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  • Author: Kiyoaki Aburaki
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: “Decide when it is time to decide, draw a conclusion, don't postpone; this is the type of politics I want to create.” Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda made this declaration in a press conference on June 26 immediately after the passage of the consumption tax-hike bill in the Lower House of the Diet. Noda's conviction to pass a tax increase had a political cost: 57 lawmakers of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) voted against the bill, while 15 DPJ members abstained. Former DPJ president Ichiro Ozawa, who leads the anti-tax-hike movement, and his followers created a deep rift within the ruling party over the tax legislation and subsequently damaged Noda's political power base by defecting from the party on July 2.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Japan, Israel
  • Author: Ernest Z. Bower
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Five-point plan 1.Respect for the monarchy 2.To resolve fundamental problems of social injustice. 3.To ensure that the media operate constructively 4.To establish facts about violent incidents 5.To establish mutually acceptable political rules
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: Thailand
  • Author: Bidisha Biswas
  • Publication Date: 11-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) pulled out of peace negotiations with the Sri Lankan government last March, putting even more stress on an already fragile peace process. Negotiations have continued, however, with a new effort to define an interim governing arrangement for the largely Tamil north and east of the country. Both sides are scrambling to show that the process can make a difference in the daily lives of residents and that they are committed to success. Nevertheless, one should not expect a speedy or smooth resolution of the conflict.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: South Asia
  • Author: Armand Cucciniello, Pramit Mitra
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's short visit to India in early September, the first by an Israeli prime minister, highlighted the dramatic expansion in a relationship that started only 12 years ago. Before Sharon's early departure because of two suicide bombings back home, ministers from both countries signed six agreements covering visa requirements, environmental protection, combating illicit drug trafficking, and an initiative to begin an educational exchange program. The accent, however, was on the rapidly growing military supply relationship. Balancing its relations with Israel and its still important ties with the Muslim Middle East, especially its major oil suppliers, will be a growing challenge for India's policymakers.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: South Asia, Middle East, India, Israel
  • Author: Simon Serfaty
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union (EU) have been significant institutional casualties of the war in Iraq. European heads of state and government who joined the coalition of the willing organized by President George W. Bush (with a decisive assist from Prime Minister Tony Blair) often did so in spite of significant opposition from their general public. States that gathered, vocally or passively, in the coalition of the unwilling (and even resentful) organized by President Jacques Chirac (with a decisive assist from Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder) did so at the expense of a Euro-Atlantic structure within which the states of Europe have gained unprecedented security, stability, and prosperity. As the first phase of the coalition's military action in Iraq comes to an end, the prevailing view in the United States is that the EU is a troubled and troubling union: troubled in terms of its internal divisions, and troubling in terms of the motivation that seems to underline the actions of its older members. As for NATO, the prevailing view is that it is a fading organization with a blocking minority of members who are not only unwilling but also broadly incapable and frankly irrelevant.
  • Topic: Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Middle East
  • Author: Felix G. Rohatyn, Jean-Paul Béchat
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: On January 24, 2003, the CSIS Commission on Transatlantic Security and Industrial Cooperation in the Twenty-First Century, under the leadership of CSIS president and CEO John J. Hamre, released its final report, The Future of the Transatlantic Defense Community. Cochaired by Jean-Paul Béchat, chairman and CEO of SNECMA and president (in 2001-2002) of the European Association of Aerospace Industries (AECMA), and former U. S. ambassador to France Felix G. Rohatyn, this Commission consisted of 22 senior business leaders and former policymakers from both sides of the Atlantic. An Experts Group, directed by CSIS Europe Program director Simon Serfaty and composed of several representatives from the private and public sectors and academia, assisted the Commission in its work.
