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  • Author: Mikkel Runge Olesen, Matthew Hinds
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The election of Donald Trump as US president was met with considerable unease in Europe. This has not least been the case among those who, like the UK and Denmark, consider themselves among America’s closest allies. In the policy brief, Matthew Hinds and Mikkel Runge Olesen take stock of the US special relationships in Europe – large and small. In the policy brief they discuss both the classical “Special Relationship” between the US and the UK, as well as the US-Danish relationship, as an example of a small power that has chosen to give the relationship to the superpower premium priority. Hinds and Runge Olesen find that Trump may destabilize relations, but also that he may open up for new opportunities as well – especially for the UK.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Britain, America, Europe
  • Author: Peter Albrecht
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Yemen has caught the eye of the international community above all because it has been portrayed as a hotbed of radicalisation and a training ground for al-Qaeda. As a state, Yemen is broadly considered to be both fragile and on the brink of failure. This Policy Brief argues that for a variety of reasons – largely relating to the political system and dynamics within the country – support from Europe and North America will have limited effect. There are limited, if any, technical solutions to the challenges that confront the country; only political ones. International actors from outside the regional context must therefore think twice before engaging and, above all, have a good understanding of the political system that they will be engaging with.
  • Topic: International Relations, Islam
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Yemen, Arabia
  • Author: Ian Manners
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The social sciences have many different understandings of 'normative power'. The purpose of this brief is to help clarify the concept of normative power in world politics as developed in European Union (EU) studies over the last ten years. The brief uses a five-point conceptualisation of normative power as being ideational; involving principles, actions, and impact; as well as having broader consequences in world politics. For each point both a general observation about world politics and a specific comment about the EU is made.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Christina Boswell
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Debates about the "securitisation" of migration may over-state the effectiveness with which states are able to link immigration policies with the defence of the national political community against external threats. The example of Italy under Berlusconi, or UK policy since 9/11, show that a "securitarian" rhetoric is sometimes still accompanied by liberal economic policies and regularisation programs, or can easily undermine state legitimacy when a tough line on closed doors is difficult to deliver. Because of the lack of scrutiny on some policies at the European level, however, European immigration policies have been one area where governments have been able to avoid political protest or human rights concerns and implement a tough security based policy, often "outsourcing" the implementation to regions of origin.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Migration
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Jørgen Carling
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Much of the current immigration to Europe is 'unwanted' in the sense that receiving countries would prefer to be without it. Some of this immigration is 'unavoidable', limited by states' incapacity to implement their rules. The migrants in question are people who arrive in Europe, usually through the services of human smugglers, and are impossible to return even if their requests for residence are rejected. A second, and much larger, part of the 'unwanted' immigration is 'reluctantly accepted' by European governments. This includes migrants who are granted asylum or other forms of protection, and migrants who are admitted for family reasons. Political pressure to reduce the number of immigrants in these groups has intensified considerable. A critical point which justifies the label 'unwanted' is that support for admitting these migrant groups is largely based on political motivation to uphold the supporting principles rather than a positive evaluation of the immigration flows they generate. This brief discusses the strategies used by states to reduce 'unwanted' immigration.
