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  • Author: Peter Nadin
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Abstract: Australia should strengthen its engagement with the United Nations to ensure it has a greater voice on global issues that matter to its national interests
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Marcin Przychodniak
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Reform of the Chinese armed forces gained new momentum under Xi Jinping in 2015. The main argument behind the strategy, structure, and equipment modernisation of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is the active defence of China’s global interests to strengthen its competitiveness with the United States. A short-term goal is to make the PLA operationally capable of projecting China’s power abroad constantly, using joint exercises, peacekeeping missions, and the development of military infrastructure. One recent example was opening of China’s first foreign military base in Djibouti. The PLA should also be capable of defending China’s territory and overseas interests by performing combat operations abroad. This means a possible change to the non-intervention clause that has until now been a crucial element of China’s foreign policy.
  • Topic: International Security, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: The referendum on the Kurdish secession ended in a victory for self-determination; Baghdad, Ankara, and Tehran move to take punitive actions.
  • Topic: International Security, Democracy
  • Political Geography: Kurdistan
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: This brief, reviews recent international gas developments, the outlook in this regard and implications for the development of proposed offshore gas projects in Tanzania. As the country aims to benefit from its gas discoveries by increasing its domestic gas use, it also outlines some of the trade-offs and considerations that need to be taken into account when negotiating the domestic gas allocation.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Climate Finance
  • Political Geography: Tanzania
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: The message is by now clear: our global economy must be fundamentally reoriented and redeployed in order to achieve the SDGs and the commitments of the Paris Climate Agreement. This requires action by all stakeholders, including non-financial and financial firms, debt and equity investors, government policymakers, and consumers. In terms of the amount of money required, it has been estimated that meeting the SDGs will require $5 to $7 trillion annually, with investment needs for developing countries amounting to roughly $3.3 to $4.5 trillion per year. While a big picture view of and strategic thinking regarding the entire economic ecosystem is necessary to generate such investments, this paper, produced in conjunction with the UN Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System, focuses on the actual and potential role of one type of financial flow—FDI—in achieving the transition to a low-carbon, just and sustainable world and, more specifically, FDI flows into developing countries.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Climate Finance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: When a local asset (or a right relating to such asset) is sold, a country will generally have jurisdiction to levy a capital gains tax on the sale, both under domestic law and international treaty. This is called taxation of a “direct” transfer of a local asset. However, taxation becomes increasingly complicated when a company located offshore owns the local asset. Further difficulties arise when the local asset is held by a chain of corporations located in tax havens. An “indirect” transfer occurs when the shares of the domestic subsidiary, the shares of the foreign company with a branch in the country, or the shares of the holding company are sold, instead of the asset.
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Howard Mann, Karl Sauvant
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Based on a review of 150 instruments, ranging from international investment agreements to codes of multinational enterprises, this paper identifies ten core characteristics of sustainable FDI and twenty emerging sustainable FDI characteristics widely accepted across ten stakeholder groups. The paper explores furthermore opportunities and mechanisms to advance the application of the sustainability characteristics. The FDI sustainability characteristics are also of immediate relevance for the discussions of investment facilitation
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Agricultural investment contracts and forestry projects can be complex, with complicated provisions that are difficult to understand. To assist non-lawyers in better understanding agricultural investment contracts, such as those available on OpenLandContracts.org, CCSI has developed a Guide to Land Contracts: Forestry Projects. This Guide, prepared by International Senior Lawyers Project staff and volunteers in collaboration with the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment, aims to assist OpenLandContracts.org users in unpacking the technical provisions and language typically found in forestry contracts in order to better understand the contracts and the potential implications of specific provisions across a range of stakeholder interests.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Landpower
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Manuel de la Rocha Vàzquez
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Fundación Alternativas
  • Abstract: Completing, deepening and rebalancing the Economic and Monetary Union is perhaps the most crucial point of the dense European policy agenda. For social democrats, reforms of the Eurozone cannot aim exclusively at stabilising financial and sovereign markets or introducing more fiscal Discipline. From a progressive perspective, the main objective of reforming the Economic and Monetary Union is to address the problems of low growth and high unemployment, lack of social convergence and the democratic deficit. The authors present some crucial elements for a reform inspired by progressive values; they advocate for a fully-fledged Banking Union, a Convergence Code, a real Social Dimension and a Fiscal Capacity which includes both a stabilisation and an investment function.
  • Topic: Reform, Brexit
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Antonio Fernández Tomás
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Fundación Alternativas
  • Abstract: La Fundación Alternativas presenta un nuevo estudio: ¨The impact and consequences of Brexit on acquired rights of EU citizens living in the UK and British citizens living in the EU-27¨. Informe encargado y financiado por el Parlamento Europeo, ha sido elaborado por Antonio Fernández Tomás y Diego López Garrido.
  • Topic: International Relations, Brexit
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Lukáš Tichý
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Abstract: There are almost no oil or gas resources in the EU. To strengthen its energy security, the EU has taken a number of measures in its energy policy. Russia is currently the main energy supplier of oil and gas to the EU. In addition, the EU has been developing “energy relations” with existing and potential energy producers from Asia, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), sub-Saharan Africa, North America, and Latin America. The European Union should complete the creation of a fully liberalized and interconnected internal market to which energy sources, especially gas, can be delivered effectively from around the world. The EU also has to pursue more efficient relations with its current and, especially, future producers and suppliers of energy.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Europe Union
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Michal Šimečka
  • Publication Date: 02-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Abstract: Under pressure from overlapping crises, writes Michal Šimečka in his newest policy paper, the European Union is embracing a more assertive role in security. The election of Donald Trump has added a further sense of urgency and purpose to EU defence cooperation. The pursuit of European strategic autonomy is not just a matter of upgrading capabilities, building institutions, or re-calibrating EU–NATO cooperation. It is also a struggle to re-invent the EU’s identity. The Czech Republic emerged as a supporter of the new dynamic, but Prague should do more to back its rhetorical support with tangible commitments and policy leadership.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Rasmus Alenius Boserup, Luis Martinez
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Experiencing the consequences of an unstable Sahel, the EU and its member states will sooner or later be forced to fill the security and stability void left behind by the weakness of the states in the Sahel and the lack of willingness of North and East Africa’s regional powers to become involved.
  • Topic: Humanitarian Aid, International Affairs, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Marcelo López de Aragón
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Council on International Policy (CIP)
  • Abstract: The name Odebrecht has become irremediably tied to one of the largest corruption scandals in Latin American history. In the midst of the ongoing scandal is the man bearing the company’s name, one of Brazil’s richest men, Marcelo Odebrecht; a 48-year- old executive, who went from managing one of the world's largest construction firms to having several high-ranking government officials in Latin America look on nervously as the Brazilian construction tycoon confesses and provides details on an unparalleled and sophisticated bribery and bid-rigging scheme to Brazilian judicial authorities and to US courts.
