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  • Author: Eleonora Tafuro Ambrosetti, Kateryna Zarembo
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI)
  • Abstract: The 31 March presidential elections in Ukraine matter to Ukraine, its region and the EU. While the majority of experts deem it impossible to have a winner in the first round and, thus, expect a second one in April[1], the March contest will be a first important step in the crucial process of determining the direction the country will take. Thus, while we should not hold our breath on election day, we should definitely keep a close eye on the contest and its outcome.[2] First of all, these mark the first elections in Ukraine’s history when a “pro-Russia” foreign policy card cannot be played by the political candidates. If in 2013 the Association Agreement with the European Union and the Customs Union with Russia were two rival projects for Ukrainians[3], in 2019 support for the EU is prevailing among the population – 50% of Ukrainians support the country’s integration into the EU, while only 9% are in favour of the Customs Union[4]. Ukraine’s European and Euro-Atlantic course has also been recently voted in to become a part of Ukraine’s constitution. And yet Ukraine’s pro-Western integration course is far from being undisputed. First, support for the EU is very unevenly spread across the country, ranging from over 80% in the western oblasts to some 30% in the Donetsk, Luhansk and Odesa oblasts.[5]Second, while none of the three candidates currently leading the polls – the incumbent president, Petro Poroshenko, the former prime minister and ex-energy tycoon Yulia Tymoshenko, and the comedian and political newcomer Volodymyr Zelensky – questions EU integration on paper, some candidates’ electoral programmes or actions look at odds with this goal. On paper, Tymoshenko supports good relations with Brussels – and, eventually, a possible EU membership – but she criticizes the reforms promoted by the EU and IMF and advocates economic isolationism. Zelensky’s fussy approach is also critical of the IMF while giving lukewarm support to EU integration[6]. As of March 2018, it is Zelenskyi who is leading the race, with some 25% of support[7], while Poroshenko and Tymoshenko keep shifting in and out of second place in various polls. Importantly, some 26% - in fact, the “golden share” of these elections – of those who are going to vote, are still undecided about their choice, which may bring some surprises on the day of the poll. Finally, these elections will likely feature an unusually high turnout in Ukrainian terms – as of March 2019, 83% of Ukrainians declared that they are going to participate in the elections (in the 2014 presidential elections turnout reached 60%).[8] This is likely a sign of increased civic mobilization and the perception of civic responsibility among Ukraine’s citizens, which grew more acute after the Euromaidan and the start of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Affairs, European Union, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Italy
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: LSE IDEAS
  • Abstract: This report, building on a workshop held at LSE IDEAS in December 2018 and supported by the Horizon 2020 UPTAKE and Global Challenges Research Fund COMPASS projects, brings together some of the UK’s foremost scholars on Russia, the EU and the post-Soviet space to evaluate the challenges and opportunities facing Russia’s 'Greater Eurasia’ foreign policy concept.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: LSE IDEAS
  • Abstract: This report explores the impact of Brexit from an Irish perspective, explaining Europe’s role in improving Ireland-UK relations since 1970s and outlining the threat posed by Brexit to the political settlement in Northern Ireland. In April 2019, LSE IDEAS produced a second edition of this report, containing a new contribution from Michael Burleigh, important updates from Paul Gillespie and Adrian Guelke, and a refreshed introduction from Michael Cox.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs, Brexit
  • Political Geography: Ireland, Global Focus
  • Author: George Magnus
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: LSE IDEAS
  • Abstract: The conventional narrative is that China is, or will, by 2030, be the largest economy in the world. Based on commonly held expectations historically about prewar Germany, the USSR and Japan, greater humility would not go amiss. It is not preordained that past economic trends will continue, especially in view of a much compromised outlook for both China and the rest of the world in the 2020s
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: China, Global Focus
  • Author: Fukunari Kimura
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Center for Economic and Social Development (CESD)
  • Abstract: The papers in Volume III delve into the theme of transforming and deepening the ASEAN Community. The main focus is on the digital and fourth industrial revolution as well as on innovation as both offer opportunities and challenges for ASEAN Member States for economic transformation and enhanced resiliency and sustainability. The volume also emphasises the drive towards greater inclusivity, leaving no one behind, and greater people centredness and engagement to deepen the sense of belongingness in the ASEAN Community.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Emil Avdaliani
