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  • Author: Mathieu Lefevre
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The World Today
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Sometime in the middle of 2009, the number of people living in cities exceeded the world's rural population for the first time in history. By 2050, some 70 per cent of the world's population will live on only 3 per cent of the earth's surface – in cities. These conurbations are becoming global economic and geo-political players to be reckoned with. This will radically affect the way we live, work and plan for the future.
  • Author: Alex J. Bellamy
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Until recently, the human rights situation in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) had elicited relatively little attention from institutions, activists and analysts concerned with the implementation of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) and protection of populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. However, on 18 November 2014, the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution that referred to R2P and called on the UN Security Council to refer the situation in the DPRK to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and adopt targeted sanctions. Although it remains to be seen whether the Security Council will take up this challenge, ten of the Council's 15 members indicated privately their support for the initiative.
  • Topic: United Nations
  • Political Geography: Korea
  • Author: Shaun Breslin, Jinghan Zeng, Yuefan Xiao
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: As China has grown stronger, some observers have identified an assertive turn in Chinese foreign policy. Evidence to support this argument includes the increasingly frequent evocation of China's 'core interests'—a set of interests that represents the non-negotiable bottom lines of Chinese foreign policy. When new concepts, ideas and political agendas are introduced in China, there is seldom a shared understanding of how they should be defined; the process of populating the concept with real meaning often takes place incrementally. This, the article argues, is what has happened with the notion of core interests. While there are some agreed bottom lines, what issues deserve to be defined (and thus protected) as core interests remains somewhat blurred and open to question. By using content analysis to study 108 articles by Chinese scholars, this article analyses Chinese academic discourse of China's core interests. The authors' main finding is that 'core interests' is a vague concept in the Chinese discourse, despite its increasing use by the government to legitimize its diplomatic actions and claims. The article argues that this vagueness not only makes it difficult to predict Chinese diplomatic behaviour on key issues, but also allows external observers a rich source of opinions to select from to help support pre-existing views on the nature of China as a global power.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: James Ker-Lindsay
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: This article examines the extent to which states are able to interact at an official level with a contested or de facto state—a state that has unilaterally declared independence but is not a member of the United Nations—without being understood to have recognized it. This is an area of increasing interest and relevance to policymakers as the number of contested states has grown in recent years. In many cases, interaction may be important for ongoing peace efforts. However, there are also instances when a state is prevented from recognizing the territory in question for specific domestic or foreign policy reasons and so has to find alternative means by which to cooperate. Drawing on several key examples, notably Kosovo and the 'Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus', but also with reference to Abkhazia, the article explores the limits of interaction across various different forms of bilateral and multilateral diplomatic activity. As is shown, albeit with some significant provisos, legal theory and historic practice suggest that diplomatic engagement does not constitute recognition if there is no underlying intent to recognize. This means that there is in fact a very high degree of latitude regarding the limits of diplomatic engagement with contested states. This is especially the case in bilateral contexts. Indeed, in some circumstances, the level of engagement can even amount to recognition in all but name.
  • Topic: Diplomacy
  • Author: Reinhard Wolf
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Current estimates indicate that several hundred thousand deaths per year can be attributed to climate change. Developed countries have reacted to this growing disaster by increasing the use of renewable energies, but what is to be done with the additional electricity thus generated? Should it be used for cutting back coal-fired energy production or can it be used for substituting nuclear energy? Priority must be given to replacing coal power, since developed countries have a strong duty to minimize the physical harm caused by their electricity generation. Dropping nuclear energy prior to coal power cannot be justified because the risks of nuclear energy pale in comparison to the suffering that emissions from coalfired plants inflict both on their host countries and on poorer countries in the global South that (a) do not benefit from this energy and (b) have far less capacity to cope with the effects of climate change or other environmental damages. This article argues that when faced with a choice between operating coal-fired power plants or nuclear reactors, governments are obliged to opt for nuclear energy.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Government
  • Author: Andrew Glencross
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: This article scrutinizes the merits of holding a referendum over UK membership of the EU. It queries the assumption that direct democracy can somehow resolve the longstanding Europe question in British politics. To do this, the analysis traces the existence of an exceptionalist approach to the EU within Britain, now associated with re-negotiating UK membership in the shadow of a referendum. The article argues that the prospects for a radical reconfiguration of the UK's treaty obligations are slim, thereby increasing the risk of a vote to withdraw. Yet withdrawal would be the opposite of a simple solution to the Europe question. Political and economic interests dictate lengthy politicking over a highly complex post-Brexit settlement revisiting free movement of goods, services, capital and people. Such negotiations undermine any mooted cathartic benefits of a popular vote, while Eurosceptics will remain dissatisfied in the event of a yes, a result likely to further destabilize the Conservative Party. Consequently, the simplicity and decisiveness that a referendum—particularly one that spurns the EU—promises is merely a mirage as relations with the EU necessarily form part of an enduring British political conversation.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: Britain, Europe
  • Author: Katherine C. Epstein
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: This article uses the centenary of the First World War as an opportunity to re-examine a major element of the existing literature on the war—the strategic implications of supposed British decline—as well as analogies to the contemporary United States based upon that interpretation of history. It argues that the standard declinist interpretation of British strategy rests to a surprising degree upon the work of the naval historian Arthur Marder, and that Marder's archival research and conceptual framework were weaker than is generally realized. It suggests that more recent work appearing since Marder is stronger and renders the declinist strategic interpretation difficult to maintain. It concludes by considering the implications of this new work for analogies between the United States today and First World War-era Britain, and for the use of history in contemporary policy debates.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Britain, United States, America
  • Author: David Blagden
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The international system is returning to multipolarity—a situation of multiple Great Powers—drawing the post-Cold War 'unipolar moment' of comprehensive US political, economic and military dominance to an end. The rise of new Great Powers, namely the 'BRICs'—Brazil, Russia, India, and most importantly, China—and the return of multipolarity at the global level in turn carries security implications for western Europe. While peaceful political relations within the European Union have attained a remarkable level of strategic, institutional and normative embeddedness, there are five factors associated with a return of Great Power competition in the wider world that may negatively impact on the western European strategic environment: the resurgence of an increasingly belligerent Russia; the erosion of the US military commitment to Europe; the risk of international military crises with the potential to embroil European states; the elevated incentive for states to acquire nuclear weapons; and the vulnerability of economically vital European sea lines and supply chains. These five factors must, in turn, be reflected in European states' strategic behaviour. In particular, for the United Kingdom—one of western Europe's two principal military powers, and its only insular (offshore) power—the return of Great Power competition at the global level suggests that a return to offshore balancing would be a more appropriate choice than an ongoing commitment to direct military interventions of the kind that have characterized post-2001 British strategy.
