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TO (A)BE OR NOT TO (A)BE: That is NOT the Question in the Comming Elections… But it IS the Real Question for the Future of Japan

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Japanese voters will head to the polling stations this week. It seems as though Abe Shinzo, the current Prime Minister of Japan will win the elections is a renewed massive support for the LDP and his Abenomics reforms. As I have argued previously, Abe Shinzo has done this very counterintuitive move to call snap elections when he already had such an overwhelming majority in both chambers of the Diet, out of pure political calculation. His move had nothing to do with economics really – not that this isn't the most pressing issue in front of Japan. It is! But, the real motive lies in the domain of party politics. More importantly, these are intra-party politics.
With only a few days to go, the most authoritative world publications, such as the FT and the Economist, unabatedly continue to throw weight behind the claim that the elections are a referendum on Abeconomics. But they are not. The Japanese economy is sliding badly, and much has to do in some way or another with the Abenomics…

Abe’s Poker Game or Why Japan Will Have Another Election

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In December 2012 the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan (LDP - 自民党) decisively won the Lower House (衆議院) elections for the national Diet (国会), securing 294 out of the 480 seats. Between its MPs, and the 31 MPs of its coalitional partner, the New Komeito Party (公明党), Abe Shinzo’s government commanded a comfortable majority of just over 2/3 of the Lower House. In subsequent elections for the Upper House (参議院) in July 2013 LDP gained 114 seats, and the New Komeito Party – 20. All in all, this is a very strong majority, which can guarantee a comfortable governing of Abe’s cabinet. Why then last week the Prime Minister called snap elections for the Lower House – an act that defies the normal logic of democratic governance?There are two competing, albeit not mutually exclusive explanations.

Mythic origins or original sin? Euroscepticism and an ever closer reality

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Mythic origins or original sin? Euroscepticism and an ever closer realityLIUBOMIR TOPALOFF25 April 2014 Euroscepticism is a strategically invented social construct – much like the myth of “ever closer union” itself – to capture and channel growing popular discontent with the aftermath of the European integration process.  The European elections are fast approaching, and with them the first time spectacle in the history of the European Parliament (EP) that we see eurosceptic parties with unprecedented popular representation. Based on pre-election estimates by PollWatch, what with the proposed alliance of right-wing eurosceptics led by Le Pen’s Front National and Geert Wilders’ PVV, the centre-right eurosceptics currently united in the EFD and led by UKIP’s Nigel Farrage, still free-floating extremists such as Jobbik, Attacka, Golden Dawn and the like, and the parochial hodgepodge of far left eurosceptics in the United Left/Nordic

AMERICA'S CRIMEAN GAMBIT… OR NOT?

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And so, the cards were laid down on the table. As Moscow has ordered its troops from Ukraine’s border to return back from “military exercise,” and we hear more about diplomacy, and less about military intervention, then the confrontation with Russia clearly begins to disentangle. There should be no doubt that the West (i.e. U.S.) has managed to push Mr. Putin into the corner with not to many options left. But what is at stake, and how was it bargained? In my opinion one should look far beyond the current geographic focus of the conflict. But to understand how far and why, a necessary prelude is necessary (spoiler alert; if you don’t care about elaborations and bla-bla, scroll down directly to the last two paragraphs).

Ukraine was, sort of speaking, the Full House President Obama pulled in the game just when Mr. Putin was finally getting a grip of his own game. The West seemed pressured by Mr. Putin to negotiate, and renegotiate on every single issue that has plagued American foreign p…

ПАРАДОКСИТЕ НА БЪЛГАРСКАТА НЕ@ДЕМОКРАЦИЯ

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Като външен и далечен наблюдател, осъзнавам, че нито мнението ми, нито наблюденията ми са достатъчно прецизни. Въпреки честите визити до България и постоянното следене на преса и мултимедия, не претендирам за акуратност. За това и се въздържах да пратя за публикация този, така или иначе, доста дълъг и вероятно скучноват или травиален текст. Надявам се, все пак, четящите го да го намерят поне за малко интересен или оригинален. 
През последните 6-7 месеца търсех и сравнявах теории, които биха могли да обяснят протестите в България и динамиката на “взаимоотношения” между правителство и протестиращи. Най-близката аналогия, разбира се, би била с протестните движения “Окупирай”, които през последните няколко години превзеха Европа, Америка и Азия. Следвайки логиката на развитие на “Окупирай”, българската протестна вълна е вероятно обречена на неуспех. Много са причините, но сред най-важните са така нареченият “проблем на колективното действие” (collective action problem), липсата на лидерств…