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  • Author: Wolfram Lacher
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: Since the arrival of the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli in March 2016, four large local militias have gradually divided up the capital between themselves. Though nominally loyal to the government, they now exert a degree of influence over state institutions and resources that is unprecedented in post-Qaddafi Libya. This Paper examines the rise of a militia cartel in Tripoli, and concludes that the situation is untenable, as it risks provoking a major new conflict over Tripoli fought by those who have been excluded from access to the state and impedes efforts to establish a meaningful unity government
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Libya
  • Author: Aaron Karp
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: Available sources indicate that as of 2017 there was a global total of at least 22.7 million known or estimated law enforcement firearms, equal to roughly 2.2 per cent of all firearms identified by the Small Arms Survey around the world. Worldwide, 4.8 million law enforcement firearms have been reported to the Small Arms Survey or documented from other sources. An additional 17.9 million or so firearms owned by law enforcement agencies can be estimated with reasonable confidence. The global estimate is slightly lower than the previous Small Arms Survey global estimate for 2006, the result of methodological changes and a decision not to estimate the holdings for many specialized or smaller law enforcement agencies. There are several reasons to assume that the total of 22.7 million law enforcement firearms given in this Briefing Paper is an underestimate. The state of research on law enforcement armament makes it hard to say whether global law enforcement weapons inventories are increasing or decreasing. But the types of firearms used by law enforcement agencies appear to be changing more rapidly than those of military services, also becoming more alike to military armament
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Aaron Karp
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: Uncertainty about any firearms data requires systematic estimation that relies on a broad spectrum of sources and makes approximation unavoidable. The Small Arms Survey’s estimates of civilian firearms holdings use data gathered from multiple sources. However, with much of civilian ownership concealed or hard to identify, gun ownership numbers can only approximate reality. Using data from several different sources, at the end of 2017 there were approximately 857 million civilian-held firearms in the world’s 230 countries and territories. Civilian firearms registration data was available for 133 countries and territories. Survey results were used to help establish total gun civilian holdings in 56 countries. The new figure is 32 per cent higher than the previous estimate from 2006, when the Small Arms Survey estimated there were approximately 650 million civilian-held firearms. Virtually all countries show higher numbers, although national ownership rates vary widely, reflecting factors such as national legislation, a country’s gun culture, historical and other factors. While some of the increase reflects improved data and research methods, much is due to actual growth of civilian ownership.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Matthias Nowak
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: Craft weapons production in Nigeria is under-researched, yet it is highly relevant for any future actions to counter small arms and light weapons proliferation.1 This Briefing Paper provides new research findings based on extensive fieldwork in four Nigerian states (Adamawa, Anambra, Benue, and Plateau). It reviews demand and supply factors that shape the craft market in Nigeria, finding that demand is driven by insecurity and conflict, but also by cultural and societal factors. Supply is mostly demand driven. The quality of the products and production methods varies greatly across the surveyed states. Craft production poses a significant challenge for the Nigerian state and will require a mix of holistic measures to regulate or deter it, ranging from improving security (and security perceptions) and the relationship between security providers and communities, to licensing, measures aimed at providing alternative livelihoods for craft producers, and a more comprehensive application of the relevant legal framework.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Glenn McDonald
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: This Briefing Paper outlines possible next steps in the UN small arms process as proposed by participants in the thematic symposia that were held in October–November 2017 as part of a European Union project designed to support preparations for the Third Review Conference of the UN Small Arms Programme of Action (PoA). The paper outlines the main observations and recommendations made by participants in the following areas: small arms control in conflict and post-conflict situations; small arms and the SDGs, and gender-related aspects of small arms control; recent developments in small arms manufacturing, technology, and design; and synergies between the PoA and other arms control instruments and processes. Each of the symposia sought to identify practical, actionable steps that could be taken by the UN membership in strengthening small arms-related work after the Review Conference.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Holger Anders
