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Analysis

Journalism is becoming an increasingly dangerous profession in Georgia

Media freedom in Georgia has had a turbulent history. It is worth remembering the raid on the Imedi TV station by special forces and its closure during the Saakashvili era, or the year-long dispute over ownership rights of Rustavi 2. However, there has never been a simultaneous physical attack on over 50 media employees like the one on July 5th. Is the freedom of speech under serious threat in Georgia?

September 14, 2021 - Wojciech Wojtasiewicz

Constitutional reform process in Belarus: recent trends and developments

Constitutional reform is a hot topic in and outside of Belarus. Two approaches are currently underway: one led by Alyaksandr Lukashenka and another by the opposition, led by Sviatlana Tsikhanouksaya.

The need for change to the Belarusian constitution was announced long before the events of 2020, and both Alyaksandr Lukashenka and the opposition have initiated a process after the election. The opposition has emphasised the need for changes to the constitution by the political crisis while Lukashenka’s initial interest in constitutional reform was two-fold: to calm the protests and to assure Russia that he can maintain control over the situation. Based on an official proposal recently announced, the changes proposed by Lukashenka’s constitutional commission do not encompass substantive change to the existing non-democratic model, making it even more bureaucratic and slow.

September 12, 2021 - Hanna Vasilevich

Pashinyan, the defeated winner

There is no doubt that Nikol Pashinyan was able to connect emotionally with a section of Armenian society. The repetitive use of the slogans “you are all prime ministers”, “you decide your own future”, “it is all the previous regime's fault” has enabled Pashinyan to quickly win the hearts and minds of the Armenian public. While all these tactics certainly helped Pashinyan to win this snap election, his real achievement was to make Armenians forget about the recent war.

In 1945, Winston Churchill showed the world that winning the Second World War was not enough to get re-elected. More than 70 years later, Armenia has taught another lesson. In June 2021 Nikol Pashinyan, who came to power after the 2018 Velvet Revolution, despite a heavy defeat in Nagorno-Karabakh, managed to win in the snap elections and was confirmed as prime minister. With this victory, Pashinyan was able to falsify the long-standing assumption that losing Karabakh means losing power. How was this possible?

September 12, 2021 - Tatevik Hovhannisyan Tiziano Marino

Radiophobia. Why the fallout of unscientific myths from Chernobyl still prevail

Despite the fact that the scientific evidence that emerged early after the Chernobyl disaster points out that the direct health effects from radiation is greatly exaggerated, the media continues to promote an unscientific and harmful narrative. The fallout of these myths from the Chernobyl accident fell on the fertile soil of radiophobia, and (post) Soviet secrecy has led to a capitalisation on this inherent fear by the entertainment industry and news media.

One recent scientific study shows once again what had been known to most insiders for years: in the prestigious journal Science, a team of western researchers examined the genetic health of children close to the Chernobyl liquidators (the people who were sent to remove substantial parts of radioactive fallout from the explosion and whose heroism is undisputed). What the researchers found might come as a surprise to the broader public: the genetic health of these children was in no way worse than in the general population. In other words, no statistically significant increase in mutations was found in the offspring of those most heavily affected by the accident.

September 12, 2021 - Michael Richter

Russian Duma elections. How promising is the smart voting strategy this time?

This month, United Russia hopes to retain its absolute majority in the State Duma during elections held between September 17th and 19th. Once again, the opposition is trying to make things difficult for Vladimir Putin and his allies by using a “smart voting” strategy. This strategy may have its problems, but it has already caused some headaches for the Kremlin.

September 9, 2021 - Gijs Willem Freriks

EU and national law: which is ‘superior’?

Ongoing disputes between the EU and some its member states are deeply rooted in the problematic relationship between EU law and national constitutional orders. Whilst the general public remain unaware of these issues, lawyers do not intend to resolve them.

August 10, 2021 - Michał Jerzy Dębowski

Resign and rule: Latvia’s local elections analysed

The low voter turnout and inconclusive results in the Latvian municipal elections are likely to be repeated in next year’s general election.

July 13, 2021 - Samuel Kramer

Crisis like a dream

Georgia has been trapped in a political, economic and social black hole. It is affected by crisis after crisis. There is no prospect for improvement. Thus, at a certain point apathy may turn into social eruption.

For many months now Georgian politicians have been busy. After last October’s parliamentary elections, the ruling Georgian Dream and the opposition got themselves stuck in a months-long jam from which they could not escape. The opposition accused the authorities of rigging elections and they boycotted the parliament, while the ruling coalition downplayed the accusations and claimed the opposition was unable to accept defeat.

June 23, 2021 - Wojciech Wojtasiewicz

A fortress of human rights

Europe will either be united or not. It cannot be ruled out that an unforeseen event may lead to the disintegration of the EU. But it can also not be ruled out that an unforeseen event will cement it. Paradoxically, the COVID-19 pandemic, which is currently devastating the global economy, may prove to be such an event.

Prior to the creation of the European Union, Europe did not exist. It did not exist in the political sense, that is. It is true that François Guizot, the 19th century historian and statesman, believed that there is something like a European civilisation because a certain kind of unity permeates European countries despite countless differences dividing them. This unity, however, was manifest only to a select number of Europeans and only through comparisons with the brutally colonised European “Others” across Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Americas. Certainly, the thus conceived civilisational unity did not translate itself into political unity. The geographical concept of Europe made political sense only as an unstable system of volatile states linked more frequently, and tightly, by their mutual hostilities than their alliances.

June 23, 2021 - Adam Chmielewski

NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan: What it means for the Central Asian neighbourhood

NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan will leave its Central Asian neighbours with a number of challenges. Central Asian states are likely to address these issues with the help of Russia and China, who are eager to advance their status and role in the region.

June 22, 2021 - Yegor Vasylyev

Information operations and the 2020 Georgian parliamentary elections

Outside attempts to influence the parliamentary elections in Georgia in 2020 began long before the voters went to the polls. A multi-layered disinformation campaign was accompanied by cyber-attacks.

May 5, 2021 - Givi Gigitashvili

Russia’s police state showed its real face in latest protest crackdown

Facing the largest street protests in a decade, Russian authorities responded with an unprecedented wave of repression. The harsh crackdown seems to have had the desired effect: Navalny’s allies were forced to put their protests on hold.

Russian police detained Dmitry Gliuz, aged 30, on Sennaya Square, in the centre of St Petersburg, shortly after he came out from the metro. “I wasn’t doing anything wrong, just standing and looking at my phone, when suddenly policemen grabbed me and punched me in the stomach”. Gliuz was among the thousands of people detained on January 31st during the nationwide protests in support of Russian opposition leader, Alexei Navalny.

April 11, 2021 - Giovanni Pigni

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Agencja interaktywna: hauerpower krakow studio krakow.