  • Topic: Corruption, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: André Standing
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Conflicts of interest within Africa’s fisheries sector enable unsustainable exploitation by foreign fishing firms and undercut the political will needed to build more robust surveillance and prosecutorial capacity.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Security, Food Security
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Brazilian Center for International Relations (CEBRI)
  • Abstract: The Forte de Copacabana International Security Conference is a joint Euro-Brazilian project organised by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS) in partnership with the Brazilian Center for International Relations (CEBRI) and supported by the Delegation of the European Union to Brazil. The conference is conceived as a forum for dialogue between South America and Europe. It aims to bring together experts from a wide range of government, academic and private-sector backgrounds to discuss current security-related issues which are of interest to the partners on both sides of the Atlantic. Since its inception in 2003, the conference has emerged from a relatively small gathering to Latin America’s largest security forum to date. The topic of the 14th edition of the conference is ‘Security Architecture: An Exchange between South America and Europe’. The conference is open to the public and the audience is encouraged to actively engage in discussions. As an innovation in 2017, this collection of Policy Papers reflects the major themes of the event and intend to identify challenges as well as make policy recommendations for the future. Previous volumes of the Forte de Copacabana International Security Conference publication can be accessed on the KAS-Brazil Office website
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: South America
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Brazilian Center for International Relations (CEBRI)
  • Abstract: The international order is currently undergoing a fundamental change and it is evident that this phase that has been lasting since the end of the East-West conflict is almost coming to an end. This change is associated with side effects which many observers perceive as destabilizing, as well as with a great uncertainty concerning which new order will replace the so far established one and what effects this will have. This situation is easy to understand, as far as the history of international relations can be used to identify numerous epochal watersheds related to regulatory governance that have not been peaceful, but instead whose side effects have rather been inter-state wars. One should think, for instance, of the rise in political power of the German Reich at the beginning of the twentieth century, or the phase immediately after the Second World War, when the East-West conflict emerged as a determining force for a period of almost four decades.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Brazilian Center for International Relations (CEBRI)
  • Abstract: The Regional Security Architectures are challenged by the emergence of this new and enlarging space, whereas relationship, communication and operation are also new. In the cyberspace, the States’ empowerment is a complex matter and even if they succeed in doing so, they must resort to advanced technology. If we try to answer if South America has enough capacities against cyber threats, we necessarily must know what steps were given in each country. Integration is a pending debt in the sub region and it does not differ from a superior reality
  • Topic: International Affairs, Cybersecurity
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Brazilian Center for International Relations (CEBRI)
  • Abstract: the Digital Agenda, in 2014 the German Federal Government proposed, within the framework of an IT Security Law, to strengthen IT security by expanding partnerships with critical infrastructure providers and by creating legal requirements, in addition to introducing an obligation to report significant incidents in the IT area. Germany was a pioneer with the IT Security Law in 2015.3 Through this law, critical infrastructure providers are required to ensure the security of their IT infrastructures according to the latest technology. The sectors concerned (information technology and telecommunications, energy management, food industry, water management, finance, transport and transit, as well as the health sector) have been defined in two regulations of the German Ministry of Interior, considering the quality and the amount of penetration rate achieved by systems, equipment or parts of critical infrastructures. The last regulation came into force at the end of June 2017.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Germany, Global Focus
  • Author: George Perkovich
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: In May 2017, negotiators at the United Nations introduced a draft convention to prohibit the possession of nuclear weapons, as a way to hasten progress toward eventual nuclear disarmament, as called for in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). All the nuclear-armed states except North Korea have boycotted the negotiations, along with many U.S. allies. Unfortunately, the good motives behind the treaty do not mean it will enhance international security, prevent nuclear proliferation, or facilitate actual nuclear disarmament. It may even have unintended consequences that make these goals harder to achieve. Yet there are steps that nuclear-armed states could take, perhaps nudged along by their allies, to help heal rifts that the proposed ban treaty has highlighted.
  • Topic: International Security
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Peter Albrecht
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Policing in the global North and the global South is becoming more alike. An increasingly common characteristic is the blurring of boundaries between rule-based and more personalized policing styles. Reasons for this approximation include a growing focus on fighting or preventing radicalisation globally, and a general debureaucratisation of policing that has occurred in the global North.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Hans Lucht
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: With no credible state in Libya, the EU is focused on putting the brakes on transit migration in the Sahelian countries. But closing the important Niger–Libya corridor through increased militarisation is detrimental to progress in this impoverished region.
  • Topic: International Affairs, International Development
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Ida Vammen, Hans Lucht
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Since the EU and Turkey sealed a migration deal in 2016, millions of refugees have been living on the fringes in Turkey. Without long-term solutions, they will continue to risk their lives by embarking on new, dangerous routes to Europe.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Refugee Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Flemming Splidsboel Hansen
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: “The weaponization of information” alerts us to the thinking about the very conscious use of information to achieve various goals. Moreover, it reminds us of the new opportunities offered by modern information technology.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Information Age
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Tony Bricktua
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: The EastWest Institute (EWI) has released Afghan Narcotrafficking: A Joint Policy Assessment, the sixth and final report from the institute’s Joint U.S.-Russia Working Group on Afghan Narcotrafficking, which provides a comprehensive and updated assessment of the Afghan drug trade and the role that both the United States and Russia might be able to play in countering this shared threat.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Narcotics Trafficking
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan
  • Author: Tony Bricktua
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: The EastWest Institute (EWI) today announced the launch of its latest report, Afghan Narcotrafficking: Illicit Financial Flows. The fifth in a six-part series, this report has been developed to assist policymakers and scholars to better comprehend the nature of illicit flows of goods and services from and into Afghanistan and their relation to drug smuggling. The report provides a comprehensive review and analysis of the opiate trafficking economy as well as recommendations and strategies to counter, control and reduce the supply-side of opiate narcotics around the world.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Narcotics Trafficking
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan
  • Author: Natalie Pretzer-Lin
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: On March 13, 2017, the EastWest Institute (EWI), in concert with the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR), convened the first ever conference on prospects for infrastructure cooperation between the United States and China. This conference, held in Beijing, brought together a U.S. delegation comprising investment and infrastructure experts—some of whom have advised the Trump administration on infrastructure—with Chinese counterparts from a number of private sector and state-owned enterprises. Discussion throughout the conference focused on the policy priorities of the Trump Administration; the Trump administration’s vision for the development of U.S. infrastructure; the current state of U.S.-China relations; and opportunities, challenges and recommendations for U.S.-China infrastructure cooperation.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: China, America
  • Author: Inga Schierholz
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Geneva Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: Disputes over water constitute a major area of disagreement between Israel and Palestine. The uncoordinated and irresponsible environmental actions on both sides have created serious ecological and humanitarian hazards that require rapid, yet sustainable action. Those who argue that the water problem can be resolved only as part of a comprehensive peace deal between the Israelis and Palestinians fail to recognise both the urgency and the potential of cross-border water cooperation. The bottom line of this Flanking Cooperative Idea is that because water- and sanitation-related issues extend both horizontally across national borders and vertically across various sectors, environmental cooperation can be used to create positive linkages with and spill-overs into other policy fields with the potential to initiate new forms of collaboration in currently deadlocked areas, including the field of disarmament and non-proliferation.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Nilsu Gören
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Geneva Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: States in the Middle East/Gulf should consider practical, ready-to-start measures to address the technical and organisational aspects of regional security and bypass the political disagreements on a regional weapons-of-mass-destruction-free zone (WMDFZ). Firstly, establishing a comprehensive expert group on the verification of arms control, non-proliferation, and disarmament would increase confidence in the ability to sustain the provisions of a zonal arrangement. Secondly, creating a regional security centre would provide an institutional mechanism that would facilitate the conversation from within the region and enhance cooperation.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Marc Finaud
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Geneva Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: In view of the failure of efforts to convene a conference on a zone free of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their delivery vehicles (DVs) in the Middle East (WMD/DVs-free zone), the Arab countries and the Russian Federation proposed that the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General appoint a special representative to lead the preparatory process for the conference. A process facilitated by such a UN envoy would be compatible with consultations among regional states, including Israel, as advocated by the United States (US). Also, it would allow for broad discussions on both the regional security context and disarmament issues. Such a process would also be an opportunity for submitting contributions from nuclear-weapon states, relevant international organisations, and providers of ideas at the Track II level.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Bernd W. Kubbig
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Geneva Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: This Policy Forum issue summarises the achievements and deficits of the Glion/Geneva informal consultation process and describes the currently held divergent positions of major players. With reference to several necessary conditions for success, the authors make concrete proposals for a compromise-oriented new NPT cycle that does not repeat the mistakes of the past.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Misha Nagelmackers-Voinov
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Geneva Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: Long considered a natural partner for peace through economic diplomacy and bilateral trade agreements, business has increasingly become ignored or demonised. The private sector comprises a wide diversity of organisations and is the part of the economy that is not run by a state, but by individuals and companies for profit. Small businesses/micro-companies serve as a good starting point for a conflict resolution process because they often constitute the only form of economic activity in a conflict zone. MNCs have a range of options to respond to conflict, but cannot openly take part in conflict resolution and peacebuilding initiatives, and rarely become involved officially. Track Two diplomacy is their more likely area of involvement. The United Nations has frequently supported the view that the private sector can be a powerful agent of change. However, the UN still engages only two players in conflict resolution and peacebuilding: civil society/NGOs and armed actors. UN peace operations have never been expressly mandated to consult with business or use its influence to build peace. Combining the resources, expertise and leverage of all possible actors would produce a more formidable force for peace. World affairs would benefit from integrating the private sector into a new UN system of governance; new routes are possible for a truly inclusive approach, recognising the business sector’s positive contribution to sustainable peace through informal mediation and collaborative engagement.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Michael Asiedu
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Global Political Trends Center
  • Abstract: The Libyan Political Agreement (LPA)1 also known as the Skhirat Agreement has been bedeviled with significant deficiencies from its onset. In part, it was vouched for irrespective of the fact that necessary domestic support was not garnered pursuant to its approval - vital security sector actors missing at the negotiation table. This Policy Brief discusses how it has failed thus far and gives options for inclusive renegotiations given Libya is at a pivotal point with every action of the UNbacked Government of National Accord (GNA) key going forward in the country’s quest for sustainable peace and unity. The Agreement as it stands is largely not a panacea to any of Libya’s political and security predicaments with the battle against the Islamic State won in Sirte
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Libya
  • Author: Gabrielle Mitchell
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Global Political Trends Center
  • Abstract: The risks and rewards of Israeli-Turkish energy cooperation
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Aissata Athie, Youssef Mahmoud
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Human rights violations and lack of accountability for such violations are often drivers of conflict. Monitoring human rights, therefore, could provide early warning of and help prevent destabilization of societies. Secretary-General António Guterres alluded to this in his April 2017 address to the Security Council, where he observed that “upholding human rights is a crucial element of prevention,” and “human rights are intrinsically linked to sustaining peace.”