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: UN Peacekeeping operations are in a unique position to monitor flows of illicit arms and ammunition in their areas of operation. Systematic collection and analysis of data regarding matériel encountered by peacekeeping operations can enhance their situational awareness. It can provide important information about sources and supply chains of armed actors illicitly procuring arms and ammunition, as well as help in assessing capacities, intent, and geographical expansion of those actors. It can also make important contributions to the work of UN Panels of Experts monitoring arms embargoes. This Briefing Paper reviews relevant aspects of UN peacekeeping operations— their mandates, relations with UN Panels of Experts, as well as different approaches towards monitoring illicit arms flows. The Paper presents case studies on the UN peacekeeping operations in Côte d'Ivoire and Mali. The Paper considers the scope for improving management of arms and ammunition by peacekeeping missions to prevent materiel from being lost or otherwise diverted. This Briefing Paper concludes that UN peacekeeping missions could become substantially more involved in monitoring illicit arms and ammunition flows. This requires greater awareness and support for such work within the UN system and in its operations. This Paper’s findings are also relevant to efforts to monitor progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals, specifically SDG 16 and Target 16.4, which calls on states to significantly reduce illicit arms flows
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jovana Carapic, Paul Holtom
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: This Briefing Paper analyses the emergence of a life-cycle management of ammunition (LCMA) system in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) during the period 2012–16, with reference to four of the five elements of the Small Arms Survey’s LCMA model: national ownership, planning, stockpile management, and disposal. The paper examines the key challenges faced by the international community and BiH government in addressing the safety and security risks posed by BiH’s post-conflict ammunition surplus, focusing on the international community’s role in facilitating the development, and transfer to national ownership, of an LCMA system. The paper notes ‘ten lessons learned’ that could apply to other post-conflict countries. These lessons stress the importance of building sustainable national capacity in states receiving international assistance. Training, infrastructure, and operating standards need to be country specific to achieve this goal and reduce the risk of unplanned explosions at munitions sites (UEMS) and diversion in the long term.
  • Topic: International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Mihaela Racovita
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: The Government of Nepal has recently stepped up efforts to integrate women within the state security apparatus. This Briefing Paper examines recent legislative and institutional changes governing female participation in the security sector, the latest recruitment and advancement trends, and the persistent challenges facing female security providers. It shows that while formal and institutional changes have enabled more women to become part of Nepal’s security sector, women remain under-represented therein, and face challenges including objections to positive discrimination, difficult trade-offs between professional careers and personal lives, and societal attitudes that see security provision as a male-only occupation
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Vladislav Strnad
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: The Visegrad Group (V4) has responded to the migration crisis by an unexpectedly unified and consistent position , which was symptomatic of its identity shift. The long-term confrontation with the European Migration and Asylum Policy, the political changes in Poland and Hungary, the illiberal rhetoric of Visegrad politicians as well as the conflict with the European Commission have significantly influenced the position of V4 and the Czech Republic in Europe.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Martin Michelot
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: Martin Michelot and Martin Macq wrote an introductory chapter for the new IFAT's (The Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade) publication on the security challenges for the V4 countries. The chapter wrote by our researchers focuses on the military security and military cooperation of Visegrad Four countries. The main topic for discussion is especially the dual membership of both countries in NATO and in the EU - which is trying to build-up its own military structures notably in the recent years.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Alena Kudzko
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: Issues of labour mobility and labour markets have been among the most contentious discussions on the crowded EU agenda of the past couple years. Proposals calling for reform of the regulations on posted workers and for the enhancement of social rights, advocated primarily by Western countries - including most notably France - and the EU Commission, have been accompanied by both domestic and EU-wide squabbling. Visegrad countries (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia) have often found themselves on the defensive, seeking at once to both fend off accusations of “social dumping” and foil the undesired reforms. They fear that some of the proposals on labour reform fail to coincide with their economic interests and the principle of the free market, or perceive them as an encroachment of the EU Commission on national competencies
