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  • Author: Anton Eberhard, Katharine Nawaal Gratwick
  • Publication Date: 03-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Economic and social development depends critically on infrastructure, for which electricity may be among the most important inputs. Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has among the lowest rates of electricity access in the world - less than 30 percent. Furthermore, excluding South Africa, SSA is the only region for which per capita consumption of electricity is falling. The total installed capacity in the region amounts to less than South Korea's, and this limited supply is costly and unpredictable, imposing heavy tolls on social and economic development. It has been estimated that about 7,000 megawatts (MW) need to be added each year (2005-2015) to meet suppressed demand and provide additional capacity for electrification expansion. Such an investment would cost approximately $27 billion per year. Presently, funding to the electricity sector (for capital expenditure) is estimated at just $4.6 billion a year; hence, an annual funding gap of more than $20 billion exists. Public sources - utility income and fiscal transfers - contribute only about one-half of current capital investments, highlighting the urgent need for increased private investment, including public-private partnerships. Across Sub-Saharan Africa, the push towards private investment in electrical generation dates to the early 1990s, but the journey has not been smooth. Significant lessons may be identified, including: understanding the limited pool of investments, together with the importance of public stakeholders in equity and debt alike; the increasing application of partial risk guarantees (PRGs) to mobilize finance; and the emergence of more non-OECD partners. We note a number of success stories, including Kenya, South Africa and (potentially) Nigeria, whose policy innovations have replication potential in other Sub-Saharan African countries and beyond.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa, South Korea, South Africa, Nigeria
  • Author: Kevin Massy, John Banks
  • Publication Date: 03-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Most discussions on nuclear power in the Middle East in recent years have focused predominantly on Iran's suspected weapons program. However, the region is also home to another major nuclear-related trend: it is likely to play host to the first new nuclear energy states of the twenty-first century. While many countries in the broader Middle East have expressed interest in civil nuclear power, three–the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Turkey, and Jordan–have set firm tar- gets for its implementation by the end of this decade. If they are to reach these ambitious goals and if they are to develop and deploy safe, secure, and sustainable civil nuclear power programs, these countries will have to overcome a range of technical, institutional, and, most importantly, human-resource related challenges. Of the countries in the region, the UAE is by far the most advanced in the development of its program. Having made public its interest in civil nuclear power in a white paper in 2008, the country purchased four nuclear reactors the following year from a South Korean consortium and is aiming to have its first reactor connected to the grid in 2017, an extremely ambitious time frame for a newcomer nuclear energy state. Turkey has a long history of attempting to implement civil nuclear power, and its latest agreement with Russia for the provision of four reactors at Akkuyu on the Mediterranean coast is, by some counts, its sixth attempt at a commercial-scale program. However, there is good reason to believe that this time will be different for Ankara; the terms provided by Rosatom– the Russian state-controlled nuclear company that will finance, build, and operate the project–shield Turkey from a large amount of financial–if not operational–risk, and the Akkuyu project is due to be operational by 2020. Like Turkey, Jordan has a public goal of de- ploying its first nuclear reactor by the end of the decade. Having reduced its shortlist of nuclear vendors to two bidders (Rosatom and a French-Japanese consortium led by Areva and Mitsubishi), the Jordanian Atomic Energy Commission plans to make its final decision in time to start construction of its first plant by the end of 2013.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Turkey, Middle East, South Korea, Jordan, United Arab Emirates
  • Author: Klaus Dodds
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Arctic Council (AC) is an inter-governmental organization that, since its creation in 1996, has been widely recognized as one of the most progressive regional bodies in the world. The membership includes the eight Arctic states (A8), six permanent participants, and observer states such as the UK and Germany. From May 2013 onwards, there are also new permanent observers including China, India, Japan, and South Korea. The European Union's candidature has been delayed and subject to further review and assessment. The Council is chaired by one of the eight Arctic states for a two year period. The current chair is Canada (2013- 2015) and it will be followed by the United States (2015- 2017). The permanent participants, including the Inuit Circumpolar Council, Saami Council, and Aleut International Association, enjoy full consultative status and may address the meetings of the Council. Administrative support is provided by the Indigenous Peoples Secretariat (IPS), which is based in Copenhagen. The AC lies at the heart of debates about Arctic futures. It faces two challenges – institutional evolution and membership. For its supporters, the AC occupies center position in promoting an orderly and cooperative vision for the Arctic, but there is no shortage of commentary and punditry analyzing and predicting a rather different vision for the Arctic. As Paul Berkman asserted in the New York Times, under the heading “Preventing an Arctic Cold War,” there is little room for complacency. Berkman's analysis warned of Arctic and non-Arctic states being increasingly forced to confront difficult issues relating to policing, resource management, accessibility and navigability, alongside environmental protection. His suggestion at the end of the piece appeared, seemed rather odd, “[a]s the head of an Arctic superpower and a Nobel laureate, Mr. Obama should convene an international meeting with President Putin and other leaders of Arctic nations to ensure that economic development at the top of the world is not only sustainable, but peaceful.” Bizarrely, there is little analysis of how, and to what extent, the AC and other bodies, including the United Nations Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), are actively providing “rules of the road” (Berkman's phrase) for the Arctic region and beyond. This piece focuses on some issues that require further attention (such as the protection of the Arctic marine environment) while acknowledging how the AC has changed in the last few years. As a regional body, it operates in a strategic environment where few specialist observers believe that military conflict or destabilizing resource speculation is likely to prevail. Nonetheless, it is a work in progress with pressing demands to address. I will discuss debates about membership status and the institutional evolution to respond to experts' concerns about disasters (which might involve a shipping or drilling accident) and ongoing climate change, including manifestations such as sea ice thinning in the Arctic Ocean
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, United Kingdom, Canada, India, South Korea, Germany