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Namie Di Razza
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Since the late 1990s, POC has continuously gained prominence, both as a concept and in practice, and has become the mandated priority for most UN peacekeeping operations. However, while POC has become a centerpiece of peacekeeping for many stakeholders, it has also become diluted as a consensual label used to justify diverse actions and approaches.
  • Topic: Peace Studies, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Over the past year, political and military actors and agendas in South Sudan have increasingly fragmented, and the political process has stalled. These developments have undermined the security of civilians, the stability of the country, the humanitarian situation, and the viability of efforts to pursue sustainable peace. The population’s mistrust toward international actors has further curtailed the ability of the UN Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) to implement its mandate.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Sudan
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: The seventeenth session of the Korea-U.S. West Coast Strategic Forum held on June 29, 2017 in Seoul convened senior South Korean and American policymakers, scholars and regional experts to discuss North Korea policy and recent developments on the Korean Peninsula. Hosted by the Sejong Institute in association with the Shorenstein APARC, the forum continued its focus on Northeast Asian regional dynamics, the North Korea problem, and the state of the U.S.-Republic of Korea alliance. The participants engaged in candid, productive discussion about issues relating to these topics.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Korea
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: As Kim Jong-un begins his sixth year as leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), it is appropriate to shift the focus from his moves to consolidate power to the impact that the organizational and staffing changes made under his leadership have had on the operations and efficacy of the system he leads. Toward that end, Stanford’s Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center and the Republic of Korea’s Institute for National Security Strategy (INSS) have prepared a joint paper utilizing the complementary resources of both institutions. This paper summarizes the findings and insights from this collaboration. We focus on personnel and organizational changes, and the economic performance of North Korea.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Korea
  • Author: Daniel Sneider
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: President-elect Moon has gained office riding a wave of demand for social justice and a reform of democratic governance in South Korea. These are the issues that are certain to consume his attention and that of voters. U.S. policymakers need to be mindful that the domestic factors that led to this shift in power in South Korea will remain paramount. That said, the return to power of South Korea’s progressives augurs a significant shift in several areas of policy that will have a clear impact on alliance relations with the United States.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Adam Jay Harrison
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Historically, the Department of Defense (DOD) has relied on strategic forecasting to determine specifications for new military products. These specifications are codified in formal product requirements that drive new product development (NPD). The rapid rate of technology change combined with increasing uncertainty in the global security environment challenges the ability of DOD to make accurate longterm predictions about future military product needs. To improve the efficacy of capability development, many DOD agencies and the Defense Industrial Base are exploring NPD strategies based on the insights of lead users with direct exposure to emerging military-technology problems. This paper details emerging approaches to military NPD that incorporate lead users; that is, practitioners who experience and proactively solve needs ahead of the market.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Adam Jay Harrison, Bharat Rao, Bala Mulloth
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) is looking at new ways to spur entrepreneurship and innovation among its stakeholders and related constituencies. We recommend creating a platform within the DOD focused on developing the Human and Relational Capital components of the innovation ecosystem such as the MD5 National Security Technology Accelerator, an initiative that develops innovators and human-centered networks that create high-tech “ventures” relevant to national security. The proposed ecosystem would not only facilitate the development of high-tech ventures in the national security interest, but also educate and build networks of innovators and entrepreneurs, both inside and outside of DOD, who would be equipped with the incentives, expertise, know-how, and resources required to continuously develop, commercialize, or apply technology relevant to military needs. A competency framework for developing such an ecosystem that would encourage venture-led, dual-use products that provide a sustainable, competitive advantage for the DOD and the national economy is presented and discussed.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Vivek Chadha
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses
  • Abstract: On August 30, 2017, the then Defence Minister, Arun Jaitley announced a series of defence reforms which will result in the ‘redeployment and restructuring of approximately 57,000 posts of officers/JCOs/ORs and civilians.’ The reforms are aimed at ‘enhancing Combat Capability & Rebalancing Defence Expenditure of the armed forces with an aim to increase the “teeth to tail ratio”.’ Initial approval has been given for 65 of a total of 99 recommendations pertaining to the Indian Army. This will begin with the closure of 39 military farms in a time bound manner. The reforms are expected to be completed by December 31, 2019.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Stephan Klose, Astrid Pepermans, Leia Wang
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: China’s 19th Party Congress unexpectedly amended the party’s constitution with a pledge to “pursue the Belt and Road Initiative”. This further elevates the status of president Xi’s heavily promoted foreign policy, which aims at creating trade and investment opportunities through the development of Eurasia’s continental and maritime infrastructure. As the implications of this policy are increasingly felt across Europe, following years of growing Chinese investments, so are the challenges it presents to Europe’s unity, prosperity and security. In light of these challenges a constructive engagement with China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) constitutes an immense task for the European Union, whose position has been weakened by growing dissent among member states over the Union’s policy towards China.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: China, Europe
  • Author: Frank Kakungu
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Zambia Institute for Policy Analysis and Research (ZIPAR)
  • Abstract: The disbursement of an equal quantum of funding per constituency has equity concerns because constituencies are not equal. This favours smaller, least populated constituencies against greatly populated and or the poorest – where needs are greatest. The blanket allocation of Constituency Development Fund (CDFs) across the country, without recourse to policy targets underscores national failure to address important policy concerns. This is unfortunately the case in Zambia. In this report, we devised a model that reallocates resources based on the socio-economic conditions prevailing in constituencies. The research developed a composite index of material and social deprivation using data from the Census 2010. Furthermore, the study evaluates the distribution of deprivation in constituencies and considers ways in which deprivation index can contribute to discussions relating to public resource allocation of the CDF. The research results has potential usages beyond the CDF reallocation, it informs decision-makers on resource allocation and planning and budgeting activities.
  • Topic: International Development
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ceasar Cheelo, Pamela Nakamba-Kabaso
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Zambia Institute for Policy Analysis and Research (ZIPAR)
  • Abstract: At a glance, China and Zambia – just like China and Africa – are strikingly different in many ways. They followed markedly different paths to development. They achieved significantly divergent trade and development results. However, they also have many striking commonalities, including a shared long history of developmental cooperation and relations. But, what are the lessons of China-Zambia relations for Zambia’s developmental goals and aspirations, including those in the Vision 2030?
