Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Seminar: Trouble in the Neighbourhood? The future of the EU's Eastern Partnership

Location: University of Birmingham, Muirhead Tower Room 121
Date: Tuesday 17th February 2015 (18:00-19:30)
Contact: events@fpc.org.uk

Rt Hon John Spellar MP, Shadow Foreign Affairs Minister (Labour)

James Carver MEP, European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee (UKIP)

Dr Kataryna Wolczuk, Reader in Politics and International Studies,  CREES, University of Birmingham

Dr Rilka Dragneva-Lewers, Senior Lecturer, CREES, University of Birmingham

Dr Kevork Oskanian, Research Fellow, CREES, University of Birmingham

Chair: Adam Hug, Policy Director, Foreign Policy Centre

Friday, 23 January 2015

Putin's Plan to Fight Recession in Russia also Increases Kremlin's Control of the Economy

The Russian rouble started 2015 in much the same way it finished 2014: badly. After losing nearly 50% of its dollar value between July and the end of the year, the rouble lost a further 7% in January. The primary cause of this continued decline is the falling price of oil: Brent crude has dropped from US$53 dollars per barrel at year end to just under US$48 per barrel, a decline of nearly 10% for the year so far.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Playwright, Prisoner and President: the Life of Vaclav Havel

A review of Michael Zantovsky, Havel: a Life, London: Atlantic Books (2014)

By Tim Haughton

You only really appreciate someone when they have left. The death of Vaclav Havel in December 2011 provoked a week of mourning, warm and generous words from his political foes, and for many ‘perhaps a rediscovery’ of the man who had played so many different roles in his life: playwright, political prisoner and president (p. 14). Michael Zantovsky’s outstanding new biography published a quarter of a century after the Velvet Revolution swept away the communist regime in Czechoslovakia, provides a colourful, well-written and perceptive account of the life, work and impact of Vaclav Havel.