The Orders of Friendship in (Post-)Socialist Countries

By Andreas Pacher | 24 March 2017

Several (post-)Socialist governments established new state awards in the past years, which all carry the name ‘Order of Friendship’. The term ‘friendship’ here is genealogically related to the Stalinist concept of ‘friendship of peoples’. Western political theories, on the other hand, have largely abandoned this appellation in international relations. The burgeoning of ‘friendship orders’ is culturally contingent on a collectivist mindset, while the general popularity of state awards can be attributed to the increasing attention governments pay to public diplomacy.

Being Friends with Transnistria: Emotional Politics via State Awards

By Andreas Pacher | 18 February 2017

By exclusively targeting foreign citizens, the Transnistrian “Order of Friendship” is confined to a limited scope: The tiny republic enjoys recognition only by a few Russian-backed breakaway regions. The recipients therefore consist of disputed leaders from Abkhazia and South Ossetia, some Russian politicians with influential NGOs, and a Soviet-era singer whose connection with the Donbass placed him on the EU’s list of sanctioned people. The political logic revealed in the government’s implicit criteria for “awardworthiness” is that of a narrow understanding of diplomacy.

China and Poland: Economic Cooperation Under the 16+1 Formula

By Yao Le | 1 February 2017

Why do China and Poland view each other as significant partners under the 16+1 formula? Based on a comparative analysis of the two countries’ respective goals and expectations, this article will put forth possible explanations, and point towards options the Chinese government could address to promote the Sino-Polish cooperation a step further.

Good Old American Guest: The Persistent Value of Transatlantic Relations for Europe in Today’s Multipolar World

By Niklas Luksch | 21 December 2016

Despite the widely discussed transatlantic rift, strong transatlantic relations continue to be of military, economic and strategic importance for Europe. Europe remains dependent on US security guarantees even as their value appears to cease for the other side. It has much to lose, but only limited capacity to act on its own in an increasingly multipolar world. Yet, an American withdrawal from the Old Continent, and consequently, a weakened Europe ultimately are two sides of the same coin.

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