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: China, Zambia
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Zambia Institute for Policy Analysis and Research (ZIPAR)
  • Abstract: Zambia is emerging from a major economic downturn. The copper price collapse, electricity shortages, huge fall in the value of the Kwacha and high inflation in 2015 left the economy stalling. Growth in 2015 was 2.9% and possibly 3.4% in 2016, significantly below the long-term average rate of 6.9%. The downturn was compounded by a tightening of monetary policy which made it harder for businesses to borrow, and by a continuation of expansionary fiscal policies which increased the budget deficit and Government debt. Because the scale of the challenge was so significant, the Government announced it would launch Zambia Plus, a home-grown recovery programme to put the economy back on track
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Shebo Nalishebo, Albert Halwampa
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Zambia Institute for Policy Analysis and Research (ZIPAR)
  • Abstract: In recent years, the Zambian economy has been growing strongly and the country has increasingly been faced with the need to plug huge infrastructural gaps. However, the slowing down of bilateral and multilateral financing due to austerity measures in developed economies and the World Bank’s reclassification of Zambia as a lower middle income country has led financiers to divert concessional loans to other needy countries in the low income bracket. Consequently, Zambia has had to diversify its budget and project financing options by issuing Eurobonds which are commercial borrowings by governments in currencies other than their own - in Zambia’s case, it is denominated in US dollars. Since 2012, the Zambian Government has issued two ten-year sovereign bonds collectively worth US$1.75 billion to mainly finance infrastructure projects. These two bonds amounted to 37% of Zambia’s external debt in 2014. With an average coupon rate of 6.9%, the two bonds have bullet repayment structures, implying that lump sum principal payments will be paid at the end of their respective ten-year maturity periods. The coupon rate is the interest rate at the time of issuance. Notwithstanding the high interest payments of over US$125 million annually, the bullet structure of the two bonds may have significant repayment risks as the country is expected to pay out the US$1.75 billion within a two-year period (in 2022 and 2024). The country may experience difficulty in repaying or refinancing the face value at maturity if the money is not spent in activities with high economic returns and if there are adverse changes in its exchange rate or international market conditions. The risks are already on the horizon – the recent depreciation of the Kwacha has increased debt servicing costs, while the low copper prices have reduced the much-needed export revenues used to service debt. Has Zambia dug itself into another debt hole? What measures can be put in place to mitigate the risk of a pending default
  • Topic: Debt, International Development
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Thulani Banda, Zali Chikuba
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Zambia Institute for Policy Analysis and Research (ZIPAR)
  • Abstract: The sustained positive growth of the Zambian economy has resulted in many shifts in consumption patterns of Zambian households. One notable change is the increased consumption of consumer durables, particularly motor vehicles. Motor vehicle ownership has increased substantially since 2004. The increase in motor vehicle ownership owes in part to the highly unbridled access to second hand motor vehicle imports. The downside of the relaxed motor vehicle import regulations as observed in Zambia is the ageing of the motor vehicle fleet and deterioration in fleet safety. Second hand motor vehicles imported in the country may be fine, but they may also be unreliable – commonly referred to as lemons in economic literature – and costly to maintain thereby generating serious financial, road safety and environmental concerns. Considering that Zambia is one of the highest road fatality risk countries in Africa with 23.7 road traffic deaths per 100,000 people, the ageing fleet of motor vehicles only compounds the risk. Thus, more deliberate measures to ensure lives are safeguarded and consumers get value-for-money on motor vehicle imports should be devised and implemented urgently.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Zambia Institute for Policy Analysis and Research (ZIPAR)
  • Abstract: Export-transactions data for the period 1999-2011 in Zambia suggests that much of the growth in the value of exports has been driven by the contribution of new exporters than pre-existing exporters. The catastrophic growth among pre-existing exporters is explained by the high death rate that occurs within the first two years of exporting. Approximately between 50%- 60% of exporters will not survive beyond the year of export commencement. We discuss the potentially important policy implications of these rather surprising results relative to the sizeable evidence that shows it is the deepening of export values among existing exporters that drives much of the year-on-year growth in exports for many advanced and developing countries.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Zambia Institute for Policy Analysis and Research (ZIPAR)
  • Abstract: Zambia is one of many developing countries struggling to create adequate employment opportunities for its people, especially in the formal economy. Unemployment is highest among youths (15–24 years old) and particularly affects those without skills. Unless the challenge of youth unemployment is met, Zambia could face rising poverty levels in the future. Based on a survey of firms in the mining and quarrying, manufacturing, and construction industries, this study analyses constraints on the demand for youth labour and identifies five broad policy areas in which the government could help make it easier for firms to absorb more young people.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Lauren Heuser
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: This final report was prepared following the 6 Degrees Citizen Space, which took place in Toronto, ON, from September 25 to 27, 2017. It provides a dialogue about the key barriers foreign-educated lawyers face in Canada’s licensing and employment processes, and makes recommendations for how unnecessary barriers can be mitigated or dismantled. Barriers are considered unnecessary if they are not relevant to testing an individual’s professional competency, or make it unduly difficult for foreign-educated lawyers to achieve licensure or employment relative to their Canadian counterparts. These recommendations are directed at a variety of stakeholders, including provincial law societies, the National Committee on Accreditation, law schools, fairness commissioners, legal employers, immigration officials and internationally trained lawyers themselves. For the purposes of this project, the author interviewed numerous foreign-educated lawyers, as well as Canadian immigration officials, immigration lawyers, regulators, employers and professors. The conversations made clear that there is work to be done in opening Canada’s closed legal shop.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Canada
  • Author: Uğur Gungor
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research (SAM)
  • Abstract: This policy brief focuses on Turkey’s leadership in peace operations in Somalia (UNOSOM II) and Afghanistan (ISAF II and VII). It explains the events leading to the establishment of these operations, provides a brief history, and explores their mission in order to provide a better understanding of Turkey’s leadership and the operations themselves. Then, the brief examines the organization and activities of these operations under Turkey’s leadership. This brief also aims at analyzing the significance of Turkey’s leadership.
  • Topic: International Relations, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Sexual Violence Research Initiative
  • Abstract: The Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI), in partnership with the World Bank Group (WBG), awards grants through the Development Marketplace Awards for innovative research on how to improve responses to and prevent gender-based violence – a severe and neglected problem affecting more than one in three women worldwide and a major challenge for global development. These grants range from $40 000 to $100 000 over a two-year period
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Sexual Violence Research Initiative
  • Abstract: The eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is slowly rebuilding after more than 20 years of conflict. Because of the prolonged conflict, adolescents living in rural areas are particularly vulnerable to risky behaviour, such as drinking alcohol and using violence. This study builds on a successful partnership with PAIDEK, an established Congolese microfinance organisation, to examine locals’ perceptions of youth engagement in alcohol consumption and violence, and the consequences of these behaviours
  • Topic: Gender Issues, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Sexual Violence Research Initiative
  • Abstract: Global levels of gender-based violence, occurring at all socioeconomic levels, are unacceptably high. However, existing evidence that education can protect against gender-based violence, largely observational in nature, is mixed. A better understanding of the causal link between education and reduced risk of gender-based violence is important to inform the design of promising interventions in this area
  • Topic: Gender Issues, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Sexual Violence Research Initiative
  • Abstract: Violence against women and violence against children often happen in the same families, initiating cycles of abuse within the home and across generations. Despite this link, efforts to address these types of violence are often conducted in isolation. Existing knowledge of how and why they occur together is limited, especially in low- and middle-income countries. Deeper understanding is critical to identifying opportunities for integrated prevention programmes. To increase the knowledge base, Raising Voices partnered with Columbia University on a study that explored the intersections between violence against women and children in Kampala, Uganda, between 2015 and 2016
  • Topic: Political Violence, Gender Issues
  • Political Geography: Uganda
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Sexual Violence Research Initiative
  • Abstract: Gender-based violence is widespread in Tanzania: 44 percent of married women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence from partners. To date, research on intimate partner violence has been limited, especially on the effectiveness of prevention efforts that target structural drivers of this type of violence in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Gender Based Violence
  • Political Geography: Tanzania
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Sexual Violence Research Initiative
  • Abstract: The Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI) – a global network of more than 5 000 members – promotes research on sexual and other forms of violence against women and children in low and middle-income countries to influence policy and practice. It does this by gathering and sharing information, funding research, building capacity through various workshops and events, and holding the SVRI Forum every two years. The SVRI Forum is a vibrant, informative and safe space for researchers, civil society, policy-makers, donors and others to share and learn about research, developments and innovations in the field of gender-based violence. It is the largest conference dedicated to research on prevention of and responses to violence against women and children.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Sexual Violence Research Initiative
  • Abstract: Violence against women is widespread in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC): nearly one in four women has experienced conflict-related sexual violence and nearly two-thirds have experienced violence from a male partner.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Sexual Violence Research Initiative
  • Abstract: Poverty places children at risk of not achieving their developmental potential. Factors such as lack of cognitive stimulation, harsh parenting practices and aggression in early childhood hinder development and may result in future violent behaviour. Interventions that target the intersection between early childhood development, parenting and early violence prevention are needed to address these problems.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Hillel Frisch
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Begin-Sadat Centre for Strategic Studies (BESA)
  • Abstract: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Many American detractors of Israel begin by citing that Israel receives the lion’s share of US military aid. The very suggestion conjures the demon of an all-powerful Israel lobby that has turned the US Congress into its pawn. But these figures, while reflecting official direct US military aid, are almost meaningless in comparison to the real costs and benefits of US military aid – above all, American boots on the ground. In reality, Israel receives only a small fraction of American military aid, and most of that was spent in the US to the benefit of the American economy
