Bashar al-Assad’s Three Puzzles
08 April 2017

In 2007, an American businessman and friend of the then Prime Minister of Israel, Ehud Olmert, was visiting Damascus before continuing his journey to Jerusalem. On the morning of his departure to Israel, the Mukhabarat, Syria’s secret service, knocked at his hotel room. The Syrian agents calmed down the scared businessman – he was not to be taken to some torture prison, of which there were many in Syria.

Economic Freedom (Act): Do We Need It or Not?
06 March 2017

The so-called “Economic Freedom Act” (EFA), which has been a matter of public discussion in recent weeks, refers to two pieces of legislation: (i) a Constitutional amendment from 2010, which requires a referendum for introducing new taxes or increasing the tax rate, and (ii) the Law on Economic Freedom (2011), in force since 2013, setting a number of additional restrictions to government fiscal policy (Table 1).

Modern Quagmire and Georgia's Trump Card?
13 February 2017

“The fundamental problem for Georgian security is that Russia holds all the major cards and no one is reshuffling the deck in Georgia’s favor”, writes Neil MacFarlane in his 2016 article on Georgia’s security situation. Georgia has a mighty neighbor that is not democratic, does not respect the right of self-determination of nations, and, most importantly, actually brings its military power to bear whenever Russian (legitimate or illegitimate) interests are not sufficiently honored.

New Academic Success for Norberto Pignatti
16 November 2016

ISET is proud to announce that resident faculty member Norberto Pignatti has recently become a research fellow at the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), a private, independent research institute based in Bonn (Germany), which conducts nationally and internationally-oriented labor market research. IZA runs the world's largest research network in economic science, comprising over 1,300 international Research Fellows and Affiliates, as well as Policy Fellows from business, politics, society, and the media.

On Predicting Election Results
03 October 2016

Forecasters, professionals and amateurs alike, all got it wrong. The Brexit came as a surprise because the bookmakers (people who organize bets on developments in politics, economics, and sports) reported that about three times more money was put on the event that Britain would stay in the EU than on its alternative. With poll results being inconclusive in the weeks before the referendum, this led many pundits to believe that Britain would stay in the EU.