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  • Author: Michael Levi, Jason Bordoff
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: The energy landscape in the Americas has shifted dramatically in just a few years. Only a decade ago, experts expected most of the world's new oil supplies to come from the former Soviet Union and the Middle East. Now the odds are that most of the growth in global oil supplies will come from North America and Brazil. Just five years ago, conventional wisdom held that North America would become a big importer of natural gas—with some supplies coming from its neighbors to the south. Now, a boom in natural gas production raises the prospect that the U.S. will become a gas exporter. This is occurring at a time when developing countries in Asia are driving the growth in world oil demand. The collision of these trends is radically reshaping the global energy map—reducing oil imports to Europe and North America while increasing shipments from producers in the Middle East, Africa and Russia to the Pacific Rim.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Middle East, Canada, Germany, North America
  • Author: Ricardo Torres Pérez
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: In an August 2010 address to the Cuban National Assembly, President Raúl Castro unveiled a plan that would irrevocably alter the Caribbean nation's trajectory. As part of a broader package of economic changes to increase productivity and exports in a number of sectors, the government planned to lay off 1 million state workers over the next five years, half of those in just six months. The announcement was based on the basic principle that the state could no longer afford to keep unproductive companies afloat and provide the public services—like universal education and health care—that are key to Cuba's socialist model. While Cuba is no stranger to economic crises, this time the proposal appeared to be well grounded and more in line with contemporary economic trends. To pick up the slack shed by the public sector, the Cuban government introduced a number of economic "updates," known as lineamientos (guidelines), to the Cuban economy. The idea was to create space for private-sector growth by granting more licenses for Cubans to employ themselves—an incremental first step grudgingly taken toward a more market-friendly system.
  • Topic: Agriculture
  • Political Geography: Russia, Cuba
  • Author: Nathan P. Myhrvold
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: Technology contains no inherent moral directive—it empowers people, whatever their intent, good or evil. This has always been true: when bronze implements supplanted those made of stone, the ancient world got scythes and awls, but also swords and battle-axes. The novelty of our present situation is that modern technology can provide small groups of people with much greater lethality than ever before. We now have to worry that private parties might gain access to weapons that are as destructive as—or possibly even more destructive than—those held by any nation-state. A handful of people, perhaps even a single individual, could have the ability to kill millions or even billions.
  • Political Geography: Russia, China
  • Author: Selim Erbagci
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Breakout Nations: In Pursuit of the Next Economic Miracles In the last decade, the world has witnessed an unprecedented development of many countries. The speed of this process has not only caused surprise but also has generated questions: How did these countries manage such significant improvements? Why have some other countries failed to reach a similar level of success during the same period? How long could this rapid development last? Ruchir Sharma answers these issues, explaining the common reason for rapid development during the last decade and also the country-specific internal dynamics behind the rapid development of countries such as China, India, Brazil, Turkey, Russia, Mexico, and South Korea. Finally, He also identifies the potential breakout nations for the next decade.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Turkey, India, Brazil, Mexico
  • Author: Stefan B. Kirmse
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: My reading of The Oxford Handbook of the History of International Law, edited by Bardo Fassbender and Anne Peters, has undoubtedly been framed by my own field of research. This field is not international law, but the historical anthropology of Russia and Eurasia and includes changing legal practice in a context of increasing global connectedness. My review is therefore not intended to relate the Oxford Handbook to the wider historiography of international law, which I leave to other contributions in this symposium; it is meant to offer an external perspective on the question of Eurocentric analysis. The editors of the Handbook have identified Eurocentrism as one of the key challenges to overcome in the study of international law.
  • Topic: International Law
  • Political Geography: Russia, Persia
  • Author: James Keeley
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Eight hundred years ago, the Mongol conquest of Kievan Rus' left Russians divided among many subordinated principalities and polities. Over time, the Grand Duchy of Muscovy brought them together under its sway, laying the foundation for the Russian Empire. Over time, the Tsars extended their reach, to the marshes on which St. Petersburg was built in the north, in the south to a port at Sevastopol in the Crimea, to another on the Pacific, Vladivostok, and to the heart of Central Asia.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Central Asia
  • Author: Okan Yesilot
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Over the past months, the crisis in Crimea presented the world with a case study on how rapidly national borders may shift in the 21st century. The turmoil in Ukraine began in November 2013 as widespread protests erupted following a last-minute decision by former president Viktor Yanukovych's to suspend talks on a trade pact with the European Union under pressure from the Russian government. The pro-Russian leadership in Crimea organized an impromptu referendum where the vast majority of participants voted in favor of uniting with the Russian Federation. This article provides an analysis of recent developments in Crimea in the context of Russian policy in the region.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine
  • Author: David Ramin Jalilvand
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Revolution and Reform in Russia and Iran: Modernisation and Politics in Revolutionary States In her comparative study, Ghoncheh Tazmini investigates the Russian revolution of 1917 and the 1979 Iranian revolution to identify patterns of continuity and change, including attempts at reform. At first, both revolutions might appear entirely different. In Russia, the Tsarist monarchy was replaced by socialism, whereas in Iran political Islam prevailed. However, Tazmini convincingly shows that both revolutions had related roots: the people's opposition to Western-inspired, autocratically enforced modernization that was endorsed by the Russian Tsars and Iranian Shahs. Moreover, in Vladimir Putin and Mohammad Khatami, she argues, both countries saw reformers with a similar outlook. By adopting beneficial Western practices without 'Westernizing' their countries, Putin and Khatami overcame the “antinomies of the past.” After the introduction, chapters two, three, and four discuss the experiences of modernization in Russia and Iran under the Romanov tsars and Pahlavi shahs. Both Peter the Great (in the 18th century) and Reza Shah (in the 20th century) sought to catch-up with developed European countries. To this end, they embarked on ambitious modernization programs, which were continued by their successors. In this context, Tazmini shows that the Russian and Iranian modernization programs only partially followed the European example. While embracing outward signs of modernity such as modern industries, state-society relations remained traditionally autocratic. Tazmini rightly grasps this as “modernization without modernity” in an attempt of “modernization from above.” Modernization from above is described as a “double helix” of economic modernization on the one hand and authoritarian political stagnation on the other hand. She notes, “Whilst both countries aspired to converge with the West by meeting its material and technological achievements, they ended up diverging by retaining the autocratic foundations of the ancient régimes.”