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Andrzej Sadecki
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: At first glance, reaching an agreement on the next MFF could seem easier than for its previous iterations. The MFF 2014-2020 was negotiated against the backdrop of a financial crisis which put significant strains on the member states, particularly those in the the Eurozone. Currently, economic growth has returned to the European Union and the economic sentiments have reached their highest levels since 2000s . Nevertheless, some key political developments will affect and complicate the process of finding a consensus on the next MFF. Firstly, the negotiations on the post 2020- MFF will coincide with two major processes underpinning the future of European integration: the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union and the debate on the reform of the Eurozone. Secondly, some stakeholders see Brexit as an opportunity to substantially reform the MFF and the EU budget, which in turn widened the debate to the future of main EU policies, and could breach the fragile balance between the various interests of the member states that functioned in this sphere until now.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Abstract: On December 4–5, 2017, the City of Chicago hosted the North American Climate Summit in partnership with C40 and the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy. This was the first time a US climate summit convened following President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement. Featuring remarks from former President Barack Obama, the summit brought together mayors from around the world to define collective, city-level actions and commitments to combat climate change. At the time of this publication, upward of 70 cities have signed the Chicago Climate Charter, affirming their commitment to address climate change within their cities
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Craig Kafura
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Abstract: Over the first two years of the Trump administration, the United States has simultaneously aggrieved Japan, a pivotal US ally in Asia, while also taking a more confrontational stance against China. This has raised broad concerns about the future of US involvement in Asia and the basis of support for the US-Japan alliance. While the American public is hesitant to get involved in a conflict between China and Japan, public support for US bases in Japan is at an all-time high, and Americans across party lines want to build strong relations with US allies in Asia
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Craig Kafura
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Abstract: In the past year, the Trump administration has moved the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, ended aid to the United Nation agency supporting Palestinian refugees, and announced the closure of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) office in Washington, DC. These actions, heavily criticized by the international community, are a dramatic shift from past US policy. The 2018 Chicago Council Survey, conducted after the US embassy move to Jerusalem but before the other actions, finds that the American public has generally not formed an opinion about the embassy relocation and would prefer that the US not take a side in the Israel-Palestinian conflict. A just completed Chicago Council-University of Texas survey of foreign policy opinion leaders shows that leaders have stronger views. Republican opinion leaders approve of the embassy relocation, while solid majorities of Democratic and Independent leaders disapprove
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Philip I. Levy
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Abstract: The World Trade Organization (WTO) is teetering. The Trump Administration has attacked it repeatedly, blocked moves to restock its judicial panels, and looked skeptically on its multilateral decision-making process. For an organization that embodied the results of decades of trade liberalization and emerged triumphantly in the mid-1990s, this has been a remarkable fall from grace. In this brief, we ask why the WTO is worth saving, consider the complaints lodged against it, and suggest what would be required for a serious rescue attempt. There are several reasons to hope, but more reasons for concern
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Al Jazeera Center for Studies
  • Abstract: So far, Turkey has been successful in its pursuit of internationalising the Khashoggi case and playing its cards strategically to keep the attention of international media and appeal to the morality of peoples and governments while also avoiding a direct clash with Saudi Arabia
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Al Jazeera Center for Studies
  • Abstract: Khashoggi’s assassination has seriously eroded Saudi Arabia’s reputation, interests and international relations. This puts the kingdom’s allies and MBS boosters in a tight spot, wondering if they should disassociate themselves from the kingdom to best preserve their own reputations.
