Can Turkey Realign? The Eastern Mediterranean Test Case

Can Turkey Realign? The Eastern Mediterranean Test Case

By Richard Kraemer.

The question, “Where is Turkey headed?” is one that’s been asked with greater frequency in recent years. What began as this NATO member’s flirtations with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization morphed into President Recip Tayyip Erdogan’s embrace of Vladimir Putin. Many factors led to this geopolitical marriage of convenience between erstwhile enemies: Syria’s civil war, a deep mistrust of the West, and some common economic interests among others. Increasingly coming to the fore of these drivers is the role of energy politics – specifically, the transit and sale of natural gas through and to Turkey. […]

The Conseil Constitutionnel’s decision on the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages – flawed, yet inevitable?

The Conseil Constitutionnel’s decision on the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages – flawed, yet inevitable?

By Andrei Dragan.

The French historical predilection for centralization and a unitary state is not a new phenomenon. It is even older than the French Revolution, older than the modern French state itself. Even compared with the Ancien Régime, with its patchwork of feudal and ecclesiastical estates and mosaic of customs and laws, post-Revolutionary France did not represent a break in the process of centralization, but a mere speeding-up of a process that had already started before it was even born. But what made the French understanding of l’état and la nation distinct from its neighbors was its fundamentally assimilationist philosophy which, in the name of egalitarianism, was particularly hostile to differential treatment and dividing France into groups. […]

The German Grundgesetz: Make a Good Constitution, Not War

The German Grundgesetz: Make a Good Constitution, Not War

By Simon Blumenstock.

Modern-day Germany is – for good reasons – not a country known for celebrations of its own successes. In major public perception, anything resembling patriotism evokes memories of the crowds following Adolf Hitler in the horrible so-called Drittes Reich (1933-1945) – some with blinded, most with open eyes. An assumed “ban of patriotism” is one cause for the conflict constantly growing within German society, with left- and right-wing parties and citizens hardly finding common ground anymore. However, the 23rd of May 2019 was one of the rare occasions on which literally every German party and their supporters did agree upon a cause to celebrate German history. That date in 1949, thus 70 years earlier, the Grundgesetz (“basic law”), modern Germany’s constitution, had been proclaimed, coming into effect with the start of the following day. […]

Amending the 2008 Myanmar Constitution

Amending the 2008 Myanmar Constitution

By Kimana Zulueta-Fülscher.

Since independence from Great Britain, Myanmar/Burma has had three different constitutions. The first was signed immediately after independence in 1947, following the “Panglong Agreement” between the Burmese government and three different ethnic groups, the Shan, the Kachin and the Chin. It also aimed to enhance the autonomy of the so-called frontier or ethnic areas vis-à-vis the central government. After the 1962 military coup, two other constitutions entered into force in 1974 and in 2008, respectively. Both of these constitutions were decreed by the Myanmar armed forces, though affirmed in nationwide referendums. The 1974 Constitution was based on the “Burmese Way to Socialism,” and the 2008 Constitution was based on the armed forces’ 2003 “Seven Step Roadmap to Disciplined Democracy.” […]

The Role of Global Institutions When Democracy is Under Siege

The Role of Global Institutions When Democracy is Under Siege

By Augusto Lopez-Claros.

In October of 2018 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a Special Report on Global Warming in which it stated that “limiting global warming to 1.5°C would require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society.” It noted that we are well on our way to breach that threshold, something that has not happened in over a million years (perhaps longer), taking us into uncharted territory. But climate change is not by any means the only global catastrophic risk that we confront. We, in fact, face a range of unresolved global problems. […]

An Interview with International Criminal Prosecutor Arthur Traldi

An Interview with International Criminal Prosecutor Arthur Traldi

Arthur Traldi and the Comparative Jurist.

“I’ve been fortunate opportunities in this area presented themselves and I have always been passionate about working on very serious criminal cases. I was really lucky to go to William and Mary and then to Georgetown Law – both schools that really encourage interest in the world around them and rigorous, independent thinking about transnational challenges.” […]

The Iraq-Turkey Pipeline Dispute: Opportunity in an Arbitration

The Iraq-Turkey Pipeline Dispute: Opportunity in an Arbitration

By Richard Kraemer. This article was first published on Just Security.

Fatigue and frustration aside, U.S. focus and engagement in Iraq remains critical to the national- and energy-security interests of the United States and its allies. Iraq has increased its oil production by more than half since 2012, and is set to be the world’s third-largest oil producer by 2030. Its proven natural gas reserves are enough to meet, for example, Germany’s present demand for 40 years. Extracting and exporting those resources with the help of U.S. energy companies would produce wins on several fronts: reducing Europe’s and other markets’ energy dependence on Russia, further consolidating America’s energy security, and generating jobs and revenue for the United States. For Iraq, the cost-effective and environmentally responsible extraction of its natural resources would help secure the stability essential for that country’s future prosperity. […]

Black Lies, White Lies and Some Uncomfortable Truths in and of the International Trading System

Black Lies, White Lies and Some Uncomfortable Truths in and of the International Trading System

By Joseph Weiler.

The international trading system is not just about trade in which the only calculus of its worth and importance can be measured in the growth (or otherwise) of aggregate welfare, economically speaking. Since trade, in goods and services, is the principal modality of transnational intercourse, the international trading system and the legal system which undergirds it, reflects and constitutes the concomitant principal modus operandi of peacetime international relations. It is based on a respect for multilateralism and the rule of (international) law. That modus operandi radiates into other spheres of international cooperation, contributing ultimately to stability and peace. […]

Culture Clash: A Comparative Law Perspective on the United States’ Frustrations with the WTO Dispute Settlement Body

Culture Clash: A Comparative Law Perspective on the United States’ Frustrations with the WTO Dispute Settlement Body

By Brian Soiset.

The Trump administration’s critiques of the global trading system in many ways mark a break with decades of the United States’ trade policy, which had encouraged trade liberalization and the development of rules-based institutions.  In one respect, however, its policies have been more a continuation (albeit escalation): critiquing the World Trade Organization’s Dispute Settlement Body.  The DSB acts as the WTO’s judicial body, ruling on disputes between members that arise under WTO agreements.  The DSB is similar to a court system, with mechanisms ranging from arbitration to more formalized hearings and appeals.  Because the WTO can authorize retaliation against members who do not comply with decisions of the DSB, its decisions are regarded as binding. […]

How Angela Merkel Leads With Her Moral Compass

How Angela Merkel Leads With Her Moral Compass

By Jose M. de Areilza.

Angela Merkel, the most powerful woman in the world, is preparing her exit from politics, faithful to the principles that have inspired her for 30 years: realism, caution, flexibility, sobriety, as well as a profound knowledge of the issues at hand and a deep moral commitment to human dignity. The chancellor ends a long trajectory of public service in order to facilitate the renewal of Germany’s Christian Democratic Union. […]

A Nobel Prize is Not Enough

A Nobel Prize is Not Enough

By Layla Abi-Falah.

On October 5, 2018 the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded Dr. Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad the Nobel Peace Prize for their dedication to the end of mass wartime rape as a weapon of armed conflict. In the midst of devastating, never-ending conflicts in the Congo and Iraq, Dr. Mukwege’s work with Panzi Hospital has led to the treatment of thousands of rape survivors and Murad’s rejection of social responses to rape by speaking openly of her rape and abuse under Islamic State (IS) captivity has brought greater visibility to the systematic use of rape by IS militants throughout the Middle East. […]