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  • Author: Mohan Malik, Frank Ching, Willy Lam, William R. Hawkins
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: One of Beijing's worst nightmares seems to be coming true. Having apparently steadied the course in the Middle East, the Bush administration is turning to Asia to tame its long-standing “strategic competitor.” While this particular term has been shelved since 9/11 – and Sino-U.S. relations have improved thanks to China's cooperation with Washington's global anti-terrorist campaign – there are signs at least from Beijing's perspective that Washington is spearheading multi-pronged tactics to contain the fast-rising Asian giant.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Israel, Asia
  • Author: Lt. Colonel Gordon B. Hendrickson
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact, NATO has enlarged its membership twice with countries formerly under Soviet influence and control, and the Alliance is now preparing to begin the process for a third expansion effort. During this time, Russia has watched the borders of NATO creep ever closer to its own, but has generally been powerless to prevent it. Although NATO has taken pains to include and consult with Russia regarding its actions and future plans, the Kremlin cannot reasonably be expected to continue to watch NATO's expansion eastward without eventually pushing back hard. Without question, many significant issues and challenges must still be solved before enlarging the Alliance once again. In light of this, NATO must work rigorously to continue to keep Russia engaged in a productive and mutually beneficial relationship as both sides work through the future obstacles that inevitably will arise in the NATO -Russia relationship.
  • Topic: International Relations, NATO
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Soviet Union
  • Author: Frances G. Burwell
  • Publication Date: 02-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: For the past decade, both the United States and the governments of Europe — including the European Union — have sought to engage Russia with the goal of having a stable and democratic country increasingly integrated into the western political and economic system. Recently, however, many U.S. and European observers have become concerned that the Russian government seems to be moving in a more authoritarian direction, centralizing government decision-making, while backsliding on some reforms and neglecting others. Although economic growth has been robust, there is less confidence about the application of the rule of law. Instability persists in many of the states neighboring Russia, offering opportunities for regional conflict and for misunderstanding between Russia and the West.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Asia
  • Author: John Bowan
  • Publication Date: 08-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Abstract: Beijing's successful bid for the 2008 Olympic Games gives China a unique opportunity to signal its emergence as a leading player in the mainstream of international affairs. The Games will provide a unique opportunity to showcase to the international public, as well as to foreign governments and international business, China's technical and organisational capabilities, its cultural and social achievements, and its standing and potential as a global economic power and partner. The ongoing strong commitment to the Games by the national Government, and the rapid and efficient progress made to date by the Beijing Olympic organisers, are impressive; from a technical point of view, China's challenging Olympic project is on track. The Games will make some limited contribution to the extraordinary economic and technological development China is making, particularly in environmental protection. Similarly, the Games have the potential to make some incremental contribution to improving human rights in China. Their significance as a force for change in this area should not be overestimated, however, and the evidence is that the Olympic influence on China's human rights has so far been limited. Despite the good cooperation at the Olympic level that has developed between China and Taiwan in recent years, the hosting of the Games would not stand in the way of drastic action by China if Taiwan pursued independence beyond the limits of its tolerance. Australia's cooperative Olympic links with China, developed during Beijing's bid, add a valuable dimension to the strong and important relationship between the two countries.
  • Topic: International Relations, Civil Society, Development
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Claude Barfield
  • Publication Date: 10-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Senator John Kerry and President George W. Bush offer distinct visions of how free trade would operate for the next four years. Senator Kerry has staked out a more unilateralist position with promises to review all trade agreements to strengthen labor and environmental sanctions, while President Bush reinstated trade promotion authority and expanded free trade agreements. The next president will face challenges regarding the WTO Doha Round and markets in Latin America and Asia.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Democratization, Economics
  • Political Geography: Asia, Latin America
  • Author: Scott Wallsten
  • Publication Date: 04-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Although success stories do exist, most high-technology cluster-development projects do little to enhance regional economic growth. The taxpayer costs for a wide array of tax incentives offered by politicians to corporations and research institutes as inducements to move facilities into their districts are rarely recouped, and often only wealthy organizations and developers benefit from the projects.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Democratization, Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Nicholas Eberstadt
  • Publication Date: 02-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Russia, whose birth rates have declined and whose mortality rates have dramatically increased in the last several decades, faces a demographic crisis. Thus far, Russian political leaders have focused on trying to increase birth rates, but a greater sense of urgency must be applied to diminish mortality rates and to respond to health threats, including HIV/AIDS.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Democratization, Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 04-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: On March 31 — April 1, 2004, the governments of Germany and Afghanistan will co-host a conference in Berlin entitled "Afghanistan and the International Community: A Partnership for the Future." At this conference, the Afghan government will present to donor governments and international financial institutions its plan for rebuilding the country, "Securing Afghanistan's Future."
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Asia
  • Author: Piers Blaikie, Joshua Muldavin
  • Publication Date: 06-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: How we arrive at knowledge—and how we draw on knowledge to make policy—have been the subject of vigorous debate and analysis. Simple models of expertise and action are gradually yielding to a more complex vision of how truth speaks to power and power talks back. The Himalayan region—where scientists, statesmen, and citizens confront a unique set of environmental challenges and political legacies—provides a powerful case study. For more than a century, it was believed that over-use by local farmers and pastoralists threatened fragile mountain and river environments. Beginning in the colonial era and continuing into the present, governments have strictly curtailed traditional land-use practices. In the 1980s, scholars began to question the science on which those restrictive laws were based. But new science has not, in most cases, led to new policy. This disconnect inspires questions about the nature of both science and policy, their influence on each other, and whether each could benefit from greater openness to the insights of people who fall outside the narrow roles of expert and politician.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development
  • Political Geography: Asia, Australia/Pacific, Southeast Asia
  • Author: T.C. Chang
  • Publication Date: 05-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: The development of tourist destinations that transcend national borders, first envisioned in the 1950s, gained momentum in the 1990s. Whether facilitated by large regional organizations such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) or bilateral agreements, countries—especially smaller ones— have worked to identify and leverage their neighbor's strengths. Singapore, for example, adopted a national tourism plan based on the concept of "borrowed attractiveness." It has compensated for its limited natural resources and high costs by collaborating with Indonesia and Malaysia, which contribute cheaper labor and land in exchange for infrastructure, financing, and expertise. The city-state also aggressively sells its tourism expertise overseas and aspires to be Asia's tourism hub. But Singapore's experience demonstrates that regional tourism, while diversifying tourism development opportunities, can also perpetuate inequities between wealthier and poorer collaborators and present serious challenges to businesses operating in unfamiliar settings.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development
  • Political Geography: Asia, Australia/Pacific, Singapore, Southeast Asia