The Bear's Lair

Archives for Conor Griffin

With the final results from Egypt’s six week parliamentary elections tricking in, all talk is about the strong election performance of the two main Islamic parties. With 43.7% of the vote, the Freedom and Justice Party (the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood) was the clear winner, although the ultra-conservative Nour party surprised many by… » read more

Posted by conorbjorn

The Scramble For Europe

A recent paper by François Godement and Jona Parello-Plesner describes in rather startling terms how China is “buying” up Europe. According to the authors, the main components of this new wave of Chinese activity are: 1) China’s purchases of European countries’ sovereign debt 2) The acquisition of European companies by their technology-hungry Chinese counterparts 3)… » read more

Posted by conorbjorn

Despite soaring prices and concerns among many investors, China is not facing a housing bubble. At least not according to a new report published by the Economist Intelligence Unit. Rather, owing to future growth in China’s urban population and their income, demand for housing looks set to remain strong. This demand will have global implications,… » read more

Posted by conorbjorn

Asian, European, or both? Kazakhstan can be safely called a true Eurasian country. A founding member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation who plays football in the UEFA European Championships. Its president Nursultan Nazarbayev likes to say that Kazakhstan is regaining its former Silk Road function as a bridge between the two continents and has planned… » read more

Posted by conorbjorn

To the casual observer, Kazakhstan can be a tricky country to get to grips with. In 2010 they scored a major diplomatic coup by becoming the first post-Soviet country to chair the OSCE, where they hosted the stagnant organisation’s first summit in 11 years. While its neighbour Kyrgyzstan descended in chaos, Kazakhstan seemeed an oasis… » read more

Posted by conorbjorn

All hail the Chinese CHAMPS.

The Chinese economic boom has been one of the world’s great stories for the past two decades. Fuelled by the emergence of coastal industrial powerhouses such as Shanghai and Guangzhou, China has succeeded in taking over 400 million people out of poverty. While some European companies have rsuccessfuly ridden the economic wave, a multitude of… » read more

Posted by conorbjorn

EU leaders have long emphasized the need for Brussels to get more “strategic” in its partnership with China. Launched in 2003, the strategic partnership between the two sides has been the subject of a voluminous (and often excruciatingly tedious) academic debate, a plethora of grand sounding political statements and ultimately much disappointment. The topic gained… » read more

Posted by conorbjorn