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  • Author: Mario Joyo Aguja, Hans Born, Arvind Verma, Aditya Batara Gunawan, Srisombat Chokprajakchat, Marleen Easton, Hartmut Aden, Peter Dillingh, Vic Hogg
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: As the primary agency for law enforcement, the police operates at close proximity to the public and exerts significant influence over the security of individuals and communities through its behaviours and performance. Therefore, ensuring accountability of both the individuals and institutions of the police is a fundamental condition for good governance of the security sector in democratic societies. The parliament, as the highest representative body in a democratic system, plays a significant role in maintaining police accountability. The objective of the edited volume on “The Role of Parliament in Police Governance: Lessons Learned from Asia and Europe” is to put forward good practices and recommendations for improving police accountability, with an emphasis on the strengthening of the role of parliament in police governance. The comparative analysis includes insights and lessons learned from eight country case studies including Belgium, Germany, India, Indonesia, the Netherlands, Philippines, Thailand and the United Kingdom. The findings of the cases studies can be taken into account when analysing and considering options for improving the accountability of the police to parliament as well as strengthening independent oversight bodies and parliament-police liaison mechanisms. However, it must be emphasised that these good practices always need to be adapted to the exigencies of the local context.
  • Topic: Security, Governance, Law Enforcement, Criminal Justice, State
  • Political Geography: Geneva, United Kingdom, Europe, Indonesia, India, Asia, Philippines, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Thailand
  • Author: Rafael-Andrés Velázquez-Pérez, Miguel-Ángel Michinel-Álvarez, Margaret Crahan, Gabriel Vignoli
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Institute for Latin American and Iberian Studies at Columbia University
  • Abstract: This manuscript originates from research initiated in 2010 at the University of Vigo in International Private Law with a specific focus on International Investment Law. The objective was to analyze the impact of the new paradigm of sustainability on this sphere of the law, with an emphasis on developing countries, and more specifically Cuba. This line of research has resulted in several publications intended for a Spanish-speaking scientific-juridical audience. Yet there is no scholarly work directly aimed at US investors as a prioritized target group. Being the first single Foreign Direct Investor in the world, and given its geopolitical and economic proximity, the US is bound to play a prime role in the field of investments in Cuba—despite political complications. As a consequence, we opted for a bilingual monograph on this topic with a dual purpose. The first part of the book, which is aimed at reaching a wide audience, examines the role played by foreign investment in Cuba and the country’s interest in attracting it by providing investors with a modern, stable, and coherent legal framework that is in line with current international standards. The second part of the book delves into specific technicalities of international investment law— with an emphasis on the conflict resolution system, which finds in arbitrage its main mechanism. This part, technical in nature, is not directly aimed at potential investors as much as their legal advisers, legal firms, arbitrators, and specialized scholarly communities—without whose input the success of foreign direct investment would be impossible. The text also engages critically with the specificities of US-Cuba relations in the context of Foreign Direct Investment. As shown in the first part of this monograph, it seems clear that the strategies pursued by different US administrations have thus far failed. It would be to the US’ benefit to forego the current policy of confrontation in favor of one of cooperation, as exemplified by the approaches taken by Latin America, xiv Europe, and Canada. The US should not lag, if it wants to attain a strategic position in the global repositioning toward the developing Cuban market. There is a need for targeted diplomatic and legislative efforts aimed at strengthening cooperation between the two countries in terms of investment. Among the challenges is the absence of a Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) between Havana and Washington. The obstacles faced by the Trump administration in the political, diplomatic, and financial sphere indicate that excessive isolationism and protectionism are not only counterproductive from a financial viewpoint, but they also imply for the US a loss of sovereignty and a diminished capacity to influence the international context. Should the US not change its current policy, it will be outperformed by other international actors such as the European Union and the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) as investors in Latin America and in Cuba.
  • Topic: Treaties and Agreements, Bilateral Relations, Foreign Direct Investment, Law, Economy, Legislation
  • Political Geography: Cuba, Latin America, Caribbean, United States of America
  • Author: Alica Kizeková
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Abstract: The year 2017 was the final year of the government of Bohuslav Sobotka (established in 2013 and made up of ČSSD [the Social Democrats], ANO 2011 and KDU-ČSL [the Christian and Democratic Union – Czechoslovak People’s Party]). While the political parties in this government had promised to provide stability and they achieved this goal throughout the majority of their term, from March 2017, political conflicts surrounding the leader of ANO 2011 and Minister of Finance Andrej Babiš had a major impact on the government’s stability. Parliamentarians requested an explanation of the financial activities of the leader of ANO 2011 and there were calls for his resignation. PM Sobotka offered to resign to facilitate the demise of the whole cabinet and thus remove Babiš from his post.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Elections, Domestic politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Czech Republic
  • Author: Jan Kovář, Zdeněk Sychra
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Abstract: In 2017, the Czech European policy faced a number of challenges related to the great events of previous years (the migration crisis, Brexit, security policy, Eurozone reform) as well as the ongoing reflection process of the EU. Above all, the Czech approach was a typical example of reactive behaviour, and characteristic of responding to external stimuli coming from EU. There were also partial topics about which proactive assertions were made by the Czech Republic. The polarisation between the individual actors of foreign policy was low, though with some exceptions pertaining to the President of the Republic. In contrast, as regards politicisation, the European agenda was an example of a highly politicised area, which was crucially reflected also in domestic policy. The coherence of the Czech European policy can be referred to as problematic, as the Czech Republic was not able to make a substantial move in its main conceptual priorities, but only in partial areas. Finally, the predominantly critical tone of the Czech discussion on the EU had contributed to the Czech Republic’s very low trust in the Union’s policy, posing a threat to the fulfilment of the key goals of the Czech foreign policy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Politics, Regional Cooperation, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Czech Republic, European Union
  • Author: Vít Dostál
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Abstract: Since the developments in Central Europe were very dynamic in 2017, the importance of the Visegrad co-operation, Poland, Austria and Slovakia in the Czech foreign policy has grown. The general elections in Austria, the judicial reform in Poland and the subsequent triggering of Article 7 of the Treaty of the EU against Poland, the Polish and Hungarian EU Presidencies and various EU dossiers, such as the dossier on the reform of the EU’s asylum system, would all suggest that the Czech Republic should have paid more attention to the region. However, the Czech Republic chose rather a free-riding and adaptational approach toward it, and in some cases, it has shown disinterest in its policy vis-à-vis the region. There were fewer political contacts with and initiatives related to the other V4 states than in the previous years, and the Czech foreign policy was not able to address major dilemmas of the Central European policy. Interestingly, at the same time, the importance of the region was reflected in a higher politicisation and polarisation of the issues related to the Visegrad Group, Poland and Hungary.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Regional Cooperation, Reform, European Union, Asylum
  • Political Geography: Poland, Hungary, Austria, Czech Republic, Central Europe, Slovakia
  • Author: Jana Urbanovská
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Abstract: In 2017 the Czech-German relations were marked by the anniversaries of the Czech-German Declaration (1997) and the Treaty of Good Neighbourship and Friendly Cooperation (1992). Their dynamics in that year were under the considerable influence of the parliamentary elections in both the Czech Republic and Germany. This led to a decline in the development of their bilateral relations at the top political level, both before the elections due to their focusses on their respective domestic political agendas, and after the elections, owing to the demanding post-election negotiations. Nevertheless, their sectoral, practically-oriented co-operation continued intensively at a lower level. It was substantial especially in the areas of defence policy, science and research, and transport infrastructure. In the field of economic co-operation there was the ongoing, exceptionally favourable trend of the growing Czech-German foreign trade. However, the dependency of the Czech economy on the German economy had increased, and the income gap between their respective citizens had not become narrower. In the context of European policy, there was an undesirable rift between the Czech and German standpoints in regard to a number of points on the Union agenda. As regards the issues of the past, there was a continuing trend of normalising the mutual relations and a subsiding of the politicisation of these issues.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government, Bilateral Relations, Elections
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany, Czech Republic
  • Author: Monika Brusenbauch Meislová, Eliska Tomalova
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Abstract: Both France and the United Kingdom (the UK) occupy a stable position in the Czech Republic’s foreign relations. Both countries have had asymmetrical and pragmatic relationships with the Czech Republic in the last decade, which were mostly influenced by the multilateral context of European integration. The recent developments on the British political scene and the Brexit process have changed the general atmosphere of the Czech-British relations on the one hand and opened a new space for the changing role of France in the European Union on the other. However, at the end of 2017 it was still unclear how precisely these changes would influence the bilateral relations. Thus a major characteristic of the Czech relations with Great Britain and France in the year 2017 was a strong element of continuity in a changing context, as it was a year of mutual observations and expectations between the three states.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Politics, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe, France, Czech Republic
  • Author: Tomáš Dopita, Daniel Heler, Kristýna Tamchynová
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Abstract: Similarly to the previous years, in 2017 most of the Czech foreign political actors kept to the strategic notion that they support the efforts of Serbia, other Western Balkan countries and Turkey to integrate with the European Union as a means of ensuring stability, the democratic rule of law and prosperity in Southeastern Europe.2 However, in regard to this matter, the Czech actors themselves were divided between those tending towards a rhetorically offensive foreign policy and those striving to co-operate in the institutional structures of the EU, NATO, and other international organisations. The Czech foreign policy towards the Balkans and Turkey also had to cope with problems stemming from the geopolitical rivalry of the EU (or the West) with Russia, instability in the Middle East, migration, the unfolding of the authoritative turn in Turkey, terrorism, the faltering of the EU integration and enlargement process, and the multiple sore points reminiscent of the Yugoslav wars. The South-East dimension, nonetheless, remained an essential aspect of the Czech foreign policy. Besides, this area has recently attracted rising volumes of Czech investments, and the mutual trade with it has been steadily growing.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Migration, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Balkans, Czech Republic, Mediterranean
  • Author: Karel Svoboda
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Abstract: In 2017, the Czech foreign policy towards the Eastern Partnership countries continued in the trends of the preceding years. Nevertheless, both the Czech parliamentary elections and the pre-election campaigns for the 2018 presidential elections seriously limited the interest of Czech politicians in the problems of foreign policy. As in previous years, the Czech Republic conducted its foreign policy towards the Eastern Partnership countries through three basic channels: the EU, bilateral relations and the civil society sector. On the EU level, the Eastern Partnership summit in Brussels was the main event of the year regarding the EaP, with the Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka taking part in it. In the bilateral relations, Moldova’s Prime Minister Pavel Filip visited Prague, while unlike in the previous years, the Prime Minister did not pay a visit to any of the EaP countries (this was the case with both the original Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and his successor Andrej Babiš). Moreover, Miloš Zeman also did not carry out any official visit to the EaP countries during the year. As a result, the main burden of the EaP policies was, as in the previous years, laid on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Civil Society, Bilateral Relations, European Union, Partnerships
  • Political Geography: Europe, Czech Republic
  • Author: Jan Hornát
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Abstract: The year 2017 was mainly a transition year for Czech foreign policy towards the United States, as the Czech side was gradually getting acquainted with and monitoring the positions and perspectives of the new administration. President Trump’s often ambivalent rhetoric regarding transatlantic relations and various multilateral frameworks has brought increased uncertainty as to what role Washington intends to play in the world and how it plans to co-operate with its global partners. Due to personnel changes in key offices in the executive branch of the US government, higher-level bilateral security, foreign policy and economic dialogues between the Czech Republic and the US did not take place during the year, albeit with a positive outlook for their resumption in 2018. During 2017, a part of the bilateral agenda consisted of preparations for the commemoration of one hundred years of official ties between the two countries, which will be celebrated throughout 2018. The bilateral trade with the US increased but ended with a deficit for the Czech side. The two countries’ defence and security co-operation can also be rated as strengthened mainly due to the continuing activities of the Czech Republic in the Middle East.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Europe, North America, Czech Republic, United States of America