  • Topic: Security, Cold War
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, Brazil
  • Author: Paul Cornish, Andrew M. Dorman
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Whichever party or parties form the next UK government, a Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) is expected to begin soon after the general election in May. The review might be a 'light touch' exercise—little more than a reaffirmation of the SDSR produced by the coalition government in 2010. It seems more likely, however, that the review will be a lengthier, more deliberate exercise and one which might even last into 2016. For those most closely engaged in the process the challenge is more complex than that confronted by their predecessors in 2010. The international security context is more confused and contradictory; the UK's financial predicament is still grave; security threats and challenges will emerge that cannot be ignored; the population's appetite for foreign military engagement appears nevertheless to be restricted; and prevailing conditions suggest that the risk-based approach to national strategy might be proving difficult to sustain. Two key questions should be asked of the review. First, in the light of recent military experiences, what is the purpose of the United Kingdom's armed forces? Second, will SDSR 2015–16 sustain the risk-based approach to national strategy set out in 2010, and if so how convincingly? Beginning with a review of the background against which SDSR 2015–16 will be prepared, this article examines both enduring and immediate challenges to the national strategic process in the United Kingdom and concludes by arguing for strategic latency as a conceptual device which can complement, if not reinvigorate, the risk-based approach to national strategy and defence.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom
  • Author: Anthony Richards
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: This article argues that there has been an increasing convergence of the discourses of terrorism, radicalization and, more lately, extremism in the UK and that this has caused counterterrorism to lose its focus. This is particularly evident in the counterterrorism emphasis on non-violent but extremist ideology that is said to be 'conducive' to terrorism. Yet, terrorism is ineluctably about violence or the threat of violence; hence, if a non-violent ideology is in and of itself culpable for terrorism in some way then it ceases to be non-violent. The article argues that there should be a clearer distinction made between (non-violent) extremism of thought and extremism of method because it is surely violence and the threat of violence (integral to terrorism) that should be the focus of counterterrorism. The concern is that counterterrorism has gone beyond its remit of countering terrorism and has ventured into the broader realm of tackling ideological threats to the state.
  • Topic: Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom
  • Author: Alex Danchev
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: This review article considers three works by the distinguished documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras: My country, my country (2006); The oath (2010); and the recently released Citizenfour (2014), focusing on the whistle-blower Edward Snowden. Poitras describes these works as a trilogy about American power after 9/11, but they are also about disobedience and resistance, or the problem of dissent. The article argues for the significance (and the virtue) of Poitras's project, as film maker and troublemaker, and for the necessity of what Solzhenitsyn calls civil valour. You can listen to Alex Danchev discussing his review article in IA's March podcast here http://cht.hm/1N5JeoK
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Richard J. Aldrich
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The 'Five Eyes' alliance, led by the United States, spends close to 100 billion dollars a year on intelligence. This review article argues that western countries are distinguished by their sophisticated approach to the making of intelligence-led national security policy. Political leaders and policy-makers who access this sensitive material are often involved in elaborate systems that constitute part of the core executive and which seek to task and improve the intelligence leviathan. Western intelligence therefore has a 'central brain' that devotes considerable energy to both analysis and management. By contrast, in the majority of other states around the world, the orientation of intelligence has often been inward facing, with a high priority given to regime security. Some would suggest that intelligence has been an important component of western power projection, while others would argue that this process has been over-expensive and has under-delivered, not least in the last decade. Either way, the debates about development of the central intelligence machinery that supports western security policies are of the first importance and fortunately this discussion has been advanced by the appearance of several valuable new studies: these are discussed in this review article.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: When International Affairs first appeared in 1922, recording contributions to the equally new British (later Royal) Institute of International Affairs, the journal set itself the modest goal of becoming 'a source of information and a guide to judgment in international affairs'. It was originally intended only for members of the BIIA, but quickly expanded its readership and impact by beginning to sell copies to non-members as well. In 1931 it took the name International Affairs.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Britain
  • Author: David Stevenson
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: In what follows I will begin in Houghton Street and from there will broaden outwards in successive circles, from London in the 1920s to Europe in 1914, to the Caribbean Sea in 1962, and to where we find ourselves today. The reasons for so doing will, I trust, become clear. But my focus will be on the origin and applications of the discipline of international history, through an investigation of the Stevenson Chair around which the LSE International History Department grew up; the LSE becoming in turn one of the nuclei from which the subject would spread further, both elsewhere in Britain and overseas. I will underline the practical purposes of the discipline's creators, while highlighting a tension between two intellectual traditions that were present from the outset. I will emphasize the need to synthesize those traditions if the study of international history is to yield the maximum insight and value.
