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Showing posts from July 15, 2014

Geopolitical Calendar: Week of July 14, 2014


July 14: The EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council will be held in Brussels.
July 14-15: EU ministers for development will hold an informal meeting in Florence, Italy.
July 14-17: The European Parliament will hold a plenary session in Strasbourg, France.
July 14-17: European Parliament committee meetings will be held in Strasbourg, France.
July 14-18: The sixth round of talks for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership will be held in Brussels.
July 15: The European Parliament will vote on the appointment of Jean-Claude Juncker as the European Commission president.
July 16: The European Council will gather in Brussels.
July 16: The European Commission will host a donor conference for Serbia and Bosnia focusing on helping them recover from the devastating May floods that damaged infrastructure and left thousands homeless.
July 16: The EU Economic and Financial Affairs Council will meet in Brussels.
July 16: The European Central Bank Governing Council will gather in Frank…

Nigeria: From Military Coups to Militias


Editor's Note: This is the first installment in a three-part series explaining how one of Africa's most wealthy nations became a mainstay for armed militias. Part 1 discusses the political circumstances that engendered militancy. Part 2 examines Boko Haram, perhaps the most infamous group operating in the country today. Part 3 discusses how the 2015 presidential election will determine the future of Boko Haram's insurgency.

Militancy is part of Nigeria's national fabric. Whereas it was once a means of expressing political grievance, it has become a tactic militant groups and their civilian benefactors use to acquire and defend political power.

Militancy flourishes in Nigeria because political advancement requires it. In years past, groups achieved power through military coups. In fact, competing factions of the Nigerian military have ruled the country for most of its post-independence history. But Nigerian politicians did not discriminate between powerful civilia…

China's Outsized Role in Two New Multilateral Financial Institutions

Leaders talk at the BRICS meeting during the G20 summit in 2013 in St. Petersburg, Russia. (Alexei Danichev/Host Photo Agency via Getty Images)


The sixth BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) summit begins July 14 in Brazil. The three-day summit is expected to see plans finalized for a new financial institution to be known as the BRICS Development Bank and a currency pool to be known as the Contingency Reserve Arrangement. The moves are a part of an ongoing process by which non-Western developing countries are seeking to build mechanisms for loans with fewer conditions than those issued by multilateral Western institutions. It also represents an effort to create insulation from potential fallout from future crises in the Western-led financial system, which BRICS' efforts notwithstanding will continue to dominate the world's financial markets. Within the new BRICS mechanism itself, China will dominate given that its economy and financial power dwarfs those of…