  • Topic: Islam, Politics, Reform
  • Political Geography: Russia, Iran
  • Author: Anne Sofie Roald
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Muslim Minorities and Citizenship: Authority, Communities and Islamic Law In her comparative study, Ghoncheh Tazmini investigates the Russian revolution of 1917 and the 1979 Iranian revolution to identify patterns of continuity and change, including attempts at reform. At first, both revolutions might appear entirely different. In Russia, the Tsarist monarchy was replaced by socialism, whereas in Iran political Islam prevailed. However, Tazmini convincingly shows that both revolutions had related roots: the people's opposition to Western-inspired, autocratically enforced modernization that was endorsed by the Russian Tsars and Iranian Shahs. Moreover, in Vladimir Putin and Mohammad Khatami, she argues, both countries saw reformers with a similar outlook. By adopting beneficial Western practices without 'Westernizing' their countries, Putin and Khatami overcame the “antinomies of the past.” After the introduction, chapters two, three, and four discuss the experiences of modernization in Russia and Iran under the Romanov tsars and Pahlavi shahs. Both Peter the Great (in the 18th century) and Reza Shah (in the 20th century) sought to catch-up with developed European countries. To this end, they embarked on ambitious modernization programs, which were continued by their successors. In this context, Tazmini shows that the Russian and Iranian modernization programs only partially followed the European example. While embracing outward signs of modernity such as modern industries, state-society relations remained traditionally autocratic. Tazmini rightly grasps this as “modernization without modernity” in an attempt of “modernization from above.” Modernization from above is described as a “double helix” of economic modernization on the one hand and authoritarian political stagnation on the other hand. She notes, “Whilst both countries aspired to converge with the West by meeting its material and technological achievements, they ended up diverging by retaining the autocratic foundations of the ancient régimes.” Chapter five examines the people's opposition to the modernization from above, which resulted in the 1917 and 1979 revolutions. Tazmini argues that the contradiction inherent to modernization from above – economic development versus political stagnation – made people lose confidence in their respective state institutions. This provided the ground on which “ideological channels and fateful 'sparks' culminated in revolution” that replaced the Romanov and Pahlavi monarchies with communism in Russia and an Islamic Republic in Iran.
  • Topic: Islam, Law
  • Political Geography: Russia, Iran
  • Author: Sreemati Ganguli
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Dynamics of Energy Governance in Europe and Russia Relations between Europe and Russia in the post-Cold War era constitute a fascinating area of study, as it involves many interlinked socioeconomic and political issues. Significantly, the events that shaped the political landscape of contemporary Europe, i.e., the reunification of Germany and collapse of the Soviet domination of East Europe, were precursors to the disintegration of the Soviet Union. The book under discussion focuses on the issue of energy governance in Europe and Russia, which is significant as both Russia and Europe share a flourishing codependent energy trade relation and the issue touches on many areas of common bilateral concern- political, economic, technological, environmental, bureaucratic and legal. The book has twelve chapters, divided in three thematic sections, apart from Introduction, Conclusion and Afterword. It represents a culmination of debates exchanged through the Political Economy of Energy in Europe and Russia (PEEER) network and approaches the entire issue through the theoretical approach of International Political Economy. Essentially, the book aims to focus on multiple actors and institutions that shape the policy processes of energy governance in Europe and Russia, in the context of an interlinked and interdependent global, regional and local scenario. In the first section on “Transnational Dynamics” the focus is on legal issues. Tatiana Romanova discusses EU-Russian energy relations in the context of legal approximation (Article 55 of the EU-Russian Partnership and Cooperation Agreement), noting two particular focal points – the improvement of the energy trade scenario and the clean energy agenda. Daniel Behn and Vitally Pogoretskyy analyze the system of dual gas pricing in Russia and its impact on EU imports. They raise an important debate between the Statist and Liberal approaches by questioning the consistency of this system with WTO regulations. For Anatole Boute, the export of European foreign energy efficiency rules to non-EU countries, especially Russia, has the potential to become the cornerstone of the EU's new energy diplomacy, to meet the challenges of a secure energy supply from Russia, and to mitigate bilateral climate concerns. M. F. Keating, on the other hand, deals with the connection between and possible harmonization of global best practices (to systemically use competition, regulation and privatization to reform the energy sector) and the EU's energy security agenda.
  • Topic: Cold War, Governance
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Germany