Syria: Russia’s Hope for Relevance in the Middle East

By: Jared Lang From the conventional perspective on recent Russian foreign policy, getting involved in the Syrian Civil War appears to break from Putin’s playbook. When it comes to foreign conflicts, Putin has, since his ascendence to the Russian presidency in 2000, deployed armed forces almost exclusively in the countries immediately neighboring the Russian Federation…

Elections in Azerbaijan: A Win for Democracy’s Favorite Dictator

By: Jack Urban On April 11, 2018, Ilham Aliyev was re-elected to a fourth term as President of Azerbaijan. Despite Azerbaijan’s close ties to the West, their standing as the first Muslim majority secular country in the world, or their massive oil reserves, this event went largely unnoticed by the world. Moreover, in order to…

April Protests Drawing on a New Democracy for Armenia?

By: Arriana Dawidziak April 2018 was a month marked by transparent change for the country of Armenia, challenging where exactly power should be held in the government system and who should be allowed to have it. In light of a newly elected prime minister belonging to a party that has ruled Armenia for 20 years, criticism…

Murder, Protests, and Resignations: Corruption in the Slovakian Government

By: Jack Urban On February 25 Ján Kuciak, a Slovakian investigative journalist for left-leaning Aktuality.sk, and his fianceé, Martina Kušnírová, were murdered in their home in Vel’ká Mača, Slovakia. Seven suspects were arrested in connection with the murders, but all were released without charge. Before his murder, Kuciak had been looking into the alleged theft…

Putin’s Stranglehold on Power

Written By Tommy Clark In light of Vladimir Putin’s association with the Panama Papers scandal, one might think that Putin will suffer severe political consequences. If Putin was a Western politician, that would most likely be the case, but Russians have become so accustomed to corruption that Putin’s political future is almost certainly secure. Additionally,…