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  • Author: Mieke Eoyang, Ben Freeman
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Third Way
  • Abstract: The F-35, or Joint Strike Fighter, is America’s next-generation manned fighter jet, but this $1.5 trillion program—the most expensive weapon program ever—has been plagued by costly delays and design challenges. There is a solution to the F-35 dilemma: slow down. The threats facing the U.S. today do not require that we rush the F-35 into production. We can save billions by further testing the aircraft. In this time of budget cutting and sequestration, the issue of F-35 spending is significant. Here’s how to talk about this weapon system—and how to fix it.
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Mireille Affa'a Mindzie, George Mukundi Wachira, Lucy Dunderdale
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: The “Africa rising” narrative has gained traction in recent years. Yet a very important question remains: who is rising? While statistics point to a continent whose fortunes have improved, many African citizens remain at the margins of socioeconomic development. In what has been termed growth without transformative development, there is a heightened focus among African states on translating promising statistics into better livelihoods for citizens. Citizens' uprisings in North Africa and in Burkina Faso provide a fresh reminder of the danger in touting impressive economic growth statistics while the majority of a country's population remains excluded from democratic governance processes and development. It is also widely believed that development failures and governance deficits lie “at the heart of Africa's violent conflicts.” Africa will only achieve its full potential and live up to the Africa rising narrative if it can strengthen its systems of governance; promote inclusive, equitable, and participatory development; and embed a culture of democracy and peace.
  • Political Geography: Africa, North Africa
  • Author: Esbern Friis-Hansen
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Social accountability as a tool for development planning is gaining foothold in international donor circles. It is concerned with the responsibility and responsiveness of state authorities, as well as the ability of citizens to make claims and hold those who exercise power to account for their actions.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Foreign Aid, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Ali Bilgic, Daniela Nascimento
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: Although Turkey had no past colonial involvement with African countries, there has been an increasing revival of Turkey's relation with the continent since the end of the 1990s, which reached a peak after 2005. From then on, along with a focus on Central Asia, the Balkans and the Middle East, Turkish foreign policy started shifting its focus to Africa, and as a new donor country Turkey's political and economic relations with sub-Saharan African countries have intensified significantly. This policy brief analyses and discusses the main economic, political, and strategic motivations behind these shifts and priorities, as well as some of the perceptions and current challenges this change in policy faces.
  • Political Geography: Africa, Central Asia, Turkey, Middle East, Balkans
  • Author: Andrey Makarychev, Licínia Simão
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: It was not until 2007 that the concept of development assistance became part of the Russian foreign policy toolkit. This policy brief explains Russia's development assistance policy – mainly towards Africa – as an effect of the country's global commitments and socialisation dynamics, on the one hand, and Moscow's growing interest in exploring the potential of soft power as an indispensable element of its diplomacy, since both aspects are interrelated. The policy brief also looks at the mismatches between Russia's normative discourse in its assistance towards Africa, and the economic and geopolitical interests it pursues simultaneously. This provides room for reflection on the specificities of so-called South-South cooperation, with which the BRICS grouping in particular is often associated.
  • Political Geography: Africa, Russia, Moscow
  • Author: Bradley Anderson, Johan Jooste
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Surging demand for ivory and rhino horn, mainly in Asia, has put wild African elephants and rhinoceroses on the path to extinction. More than an environmental tragedy, however, wildlife poaching and trafficking has exacerbated other security threats and led to the co-option of certain African security units. African states need to develop a broad range of law enforcement capabilities to tackle what is effectively a transnational organized crime challenge. Asian and other international partners, meanwhile, must take action to reduce runaway demand for wildlife products.
  • Topic: Environment, International Political Economy, Trafficking
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Daniel Hampton
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Nearly half of all uniformed peacekeepers are African and countries like Ghana, Rwanda, Senegal, and South Africa have provided troops to UN and AU missions almost continuously over the past decade. Despite such vast experience, African peacekeepers are often reliant on international partners for training before they can deploy on these missions. Institutionalizing a capacity-building model within African defense forces is a more sustainable approach that maintains a higher level of readiness to respond to emerging crises and contingencies on the continent.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Sustainable Development Goals
  • Political Geography: Africa