  • Topic: Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Middle East
  • Author: George W. Grayson
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Mexico's southern flank constitutes a porous, crime-ridden third border of the United States. The problem is that both President Vicente Fox and Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge concentrate on the U.S.-Mexican frontier, while neglecting the Mexican-Guatemalan interface that provides an open sesame for narcotraffickers, illegal aliens, prostitutes, smugglers, and terrorists.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America, North America
  • Author: Andre Belelieu
  • Publication Date: 11-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: On December 12, 2001, Canada and the United States signed the Smart Border Declaration, which gave birth to the 30-point Smart Border Action Plan. This bilateral agreement instantly became the de facto framework for ensuring the world's longest undefended border remained secure, while facilitating the flow of people, goods, and services, and was a key component in the larger homeland security goal of creating a zone of confidence against terrorist activity, while causing minimal damage to the world's largest trading relationship. Two years later, the Canadian and U.S. governments can point to progress on all 30 points contained in the Action Plan. Through cooperation and an understanding that a smart border works in the interest of both countries, Canada and the United States can claim to be closer than ever to ensuring that the Canada-U.S. border remains “open to trade and closed to terrorists.”
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America, North America
  • Author: Sidney Weintraub
  • Publication Date: 11-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Some significant outcomes in Mexico during the past quarter century are worth reviewing. There has been practically no growth in real per capita income since 1980. Until the presidential transition from Ernesto Zedillo to Vicente Fox, there were financial collapses either ending, starting, or during every other sexenio (six-year term) over this period. Perhaps these monotonic curses are a thing of the past, but no Mexican would “bet the farm” on this. These financial collapses were generally accompanied by economic downturns, spectacularly so in 1982 and 1994. Mexicans who came of age over the past 25 years—those now about 40 to 50—have known nothing other than repetitive currency depreciations and lack of sustained growth, and these expectations surely have been programmed indelibly into their psyches. A Mexican would have to be unthinking not to be pessimistic about the future based on recent economic management of the country, its currency, and its financial solidity.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Latin America, North America
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The Struggle over the Referendum On September 25, the new National Electoral Commission (CNE) issued the regulations that will govern referenda for the recall of elected officials. These long-awaited norms will make it possible for a popular vote to be held on President Chávez's stewardship in office by early March (157 days from the time the opposition submits a request to the commission, as it now has done). The commission's decision—not really welcomed by the president—changes Venezuela's political landscape. Although the outcome of the campaign for a referendum remains in doubt, this action gives encouragement to the alliance of the opposition parties seeking the president's removal. Chávez will now have to consider how to adjust his own strategy to deal with this new situation.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America
  • Author: Miguel Diaz
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: At the invitation of the White House, Argentina's newly elected president, Nestor Kirchner, will be paying a visit to President George W. Bush this Wednesday, July 23. This is the latest and most notable signal from Washington of an interest in engaging and working with the new government in Buenos Aires. The hope in Foggy Bottom is that this outreach can translate into the kind of constructive and comprehensive relationship that President Bush has established with Brazil's new president, Luis Inácio Lula da Silva, Kirchner's regional partner. Whether Kirchner has the savvy to exploit the gesture to set a tone for the bilateral relationship and establish the general parameters of a mutually rewarding policy agenda will be evident soon enough.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Twenty-two years after the Brazilian Workers' Party (PT) was established, Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva—one of the PT's founders—became Brazil's president. His election on October 27, 2002, marked the first time a candidate with a limited formal education, a background of poverty and disadvantage, and a fully elaborated leftist agenda had been elected to Brazil's highest office.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Armand Peschard-Sverdrup
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: On July 6, 2003, as many as 64.7 million registered voters will be heading to the polls to cast their votes for all 500 seats in the lower house of the Mexican Congress—the Chamber of Deputies. Of all 500 seats in the Chamber of Deputies, 300 are elected via direct representation (mayoria relativa) and 200 via proportional representation (representacion proporcional).
