As France prepares to commemorate the bicentennial of his birth, Louis Pasteur is mostly remembered by the wider public for producing the first vaccine against rabies. Yet, as it turned out, his interest for infectious diseases came rather late in his career. Indeed, shortly after defending his theses in physics and chemistry in 1847, his research focused initially on crystallography, the experime...
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CONFLICTS IN 2022: A LESSON IN GEOPOLITICS (Olivier Courteaux Historian)
For the past two years, the news media, having largely focused on the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences, failed to emphasize enough the significance of a number of recent or ongoing conflicts. Let’s take an example: the short-lived, yet bloody conflict between the self-proclaimed Republic of Artsakh and Azerbaijan (South Caucasus), which took place in the fall of 2020. Following the ceasefire signed on November 10, 2020, the victory of Azerbaijan marked the return of a geopolitical dynamic inherited from the 19th century, with Turkey, Russia and Iran as major actors in the background. Just like many other conflicts in the Caucasus and beyond, some still ongoing, the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war illustrated the diplomatic and geopolitical effacement of Europe and the United States, paving the way for a broader shift in international relations. Each month, starting in February, I propose to discuss a recent or ongoing conflict (or tensions that could lead to a conflict), from the war in Ukraine, the failed revolution in Belarus and the migrant crisis its president orchestrated last summer, the campaigns of disinformation and their potential impact, the never-ending conflict in Syria, the foreign military intervention in Libya, the aftermath of the U.S. disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, the tensions in the South China sea and much more…
1. Tensions in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus: what is Vladimir Putin up to?