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  • Author: Kaja Borchgrevink, Kristian Berg Harpviken
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: Afghanistan's thirty years of war have seen the gradual and heavy politicisation of religion. A number of new and distinct types of political movements – which can be characterised broadly as “fundamentalists”, “Islamists” and “neo-fundamentalists” – has emerged to challenge traditional expressions of Islam. This has transformed the religious landscape in Afghanistan, which is as a result more variegated than ever before. The different attitudes of these new currents to questions of religious authority, political process, and the Afghan statebuilding project need to be carefully distinguished. More generally, the appearance of such movements highlights the way that the role of religion, though often overlooked, is central to the attempt since the regime-change of late 2001 to build a viable Afghan state. The impact of the new actors (including the Taliban itself) is reflected in the way that President Hamid Karzai – struggling to balance the modernised secularists supporting the statebuilding project and the religious fundamentalists opposing it – has allowed several ex-jihadi Islamist factions into the government. The result of this accommodation has been both to sustain the former jihadi leaders' influence and contribute to the marginalisation of more moderate Islamic forces. At the same time, many religious leaders believe they could contribute positively to the statebuilding agenda by generating support among Afghan people. This complex situation makes an understanding of Afghanistan's diverse religious landscape and the various positions vis-à-vis the state all the more essential in the context of efforts to develop strategies for peace and reconciliation.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Islam, War, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Asia
  • Author: Ashley Jackson
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The Kabul Conference marks the ninth international conference on Afghanistan in nearly as many years. The conference aims to present a new set of development programs and shore up international support for civilian efforts. It will also follow up on commitments made on anticorruption and reconciliation during the London Conference in January 2010. Yet much of the hope and optimism that marked the earlier conferences such as the Bonn Conference in 2001, which set out the parameters for the interim government, and the Paris Conference in 2006, which outlined a strategy for reconstruction and development, is now gone.
  • Topic: Security, Development, War, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Asia
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: In 2009, the government of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), with international backing, launched military offensives against the FDLR (Forces démocratiques de libération du Rwanda) and other militias in eastern DRC, with devastating humanitarian consequences: an estimated 900,000 people displaced and over 1,400 documented civilian deaths attributed to militia and government forces. In 2010 a new offensive, Amani Leo ('peace today'), continues efforts to disarm the militias, with some additional safeguards for civilian safety linked to UN peacekeeping support for the operations. However, while some areas have become safer as a result, ongoing population displacement (over 164,000 January- April 2010) and protection cluster monitoring of human rights violations (up 246% January-February in South Kivu after the launch of Amani Leo) are indications of continuing fallout for civilians. A survey conducted by Oxfam and partners in North and South Kivu in April 2010 enquired into the experiences of people in areas affected by the military operations. It found that, for 60% of respondents this year, things are worse than in 2009.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Gender Issues, Genocide, War
  • Political Geography: Asia, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Publication Date: 08-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The two sentiments that define the political impasse in Papua are frustration on the part of many Papuans that “special autonomy” has meant so little, and exasperation on the part of many Indonesian government officials that Papuans are not satisfied with what they have been given. The gulf between the two might be reduced by dialogue, but any prospect of serious talks is hampered by an un-willingness of Jakarta to treat the problem as essentially a political, rather than an economic one. To move forward, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono needs personally to take the lead in recognising that autonomy means more than increased budgetary allocations or accelerated economic development. He needs to explore directly with credible Papuan leaders how political autonomy can be expanded; affirmative action policies strengthened in all sectors; and Papuan fears about in-migration addressed. Unless these three issues are tackled head on in face-to-face meetings, the impasse is unlikely to be broken and increased radicalisation is likely.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Economics, Treaties and Agreements, Territorial Disputes
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Asia
  • Author: Simon Henderson, Stefanie Peterson
  • Publication Date: 08-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: At a ceremony near the southern Iranian coastal city of Bushehr this Saturday, Russia will begin the process of loading fuel rods into Iran's first civilian nuclear reactor. Theoretically distinct from the rest of the regime's disturbing nuclear program, the Bushehr plant nevertheless remains a major international concern. The low-enriched uranium in the fuel rods would, if diverted, substantially increase Iran's existing stock of the material, which many suspect is already being used to develop nuclear weapons. Even if they were used solely for electricity generation, the rods would eventually produce plutonium-rich residue that could also be reprocessed for use in a weapon. For Iran, the Bushehr event will be a gesture of defiance against U.S.-led international pressure; for Russia, a sign of Moscow's different diplomatic approach to the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran; and for the United States, an exception to the tightening sanctions regime, which officials claim is forcing Tehran to reconsider the wisdom of its policies.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Iran, Middle East, Asia, Moscow
