100 years of consciously planned division in the Middle East

On May 16th, it was exactly one hundred years ago that a British and a French diplomat drew the borders of the contemporary Middle East and, in doing so, were responsible for many of the conflicts of the past century. Bruno de Cordier and Tom Kenis weigh the importance of Sykes-Picot.

Europe’s friendly rogue state

Early next week, Uzbekistan’s dictator Islam Karimov will visit Brussels for meetings with the Council of the European Union, with European Commission president Barroso, and with NATO. It is difficult to imagine a stronger contrast between the regards for Karimov, and the EU ban and pariah status put upon Belarus’ Lukashenko, another, yet certainly ...

Conflict Prevention: the Ultimate Casualty of the Osh Violence?

“For years, there has been a part of the development sector that existed and expanded on the assumption that the Ferghana was soon to explode”, a former colleague in Kyrgyzstan said after the violence in the south which left between 300 and 800 dead in June 2010. “Eventually they got more than they could deal with.”