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Latin America, North America
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In a solemn ceremony in Caracas, presided over by César Gavíria, secretary general of the Organization of American States (OAS), the Chávez administration and the Coordinadora Democrática signed a pre-referendum accord. In his remarks, Gavíria characterized the document as an important political step. The result of several weeks of quiet diplomacy, the agreement bridges the differences that had developed over an earlier April 21 draft. The most important provision of the document is paragraph 12, which envisages the possible invocation of article 72 of the constitution—a recall referendum—if the National Electoral Commission (CNE) decides that the conditions for such a referendum have been met.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America
  • Author: Dwight N. Mason
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: That the government was about to decide to seek negotiations on participation in the U.S. missile defense system was signaled by Bill Graham, Canadian foreign minister, in his May 15, 2003, statement in Parliament on missile defense policy.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Canada, Latin America, North America
  • Author: William Barr
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The New York Times was by no means the lone voice in criticizing Brazil's abstentions on the Cuba-related motions before the UN Human Rights Commission. Much tougher criticism has come from a wide range of Brazilians, including a substantial segment of academics, journalists, and even politicians who have long praised Cuba's independence from the U.S. orbit and criticized the United States' economic blockade.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, New York, Brazil, Cuba, United Nations, Latin America
  • Author: Miguel Diaz, Carlos M. Regúnaga
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Argentina's national mania to experiment with new rules, procedures, and institutions never ceases to produce surprising, and sometimes stunning results. This time, the electoral process has been managed in such a bizarre way that as a result, the primary election of the Peronist Party will take place after the general election rather than before, as one would expect in a normal, more boring country.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Argentina, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Carlos M. Regúnaga
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Voter turnout for the April 27 elections was among the highest in record: about 80 percent of the total population eighteen years old and older. The number of empty ballot envelopes was less than 1 percent, and votes annulled were within the normal margins in any election. All of this indicates that the protest vote (“voto bronca”), which was so high in the 2001 congressional elections, was not a factor in this election. The large number of candidates—and the exceptionally high number of candidates with the possibility of reaching the second round presidency on May 18 in particular—may have convinced electors to cast positive votes.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Argentina, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Brian Latell
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The campaign against internal opposition launched last month by Fidel Castro's regime is among the most inhumane of the numerous crackdowns conducted during the more than 44 years he has ruled Cuba. Beginning in mid March, Cuban security personnel, often acting violently, rounded up more than 100 men and women associated with groups committed to peaceful democratic change on the island.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Cuba, Latin America, Caribbean
  • Author: Luis Pinto
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Since Augusto Pinochet stepped down as president in 1989, Chile has been one of the most politically, socially, and economically successful countries in the region. The country has been able to move forward because of its aggressive promotion of exports, strength of its institutions, and the trust it has built with the international community. Recently however, Chile has found itself opposing the United States, a long time champion and supporter; it was also embroiled in several domestic corruption scandals. Chile has turned to the strength of its institutions and its international credibility to get back on track.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, South America, Latin America, Chile
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: During the period under review, public discussion in Venezuela was dominated by: the prospective referendum to recall the president; the release of the defendants that fired weapons at the demostration last April 11 by an appeals court; a growing debate in the country over the lack of accomplishments (growth, infrastructure, crime and poverty) by the Chavez administration; and the festivities observing the anniversary of Chávez ́s return to office last April, which brought to Caracas prominent international figures of the radical left. The opposition now recognizes that there may be indeed a referendum -- or a general election -- and thus it will be difficult to try to defeat the president. The government, increasingly confident that it can beat the opposition, appears to be moving ahead with preparations for a recall referendum for all elected officials.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America, Venezuela
  • Author: Andre Belelieu
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: On April 14, Quebeckers voted for change while keeping with half a century of tradition. With 70 percent of Quebec's 5.5 million registered voters casting their ballots, the Liberal Party (PLQ) under Jean Charest ended nine years of Parti Quebecois (PQ) rule, winning 45.9 percent of the popular vote and 76 out of 125 seats in Quebec's National Assembly. The governing PQ, which won 33.2 percent of the vote and picked up 45 seats in the National Assembly, was therefore swept from power despite a fairly positive record in government, proving that no matter how competently a government rules in Quebec, it is not immune to the political reality that no party has been able to win a third consecutive term in office since the Union Nationale in 1952.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Canada, Latin America, North America
  • Author: Carlos M. Regúnaga
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Observers unfamiliar with Argentine history may see in the present campaign a lack of real confrontation and choice of ideas. And they may be misled in that direction by the fact that candidates have devoted great time and effort to expose flaws in their opponents' character and background and very little to explain platforms and proposals. One should not be deceived, however, by appearances. The ideological spectrum represented by the five candidates is much wider than has been seen in any U.S. election in recent history. That statement needs, however, some historical perspective.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Argentina, South America, Latin America
  • Author: William Perry
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: 100 days have now passed since Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva donned Brazil's presidential sash on January 1, 2003. Perhaps use of this traditional U.S. benchmark, even for preliminary judgments, is a bit unfair, as the Brazilian political calendar with Carnival holidays off, precludes Congress from really beginning to function until early March. Nevertheless, the past three months have been instructive in terms of gauging the problems and prospects of the new Workers' Party (PT) government.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Brazil, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Mariano Ruiz-Funes
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: A country's economic competitiveness can be analyzed on two closely interrelated levels: microeconomic com-petitiveness and competitiveness in attracting investment. The first level (microeconomic competitiveness) relates to goods and services offered in the country and refers to competition arising from goods and services that are produced in another country. That competition takes place in international markets (export competitiveness) as well as in the domestic market (with imports).
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America, North America, Mexico
  • Author: Phillip McLean
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Once again events elsewhere have driven news of Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America off the front pages— even from newspapers in the region. Lack of attention may be the least of those countries' concerns about the war. The more serious consequence is likely to be that the war will accentuate the hemisphere's already evident problems. To the degree that the war slows the growth of world trade, the region's near-term economic prospects will suffer, and global uncertainties will dim the promise of more open and dynamic markets.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Canada, South America, Latin America, Central America, Caribbean, North America
  • Author: Armand Peschard-Sverdrup
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: When looking at the ramifications of the war in Iraq on the Western Hemisphere, it is clear that the conflict will have the greatest impact on the two nations with which the United States shares borders—Mexico and Canada. From a national security standpoint, these nations' immediate proximity to the United States automatically heightens the threat to their own national security, particularly because we seem to have entered an era in which the use of weapons of mass destruction—be they nuclear, chemical, or biological—poses a viable threat. From a U.S. homeland security standpoint, the shared border transforms both of our friendly neighbors into possible platforms from which rogue elements could stage attacks or enter the United States to threaten our homeland.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Canada, Latin America, North America, Mexico
  • Author: Carlos M. Regúnaga
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The race for the Argentine presidency is now in the next to last lap. The first ballot will be cast April 27, but for the first time in history it looks as if a second ballot will be required. If it is, it will take place on May 18. At this juncture, public opinion and pundits' predictions are poles apart. But before analyzing them, it might be useful to remember the electoral system now in effect.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Argentina, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Luis Rubio
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Mexico's President Vicente Fox chose a rather awkward time to take a stand supporting a multilateralist approach in foreign policy. Even though a multilateral approach matches neatly—almost naturally—with the country's history, taking such a visible stand after the events of September 11 entailed huge risks that nobody in Fox's cabinet could ignore, even if, in retrospect, few truly understood what the actual risks were. Yet, oblivious to that fact, the government pushed ahead. Even after President George W. Bush had decided not to pursue a vote in the UN Security Council on a follow-up resolution that would have de facto authorized the use of force in Iraq, the Mexican government found it necessary to state that it would have voted “no.” The critical question is less whether this constitutes an approach to foreign policy that is new for Mexico than whether the administration truly understands the implications of its newfound ways.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Latin America, North America, Mexico
  • Author: Sergio Sarmiento
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: For a long time, it seemed impossible for any issue to forge an alliance between the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI)—the party that ruled Mexico from 1929 to 2000—and the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD). This issue, however, has clearly emerged now with the attempt to force President Vicente Fox, a member of the conservative National Action Party (PAN), to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in order to offer special protection to Mexico's agriculture.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Latin America, North America
  • Author: Armand Peschard-Sverdrup, George W. Grayson
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: On March 9, 2003, the citizens of Mexico state (Edomex) will elect 124 municipal government officials and 75 members of the state legislature. Although local contests, these elections have attracted national attention for several reasons. First, with 13 million inhabitants Edomex is the most populous of Mexico 31 states–with approximately 4.5 million more citizens than Mexico City. Second, Mexico state also boasts more than 8 million voters, the most of any state and 12.55 percent of the nationwide total. Third, Mexico state is a microcosm of the country–with (1) a vibrant manufacturing sector, (2) one-third of its income arising from agriculture, (3) a small indigenous population, (4) a plethora of middle-class residents who work for the government, own small businesses, or practice professions such as medicine, dentistry, accounting, and teaching, and (5) poor people who eke out a living in Chalco, Texcoco, and other sprawling slums contiguous to Mexico City. Fourth, Edomex is an arena of intense political activism, involving the country's three major parties: the once-hegemonic Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), the center-right National Action Party (PAN), and the nationalist-left Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD). In addition, the Mexican Green Ecological Party (PVEM) boasts its largest support base in the state, while several new or small parties will also compete in the upcoming election. These include the centrist Convergencia, the leftist Workers' Party (PT), the right-wing Social Alliance (PAS), the conservative Party of the Nationalist Society (PSN), the reform-oriented México Posible (MP), the Mexican Liberal Party (PLM), Citizens' Force (FC), and the Citizens' Parliament (PC). Fifth, the importance of the state means that any major Edomex politician who distinguishes himself will wind up on the short list of contenders for the presidency in 2006. Finally, the outcome of the Mexico state balloting will provide an insight into the relative strength of contending parties as they prepare for the July 6 election of 500 members of the Chamber of Deputies and six governors (Campeche, Colima, Nuevo León, Querétaro, San Luis Potosí, and Sonora).