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Ian Hall
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Arnold J. Toynbee (1889–1975) was synonymous with the Royal Institute of International Affairs for the first half of its history. He held the post of Director of Studies from 1925 to 1954, and thereafter retained an office in Chatham House until his death. Throughout that half-century he combined the roles of scholar and public intellectual, using International Affairs—along with many other outlets—to communicate the fruits and findings of his research to policy-makers and the wider community. During his 50 years at Chatham House Toynbee contributed 19 essays to the journal—which must surely be the most of any individual author—and produced his two monumental multi-volume works, the Survey of international affairs, which he penned, edited or commissioned from 1925 until 1958, and A study of history, which appeared in twelve volumes between 1934 and 1961. He also published a further 50 books and hundreds of scholarly articles during his lifetime, as well as many interviews and lesser pieces. If one includes reviews of books by others, Toynbee's complete works amount to almost 3,000 items.
  • Topic: History
  • Political Geography: Britain, Middle East
  • Author: Harold James
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: A spectre is haunting the world: 1914. The approaching centenary of the outbreak of the First World War is a reminder of how the instability produced by changes in the relative balance of power in an integrated or globalized world may produce cataclysmic events. Jean-Claude Juncker, the veteran Prime Minister of Luxem-bourg and chair of the Eurogroup of finance ministers, started 2013 by warning journalists that they should take note of the parallels with 1913, the last year of European peace. He was referring explicitly to new national animosities fanned by the European economic crisis, with a growing polarization between North and South. Historically, the aftermath and the consequences of such cataclysms have been extreme. George Kennan strikingly termed the 1914–18 conflict 'the great seminal catastrophe of this century'. Without it, fascism, communism, the Great Depression and the Second World War are all almost impossible to imagine.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Communism, Economics, Politics, War
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Margaret MacMillan
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: A century ago this autumn the first battle of the Marne ended Germany's attempt to crush France and its ally Britain quickly. In that one battle alone the French lost 80,000 dead and the Germans approximately the same. By comparison, 47,000 Americans died in the whole of the Vietnam War and 4,800 coalition troops in the invasion and occupation of Iraq. In August and September 1914 Europe, the most powerful and prosperous part of the world, had begun the process of destroying itself. A minor crisis in its troubled backyard of the Balkans had escalated with terrifying speed to create an all-out war between the powers. 1 'Again and ever I thank God for the Atlantic Ocean,' wrote Walter Page, the American ambassador in London; and in Washington his president, Woodrow Wilson, agreed.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Britain, Iraq, America, Europe, Washington, France, London, Vietnam, Germany, Balkans, Atlantic Ocean
  • Author: Barry Buzan, George Lawson
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: There is general agreement that the world is changing, but considerable disagreement about how it is changing. Commentators variously locate this change in a 'power shift' from West to East, a trade in superpower status between the United States and China, or a transition from an era of bipolarity to one of unipolarity, multipolarity or even non-polarity. These analyses are linked by attention to a smorgasbord of dynamics that are said to be disrupting the smooth functioning of international order: globalization, US militarism, dynamics of revolution and counter-revolution, finance capital, climate change, the rise of non-state actors, new security threats, the dislocating effects of information and communication technologies (ICTs), and more.
  • Topic: Communications, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Author: Paul Rogers
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Contributions to anniversaries may take a broad view, sometimes even a centuries-long perspective. Most commonly, such perspectives are framed within traditional boundaries—nineteenth, twentieth or twenty-first century, for example—but this article argues that one period not normally viewed in this way, from 1945 to 2045, may have a particular significance, giving a perspective that is of value in analysing current trends in international security.
  • Author: William Walker
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: International Affairs' first article on matters relating to nuclear technology was published in July 1946, within a year of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The most recent article, at the time of writing, appeared in July 2013. Over nearly 70 years, the journal has published, by my count, 128 articles focused on nuclear affairs plus numerous articles on international strategy, energy policy and other subjects in which nuclear technology plays a significant part. Many books on nuclear topics have also been discussed in the journal's review section. Only Foreign Affairs among major international journals can boast of such a long engagement with nuclear politics.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: Hiroshima, Nagasaki
  • Author: Donald E. Abelson
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Before the ink on the Treaty of Versailles was dry, the idea of creating an organization dedicated to educating, informing and advising future leaders about the causes and consequences of war was already gaining traction. At 'a series of unofficial meetings held in Paris in 1919',1 Lionel Curtis, an Oxford professor and visionary with a reputation for possessing an impressive array of entrepreneurial skills, was spearheading efforts to establish an Anglo-American research institution where scholars could explore international problems and advocate policy solutions.2 This kind of organization appealed to Curtis and to those with whom he discussed it for several reasons, not the least of which was that it could provide a valuable forum for both policy-makers and prominent policy experts in the leading western powers to talk to one another about international affairs. It was also a concept with which several of the delegates attending the Paris peace talks had some familiarity. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries a number of institutions had already taken root in Great Britain and in the United States with the aim of helping policy-makers navigate their way through complex policy problems. They included the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (1831), founded by the first Duke of Wellington; London's Fabian Society (1884), home to a number of prominent scholars, including Sidney and Beatrice Webb, co-founders of the London School of Economics; the Washington-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (1910), established by the Scottish-American steel tycoon Andrew Carnegie; and the Institute for Government Research (1916), which merged with two other institutions to form the Brookings Institution in 1927.3 Curtis and his colleagues in Great Britain and the United States were also aware of the ground-breaking research that had been conducted at hundreds of settlement houses in their respective countries. It was at places such as London's Toynbee Hall (1884) and Chicago's Hull House, co-founded by Jane Addams in 1889, that sociologists and other university faculty with expertise in social welfare policy could study the working conditions of the poor.4 In short, proponents of establishing a foreign affairs research institution recognized the importance of encouraging a dialogue between leading social scientists and high-level policy-makers.