  • Author: Simon Henderson
  • Publication Date: 08-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: For nearly two weeks, the Persian Gulf island state of Bahrain has experienced near-daily disturbances following government arrests of opposition activists from the majority Shiite community. The timing of the arrests seemed geared toward preempting trouble in advance of the scheduled October 23 parliamentary and municipal elections, which minority Sunni parties and candidates are currently projected to win. The street violence and other incidents are of particular concern to the United States because Bahrain hosts the headquarters of the U.S. Fifth Fleet and Naval Forces Central Command, whose mission is to "deter and counter disruptive countries" -- a wording likely aimed at Iran, which claimed the island as its territory prior to 1970.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East, Asia, Arabia
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Eight years after independence, Timor-Leste is still with- out a legal basis for determining ownership of land. In its absence, the challenges of enforcing property rights have grown more complex and increased the potential for conflict. The politically charged task of sifting through over- lapping claims inherited from the country's two colonial administrations has been complicated by widespread illegal occupation of property after the displacement of over half the population that followed the 1999 referendum. The legal and social uncertainties this created magnified the effects of the country's 2006 crisis, causing further mass displacement in the capital and beyond. Resolution of these uncertainties through new laws, regulations and policies is necessary to reduce conflict, diminish the risk of further instability and to provide a clear way to resolve past and future disputes.
  • Topic: Environment, Territorial Disputes
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Jasmine Burnley, Elizabeth Stuart
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: When the G20 meets in Seoul in November 2010, it has a big choice to make. It can either retreat into a narrow focus on its own interests, or it can prove it is capable of genuine global leadership in the face of the interlinked economic, food, and climate change crises. The G20 must adopt a Seoul 'development consensus' that confronts the challenges of the 21st century: reducing inequality and tackling global poverty through sustainable, equitable growth that gives poor women and men, and their governments, the tools they need to overcome poverty.
  • Topic: Development, Poverty, Food
  • Political Geography: Israel, Asia, South Korea
  • Publication Date: 08-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: The situation in Burma/Myanmar remains grave. With elections scheduled for 7 November 2010 international attention on the country has increased. Such attention, and any policy action taken, must focus not only on the goal of democratic transition, and concerns about the regimes nuclear collaboration with North Korea, but also on the plight of Burma's ethnic minorities who continue to suffer atrocities at the hands of the government. These atrocities may rise to the level of crimes against humanity, war crimes and ethnic cleansing – crimes states committed themselves to protect populations from at the 2005 World Summit, as described in the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect policy brief dated 4 March 2010, “Applying the Responsibility to Protect to Burma/Myanmar.”
  • Topic: Democratization, Genocide, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Asia, North Korea, Burma, Myanmar
  • Author: Li Hongyan, Ong Suan Ee
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies
  • Abstract: The recent pandemic disease outbreaks which affected many Asian countries underscore the need for appropriate pandemic responses to be developed in order to contain and mitigate the spread of pandemics that emerge in the future. Through an examination of the different responses to SARS and H1N1 in the region, and the effects of those efforts, this NTS Insight seeks to highlight issues which should be considered when developing pandemic response programmes.
  • Topic: Health, Human Welfare, Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: The Burmese junta, its armed forces known as the “Tatmadaw,” and other armed groups under government control are committing gross human rights violations against ethnic and religious minorities. Extrajudicial killings, torture, and forced labor are prevalent; rape and sexual abuse by the Tatmadaw are rampant; and from August 2008 through July 2009 alone, 75,000 civilians in the east, where armed conflict is ongoing, were forcibly displaced. The Tatmadaw shows a complete disregard for the principle of distinction, intentionally targeting civilians with impunity.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: South Asia, Asia, Burma, Myanmar
  • Author: Paul Teng, Margarita Escaler
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies
  • Abstract: Over the last four decades, Brazil has transformed its agricultural sector to become the first tropical agricultural giant and the first to challenge the dominance of the world's major food exporters. This paper examines the secrets of Brazil's success and ponders whether Asia should try to emulate the Brazilian model to help achieve food security for its people and contribute to an increased level of selfsufficiency in the region.