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: The Begin-Sadat Centre for Strategic Studies (BESA)
  • Abstract: As Russia increases its geopolitical involvement across the globe, the concept of “Global Russia” has been gradually taking hold. Though Russia is inherently weak, it is likely that Moscow will continue its global initiatives throughout the 2020s. Only by the end of that decade and into the next is there likely to be a gradual decline in Russia’s adventurism abroad.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Geopolitics, Grand Strategy, Elites
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia, Global Focus
  • Author: Gentiola Madhi
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: Gentiola Madhi authored, within the Think Visegrad Non-V4 Fellowship programme, an analysis on the state of the affairs of regional cooperation in the Western Balkans.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Will Greaves
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: In October 2018, LNG Canada – a C$40 billion joint venture supported by some of the largest multinational corporations in the world, including Shell, Petronas, PetroChina, Mitsubishi and the Korean Gas Corporation – was approved by its investors, and a new chapter in Canadian political economy began. The project consists of a coastal liquefied natural gas terminal at Kitimat, British Columbia, which is fed by a 670-kilometre pipeline from the shale gas-producing region in the province’s northeast interior. It is the largest private-sector and natural resource investment in Canadian history, in a country where resource extraction still contributes more than 17 per cent of GDP. Moreover, LNG Canada is the cornerstone of the B.C. NDP government’s economic policy, promising to provide 10,000 jobs during construction and up to 950 permanent jobs once the project is fully operational. It will also create $5 billion in additional provincial GDP per year and $23 billion in new revenues over the project’s life, while spurring the growth of a new natural resource industry.1 Predicted economic benefits in the rest of Canada will total $2 billion per year and approximately $500 million in new federal revenues. These benefits will be in addition to an increase in the value of all Canadian liquefied natural gas exports of between $519 million and $5.8 billion per year, depending on market prices.2 Thus, it is not surprising that the federal government is also strongly supportive, and that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was seated next to B.C. Premier John Horgan when the agreement was signed.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Post Colonialism, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Canada
  • Author: Andrew Duff
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: European Policy Centre
  • Abstract: The UK has wasted precious time in the Brexit process. A no deal outcome has become the legal and political default. The new prime minister cannot avoid returning to Mrs May’s deal if he is to avoid no deal. Andrew Duff argues for changes to be made not only to the Political Declaration but also to the Withdrawal Agreement itself. One amendment is needed to buy time: the transition period should be made extendable until the final association agreement enters into force. Such a revision will not breach anyone’s red lines, will obviate the need for the Irish backstop, reassure businesses and citizens, and enable an orderly exit. Duff also argues that the British should pay far more attention to the joint governance of the Withdrawal Agreement. The idea that the UK will become a vassal of the EU is nonsense: in fact, the British will be able to wield influence after Brexit if the new prime minister adopts a positive attitude.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Mark Miodownik
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Israel/Palestine Creative Regional Initiatives (IPCRI)
  • Abstract: This public opinion survey covers different issues of life in Jerusalem of its Israeli and Palestinian residents. It surveys their expressions about local needs, who they view as their local leadership, their social attitudes and ways of communication. It also explores perceptions of violence, life satisfaction and also questions about the future of Jerusalem and municipal elections. ​ This survey is a part of a larger peacebuilding initiative in Jerusalem called “Building Visions for the Future of Jerusalem: A Bottom-Up Approach”. As such, the survey is one of a few ways to collect and give voice to the residents’ needs and perceptions regarding their life in Jerusalem. Its final objectives are to to better understand the foundations for cooperation between the two populations in this contested city, in order to assist in improving their well-being
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus