In the last decades, the world witnessed an important dispute about Rare-Earth Elements (REE), which passed quite unnoticed. Although these materials are unknown to many people, they are essential in many fields of the modern economy. Currently, the REE market is ruled by China, which controls the production and distribution of most of the world’s resources and, recently, has furtherly increased its influence. On the other side, this dependence on Beijing is considered as a threat for other developed countries. Given the huge importance of this business, many strategies and alliances are being set up since no one wants to lose the train heading towards the future economy.
Located at the Horn of Africa, where the heat mixes with the humidity to create the climate that favors the eruption of clashes, Ethiopia stands proud, carrying centuries of history and culture on its back. Landlocked and separated from the rest of the Muslim-dominated African countries, it now finds itself battling internal demons apart from external foes. What started as a border skirmish between Ethiopia and Eritrea in 1998 has now escalated into a fully developed civil war that threatens the status quo. But who is Abiy Ahmed and who are Tigray’s so-called liberation fighters?
Since its inception, Israel was an energy-starved country surrounded by hostile, oil-rich neighbours. This perception changed in 1999 with the discovery of the Noa gas field off the shores of Ashkelon. However, the discovery of more major natural gas fields in Israel since 2009, including Tamar and Leviathan, has transformed Israel from an energy-dependent country into an energy supplier, both domestically and abroad.
Donald Trump campaigned as a saviour for middle America; he promised a revitalization of the coal industry and manufacturing across the Rust Belt. He was an outspoken critic of climate change, often calling it a “hoax”. He opened the Arctic National Wildlife Reservoir to oil drilling and issued over 1400 permits to drill on federal land in his last three months as president alone. America’s limited environmental progress in recent decades has been fueled by the transition from coal to natural gas, a significantly cleaner energy source.
Too often, we are being confronted with numerous analyses about the impact that COVID-19 is having on the economy, the healthcare system, and on societies. However, the geopolitical impact is less discussed, maybe due to the uncertainty of predicting future relations between countries. In this study of consequences of the pandemic the common denominator is that the crisis is enhancing and exacerbating underlying problems that were emerging prior to the outbreak.
Greenland is important in that controlling the island provides significant access to the Arctic Ocean, abundant in resources such as oil, natural gas, iron ore, copper and nickel. Emerging sea routes, due to the reduction of ice sheets, further increase the geopolitical capital of holding influence over the region.
‘There is no defence without a state, and there is no state without defence’. This is how the first events of the Shipping, Energy, and Geopolitics Bocconi Student Association in co-operation with the Politics and Economic Development Bocconi Student Association started on Monday the 8th of March. Made up of a panel of interesting speakers from different backgrounds, the discussion revolved around the much-discussed and very contemporary topic of defence, its future and the progression of Europe along a common path.
Amongst all Southeast-Asian countries, East Timor is not exactly the most notorious. The country, sometimes also referred to as Timor-Leste, is in fact easily outshined by all its immediate neighbours, namely Indonesia and Australia. Indeed, East Timor is not only substantially smaller in size, but it is also a fairly young nation. International recognition was not granted to the East Timorese until September 27th, 2002, when the United Nations General Assembly finally admitted Timor Leste as an official UN member.
It would not be inaccurate to say that the Nile river, the longest in all of Eurasia, has played a foundational role in human history. After all, it has given rise to one of the first recorded civilizations thanks to its abundance of fresh water. This is no less true today, where it keeps shaping African geopolitics thanks to the vast resources it offers the nations it traverses: fish in abundance, an easy medium for transport, the possibility for hydroelectric power generation, and most importantly, fresh water.