Why There Won’t Be an African Spring

While the attention of Arab and Western media was largely focused on the historic victory of the Muslim Brotherhood’s presidential candidate in Egypt, street protests of a scale not witnessed for two decades continued into their second week in Khartoum and other major Sudanese cities. There are also protests in Gabon and Togo while the upcoming elections in Kenya are anticipated with anxiety.

Africa tends to be viewed through a prism of disease, starvation, violence and, most of all, corruption. When the “Arab Spring” erupted in late 2010, it was generally seen as a Middle Eastern phenomenon rather than an African one, even if its main protagonists were all located on African soil. However, while events to the northeast of Tunisia have dominated the news coverage, events to the south have been no less tumultuous.

At the same time, a perceived “African spring” is probably more a Western anticipation and less an African reality. This is what the cases of Kenya and Sudan show to us. Read more “Why There Won’t Be an African Spring”

The New G-Pariah States: Welcome to Greece!

A Greek exit from the eurozone would make the country the poster child of what the political scientist Ian Bremmer has dubbed the “G-zero world.”

Bremmer in his recent book Every Nation for Itself: Winners and Losers in a G-Zero World (2012) argues that Europe and the United States can no longer set the global economic and political agenda. The ongoing battle to bolster the eurozone will discourage European leaders from searching abroad for new ways to extend the influence of their governments while leading developing states face too many challenges both at home and in their immediate neighborhoods to embrace the risks and burdens that come with a larger share of global leadership. Read more “The New G-Pariah States: Welcome to Greece!”

Africa, Eurasia or the Levant Calling? Greece’s Dilemma

Greece’s debt crisis has brought to the surface a serious question — where actually does Greece belong in financial, geopolitical and social terms?

The modern Greek state was founded on a strange mix of Arab, European, Levantine and Ottoman influences. Two of its greatest leaders of the last century, Eleftherios Venizelos and especially Konstantínos Karamanlís, firmly believed that the nation was an inseparable part of the West. Read more “Africa, Eurasia or the Levant Calling? Greece’s Dilemma”