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  • Author: Deborah Jordan Brooks, Stephen G. Brooks, Brian D. Greenhill, Mark L. Haas
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The world is experiencing a period of unprecedented demographic change. For the first time in human history, marked disparities in age structures exist across the globe. Around 40 percent of the world's population lives in countries with significant numbers of elderly citizens. In contrast, the majority of the world's people live in developing countries with very large numbers of young people as a proportion of the total population. Yet, demographically, most of the world's states with young populations are aging, and many are doing so quickly. This first-of-its kind systematic theoretical and empirical examination of how these demographic transitions influence the likelihood of interstate conflict shows that countries with a large number of young people as a proportion of the total population are the most prone to international conflict, whereas states with the oldest populations are the most peaceful. Although societal aging is likely to serve as a force for enhanced stability in most, and perhaps all, regions of the world over the long term, the road to a “demographic peace” is likely to be bumpy in many parts of the world in the short to medium term.
  • Topic: Demographics, War, International Security, Democracy, International Relations Theory
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Japan, China, Germany, Global Focus
  • Author: Dominic D.P. Johnson, Dominic Tierney
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: A major puzzle in international relations is why states privilege negative over positive information. States tend to inflate threats, exhibit loss aversion, and learn more from failures than from successes. Rationalist accounts fail to explain this phenomenon, because systematically overweighting bad over good may in fact undermine state interests. New research in psychology, however, offers an explanation. The “negativity bias” has emerged as a fundamental principle of the human mind, in which people's response to positive and negative information is asymmetric. Negative factors have greater effects than positive factors across a wide range of psychological phenomena, including cognition, motivation, emotion, information processing, decision-making, learning, and memory. Put simply, bad is stronger than good. Scholars have long pointed to the role of positive biases, such as overconfidence, in causing war, but negative biases are actually more pervasive and may represent a core explanation for patterns of conflict. Positive and negative dispositions apply in different contexts. People privilege negative information about the external environment and other actors, but positive information about themselves. The coexistence of biases can increase the potential for conflict. Decisionmakers simultaneously exaggerate the severity of threats and exhibit overconfidence about their capacity to deal with them. Overall, the negativity bias is a potent force in human judgment and decisionmaking, with important implications for international relations theory and practice.
  • Topic: Political Theory, Emotions, International Relations Theory, Psychology
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Andrea Gilli, Mauro Gilli
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Can countries easily imitate the United States' advanced weapon systems and thus erode its military-technological superiority? Scholarship in international relations theory generally assumes that rising states benefit from the “advantage of backwardness.” That is, by free riding on the research and technology of the most advanced countries, less developed states can allegedly close the military-technological gap with their rivals relatively easily and quickly. More recent works maintain that globalization, the emergence of dual-use components, and advances in communications have facilitated this process. This literature is built on shaky theoretical foundations, however, and its claims lack empirical support. In particular, it largely ignores one of the most important changes to have occurred in the realm of weapons development since the second industrial revolution: the exponential increase in the complexity of military technology. This increase in complexity has promoted a change in the system of production that has made the imitation and replication of the performance of state-of-the-art weapon systems harder—so much so as to offset the diffusing effects of globalization and advances in communications. An examination of the British-German naval rivalry (1890–1915) and China's efforts to imitate U.S. stealth fighters supports these findings.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Military Affairs, Cybersecurity, Information Age
  • Political Geography: Britain, United States, China, Germany
  • Author: Andriy Tyushka
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Issues: Slovak Foreign Policy Affairs
  • Institution: Slovak Foreign Policy Association
  • Abstract: The Eastern Partnership’s tenth-anniversary celebration in May 2019 by the European Union and its Eastern neighbors was anything but grandiose and festive. Internal EU developments, the overall political dynamics in the region and the indeterminacies of the Eastern Partnership project were the main cause. As the EU’s flagship policy initiative towards its Eastern European neighborhood is currently undergoing auditing and revision, this article seeks to cast a look back at how the Eastern Partnership has functioned over the past decade – and to think forward to its future(s) with regard to design and deliverables in face of the enduring and imminent policy dilemmas in this highly contested region.
