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Timeline Blog

STARTMay 2014
  • The Urban Regeneration Experience of the United Kingdom: Lessons for Turkey

    by Dr. Fatih EREN

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    The United Kingdom (UK) is the most experienced country regarding the theories, policies, strategies and practices of urban regenerations in the world. This study firstly outlines UK’s urban regeneration experience and then discusses how Turkey can benefit from this experience in the best way. The global financial crisis emerged in 2008 forced the UK to go a change in its national urban regeneration policy. Therefore, this paper has been divided into two parts as UK’s urban regeneration policy before and after 2010.

    UK’s Urban Regeneration Policy Before 2010

    Urban regenerations were largely dependent on public sector and so public finance. The central government, following a top-down approach, published national strategy papers which include general targets and policies. The government considered that these targets and policies might suit everywhere and everybody in the country. Housing policy and regeneration policy were considered and conducted together. This means that regenerations progressed based on the destruction of old houses, on the rehabilitation of decrepit houses and on the development of new social houses. Regenerations aimed to fill the growing gap between good-conditioned and bad-conditioned neighbourhoods.

    The government used three tools in this process:

    The Single Regeneration Budget (1994): This tool was the product of a belief that regenerations could be steered through public funds by the central government. This program was partly able to decrease bureaucracy through the simplification of the application process of local governments to public funds, which were created specifically for the realisation of urban regenerations.

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  • The South Caucasus: Obama’s Russia ‘Reset’ And Putin’s Doctrine

    by Mahir Khalifazadeh, Ph.D,*

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    The article reviews the key priorities of President Obama's 'reset' policy with Russia. The author analyzes the impact of the 'reset' policy on the South Caucasus. The region's strategic importance is emphasized for U.S. policy towards the Great Middle East and the post-Soviet space. The author discusses the failure of the "Russia reset" policy in improving America's interests particularly in the South Caucasus. The priorities of Putin's doctrine and the implications of the Crimean crises for the South Caucasus are evaluated as well. The author urges for new U.S. initiatives to enforce peace, international borders and America's strategic interests in the South Caucasus and Central Asia.


    Since the collapse of the USSR, the South Caucasus has become an arena for the powerful struggle between the West and Russia. The South Caucasus is of great importance for its geostrategic location and its access to Caspian's energy resources. Geographically, the region is a land bridge between the Black and Caspian Seas. Its proximity to the Middle East increases the South Caucasus' importance for both the U.S. and Israelis Middle East policies. The South Caucasus is also a sensitive region of the former Soviet Union space. The large energy resources of the Caspian increase the South Caucasus' role for Europe's and Israel's energy security.

  • After European Parliament Elections

    Dr. Dilek YİGİT

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    Elections to the European Parliament which is one of two wings of European Union legislative power, in other words, using European Union’s legislative competences with the Council of Ministers, were held on 22-25 May 2014. What makes these Parliament elections important is that this is the first Parliament election in the process in which the European Union is tackling Eurozone crisis; therefore, it also gives the opportunity to analyse how hard the impact of Eurozone crisis will be on European politics.

    Eurosceptic parties made big gains in the elections. Even though the control of European Parliament is presumed to be with the centre-right and the centre-left parties and Eurosceptics are split between left and right, Eurosceptic parties’ success is non-negligible.  With no doubt, Eurosceptic and far-right parties’ success will have an effect on the European Parliament’s legislative process; however, in any case the Parliament will share its legislative power with the Council of Ministers, therefore said effect won’t be as oppressive as the pro-Europeans fear. I would like to pinpoint something. If European Parliament were the only legislative power in the union, in other words, if it didn’t share its legislative power with the Council of Ministers formed by the member states representatives, the impact of the Eurosceptic and far-right’s advance would be more palpable. In consequence, judging by the European Parliament election results, “European Union is scattering” or “Integration movement is loosening up” cannot be considered as healthy thoughts. However, it would be much more accurate to comment on Euro-scepticism and anti-integration’s success by saying “it might decrease the acceleration of the integration movement”.

  • In Syria: Towards The Elections

    Dr. Dilek YİGİT

    basharal assad In Syria: Towards The Elections

    Being a result of both internal and external factors and these factors’s mutual interactions, a three-year-lasting civil war has come to a dead end in Syria.

    On one hand, contrary to what’s going on in Tunisia and Egypt, Assad’s regime fiercely resisting against so-called Arab Spring and an opposition not being able to gather under a single roof because they have different agenda for post Assad’s Syria and even fighting with other opposition groups; on the other hand, regional actors regarding Syria as a part of geostrategic game in the region and supporting different oppositional elements in the name of shaping so-called post Arab Spring reconstruction for their own interests and global actors’ politics strengthening Assad’s regime rather than  serving their own purposes have brought Syria to a deadlock.

    Under these conditions, we should be surprised for those who are shocked at the failure of the Cenevre II Conference. The process itself has given solid signals for the result/inconclusiveness of the conference (signals that the conference was doomed to failure). Rather than what and how they are going to talk, the prerequisite conditions for the meeting showed that there was no willpower for a solution.

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