ECFR this week: 19 September 2014

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Scotland has voted no to independence but ECFR Director Mark Leonard says the political trends in Scotland are also reshaping many nations that do not face imminent break-up. In his commentary “Why Scotland looks like the canary in the independence coal mine”, he points out the changing nature of self-government and nationalism and notes that the dynamics of the Scottish campaign are increasingly true of many other democracies where established parties huddle together to defend the current order from insurgent political forces that paint themselves as popular tribunes in the face of entrenched elites. 
 
Edouard Tétreau, Senior Policy Fellow and Head of ECFR’S Paris office, writes that EU member states trying to protect their own economic and strategic interests have “rendered Europe neglected and negligible”. He argues that for the first time since the fall of the Berlin Wall the conditions are ripe for a “New Deal”. He says almost all EU countries are ready to express the political will needed for such a project and that a failure to do so would be a boon for the supporters of the euro’s breakup and “a return to yesterday’s Europe”.
 
In a new policy brief, the Director of ECFR’s Asia and China programme, François Godement, writes that what had often been predicted to be an “Asian century” is turning out to be one in which China is foremost in Asia’s mind. He says tensions in East Asia are becoming the new normal and that it is increasingly clear that trade does not guarantee peace and stability. He says Europe can neither take Asia’s stability for granted nor afford to be complacent about Asian security.
 
With recent tentative steps to reverse the integration of Russia into the international system, ECFR’s Research Director Hans Kundnani considers the future of a strategy of containment of Russia and says the West urgently needs to understand the logic of such a policy in an era of economic interdependence.  In his commentary he asks if it is possible to continue economic interdependence during an ongoing conflict or whether the West should try to keep the two parallel tracks – the military and the economic – separate.
 

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