Anti-Immigration Parties Drive Conservatives to Fringe

Parliament London England
The British flag flies over the Houses of Parliament in London, England (Unsplash/Matt Milton)

“Far right” or “extreme right-wing” parties have emerged across Europe in recent years, if with varying levels of electoral success, demonstrating that they cannot be termed as constituting a pan-European movement. But they do have characteristics in common. Chief among them, from the perspective of European politics as a whole, is that they’re driving mainstream right-wing parties to the fringe. Read more “Anti-Immigration Parties Drive Conservatives to Fringe”

Iranian Foreign Policy as Realist Security Dilemma

View of Tehran, Iran, March 26, 2009
View of Tehran, Iran, March 26, 2009 (Siavash Sam Anvari)

Last year saw the spiral of debate over the issue of Iran’s nuclear ambitions gain continuous coverage in the international media. In September, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that a “clear red line” must be articulated by the international community to avoid conflict. This conveyed a firm statement of intent from Israel, which reaffirmed its unequivocal opposition to Iran attaining a breakout nuclear capability. It also served to outline the clear military repercussions that Israel would take if Iran breached the conditions of such a red line by continuing the enrichment of nuclear materials.

In light of this Israeli posturing, it is important to contextualize perceived Iranian belligerence in the region and consequently, Tehran’s relationship with the West. When dealing with the “Iran problem,” it is imperative that international stakeholders consider the reasons for Iran’s self inflicted international isolation, in order to better understand why it would continue to defy the wishes of foreign powers. Read more “Iranian Foreign Policy as Realist Security Dilemma”

States Dodge “Responsibility to Protect” in Syria

William Hague Hillary Clinton
British foreign secretary William Hague and American secretary of state Hillary Clinton attend a meeting of the United Nations Security Council in New York, January 31 (State Department)

With the high-profile defection of Brigadier General Manaf Tlas, an elite member of the Syrian regime and close personal friend of President Bashar al-Assad’s, comes the renewed sense that the conflict in Syria is beginning to mirror developments in previous “Arab Spring” uprisings.

As Muammar Gaddafi’s inner circle fractured and defected around him and opposition forces consolidated their gains in the rebel stronghold city of Benghazi, the international community invoked the principle of the “responsibility to protect” and mobilized for a military intervention that was spearheaded by NATO forces. This event represents the most recent case of intervention justified by the moral and ethical concepts encapsulated within the “responsibility to protect” doctrine.

Though the principle itself is only a decade old, it has come under considerable scrutiny and criticism within the international community and has undergone several reinterpretations since its normative inception in 2001. Read more “States Dodge “Responsibility to Protect” in Syria”