Middle East and North Africa

EU troops can still help in Mali

A ‘plug-and-play' approach to peacekeeping lacks the glamour of a full-scale military intervention but it could be a cheaper and a more strategic approach for the EU to deal with the situation in Mali.  

Egypt: out of control?

Egypt appears to be spinning out of control. The current crisis is a prolongation of the crisis that emerged late last year over a decree by President Morsi suspending some judicial decisions and giving himself additional powers, followed by the rush to approve a new constitution.  

Does Jordan’s election change anything?

Jordan's elections were widely considered a success, but the country continues to face two critical challenges: dealing with overspill from the Syrian conflict, and a badly stumbling economy.  

Brahimi’s final acts

Lakhdar Brahimi has been the United Nations and Arab League envoy for Syria for less than five. But while his chances of orchestrating a peace deal are now vanishingly small, he should not quit quite yet.  

War in the Sahel: a European cause

The Mali conflict has caught the EU asleep at the wheel. But with support from across the Union and credible, limited aims, a European intervention in Mali can be successful.  

Lost Tribes

The Israeli election on Jan 22 is not about Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu. It is best understood as a “Tribes of Israel” election that will take identity politics to a new level and may accelerate Israel's journey towards hegemonic nationalism.  

Sanctions: a useful but flawed alternative to war

Sanctions are the EU's sole coercive instrument of power short of military action (Brussels, mercifully, does not engage in warfare). The EU needs to understand their impact so that it can use them more effectively.     

In 2013, the great global unraveling

The main theme of 2013 is likely to be the unraveling of the global economy and supporting political integration.   

Ten trends for 2013

2012 saw continuing crisis in the eurozone, growing Euroscepticism and populism in some corners of Europe, faltering transitions in Egypt and elsewhere, more violence in Syria, a new leadership in China, and both Putin II and Obama II. So what will 2013 hold?