  • Topic: Government, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Britain, United States, America, Washington, Paris, London, Wellington
  • Author: Richard Reid
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: This article was commissioned as a contribution to the 90th anniversary issue of International Affairs , and it seems appropriate to note at the outset the prominent place that Africa has occupied in the pages of the journal since the 1920s. Indeed, a list of authors who have written for it reads as a roll-call of modern African history, in terms of both protagonists and analysts, and I doubt whether any specialist Africanist journal can boast a comparable line-up. A handful of examples may suffice. From the era of European colonial rule, Frederick, Lord Lugard, wrote in 1927 on the putative challenges confronting colonial administrators of 'equatorial' Africa, and Lord Hailey, in 1947, on the issues involved in 'native administration' more broadly; notably, the African perspective on these questions was provided in a piece in 1951 by the eminent Tswana political figure of the early and middle twentieth century, Tshekedi Khama. Former colonial governor Sir Andrew Cohen assessed the place of the new African nations within the UN in a 1960 article. A later generation of African nationalist leaders, the founders and shapers of the continent in its first flush of independence, is also represented: of particular note are pieces on the prospects for the continent by the Tunisian leader Habib Bourguiba and by the Senegalese poet and politician Leopold Senghor, in 1961 and 1962 respectively. And then there are the analysts and commentators, some of whom have become the stuff of legend for the author's own generation: Lucy Mair, Ali Mazrui and Colin Legum, to name but three.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe
  • Author: Yongjin Zhang
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: All great thinkers, while historically conditioned, are all philosophically contemporaneous. It is a great privilege to have this extended version of my Martin Wight Memorial Lecture published in International Affairs—all the more so in this 90th anniversary issue of the journal. International Relations theory and English School thinking have been well represented in International Affairs: since Sir Herbert Butterfield delivered the inaugural Martin Wight Memorial Lecture 38 years ago in 1975, 21 Martin Wight lectures have appeared in these pages. I am delighted, therefore, to be continuing that tradition and very much hope that this trend will endure for many years to come.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: China, Ecuador
  • Author: Geoffrey Warner
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: On 20 January 1972 an alarming message reached Washington from General Creighton Abrams, the US commander in Vietnam. He stated that 'the enemy is preparing and positioning his forces for a major offensive. There is no doubt that this is to be a major campaign . We foresee a hard battle involving sophisticated weaponry and as much ground combat power as the enemy can generate.' He therefore asked for a number of 'standby authorities' for military actions, notably air power. This was just the latest of a series of warnings from Abrams, but it was deemed important enough to be forwarded to the White House, where President Nixon's National Security Advisor, Henry Kissinger, raised the matter with his boss later the same day. It was agreed that any decision upon future action should be postponed until after the President's televised speech to the nation on Vietnam on 25 January (vol. VIII, no. 2).
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Vietnam
  • Author: Colin Fleming
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: As Charles Tilly famously argued, 'War made the state, and the state made war'. This symbiosis between the state and its ability to wage war has long been synonymous with statehood itself, and what it means to be independent within the international state system. It is an idea that has underpinned realist accounts of international relations and remains widely accepted, despite changing norms and closer dependencies between states. Indeed, in the context of the Scottish independence debate Malcolm Chalmers has argued that: 'Having independent armed forces is at the heart of what it means to be a sovereign country.' This raises the question whether the Scottish government's favoured cooperative approach to defence would undermine Scotland's new-found sovereignty at the very time that it seeks its own independent voice in international affairs.
  • Topic: NATO
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Scotland
  • Author: Mark Webber, Ellen Hallams, Martin A. Smith
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: When NATO heads of state and government convene in Newport, Wales, in September 2014, it will be their first meeting in the UK since the London summit of July 1990. A quarter of a century ago, NATO was reborn. The London Declaration on a Transformed Alliance was NATO's keynote statement of renewed purpose, issued in 1990 as the Cold War was drawing to a close. In it we find the beginnings of the tasks which would come to define the alliance in the post- Cold War period, along with an appreciation of a fundamentally altered strategic landscape. Europe had 'entered a new, promising era', one in which it was thought the continent's tragic cycle of war and peace might well be over. The 2014 summit communiqué is unlikely to reflect such optimism, but what it surely needs to do is to recapture the spirit of enterprise that NATO has on occasion been able to articulate in demanding times.
