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  • Author: Rajni Bakshi
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relation
  • Abstract: Degrowth as a creative goal does not sit well in most societies today. But water is a key to fostering new imaginaries because it most starkly manifests the risk of forced and chaotic degrowth-as-collapse. By 2040 an estimated 33 countries, including USA, China and India, will face severe water scarcity. India had a rich heritage of elaborate traditional technologies and modes of social organisation that ensured adequate and reliable supply of water even in arid regions. Many of these old community-based systems of watershed management and storage withered away as water was transformed from a sacred gift to just a ‘resource’ that could be privatised and/or controlled by governments. Today while local water-shed management is supported by government policy this tends to be overwhelmed by large projects that add more directly to GDP growth. Nevertheless, over the last quarter of a century, a wide variety of civil society and academic interventions in India have attempted to revive, or document, the multi-dimensional wisdom on which pre- modern societies based their relationship to water.
  • Topic: Economics, Water, Climate Finance
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Rajni Bakshi
  • Publication Date: 07-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relation
  • Abstract: Indian business—perhaps even society at large—is currently buoyed by the expectation that we are entering a period of sustained economic growth that might finally make poverty a problem of the past. In this context, it might seem counter-intuitive to draw attention to the possibility of a decelerating global economy and projections about reversals in human well-being. However, there is mounting evidence to show that the prevailing models of economic growth cannot continue unchecked to the end of the 21st century. Apart from the truism that infinite growth is not possible on a finite planet, the accelerating impacts of climate change are set to play havoc with a reliable supply of many natural resources—including food. Unless growth is redefined, degrowth will be forced upon the global economy, as a consequence of chaotic instability in eco-systems and due to the brittleness of political, social, and economic systems
  • Topic: Global Recession, Reconstruction, Reform, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: India, Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: Confronted with a challenging security environment, the Japanese government formulated a “National Security Strategy” in 2013 and then amended the National Defense Program Guidelines (NDPG) and the Medium Term Defense Program (MTDP) accordingly. To ensure a seamless response to any situation threatening the nation’s security and prosperity, the Cabinet adopted a resolution in July of last year regarding the legal foundations for security (security legislation). Against this backdrop, the Guidelines for Japan-US Defense Cooperation (“the Guidelines”) were revised and efforts made to pass the proposed security legislation.
  • Topic: International Security
  • Political Geography: Japan
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: This Research Group will assess the new security legislation and the revised Guidelines, and conduct reality checks of Japan’s new security policy and the Japan-US alliance. In carrying out studies/research on the implications of enacting security legislation and revising the US-Japan Guidelines, this Research Group will work with the two regional research groups being set up independently and simultaneously to jointly carry out the simulations that are the central focus of this project
  • Topic: International Security
  • Political Geography: Japan
  • Author: Denis Hadžović, Mirela Hodović, Benjamin Plevljak
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: The Centre For Security Studies
  • Abstract: Exploring the role and status of women in Bosnia and Herzegovina is difficult, especially when it comes to the representation of women in the security sector institutions. Following the adoption of the Action Plan for the Implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on "Women, Peace and Security” progress has been made regarding the inclusion of a greater number of women in substantive roles in the security sector institutions in BiH. However, the analysis carried out reveals that the majority of these institutions still do not meet the minimum standard set for minority gender representation in government institutions (40%). Traditional views and prejudices about the understanding of gender roles are believed to still negatively affect the ability of many girls and women to build professional careers in areas such as defence and the police. Awareness and understanding of the importance of gender equality principles, both of individual security institutions and the entire system in general, should help address these barriers to entry and enable the greater acceptance of women in all fields of work.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, International Security
  • Political Geography: Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Author: Aida Kržalić
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: The Centre For Security Studies
  • Abstract: From the security point of view, we can identify two main purposes as to why state authorities seek to use the secret data collection. The use of secret data collection may be to improve national security, prevent risks and threats to the security of citizens, national security, society, institutions, economic and other vital interests of society and the state from the various terrorist and extremist groups. Considering that this is a preventive activity, these actions are characteristics of intelligence and security agencies. It is important to emphasize that with these kind of activities, intelligence and security agencies are reaching "for collection of data and information on the activities, plans and intentions of various domestic and foreign, state and non-state actors, their processing and analysis are a very important segment that is often neglected in our country, which is the timely dissemination of information to the different users" (Petrovic 2015: 15).
