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The Dutch Keep Their Enemies Closer

The Dutch elections of March 15th attracted a lot of international attention. Were the Dutch going to defeat right-wing populism? Or were they going to hop on the anti-immigrant/anti-establishment/anti-EU bandwagon like the Americans and the British have done over the past few months? When the centre-right People’s Party for Freedom …

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French Presidential Election – Make it or Break it for the European Union?

Nationalism, populism and racism are increasing across both Europe and the rest of the Western world. The presidential election in the United States and the Brexit referendum in Britain taught us that the outcome of free elections cannot be predicted in advance. Later this spring, France will elect their new president, …

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Caging the Russian Bear – are NATO and the EU playing a dangerous game?

This article is a part of The Perspective’s Open Mind Theme week. The aim of this week is to broaden perspectives and reveal new angles of subjects you may have thought were crystal clear. The views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of The Perspective or the Association of Foreign Affairs …

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The long shadow of Ferdinand Marcos

“[It is] wrong, denies our history, erases the memory of lives lost and destroyed, mocks the collective action we took to oust the dictator, and denigrates the value of our struggle for freedom.” That was the reaction of Maria Serena Diokno, the Philippines’ top government historian, to President Rodrigo Duterte’s …

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Zwarte Piet – Racism or a Harmless Tradition?

Zwarte Piet, the sidekick of Sinterklaas, is a character known for bringing presents to children during annual Saint Nicholas celebration in the Netherlands from mid-November to December 5. The character is acted out by a person dressing up in renaissance-style clothing, wearing a wig and makeup, and acting in a …

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Australia’s Identity Conflict: The Unseen Battle between Us and Them

In today’s globally connected world, it’s easy to become another person in the crowd. As to not become lost in the sea of people, we gather together in groups of those with whom we identify. Identity groups are numerous; one rarely identifies in just one or two groups. Your identity …

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It’s Not the Economy, Stupid: Trump’s White Nationalism

The rise of Trump and the Sanders phenomenon this election cycle have produced an almost touching consensus around one thing: voters are economically anxious and furious with globalization. There’s probably a lot of truth to that, but there’s another, more dominant factor that may explain how Donald Trump made it …

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Papa Xi – China’s Star Politician

In 2015, the world’s most watched annual broadcast with a viewership of about 800 million, the Chinese New Year’s gala, featured something odd for Chinese politics. Clips of the Chinese president Xi Jinping visiting citizens and troops, broadcasted to the tunes of a song stating “I give you my heart”, …

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The new unknown: what’s got Poland so scared?

The end of communist rule marked a new era for nationalism in Poland. Since 1989, the country’s key political goals have been the maintenance of national sovereignty and the minimization of external influence. Nowhere has Poland’s nationalism been more visible in recent years than in its debate regarding the EU …

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The most powerful diplomat of the world – Will an Eastern European Woman be the next UN Secretary General?

The upcoming elections in the United States are covered by the media in great detail, but there is another election to watch – that of the Secretary General of the United Nations. The current office holder, Ban Ki-moon, is in office until 31 December 2016. Although no specific date has …

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