  • Topic: International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Gustav Gressel
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: European Council On Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The decrepitude of arms control treaties in Europe is becoming increasingly apparent at the same time as Russia continues to act as a revisionist power. Russia’s unpredictability and lack of transparency is part of its competitive advantage. It will therefore not give this up by returning to arms-control agreements of the late cold war or negotiating new ones. Arms control is an integrated part of Russia’s military strategy: to advance its own military position while weakening that of its enemies. As a result, it is open to arms-control agreements that would entrench its military superiority in eastern Europe and prevent the technological gap between Russia and the West from growing. This logic creates an opportunity for the West. If Europe engages in rearmament, enhances its militaries’ combat-readiness and capacity to quickly conduct large-scale, sustainable deployments to eastern Europe, it will deprive Russia of its relative military superiority. Moscow will then be willing to talk on arms control. Europeans still need to agree a common approach on what they want to achieve vis-à-vis Russia, however. Otherwise, they will be divided and public support for rearmament will falter.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Barbara Kunz
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP)
  • Abstract: France and Germany are key in shaping European policies toward Russia. However, while the general public is largely skeptical of Vladimir Putin in both countries, the picture is more diverse in the political realm. Whereas Germany remains focused on multilateralism and a rules-based international order, French political parties have been split on Russia. The differences between and within France and Germany impact on Franco-German relations and go beyond the question on how to deal with Russia.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Philip Breedlove, Alexander Vershbow
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: North Central Europe has become the central point of confrontation between the West and a revisionist Russia. Under President Vladimir Putin, Russia is determined to roll back the post-Cold War settlement and undermine the rules-based order that has kept Europe secure since the end of World War II. Moscow’s invasion and continued occupation of Georgian and Ukrainian territories, its military build-up in Russia’s Western Military District and Kaliningrad, and its “hybrid” warfare against Western societies have heightened instability in the region have made collective defense and deterrence an urgent mission for the United States and NATO
  • Topic: International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Russian President Vladimir Putin’s persistent efforts to influence the domestic politics of his neighbors and countries well beyond Russia’s borders have posed enormous challenges in Europe and across the Atlantic. More than any other country, Ukraine has been the unwanted recipient of Moscow’s attention, particularly during the past five years. The Kremlin has sought to place a pliable client in command in Kyiv and block Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations, including by pressuring the previous Ukrainian leadership against signing. The March 2019 presidential election will be a pivotal event in Ukraine’s history
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs, Elections
  • Political Geography: Ukraine
  • Author: Paul Shortell
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Natural Resource Governance Institute
  • Abstract: Myanmar exports more than 90 percent of global jade supply and is also a leading source of high-quality rubies, sapphires and other varieties of colored gemstones. Mining of these precious stones generates billions of dollars annually, making it one of the country’s most significant sectors. Yet the jade and gemstone industry has remained largely shrouded in secrecy, with most profits flowing to armed groups and political elites rather than supporting broad-based economic and social development.1 The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) is a global standard designed to “promote the open and accountable management of oil, gas and mineral resources.”2 Since Myanmar became a candidate country in 2014, the EITI process has helped to shine light on the previously opaque jade and gemstone sector. Myanmar EITI released its first reconciliation report, covering fiscal year
  • Topic: International Affairs, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Natural Resource Governance Institute
  • Abstract: In September 2018, Ukraine passed milestone legislation setting out principles for the collection, disclosure and dissemination of extractive industry data. The law mandates project-level payments and beneficial ownership data disclosure. It also mandates the release of “material” elements of extractive industry-related contracts. The law was bolstered by a government-approved reform action plan, incorporating measures proposed by a Ukrainian civil society organization with NRGI support. DiXi Group contributed to data on Ukraine in the Resource Governance Index, and the organization’s experience informed an important public debate in the parliament’s energy committee. This is the beginning of an era of transparency and accountability in Ukraine. NRGI will continue to provide assistance so that the laws and roadmap are implemented.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Ukraine
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Natural Resource Governance Institute
  • Abstract: A central challenge of Tunisia’s transition out of dictatorship has been finding a way to implement democratic reforms in a country where citizens place little trust in the volatile, post-authoritarian institutions. One pre-requisite for trust is dialogue; if civil society actors don’t have a forum for exchange with the government, they can’t be heard, and trust remains elusive. Social tensions (sometimes manifesting as protests) are high in Tunisia, and the government’s responses have been mostly ineffective.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Tunisia
  • Author: Andrew Bauer, David Mihalyi, Fernando Patzy
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Natural Resource Governance Institute
  • Abstract: Guyana is on the verge of becoming an oil-rich country. In absolute terms, Guyana’s petroleum wealth is modest, representing approximately 0.2 percent of global reserves, which places the country 26th globally. However, it possesses the world’s seventh-largest oil reserves per capita, second-largest in Latin America behind Venezuela. If revenue estimates from the Liza field prove to be accurate, Guyana could become one of the world’s largest per capita oil producers over the course of several years in the mid-2020s. According to independent projections, fiscal revenues from the petroleum sector could range between USD 7 and 27 billion over the next 30 years. Between 2025 and 2028, revenues could peak at between USD 800 million and 2.5 billion in a given year, at least doubling Guyana’s national budget in some years. That said, delays on these types of megaprojects are common and some revenue estimates may be optimistic.