  • Topic: International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Author: Sofija Mandić
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: The Centre For Security Studies
  • Abstract: Citizens of the Western Balkans have a high level of trust and confidence in the education system, the health system and the police. However, even in the case of institutions they trust most – such as the police, trusted on average by 58% of the population – many believe that they cannot be relied on. Rep- resentative bodies (the Parliament), the judiciary, the prosecutors’ offices and the media are trusted the least. In comparison with the survey conducted in 2015, trust in most key institutions has increased. The respondents see the average policewoman first as polite and good looking, and only then as a professional ready to perform her job. Male members of the police force are associated primarily with their professional engagement – protection of citizens, someone who is strong and trustworthy – and to some extent with behaviour and method of communication, whereas assessments concerning their physical appearance are completely absent.
  • Topic: National Security, Public Opinion
  • Political Geography: Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Author: Jamila Venturini, Luiza Louzada, Marilia Maciel, Nicolo Zingales, Konstantinos Stylianou, Luca Belli
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: American Assembly at Columbia University
  • Abstract: Nicolo Zingales and colleagues’ new report, Terms of Service and Human Rights: an Analysis of Online Platform Contracts, analyzes the Terms of Service of 50 online platforms and assesses how they deal with the human rights to freedom of expression, privacy, and due process.
  • Topic: Intellectual Property/Copyright, Information Age
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Alexander Henley
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Lebanese religious leaders are often treated as authentic representatives of their sects and are given broad powers over religious affairs. However, their leadership is not organic, nor are they necessarily popular, as these individuals are trained and selected by elite institutions. These figures do not incite sectarian hatred, and even aim to reduce it, but the way they are empowered and their monopoly on spiritual matters inhibit social integration among various religious communities and reinforce sectarian divisions.
  • Topic: Religion, Sectarianism, Authoritarianism
  • Political Geography: Lebanon
  • Author: Mark Lynch
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Arab Islamist parties faced exceptional challenges and opportunities following the 2011 uprisings. After decades of facing authoritarian regimes, they suddenly had to navigate in radically new domestic, regional, and intra-Islamist contexts. Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood had the most spectacular rise and fall, but its experience was atypical of other Islamist parties, which adapted more successfully. These changes overhauled the structure, ideology, and strategy of these parties in ways that unsettled long-standing expectations about their ideas and behavior.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Popular Revolt
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Author: Mark Ferchen
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: China’s expanding global economic and geopolitical role has spawned a growing divide between those who portray the country’s rise as a force for prosperity and peace and those who depict it as an assertive, mercantilist threat. Such conflicting paradigms oversimplify the complex political economy of the country’s international relations. These flawed frameworks reflect a lack of boundary-breaking thinking, research, and policymaking that can account for the interaction between the economic and geopolitical aspects of China’s rise. Recognizing such shortcomings is the first step toward better understanding and constructive engagement with China.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Rashad Hasanov
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Center for Economic and Social Development (CESD)
  • Abstract: In August, the exchange rate of national currency of Azerbaijan-“Manat” beat all historical records. That is to say, the exchange rate was 1 USD= 1.61 Manat in previous month . It should be noted that, the exchange rate hit 1 USD= 1.6 Manat in March, 2016. Since the second half of 2014, due to the fall of oil prices in the world markets there is a visible pressure on the national currency ‘Manat’. Overall, the Azerbaijani “Manat” lost 49.6% of its value in 2015 and in addition, a depreciation of more than 3% in the first 8 months of 2016, the losses could reach 52.2%. Although the occurring rapid dollarization and the observed stagnation in the business environment especially in imports in the first months of 2015 and 2016 resulted in short-term reduction in foreign exchange demand in the March-May period of this year and strengthening the exchange rate of USD/Manat at the level of 1.49, the process of depreciation proceeded again afterwards.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, Finance
  • Political Geography: Azerbaijan
  • Author: Cristina Juan Carrion, Leman Orujova
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Center for Economic and Social Development (CESD)
  • Abstract: The trade relations between Azerbaijan and the European Union are a substantial part of enhancing economic and political relations among both parties. Recent years have been characterized by an expansion of the trade volume between two parties; the EU turned out to be Azerbaijan’s biggest trade partner, in terms of both imports and exports. Moreover, trade in services and foreign direct investment relations were also on rise. On the other hand, Azerbaijan is one of the main energy suppliers of the European Union among European Neighborhood countries and is a key partner to guarantee energy security.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Azerbaijan
  • Author: Cristina Juan Carrion
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Center for Economic and Social Development (CESD)
  • Abstract: During the course of 2015 Azerbaijan suffered the impact of two devaluations of the national currency, Azerbaijani Manat (AZN), due to the decrease of the world oil prices. Given that oil and natural gas accounts for more than 90% of Azerbaijani exports, continued low world oil prices had a critical negative impact on the Azerbaijani economy. The current situation has led Azerbaijan to establish new priorities that could help restructure the financial system at this critical moment. The drastic change in the economic outlook of the country has created the need to open a wider window to the European Union (EU) in order to overcome the current economic downturn.