  • Topic: NATO, Cold War
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe, London
  • Author: Jasper Humphreys, M. L. R. Smith
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Counter-poaching operations in South Africa's so-called 'rhino wars' have seen increasing use of kinetic strategies and tactics. It can be argued that this follows the country's historical tendency to react to threats with confrontation in the first instance rather than negotiation, as leaders invoke images of 'backs-to-the-wall' isolation. During the apartheid period the National Party strongly promoted patriotism and self-sacrifice, portraying South Africa as facing 'total onslaught'; today, the rhetoric of 'rhino wars' is often framed in similar terms, not least because the person leading the rhinoceros counter-poaching campaign, Major General Johan Jooste (retired), was himself heavily involved in the 'apartheid wars' in the latter half of the twentieth century.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: South Africa
  • Author: Rosaleen Duffy
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Conserving biodiversity is a central environmental concern, and conservationists increasingly talk in terms of a 'war' to save species. International campaigns present a specific image: that parks agencies and conservation NGOs are engaged in a continual battle to protect wildlife from armies of highly organized criminal poachers who are financially motivated. The war to save biodiversity is presented as a legitimate war to save critically endangered species such as rhinos, tigers, gorillas and elephants. This is a significant shift in approach since the late 1990s, when community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) and participatory techniques were at their peak. Since the early 2000s there has been a re-evaluation of a renewed interest in fortress conservation models to protect wildlife, including by military means. Yet, as Lunstrum notes, there is a dearth of research on 'green militarization', a process by which military approaches and values are increasingly embedded in conservation practice.
  • Topic: War
  • Author: Rob White
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Shortages of food, water and non-renewable energy sources can trigger nefarious activities involving organized criminal networks, transnational corporations and governments at varying political levels. Illegal and excessive fishing, sidestep - ping of regulations on disposal of hazardous waste, water and land theft, fraudulent manipulation of alternative energy subsidies and policies, and transference of toxicity and contaminated products across national borders are driven by a variety of motivations and involve a wide range of actors. The consequences of such activities contribute to even more ruthless exploitation of rapidly vanishing natural resources, as well as the further diminution of air, soil and water quality, thereby exacerbating the competition among individuals, groups and nations for what is left.
  • Topic: Government, Politics, International Security
  • Author: Robert A. Francis, Krishna Krishnamurthy
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Warfare is a uniquely human endeavour, and has been central to human culture and civilization for many thousands of years. Early forms of intergroup conflict were conducted by our hominid ancestors over one million years ago, while the development of larger-scale, organized conflict is recorded by early civilizations in Mesopotamia and China almost 5,000 years ago. The impetuses for warfare, being a complex mix of genetics, psychology, culture, politics, technology and resource availability, are unlikely to disappear in the future, as long as our species survives. Though the nature of warfare is changing, from its most devastating twentieth- century form of industrial 'total' warfare to the geographically and politically complex 'everywhere war' that is beginning to define conflict in the twenty-first century, violent conflict is certain to remain a defining part of the human story.
  • Political Geography: China, Mesopotamia
  • Author: Richard Milburn
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is endowed with a wealth of natural resources, and the presence of high-value minerals such as coltan and diamonds is well known. The country is also endowed with a wealth of biodiversity, although the value of this is often overlooked. The DRC ranks fifth in terms of the most biodiverse countries in the world; it is home to a plethora of endemic species of both flora and fauna and contains the second largest rainforest in the world, smaller only than the Amazon. This range of flora and fauna has suffered enormously from the effects of armed conflict in the country over the past two decades, and many wildlife populations have been decimated. In spite of destruction through conflict, key populations and ecosystems still remain and they are crucial for the country's development and the world's fight against climate change.
  • Political Geography: Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Author: Thomas G. Weiss, Martin Welz
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: After the initial post-Cold War euphoria about the potential for the United Nations (UN) to maintain international peace and security, as imagined in its Charter, from the 1990s onwards subcontracting from the world organization to regional organizations has become essentially the standard operating procedure for major military peace operations. While UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali was bullish in his 1992 An agenda for peace, the UN has by and large withdrawn from the peace enforcement business following debacles in Somalia and Rwanda—as Boutros-Ghali's 1995 Supplement to 'An agenda for peace' and the 2000 Brahimi Report recommended.
  • Topic: Security, Cold War
  • Political Geography: United Nations, Rwanda, Somalia
  • Author: Paul D. Williams
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: On 21 September 2013, fighters from the Harakat Al-Shabaab Mujahideen (Movement of the Warrior Youth) attacked the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, killing 67 people and wounding over 200 others. According to Kenya's parliamentary inquiry into the attack, it was conducted by four gunmen (three Somali nationals and a Norwegian citizen of Somali origin), all of whom died in the subsequent four-day siege. The inquiry, by the Joint Committee on Administration and National Security and Defence and Foreign Relations, listed Westgate as the 28th terrorist attack in the country since Kenyan forces intervened in Somalia in October 2011. It concluded that a confluence of factors had left Kenya particularly vulnerable to such attacks: its porous border with Somalia; endemic corruption and poor levels of preparedness among its security officials; youth radicalization (with over 500 Kenyan youths recruited into Al-Shabaab), the proliferation of small arms and light weapons; and the influx of more than 600,000 Somali refugees into Kenya. Overall, the inquiry lamented that despite relevant general information about an impending terror attack on such a target, there had been a 'nationwide systemic failure' on the part of numerous government departments, confusion among government agencies in responding to the attack, and disgraceful looting of premises within the mall by some Kenyan soldiers and police.
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Norway, Somalia, Nairobi
  • Author: Sophie Harman, David Williams
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The project of international development is in a period of transition. The various dimensions of this transition are relatively clear, the outcome much less so. The first aim of this article is to outline and suggest some explanations for what we take to be the main dimensions of this transition. These are changes in development thinking, particularly with regard to the role of the state; changing donor priorities around 'big' and 'small' development; the changing donor landscape and a new age of choice for developing countries; and changing aid relationships that create greater autonomy for developing countries. We suggest that such changes are linked together in ways that are leading to some quite substantial shifts in the policies and practices of international development. The second aim of this article is to signal some of the important questions and debates that arise when we take notice of these shifts. First, there are explanatory questions related to how we capture the dynamics involved in these areas of change and their relations with one another. Second, there are questions about what the new demands will be for developing country governments and aid donors in this new environment. Third, and related, there are questions about what lessons we might draw from past experiences, in the sense that for some of the ideas and practices we see assuming a new significance in the contemporary period, there are at least parallels in the past. Finally, there are questions about the future trajectory of this transition, where it is taking us, and whether it will be sustained and amplified in the future.
  • Topic: Development, Government
  • Author: Takashi Inoguchi
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The world was different in 2002 when Henry Kissinger published a book entitled Does America need a foreign policy?, and Le Monde came out in support of the United States after the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 by proclaiming: 'We are all American.' In many ways, this was the high point of the American global era—the era of unipolar American power. In 2014 the world has moved on. The United States is still the leading global power with unique capabilities and responsibilities for global leadership. But other states—particularly in Asia and the non-western developing world—are on the rise. The world is more fragmented and decentralized. States are rising and falling. The terms of global governance are more contested and uncertain. This article addresses the foreign policy of Japan and the choices that Japan faces in this shifting global context.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, America, Asia, North America
  • Author: Chris Brown
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The vulnerable in international society is the latest in a series of books by Ian Clark exploring different aspects of international society, following Legitimacy in international society (OUP, 2005) and Hegemony in international society (OUP, 2011). The two earlier books—along with his co-authored Special responsibilities: global problems and American power (with Mlada Bukovansky, Robyn Eckersley, Christian Reus-Smit and Nicholas Wheeler; CUP, 2012)—are largely concerned with the ways in which international society reproduces itself and manages Great Power relations; The vulnerable in international society shifts the focus towards the other end of the food chain, towards those who are without power. The thesis is that the vulnerable are not simply ill served by international society, by definition insufficiently protected by it, but in a wider sense actually created by international society—the risks they face may sometimes be 'natural', but equally they may actually be a by-product of the way in which international society works. Just as international society confers legitimacy on its members, so it may also create vulnerability. The vulnerable are a socially crafted category and international society is involved in that crafting process, as well as being involved in measures taken to cope with the consequences of this process.
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Geraint Hughes
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: On 5 January 1974 a column of 150 British Army troops, supported by armoured vehicles, arrived at Heathrow airport in full battle order, and over the course of the following two weeks they patrolled its runways and the perimeter. These soldiers had been ordered in by Edward Heath's government in response to intelligence reports that the Palestinian fedayeen intended to use a portable anti-aircraft missile to shoot down a passenger jet, and the British authorities had already devised contingency plans (codenamed Operation Marmion) to deploy the army in order to deter a terrorist attack at the airport. Marmion was implemented on three further occasions in 1974—in June, July and September—and in each case the troop presence at Heathrow attracted considerable parliamentary and press comment. Some critics argued that in each case the British government was over- reacting to the threat at hand, and that the military patrols at Heathrow were essentially intended as a public relations exercise. However, Operation Marmion also had an effect which ministers and civil servants had not intended, as it fed contemporary fears that the British Army and right-wing extremists within the establishment and security services were preparing for a coup.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Britain, Palestine
  • Author: Michelle Bentley
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: This article examines US President Barack Obama's foreign policy rhetoric on Syria, specifically in relation to the threat of chemical weapons and the prohibitionary taboo surrounding their use. It contends that Obama's rhetorical construction of the taboo is not simply a commitment to the control of these horrific weapons (where such arms have been comprehended as so extensively vile as to preclude their employment), but that this also represents the strategic linguistic exploitation of these normative ideals in order to directly shape policy. By analysing of presidential speeches made during the conflict, it demonstrates that Obama has manipulated pre-existing conceptions of chemical weapons as taboo, and also as forms of weapons of mass destruction, to deliberately construct policy in line with his own political ambitions—most notably as a way of forcing a multilateral solution to the situation in Syria. This article challenges existing perceptions of the chemical weapons taboo as an inherently normative constraint, arguing that this instead comprises a more agency-driven construct. Static notions of the taboo must be abandoned and subsequently replaced with a framework of understanding that recognizes how the taboo can be used as a deliberate driver of foreign policy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Syria
  • Author: Thomas Waldman
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: This article examines the evolution of western policy towards the idea of pursuing negotiations with the Taliban, or 'reconciliation', in Afghanistan and the role that research and expert opinion played in that process. The official western position has evolved iteratively from initial rejection to near complete embrace of exploring the potential for talks. It is widely assumed that the deteriorating security situation was the sole determinant of this major policy reversal, persuading decisionmakers to rethink what had once been deemed unthinkable. Moreover, given the politicized and sensitive nature of the subject, we might expect the potential for outside opinion to influence decision-makers to be low. Nevertheless, this article demonstrates that it would be a mistake to underestimate the role that research and expert knowledge played-the story is more nuanced and complex. Research coalesced, sometimes prominently, with other key drivers to spur and shape policy change. Importantly, it often took experts to make sense of events on the ground, especially where the failure of the military approach was not recognized, understood or palatable to those in official circles. Research interacted with changing events, policy windows, the emergence of new personalities and the actions of various intermediaries to shape emerging positions. More broadly, the case of reconciliation in Afghanistan reveals the difficulties and challenges, but also the variety of opportunities and techniques, for achieving research influence in conflict-affected environments.
