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  • Author: Karine Lisbonne-de Vergeron
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: LSE IDEAS
  • Abstract: espite obvious differences, the EU’s most comprehensive partnership with an emerging power has been with China. This Strategic Update argues that this is partly due to China's identification with Europe's ancient culture and summarises current 'soft power' diplomacy.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Political Power Sharing
  • Political Geography: China, European Union
  • Author: Olivia Gippner
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: LSE IDEAS
  • Abstract: On the road to the Paris climate change conference in December 2015, what are the prospects for a deal among the key international players - the United States, China, and India? This Strategic Update asks what the EU can do to influence a higher level of ambition and continue to have a leadership role in the global climate community.
  • Topic: Climate Change
  • Political Geography: European Union
  • Author: Georgia Mavrodi
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: LSE IDEAS
  • Abstract: The idea of 'Fortress Europe' has dominated debates on EU immigration policies from the 1990s to current concerns in the Mediterranean. However, this focus on security and illegal migration has obscured important developments in EU policy on authorised migration. This strategic update analyses the construction of common EU policies that recognise the need for particular categories of international migrants.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: European Union
  • Author: Shinsuke Tomotsugu
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: On April 14, 2015, a Japanese court ordered a halt to the government’s plan to restart the Takahama Nuclear Power Plant. The ruling cited safety fears, whereas the Japanese nuclear regulatory watchdog had given the opera on its consent. There are currently 48 commercial reactors in Japan, all of which remain offline a er the Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011. The Japanese government has been cri cized for its insistence on viewing nuclear energy as an important base‐load power source despite its official policy of reducing dependence on nuclear energy. But restar ng nuclear reactors—assuming that they meet the revised safety requirements—does not necessarily contradict that policy inasmuch as the transparency of the safety review process is guaranteed. Moreover, the issue is intertwined with broader concerns that extend beyond Japan’s borders, including U.S.‐Japan rela ons and the interna onal nonprolifera on regime. It is this interna onal context, o en overlooked in Japan and elsewhere, that makes it unrealis c and rather dangerous for Japan to immediately abandon nuclear energy altogether.
  • Topic: International Security, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Japan
  • Author: Sebastian Sons, Inken Wiese
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP)
  • Abstract: This study documents the various forms and measures of political and economic assistance provided by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Qatar to Egypt and Tunisia since the upheavals of 2011. It also analyzes the impact Gulf donor countries had on political and economic development within Egypt and Tunisia, particularly with regard to democratization and inclusive socio­ economic change. Economically, efforts undertaken by the Gulf states were inten­ ded to stabilize the two countries, for example by helping them overcome budget de cits. While their business investments are not trickling down to the economi­ cally marginalized segments of society, some of the Gulf­funded development projects have been geared toward fueling more inclusive growth. Due to limited coordination between Arab and Western donor countries, however, there has thus far been little alignment of projects taking place in the same sectors. As a result, the potential for synergies between these projects has remained untapped. In po­ litical terms, as was expected, the Gulf states did not engage in efforts to promote more democratization. Indeed, in Egypt the assistance provided by Saudi Arabia and the UAE even contributed to a return to the pre­2011 order. For Germany and its partners to engage the Gulf states more intensively on governance matters and to create incentives, deeper knowledge is required about how political decisions are made in the Gulf. This is also essential for developing Germany’s much­needed general strategy toward the Gulf states, which is currently lacking. The Deauville Partnership is a useful forum for improving and increasing future coordination.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Gulf Nations
  • Author: Luba von Hauff
  • Publication Date: 08-2015
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP)
  • Abstract: The security risks of post-Soviet Central Asia are pronounced and therefore pres- ent on the agendas of most international actors, including the US, Russia, and China. The EU is also concerned, although it has hitherto not been known for political success in the region, especially in terms of security. Indeed, the EU’s approach to the region – oriented toward transformation, liberalization, and de- mocratization – has been largely labeled a failure, with minimal impact and prog- ress. Against this background, this article will review and discuss the nature of the threats to Central Asia’s security, establish the extent of the EU’s actual “failure” by examining the distinct characteristics of the EU’s security approach, and, finally, reflect on how European policy can have an impact on the local security situation in the future.
  • Topic: International Security
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia
  • Author: Tenzin Dorjee
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC)
  • Abstract: Contrary to a perception—fueled by Chinese propaganda during the 2008 Tibetan uprising that the Tibetan struggle is heading toward extremism—this study shows that the movement for Tibetan freedom has since the 1950s moved toward a tighter embrace of nonviolent resistance. The study traces this evolution, analyzing the central themes, purposes, challenges, strategies, tactics and impacts of three major Tibetan uprisings over the past six decades. Tibetans are now waging a quiet, slow-building nonviolent movement, centered on strengthening the Tibetan national and cultural fabric via what the author refers to as “transformative resistance.” This is happening in an immensely repressive political environment, which shows that there is a way to mobilize people power against even one of the most ruthless regimes in the world.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Tibet
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: The Soufan Group
  • Abstract: In June 2014, The Soufan Group (TSG) released its initial Foreign Fighters in Syria report, which identified approximately 12,000 foreign fighters from 81 countries. Nearly eighteen months later, despite sustained international effort to contain the Islamic State and stem the flow of militants traveling to Syria, the number of foreign fighters has more than doubled. Based on its own investigation, TSG has calculated that between 27,000 and 31,000 people have traveled to Syria and Iraq to join the Islamic State and other violent Salafist groups from at least 86 countries. This increase is evidence that efforts to contain the flow of foreign recruits to the Islamic State and other extremist groups in Syria have had limited impact.
  • Topic: International Security
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS)
  • Abstract: Syria’s nearly four year civil war took a dramatic new turn this month as the United States and its coalition partners began bombing militants from the Islamic State group (formerly know as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) and al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate Jubhat al-Nusra. The U.S. intervention opens up profound uncertainties about the objective and targets of the military action, the responses of the dizzying array of actors on the ground, and the potential for escalation. In December 2013, POMEPS published “The Political Science of Syria’s War,” a collection of original essays by many of the top civil wars and insurgencies scholars, which helped to place the Syrian war into a broad theoretical and comparative perspective. This new collection of articles originally published on “The Monkey Cage” explores the evolution of the conflict, the nature of the Islamic State, and key debates about Syria’s horrific war.
  • Topic: War, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Syria
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS)
  • Abstract: Iraq’s long-simmering political conflicts and violence erupted in June with the stunning capture of Mosul and advances toward Baghdad by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The collapse of the Iraqi army and the rapid seizure of territory by ISIS took most observers by surprise, but the crisis had been developing for years. This POMEPS Briefing collects more than a dozen recent articles by academics writing for The Monkey Cage and other leading online publications that explore both the immediate crisis and its underlying causes.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Iraq
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS)
  • Abstract: Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan occupied a dominant political position not too long ago. In June 2011, his Justice and Development Party (AKP) won nearly 60 percent of the seats in parliament while expanding its lead over its closest competitor. Turkey seemed well primed to take advantage of the Arab uprisings, with its independent foreign policy and criticism of Israel playing well with Arab audiences. Erdogan even seemed keen to find a resolution to the long-running struggle with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and reconcile with the country’s Kurdish citizens. Those days seem distant indeed. For at least the last six months, Erdogan has struggled to respond to sustained popular protests, a growing corruption scandal, a stalled peace process with the PKK, a deeply unpopular and ineffective Syria policy, and dissent from within his own party. How did Erdogan’s fortunes reverse so quickly? Are his problems primarily the natural decay of a leader too long in power or do they speak to deeper problems with his party’s ideology or the foundations of Turkish democracy? The 14 deeply researched and analytically powerful Foreign Policy Middle East Channel essays collected in this POMEPS Briefing go deeply into the origins, dynamics, and likely implications of Turkey’s new political scene.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Publication Date: 07-2013
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS)
  • Abstract: How should analysts understand the combination of the June 30 massive popular mobilization and the July 3 military coup against then-President Mohamed Morsi? Should these events be understood as a continuation of the January 25 revolution, a second revolution, a straightforward military coup, or a restoration of the Mubarak-era order? Does the blame for the failure of Egypt’s first popularly elected presidency lie with Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, with a recalcitrant opposition, with a resistant state, or with the deep problems which any transitional leadership would have confronted? Can a pathway toward a democratic order still be found?
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Popular Revolt
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Publication Date: 03-2013
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS)
  • Abstract: Yemen began its long-awaited National Dialogue Conference this week in Sanaa. The NDC hoped to find some zone of consensus for moving forward in its transition from the long rule of Ali Abdullah Saleh. It has been beset by many problems of representation, withdrawals and boycotts, deeply entrenched divisions, and the perception of irrelevance to the real problems of Yemenis. For a while it looked like it might never actually convene.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Yemen
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Centre for European Security Studies
  • Abstract: 30 August is Victory Day in Turkey, a national holiday celebrated with military parades and jet fighters painting the sky red and white, the colours of the Turkish flag. Victory Day commemorates the final battle in Turkey’s War of Independence. It glorifies the army and the new republic created on the ruins of the Ottoman Empire. On Victory Day, all promotions of officers are announced, and the students of military schools celebrate their graduation. Besides, the Chief of Turkish General Staff used to receive the congratulations of high state officials. However on 30 August 2011, things were a bit different.
  • Topic: International Organization, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Centre for European Security Studies
  • Abstract: Natalia Gherman is Moldova’s deputy foreign minister and chief negotiator with the EU. CESS spoke to her in Chis¸ina˘u during the second in a series of UNDP workshops on EU negotiations organised by CESS and its partners. Ms Gherman had just returned from a visit to The Hague and Berlin where she spoke to her colleagues about the visa liberalisation regime, one of the main priorities for Moldova in its relations with the EU.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Centre for European Security Studies
  • Abstract: Central Asia presents a broad spectrum of security challenges. These range from religious terrorism, organised crime and simmering ethnic quarrels to endemic corruption, environmental decline and a disintegrating infrastructure. Besides, the danger of instability is heightened by a lurking receptiveness to religious extremism among returned migrants.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Centre for European Security Studies
  • Abstract: On 12 May we received the news that David Greenwood had passed away. It was expected in a way, but still it came as a shock. David had been suffering from a disease one can fight for some time, but never beat. Although at the end he was very weak and never left home anymore, David was not supposed to leave Margaret and all of us so soon.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus