Tag Archives: Master program

The new nuclear arms race: Why is it that governments are re-investing in nuclear weapons and capabilities, that are broadly futile for inner-state and asymmetrical conflicts?

Hardly anybody talks about it, but nation states are again investing a lot of money in their nuclear capabilities. After the end of the Cold War, nukes were apparently losing their fatal attraction. Now this has been reversed. The U.S., China and Russia are all introducing new attack weapons, but also BMD (ballistic missile defense) systems. Dozens of billions of dollars are invested here for modernization and upgrading.
If this is compatible with the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which commits the member states to eliminate nukes or to at least show good faith to eliminate them, is doubtful. In addition, the club of the five nuclear states after WW2 is expanding, and keeps expanding (Israel, Pakistan, India, North Korea, possibly Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, etc.).
No wonder that the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has just moved their famous “doomsday clock” (symbolically telling us how far we are from total destruction) two minutes closer to midnight. It´s now three minutes to midnight – the closest since 1983.

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Is it worth studying International Relations today?

At the beginning of 2015, the world looks more confused than ever. So one would assume that we do need a lot of good specialists to bring a sense of clarity and transparency to what is happening in Global Politics. Alas, what we see is that a lot of people in most countries give up understanding the chaos, resigning in the face of too much complexity. This includes decision makers who are skeptical re. the interference of self-appointed specialists. Plus, media reporting on global affairs is about as simplistic as the reality is complicated.
So why should young people today start a career by studying International Relations/ Global Politics? What can they expect from such a degree? What can taxpayers expect from such an investment? And politicians from these experts?

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In a world economy where all BRICS are weak or weakening, where Japan is combating its crisis, and only the U.S. has significant growth rates, the weakness of the Eurozone is worrying. What should be done?

The new EU Commission finds itself in the middle of a shooting-out between two increasingly outspoken camps: Should growth be stimulated by quantitative easing, and by state-induced spending programs? Or should austerity policy be continued, accompanied by structural reform in the southern EU countries? This is indeed a question that indicates a divide – mostly between Germany, Finland and the Baltic countries in the second groups, and most of the others in the first. The problems of France and Italy to push their budget deficits below the 3 per cent limit of annual debt against GDP. The southern governments not only encourage themselves, but also Germany to increase spending, forget about balancing the budget (to be reached in Germany in 2015 for the first time in decades), and instead start spending and investing into infrastructure and other goodies. A related fight is going on in the ECB, where a majority supports the line of Mario Draghi to do “whatever it costs” to save the Euro, against some other central bank governors criticizing the lax attitude of the ECB, buying very questionable state bonds ignoring their market value.

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