  • Topic: Agriculture, International Trade and Finance, Food
  • Political Geography: Asia, Brazil, Latin America
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The deadly conflict in Thailand's predominantly Malay Muslim South is at a stalemate. Although military operations might have contributed to the reduction in violence, the government of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has made little effort to tackle the political grievances that drive the insurgency. A limited unilateral suspension of hostilities offered by rebels has met no significant response. Draconian laws that grant security forces sweeping powers remain imposed while justice for serious cases of past abuse remains unaddressed and torture of suspects continues. As bloody anti-government protests in Bangkok distracted the nation in early 2010, the death toll in the six-year-long insurgency steadily climbed. The conflict in the Deep South remains on the margins of Thai politics and unresolved. A paradigm shift is needed to acknowledge that assimilation of Malay Muslims has failed and that recognition of their distinct ethno-religious identity is essential. Dialogue with insurgents and reform of governance structures remain two missing components of a comprehensive political solution.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Armed Struggle, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: Asia, Thailand, Southeast Asia
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: The recent clash between a Chinese fishing vessel and the Japanese coast guard in the East China Sea demonstrates continuing potential for conflict between China and Japan over territory and maritime resources, one that could affect the United States. China's stronger navy and air force in and over the waters east and south of the country's coast is one dimension of that country's growing power. But the deployment of these assets encroaches on the traditional area of operations of Japan's navy and air force - and a clash between Chinese and Japanese ships and planes cannot be ruled out.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Asia
  • Author: Jeffrey J. Schott
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: The Korea-US Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) was signed on June 30, 2007. Since then, the Korean National Assembly has vetted the agreement and the pact cleared a major legislative hurdle when the Foreign Affairs and Trade Committee approved it in April 2009; the full assembly has deferred final passage pending comparable action by the US Congress. In the United States, the ratification process has not yet begun; neither President George W. Bush nor President Barack Obama has submitted implementing legislation to Congress.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Trade and Finance, Bilateral Relations, Law
  • Political Geography: United States, Israel, Asia, Korea
  • Author: Lina Gong, Sofiah Jamil
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies
  • Abstract: The demand for coal is set to increase over the coming years, especially among developing countries. However, while coal may be a cheap source of energy to facilitate economic development, it is costly in terms of the implications for human security. Coal mining has been seen to adversely impact local communities and cause sociopolitical instability. Long-term environmental sustainability is also negatively affected. This NTS Insight seeks to examine the extent to which governance mechanisms have been successful in mitigating these socioeconomic and environmental costs, with a focus on China and Indonesia. The paper will also assess the effectiveness of current initiatives designed to address the various forms of human insecurities stemming from coal mining in the two countries.
  • Topic: Development, Energy Policy, Environment
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Walter Kemp
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: On December 1 and 2, 2010, Kazakhstan will host the heads of state or government of fifty-six countries for the first summit of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) since 1999. This is a major achievement for a country that was considered by some to be an inappropriate choice to lead the OSCE. Yet the Astana summit is not a test of Kazakhstan's leadership. It is about the future of Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian security, and the viability of the OSCE. At a time when the European Union, Russia, and the United States are redefining their relationships and looking for common ground, the Astana summit provides an opportunity to focus on issues that unite all stakeholders—finding a sense of common purpose to deal with common threats and challenges on the basis of common principles. This brief looks at what it will take to reach the “summit” at Astana, examines the main issues at stake, and considers the relevance and future direction of the OSCE.
  • Topic: Security, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Central Asia, Kazakhstan, Asia
  • Author: Khalid Koser
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Geneva Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: Economic and financial crises have always impacted on international migration patterns, processes, and policies. The Great Depression (1929- 33) resulted in massive repatriations of Latin Americans from the United States and the introduction of highly restrictive immigration policies in a number of industrialized countries, including France and Canada. The Oil Crisis (1973) resulted in severe restrictions on labour migration, a concomitant growth in asylum applications and irregular migration in Europe, and the emergence of new flows of labour migration to emerging industrial centres in Asia and Latin America. As a result of the Asian financial crisis (1997-99) several South-East Asian countries introduced policies of national preference and sought to expel migrant workers. The Russian financial crisis (1998) accelerated rates of emigration from Russia, in particular of Russian Jews and the highly-skilled. The gravity of the Latin American financial crisis (1998- 2002) also resulted in a significant exodus, in particular from Argentina.
