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Foreign Policy Centre

Ideas for a fairer world

News & Updates

> FPC Seminar: Shelter from the Storm?

Date: Tuesday 29 April 2014

Time: 6.00pm-7.30pm

Venue: Committee Room 9, House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA


  • Chris Bryant MP, Shadow Minister and Vice-Chair Russia APPG
  • Dr David Lewis, Senior Lecturer, University of Exeter
  • Maisy Weicherding, Researcher-Eurasia, Amnesty International
  • Jago Russell, Chief Executive, Fair Trials International
  • Claire Rimmer Quaid, Senior Project Officer, European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE)

Chair: Baroness Stern CBE

This Westminster Seminar event will launch a new Foreign Policy Centre publication, kindly supported by the Open Society Foundations, entitled Shelter from the storm? The asylum, refuge and extradition situation facing activists from the former Soviet Union in the CIS and Europe. The event will look at some of the key issues around asylum, extradition and the provision of refuge for human rights defenders, political and religious activists and other controversial figures from the former Soviet Union.It will examine the extent to which Russia and other CIS countries abide by their obligations under European and international law when facing extradition requests from fellow signatories to the Minsk Convention. It also will explore European asylum and immigration policies and how they impact on activists from the former Soviet Union.

The event is free and open to all.

Please RSVP to

> South Africa in BRICS: Salvation or ruination?

DATE: Monday 28 April

TIME: 4.00-6.00pm

VENUE: Committee Room 15, House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA

Speaker: William Gumede, author of South Africa in BRICS: Salvation or Ruination and Associate Professor and Convener in Political Economy, University of the Witwatersrand (Johannesburg)

As South Africans prepare to go to the polls for the 2014 presidential elections, what does the future hold for one of Africa's leading economies?

Developing economies are increasingly regarded as potential global growth engines which could power the world economy. Alongside China, Brazil, Russia and India, South Africa belatedly became part of the BRICS alliance, forged to provide leading developing countries with a greater voice with respect to global action.

Yet, might the differences between members in this disparate bloc far outweigh the similarities that bind them, compounding competition and tension within the group? Might the keenness of once eager investors have been cooled by the groups' more modest economic performance? This is

illustrated by China's immense economic restructuring which has led to contractions in its growth rates, which formerly boasted double digits. This is in addition to the turbulent currency crisis which fuelled further rises in already relatively high inflation and interest rates experienced across many emerging markets, earlier this year. As the US economy experiences a fragile recovery this has reduced the need to stimulate the economy and keep interest rates low. As such, the US Federal Reserve has begun to ease its injections of liquidity into the wider banking system. How might the BRICS in general and South Africa in particular, insulate its own markets from the turbulence generated by the fall in monetary stimulus which has considerably reduced investment inflows into developing economies?

More importantly, beyond political advantage, might the real gains of such an alliance for an economy like South Africa now seem far more limited than otherwise envisaged? Furthermore, with the advent of a so-called second generation of emerging economic giants which include Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey (MINTs), might South Africa have sneaked into the wrong club?

This event is free and open to all. If you would like to attend, please RSVP by email to

> FPC Briefing: Climate change cooperation within the Global South: Finance, policy and institutions

FPC Research Associate Stephen Minas analyses the growing and dynamic area of climate change cooperation in the Global South. His briefing looks at the role of the BRICS and a growing range of other regional groupings that are sharing policy best practice, creating innovative finance arrangements and developing new institutions to tackle the challenges of climate change.

> FPC Briefing: Turkey's Year-Long Election Cycle

FPC Senior Research Associate Firdevs Robinson gives her analysis of the recent local government elections in Turkey. She examines the pre-election corruption scandals and government pressure on the media and access to YouTube and Twitter. She looks ahead at what the successful result for the ruling AKP means for the August 2014 Presidential elections.

> Syria's Forever War

FPC Research Associate James Denselow takes stock of the current situation in Syria, now that the civil war has entered its third year. He looks at the wider geopolitical environment and the continuing challenges facing attempts to find a peaceful resolution to the crisis.