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  • Author: Eduardo Viola, Leonardo Paz Neves
  • Publication Date: 05-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Brazilian Center for International Relations (CEBRI)
  • Abstract: In December 2015, members of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) gathered in Paris at the 21st Conference of Parties (COP). Expectations regarding the Conference were high: having failed to agree on a legally binding treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol at COP 15, in Copenhagen, when expectations were very high because of the new climate friendly presidency of Obama and the possibility of a shift in the Chinese position, and in 2012, when the first commitment period of the Protocol expired, members settled COP 21 as the new deadline. Achievements of the Conference, especially the Paris Agreement, will be judged differently depending from the point of view.
  • Topic: Climate Change, International Cooperation, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Lindsey. W Ford
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Asia Society
  • Abstract: ON JANUARY 20, 2017, AMERICA’S FIRST “PACIFIC PRESIDENT” WILL DEPART OFFICE. Many Asian observers fear that America’s regional commitments will depart along with him. The election of Donald Trump raises more questions than answers for Asian leaders eager to under- stand the nature of U.S. engagement in the region in the future. There has been a remarkable history of consistency and bipartisanship in the U.S. approach to Asia over many decades. But this election has upended many assumptions about U.S. policy in ways that leave foreign policy experts, both in the United States and abroad, unsure of what to expect next. President-elect Trump has made clear that few things will be “business as usual” for the future. Several of his proposals, including withdrawing the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, and annulling U.S. ratification of the Paris Climate Agreement would reverberate across the region and mark a significant about-face in U.S. policy. Other proposals, less directly related to Asia, such as suspending immigration from certain Muslim nations, would also have implications for Asian countries with significant Muslim majorities or minorities.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Organization, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: J. Jackson Ewing
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Asia Society
  • Abstract: FACING UP TO CLIMATE CHANGE IS A KEY CHALLENGE OF OUR TIME. We are on pace in 2016 to again record the warmest global temperatures ever measured; a distinction that now appears to be an annual occurrence. Weather is becoming less predictable, storms more intense, and drought and flooding more pervasive. This destroys livelihoods, impedes economic progress, and undermines the sustainable development gains we are working hard to achieve. Slowing down and ultimately reversing climate change requires us to lower our greenhouse gas emissions. And effectively pricing carbon emissions is a vital place to start. Pricing carbon through markets creates incentives, sets clear rules, and encourages regulated organizations to lower emissions in flexible ways that work for them. Like much in the current climate change arena, the main action on carbon markets is happening beneath the global scale. After years of chasing global mechanisms to price and trade carbon emissions credits, the landmark Paris Agreement of December 2015 both recognizes and provides political and policy space for efforts at local, state, and regional levels. The relevance of carbon markets is growing apace; almost doubling in scale since 2012 with forty states and twenty-three cities, regions, and provinces pricing emissions worth some $50 billion.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, International Trade and Finance, Climate Finance
  • Political Geography: Asia, Global Focus
  • Author: Kevin Rudd
  • Publication Date: 08-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Asia Society
  • Abstract: As the world faces a slew of complicated challenges and the international community comes together to select the next UN Secretary General, there is renewed debate about the role of the UN in international affairs. In UN 2030: Rebuilding Order in a Fragmenting World, Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI) President Kevin Rudd argues that the UN continues to matter. The report makes the case that if the UN fails, falters, or fades away, it would fundamentally erode the stability of an already fragile global order. At the same time, Rudd contends, we tend to take the UN for granted, overlooking the reality that its continued existence is not inevitable. The UN, while not yet broken, is in trouble. The report concludes, however, that the UN is capable of reinventing itself. This requires not one-off reforms but a continual process of reinvention to ensure the institution is responding to the policy challenges of our time.
