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The ‘Refugee Crisis’ and the US: the twisted ways of policy-making

The ‘refugee crisis’ has raised a lot of debates amongst Europe and the European Union. However, the position of the US is often overlooked in these debates even though its role has been central to the course of this ‘crisis’ from its very beginning. In Nizar Farsakh’s view, Obama’s international policy, while attempting to disrupt that of his predecessor, nonetheless resulted in the opposite outcome it was aiming for. Nizar Farsakh is Program Director for Civil Society Partnerships at the US-based NGO Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED). Prior to this position, he was the General Director of the General Delegation of the PLO to the US for two years, and has extensive experience in policy advising to Palestinian negotiators on border-related issues.   The enormity of the Syrian refugee crisis has exposed the limits of Europe’s absorption capacity, both in physical as well as social/national terms. This has prompted many to ask how come European countries did not foresee it coming and whether they could have averted waiting for the crisis to rise to that magnitude. Yet, only after a few weeks, if not months, did people start to ask about the role of the US in all of […]

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Central Bankers for Presidents? Another look at the Ivorian presidential election

On the occasion of the coming presidential election in Ivory Coast, Vincent Duchaussoy analyses the trajectories of Alassane D. Ouattara and his political opponent Charles Konnan Banny. Despite different backgrounds, their central banking careers launched them in the political sphere. The privileged position of Ivory Coast within the BCEAO (Central Bank of the Western African States) emphasizes the influence of Central bankers on politics. Vincent Duchaussoy is postdoctoral fellow at the Université de Rouen in France. His PhD thesis focused on the history of the organisation and the governmentality of the Banque de France. He co-coordinates the research programme HIZOF, specialised in the history of the Franc zone and economic relations in the francophone zone. Eleven candidates will run in the upcoming presidential election in Ivory Coast for which the first round is scheduled on 25 October 2015. They will try to replace Alassane D. Ouattara, elected in 2010 after an electoral crisis. Many analysts would argue that Ouattara will in all likelihood be re-elected. However, there are many parallels between the career-paths of the current president and one of his most serious contenders, Charles Konan Banny. Each of them indeed started their curriculum in the 1970s at the BCEAO, […]

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