Syria in Russian

In realpolitik minds, Vladimir Putin casts the shadow of a shrewd player on the world stage. He opposes ‘humanitarian interventions’, while he aggressively defends Russia’s national sovereignty. Even still, it’s true Putin understands power as well as he wields it. Putin’s primary interest is in the consolidation of the state and the maintenance of its power. As recent events in Ukraine, and less recently in Georgia, demonstrate, Putin wants to secure the body national above all else. So why is there a Russian military presence in Syria? For decades, the Assad regime maintained itself as a wedge between the Sunni … Continue reading

Why are we Eurosceptic?

There are many why people become sceptical of the European Union. For a long time, the Left was a stalwart supporter of the EU but this could well change. It has failed on three major fronts, none of which can be discounted easily: 1. Democracy – The European Union is a consolidation state, which allows the industrial and financial powerhouses of Europe to overcome old national barriers. This includes the problem of how to implement market reforms opposed by the majority of voters. The easy way around this is to nullify the sovereignty of a nation-state, as part of a … Continue reading

Will Putin fall?

Opening Plenary of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2009: Vladimir Putin

The Russian economy faces crises on multiple fronts: currency devaluation, crashing energy prices, and Western sanctions. This is very bad news for Vladimir Putin, who has straddled the imbalances of post-Communist society for over fifteen years now. His only recourse has been to appeal to Soviet nostalgia and chauvinist nationalism in equal measure. Market stabilization under Putin depended largely upon the long-term growth of the energy industry. Not just fossil fuels, such as oil and gas, but mineral resources as well. As economist Paul Mason has emphasized, the Russian strongman hoped that this would provide the basis for the reconstruction … Continue reading