Author Archives: Robert Amsterdam

An Open Letter to the Austrian Attorney General

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The prosecutors in this case have committed multiple errors in both factual and legal matters, resulting in the unfair persecution of Stephan Templ.

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THE TPPA: TRADING AWAY NEW ZEALAND’S INDEPENDENCE

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This new paper addresses the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) and its impact on New Zealand ahead of a critical election.

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Russia’s ‘Irredentism’

This week Strobe Talbott has an extensive piece in Politico on the background of Vladimir Putin’s worldview. Despite Talbott’s past myopia on Russia, there are some interesting arguments in the long article, including the following issue of “irredentism” as a driving force for Russia’s habit of invading neighboring nations. The best word for what might […]

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Historical Memory in Thailand and Guatemala

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Guatemala and Thailand share a fascinating common history of repeated, violent military coups and heavy U.S. involvement as a result of the Cold War, creating a lingering distortion in each nation’s political culture

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Defning Modern Authoritarianism

Writing in Bloomberg View, Leonid Bershidsky argues that more and more emerging economies are led by people modelling themselves after the leadership style of Vladimir Putin – Narendra Modi, Najib Razak, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to name a few. Bershidsky ventures into the phenomenology of modern authoritarians – which, contrary to old school dictators, rely on […]

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$50 Billion Yukos Ruling Could Change Russian History

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The case is not only one of the largest ever rulings against a sovereign, it also means that Yukos shareholders could start seizing assets across Europe.

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‘Oligarchs’ Are Not a Unitary Class

Allow me a moment to register shock and disdain for the front page of today’s Times of London, which broadly declares, “Cameron Under Pressure to Punish Putin Oligarchs,” lending to other misleading coverage ramping up unchecked Russophobia in Britain in response to the horror of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17. We have seen before the dangers […]

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MH17 and the Legal Theory of Control

Writing on Opinio Juris, Jens David Ohlin raises the important issue of the theory of control in international law given the possibility of Russia’s involvement (or the “creating of conditions,” as phrased by Washington) and what level of responsibility there can be for the activity of the rebels. If this story is true, it reveals […]

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What Putin Should Do, ASAP

I agree with Leonid Bershidsky’s argument here – but with the clock ticking, I fear that Putin will be cornered into a typical defensive position of denial: By disowning the rebels immediately — in the form of criminal proceedings against the Russian citizens among them, the immediate withdrawal of any Russian aid for them and […]

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MH17 and Putin’s Recklessness in Ukraine

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Putin’s criminal recklessness in Ukraine does not come as a surprise, rather it has been a hallmark of his leadership.

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