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China 2018: bringing the party back into state institutions

Available also in pdf – Download Pdf This article attempts to explain how and why the year 2018 represented a major turning point for Chinese domestic politics, characterized by the transition from a collective authoritarianism to a centralized, repressive and personalistic authoritarian leadership. It analyses the institutionalization and systematic legalization of the centralized Communist party’s […]

China’s foreign policy 2018: implementing the China Dream

Available also in pdf – Download Pdf In 2018, China’s foreign relations were dominated by the centralization of its foreign policy-making, designed to strengthen the hold of the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese president himself on the decision-making system. The aim was to create a more efficient system that could better serve the interests […]

Korean peninsula 2018: the calm after the storm

Available also in pdf – Download Pdf The year 2018 represented a real turning point for the Korean peninsula. After years of increasing tension related to the North Korean nuclear and missile programme, the diplomatic process begun after Kim Jong Un’s New Year address marked a clear change from the previous decade, with consequences for […]

Japan 2018: Fleshing out the «Free and Open Indo-Pacific» strategic vision

Available also in pdf – Download Pdf This year-in-review essay highlights the Abe administration’s attempts at defining its Free and Open Indo-Pacific grand strategic vision with like-minded parties. It assesses Japan’s engagement with states that have demonstrated active interest in the concept: the United States, Australia, India, France and the United Kingdom. The essay underscores […]

Taiwan 2018: heavy setbacks for the Tsai administration

Available also in pdf – Download Pdf Relations between Taiwan and the People’s Republic of China remained frozen, as President Tsai Ing-wen continued to refuse Beijing’s diktat to accept the 1992 Consensus as a roadmap for national unification. With no breakthrough in sight, both sides across the Strait remained firmly entrenched in their positions, relying […]

Malaysia 2016-2018: an uncertain and incomplete transformation

Available also in pdf – Download Pdf The year 2018 saw a significant transformation in Malaysian domestic politics, with the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition winning Malaysia’s 14th general election, and a first time loss for the former ruling coalition Barisan Nasional (BN – National front). Even though the incumbent prime minister, Najib Razak had recently […]

Vietnam 2017-2018: strengthening the legitimacy of the VCP

Available also in pdf – Download Pdf The aim of this article is to analyse the main political processes in Vietnam during the two years 2017-2018. After the reshuffle of the leadership following the 12th Congress of the Vietnamese Communist Party (VCP), the new party’s elite worked to strengthen the VCP’s legitimacy to achieve two […]

Myanmar 2018: botched transition and repatriation plan

Available also in pdf – Download Pdf The year was defined by the Rohingya crisis, which lingers on and remains unresolved. The agreement signed by the governments of Myanmar and Bangladesh in November 2017 had several aborted starts in 2018. Both governments came under the pressure of China to deal with the repatriation of the […]

Bangladesh 2018: Sheikh Hasina’s triumph

Available also in pdf – Download Pdf Bangladesh’s parliamentary elections, held on 30 December 2018, saw Sheikh Hasina’s landslide victory. Hasina’s fourth term and third consecutive mandate was a sign of undisputable continuity. Throughout the year the government continued an intensive anticorruption campaign, started when the Awami League came back to power in 2009. As a […]

India 2018: political uncertainty and economic difficulties

Available also in pdf – Download Pdf In 2018, India’s internal evolution was characterised, at the political level, by two main developments, both a continuation of trends already visible the previous year. The first was the weakening of Modi’s aura of invincibility, epitomised by a string of defeats suffered by the BJP in that year’s […]

India 2018: the resetting of New Delhi’s foreign policy?

Available also in pdf – Download Pdf In 2018, India’s foreign policy was characterised by two opposing trends. The pro-US approach, which had been a distinguishing feature of India’s policy, in particular since the beginning of Narendra Modi’s premiership, continued, at least as far as its military aspect was concerned. However, the growing closeness at […]

Nepal 2018: the communist search for new political and trade routes

Available also in pdf – Download Pdf This article traces the main events of the internal situation and foreign policy of Nepal in 2018, after the electoral victory of the far-left parties and the defeat of the Nepali Congress at the end of 2017 and the consequent birth of the Oli government. The unification of […]

Sri Lanka 2018: the unfinished drama of an island state democracy

Available also in pdf – Download Pdf As in 2017, the political landscape in Sri Lanka in 2018 appeared to be characterised by constant difficulty with democracy. First, through an unexpected landslide electoral victory, the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was back on the political stage and he was able to challenge the governing coalition and […]

Pakistan 2018: general elections and the government of Imran Khan

Available also in pdf – Download Pdf In 2018, for the third time in Pakistan’s 70 year-long history, a parliament completed its five-year term. For the second time in a row, a transfer of power between elected civilian governments eventuated. For the first time since the establishment of the political party in 1988, a PML-N […]

Afghanistan 2018: parliamentary elections and regional power shifts

Available also in pdf – Download Pdf The year 2018 was characterized by parliamentary elections, held on 20 October. While the elections represented an important moment for Afghanistan’s democracy, both the run up and the aftermath were characterized by confusion and insecurity, with the election results still not announced by the end of 2018. The […]

Iran 2018: the year of living dangerously

Available also in pdf – Download Pdf Two developments marked the year 2018; the re-imposition of unilateral sanctions by the United States, which under President Donald Trump decided to abandon the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA); and the protests, strikes and economic grievances that seriously affected Iranian society and economy. Both of these events […]

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