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Israel
  • Author: Jason Thistlethwaite, Melissa Menzies
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: To promote climate change risk mitigation in financial markets, the Financial Stability Board recently proposed the creation of a Climate Disclosure Task Force, coordinated through the G20, to develop standards for companies to disclose their exposure to climate change risks. With more than 400 existing disclosure schemes, this task will be challenging. This brief identifies the key categories of governance practices that must be addressed, how these divergent practices challenge end-users, and how the establishment of criteria that define effective and efficient reporting is a critical first step for the Climate Disclosure Task Force.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, Markets, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: David S. Mitchell, Jeremy Smith
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: On November 18, 2015, the Obama Administration's Department of Labor (DOL) published two important legal opinions that propose to give states new options for expanding retirement coverage for private-sector workers. These opinions open the door for states to move forward along one of two distinct paths: a payroll deduction plan that avoids ERISA, or a more traditional model that would fall under ERISA. This issue brief summarizes these rules and highlights the tradeoffs state policymakers will face when deciding which of these new avenues to pursue. The brief will be updated once the proposals are finalized.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Welfare, Labor Issues, Governance, Social Movement
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Georges Fahmi
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: IEMed/EuroMeSCo
  • Abstract: Egypt and Tunisia have been witnessing over the past few years a new wave of violent Islamist radicalisation. The engagement of Egyptian and Tunisian youth in political violence shows that depending only on classical counter-terrorism strategies will not only fail to prevent violent radicalisation, but it might actually increase it. Both the political and religious actors need to work together to formulate a comprehensive de-radicalisation strategy to render the political and religious spheres less enabling for violent radical ideas and movements.
  • Author: Susan Schadler
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Research on links between the level of a country’s public debt and its broader economic developments has been heatedly debated in the economic literature. Two strands of the research stand out — one linking the level of debt to a country’s GDP growth rate and the other examining the debt level as an EWI of economic crises. As a broad generalization, research at the moment favors the view that high levels of debt are not a cause, in and of themselves, of low growth nor are they particularly good predictors of impending economic or even debt crises. In principle, the empirical findings have obvious implications for policy makers confronting the question of how to fashion policies (and fiscal policy in particular) when a country has a high debt burden. The IMF, as both a contributor to the literature and an adviser concerned with preventing or dealing with debt crises, has a particularly important stake in navigating the findings. Whether in its surveillance (routine annual advice to all member countries) or the construction of its lending programs to support countries in or near crisis, the IMF must answer the question “how much does the level of debt matter?” Despite the empirical research that casts doubt on the importance of debt, the level of debt figures prominently in the algebra of debt sustainability and the IMF’s real world policy advice. This policy brief examines the nexus of the relatively strong conclusions coming from the academic research and the IMF’s policy advice. It addresses the following question: given that the broad conclusion from the academic literature is that the level of debt itself is not systematically bad for growth or stability, why does the debt level seem to figure rather prominently in the IMF’s policy advice and conditionality?
  • Topic: Debt, Development, Economics, International Monetary Fund, Financial Crisis, GDP, Global Markets
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Cyrus Rustomjee
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The world’s oceans are crucial to human life. They cover 71 percent of the earth’s surface and contain 97 percent of the earth’s water (Oceanic Institute 2016); provide vital ecosystem services; serve as a growing source of renewable energy and make crucial contributions to global food production and food security, through the provision of food, minerals and nutrients. Fish provide 4.3 billion people with about 15 percent of their intake of animal protein (UN Food and Agriculture Organization [FAO] 2014b). Over 3.1 billion people live within 100 km of the ocean or sea in about 150 coastal and island nations (FAO 2014a), and global ocean economic activity is estimated to be US$3–5 trillion (FAO 2014b). Oceans and seas serve as waterways for global trade, with more than 90 percent of global trade carried by sea (International Maritime Organization 2012). Some 880 million people depend on the fisheries and aquaculture sector for their livelihoods (ibid.). Recognition of the services and resources provided by oceans has accelerated in recent years, spurred by the opportunities and challenges posed by a rapidly growing global population, increasing global demand for food and energy, advances in technology, and changes in patterns of global trade and human consumption. Developed countries have expanded fisheries, tourism and other oceanic and maritime industries; extended mineral exploration and extraction; and scaled up ocean-related scientific, technological and industrial research. Using increased knowledge of marine biodiversity, they have developed new value chains in pharmaceuticals, health care and aquaculture; and many have established integrated national ocean economy strategies, bringing together the regulatory, environmental, spatial, policy, institutional, industrial and other factors influencing their ability to exploit maritime resources.
  • Topic: Environment, Political Economy, Maritime Commerce, Biosecurity, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Caribbean, Global Focus
  • Author: Samuel Howorth, Domenico Lombardi, Pierre Siklos
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Students of macroeconomics will have heard about the central role played by the so-called Phillips curve in both theoretical and empirical analyses for almost 70 years. In 1958, A. W. Phillips reported an inverse relationship between changes in wages and the unemployment rate (Phillips 1958). The progeny of his thinking led to a revolution both in policy making and in the development of theoretical links between the real and nominal macroeconomic variables. Names such as Samuelson, Solow, Phelps, Friedman, Lucas and Sargent became associated with refinements and enhancements of the core finding reported by Phillips. Indeed, all of these economists went on to become Nobel laureates in economics, although not exclusively because of their contributions to the analysis of what has since been called the Phillips curve. Indeed, the concept is so influential that it spawned several different versions of the trade-off used to guide policy makers as a menu for the choices they face when deciding whether the gains from lower inflation are offset by the economic costs of higher unemployment. Initially, expectations of individuals or firms were ignored. This briefly gave policy makers the impression that they could simply select an inflation-unemployment combination and implement the necessary policy mix to achieve the desired outcome. Once a role for expectations was incorporated, debate centred on how forward-looking individuals are. The more forward-looking, the less likely it was that policy makers would be able to “exploit” the trade-off because, unless wages rose in purchasing-power terms, the gains from lower unemployment would, at best, be temporary once workers realized that the higher inflation, at unchanged wages, actually drives real wages down. Indeed, the pendulum swung all the way to the conclusion — reached by the 1970s and early 1980s — that the Phillips curve was illusory and there was no trade-off policy makers could exploit.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Welfare, International Political Economy, Labor Issues, Global Markets
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Céline Bak
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: On the way to Washington, DC, for a September 2015 visit, Chinese President Xi Jinping stopped in Seattle, WA, to sign an agreement aimed at combatting climate change by increasing the business ties between Chinese and US clean technology companies (South China News 2015). Five US states signed the agreement on commerce between China and clean-tech businesses from California, Iowa, Michigan, Oregon and Washington. On the same day, Bill Gates’s energy company, TerraPower, signed an agreement with the China National Nuclear Corporation for joint cooperation on next-generation renewable and fusion nuclear power. In early 2015, Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund invested in General Fusion, a Canadian company based in Vancouver, to advance its energy innovation.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Science and Technology, Treaties and Agreements, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Sarah Birch
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Leaders, negotiators and scientists returned home from the recent United Nations climate change negotiations in Paris with a new mandate: to explore pathways to a world that warms no more than 1.5°C; to finance climate change adaptation and mitigation in developing countries at a meaningful pace and scale; and, ultimately, to create real policy tools that can deliver prosperity that is not so fundamentally tied to burning fossil carbon. The Paris Agreement is historic in that it is universal (both industrialized and less-developed nations have agreed to the text), a heavy focus is placed on transparency and reporting of progress, and opportunities to periodically reevaluate and ratchet up ambition are built into the process. The ultimate power of this agreement, however, is not in its technicalities and legal implications. Rather, the Paris Agreement represents the manifestation of collective ambition, creating and demonstrating shared norms around the reality of climate change and the responsibility to act. This international process of negotiation and commitment is triggering a wave of conversations about how to reach these ambitious greenhouse gas reduction and adaptation targets. This will require a rapid and fundamental transformation of all sectors, including the design of urban spaces and the ways in which we produce and consume energy.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Treaties and Agreements, United Nations, Regulation
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jason Thistlewaite, Melissa Menzies
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: To promote climate change risk mitigation in financial markets, the Financial Stability Board (FSB) recently proposed the creation of a Climate Disclosure Task Force, coordinated through the G20, to develop standards for companies to disclose their exposure to climate change risks. With more than 400 existing disclosure schemes that employ a range of different standards to measure climate change risks and corporate sustainability, this task will be challenging. But the diversity of schemes also represents an opportunity to assess which practices are effective at improving corporate accountability for sustainability performance, as well as efficient at producing comparable reports that do not unfairly burden reporting organizations. This brief identifies the key categories of governance practices that must be addressed, how these divergent practices challenge end-users, and how the establishment of criteria that define effective and efficient reporting is a critical first step for the FSB and its Climate Disclosure Task Force.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Natural Resources, Governance, G20, Regulation, Financial Markets
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Damian Wnukowski
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Australia has a long history of immigration, including accepting refugees. Over the years, it has developed mechanisms and instruments that aim not only to help people in need but also to provide for the country’s stability and prosperity. However, in recent years some elements of Australia’s refugee policy, especially its approach towards the so-called boat people, have come under fire. Nevertheless, the solutions implemented by Australia should be part of the EU’s efforts to find ones useful for dealing with its current migration crisis.
