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Speck, Ulrich

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4 articles of this author have been cited in the European Press Review so far.

Neue Zürcher Zeitung - Switzerland | 11/02/2015

Even Merkel's power has its limits

Angela Merkel is discovering the limits of her power in her struggle for a diplomatic solution to the Ukraine conflict, the liberal-conservative Neuen Zürcher Zeitung writes and points to a decisive mistake in the German chancellor's negotiating strategy: "Merkel's mission in Moscow is a textbook example of German power. German power is above all economic power. Germany can woo others with the prospect of close ties to the EU market and greater involvement of German companies. And it can threaten to prevent both through sanctions. ... What Germany lacks in terms of foreign policy instruments is the military aspect of power. Merkel's position in Moscow would be much stronger if she hadn't ruled out arms supplies to Ukraine or if she had at least left Putin in the dark about it. Her rejection of this option made it clear from the start that the Europeans wouldn't join in even in the unlikely event of Obama deciding to go for it."

Neue Zürcher Zeitung - Switzerland | 27/12/2012

Superpowers evading their responsibilities

The major powers of the world were mainly preoccupied with their own problems in 2012, writer Ulrich Speck comments in the liberal-conservative daily Neue Zürcher Zeitung, noting that this means it's unclear who will take charge of ensuring international security in the future: "2012 was the year in which the big issues were put on the back burner. The decision makers in the EU have struggled from one summit to the next; Greece remains in the EU and the euro will still be around in 2013. In the US everyone was focussed on the presidential elections; Washington was relatively passive on the international scene. ... For the European, American and Chinese leadership the motto has been: we can't afford any mistakes now. ... So the question we must ask not just in 2013 but also beyond it is: who is in a position and willing to maintain order in the global village? America, a key force behind the establishment of the liberal world order since 1945, neither can nor wants to do it alone any more. Europe has stepped down from the world stage. The Russian and Chinese leadership are showing no willingness whatsoever to assume any joint responsibility for the big picture beyond their narrowly defined national interests."

Neue Zürcher Zeitung - Switzerland | 28/12/2011

The year of freedom

The year 2011 brought the downfall of several despotic rulers in the Arab world. What happens next remains uncertain but it is clear that a new attitude of civil disobedience has taken hold, writes journalist Ulrich Speck in the liberal-conservative Neue Zürcher Zeitung: "The transition from protesting subject to responsible citizen is a long one; we have known this since the French Revolution. And those who would keep their grip on power may have made a tactical withdrawal, but they can't be written off yet. ... In view of the communication revolution and the growing comparability of living conditions it entails, people are less and less willing to let themselves be intimidated by leaders. ... The message of 2011 is: no dictator is safe from his citizens any more."

Der Tagesspiegel - Germany | 16/07/2006

Petro-politics at the G8 summit

Against the background of the G8 summit, Ulrich Speck analyses the laws of petro-politics, which govern not only Vladimir Putin's Russia but also Hugo Chavez' Venezuela and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Iran. "Autocratic rulers are securing their access to their countries' energy revenues. They weaken the power of the civilian population and remove democratic restrictions on their power. They give their countries an illusory economic boom that is not based on success on the free market – income generated by hard work – but on the high price of petroleum and natural gas, on what we call supplementary revenues. By transferring wealth to the privileged, they buy support for their governments and legitimise them through pseudo-democratic procedures… Although we're accustomed to regarding energy as an economic asset, these new autocracies force us to see our energy supply from a political point of view – and to act accordingly."

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