  • Topic: International Relations, Migration, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Gry Thomasen
  • Publication Date: 02-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The biggest surprise in the current Danish debate is that there is still very broad coverage of EU issues involving the media and public conferences, particularly regarding the Constitutional Treaty; energy and the environment; enlargement to South Eastern Europe and beyond; and more recently the difficult relations between Russia and the EU. The public debate over the Constitutional Treaty is active, while the government looks forwards to what the German Presidency, as well as the 'No' countries, put forward as suggestions after the French Presidential elections. Following Denmark's four-point suggestion at Lahti for an EU energy policy, the Danish concerns over renewable supply, increased efficiency, a liberalised market, and more research in order to improve energy security have heightened. After the Commission's report of enlargement and integration capacity, the Danish debate has focused on support for the Croatian bid for EU membership, whilst emphasising the need for considerable reforms in Turkey. Finally, following the rebuke by Denmark, Sweden, Estonia and Poland in Lahti on the question of human rights in Russia after the murder of Anna Politkovskaya, the failure to overcome the Polish-Russia impasse at the EU-Russia summit is also important in the Danish debate.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe
  • Author: Ulf Hedetoft
  • Publication Date: 12-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Danish controversies over multiculturalism and integration can be enlightened by a fresh look at the ostensibly polarised differences on these questions between Denmark and its closest neighbour Sweden. Danish integration policies appear to be assimilationist in effect, if not in intent, while Sweden has openly pursued an official multiculturalism towards its ethnic minorities for over thirty years. Differences rooted in history and political tradition are real, but there appears to be some evidence of convergence today. Multiculturalism in Sweden looks increasingly unviable as a compromise, and vulnerable to the current political atmosphere, while in Denmark local policy implementation and pragmatic international adaptation to 'diversity management' belie the hostile tone of national politics. Both countries are wrestling with the adaptation of long standing traditions and institutional forms – particularly those of the welfare state – in a difficult international environment. The convulsions over multiculturalism are typical of the adaptive politics and symbolic difficulties of small states in the face of wider global transformations.
  • Topic: International Relations, Demographics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Denmark, Sweden
  • Author: Ruud Koopmans
  • Publication Date: 12-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: I compare the outcomes of Dutch integration policies in a cross-national European perspective. The Dutch approach is of wider theoretical and practical interest because it stands out for its far-reaching state support for multicultural group rights, which were intended to combat the socio-economic marginalization of immigrants. Contrary to these intentions, I show that the Netherlands performs worse than most other European immigration countries in various domains of socio-economic integration, including the labour market, education, residential segregation, and crime levels. I identify three mechanisms that can link multicultural integration policies to these outcomes: insufficient language and other cultural skills among immigrants; discrimination and white flight; and a lack of intercultural contacts. I also discuss why multiculturalism seems to be especially counterproductive in the context of highly developed welfare states. The dilemma of multiculturalism that I identify is that it aims to achieve socio-economic equality by way of maximizing immigrants' opportunities to develop and maintain their cultural difference. The analysis suggests that it is not always possible to have it both ways.
  • Topic: International Relations, Demographics, Migration
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Ulla Holm
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Abroad, Denmark is for the time being considered an ugly duckling in international politics because of the publication of the cartoons on Mohammed. This perception of Denmark has shocked the political establishment and the population, because Denmark has had until now a very good reputation in international politics. This brief argues that the construction of Danish national identity as a homogeneous, harmonious ethnic entity makes it difficult for Danish governments to conduct foreign policy that takes into consideration other cultures. The Danish vision of being morally superior to other countries because of its welfare state and egalitarian politics enhances this attitude to other countries. The question is therefore how Denmark may become a swan again.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics, Religion
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Michael Irving Jensen
  • Publication Date: 02-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: By mid-January 2003 the American Assistant Defence Minister, Paul Wolfowitz, stated that America would work intensively in order to create a Palestinian State as soon as the War in Iraq was over. In Denmark and other European countries a number of politicians issued similar statements, and peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis became an argument to justify a war against Iraq. Even people who were not convinced by the necessity of war began to argue that something positive would eventually emerge from the war – especially in the case of the Palestine Question. Their argument held that the Americans had to do something constructive in the Middle East. They needed to engage more seriously, and they had to demonstrate to the Arab world that although part of the "war against terror" might be taking place in the Arab world, it was not a war against the Arab world, or against Islam, for that matter. Thus, it was only logical to engage the US in the Middle East, and thereby do the utmost in order to force the Israeli occupation to cease. Despite the huge American problems in "post-war" Iraq the question of Palestine is still very high on the agenda not only in the Middle East, but globally.
  • Topic: International Relations, War
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East