  • Topic: Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ted Yoho
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Project 2049 Institute
  • Abstract: The Project 2049 Institute is pleased to announce the publication of remarks made by Congressman Ted Yoho [R-FL] at our event, “Addressing China’s Coercive Air Power in the Taiwan Strait.” Congressman Yoho, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Asia and the Pacific, asserts his commitment to protecting the interests of Taiwan despite the recent growing aggressive actions and coercive language of Beijing, directed under General Secretary Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party. In addition, Congressman Yoho addressed the fact that China’s declaration of the new M503 flight path is just one part of their larger strategic plan to quell Taiwan, which motivates him to continue to push the U.S. administration and Congress to prioritize Taiwan and to work to meet the mounting challenges with which China presents us.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Al Jazeera Center for Studies
  • Abstract: Trump’s decision leaves the Kurdish nationalists of the KDP defenceless and, with their patron gone, will likely cause splits among Arab forces allied with Kurdish militiamen. Regionally, it sends a message to US allies in the Gulf about the Trump’s commitment to the Iran-containment strategy.
  • Topic: International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: America, Syria
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Al Jazeera Center for Studies
  • Abstract: So far, Turkey has been successful in its pursuit of internationalising the Khashoggi case and playing its cards strategically to keep the attention of international media and appeal to the morality of peoples and governments while also avoiding a direct clash with Saudi Arabia.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Al Jazeera Center for Studies
  • Abstract: Saudi Arabia is working overtime at damage control, seeking to put the assassination to rest. Despite these efforts, the crisis persists as the biggest that has ever faced the kingdom. The killing has seriously eroded KSA’s moral standing and has already had tangible political costs.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Philip Breedlove
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: In September 2018, the Atlantic Council established a Task Force on US Force Posture in Europe to assess the adequacy of current US deployments, with a focus on North Central Europe. The Task Force is co-chaired by General Philip Breedlove, former supreme allied commander Europe, and Ambassador Alexander Vershbow, former NATO deputy secretary general. A full report will be completed in January 2019. This paper is a summary of the task force’s conclusions and recommendations.
  • Topic: International Organization, International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Samantha Sultoon
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Economic sanctions have become a policy tool-of-choice for the US government. Yet sanctions and their potential pitfalls are often misunderstood. The Economic Sanctions Initiative (ESI) seeks to build a better understanding of the role sanctions can and cannot play in advancing policy objectives and of the impact of sanctions on the private sector, which bears many of the implementation costs.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Paul Stronski
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Since the collapse of Russia’s relationship with the West over Ukraine, the Sino-Russian strategic partnership has become more of a reality. Russia and China share a common desire to challenge principles of the Western-dominated international system. But their relationship is complex, with lingering mistrust on both sides. The balance of competition and cooperation is most evident in Central Asia, the Russian Far East, and the Arctic. Engagement in these theaters has tested Russia’s and China’s abilities to manage their differences and translate the rhetoric of partnership into tangible gains
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Constantino Xavier
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The Bay of Bengal is one of the world’s least integrated regions, with abysmal levels of trade, connectivity, and cooperation. The deep divide between India and other countries around the bay hinders their efforts to increase their economic and strategic interdependence. The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), a regional multilateral organization founded in 1997, offers a well-positioned platform to help address these challenges. But BIMSTEC’s mission to deepen regionalism will stand a better chance of succeeding if its members (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Thailand) make the organization a priority, endow it with adequate resources, and enact reforms to strength its capabilities.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Saskia Brechenmacher
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Despite differences in political institutions and culture, the United States could borrow from European approaches to increase women’s representation, especially at the state and local levels.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Saksham Khosla