  • Topic: Human Welfare, Humanitarian Aid, Refugee Issues, Immigration, European Union
  • Political Geography: Australia
  • Author: Marek Wasinski
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In a communication of 12 April, the European Commission assessed the potential political and economic consequences of suspending visa exemption for U.S. citizens. Lacking pressure from individual EU Member States, the Commission discouraged such a move and gave the EU Council and European Parliament three months to take an official position. It seems almost certain that the measure of applying pressure on a non-EU country will not be used to help Poland and four other Member States obtain visa-free travel to the United States or other countries with a similar restriction. However, if current trends continue, Poland should join the U.S. Visa Waiver Programme in five years.
  • Topic: Economics, Politics, European Union, Citizenship
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Carolina Salgado, Marek Wasinski
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Visegrad Group is still a new label among policy makers as well as public and private investors, scholars and media in Brazil. However, since their accession to the EU in 2004, and the financial crisis that started in 2008, the four Central European countries in this group have started to look beyond Europe in order to formulate their economic and political agenda, aiming to boost partnerships, for example among the biggest South American countries such as Brazil. V4 and Brazil should build momentum to deepen cooperation in the most promising prospective areas such as trade, military, tourism and education.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Politics, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Brazil
  • Author: Cordella Buchanan Ponczek
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Traditionally, there is a partisan split on foreign policy in the United States: Republican candidates and voters worry more about terrorism, defense and national security than Democratic candidates and voters, thereby putting more stock in foreign policy issues, which manifests itself in the aggressiveness—of lack thereof—of each party’s foreign policy platform. But the candidates in the 2016 U.S. presidential election can be categorised by more than just party: a line can also be drawn between conventional candidates—Hillary Clinton, a Democrat, and Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, Republicans—and unconventional candidates—Donald Trump, a Republican, and Bernie Sanders, a Democrat. Should a conventional candidate be elected president, U.S. foreign policy would be based on predictable adaptation to the changing international environment. An unconventional candidate, however, would be a wild card, whose actions would be difficult to predict.
  • Topic: Security, Politics, Elections
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Justyna Szczudlik
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Asia could be described as the world’s great construction site, and is already the focus of a scramble for infrastructure projects. Among countries competing for investments are not only China with its Silk Road initiative, but also Korea, Japan, India and ASEAN, which have prepared their own infrastructural strategies. The plethora of initiatives may have a positive impact on Asia, offering diverse solutions to the infrastructural bottleneck and reforms of existing institutions and modes of assistance. But there is also the risk that fierce competition may result in unprofitable projects, while economic slowdown could cause a decline in funding. For Europe these initiatives create opportunities to take part in new projects, but the EU should be aware that the projects will be implemented mainly in Asia and by Asian countries.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Infrastructure, Reform
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Tomasz Żornaczuk
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: At the beginning of 2016, almost 13 years after the Thessaloniki declaration to integrate the Western Balkans into the European Union, Brussels is left with Croatia as a Member State, Montenegro half way, at best, to becoming one, Serbia with first negotiation chapters just opened, and half of the region with no clear prospect of membership. But the wait-and-see approach that the EU had been employing for a number of years towards the enlargement policy in the Balkans has become even riskier in times of new international challenges. Among them, the ever-growing tensions between the West and Russia should, in particular, serve as motivation for the Union to look at enlargement in the Balkans from a geopolitical angle. Even if the Member States have in recent years shown less enthusiasm towards further rounds of enlargement, this should not discourage the EU institutions from undertaking an active role to revive the European integration process in the Balkans.
  • Topic: Economics, Regional Cooperation, European Union, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Serbia, Croatia
  • Author: Damian Wnukowski
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The transformation of ASEAN into an economic community is a significant step in the organisation’s integration process. The project, formally launched at the beginning of 2016, aims at creation of a single market of more than 620 million people, loosens the flow of goods, services and investment, which should underpin regional economic growth and catch the attention of foreign businesses. However, obstacles to economic cooperation remain, such as limitations on the movement of labour or capital, which shows that the integration process is not yet complete. The EU, which can benefit from a well-functioning market in this region, should share its own experience to support the ASEAN integration process.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Politics, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Stanislav Secrieru
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Although Transnistria, in exchange for meeting certain conditions, was allowed to benefit from the free trade agreement that Moldova signed with the EU, there are plenty of obstacles which could derail the deal. The business community in the breakaway republic is eager to enjoy the fruits of the DCFTA but is reluctant to shoulder the price of necessary reforms, the outgoing leader of the separatist enclave could undermine the agreement for electoral reasons, Russia might be tempted to test the EU’s resolve to defend its trade-related norms, and Moldova could erect bureaucratic barriers for producers from the left bank of the Nistru River. In the light of these many risks, the EU should persistently encourage all sides to stick to their commitments while averting disputes that would undermine enforcement of the DCFTA in Transnistria in a timely manner.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Politics, Elections, European Union
  • Political Geography: Moldova, Transnistria
  • Author: Pinar Elman
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Since the EU-Turkey deal on refugees on 29 November, there has not been a significant reduction in the numbers of migrants crossing into the EU from Turkey. One of the main reasons is probably lack of trust between Turkey and European Commission in their readiness to keep promises. EU can break the impasse by offering Schengen visa liberalisation but at the same time should use the accession negotiations to exert greater pressure on Ankara.
  • Topic: Human Welfare, Migration, Politics, Refugee Issues, European Union
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Piotr Kościński
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: At a time when many European countries are strengthening border protection (including building walls), migrants will seek new avenues to Europe. In this context and of particular importance will be the policy of the authorities of Ukraine, which currently, and despite the still unstable situation in the country (war in the east and economic problems) could become the country of choice for migrants. Another problem for Kyiv may be internal migration. Both forms increase the risk of migration to EU countries such as Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Romania, which are neighbours of Ukraine. In this situation, additional EU assistance to the authorities in Kyiv will be necessary.
