Author profile: Stephen Chan

Stephen Chan OBE was Foundation Dean of Law and Social Sciences at SOAS University of London, where he remains as Professor of World Politics. He has occupied many named chairs around the world, most recently the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Chair of Academic Excellence at Bir Zeit University in 2015, and the George Soros Chair of Public Policy at the Central European University in 2016. He was the 2010 International Studies Association Eminent Scholar in Global Development. As an international civil servant he helped pioneer modern electoral observation in Zimbabwe in 1980, worked in many post-conflict zones – where ‘post’ was a largely fictional if politic appellation – and continues to be seconded to many diplomatic initiatives around the world today. He is the author of Meditations on Diplomacy: Comparative Cases in Diplomatic Practice and Foreign Policy (2017).

Zimbabwe: The Sanctions of No Sanctions

Zimbabwe: The Sanctions of No Sanctions

The announcement of a suspension of sanctions pending a credibly free and fair referendum was a very low bar to cross. The real action lies in what is already going on behind the scenes. As with all major diplomatic breakthroughs, a heavy element of cynicism is the accompaniment.

Mugabe: How Much Longer?

Mugabe: How Much Longer?

Mugabe’s regime is hardly on its last legs and is not threatened beyond key points. He is strong enough to intimidate the most senior of his ambitious colleagues and there are many who trace the death in 2011 of Solomon Mujuru to his door.

What is this thing called the decline of the West?

In the west, China’s rise and increased attention to fundamentalist Islam have caused many to perceive a global contest in the export of values. At this particular crossroads of history there seem to be several very different maps for the future. In this context, many speak of the ‘decline of the west’, but what is it exactly?

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