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  • Author: Steve Jennings
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: A year has passed since the tsunami, and it is time to remember the many who lost their lives. It is also time to assess the effectiveness of the relief and reconstruction operations so far. This report is intended to outline the work that has been undertaken to restore and improve the livelihoods of tsunami-affected people. It recognises the poverty in which many people were living before the tsunami. It describes how the tsunami destroyed what meagre livelihoods these people had, and how it threatened to plunge millions more into poverty.
  • Topic: International Relations, Disaster Relief, Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Michael Swaine, Minxin Pei
  • Publication Date: 11-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The rapid deterioration in Sino-Japanese relations in recent years has raised geopolitical tensions in East Asia and could embroil China and Japan in a dangerous strategic conflict that could be threatening to U.S. interests. China's rise, Japan's growing assertiveness in foreign policy, and new security threats and uncertainties in Asia are driving the two countries increasingly further apart. Political pandering to nationalist sentiments in each country has also contributed to the mismanagement of bilateral ties. But Japan and China are not destined to repeat the past. Their leaders must ease the tensions, restore stability, and pursue a new agenda of cooperation as equals. For its part, the United States must play a more positive and active role.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Israel, East Asia, Asia
  • Author: Anders Åslund
  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Russia's regime has gone through a major aggravation during the first year of President Vladimir Putin's second term. The regime suffers from serious overcentralization of power, which has led to a paralysis of policy making. Putin's power base has been shrunk to secret policemen from St. Petersburg. Although his popularity remains high, it is falling. Neither unbiased information nor negative feedback is accepted. As a result, the Putin regime is much more fragile than generally understood. Russia's current abandonment of democracy is an anomaly for such a developed and relatively wealthy country, and it has made Russia's interests part from those of the United States. The United States should not hesitate to promote democracy in Russia, while pragmatically pursuing common interests in nonproliferation and energy.
  • Topic: International Relations, Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, America, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Veron Mei-Ying Hung
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The George W. Bush administration in September 2002 laid out in the “National Security Strategy of the United States” its strategy toward China: “We welcome the emergence of a strong, peaceful, and prosperous China.” During a trip to Asia in March 2005, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice adopted a similar phrase to welcome “the rise of a confident, peaceful, and prosperous China.”
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Shanghai, Asia
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Nepal is in turmoil and the monarchy is in question. King Gyanendra had calculated that his authoritarian moves since October 2002 would return order to a land wracked by Maoist insurgency and political instability but he has failed. The seven months since the royal coup have seen security degenerate under a royal government with no plans for peace and democracy. The Maoists seized the initiative by announcing a unilateral three month ceasefire on 3 September 2005. The international community needs to recognise that its calls for palace/political party reconciliation as the sole path toward stability are unrealistic. New lines need to be explored, beginning with support for the ceasefire and the tentative dialogue underway between the parties and the Maoists.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: Asia, Nepal
  • Author: Michael Fullilove
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Abstract: The relationship between the UN and Asia can seem unfamiliar and distant. Most of New York's energy is consumed by the Middle East and Africa rather than Northeast, South and Southeast Asia; the international organisation can seem Atlanticist in orientation. On the other side of the Pacific Ocean the strict view of state sovereignty adopted by many Asian capitals leads them to keep the UN at arm's length. As always, however, the story is more complex: we need to differentiate between the UN's work in Asia on the one hand, and Asian behaviour at the UN on the other. Since 1945, the UN has contributed to the Asian security order but only at the margins, its security role circumscribed by power politics and Asian approaches to security. By contrast, Asian states have always been keen to exercise their prerogatives in New York, viewing their UN activities as a marker of sovereignty and a source of prestige. The Brief reviews this history and sets out the current stances of the three major regional powers — China, India, and Japan — towards the UN.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Organization, United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, India, Asia
  • Author: Nicholas Eberstadt
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Contrary to conventional wisdom, which holds the North Korean state to be an unremittingly hostile “negotiating partner,” history actually demonstrates that Pyongyang can be a highly obliging interlocutor under certain very specific conditions. All that is necessary to “get to yes” with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is to concede every important point demanded by the North Korean side while sacrificing vital interests of one's own. The mid-September “breakthrough” at the six-party talks in Beijing would appear to conform precisely to this long-established pattern. The vaunted outcome—a long-desired “consensus statement” inked by North Korea and the other five governments engaged in protracted discussions over North Korean denuclearization—is being celebrated by diplomatic sophisticates in Seoul, Beijing, Moscow, Tokyo, and Washington.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Washington, Beijing, Asia, North Korea, Tokyo, Korea, Seoul
  • Author: Nicholas Eberstadt
  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: In the nearly six decades since the United Nations approved the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, more than one constitutional democracy presiding over an ethnically homogeneous populace—governing a nationality, if you will—has been faced with the prospect of a humanitarian crisis afflicting compatriots living beyond its borders. And on more than one occasion, such states have been moved by those same crises to affect the rescue of their countrymen—by welcoming them into the homeland, embracing them as fellow citizens, and permitting them to enjoy the opportunities and benefits of life under secure, constitutional, and democratic rule. The Federal Republic of Germany faced one such crisis in the very earliest days of its existence. That particular humanitarian emergency entailed the plight of the unlucky people who came to be called Vertriebene: ethnic Germans—most of them women and children—who, by no fault of their own, had to flee before the harsh and vindictive specter of Soviet expansion.
  • Topic: International Relations, United Nations, War
  • Political Geography: Asia, Soviet Union, Germany
  • Author: James R. Lilley
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Nationalistic competition between Japan and China could undermine progress on economic and security concerns in east Asia. U.S. diplomacy has an important role in preventing that.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Democratization, Economics
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Asia
  • Author: Nicholas Eberststadt
  • Publication Date: 02-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: North Korea recently announced that it had “manufactured nukes,” that “these weapons” would be kept “for self-defense under any circumstances,” and that Pyongyang would immediately suspend its participation in further six-party denuclearization talks for an indefinite period. So much for probing North Korea's nuclear intentions. That game is now over. With the illusions of the international community's engagement theorists suddenly and nakedly exposed, the rest of us are obliged to face some unpleasant truths about the unfolding proliferation spectacle in the Korean peninsula.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Asia, North Korea