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Latin America, North America, Mexico
  • Author: Pramit Mitra
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The July 2003 state visit to China by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee of India, the first by an Indian prime minister in a decade, represented a major step forward in New Delhi's relations with its giant neighbor and competitor. Dramatic increases in bilateral trade set the stage for nine bilateral agreements covering trade, education, easing of visa regulations, and development projects. The artful language of the agreements suggested progress on the long-standing Sino-Indian border dispute. More substantial relations between India and China are good news for regional stability, although this relationship will remain wary, and China's strong interest in Pakistan will continue to be a constraint.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, China, India, Asia
  • Author: Pramit Mitra, Navin Vij
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: With five states scheduled to go to polls this fall, political activity is moving into high gear in India. The state elections will provide a good barometer of popular sentiment toward the government and are being treated as a 'test run' for the national elections due in 2004. The state elections will largely determine how the major contenders deal with the volatile issue of Hindu nationalism. How relations with Pakistan figure in the election depends largely on the outcome of current India-Pakistan peace efforts. But the key issue to watch is the ability of the current ruling party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and the Congress party, its principal opponent, to hold together a coalition. This will not only be central to their electoral strategies, it will also determine the next government's freedom of action in making national policy.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, South Asia
  • Author: Teresita Schaffer, Paul A. Longo
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Two months after Indian prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee's offer to extend “the hand of friendship” to neighboring Pakistan, the two countries are exchanging ambassadors and have begun restoring transport links, but discussions on their underlying dispute have yet to take shape. The next few months provide a crucial opportunity to begin a serious peace effort. Should this window of time pass by without progress, however, internal politics in both countries may rule out another try for a year or two.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, South Asia, Middle East
  • Author: Kavita Sangani, Teresita C. Schaffer
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Russia is broadening its relations with South Asia, as illustrated in the recent visits by Pakistan's President Musharraf to Russia and Russia's President Putin to India. Russia's long-standing ties with India are still driven by important defense links and shared hopes to create a multipolar world. Both countries are trying to breathe new life into their much-diminished economic relationship. Russia's new interest in Pakistan is driven largely by concerns about Islamic extremism and Central Asia. At a time when Russia's priorities are to a large extent internal, South Asia is a relatively accessible area for engaging in global geopolitics, but Russia is unlikely to become a major player in India- Pakistan diplomacy in the next few years.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, South Asia, Asia
  • Author: Mandavi Mehta
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: India is poised on the verge of a sharp escalation of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, with profound consequences for the state's society, economy and polity. This crisis will not affect India alone. In an increasingly interconnected world, the effects of such an epidemic will be globally felt, both directly in terms of the spread of infection, and indirectly in terms of the overall security and economic and political health of the region.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, South Asia
  • Author: Amir Ahmad, Teresita C. Schaffer
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: India's budget for fiscal year 2003–2004 will make some contribution to short-term growth but continues the piecemeal approach to economic policy apparent in the last two budgets. With four key state elections during the first half of 2003 and national elections due in 2004, we can expect India's economic policy to muddle through rather than taking bold initiatives. India's growth, under these circumstances, will depend largely on the weather and on a few major investment decisions, and it is not likely to surge ahead in the immediate future.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: South Asia
  • Author: Kavita Sangani
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Bilateral trade between India and Pakistan is extraordinarily low—less than 1 percent of their global trade. Their volatile political relationship has overwhelmed attempts to encourage trade between the two countries, and has also impacted economic integration in the South Asian region as a whole. There are both political and economic obstacles to expanding trade between the two countries. Greater economic co-operation could, however, provide mutual economic benefits, such as lower prices for consumers, much-needed revenue for the governments, and cost-effective gas import to India via Pakistan. Perhaps most importantly, it could generate new linkages between the two business communities, thereby nurturing constituencies for peace in the region.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: South Asia, Middle East, India
  • Author: Mandavi Mehta
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The victory of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) incumbent Narendra Modi in the Gujarat state elections of 2002 has left the BJP riding a new high, while the Congress Party struggles to define itself in opposition. With upcoming assembly elections in eight of India's states, this year could be a defining one for both parties, as well as for the country. The larger question underlying the analysis of electoral politics is the future of Hindutva - a fundamentalist socio-political ideology that asserts a unifying Hindu culture for all Indians - and its implications for India's multi-religious population.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: South Asia, Gujarat
  • Author: Bulent Aliriza
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The four massive truck bombs which targeted two synagogues on November 15, and just five days later, the British Consulate and a British-based bank in Istanbul, claimed fifty five Turkish and foreign victims – including the British Consul General - and wounded hundreds more, while causing millions of dollars of material damage. Beyond their immediate impact, the terrorist attacks caused incalculable collateral damage to the sense of security of the Turkish people by undermining the prevailing domestic tranquility. At an even wider level, the terrorists responsible for the outrages, who demonstrated once again that they would not draw the line at killing fellow Moslems in the misguided pursuit of their goals, also dragged Turkey into the frontline of their war.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Baris Omali
  • Publication Date: 11-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: On October 7, the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA), dominated by the ruling Justice and Development Party (JDP) approved a resolution authorizing the government to send Turkish troops to Iraq. After the 358 to 183 vote, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan commented that Turkey had “come to the decision that it can't totally fulfill its duty as a neighbor in this big transformation process of Iraq with only political, humanitarian and economic support, without military contributions.” Although over 60 percent of the Turkish public were opposed to deployment, Erdogan committed his personal prestige and unchallenged authority over JDP parliamentarians to ensure a positive vote in contrast to the parliamentary reverse on March 1.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Seda Ciftci
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: As Ankara struggled through its typically hot summer, the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) was hard at work. The Justice and Development Party (JDP) government, which has 366 seats in the 550-member TGNA, pushed through major legislative packages tied to European Union (EU) requirements for eventual Turkish membership just before its two-month legislative break on August 1. Parallel to its efforts related to its declared primary objective of EU membership, the government also managed to successfully conclude the fifth IMF review, leading to the release of a $500 million tranche and the easing of the debt repayment schedule by the IMF, while endeavoring to repair the crucial relationship with the US.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Bulent Aliriza
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: It has been three months since the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) failed to muster the appropriate number of votes to allow the United States to open a northern front through Turkey against Iraq. In retrospect it is clear that the March 1 vote reflected the public opposition to the imminent conflict, the perceptible ambivalence of the powerful military establishment and its reluctance to provide an unambiguous recommendation - in particular at the National Security Council (NSC) meeting one day before the vote - and the attitude of President Ahmet Necdet Sezer. It also reflected the inability of the governing Justice and Development Party (JDP) to overcome its deep misgivings about the war to give a sufficiently clear lead.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Seda Ciftci
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Overshadowed by the surprising failure on March 1 of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) to permit the deployment of American forces to open a northern front through Turkey in the likely war with Iraq, and the resulting strains in the US-Turkish relationship, the Cyprus issue has also reached a diplomatic climax. On March 4-5, the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas, who has been under increasing pressure from United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, came to Ankara seeking support. Proclaiming himself satisfied with his talks with Turkish leaders, Denktas now heads into a crucial meeting at The Hague on March 10 with Annan and newly elected Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos. The governing Justice and Development Party (JDP), which has been promoting a settlement of the Cyprus problem, now faces the prospect of the collapse of the UN-sponsored efforts as well as additional complications in Turkey's relations with the European Union (EU). However, despite JDP Chairman Recep Tayyip Erdogan's complaints about the difficulties of dealing with the Iraq and Cyprus issues at the same time, he cannot avoid the urgent decisions that will redefine Turkish foreign policy.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: America, Turkey, Middle East, Cyprus
  • Author: Philip H. Gordon, Henri J. Barkey
  • Publication Date: 11-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The landslide victory of an Islamic party in a Turkish election would hardly seem to be good news for Americans at anytime. Butwithwarlooming inIraq,Turkeytrying torecoverfromits worst financial crisis ever, emerging questions about European defense and NATO, Cyprus talks at a critical stage, and Ankara's application for membershipinthe EuropeanUnioninthe balance, the November3electoralvictory oftheJusticeand DevelopmentParty(AKP)probably struck many U.S. observers as the wrong outcome at the wrong time.