  • Topic: Economics, Migration, Politics, Governance
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine
  • Author: Bobby Anderson
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: West Papua is the most violent area of Indonesia. Indonesian security forces battle the country's last active separatist insurgency there. The majority of Indonesia's political prisoners are Papuans, and support for independence is widespread. But military repression and indigenous resistance are only one part of a complex topography of insecurity in Papua: vigilantism, clan conflict, and other forms of horizontal violence produce more casualties than the vertical conflict that is often the exclusive focus of international accounts of contemporary Papua. Similarly, Papua's coerced incorporation into Indonesia in 1969 is not unique; it mirrors a pattern of long-term annexation found in other remote and highland areas of South and Southeast Asia. What distinguishes Papua is the near-total absence of the state in indigenous areas. This is the consequence of a morass of policy dysfunction over time that compounds the insecurity that ordinary Papuans face. The author illuminates the diverse and local sources of insecurity that indicate too little state as opposed to too much, challenges common perceptions of insecurity in Papua, and offers a prescription of policy initiatives. These include the reform of a violent and unaccountable security sector as a part of a broader reconciliation process and the urgent need for a comprehensive indigenous-centered development policy.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Political Violence, Development, Politics
  • Political Geography: Indonesia
  • Author: Dinshaw Mistry
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: In the early and mid-2000s, US policymakers anticipated India becoming one of America's top global partners. Have New Delhi's policies on key strategic issues actually aligned strongly with US objectives, as would be typical of close partners? An analysis of twelve prominent issues in US-India relations indicates that New Delhi's policies mostly converged moderately, rather than to a high extent, with US objectives. Specifically, the alignment between New Delhi's policies and US objectives was high or moderate-to-high on three issues—UN peacekeeping, nonproliferation export controls, and arms sales. It was moderate or low-to-moderate on six issues—China, Iran, Afghanistan, Indian Ocean security, Pakistan, and bilateral defense cooperation. And it was low or negligible on three issues—nuclear reactor contracts for US firms, nuclear arms control, and the war in Iraq. To be sure, despite the low or negligible convergence, New Delhi did not take an anti-US position on these issues. Four factors explain why New Delhi's policies aligned unevenly with US objectives across the issues: India's strategic interests (that diverged from US interests on some issues); domestic political and economic barriers (that prevented greater convergence between India's policies and US objectives); incentives and disincentives (that induced New Delhi to better align with US objectives); and certain case-specific factors. This analysis suggests that, rather than expecting India to become a close ally, US policymakers should consider it a friendly strategic partner whose policies would align, on the average, moderately with US strategic interests.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Political Economy, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: India, Asia
  • Author: Wei Wang, Gemma Estrada, Jurgen Conrad, Sang-Hyop Lee, Donghyun Park
  • Publication Date: 05-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: As demand from global markets declines, slowing exports of manufactured goods from the People's Republic of China means the country must increasingly rely on domestic markets for growth. Unlike manufactured goods, services—those "intangible" products that include everything from transportation to scientific research to real estate services—are geared more toward domestic markets. Services, then, will be key to the rebalancing process. However, while the service sector has grown rapidly in the PRC, it continues to lag behind other countries at similar stages of development. In addition, the sector is dominated by traditional low-end types of services, rather than knowledge-intensive services. Heavy regulatory burdens, barriers to trade in services, and an unfavorable policy environment have been major obstacles to upgrading the sector and improving its competitiveness. Policy reform should focus on strengthening competition to raise productivity, with the goal of increasing not only the number of jobs and contribution to GDP, but also of positioning the service sector to compete internationally and spur export growth.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Markets, Political Economy, Reform, GDP
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Vinod K. Aggarwal
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: The rise of a multiplicity of diverse bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs) has led countries to pursue mega-FTAs to manage the growing complexity of global trade arrangements. The US and China are promoting rival accords: the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which would encompass 800 million people and almost 40 percent of global GDP, is a centerpiece of the Obama Asia Pacific strategy. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) would account for 30 percent of global GDP, with a population of over three billion people, creating the largest FTA in the world. TPP advocates assert that it will strengthen the US’ strategic role in the region, in part by countering China’s membership in the RCEP. These claims, made in response to growing skepticism in the United States about the value of liberalized trade, overemphasize the TPP’s strategic value. At the same time, projecting the economic impact of the TPP is thorny, given the deal’s scope and the diversity of countries involved.
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Wei Wang, Gemma Estrada, Jurgen Conrad, Sang-Hyo Lee, Donghyun Park
  • Publication Date: 05-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: As demand from global markets declines, slowing exports of manufactured goods from the People's Republic of China means the country must increasingly rely on domestic markets for growth. Unlike manufactured goods, services—those "intangible" products that include everything from transportation to scientific research to real estate services—are geared more toward domestic markets. Services, then, will be key to the rebalancing process. However, while the service sector has grown rapidly in the PRC, it continues to lag behind other countries at similar stages of development. In addition, the sector is dominated by traditional low-end types of services, rather than knowledge-intensive services. Heavy regulatory burdens, barriers to trade in services, and an unfavorable policy environment have been major obstacles to upgrading the sector and improving its competitiveness. Policy reform should focus on strengthening competition to raise productivity, with the goal of increasing not only the number of jobs and contribution to GDP, but also of positioning the service sector to compete internationally and spur export growth.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Reform, GDP
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Michael Lt. Col. (ret.) Segall
  • Publication Date: 07-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Since June 2016, Iran has been enduring terror attacks and assassinations by ethnic-opposition elements operating within its territory and adjacent to it. Attacks on Iranian petroleum infrastructure in Ahvaz are a reaction to Iran’s ongoing repressive policy against the Arab minority in Ahvaz, including the ongoing arrests, trials, executions, and expulsions of young people in that area. There are currently six to seven million Kurds living in Iran. Although they are part of the Iranian state, they may be distinguished from the Shiite minority by language and religion (most Kurds are Sunnis). The Arab Sunni fighters’ targeting of the oil facilities, if it gains momentum, could pose a problem for Iran just as it is trying to renew oil exports after the lifting of sanctions. Attacks on energy infrastructure for gas and oil could foster an unsafe, unstable environment for international energy companies. Iran’s security forces have been cracking down on the Arabs, augmenting this population’s discontent along with its separatist aspirations. The Iranian regime, which so far has been spared the regional repercussions of the Arab Sprin
  • Author: Flemming Splidsboel Hansen
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The Russian regime is ready to re-set its troubled relationship with the USA. While hopes are high, specific expectations are lower and the Trump presidency may eventually offer Russia a smaller action space than suggested by the campaign statements. The 2016 US presidential election was unusually dramatic. Part of the drama was allegedly provided by the Russian authorities as some of their state-spon- sored hackers broke into servers of the Democratic National Committee and released compromising emails immediately prior to the July 2016 Democratic Party Convention.
  • Topic: Elections, Geopolitics, Key players to watchPolitics
  • Political Geography: Russia, America
  • Author: Andreas Bøje Forsby
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Relations between Washington and Beijing are likely to face major change once Donald Trump takes over the White House. This DIIS Policy Brief by Andreas Bøje Forsby offers an overview of US-China relations and how they are likely to develop with Donald Trump in the Oval Office. If Trump follows through on his protectionist campaign statements, China will be targeted by economic sanctions against its export industries. In most other respects, however, the Chinese may actually come to benefit from a Trump presidency, whose ‘America First’ slogan suggests a more self-centered, even neo-isolationist US foreign policy. Most importantly, a Trump administration is unlikely to sustain key elements of the US rebalance to Asia like the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the efforts to build a strategic network of like-minded states in the region to counter the rise of China.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Elections, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Russia, America
  • Author: Vibeke Schou Tjalve
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Despite the general impression that the US president-elect Donald Trump has given us very little clue to predict his foreign policy doctrine, a guiding framework behind his scattered statements does exist. In this DIIS Policy Brief, Senior Researcher Vibeke Schou Tjalve takes a closer look at the surprisingly consistent philosophy of power and interest that Trump has aired during the past two decades. Trump is labelled a ‘nationalist’ and an ‘isolationist’. These are understandable labels, and yet: Trump is not your classical cultural-conservative nostalgic with deep veneration for old alliances or shared norms. His American nationalism does not linger on the memories of the New World European roots. Rather, it is founded on a deeply Darwinist conception of the world as a cutthroat competition, in which raw strength - not cultural characteristics – matters. As such, Trump will have no sentimentality for NATO or Europe, and he will view the world through largely value-neutral eyes. This leaves Europe with a defining set of questions, and to influence a Trump presidency, we should understand and appreciate this not-so-simple nationalism, Tjalve writes.