  • Topic: Economics, Migration, Global Recession, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Russia, Asia, Latin America
  • Author: Katherine Lepani, Julienne McKay
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Abstract: There is significant potential for the PNG government to deliver better health services for all Papuan New Guineans. Major health problems are now preventable. Cost-effective options are available to Papua New Guineans to treat malaria, pneumonia, tuberculosis and HIV as well as to reduce infant and maternal mortality. In this Policy Brief Julienne McKay and Dr Katherine Lepani explore how demand-responsive mechanisms (vouchers, micro-health insurance, social franchises and social businesses) can be a compelling addition to strengthening health systems in PNG. The research looks at the potential use of these instruments with a focus on HIV, maternal health, tuberculosis and malaria, and contains policy recommendations for government, the private sector and donors.
  • Topic: Health, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Asia, Australia/Pacific, Guinea
  • Author: Thomas G. Mahnken
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, University of California
  • Abstract: Given the high stakes involved in China's rise, both in Asia and globally, understanding the scope and pace of Chinese military modernization is an important undertaking. This brief applies insights from the theory and history of military innovation to the task of understanding China's development of anti-access and area denial capabilities and provides recommendations on how the United States can improve its ability to detect and recognize Chinese military innovation.
  • Topic: International Relations, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia, North America
  • Author: Tai Ming Cheung
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, University of California
  • Abstract: Since the beginning of the twenty-first century, China's defense science, technology, and innovation (DSTI) system has been vigorously developing a comprehensive set of innovation capabilities that will eventually allow it to join the world's top tier of military technological powers. Ample access to financial, human, and research resources; strong political support; inflows of foreign technologies and know-how; and the introduction of advanced modes of governance, market competition, and management are producing significant progress, although from a low base. But long-term success is far from assured as daunting structural bottlenecks stand in the way, not the least of which is the struggle to overcome a long history of debilitating Socialist central planning.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Economics, Markets, Science and Technology, Governance
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Dennis Blasko
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, University of California
  • Abstract: Within China's overall national strategy, priority goes to national economic development. How this fits with the PLA's needs to modernize and China's overall military strategy is driven by the concept of People's War that emphasizes strategy over technology and may hold some surprises for the United States.
  • Topic: Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia
  • Author: James Mulvenon, Matthew Luce
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, University of California
  • Abstract: Contrary to popular perceptions of China as either "technology thief" or "technology superpower," the success of the Chinese defense electronics sector can be attributed to a combination of indigenous innovation, adaptation of foreign technology, and large-scale technology espionage. Advanced defense electronics components and systems play a key role in this revolution in military capability, making it imperative to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the Chinese defense electronics industry and their implications for U.S. interests in the region.
  • Topic: Economics, Science and Technology, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia
  • Author: Tai Ming Cheung
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, University of California
  • Abstract: The Minerva project on "The Evolving Relationship Between Technology and National Security in China" held a two-day workshop on the "Military and Geo-Strategic Implications of China's Rise as a Global Technological Power" in Washington, D.C., in November 2010. Presentations were given by academic experts Susan Shirk, Barry Naughton, Tai Ming Cheung and David Meyer (all from UC San Diego), Alice Miller (Stanford University), Bates Gill (Stockholm Peace Research Institute), and Thomas Mahnken (Naval War College). This brief provides a summary of the workshop findings.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Science and Technology, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: China, Washington, Asia
  • Author: Christopher W. Hughes
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, University of California
  • Abstract: Japan's defense production model is often seen as a successful exemplar of "techno-nationalism," especially in the integration of the civilian and military sectors. Hence, Japan's model has been considered as offering possible lessons for China to emulate in the reform of its own defense industry. But Japan's defense production model, despite arguable past successes, is now experiencing what is often referred to by Japanese policymakers and industrialists as a "slow death" as its structural development limitations have been increasingly revealed over the past two decades. Japan's defense production model is encountering three major structural limitations: 1. Stagnation in defense budgets and long-term military demand.2. Flawed and failing procurement practices.3. Obstacles to expanded and more diverse international collaboration.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Science and Technology, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Asia
  • Author: Jing-dong Yuan
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, University of California
  • Abstract: China's nuclear industry has undergone rapid growth in recent years and is projected to further expand in the coming decades. Accounting for almost 40 percent of all nuclear reactors either under construction or that have been approved globally, the expansion of China's nuclear capacities has largely been driven by increasing demands for energy to support continued economic growth. Constraints include human resources, fuel supply, and the extent to which China can develop indigenous nuclear power capacities. The role of civil-military integration in this industry is yet to be determined partly as a result of the deliberate decision by Beijing to keep its nuclear weapons segment separate from its civilian operations.