  • Topic: Development, International Cooperation, Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements, Public Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Belarus
  • Author: Myroslava Lendel
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Issues: Slovak Foreign Policy Affairs
  • Institution: Slovak Foreign Policy Association
  • Abstract: Since 2009, the main mechanism of Eurointegration in Ukraine, in addition to the bilateral diplomatic efforts and internally driven pro-European reforms, has been the Eastern Partnership (EaP), a multilateral project has that brought Kyiv both new opportunities and additional challenges and uncertainty. Although the positives outcomes have generally been welcomed, these have not detracted from the commonly held view among experts that despite good outcomes in stimulating economic reform, support for the new government and citizen institutions, and a tangible contribution to stability on the EU borders, the current strategy alone will not secure the stable development of the democracy and market economy in Eastern Europe generally, and Ukraine in particular. The commitment of these countries to general European principles has to be supported by the prospect of EU membership and that means revisiting the current format and especially the philosophy behind the Eastern Partnership. One possible scenario could be the formation of EaP+3 within the European Partnership, which would bring together Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova – the countries with Association Agreements with the EU – and a commitment to EU membership.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements, Public Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia
  • Author: Alexander Duleba
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Issues: Slovak Foreign Policy Affairs
  • Institution: Slovak Foreign Policy Association
  • Abstract: This article analyzes perceptions of the opportunities and problems in EU–Ukraine relations among officials from the European Commission and Ukraine’s government institutions involved in implementing the Association Agreement. It presents the findings of empirical research conducted through semi-structured interviews with ten representatives from the European Commission and ten representatives from Ukraine’s government institutions. The analysis shows that despite differences in their assessments of mutual relations and cooperation, which undoubtedly cause communication problems, there are no elements underpinning the mutual perceptions that would create major obstacles to EU–Ukraine cooperation over implementation of the Association Agreement. However, the research also shows that a sufficiently large number of obstacles do exist and these could slow the implementation of the Association Agreement.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements, Public Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine
  • Author: Petra Kuchyňková
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Issues: Slovak Foreign Policy Affairs
  • Institution: Slovak Foreign Policy Association
  • Abstract: According to Petra Kuchyňková, assistant professor at Masaryk University in Brno, the Eastern Partnership has been relatively successful, despite the frequent political instability in EaP countries. However, the EU has not always been consistent in its neighborhood policy. This is easily understood if we look at the heterogeneity of the EaP countries and the differences in the extent of Russian influence in the region. According to Kuchyňková, the EU should not abolish the sanctions on Russia unless there is visible progress in the Minsk process, so as to avoid damaging its reputation as normative actor. Cooperation between the EU and the EEU seems unlikely due the atmosphere of mistrust and suspicion. EU neighborhood policy could receive new impetus as a result of it being given more attention in the new multiannual financial framework.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements, Public Policy, Trade Liberalization
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Belarus
  • Author: Slawomir Matuszak
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Issues: Slovak Foreign Policy Affairs
  • Institution: Slovak Foreign Policy Association
  • Abstract: The paper analyzes the first years of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the European Union, focusing on the economic part: the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area agreement (DCFTA). It describes the causes and results of changes in the flow of goods, and the implications of these for Ukraine’s policy. The DCFTA was one of the key tools that allowed Ukraine to survive the difficult period of economic crisis. The aim of this article is to show to what extent, starting from 2015, Ukraine has begun to integrate with the EU market and at the same time become increasingly independent of the Russian market and more broadly the countries of the Eurasian Economic Union. It can be assumed that this process will only accelerate. It is just the first stage on the pathway followed by the countries of Central and Eastern Europe in the 1990s. To achieve full integration requires an increase in investment cooperation, currently at a fairly low level.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation, Free Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Belarus
  • Author: Iurie Gotişan
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Issues: Slovak Foreign Policy Affairs
  • Institution: Slovak Foreign Policy Association
  • Abstract: The article attempts to outline the main trends and dynamics in Moldova’s development over the ten years since it became part of the EU’s Eastern Partnership. This article analyzes the main dimensions in Moldova’s relationship with the EU, in particular the essential elements are emphasized vis-à-vis the EU–Moldova Association Agreement, Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement and the dialog on abolishing the visa regime with the EU. Moreover, it attempts a regional comparison of the EaP member states, from an interdisciplinary analytical perspective offered by some civil society entities in Moldova.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Belarus
  • Author: Kelsey Wise, Amin Awad
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Harvard Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: The series of refugee crises in the Middle East and North Africa has created urgent need for coordinated international responses and advocacy. To learn more about the complexities of meeting the needs of diverse refugee populations across the region, and addressing their root causes, JMEPP Levant Regional Editor Kelsey Wise sat down with Amin Awad in advance of his appearance at the Harvard Arab Conference. Mr. Awad currently serves as the Director for the Middle East and North Africa with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and has extensive experience working on refugee issues and in humanitarian relief in the MENA region. He is also the Regional Refugee Coordinator for Syria and Iraq.
  • Topic: Nationalism, Refugee Crisis, Displacement, Syrian War, Resettlement, Child Marriage
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Yemen, United Nations, North Africa, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan