Is the BRICS Bank an Alternative for Greece?

Is the BRICS Bank an Alternative for Greece?

By Konstantinos Myrodias and Panos Chatzinikolaou

Over the past few weeks speculations have been circulating over Greece’s potential accession to the New Development Bank established by the BRICS-Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Russia’s invitation to Greece to become a member of the BRICS bank comes in a delicate point for the latter, since its new leftist SYRIZA-led government is attempting to strike a deal with its European counterparts in order to avoid a potential bankruptcy that would have tremendous impact on the country and the Eurozone as a whole. Is Russia’s invitation to Greece just a mere coincidence? Have the BRICS decided to save Greece from collapsing, enhancing Eurozone’s sustainability? At a time like this, where West- Russia relations bring back Cold War memories, such an explanation seems to be a truly superficial one.

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The Hegemony of Money

The Hegemony of Money

By Zenonas Tziarras

A few days ago, Jon Steward hosted Mrs. Nancy Pelosi, a United States Congresswoman from the Democratic Party, to discuss with her American politics under the Obama administration. Her admissions and comments were very interesting as well as revealing about the nature not only of American economy and politics but also of the international political and economic system.

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The “Cypriot Version” of the AKP Model. Neoliberalism and the Turkish Cypriot Community

The “Cypriot Version” of the AKP Model. Neoliberalism and the Turkish Cypriot Community

by Nikos Moudouros

Ali Bulaç, a Turkish Islamist intellectual, cited in a characteristic way the traditional perception of the way political Islam faces Cyprus, through his own column in ZAMAN newspaper, by mentioning the following: “The reason why the Turkish intervention in Cyprus caused a huge wave of enthusiasm would be explained to me a little later by an elder uncle from Halepi…the most important of all was that for the first time after 300 years the Muslim world would manage to grab a piece of land, even a small one, from the hands of the Christians”[1].

According to the above, conquering a small part of land “taken from the hands of the Christians” constituted a matter of honor to the rivalry of these two completely different worlds, as these were formed in the perception of the Turkish political Islam. However, in order to better understand today’s strategy of the Justice and Development Party concerning Cyprus, this strategy should be placed in a right historical context. The de-coding of the policy followed in the northern part of Cyprus, demands an even at least brief de-coding of the AKP’s worldview as this has been affected and formed by the end of the Cold War, the terrorist attacks of September 11th 2001 and the neoliberal restructuring.

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Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Political Economy and Possibilities for Reform

Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Political Economy and Possibilities for Reform

By Dana Terry*

Since the Dayton Peace Accords put an end to the bloody ethnic war in 1995, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) has been a transitional economy wrought with unemployment, stagnation, and corruption.  The Dayton Peace Accords ended in an agreement to divide the country into two, self-governing entities with a weak centralized government.   Though the Agreement ended the bloodshed, the economy has greatly suffered.  The state’s largely decentralized government has hampered economic policy coordination and reform.  There has been little done to reform the country’s segmented markets, and the excessive bureaucracy has discouraged foreign investment[1].  It is apparent that the economic system of BiH is in dire need of reform, but the answer to how to initiate reform is not as clear.  Arguably, the best solution is to unify the state through fostering a common Bosnian identity, reallocate the funds saved from cutting government to industries in the private sector, and then employ Keynesian Shovel Ready Projects in the short term to spark enough economic growth to attract foreign investment.

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BRICS: Go Big or Go Home

BRICS: Go Big or Go Home

By Lindsay Walsh*

The acronym BRICS stands for the association of five emerging economies, including Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Recently, a conference was held in Durban, South Africa, resulting in the countries’ agreement to create a development bank to help fund infrastructure plans. This has led much attention to be focused on the BRICS, causing many to wonder what the new plan means for the countries involved and the greater international community. Continue reading

Something is Happening in the MidEast and the EastMed

Something is Happening in the MidEast and the EastMed

By Zenonas Tziarras

Something is definitely happening at the geopolitical intersection of the Middle East and the Eastern Mediterranean. Rapid, crucial, and very much interlinked, developments at the same juncture cannot be coincidences. Here is some of the developments and their geopolitical impact, although only time can reveal the true and complete pattern.

