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  • Author: Daniel V. Speckhard
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: After serving for two challenging years in the chaos of a war zone as the Deputy Chief of Mission in Iraq, I received word that I would become the next Ambassador to Greece. To be quite honest, I had mixed feelings. I looked forward to the challenge, but I imagined the post would be too sedate compared with the adrenalin-charged days and world-shaping events in Iraq. It was anything but. Within a year of my arrival, the streets were aflame with violent protests over a police shooting of a teenager. A year later, snap elections brought a socialist government to power. And soon thereafter, the onion was further peeled to expose a financial crisis and a crumbling economic foundation built on a corrupt, oligarchic, and debt-addicted system fed by billions of dollars of public and private EU loans and grants.
  • Topic: Corruption, Economics, Politics, Financial Crisis, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe, Greece
  • Author: Xiao Fang
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Issues Slovak Foreign Policy Affairs
  • Institution: Slovak Foreign Policy Association
  • Abstract: China and Central Europe have experienced similar transitions over time and have a constructive role to play in the international system, taking on responsibility for development. Cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European Countries is conducted via the “16+1” mechanism, the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st century maritime Silk Road, known as the “Belt and Road initiative.” Central European countries are EU member states and emerging economies. They are located at a geographically strategic juncture and form part of the East Asia–Transatlantic value chain. The 16+1 mechanism is helping China and Central European countries establish high level annual meetings and is encouraging the private sector, business, people-to-people exchanges. The Belt and Road initiative is providing new financing facilities, and a dialogue with the European Commission on investment plans is being launched. Studies and working groups are emerging to help set strategies, build mechanisms, allocate resources and implement policies. This article argues that the Chinese approach, i.e. the 16+1 mechanism and Belt and Road initiative, is platforms paving the way for China–Central Europe cooperation.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Politics, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: China, Central Europe
  • Author: Vilem Semerak
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Issues Slovak Foreign Policy Affairs
  • Institution: Slovak Foreign Policy Association
  • Abstract: The paper provides an overview of stylized facts on current trends in trade between the PRC and the 16 Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries. The potential effects of the “One Belt, One Road” initiative are discussed as are policy recommendations for the CEE countries. Trade with China is seen as complementary to trade with the core of the EU (and with the mutual trade of the CEE region,) once the international fragmentation of value chains is taken into account. Multilateral and plurilateral (e.g. EU-based) approaches to relations with China are likely to generate fewer risks compared to isolated solutions based on national interest pursued individually by CEE countries.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Politics, Multilateral Relatons
  • Political Geography: China, Eastern Europe, Central Europe
  • Author: Justyna Szczudlik
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Issues Slovak Foreign Policy Affairs
  • Institution: Slovak Foreign Policy Association
  • Abstract: In the last two decades, Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) have not played an important role in China’s foreign policy and vice-versa. EU membership did not change China–CEE relations remarkably. The situation started to change once the global financial and economic crisis hit. CEE began to notice that China is an economic and political partner to be reckoned with. Meanwhile, despite the crisis, the PRC started to look at CEE as a stable region – especially in economic terms. At the beginning China decided to strengthen bilateral ties with CEE countries. But in mid-2011 Beijing took the first step to launch cooperation with CEE as a region,
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, Politics, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: China, Central Europe
  • Author: Agnes Szunomar
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Issues Slovak Foreign Policy Affairs
  • Institution: Slovak Foreign Policy Association
  • Abstract: China is increasingly perceived in Central and Eastern Europe as a country which could bring economic success to the countries of the region through the development of trade relations and the growing inflow of Chinese investment. Within the region, Hungary is regarded as occupying a prominent position by Chinese people and the government for several reasons. Chinese relations have historically been good: over the past decade Hungarian governments have committed themselves to developing the relationship. This trend was further confirmed after the global economic crisis of 2008, when Hungary started looking for new opportunities in its recovery from recession. The “Eastern opening” policy was initiated after the crisis and partly because of it. Officially, this policy puts more emphasis on further developing Chinese–Hungarian relations than was previously the case, including increasing trade and investment. However, the outcomes of the policy – such as the construction of the Budapest–Belgrade railway line – can be evaluated in different ways.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Politics
