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  • Author: Alena Vysotskaya Guedes Vieira
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Russia's actions towards Ukraine in 2013-14, which inaugurated a new Cold War in its relations with the West, presented a dilemma to Russia's allies: whether to align themselves with Russia's choices or pursue a more independent course of action. The leadership of Belarus, Russia's closest ally, chose the latter option both by establishing dialogue with the interim government and President of Ukraine, Oleksandr Turchinov, considered illegitimate in Russia and, later, by being present at the inauguration of Petro Poroshenko on 7 June 2014 and downplaying Russia's position on the 'federalisation' of Ukraine as the only way out of the country's instability. The perspective of the intra-alliance security dilemma helps explain the divergence of views between Russia and Belarus, while pointing to the changing position of the parties towards the Eurasian integration project.
  • Topic: Security, Cold War, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia, Ukraine
  • Author: Serena Giusti, Enrico Fassi
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The European Endowment for Democracy (EED) is a recently established instrument of democracy promotion intended to complement existing EU tools. Fashioned after the US National Endowment for Democracy, the EED's privileged area of action is the European neighbourhood. Meant as a small rapid-response, actor-oriented 'niche' initiative, its main task is to select those actors, from both civil and political society able to produce a change in their country. The EED represents a step forward in the EU's capacity to foster democracy, but does not necessarily go in the direction of more rationality and effectiveness. Not all EU member states support the EED with the same enthusiasm and it is still not clear how it fits into the EU's overall democracy promotion architecture. Its actions may be successful in a very constrained timeframe. However, recent crises at the EU's borders would seem to call for a strategy that takes into consideration systemic hindrances, post-regime change complexities, regional dynamics and finally rival plans of autocracy promotion.
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Jean-Pierre Cassarino
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Readmission is not simply a means of removing undesirable foreigners through coercive methods. When viewed as a way of ensuring the temporary stay of foreign workers in the labour markets of European destination countries, readmission may also impact on the participatory rights of a growing number of native workers facing equally temporary (and precarious) labour conditions, in a context marked by employment deregulation and wage flexibility. These implications have clear democratic significance. A new analytical perspective applied to the expansion and development of the readmission system, is aimed at promoting a reflection on an unexplored research area bridging the gap between labour migration regulation and labour market deregulation.
  • Topic: Development
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Anna Triandafyllidou, Angeliki Dimitriadi
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: EU migration and asylum policy is facing tough challenges at the southern borders of the Union as migration and asylum pressures rise, fuelled by political instability and poverty in several regions of Asia and Africa. Current European border control practices create three spaces of control: externalised borders, through readmission and return agreements which enrol third countries in border control; the EU borders themselves through the work of Frontex and the development of a whole arsenal of technology tools for controlling mobility to and from the EU; and the Schengen area, whose regulations tend to reinforce deterrence at the borders through the Smart Border System. As a result, the EU's balancing act between irregular migration control and protection of refugees and human life clearly tips towards the former, even if it pays lip service to the latter. More options for mobility across the Mediterranean and more cooperation for growth are essential ingredients of a sustainable migration management policy on the EU's southern borders. In addition asylum management could benefit from EU level humanitarian visas issued at countries of origin.
  • Topic: Development, Migration
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Asia, Cameroon
  • Author: Elena Baracani
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Review of: Is the EU Doomed?, by Jan Zielonka, Polity Press, 2014.
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Alba Ferreri
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Review of: Politics and the Internet in Comparative Context, edited by Paul Nixon, Rajash Rawal and Dan Mercea, Routledge, 2013.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Author: Ming-Yeh T. Rawnsley
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Changes of ruling parties are widely viewed as a critical marker of a country's level of democratisation. Huntington (1991: 266–267) even suggested a democracy can only be considered consolidated after passing a “two-turnover test”: two changes of ruling parties through elections. Since the lifting of martial law in 1987, Taiwan has continu- ed to experience comprehensive social transformation and political reforms, including the first direct presidential election in 1996; the defeat of the Chinese Nationalist Party , Zhongguo Guomindang, Kuomintang, KMT) in the 2000 presidential election by the Democratic Progressive Party, Minzhu Jinbudang, DPP) after five decades of one-party rule; and the subsequent setback for the DPP in 2008 when the electorate voted the KMT back into power. This indicates that Taiwan should now be considered a con- solidated democracy even though, comparatively speaking, it may still be young and evolving (Rawnsley and Gong 2011).
  • Author: Dafydd Fell, Charles Chen
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: In early 2011, the Kuomintang (KMT, Guomindang) government appeared to be in danger of losing power in the upcoming presidential elections. The DPP had recovered sufficiently from its disastrous electoral performance in 2008 to pose a real challenge to Ma Ying-jeou (Ma Yingjiu) and had matched the KMT's vote share in mid-term local elections. Ma also faced the challenge of an independent presidential candidate, James Soong (Song Chuyu), who had come a close second in 2000 and now threatened to divide the pro KMT vote. Nevertheless, the KMT was able to win reduced majorities in both the presidential and legislative elections in January 2012. This article seeks to explain how the KMT was able to hold on to power by comparing the campaign with earlier national-level elections. We are interested in identifying the degree to which the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP, Minjindang) learnt from its electoral setbacks in 2008 and whether the KMT employed a similar campaign strategy to the one that had been so effective in returning it to power in 2008. Our analysis relies of an examination of campaign propaganda and campaign strategies as well as participant observation and survey data from 2012 and earlier contests.
  • Topic: Political Violence
  • Author: Lee Chun-yi
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper argues that the comparison of labour policies in Taiwan and China has an important bearing on the interaction between state and society. The fact that labour policies have changed over time illustrates a process of bargaining between the state and society. The core question of this paper is whether the development of labour policies in Taiwan can provide China a good example to learn from. In order to answer this question more systematically, the first part of this paper provides theoretical reviews of the state–society relationship, while the second part aims to verify whether those labour-favouring policies in Taiwan have changed under a different party's governance. The third part of the paper further investigates labour policy in China; this section mainly focuses on the historical background to the new labour contract law. Based on the preceding two sections' literature review of the changing path of labour policies, the fourth section scrutinises fundamental issues reflected in the development of Taiwan's labour policies, then compares how those issues are reflected in the case of China. The conclusion of this paper is that although Taiwan, like China, formerly had a one-party system, the changes in Taiwan's labour policies are not completely comparable to China, though both societies had some similarities.
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Dafydd Fell, Isabelle Cheng
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: In recent years, female marriage migration from China and Southeast Asia has significantly increased the number of foreign-born citizens in Taiwan. This article is a preliminary investigation into how political parties responded to the growing multicultural makeup of the national community between 2000 and 2012. We examine the content of the Understanding Taiwan textbook, the election publicity of the two major political parties, citizenship legislation, and the results of interviewing immigrant women. The findings show that the change in the ruling party did make differences in terms of both parties\' projection of immigrant women in election propaganda and citizenship legislation. However, inward-looking multiculturalism is practised by the two main political parties in Taiwan to forge national identity and enhance national cohesion rather than to promote the recognition of immigrants\' different cultural heritage.
  • Topic: Political Violence
  • Political Geography: Asia