In March 2021, a container ship called “Ever Given” blocked Egypt’s Suez Canal for six days. On one hand, the blockage of the canal cost the world around $10 billion in trade each day, while on the other hand, it provided Russia and Israel with the perfect opportunity to garner support for their respective sea route projects. The authors, Alyan Waheed and Muskan Moazzam, note that Russia’s Northern Sea Route (NSR) and Israel’s Ben-Gurion Canal can act as alternatives to the Suez Canal and reduce the international community’s dependency on it. As such, to prevent states from opting for these routes, Egypt will have to make several changes – one of them is lowering the trade barriers.
Though America considers itself the true representative of democracy, its actions prove otherwise. The hypocritical nature of the United States is apparent from its propensity to get militarily involved in other states, like Afghanistan, Syria, and Iraq, in the name of promoting democracy. The authors argue that contrary to establishing a democratic regime, the US military interventions have worsened the instability in these states. Moreover, the US itself is a dysfunctional democracy and even the Summit for Democracy can be seen as an effort to divide the world and preserve the US hegemony.
Though China considers itself to be a “socialist democracy”, it is not a democratic state in the eyes of the West. The authors, Alyan Waheed and Muskan Moazzam, note that while the West is busy contemplating the state of democracy in China, it has failed to realize that despite being “non-democratic”, China is a better leader, and more beneficial for the international community, under the control of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). As per their argument, the CCP has ensured that the nationalist element in the Chinese does not become overpowering and that China remains a pragmatic and rational status quo power.
Crimea had been a supplier of heavy raw material to the Soviet Union and was a hub of industrial and agricultural resources. Ukraine wanted to partner with the EU and the US in expanding its international market, but Russia saw the US-Ukraine Crimean gas collaboration as a threat to its economy – and hence advanced its forces to annex Crimea. Ms Muskan Moazzam explains the differing actions of EU member states towards the Russia-Ukraine conflict in light of the constructivism theory. She holds that state behaviour is subject to change, depending on the actions and importance of the concerned states. Featured Image Credit: “Former home of the Soviet Black Sea Fleet (2005-08-110)” by Argenberg is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
The Great Barrier Reef, one of the seven natural wonders of the world and a World Heritage-listed site, is witnessing the destruction of its reefs by the Australian government and India’s Adani Group. Protests and movements by various NGOs and international institutions are spurring the need for conservation initiatives and projects.