Nr 92 • Aprill 2011

The EU’s confused reaction to the Arab spring

Twenty two years after the East European peaceful revolutions, which swept away communist dictatorships and ended the Cold War, the popular uprisings against the autocratic regimes in the Southern Mediterranean countries and the Arabian Peninsula are changing the world again. The consequences of this will probably be felt for years to come and be more far-reaching than we can even begin to predict.

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Kurdistan Develops Towards Nationhood

The Kurds are the fourth biggest nation in the Middle East. They live in four states facing different problems in each country. The Kurds are famous for being culturally divided and unable to cooperate with each other. New mass media has increased their awareness of the Kurdish question. Can Kurdish leaders gain benefit from the present unstable situation caused by the democratisation movement in the Middle East?

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English summary

This issue of Diplomaatia focuses mainly on current revolutionary developments in the Middle East and North Africa. It is still too early to say to what extent comparisons between these developments and the events in Eastern Europe in 1989 are justified, but by now it is obvious that changes in the region are substantial and irreversible. It is also too early to provide a full-scale analysis of the meaning of the events or to predict their eventual outcomes, but our authors offer a variety of analytical and geographical perspectives on the events, their historical and socio-political background and our own relationship to the part of the world, which seemed to be doomed to live under dictatorships.

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