and its citizens refrain from demonstrating in the streets. 

IMAGO / ITAR-TASS

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.

IMAGO / agefotostock

A public dialogue on reproductive medicine

Discussion paper and evaluation of an open internet forum: What is expected from reproductive medicine? How are the opportunities and risks to be assessed?

 The German Embryo Protection Act is over 30 years old. In view of medical progress and social change, it can no longer regulate many issues satisfactorily. For this reason, politicians and experts are considering modern legislation on reproductive medicine. In an internet forum open to all, Leopoldina and Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung have put the chances and risks of reproductive medicine up for discussion. The aim was to bring the debate to a broader societal public.

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.

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.

IMAGO / ITAR-TASS

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.

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.

IMAGO / IPON

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.

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.

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