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China 2017: Searching for internal and international consent

Available also in pdf – Download Pdf This article argues that the Chinese party-state’s most pressing question in 2017 continued to be its quest for legitimacy. In the period under review the party-state’s main strategic answer to the legitimacy crisis was its effort to strengthen Chinese nationalism and build an ideology based on Chinese exceptionalism. […]

Korean Peninsula 2017: Searching for new balances

Available also in pdf – Download Pdf After the major crises of 2016, the year 2017 on the Korean peninsula was characterised by an attempt to restore stability, both at the domestic and the international level. The social and political crisis that involved President Park Geun-hye in South Korea, which left the country without a […]

Japan 2017: Defending the domestic and international status quo

Available also in pdf – Download Pdf The year 2017 proved a transitory testing time for the Abe administration, because the prime minister faced a series of new international and domestic hurdles. While the North Korean crisis dominated Japanese media, China and the US remained Japan’s main strategic concern. Following the US’s withdrawal from the […]

Taiwan 2017: Stalemate on the Strait

Available also in pdf – Download Pdf After a tumultuous 2016, cross-Strait relations between the Republic of China (ROC) and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) continued to be tense throughout 2017. The increasing divergence over the issue of national unification between Beijing and Taipei, epitomised by President Tsai Ing-wen’s refusal to acknowledge the 1992 […]

Indonesia 2017: Towards illiberal democracy?

Available also in pdf – Download Pdf In 2017, in the third year of Joko «Jokowi» Widodo’s presidency, Indonesia was already preparing for the next general elections, scheduled in April 2019. The country’s political arena saw on the one hand the mobilisation of political Islam, which resulted in the arrest and defeat of Jokowi’s ally, […]

Cambodia 2016-2017: The worsening of social and political conflicts

Available also in pdf – Download Pdf In continuity with the previous years, in 2016-2017 the hegemonic crisis of the CPP, the ruling Cambodian party of the authoritarian leader Hun Sen, continued and was epitomised by two main developments: the declining popular consensus, revealed by the June 2017 communal elections, and the government-imposed dissolution of […]

Myanmar 2017: The Rohingya crisis between radicalisation and ethnic cleansing

Available also in pdf – Download Pdf 2017 was Myanmar’s annus horribilis. This essay revisits the 2017 Rohingya crisis and discusses its immediate triggers and background causes. It contends that the latest outbreak of violence should not be seen as a one-off occurrence, but rather be understood as part of a long history of anti-Rohingya […]

Bangladesh 2017: The Rohingya’s carnage

Available also in pdf – Download Pdf In 2017 Bangladesh’s political landscape was dominated by the Rohingya crisis, deflagrated at the end of August in Myanmar, causing 600,000 Rohingyas to flee to Bangladesh. This article provides a short historical background of the Rohingya issue to prove that these people, although of Bengali descent, have been living […]

India 2017: Narendra Modi’s continuing hegemony and his challenge to China

Available also in pdf – Download Pdf In 2017 the situation of Indian democracy deteriorated, as shown by the continuing attacks against Muslims and Christians, and by the intimidation against the opponents of political Hinduism. This intimidation culminated in the assassination of well-known journalist and BJP critic Gauri Lankesh. Meanwhile Narendra Modi, in spite of […]

India 2017: Still no «achhe din» (good days) for the economy

Available also in pdf – Download Pdf In 2017 the Indian economy appeared to be on a declining trend up to Quarter 1 (Q1) 2017-18 (April-June 2017). The data for Q2 of 2017-18 (July-September 2018) – the last available at the closing of the present article – were better, but insufficient to conclude that the […]

Nepal 2015-2017: A post-earthquake constitution and the political struggle

Available also in pdf – Download Pdf In 2015 the young Nepalese republic finally approved a new constitution, but before it could be adopted, its institutions found themselves facing the consequences of a series of devastating earthquakes that hit the country and in particular its capital. The tragedy forced the main political parties to reach […]

Sri Lanka 2017: The uncertain road of the «yahapalayanaya» government

Available also in pdf – Download Pdf In 2017, the Lankan internal situation was a constant cause of difficulty for President Sirisena and the governing coalition. First, the government was challenged by the unexpected political initiative of former President Rajapaksa’s «Joint Opposition». Second, the Tamil communities in the north and the east of the country […]

Pakistan 2017: Vulnerabilities of the emerging market

Available also in pdf – Download Pdf In July 2017, following his family’s involvement in the Panama Papers scandal, Nawaz Sharif was disqualified and ousted from the prime ministership by a Supreme Court decision. The ruling party, the PML-N (Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz), appointed the Petroleum and Natural Resources Minister, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, as […]

Iran 2017: From Rouhani’s re-election to the December protests

Available also in pdf – Download Pdf The 2017 was a challenging year for the President Hassan Rouhani despite his reelection. The Presidential and Municipal elections in May represented a clear and strong support for his administration and the nuclear deal or famously the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreement. But lack of visible […]

Kazakhstan 2017: Institutional stabilisation, nationbuilding, international engagement

Available also in pdf – Download Pdf In continuity with previous years, in 2017 Kazakhstan pursued the stabilisation of its political system while still embracing global trends. Domestically, the leadership attempted to consolidate its institutions, possibly in preparation for President Nursultan Nazarbayev´s retirement. A reform of the constitution made over some of the presidential powers […]

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