  • Topic: Finance, Financial Markets
  • Political Geography: Azerbaijan
  • Author: Bart Hilhorst
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Regional Studies: CIRS
  • Abstract: Ongoing expansions of hydro-infrastructure in the Nile basin, combined with infrastructure completed in the past decade, are increasing the capacity to regulate the Nile as well as the benefits accrued to the Nile waters. No longer reliant on funding from the World Bank and Western donors alone, Nile water development is accelerating in a number of upstream riparian states. Hence, the river Nile upstream of the Aswan High Dam is gradually being transformed from a natural to a regulated river. Hydro-infrastructure projects represent a strong driver for issue-based cooperation among the most affected riparians, but it is noted that the basin- wide perspective is not considered in these ad hoc arrangements. This paper describes the emerging cooperative regime in the Nile basin and analyzes its effectiveness. It presents an inventory of where cooperation among Nile riparians is needed, and discusses the required level of cooperation. It looks at the benefits of cooperation that are not related to a specific geographic area. The paper then identifies four distinct sub-basins that have substantial autonomy in managing their water resources. It concludes that the emerging cooperative setup is logical and for now quite effective, and does not lock in arrangements that may prove inconsistent—at a later point in time—with the overall objective of reasonable and equitable use of the Nile waters by each riparian state. Hence, the emerging cooperative regime arguably represents a positive step in the evolution from a basin without cooperation to a basin managed to optimize the use of the Nile waters for the benefit of its people.
  • Topic: Environment, Climate Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa, Egypt
  • Author: Richard Vedder
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Independent Institute
  • Abstract: Like most economics professors, I have spent my academic lifetime examining the economic and public policy effects of issues involving the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services—political economy, if you will. There is, however, a “political economy” to the very act of producing and disseminating economic knowledge and examining public policies. And that political economy and my assessment of it has changed over a career spanning more than half a century. In this brief article, I will confine my attention mostly to the research dimension and look at five issues, most relating to the political economy of the study of political economy.
  • Topic: Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Gary Kleck, Mark Gertz
  • Publication Date: 06-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Independent Institute
  • Abstract: Crime victims used to be ignored by criminologists. Then, beginning slowly in the 1940s and more rapidly in the 1970s, interest in the victim’s role in crime grew. Yet a tendency to treat the victim as either a passive target of another person’s wrongdoing or as a virtual accomplice of the criminal limited this interest. The concept of the victim precipitated homicide highlighted the possibility that victims were not always blameless and passive targets, but that they sometimes initiated or contributed to the escalation of a violent interaction through their own actions, which they often claimed were defensive.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Crime
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Marc Lynch
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS)
  • Abstract: Turkey has been in the news repeatedly in 2016, from the coup attempt of July to the subsequent government purges to its renewed fight against the PKK and crackdown on Kurdish populations. However surprising these developments may appear for an outside observer, they are deeply rooted in the history of the Turkish state, the evolution of the ruling Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi, AKP), and the complex identity politics of the region. In October, more than a dozen scholars of Turkish politics gathered at Rice University’s Baker Institute in Houston for a Project on Middle East Political Science workshop to delve into some of these underlying themes. The memos produced for that workshop have been published individually on the POMEPS website and the full collection is now available as a free download here. The authors in this collection provide rich context, new data, and sharp analysis of the nuanced challenges facing the country and the region today
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Marc Lynch
  • Publication Date: 08-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS)
  • Abstract: The Arab world never seemed more unified than during the incandescent days of the 2011 Arab uprisings. Tunisia’s revolution clearly and powerfully inspired Arabs everywhere to take to the streets. Egypt’s January 25 uprising that led to the removal of Hosni Mubarak taught Arab citizens and leaders alike that victory by protestors could succeed. The subsequent wave of protests involved remarkable synergies that could not plausibly be explained without reference to transnational diffusion. Bahrainis, Yemenis and Jordanians alike attempted to replicate the seizure and long-term encampments in Egypt’s Tahrir Square and protestors across the Arab world chanted the same slogans and waved the same signs.
  • Topic: International Security, Political stability
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Marc Lynch
  • Publication Date: 07-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS)
  • Abstract: The Arab uprisings triggered a fierce regional countermobilization by threatened regimes and the elites who benefited from the status quo. This resurgent autocracy did simply restore the old order, however. It created new forms of populist mobilization and established new relationships among civil and military state institution. In May 2016, the Project on Middle East Political Science and Oxford University’s Middle East Center convened a workshop to dig deeply into the new regional politics generated by the authoritarian reconstruction.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Counter-terrorism
  • Political Geography: Middle East