Bilkent IR Talks, Spring 2021- 10

On May 4, 2021, Dr. Aleksi Ylönen, Center for International Studies, University Institute of Lisbon, delivered a lecture titled: “Regional Politics in the Horn of Africa” for Bilkent’s IR Talks. Dr. Ylönen started his talk with an overview of the political history of the Horn of Africa, focusing on Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia and Djibouti. Dr. Ylönen described the financial, religious, and historical experiences of the region, shedding light on the regional politics, external interests, and current developments in the Horn of Africa. During the Q&A session, Dr. Ylönen answered questions regarding the use of US drone strikes in Somalia, economic growth in the region and stability, possible rivalries in the region, the role of international organizations, results of Turkey’s involvement in Ethiopia, and the issue of financial debt.

Short Bio:
Dr. Aleksi Ylönen (Ph.D. Autonomous University of Madrid, 2011) conducts research for the Center for International Studies, University Institute of Lisbon, on a project in which he monitors politics and peace and conflict issues in the Horn of Africa. Also a member of the African Studies Group of the Autonomous University of Madrid, he has held academic positions and taught extensively in several universities and higher education institutions in Europe and Africa. Dr. Ylönen’s research focuses on various aspects of politics and international relations of the greater Horn of Africa. He is currently co-editing The Routledge Handbook of the Horn of Africa and working on a volume discussing international dimensions of the region’s current political dynamics. Some of Dr. Ylönen’s recent publications include “Positivism or Understanding? The Complexity of Analyzing the Objectives of Armed Opposition Groups” (Critical Review, 2021), “The Dragon and the Horn: Reflections on China-Africa Strategic Relations” (Insight on Africa, 2020), and an edited volume The Horn of Africa since the 1960s (Routledge, 2017).

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