August 2014

The End of Consensus Politics in China

By John Minnich

Chinese President Xi Jinping's anti-corruption campaign is the broadest and deepest effort to purge, reorganize and rectify the Communist Party leadership since the death of Mao Zedong in 1976 and the rise of Deng Xiaoping two years later. It has already probed more than 182,000 officials across numerous regions and at all levels of government. It has ensnared low-level cadres, mid-level functionaries and chiefs of major state-owned enterprises and ministries. It has deposed top military officials and even a former member of the hitherto immune Politburo Standing Committee, China's highest governing body. More than a year after its formal commencement and more than two years since its unofficial start with the downfall of Chongqing Party Secretary Bo Xilai, the campaign shows no sign of relenting.

Build Bridges or Borders: Why NATO Cannot Continue with Enlargement Ambiguity

By Steven Keil

The re-emerging security challenges posed by Russia on Europe’s periphery have forced NATO to shake the rust from its aging toolbox and respond to what U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, speaking at the German Marshall Fund’s Transatlantic Talks, called “the greatest challenge to European security that we have seen at least since the Balkan wars.” While conversations on NATO’s transformation, ongoing missions, and expeditionary forces abound in the run up to September’s NATO Summit in Wales, Russia’s contradictory actions of recognizing Ukraine’s government while funding anti-government forces continue to complicate Western responses. Even with the recent agreement on a sanctions package following the downing of MH17, exceptions signal the precarious nature of Western resolve in meeting the crisis directly.

Russia Hits Back At Georgia Over Trade Agreement With European Union

By Liz Fuller

Just three weeks after down-playing the anticipated impact on bilateral relations of Georgia's Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) with the European Union, Russia is moving to suspend the Free Trade Agreement it signed with Georgia two decades ago. Senior Georgian officials in turn are now seeking to assure the population that the Russian move does not constitute "a tragedy."

Who supports Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Turkey’s presidential poll and why?

By Tony Cross

Turkey’s conservative Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is fighting to become the country’s first-ever directly elected president. He faces two opponents – secularist Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu and Kurdish left-winger Selahattin Dermitas. Despite last year’s massive protests against his Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, Erdogan is ahead in the polls. So who are his supporters?