  • Topic: Economics, Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Chung-in Moon, Jae-Ok Paek
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, University of California
  • Abstract: South Korea's defense industrial transformation has been impressive by any standard. It was able to satisfy most of its basic weapons needs within a decade after launching its defense industry. Since the late 1990s, South Korea has been elevated from a third-tier arms producer to the second tier by moving from the stage of imitation and assembly to that of creative imitation and indigenization. It now competes with major arms-supplying countries. In addition, the South Korean defense industry has made remarkable progress in RMA-related areas mostly involving command, control, communication, intelligence, reconnaissance, and surveillance. In this policy brief, we first assess South Korea's defense industrial performance by examining the patterns of defense acquisition, rate of localization of defense materiel, and defense exports. We then briefly analyze the evolutionary dynamics of defense industrial upgrades in selected sectors by tracing the stages of innovation. We also delineate a set of institutional and policy arrangements that have contributed to this impressive transformation.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Economics
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea
  • Author: May-Britt U. Stumbaum, Oliver Bräuner
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, University of California
  • Abstract: In line with the European policy of supporting China\'s economic reform and development, research institutes and companies in the European Union (EU) have been the major sources for high-technology exports to the People\'s Republic of China in the past thirty years. Dual-use technologies ranging from aerospace to semiconductors play a central role for economic development as well as for modern military development, including network-centric warfare. Yet a comprehensive EU paradigm on China\'s military rise and the impact of these technology transfers has not evolved. The EU–China "strategic partnership" is still dominated by economic considerations. Lack of coordination between the national and the European level contribute to the risks accompanying EU–China collaboration in this field. The differences between EU and U.S. perceptions of China\'s military rise provide potential for further Transatlantic discord, as happened during the acrimonious debate on the intended lifting of the EU arms embargo on China in 2004–2005.
  • Topic: Economics, International Cooperation, Science and Technology, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Boyko Noev, Harlan Ullman
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen is overseeing the drafting of NATO's latest Strategic Concept, set to replace the current version approved in 1999. Even though only a decade has passed, changes across the globe have been stunning and in some cases revolutionary. For NATO, we believe the challenge of the Strategic Concept is to address the question of whether NATO is still relevant or whether it has become a relic. We strongly believe the former. However, that can no longer be taken for granted. Twenty years after the Soviet Union imploded, the Alliance must finally find a new strategic anchor for its raison d'être or deal with the implications of becoming a relic or an Alliance that may have served its purpose.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, NATO, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Valeriy Dzutsev
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: IN THIS ISSUE: Website: Few Improvements in the North Caucasus in 2008 Violence Haunts a New Year in Ingushetia and Dagestan Chechens Protest Parole for Budanov Spain Extradites Chechen Terror Suspect A Look Back at Insurgent Activities in the North Caucasus in 2008By Mairbek Vatchagaev Ingushetia's New Leader Hints at a Merger with ChechnyaBy Valeriy Dzutsev.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: In this issue: Chechen Who Accused Kadyrov of Torture Murdered in Vienna Kadyrov Denounces Parole for Budanov Human Rights Watch's Annual Report Details North Caucasus Abuses Explosion Destroys Building in Nazran; Cause Uncertain North Caucasus Insurgency Attracting Mainly Young and Committed Members By Mairbek Vatchagaev Is Krymshamkhalov's Murder a Political Assassination?