  • Topic: NATO, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Middle East
  • Author: Simon Serfaty, Christina Balis
  • Publication Date: 09-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: This past summer began with predictions of the return of a new conservative government in Germany and the alleged demise of Europe's left. The consecutive victories of leftwing parties in Sweden and Germany this month proved the fallacy of both predictions, while raising serious questions in Europe and the United States about the future course of German policies.
  • Topic: Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Germany, Sweden
  • Author: Simon Serfaty
  • Publication Date: 09-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: One year ago, the two summits scheduled by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union (EU) for the end of 2002 were expected to start the final phase of the Euro-Atlantic vision: two institutions with overlapping sets of members engaged in missions that might not always be pursued in common but would always remain compatible in their goals and complementary in their methods. Instead, as the year has unfolded since September 11, that vision has become increasingly blurred. Now, there is a sense that the two sides of the Atlantic are drifting away from the lofty goals they set after World War II and during the Cold War, and sought to reassert after the Cold War. The relationship is not only said to be lacking coherence; it is also said to be losing its necessity, as Americans and Europeans no longer share values or even interests—and, even when they do, lose their commonalities in the increasing capabilities gap that divides them.
  • Topic: NATO, Cold War, Economics, Politics, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Simon Serfaty, Christina V. Balis, Pierre Messerlin, Chris Wiley
  • Publication Date: 06-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The French elections held during the past eight weeks—first for the presidency and then for the National Assembly—were the most significant elections held in France since 1981. On the whole, their outcome is good for France, for Europe, and for the United States. They restore a political coherence that had been lacking during seven of the last nine years, when the French political system lived under the strained conditions of political cohabitation (1993–1995 and 1997–2002). Moreover, by renewing the primacy of the French presidency, these elections enable Jacques Chirac to assert his leadership during the decisive years that loom ahead for the European Union (EU), as well as for its relations with the United States within the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Finally, these elections also confirm Europe's political drift to a center-right that the elections in Germany scheduled for September 23 are likely to make complete (Euro-Focus, September 15, 2002).
  • Topic: Economics, Politics, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, France
  • Author: Jennifer Lee, Simon Serfaty, Christina V. Balis
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Ten years after the target date for the completion of the European internal market, much remains to be desired in the area of common policies. The absence of a coherent EU tax policy, in particular, has been a continued obstacle. Yet, with the introduction of the euro and in view of the EU's anticipated enlargement (Euro-Focus, January 9, 2002), the timeline for addressing these deficiencies is shortening.
  • Topic: Economics, Migration, Politics, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Simon Serfaty, Christina V. Balis, George Handy, Georgeta Pourchot
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: “More Europe in every area” may sound like an ill-chosen motto for a six-month presidency facing an already demanding and inflated agenda. It is reflective of a concern, however, not to expand the current list of priorities to new initiatives that would risk the fate of past abortive attempts. Avoiding new confrontations, while ensuring the smooth pursuit of ongoing reforms, has become Spain's principal goal during its presidency in the first half of 2002.
  • Topic: Economics, Politics, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe