Under the cover of Coronavirus, democratic backsliding

Democracy in decline

A new report by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) bears a sombre headline: global democracy has had an awfully bad year in 2020. The index is based on five categories: electoral process and pluralism, the functioning of government, political participation, political culture, and civil liberties.

Russian retail investors flock to stock market for easy gains, creating a bubble

Maybe it is just COVID. Sitting at home during lockdown stimulates the search for excitements that one can enjoy without having to go outside. Trading stocks and currencies online

Ankara & Brussels: Turkey cannot afford a confrontation

Turkey’s economy remains in dire straits. Its currency, the Lira, has lost thirty per cent of its value against the US dollar just this year alone.

China, Uyghurs, forced labour: a recipe for litigation?

China’s treatment of its Uyghurs population could spark a wave of lawsuits.

In Donald Trump, North Korea loses an unlikely ally

“When Donald Trump first strides into the Oval Office as president, his perfect day is likely to be ruined by a file marked “North Korea.”

Foreign investors harassed and fleeced in Kyrgyzstan under new regime

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Kyrgyzstan, which quickly embraced progressive economic and political changes, was initially seen as a beacon of democracy and reform in post-Soviet Central Asia.

Kazakhstan’s International Financial Centre: A Hub Too Far

Creating an international finance centre out of nothing is not an easy task. Kazakhstan made a daring bid in 2018 to launch a financial hub in its capital, Astana (now renamed Nurs

What President Biden could mean for Central Asia

As President-Elect Joe Biden prepares for government, his transition team looks to reclaim American foreign policy from Trump-era isolationism. President Trump had famously declare

All quiet in Turkmenistan

Earlier this month, as his neighbours struggled to contain the coronavirus, Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov unveiled a golden statue of a sheepdog. It appeared a typical day in the secretive Central Asian country, where weirdness is the norm to the outside observer.

An end in sight for American presence in Afghanistan?

Last month, as the US presidential election was entering into its final stretch, President Donald Trump received an unexpected endorsement.