  • Topic: Security, Environment
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan
  • Author: Robert H. Wade
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Why has Piketty's Capital become a publishing sensation? Not for revolutionary findings; its message that western societies have experienced increases in inequality of income and wealth over the long term is hardly new. Of the several reasons discussed in this article, attention is paid in particular to the book's timing and its claim to reveal the laws of income and wealth distribution in western societies. Had the book been published before 2008 it would have been much less successful. Piketty's revelation of the big trends and their underlying logic helps to objectify, legitimize and offer a kind of catharsis for surging middle-class anxieties during the Great Recession. These anxieties have been further intensified by evidence that over 90 per cent of the increase in disposable income in the United States has accrued to the top 1 per cent of the population in the past several years, and a not much lower percentage to the top 1 per cent in Britain. In the conclusion it is argued that if Piketty's forecasts are even remotely accurate, capitalism will lose its core claim to legitimacy.
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Rosemary Foot
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: A more powerful China under the seemingly confident leadership of President Xi Jinping has committed to a more activist global policy. In particular, this commitment has influenced Beijing's policy towards UN peacekeeping operations, with a long-awaited decision to add combat forces to the engineering troops and police and medical units that have been features of its past contribution. In addition, Beijing has doubled the size of its contribution to the UN peace operations budget. This article explains why the UN is a key venue for China to demonstrate its 'responsible Great Power' status and expressed willingness to provide global public goods. The main explanatory factors relate to the UN's institutional design, which accords special status to China even as it represents a global order that promotes the sovereign equality of states. Moreover, there are complementarities between dominant Chinese beliefs and interests, and those contained within the UN system. Especially important in this latter regard are the links that China has tried to establish between peacebuilding and development assistance with the aim of strengthening the capacity of states. China projects development support as a contribution both to humanitarian need and to the harmonization of conflict-ridden societies. The Chinese leadership has also spoken of its willingness to contribute to peacemaking through stepping up its efforts at mediation. However, such a move will require much deeper commitment than China has demonstrated in the past and runs the risk of taking China into controversial areas of policy it has hitherto worked to avoid.
  • Topic: Development, United Nations
  • Political Geography: China, Beijing
  • Author: Ramesh Thakur
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: India's nuclear breakout in 1998, foreshadowed as early as 1974, may have been understandable for reasons of global nuclear politics, a triangular regional equation between China, India and Pakistan, and domestic politics. Yet the utility of India's nuclear weapons remains questionable on many grounds. Nuclear deterrence is dubious in general and especially dubious in the subcontinent. Nuclear weapons are not usable as weapons of compellence or defence. They failed to stop the Pakistani incursion in Kargil in 1999 or the terrorist attack on Mumbai in 2008. They will not help India to shape the military calculations of likely enemies. And India's global status and profile will be determined far more crucially by its economic performance than nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, they do impose direct and opportunity costs economically, risk corrosion of democratic accountability, add to global concerns about nuclear terrorism, and have not helped the cause of global nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. Because the consequences of a limited regional war involving India could be catastrophic for the world, others have both the right and a responsibility to engage with the issue. For all these reasons, a denuclearized world that includes the destruction of India's nuclear stockpile would favourably affect the balance of India's security and other interests, national and international interests, and material interests and value goals.
  • Topic: Security, Nuclear Weapons, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, China, India
  • Author: Zia Mian
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: In the four decades since Pakistan launched its nuclear weapons program, and especially in the fifteen years since the nuclear tests of 1998, a way of thinking and a related set of feelings about the bomb have taken hold among policy-makers and the public in Pakistan. These include the ideas that the bomb can ensure Pakistan's security; resolve the long-standing dispute with India over Kashmir in Pakistan's favour; help create a new national spirit; establish Pakistan as a leader among Islamic countries; and usher in a new stage in Pakistan's economic development. None of these hopes has come to pass, and in many ways Pakistan is much worse off than before it went nuclear. Yet the feelings about the bomb remain strong and it is these feelings that will have to be examined critically and be set aside if Pakistan is to move towards nuclear restraint and nuclear disarmament. This will require a measure of stability in a country beset by multiple insurgencies, the emergence of a peace movement able to launch a national debate on foreign policy and nuclear weapons, and greater international concern regarding the outcomes of nuclear arms racing in South Asia.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, South Asia, Atlantic Ocean
  • Author: Timothy M. Shaw, Francis Baert
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: A new round of Commonwealth reform proposals commenced at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting of 2009. An ensuing report, titled A Commonwealth of the people: time for urgent reform, contained a long list of proposals that eventually resulted in 2013 in the adoption of the Commonwealth Charter. Many classic international organizations are in need of reform, but this is, of course, challenging. This new Commonwealth reform process will not lead to satisfying changes and will not make it a more relevant actor in global governance. The year 2015 marks the Commonwealth Secretariat's first half-century. We take this symbolic marker to push for a forward-looking exercise, arguing that because the true nature of the Commonwealth is often misunderstood, a better understanding of the organization is essential before embarking on any successful change-management project. In the article we identify four different kinds of Commonwealth: three of a 'formal' nature (the official, bureaucratic and the people's Commonwealth) and a fourth 'informal' one (Commonwealth Plus). By describing the potential of these four different kinds of Commonwealth, we can anticipate better the challenges with which the Commonwealth network is faced, both internal (including its mandate, its British imperial past and dominance, the organization's leadership and its membership) and external (other international organizations, other Commonwealths, rivalry with regional organizations and the rise of global policy networks). Consequently, this should lead to a better and more sustainable debate about the Commonwealth's future role in global governance.
