A new report discredits the concept of trickle-down economics, a theory that holds that if ultra-wealthy individuals receive tax breaks and other incentives, they will drive economic growth and promote prosperity for all. Instead of spreading the wealth, the global rich tend to sock their money away in off-shore tax havens, the study suggests.
It’s clear that Russia and other authoritarian-minded, formerly Soviet states would like to turn out the lights on the Internet. Given their mood, an annual UN gathering, scheduled to be hosted by Azerbaijan in November, could emerge as a pivotal moment for web's future in Eurasia.
In the post-Soviet age, Russia has relied on military muscle and energy dominance to help it achieve its foreign policy goals. Soft power, meanwhile, is something that has always been missing from Moscow’s diplomatic arsenal. But Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin’s resident macho man, now seems intent on putting a kinder, gentler face on Russia.
US and European Union diplomats will be looking to reinvigorate the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe when a Ministerial Council meeting convenes in Vilnius, Lithuania, on December 6-7. High on the meeting agenda is a proposal to create a diplomatic rapid reaction team.
One sign of the how highly Lawrence Sheets is esteemed as an analyst of Central Asia and the Caucasus was the large turnout of his fellow journalists for his presentation of his new book, 8 Pieces of Empire: A 20-Year Journey Through the Soviet Collapse.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s recent article for the Russian newspaper Izvestia discussing the creation of a new Eurasian Union continues to draw reactions from media and politicians. Originally written Oct. 3, the article emphasizes Putin’s proposal for the Eurasian Union, an economic grouping focusing on integration between Russia and former Soviet republics.
It’s no secret that the Caucasus and Central Asia are inhospitable places for free speech and independent journalism. But a recent survey by IREX, an international organization that promotes civil society, found even countries that experienced so-called “color” revolutions have been unable to produce lasting, positive changes in their respective media environments.
Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan are all classified as “authoritarian states,” with Islam Karimov’s regime in Tashkent singled out for particular censure, in the latest edition of the US State Department's annual human rights report.