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The election for governor in Indonesia's North Maluku province was one of the most bitterly contested since direct elections for local government heads were introduced in 2005. Held in November 2007, it remains in dispute more than a year later, although a winner has been named and inaugurated. At one point it seemed as if violence between the two sides could escalate into serious communal conflict, in an area where thousands had died in religious violence a decade earlier. By early 2009, however, it looked as though Indonesia's democratic institutions would be resilient enough to cope with an election gone wrong, and the dispute would be quietly resolved in the Constitutional Court. The Court's decision is expected in early February. The dispute that many thought could trigger further turmoil may prove instead to be a minor wrangle in Indonesia's largely successful effort to choose local government leaders by direct popular vote.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Civil Society, Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Asia
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: In this issue: Lawyer for Family of Budanov's Victim and Journalist Murdered in Moscow Human Rights Groups Press Austria to Investigate Murder of Chechen Ruslan Yamadaev's Brother: He was Murdered by Kadyrov's Associate Deteriorating Security Situation in Ingushetia Sparks First Ever Visit to Region by MedvedevBy Valery Dzutsev Markelov Assassination Tied to Release of Budanov?By Fatima Tlisova.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: In this issue: Seven Chechens Arrested in Austria in Connection with Murder of Ex-Kadyrov Bodyguard FSB Accuses Zakaev of Organizing Armed Attacks in Chechnya Medvedev and Yevkurov Meet Again, This Time in Moscow The War on Dagestan's Police Continues Chechnya Starts the New Year on a Tense NoteBy Mairbek Vatchagaev Ingushetia's New President Faces an Uphill BattleBy Mairbek Vatchagaev.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: IN THIS ISSUE: Austrian Prosecutors Were Investigating Israilov's Charges against Kadyrov Zakaev Rejects Kadyrov's Invitation Rebels and Pro-Moscow Forces in Shoot-Out near Chechen Village Ingush President Accuses U.S. of Seeking to "Undermine the Caucasus" Briefs Dagestan's Sharia Jamaat Suffers Series of SetbacksBy Mairbek Vatchagaev Ethnic-Based Governing System is Increasing Tensions in DagestanBy Valery Dzutsev.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: In this issue: Ingushetia's Violence Continues as Yevkurov Calls for Blood Feuds to End Chechen Rebel Representative Reportedly Switches Sides Briefs Ingush Authorities Blame Insurgency on Arabs and U.S. IntelligenceBy Mairbek Vatchagaev The Changing Landscape of Islam in North OssetiaBy Mikhail Roshchin.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Six months after the collapse of autonomy negotiations between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Philippines government, low-intensity conflict continues but moves are under way to resurrect talks. It is not clear whether negotiations will resume and if they do, with what agenda. Certainly no settlement is likely during the remaining tenure of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo; the two sides are too far apart, the potential spoilers too numerous, and the political will too weak. The best that can be hoped for is progress around the edges.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Islam, War
  • Political Geography: Israel, Asia, Philippines, Mindanao
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: A year after the near-fatal shooting of President José Ramos-Horta, security in Timor-Leste is strikingly improved. Armed rebels are no longer at large. The atmosphere on the streets of Dili is far less tense. The government does not seem to be facing any serious political threat to its survival. It has, at least temporarily, been able to address several of the most pressing security threats, in large part by buying off those it sees as potential troublemakers. Nevertheless, the current period of calm is not cause for complacency. Security sector reform is lagging, the justice system is weak, the government shows signs of intolerance towards dissenting voices, and it has not got a grip on corruption. These problems, which have been at the root of the instability facing Timor-Leste since independence, must be tackled if the country is to escape the cycle of conflict.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Political Violence
  • Political Geography: South Asia, Asia, Vienna
  • Author: Katrine Barnekow Rasmussen
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This is a brief English version of a Danish DIIS Report on the foreign policy of Iran. In the Report, Iran's foreign policy is investigated both ideologically and in respect of its pragmatic motivations.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Foreign Policy, Islam, Oil, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Asia
  • Author: C. Randall Henning
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: In September 1997, at the outset of the last global financial crisis, the Japanese Ministry of Finance proposed the creation of an Asian Monetary Fund. Although this particular proposal was scuttled, the idea of a common regional fund on which East Asian governments might draw in times of financial turmoil survives. The region's disaffection from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), stemming from the 1997–98 crisis, sustains this idea and a desire on the part of individual countries to self-insure with large holdings of foreign exchange reserves. East Asian governments and central banks have created a set of bilateral swap arrangements (BSAs) dubbed the Chiang Mai Initiative (CMI) and are negotiating among themselves to build these BSAs into a more comprehensive facility. Some Asian officials hope that such a facility could underpin exchange rate cooperation and monetary integration in the region, although such proposals remain for the moment long-term visions.