  • Topic: International Relations, Nationalism, International Affairs, Political Theory
  • Political Geography: America, Global Focus
  • Author: Yang Jiang, Aki Tonami, Adam Moe Fejerskov
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: China actively seeks to expand its overseas investment in critical infrastructure. This involvement makes host countries uneasy especially in the West, even though financial benefits sometimes override broader national interests and security issues. China’s attempts to invest in overseas critical infra- structure, defined as infrastructure closely related to sovereignty and national security, has become a sensitive issue to host country governments parti- cularly in the West. They fear that Chinese investment in nuclear and telecommunications infrastructures entails consequences for nuclear security and safety and information security respectively. This policy brief provides an overview of how various countries have received Chinese interest in nuclear power and telecommunications.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Security, Nuclear Power, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: China, Global Focus
  • Author: Tobias Gemmerli
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Counter-narratives and campaigns promoting normality, are often highlighted as universal means against online propaganda from militant movements. However, such campaigns are driven by a number of unfortunate assumptions and are difficult to apply in practice. We often turn to information campaigns to inform and instruct the general population. Such campaigns are also pointed to as possible tools, to combat radical and militant counter-cultures on the internet. However, reaching broad segments of the population is one thing. It is more challenging, to direct communication at a smaller audience.
  • Topic: Politics, Political Theory, Political Activism, Radicalization
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Toivo Martikainen, Katri Pynnöniemi, Sinikukka Saari
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Russia has perceived itself as a great power and has sought international acknowledgement of its status for years. The fact that Moscow regards the post-Soviet space as its sphere of ‘privileged interests’ and the sovereignty of the other post-Soviet states as subordinate to Russia’s national interests is nothing new. Likewise, Russia has persistently objected to the dominant role played by the US in world politics, and the enlargement of NATO. It has attempted to influence the security policy orientation and political choices made by post-Soviet states, and other states neighbouring Russia, such as Finland. These goals are well-established and are likely to remain fundamentally un- changed for years to come.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Affairs, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Finland
  • Author: Tuomas Iso-Markku
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: As a result of the Spitzenkandidaten process, the relationship between the European Parliament and the European Commission – and particularly their leaders – has strengthened. This inter- institutional connection also has a party-political dimension, being intrinsically linked to the emergence of a ‘grand coalition’ between the two biggest groups of the EP. However, in an EU beset by crises, the political agenda is firmly under the control of the member states and the European Council, which makes it difficult for the EP to take advantage of its closer relationship with the Commission, as the latter acts very cautiously.
  • Topic: International Organization, International Affairs, Democracy, Europe Union
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Kirill Rogov
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The recent 2016 Duma elections were planned by the Kremlin to attest to the fact that the period of troubled political development – which began during the previous 2011 Duma elections – is over. Further, the elections served to test Putin’s consolidated authoritarianism on the eve of the forthcoming presidential elections in 2018. While successful in terms of preserving full control over the new Duma, the election results nevertheless demonstrated that the patriotic enthusiasm evoked by the annexation of Crimea has largely been exhausted. The pressure on the opposition, new electoral rules and reliance on regions with so-called “administrative voting” secured a victory for the party of power, but in urban regions the turnout was very low and voting for the Kremlin’s party did not differ much from 2011 patterns. Although the direct effect of the economic crisis on people’s political attitudes is still moderate, the continued long-term stagnation in the Russian economy that started even before the fall in energy prices remains the major challenge for regime stability. Ambiguous election results force the Kremlin to seek new instruments of political consolidation. The Kremlin’s most probable strategy may be to combine toughening authoritarian institutions with maintaining high tension in the international arena in order to prolong the ‘rally around the flag’ effect domestically, by attempting or promising “authoritarian modernization” to gain support in urban regions. As the presidential election date approaches, both Putin’s foreign and economic policies could become even riskier than they have been to date.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Political Economy, International Affairs, Elections, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Mika Aaltola, Mariita Mattiisen
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Finnish Institute for International Affairs
  • Abstract: The US, as a highly digitalized state, depends on different cyber platforms for election campaigning, political discussions, forming popular opinions, and – in some cases – the voting process itself. Geopolitically motivated election hacking can aim to influence the direction of foreign policy debates, to promote/demote candidate(s), and to instigate disruptions, suspicions, and distrust towards the election process or the democratic system. The strategic aim to lower democratic appeal and increase the attraction of autocratic "stability”. A state sponsor of hacking can demonstrate that it has sophisticated cyber capabilities, thereby promoting its own major power standing. Even if its efforts raise suspicions, it gains visibility, as its efforts are discussed in the media and it manages to insert itself into the election discussions. The state sponsor can subtly promote the images of its own type of political system as being comparatively more resilient and stable than the US democratic system. The relative success of the election hacking targeting the US might motivate scaling up the intensity and scope of similar operations in future democratic elections. At a minimum, the election hacking incidents point to a scenario that has to be taken seriously.
  • Topic: International Relations, Corruption, International Affairs, Elections, Democracy
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Teija Tiilikainen
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Finnish Institute for International Affairs
  • Abstract: The direct implications of Brexit for the EU’s political system will be less significant than the indirect consequences, opening up possibilities for reform. The treaty rules on a qualified majority in the Council might need to be reconsidered due to Brexit, which will also lead to a major reshuffle of the EU’s critical political groups in the European parliament after the 2019 EP elections. The political pressure to consolidate the EMU in terms of strengthening its governance and its own fiscal capacity may grow as a part of the general reform process following on from Brexit. If the treaties are reopened, principled amendments to the institutions and decision-making of the common foreign and security policy as well as further steps within the common security and defence policy are very likely to occur. Any internal reform project shouldn’t compromise the unity and coherence of the EU any further, however, as it is currently highly exposed to both internal and external pressures.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Political Economy, European Union, Brexit
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Fabrizio Tassinari , Sebastian Tetzlaff
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: While the refugee crisis has exposed the severe limitations of EU decision-making, German choices have had a knock-on effect on the rest of Europe. The politicization of German migration policy will likely force Angela Merkel to take a step towards more conservative positions ahead of the 2017 federal election. This will again require the EU to adjust to Berlin’s policy turns.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Migration, Immigration, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • Author: Tobias Gemmerli
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: In the confrontation with radicalism and political violence, democratic freedoms are often viewed as a problem. Freedom of expression is viewed to encourage the spread of radical ideas and freedom of congregation, the formation of radical groups and communities. However, these democratic freedoms can also be part of the solution. The success criteria for an effective prevention policy, is the absence of political violence and crime, as well as increased democratic participation. A new policy brief by Tobias Gemmerli, argues for a more democratic approach to those who challenge democracy. Democratic freedoms can generate public debate, about the allegations and utopian ideas put forward by radical and anti-democratic movements. Democratic freedoms can beckon these movements out into public space and uncover the counter-cultural modus operandi. The brief therefore recommends that we include real political disagreement and support initiatives, which make space for critical societal debate. We should take radical opinions, frustrations, and criticisms seriously, make more space for legal radical expression, and focus on combatting unlawful actions. Finally, we should address the dilemmas and compromises that are part of modern foreign and security policy.
  • Topic: Radicalization, Democracy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Maybritt Jill Alpes, Ninna Nyberg Sørensen
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The current European Agenda on Migration aims at reducing the arrival of asylum seekers and irregular migrants. For this purpose, various mechanisms of ‘effective and humane return’ are introduced. But can deportation ever be humane and what would be required? VU postdoc researcher Maibritt Jill Alpes and DIIS senior researcher Ninna Nyberg Sørensen take a closer look at international cooperation on migration and the risks migrants and rejected asylum seekers may face upon a forced return. They argue that international cooperation on migration has criminalized departure and consequently contributed to put forcible retuned people at risk not only of economic and psychosocial harm, but also of monetary extraction, arbitrary detention and criminal persecution in the hands of state agents. They argue that more emphasis must be put on different post-deportation risks and measures to avoid them in order to guarantee the safety of border apprehended and returned persons.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Cooperation, Immigration, Refugee Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe