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  • Author: P. Whitney Lackenbauer, Suzanne Lalonde, Viatcheslav Gavrilov, P. Whitney Lackenbauer, Alexander Sergunin, Troy Bouffard, Andrea Charron, Jim Fergusson, Robert Huebert, Suzanne Lalonde
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: Canada and Russia are the geographical giants, spanning most of the circumpolar world. Accordingly, the Arctic is a natural area of focus for the two countries. The region plays strongly into their identity politics, with leaders often invoking sovereignty and security frames to drum up support for investments in this “frontier of destiny.”1 The purported need to protect sovereign territory and resources from foreign encroachment or outright theft, backed by explicit appeals to nationalism, can produce a siege mentality that encourages a narrow, inward-looking view. Although the end of the Cold War seemed to portend a new era of deep cooperation between these two Arctic countries, lingering wariness about geopolitical motives and a mutual lack of knowledge about the other’s slice of the circumpolar world are conspiring to pit Canada and the Russian Federation as Arctic adversaries. Are Russian and Canadian Arctic policies moving in confrontational direction? Can efforts at circumpolar cooperation survive the current crisis in Russian-Western relations, or does an era of growing global competition point inherently to heightened Arctic conflict?
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Sovereignty, International Security, Territorial Disputes, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia, Canada, North America, Arctic
  • Author: Oleksandr Lytvynenko, Philipp Fluri, Valentyn Badrack
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: This comprehensive collection of Ukrainian legislation on the Security Sector serves two purposes: it gives Ukrainian and Western experts an overview of what legal documents already exist in Ukraine; and serves as a tool for identifying possibilities for adaptations to the law.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Sovereignty, Territorial Disputes, Governance, Law, Military Affairs, Conflict, Legislation
  • Political Geography: Geneva, Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Petr Kratochvil, Karel Svoboda
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Abstract: Amid the ever-higher tensions between the West and Russia, the Czechs became more active on the political level in 2017, with the highlight being the official visit of President Zeman to Russia. However, several structural factors prevented this flurry of political activity from turning into tangible political or economic results. First, the ongoing sanction regime and Russia’s aggressive stance in the neighbourhood rendered any deeper economic or political co-operation difficult to achieve. Second, the focus on internal issues (the then upcoming presidential elections in both countries) made foreign policy a mere pawn in the domestic political games. Third, while President Zeman confirmed his role as one of the most vocal advocates of President Putin, the continuing polarisation of the public opinion as well as the re-grouping of Czech anti-Kremlin forces limited his influence on the day-to-day Czech policy vis-à-vis Russia.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, Politics, Domestic politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Czech Republic
  • Author: Lukáš Dyčka
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Abstract: The Czech foreign security and defence policy in 2017 was influenced mainly by the Russian threat, terrorism and migration – nevertheless, Brexit and the new US administration under President Trump were also important external drivers for it. These factors resulted in various steps taken within the Czech defence sector. The policy faced changes ranging from renewals of strategic documents, an increased defence budget, the high (yet still problematic) support from the public and rising numbers of Armed Forces personnel to problems with the age structure within both the military and the civilian part of the defence sector. Finally, the foreign security policy will likely be heavily influenced by the results of the parliamentary elections in October 2017 and also by the new government of Andrej Babiš, but this is rather to be expected in 2018.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Migration, Terrorism, Armed Forces
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Czech Republic, United States of America
  • Author: Lukáš Tichý
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Abstract: In 2017, the Czech Republic focussed mainly on the issue of strengthening energy security, both within the EU and the V4, and bilaterally in its relations with Germany, Austria, Russia, USA and France. In this context, the politicisation of the Czech discourse regarding the external dimension of energy security has been rather limited. Similarly, the polarisation of the Czech external dimension of the energy security discourse has also been limited. Despite this, the Czech government has relatively successfully tried to maintain a unified position in its energy policies, which is why in this case we can talk about a coherence within time, and across different players, as well as through the declared priorities of both the government and the EU. Last, but not least, the Czech Republic was supportive of creating common policies based on its proactive approach and co-operative position. The Czech Republic also adapted to external politics in the area of energy – which was the result of its reactive approach and neutral position.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, France, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, United States of America
  • Author: Alessandro Stanziani
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Berghahn Books
  • Abstract: For the first time, this book provides the global history of labor in Central Eurasia, Russia, Europe, and the Indian Ocean between the sixteenth and the twentieth centuries. It contests common views on free and unfree labor, and compares the latter to many Western countries where wage conditions resembled those of domestic servants. This gave rise to extreme forms of dependency in the colonies, not only under slavery, but also afterwards in form of indentured labor in the Indian Ocean and obligatory labor in Africa. Stanziani shows that unfree labor and forms of economic coercion were perfectly compatible with market development and capitalism, proven by the consistent economic growth that took place all over Eurasia between the seventeenth and the nineteenth centuries. This growth was labor intensive: commercial expansion, transformations in agriculture, and the first industrial revolution required more labor, not less. Finally, Stanziani demonstrates that this world did not collapse after the French Revolution or the British industrial revolution, as is commonly assumed, but instead between 1870 and 1914, with the second industrial revolution and the rise of the welfare state.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Labor Issues, Capitalism, Industrialization
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eurasia, Indian Ocean
  • Author: Hans Mouritzen (ed), Nanna Hvidt (ed)
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This year's volume presents the official outline of Denmark's foreign policy in 2012 by Claus Grube, Permanent Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. Besides that Ravinder Kaur contributes with the first academic inquiry into the causes of the Danish-Indian diplomatic deadlock in the extradition case concerning Niels Holck (the prime accused in the Purulia arms drop case). Mette Skak addresses the role of the emerging BRICS powers (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) in Danish foreign policy and offers her policy recommendations. Hans Branner shifts to a diachronic perspective. In his article about Denmark 'between Venus and Mars' he stresses elements of continuity in Danish foreign policy history; activism is not solely a post-Cold War phenomenon. Derek Beach turns to the scene of the current European economic crisis, analysing and interpreting the Fiscal Compact agreed during the Danish EU Presidency.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Economics, International Affairs, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, India, South Africa, Brazil, Denmark
  • Author: Erik Sportel (ed), Vasili Tchkoidze (ed)
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Centre for European Security Studies
  • Abstract: Since the 2003 Rose Revolution, Georgia has undertaken serious reforms, moving the country towards becoming a democracy anda market economy. Instead of proceeding at a steady pace, Georgia haschosen to take an accelerated path to reform. Since coming to office,the Saakashvili administration has underlined its ambition to bring Georgia into Euro-Atlantic structures. After an energetic start, Georgia ran into difficulties in late 2007 and 2008. During this period, the democratic credentials of the Saakashvili government were put to the test for the first time.The government was faced with massive public demonstrations, to which it responded in a heavy-handed fashion. The security forces attacked protesters, and the government declared a state of emergency, blaming the unrest on Russia. Many domestic and foreign observers feared that Georgia was abandoning the road to democracy. However, the state of emergency was soon lifted, and the government called an early presidential election. International observers judged the election to be largely democratic, despite some irregularities, but opposition forces claimed that the president's results had been boosted by fraud. Mr Saakashvili won an absolute majority in the first round of polling. The subsequent parliamentary elections in the spring of 2008 gave the ruling United National Movement party a landslide victory. With 119 out of 150 seats, theparty currently holds a two-thirds majority in parliament. The two major opposition parties (winning 17 and six seats respectively) refused to take their seatsin parliament.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Civil Society, Democratization
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eastern Europe, Georgia