  • Political Geography: China, Central Europe
  • Author: Peter Ondris
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Issues Slovak Foreign Policy Affairs
  • Institution: Slovak Foreign Policy Association
  • Abstract: While numerous specialist studies about Chinese communities have been published in other countries in the region, this is not the case in Slovakia. Therefore there is a general lack of information about the Chinese community in Slovakia. The objective of this study is, at least partially, to fill this gap. While in many cases, i.e. in Central and Eastern Europe, businesses run by Chinese migrants have contributed to the economic stabilization of the region, including in Slovakia. It should be noted that the number of Chinese people in Slovakia has in the last ten years decreased as a percentage of the foreigners living legally in Slovakia. One could assess this as being a consequence of Slovakia’s EU membership and its adoption of European legislation. The Slovak government has adopted policies to try to change the nature of Chinese migration to Slovakia and attract more educated people and businessmen.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, European Union, Multilateral Relatons
  • Political Geography: China, Eastern Europe, Hungary, Central Europe, Slovakia
  • Author: Edward Skidelsky
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics International Affairs Journal
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: Money has always inspired obsession, both in those who amass it and in those who think about it. “Man will never be able to know what money is any more than he will be able to know what God is,” wrote the French financier Marcel Labordère to his friend John Maynard Keynes. The analogy is apt. Money, like God, injects infinity into human desires. To love it is to embark on a journey without end. Three new books testify to money's enduring power to fascinate and horrify. The most scholarly of them, The Invention of Market Freedom by political theorist Eric MacGilvray, traces the emergence of the distinctively modern or “market” conception of freedom out of its “republican” predecessor. The general story is somewhat familiar, but MacGilvray complicates it by showing that market freedom did not vanquish its republican competitor in open combat but subverted it from within, like a parasite devouring its host.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets
  • Political Geography: New York
  • 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: Eui-Gak Hwang
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: This article will describe the recent status of the North Korean economy and its external trade as well as the derailed North-South economic interaction. Despite several attempts by North Korea to introduce change involving the term 'economic reform', North Korea has not yet advanced during the last thirty years. Its economic deadlocks are owed, first, to its very principles in which economic reform must be permissible only within the set of basic values held by the monoparty about "juche (self-reliant)" socialism. In other words, even partial decentralization is itself being centrally directed and eyed with military-first targets. Second, the North Korean leadership and its supporting elites, the final arbiters deciding how far it is permissible to open its system, are apprehensive that a change in its system would actually lead to the collapse of their established power structure. The fear of reform arbiters regarding a revolutionary bottom-up movement has played a role in inhibiting action. North-South economic cooperation as well as the resistance to North's external openness must also be considered for its potential positive and negative effects on the people in the monarchic hermit kingdom. North Korea is likely to remain little changed as long as Kim's family continues its current rule. The only chance for real change may occur if the young and liberal Kim Jung-eun wakes up and agrees to unite with South Korea.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Hiroki Takeuchi
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: China and Japan have been deepening economic interdependence over the last two decades, while China has recently shown territorial ambitions and initiated disputes with Japan. This runs contrary to the commercial liberal literature that argues that trade promotes peace. On the other hand, the realist theory also does not fully explain Sino-Japanese relations because Sino-Japanese relations are not always in conflict. The rise of China and the relative decline of Japan might explain increasing tensions in the rivalry relationship, but what drives Chinese leaders to initiate disputes? I address the importance of domestic politics to examine Sino-Japanese disputes. I argue that the recent deterioration of the bilateral relationship could be explained by the power struggle in the Chinese leadership. To support the logic of this argument, I use a game-theoretic model, which accounts for how the type of Chinese leadership influences foreign policy outcomes in Sino-Japanese relations.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics
  • Political Geography: Japan, China