  • Topic: Economics, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Japan, Israel, Asia
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Tensions in Aceh are high as elections approach, although they have receded somewhat from a peak in mid-February. The murders of three former combatants of the Free Aceh Movement (Gerakan Aceh Merdeka, GAM), other shootings and numerous grenade attacks over the last two months – all with unidentified perpetrators – have set the province on edge, and there remains a risk of sporadic, low-level violence before and after general elections on 9 April. Disputes over the results, with 44 parties competing for seats in district, provincial and national legislatures using a new and complicated system of voting, are also likely. There is little danger in the short term of violence escalating out of control, let alone a return to armed conflict, but the underlying causes of the tensions are not just election-related and need to be addressed if peace is to be preserved in the long term.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Political Violence, Democratization
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Asia, Australia/Pacific, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Christine Lynch, Devon Tucker, Michael Harvey, Jacqueline McLaren Miller
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: Drawing on a diverse array of opinions from Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America, the EastWest Institute's Fifth Worldwide Security Conference brought together specialists from the spheres of policy, academia, and civil society. Participants addressed a variety of issues on the contemporary global security landscape. These ranged from specific security threats (whether illicit trade, the targeting of critical infrastructure or cyber crime) to the role of interested actors (such as business, NGOs, and media), as well as a focus on potential strategies to counter terrorism and extremism (either in terms of constructing global cooperative architectures or, more controversially, the possibility of opening dialogue with the terrorists). A variety of policy recommendations emerged from each session—detailed in the main body of the report—but there were several recurring themes binding the debate together and animating the core arguments of proceedings as a whole. These policy recommendations were not necessarily consensus recommendations but reflected a wide range of debated policy prescriptions.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Economics, Education, Globalization, Human Rights, International Security, Political Theory
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Asia, North America
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: North Korea says it is preparing to launch an experimental communications satellite using a rocket that is part of its ballistic missile program. This would be in the face of an international outcry, and of what is a strong though not definitive argument that it violates two UN Security Council resolutions. Japan has been most vocally opposed, saying it will shoot down the rocket if it threatens to fall on its territory. But even if the test is successful, it would only slightly increase security risks, while an overblown response would likely jeopardise the Six-Party Talks to end North Korea's nuclear program. What is needed is a calm, coordinated response from the key actors to raise pressure on Pyongyang to return to the talks rather than a divided reaction that only fulfils the North's desire to widen splits among its neighbours.
  • Topic: Security, Weapons of Mass Destruction, International Security
  • Political Geography: Israel, Asia, North Korea
  • Author: Kerry Brown
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Over the last two decades, as Mainland China has been developing and liberalizing its economy, Taiwan has been undergoing an equally remarkable but very different political transformation, from martial law in 1987 to its current status as one of the most vibrant, stable democracies in Asia. Despite its eventful experience of the democratization process, the parliamentary and presidential elections in 2008 proved that Taiwan is now a mature, and stable, democracy. It has passed the ultimate test, seeing the successful transition of rule from one party to another and back again, without social turmoil. Economic performance over the same period has been less striking. Once among the fastestgrowing economies, Taiwan is now afflicted by a relatively low growth rate, and problems over the outflow of capital and investment to the Mainland. The potential for conflict over cross-straits relations remains but it has been significantly reduced under President Ma and by the Mainland Chinese government's greater accommodation with a democratic Taiwan in the last decade. The risk of a military conflict between the two sides, which could drag in the US, and therefore the rest of the world, cannot be entirely discounted, however. Taiwan's greatest challenges in the next decade remain the same as in the last – to maintain its identity, to develop its democratic system, and to handle relations with the Mainland in a way that preserves its interests while avoiding conflict. Taiwan's system, which has so far proved itself robust and effective, faces a new challenge too: how to benefit from the increase in Mainland investment abroad.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Markets
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Israel, Taiwan, Asia
  • Author: Daniel Litvin
