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  • Author: Ernesto Roessing Neto
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Given the lack of a multilateral convention on forests, global deforestation is being addressed through various initiatives, public and private, local and global. Since 2005, the creation of a mechanism for addressing deforestation (among other things) has been moving forward within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) regime. Known as REDD+, it is meant to provide incentives to developing countries in return for forest conservation, with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. REDD+ could lead to lower levels of deforestation and forest degradation, and to the incorporation of customary governance arrangements in national policy instruments, albeit with some risk of centralisation of forest governance. It could also have a negative social and environmental impact if too much emphasis is put on carbon without adopting the proper social and environmental safeguards.
  • Topic: United Nations, Governance
  • Author: Jennie C. Stephens
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: As the threats of climate change grow, the need to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fossil fuel burning is increasingly acknowledged by governments around the world. The potential of carbon capture and storage (CCS), a set of technologies that offers a politically appealing vision of a 'cleaner' way to use fossil fuels, has provided powerful motivation for large public and private investments in CCS technology. But investing in CCS is controversial because, although some consider it a critical climate mitigation technology, others view it as an expensive fossil fuel subsidy that could inadvertently perpetuate, rather than reduce, fossil fuel reliance.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Government
  • Author: Kathrin Keil
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: In order to assess whether the Arctic region is evolving into a region of cooperation or one of confrontation, a thorough understanding of the existing (and evolving) bilateral, regional and international institutional frameworks with relevant regulations for the Arctic and their adequacy for solving possible controversies is paramount. Disputes can flare up over various issues, as the Arctic has aptly demonstrated in recent years. Whether these disputes erupt into conflict or are handled cooperatively depends significantly on the rules and regulations that parties have put in place. While most of the literature deals with resource ownership, it is argued here that the more significant potential sources of controversy between Arctic states are issues of responsibility, liability, precaution and preparedness concerning possible transboundary environmental risks and dangers and, generally, protection of the fragile Arctic ecosystem.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Oil
  • Political Geography: Arctic
  • Author: Zhang Xiaotong
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The Chinese policy and academic communities have mixed views about the US-led TPP, either viewing it as a strategic attempt at encircling China, or as a positive spur for domestic reform and opening-up. Although the Chinese government adopted an open and flexible attitude towards the TPP, it has moved strategically by accelerating the negotiations of the RCEP and China-Korea FTA, as well as updating its FTA with ASEAN. A more interesting development is China's new initiatives for building two grand silk roads, one to Central Asia, leading on to Europe, and the other to Southeast Asia, leading on to the Indian Ocean. Both represent China's renewed confidence in finding its role in Asia.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Andrea Ghiselli
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Developments at both the doctrinal and operational level suggest that the 'post-modernisation' of China's PLA Navy (PLAN) has started. Issues such as the maritime disputes in the East and South China Seas and how to create a network of bases or 'footholds' outside Asia might slow down or temporarily halt this process. However, as China's economic presence expands on a global scale, its security interests and those of the international community will overlap increasingly with one another. Consequently, once its transformation has been completed, the PLAN is likely to become a global and cooperative force.
  • Topic: Security, Development
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Claudia Astarita
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Review of: China's naval power : an offensive realist approach / Yves-Heng Lim. - Farnham and Burlington : Ashgate, 2014. - xii, 217 p. - (Corbett Centre for Maritime Policy Studies series). - ISBN 978-1-4094-5184-6 ; 978-1-4094-5185-3 (ebk) ; 978-1-4724-0270-7 (ePUB)
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Silvia Menegazzi
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Review of: Following the leader : ruling China, from Deng Xiaoping to Xi Jinping / David M. Lampton. - Berkeley : University of California Press, 2013. - xiii, 293 p. : ill. - ISBN 978-0-520281-21-9 ; China's foreign policy / Stuart Harris. - Cambridge ; Malden : Polity Press, 2014. - 356 p. - ISBN 978-0-7456-6246-6 ; 978-0-7456-6247-3 (pbk) ; China's foreign policy : who makes it, and how is it made? / edited by Gilbert Rozman. - New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. - 343 p. - ISBN 978-1-137-34406-9 ; 978-1-137-34409-0 (pbk)
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Pavel K. Baev
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The severe and fast-evolving Ukraine crisis has required a great concentration of Russia’s political efforts and is having a massive impact on Russian policymaking, including in the Middle East. This region provides the best opportunity for Moscow to reassert its status as a key player in the global arena, and the deep fall of oil prices makes Russia particularly attentive to regional conflict developments. One of the main motivations for Russia is the pronounced desire to demonstrate its capacity to thwart US policy, but another is to prove its value to China as a strategic partner. Russia’s reach remains limited but it will continue to look for opportunities to make a difference.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Conflict, Syrian War
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Middle East, Syria, United States of America
  • Author: Ulrike Guerot
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: As long as Angela Merkel remains chancellor, most Germans seem to be in no rush to find a coalition. This is why the coalition negotiations have been going on for weeks (and may only conclude when this journal goes to print). Nevertheless, the elections have shaken up the German political landscape: the Liberals (FDP) are out of the Bundestag for the first time since 1949 and the euro-sceptical Alternative for Germany (AfD) is in. With the Left Party still outside of the 'consensus spectrum', the Conservatives (CDU), Social Democrats (SPD) and Greens are the only parties eligible for government in either a grand coalition (CDU/SPD) or a Black-Green coalition (CDU/ Greens). But the SPD's reluctance to enter into a grand coalition a second time, after the disastrous results for the party in 2005-09, led many to hope for an innovative progressive-conservative U-turn in Germany, meaning a Black-Green coalition. Indeed, for a moment it seemed like the CDU and the Greens would dare the impossible after what had been called a "fruitful and harmonious exploration". But in the end, it is going to be a grand coalition again, with the likely effect for Europe that austerity will be softened a bit - but in essence, German European policy will remain as it is, slow and reluctant.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • Author: Maria Cristina Paciello
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Two years after the popular mobilisations in Egypt and Tunisia of early 2011, post-uprising authorities, including the Islamist parties that came to power, have failed to deliver on the demands for social justice that triggered those protests. They have responded to past and present socio-economic challenges by adopting measures that are in clear continuity with previous regimes and lacking any coherent long-term vision of economic reform. Indeed, albeit with differences between the two countries, post-uprising authorities, lacking experience and competence, have not fully broken with the old system in reconfiguring power relations within and outside state institutions and have continued to adopt a top-down approach to economic decision-making.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Egypt, Tunisia