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  • Author: Justin Liang
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: On September 28, 2007, more than 60 leading experts on China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) convened at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, for a 2-day discussion on “The 'People' in the PLA: Re¬cruitment, Training, and Education in China's 80-Year-Old Military.” The 2007 PLA Conference, conducted by The National Bureau of Asian Research and the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College, sought to investigate the 80-year-old military's human infrastructure, identifying trends in PLA recruitment, education and training, demographics, and historical perspectives.
  • Topic: International Relations, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, Asia
  • Author: Sinikukka Saari
  • Publication Date: 12-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Duma election and its results reinforce the prevailing undemocratic trends in Russia. The changes in electoral laws, the election campaign and its biased coverage in the Russian media, the Russian authorities' hostile attitude towards international election observation and the so-called Putin's Plan leave very little hope of democratic pluralism developing in Russia anytime soon. Russia's political system has been built gradually over the years. The system aims at controlling the competition for power and securing the political elite's interests. The system is characterised by non-transparent and manipulated political processes, misleading doublespeak on democratic norms, and the misuse of soft and hard administrative resources. Putin's overwhelming popularity does not compensate for the lack of democratic accountability. Likewise, his possible premiership would not strengthen parliamentarism in Russia because the decision is driven by instrumentalism towards political institutions. Instead, it would create a dangerous precedent for an ad hoc separation of power. Western actors should be more aware that the stability that Putin is often praised for bringing about is not build on solid ground, and they should change their policies accordingly. Promoting democracy – and thus longterm stability – in Russia is in western actors' interests.
  • Topic: International Relations, Democratization, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Dmitri V. Trenin
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Russia's recent foreign policy has taken on a combative tone and adopted a revisionist content. Moscow today speaks its mind publicly and freely, and makes clear it no longer wants to be bound by accords concluded when Russia was weak. However, while the Kremlin is clear about what it does not like or want, it has yet to articulate a positive international agenda. In fact, Russia faces a number of fundamental foreign policy choices that cannot be explained by a reference to sheer pragmatism or the show of newly regained power. In dealing with Russia at this stage, the West needs to reach beyond the binary formula of integration or isolation and focus instead on the national interests.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Moscow
  • Author: Ron Walker
  • Publication Date: 05-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Abstract: The prospect of Australia's selling uranium to India offers major potential benefits both for our exports and our foreign policy. There is however a conundrum as to how this could be done in a way that advances rather than damages Australia's interest in the global enterprise to resist the spread of nuclear weapons and in a rules-based international order.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: India, Asia
  • Author: Anthony Bubalo
  • Publication Date: 02-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Abstract: Australia's economic, political and strategic interests in the Middle East and South Asia are growing and policymakers are gradually reassessing the place of these regions in Australia's overall strategic calculus. There is a risk, however, that in this reassessment, the two regions will continue to be viewed distinctly - a distinction that is increasingly artificial in strategic terms.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Asia, Australia/Pacific
  • Author: John H. Makin
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Top economic policymakers from China and the United States met in Beijing in mid-December 2006 for the first round of what has been called the U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED). There is a lot more at stake than the level of China's currency when the world's premier economic sprinter—China—meets with the world's premier economic long-distance runner—America. The fundamental issue at hand is the creation and preservation of wealth of two nations, each of which has much to teach the other. The right outcome from the dialogue would provide a substantial boost to the global economy in coming years, while the wrong outcome would threaten the continuation of global prosperity.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Beijing, Asia
  • Author: Thomas Donnelly
  • Publication Date: 02-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: With the recent announcements of a new strategy for Iraq and a commitment to begin increasing the size of U.S. land forces, the White House has taken two important steps to ensure that the tenets of the Bush Doctrine endure beyond the end of President George W. Bush's administration. Since 9/11 and indeed since the beginning of this administration, strategy has been made by an odd combination of ad hoc improvisation and expansive rhetoric. The day-to-day business of fitting means to ends and filling in the policy blanks has either been delegated to subordinates, left to the bureaucracy, or put in the “too hard” box. As time grows short, Bush needs to attend closely to three further matters. The first is as obvious and pressing as Iraq and an important factor in the need to rebuild land forces, especially the Army: a surge in U.S. efforts in Afghanistan. The second and third factors are less frequently discussed but essential for the long-term viability of the Bush Doctrine and the continuity of the Pax Americana: articulate a strategy for the “long war” in the greater Middle East and devise a genuinely global response to the rise of China. This issue of National Security Outlook begins a series devoted to these three measures of the enduring meaning of the Bush Doctrine.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, National Security
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, China, Iraq, America, Asia
  • Author: Sahiba Trivedi
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: Ambassador Ortwin Hennig is the Vice President and the Head of Conflict Prevention Program of the East West Institute at Brussels. His previous assignments include the Commissioner for Civilian Crisis Prevention, Conflict Resolution and Post-Conflict Peace Building in the German Government; diplomatic postings in Afghanistan, Russia, German Representation at the European Commission and the OSCE in Vienna. He has also served the Office of the German Federal President as a Foreign Policy Advisor. Ambassador Hennig is an alumnus of the NATO Defense College in Rome having specialized in arms control and security policy matters.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Development
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Russia, India, Asia, Germany, Vienna
  • Author: Jeff Procak
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: On April 25, 2007, the EastWest Institute, together with the Kennan Institute, organized in Washington DC a two-hour roundtable discussion on the current state and outlook for US-Russia relations. The roundtable used President Putin's speech presented to the 43rd Conference on Security Policy in Munich on February 10, 2007 as a point of reference. The purpose of this gathering was to examine strategies and approaches to reverse the significant decline in Russian-American relations over the last several years. The seminar was attended by 20 prominent experts from the US and Russia, including foreign policy advisors, representatives of the academic, business, and NGO communities, and mass media. Topics discussed included the most important issues on the US-Russia geostrategic agenda: arms control and nuclear non- proliferation, international energy, Russia's WTO accession, trade and economic cooperation, mutual perceptions and role of the media.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Washington, Asia
  • Author: Bonnie Glaser, Chietigj Bajpaee
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: To better understand perspectives in the United States and China on internal developments in North Korea, the U.S. Institute of Peace and the Center for Strategic and International Studies, in partnership with the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, convened a daylong conference on December 5, 2006. The conference took place on the eve of the resumption of the Six-Party Talks in Beijing, which subsequently ended without tangible progress. The participants discussed North Korea's economy, the role of external actors on North Korea's decision-making, and Chinese and U.S. visions for the future of the Korean Peninsula. The seminar also included a simulation based on a scenario of an explosion at Yongbyon that creates a radioactive plume that moves across the Sea of Japan.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Asia, North Korea