  • Topic: Government, Governance
  • Author: Peter Hakim
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: US-Brazilian relations sunk to one of their lowest points ever following last year's exposure of the US government's massive surveillance of the South American giant-including the correspondence of President Rousseff and the business operations of Brazil's national oil company, Petrobras. Brazilian authorities responded angrily. The Brazilian president called off a highly valued state visit to Washington, denounced the US for violations of sovereignty and human rights, and proceeded to bypass the US to purchase nearly $5 billion worth of fighter aircraft from Sweden. In fact, US-Brazil ties have not been constructive for more than a generation. Yes, relations are mostly amiable, but with limited cooperation, considerable discord and some open clashes. Washington views Brazil primarily as a regional actor, and wants its cooperation mainly on inter-American issues. For Brazil, regional collaboration means working with other Latin American nations-not the United States. Brazil usually wants the US to keep a distance from the region. The US is no more enthusiastic about Brazil assuming a global role; differences over some of the world's most dangerous political and security challenges have made Washington uneasy about Brazil's engagement in international affairs and critical of its foreign policy judgements. Relations will probably improve, but they could get worse. The two governments need to acknowledge that their relationship is fragile and troubled, and take steps both to rebuild trust and to avert further deterioration and new confrontations. They have to be more careful with each other.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: America, Washington, Brazil
  • Author: Alex Danchev
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: This review article considers the case of Donald Rumsfeld and his disastrous tenure as US Secretary of Defense (2001-2006), as recounted by Rumsfeld himself in his memoirs and other writings, and in interviews with the celebrated documentary filmmaker Errol Morris, for The unknown known (2014). In all of these works he appears completely unreconstructed; indeed, remarkably self-satisfied. The article reflects on Rumsfeld as operator and courtier, and Morris's pursuit of a man without qualities, with reference to Hannah Arendt's notion of 'the banality of evil'.
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington
  • Author: Geoffrey Warner
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The final volume of the Foreign relations series of documents on Indochina during the Nixon and Ford presidencies is not as detailed as those which preceded it. However, the documents do not support the view that, once the January 1973 Agreement between the Democratic Republic of (North) Vietnam and the United States had been concluded, the US was prepared to accept DRV's hegemony over the rest of Indochina, provided only that there was a 'decent interval' before it occurred. In fact, both the Nixon and Ford administrations did seek to prevent this from happening, but found their hands tied by congressional opposition. In the case of Cambodia, the United States also found itself the victim of its own illusions about the willingness of the People's Republic of China to support an alternative government led by the former ruler, Prince Norodom Sihanouk. Following the more or less total collapse of American policy in April 1975, some interesting 'post-mortems' from various government departments on the history of US involvement in Indochina are also printed in the volume under review.
  • Topic: Government, History
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Vietnam, Cambodia
  • Author: Malcolm Chalmers
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The World Today
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Britain's 2010 National Security Strategy, published shortly after the coalition government took office, was entitled 'A Strong Britain in an Age of Uncertainty'. It made no mention of the two existential challenges—the possible secession of Scotland from the United Kingdom, and the risk of a British withdrawal from the European Union. Yet either event would be a fundamental transformation in the very nature of the British state, with profound impact on its foreign and security policy.
  • Topic: Security, Government
  • Political Geography: Britain, United Kingdom, Europe, Scotland
  • Author: Colin Fleming
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The World Today
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Scotland's referendum saw Scots vote to remain part of the United Kingdom with 55 per cent of voters rejecting independence. However, a narrowing of the polls in the weeks leading up to the vote resulted in promises of significantly more powers for Scotland if it decided to stay part of the Union. With one You Gov poll suggesting a narrow win for the Yes movement–51 per cent to 49 per cent–Britain's three Unionist party leaders promised more powers with a timetable for action to be implemented the day after a No vote. These promises may be hard to keep. Only a few days on, it would appear that agreement on the timetable for change is lacking.
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Turkey, Scotland
  • Author: Josep Maria Reniu
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The World Today
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Friday September 19 was a rare day in Catalonia. A significant proportion of Catalans had hoped for a victory of the Yes vote in the Scottish independence referendum. The result was not as expected, but the day still gave us good news. The Catalan parliament passed a law on consultations and citizen participation that has allowed the president of the Catalan government to call citizens to the polls on November 9 to vote on independence. This vote in parliament took place against a background of impasse between Catalonia and the Spanish government in Madrid, with potentially destabilizing effects.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Spain, Scotland