  • Topic: United Nations, International Affairs, Political Theory, Geopolitics, Political and institutional effectiveness
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Harsha Singh, Anuphav Gupta
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Asia Society
  • Abstract: At a time of slowing global economic growth, the international community needs to fully tap all the sources of new dynamism and demand available in the world today. India, the world’s fastest-expanding major economy, holds the potential to shore up growth in both the Asia- Pacific region and globally. For that potential to be realized, however, India’s domestic reforms and integration with the Asian and world economies need to progress more rapidly. The advent of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement offers much hope of reinvigorating trade growth in the Asia-Pacific region once it comes into force, but the TPP does not include India. The first and necessary step toward greater Indian participation in Asian trade and investment flows is membership in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum. It is a step whose time has come, for India, for APEC, and for the international economy.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Armin Kržalić
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Centre For Security Studies
  • Abstract: The second round of the public opinion survey "The Citizens’ Opinion of the Police Force" was conducted in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia and Serbia. The questionnaire based on which the public opinion survey was conducted was devised by the regional network POINTPULSE to provide answers concerning the citizens’ opinion of the police. The ques- tionnaire included six groups of questions: 1. The level of citizens’ trust and confidence in institutions; 2. The perception of the police as an institution, but also of policemen and policewomen as in- dividuals; 3. The perception of corruption in the society and the police force; 4. Opinions of citizens regarding the fight against corruption; 5. Opinions of citizens on the work of civil society organisations; 6. Demographics.
  • Topic: National Security, Public Opinion
  • Political Geography: Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Author: Denis Hadžović
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Centre For Security Studies
  • Abstract: Since 1947, the Netherlands has participated in a number of UN peacekeeping operations and UN mandated mi- ssions. Besides the involvement in UN peacekeeping mi- ssions, the Netherlands also participates in NATO and EU missions. In Article 90, the Dutch Constitution (Nederlandse Gron- dwet) states that “The Government shall promote the de- velopment of the international legal order.”1 This article serves as a basis for Dutch involvement in peace and conflict prevention missions. This comes from historical pra- gmatism, with a long tradition of openness to the world and tolerance; the Netherlands are also deeply committed to Atlanticism and to the collective security system of the United Nations. This commitment is presented through the fact that the Netherlands, especially The Hague, are the hosts of headquarters of many international institutions, mainly those that serve the international legal order.
  • Topic: Peace Studies, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Scandinavia
  • Author: Dylan O'Driscoll
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Middle East Research Institute (MERI)
  • Abstract: The post-conflict planning following the 2003 invasion of Iraq was weak at best and as a result many elements were at play that led to the marginalisation and political disenfranchisement of the Sunni community. Consequently, radical entities, such as Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (IS), exploited local dynamics to take up a position within society in the Sunni areas of Iraq. It is important that the current fight against IS in Iraq avoids this pattern at all costs; if the liberation is devoid of long-term planning it will likely result in the resurfacing of a number of issues responsible for the rise of IS in Iraq in the first place. Lessons must be learnt from the mistakes of post-Saddam planning and these must not be repeated post-IS. There needs to be a multifaceted approach to the preparation for the liberation of Mosul that goes well beyond the military dimension.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, International Security
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for International and Regional Studies: CIRS
  • Abstract: During the second half of the twentieth century, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) was hit by a demographic wave that saw its youth population grow at an unprecedented rate. This youth bulge spurred national and international debate regarding the challenges and opportunities that the youth cohort brings to the region. The potential that young people have—either as agents of positive change or instability—was illustrated during the Arab uprisings. In the wake of the unrest, there is a need to expand our collective understanding of the lives of young people in the MENA region, and to examine factors that affect their normative transitions to adulthood. The narrative around Middle Eastern youth often centers on their social, political, and economic exclusion and marginalization. Living through decades of authoritarian rule and political instability, youth in the Middle East have struggled to fulfill their aspirations related to citizenship, livelihood, and social and political participation. Given the continued jobs crisis in the Middle East, where youth generally experience high rates of unemployment and where labor market activity, particularly among young women, remains strikingly low, understanding the economic exclusion of youth and the various means by which to redress it remain significant.
  • Topic: Political Theory, Youth Culture, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Wendy Leutert, François Godement
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: European Council On Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: It is merger season again in China, as evidenced by the sources drawn on in this special issue of China Analysis. But who really knows why? Our contributor Wendy Leutert points out how the government’s goals have shifted within the last year alone. In September 2015, new guidelines emphasising the importance of separating state suppliers of public goods from more commercial state firms suggested a possible shift towards the latter having to play by the rules of the market. Today, the more traditional goal of mopping up excess supply and inefficient companies seems to have taken over.
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China