In Turkey, apart from the discussion about the new constitution, the country is going through an historic period as the decades-long conflict between the state and the Kurdish separatist movement, led by the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party), seems to be coming to an end. The imprisoned Kurdish leader has called for a ceasefire and ordered the Kurdish fighters to withdraw from Turkish soil. Continue reading

The State as a Key Driver of Economic Globalization

The State as a Key Driver of Economic Globalization

by Esther Tonnaer

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Introduction

The period of economic globalization after the Second World War has been characterized by an increase in transnational trade, foreign direct investment (FDI)[1] and a growth in transnational corporations’ (TNCs)[2] activity[3]. The globalization process of the economy has been intensified in terms of production and exchange due to technological changes, liberalization and deregulation allowing new forms of economic organization influencing the behavior of TNCs as a driving force of economic globalization[4]. According to the hyper-globalization thesis, markets as a result have become fully integrated restricting national economic policy-making to “market-friendly policies” as the need to provide incentives to “footloose” TNCs to invest has caused a significant reduction in the state’s domestic capabilities[5]. Despite these arguments, there appears no unambiguous evidence that economic globalization as the transnationalisation of production has caused the inevitable demise of the state in terms of capacity and autonomy[6]. Skeptics of the hyper-globalization thesis emphasize that TNCs and their economic activity despite the technological improvements in communication and transportation remain concentrated in their home countries making them subjected to national control implying economic policy instruments stay effective[7]. Furthermore, the volume of international trade during this period is not unprecedented when compared to the level of international economic integration, primarily between industrializing Western states and their colonies, during the late 19th until early 20th century[8].

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The Greek Reality and Hopes for a Better Future

The Greek Reality and Hopes for a Better Future

By Jason Iliou

“If you tolerate this, your children will be next”.

The line from the famous 1998 rock song by the Manic Street Preachers defines a country’s entire generation. My generation. I belong to the thousands of young Greeks who were fortunate enough to flee their home country in time to escape the political and financial chaos that haunts it and drags it down today. But “wherever I go Greece hurts me” as Nobel laureate Giorgos Seferis once said. The state the country is in now is a result of years of bad decisions, but it’s not only a political fault. Partly, we are responsible for knowingly digging our own graves. Yet is there room for concrete changes in Greek society, or is the wound too deep to heal? Continue reading

The Austerity Measures in Greece and the Economic Crisis

The Austerity Measures in Greece and the Economic Crisis

by Andreas Themistocleous

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Introduction

A great deal of ink has been used in the last four years to consider, analyse or simply to describe the current global economic crisis. The simplest and most understandable statement, derived from the beginning of the last century, which could describe eloquently and concisely the global economic crisis comes from Keynes: “If you owe your bank a hundred pounds, you have a problem. But if you owe a million, it has”.[1]

The global economic crisis could be characterised as a momentous event, which has influenced the economic, social, and broader political realities to a large extent worldwide. In the case of the Greek economy, a variety of factors have led to the creation of an economic chaos where the austerity measures and other similar policies are used to address the problem of economic recession.[2]

This essay attempts to examine and analyse this issue in order to answer the question of whether the austerity measures and the privatisation policies are ideal solutions for tackling the crisis. In the first part the term “economic crisis” shall be defined in order to clarify our terminological basis. Thereafter, the second part will present a brief historical background of past crises while it will also set this essay’s theoretical framework. In the third part there shall be examined, first, the new economic agenda that emerged from the outbreak of the economic crisis of 2008; subsequently there will be analysed the crisis in Greece and the implemented policies; and finally it will include a discussion about the possible future scenarios.

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