Editor's Desk

Mitchell Belfer, Editor in Chief

Mitchell Belfer Mitchell Belfer is Senior Lecturer at the Department of International Relations and European Studies and Editor in Chief of the Central European Journal of International and Security Studies (CEJISS). He holds a Ph.D. and an MPA in International Relations Theory and his academic interests gravitate around: alliance theory, small states, dangerous regions, the international relations of the Arabian Gulf and Middle East, asymmetrical violence and general security-related issues. What began as a strictly alliance-centric focus has morphed into a multi-layered understanding of alliances that investigates the manner in which an alliance’s major to minor and its minor to minor dyads within the alliance behave to one another.
Contact email: belfer@cejiss.org

Editor's desk

Mitchell Belfer

Rein in Qatar. Gulf unity is at stake

Analysts of the Arab Gulf region have, for the past week or so, been obsessing over the deterioration of relations within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). And for good reason. Qatar stands accused of pursuing some very damaging policies—policies that undermine GCC international projects, generate suspicion of the Arab Gulf internationally and are greeted with outright hostility in other parts of the Arab world. Consider that Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, and…

Haaretz

Editor's desk

Mitchell A. Belfer

Is Netanyahu Facing an Israeli Spring Moment?

With Middle East politics again ablaze, it is easy for pundits to miss the huge controversy brewing around Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as he struggles to keep his composure under the weight of unfriendly allegations.It is easy; but it is wrong. With Israel’s Channel 2 reporting, back in early September, of an inquiry into claims that Netanyahu had solicited a bribe, something which he vehemently denies, this may be the trigger Israel needs to galvanize people against political…

Editor's desk

Mitchell A. Belfer

Foreign Investors Must Not Exploit Weak Regulation In Europe

This summer US regulators released a detailed list of reforms it believes will make markets function better and more efficiently. The reforms by the Committee on Capital Markets Regulation is aimed at restoring public confidence in the Stock Market. The high level panel contains industry heavyweights ranging from Wall Street executives, hedge fund CEOs, individuals such as Kenneth Bentsen Jr., head of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, and representatives of trading…

Editor's desk

Mitchell Belfer

If Not Now, When? Reviewing Europe’s Failures, One Country at a Time

From terrorism to corruption, war, economic crises and the return of extremist political parties, the past years have been trying for the EU on the social, political and economic fronts. BREXIT may have been the first rejection of membership—it is unlikely to be the last. To avoid the complete unwinding of the European project it is important to recalibrate the essence of the Union; to find and expose its weakest points – and members – and work at building a Europe that is reflective of the…

Image ID:267255626

Editor's desk

Mitchell Belfer

Iran: The Other Islamic State

Many in the US are jostling to enter Iran’s marketplace as though acquiescence to international demands for nuclear transparency equated to political and economic reform. It did not. The Islamic Republic of Iran remains an Islamic state and a danger to regional stability. Caution is enjoined in any transaction with the country.   Ayatollah means the ‘sign of God,’ Hezbollah the ‘party of God,’ and Hokumat-e eslami means ‘Islamic government.’ These are not rhetorical devices in the parlance of…

Image ID:294613709

Editor's desk

Mitchell Belfer

The War in Yemen

The wider Middle East is caving under the pressure of multiple conflict-points and the effects are being acutely felt in Europe. The Charlie Hebdo and small arms terrorist attacks in Paris, an unfolding immigration and mounting socio-economic crises are reminders of the deep intersection of European and Middle Eastern spaces, interests and peoples. With the Syria-Iraq-ISIS conflict set as the highest priority among EU and NATO members, one of the central lynchpins of local and regional…

Image ID:244784719

Editor's desk

Mitchell Belfer

Conscription and European Security

In the 25 year process of European reintegration, military conscription – as a feature of the European political scene – has largely vanished. The evaporation of sizeable, conscripted militaries reflects the widespread belief that conscription is a political, economic and military anachronism reminiscent of times of great continental insecurity and international militarism which are no longer considered valid sources of European identity. Instead, security identities in post-Cold War Europe are…

Editor's desk

Mitchell Belfer

Arrested Development: Stonewalling al Wefaq in Bahrain

Introduction On 16 June 2015, Ali Salman, leader of Bahrain’s al Wefaq bloc, was sentenced to four years in prison for inciting violence and encouraging an attempted coup d’état during the 2011 uprising. The verdict brought the Arab Spring in Bahrain to an end; a fact reflected in the muted response on Bahrain’s streets. Yet, many in the international press were swift to pour scorn on Bahrain’s government while glossing over the years of political unrest and the projection of Iranian interests…

Image ID: 222546409

Editor's desk

Mitchell Belfer

Understanding Azerbaijan’s Geopolitical Perceptions

IntroductionAzerbaijan’s geopolitical situation largely determines its strategic priorities and presents solutions. This policy analysis suggests that there are three ways for Azerbaijan (and the other Caucasus states) to overcome its geopolitical situation, through: hegemony, neutrality or alliance. However, of the three, only alliance with exogenous powers, such as the GCC and its members, could assist Azerbaijan survive in its own region; by out-flanking its more aggressive rivals and…

Image ID: 214182316

Editor's desk

Mitchell Belfer

The Costs of Violence in Bahrain

  In the two months since Bahrain’s parliamentary elections, the country has witnessed dozens of concentrated, violent demonstrations and a spate of bombing attacks that have caused death, injury and the destruction of public and private property. Yet, the country remains on the receiving end of a loud chorus of international condemnations. It is accused of a variety of things ranging from human rights violations, the alleged torturing of political prisoners, encouraging sectarianism and…

2017 - Volume 11, Issue 3