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: In the United States, European Union and Asia, fears about dependence on oil and gas imports from unstable regions have become a major theme of political debate. This paper provides a high-level and historical perspective on this complex issue. Dependence on oil and gas imports raises real economic- and political-security issues for many countries. Neither the global economic crisis nor climate change policies - both of which look set to restrain oil and gas demand - will solve the problem entirely. In fact, over the next few decades it is likely to become worse.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Oil
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Indonesia has earned well-deserved praise for its handling of home-grown extremism, but the problem has not gone away. In April 2009, ten men involved in a jihadi group in Palembang, South Sumatra, were sent to prison on terrorism charges for killing a Christian teacher and planning more ambitious attacks. Their history provides an unusually detailed case study of radicalisation - the process by which law-abiding individuals become willing to use violence to achieve their goals. The sobering revelation from Palembang is how easy that transformation can be if the right ingredients are present: a core group of individuals, a charismatic leader, motivation and opportunity. Another ingredient, access to weapons, is important but not essential: the Palembang group carried out its first attack with a hammer and only later moved to making bombs.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Islam
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: ALİ ÇARKOĞLU
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article aims at presenting a descriptive account of the March 2009 local elections in Turkey. Comparing the general and local elections since 2004, an overall evaluation of trends in electoral preferences is presented. Using provincial general council election results, a detailed geographical comparative analysis of the 2004 and 2009 local elections is also carried out. The analyses show that the AKP's rise has stalled but it still remains as the dominant power in the party system. The electoral map continues to be divided between the coastal western and most developed provinces where the opposition is significantly supported, the east and southeastern provinces where the Kurdish ethnic electoral support is rising and the more conservative provinces in between where the AKP continues to be dominant with the MHP trailing behind. Even though the March 2009 elections had all the characteristics of a local election, they also revel the rising trends in electoral behaviour in Turkey.
  • Topic: Democratization, Ethnic Conflict, Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Asia
  • Author: Bülent Aras
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Ahmet Davutoğlu was appointed Foreign Minister of Turkey on May 1, 2009. Chief advisor to the Prime Minister since 2002, Davutoğlu is known as the intellectual architect of Turkish foreign policy under the AK Party. He articulated a novel foreign policy vision and succeeded, to a considerable extent, in changing the rhetoric and practice of Turkish foreign policy. Turkey's new dynamic and multidimensional foreign policy line is visible on the ground, most notably to date in the country's numerous and significant efforts to address chronic problems in the neighboring regions. Davutoğlu's duty will now shift from the intellectual design of policies to greater actual involvement in foreign policy, as he undertakes his new responsibilities as Minister of Foreign Affairs. The Davutoğlu era in Turkish foreign policy will deepen Turkey's involvement in regional politics, international organizations, and world politics.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Power Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Asia
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The motivations for North Korea's second nuclear test are, as with many of its actions, mostly impenetrable. It may be the latest step in an unrelenting drive to become a permanent nuclear state or it could be advertising nuclear wares to potential buyers. It may be driving up the price others will pay for the North to give up its weapons or it might be about ensuring that the military will accept whatever decision Kim Jong-il has made on his successor. Most likely, North Korea's nuclear weapons program serves multiple purposes for the leadership. Whatever the rationale, there are no good options in response. Finding a way to resume talks on ending the nuclear program may appear to reward Pyongyang's bad behaviour, but diplomacy is still the least bad option. At the same time, the UN Security Council's strong and united condemnation of the test in Resolution 1874 must be enforced, while containment of proliferation and deterrence of North Korean provocations need to be boosted.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: Israel, Asia, North Korea
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: In the wake of a conceptually flawed peace agreement, the Taliban takeover of large parts of Malakand division, subsequent military action in the area, almost three million internally displaced persons (IDPs) have fled to camps, homes, schools and other places of shelter across Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP). The challenge for the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP)-led government and international actors is to make relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts responsive to needs and empower local communities in Malakand Division. Failure to do so will reverse any gains on the battlefield and boost radical Islamist groups.
  • Topic: Terrorism, War, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Central Asia, Asia, Taliban