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  • Author: Juan Zarate
  • Publication Date: 07-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Juan Zarate, with a foreword from Stewart Baker, looks forward to the future as cyberattacks and intrusions become increasingly common weapons in the ever-expanding toolkit of state and non-state actors.
  • Topic: International Security, Cybersecurity
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: On May 12, 2016, the United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, and the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment hosted a one-day workshop on international investment and the rights of indigenous peoples. This outcome document synthesizes the discussions that took place during the May 12 workshop. The workshop was part of a series of consultations undertaken to support the Special Rapporteur’s second thematic analysis on the impact of international investment agreements on the rights of indigenous peoples (available here). Held at the Ford Foundation in New York, the workshop brought together 53 academics, practitioners, indigenous representatives, and civil society representatives to explore strategies for strengthening the rights and interests of indigenous peoples in the context of international investment. The workshop provided an opportunity for participants to share their diverse perspectives, experiences, and insights regarding the intersection of international investment and human rights, and to discuss creative and pragmatic approaches to short and long-term reform of both the investment and human rights regimes, with the ultimate goal of ensuring that indigenous rights are respected, protected, and fulfilled.
  • Topic: International Relations, Human Rights, Post Colonialism
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 07-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: With support from GIZ, CCSI prepared a report titled “Linkages to the Resource Sector: The Role of Companies, Governments, and International Development Cooperation.” It outlines options for how these stakeholders can increase the economic linkages to the extractive industries sector not only in terms of ‘breadth’ (number of linkages) but also in terms of ‘depth’ (local value added). Apart from providing the theoretical framework for linkage creation and an overview of existing literature on this topic, the study highlights successful case study examples. Recommendations are provided for the three types of stakeholders.
  • Topic: Government, International Political Economy, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Kaitlin Y. Cordes
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Land-based investments can create significant grievances for local individuals or communities, and host governments seeking to address those grievances must navigate a complicated landscape of legal obligations and pragmatic considerations. This report, funded by UK aid from the Department for International Development, focuses on practical solutions for governments confronting grievances that arise from large-scale investments in agricultural or forestry projects. The report considers such solutions in the context of governments’ legal obligations, particularly those imposed by international investment law, international human rights law, and investor-state contracts. Understanding the implications of this diverse range of legal obligations is particularly important in light of investors’ growing recourse to international investment arbitration, which can expose a government to liability under an international investment treaty for actions that may be in the best interest of a country and its citizens. Analyzing such obligations is a useful first step for a government seeking to protect its citizens against the negative impacts of land-based investments.
  • Topic: International Development
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Agricultural investment contracts can be complex, with complicated provisions that are difficult to understand. This Guide provides explanations for a range of common provisions, and includes a Glossary of legal and technical terms. It assists non-lawyers in better understanding agricultural investment contracts, such as those available on OpenLandContracts.org. The Guide was prepared by International Senior Lawyers Project staff and volunteers in collaboration with the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment.
  • Topic: Agriculture, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 06-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Fundación Alternativas
  • Abstract: Informe en español. Versión pasapáginas aquí.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Date: 06-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Fundación Alternativas
  • Abstract: The 4th Report on the State of the European Union –”Europe at the political crossroads”– is published as a contribution to a campaign to relaunch the EU, motivated by the belief that the serious problems with which the Union is currently grappling can only be resolved if we address the political challenges it faces. The publication of this report coincides with perhaps the most difficult moment for the Union since its creation. With the EU still struggling to overcome the drastic impact of the economic crisis, it is threatened by the storm clouds of another recession or, at the very least, weak growth.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Ana Belén Sánchez
  • Publication Date: 05-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Fundación Alternativas
  • Abstract: Hace unos años propuse que entre los Informes que la Fundación Alternativas dedica a los grandes temas de nuestro país y de Europa –la Democracia, la Desigualdad, la Unión Europea, la Cultura– no podía faltar uno consagrado a la Sostenibilidad.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Jessica Lewis McFate, Harleen Gambhir
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: The next forty-five days constitute a high-risk period for a surge of attacks by ISIS during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. ISIS traditionally uses Ramadan – which begins on June 6 and ends on July 5, 2016 - as a justification for its attacks and as an occasion to reorient its strategy. This year, ISIS will likely take action to reverse serious losses in Iraq and Syria while expanding its attacks against the non-Muslim world in an attempt to spark an apocalyptic total war. ISIS is still operationally capable in its core terrain and stands poised to expand its operations over the next six weeks, particularly in Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan. This forecast will outline the most likely and most dangerous targets that ISIS may seek to operate against during Ramadan
  • Topic: International Security
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Jennifer Cafarella, Genevieve Casagrande
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: International negotiations to reach a political settlement in Syria have resumed, although serious challenges remain to reaching a political settlement. The talks follow two weeks of a “cessation of hostilities” in which the Russian air campaign in Syria decreased notably, though it did not entirely cease. Putin announced that he would withdraw some airframes from Syria on March 15, incentivizing both Assad and the opposition to engage in Geneva. Major opposition demands such as the removal of Syrian President Bashar al Assad from office have not been met, however, and Syrian regime officials have not conceded that there should be an immediate release of political prisoners. Reaching a political deal in Geneva under these conditions will therefore be difficult. The conditions in which the Geneva negotiations are taking place still strongly favor the regime, indicating that a transitional government, if formed, likely will fail to reconcile most Sunni armed actors with the government. The result could actually increase the jihadist threat while miring the U.S. and regional states in political turmoil in Damascus.
  • Topic: International Security
  • Political Geography: Syria