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The idea of a universal basic income (UBI)—periodic and unconditional cash payments to all citizens—has gained renewed attention amid growing concerns about technological unemployment in advanced economies.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Kheder Khaddour
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The Islamic State’s defeat in Syria will not automatically bring displaced people home. A broader political settlement that reflects regional and national realities will be required.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Colin Anderson
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Incidents involving Iran have been among the most sophisticated, costly, and consequential attacks in the history of the internet. The four-decade-long U.S.-Iran cold war has increasingly moved into cyberspace, and Tehran has been among the leading targets of uniquely invasive and destructive cyber operations by the United States and its allies. At the same time, Tehran has become increasingly adept at conducting cyber espionage and disruptive attacks against opponents at home and abroad, ranging from Iranian civil society organizations to governmental and commercial institutions in Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the United States.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Economic and Social Development (CESD)
  • Abstract: Currently, in Azerbaijan and the Caucasus, the situation in the economies of the region is quite variable. On the other side of the ocean, the US Federal Reverse System has been continuously raising the key interest rate. In Russia, the ruble depreciated due to existing and probable sanctions, in Turkey, economic and political circumstances have led to the 40% loss of the lira’s value (and this figure is expected to further increase by the end of the year), and the withdrawal of the US from the Iran Nuclear Deal with replaced sanctions has caused more aggravation to the socio-economic situation and rapid deprecation of the Iranian rial in the southern neighbor of Azerbaijan. The so-called trade wars and new processes led by the current US government form serious risks for globalization and liberal trade.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Rashad Hasanov
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Economic and Social Development (CESD)
  • Abstract: From the second half of 2014, Azerbaijani public debt increased considerably along with several new challenges facing the domestic economy. During this period, the ratio of foreign debt to GDP rose from 8.6% (01.01.2015) to 22.8% (01.06.2018). The increase was 3.4 billion US dollars in nominal terms. At the beginning of 2018, Azerbaijan’s public debt amounted to 10 billion 100 million US dollars, while the value of loans taken with state guarantees reached 12 billion 682 million US dollars, raising the ratio of debt to GDP to 55%. The increase in the debt burden, particularly external debt liabilities, has caused concern both in the local community and in the government. Specifically, the deterioration of the financial situation of publicly-funded state institutions has raised the likelihood that the debt burden on this category will turn into a fiscal burden. As a result, the “Medium and long-term strategy for public debt management in the Republic of Azerbaijan” was approved on 24.08.2018
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Victoria Bittner
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Economic and Social Development (CESD)
  • Abstract: The paper aims to bring readers’ attention to the Social Economy as an alternative economic system and reanimate the development of a Social Economy sector in Azerbaijan. At the moment, the term Social Economy does not have a fixed definition and, therefore, this study tries to provide an explanation of it. Moreover, this paper describes the implications and benefits of the Social Economy in and for Azerbaijan and offers mechanisms for its further development. The study explains the Social Economy’s necessity for the future sustainable development of the country, as there are important correlations between the two. There are many opportunities that can be opened by this sector and, thus, the country should develop a social-welfare-maximization approach to the economy
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Louise Schaik Van, Louise Van Schaik
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Clingendael Netherlands Institute of International Relations
  • Abstract: This policy brief synthesises the findings of political economy analyses (PEA) in the energy sector in three fossil-endowed middle-income countries (MICs): Colombia, Indonesia and Kenya. It is based on a research project on political economy constraints and enablers influencing governments’ decisions on green growth options in the energy sector, where policy directions for a robust green growth trajectory are explored.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Environment, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Indonesia, Colombia
  • Author: Masahito Ambashi
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: This policy brief presents an overview of the ASEAN economy in terms of its economic relationship with multinationals, particularly Japanese companies, that have long invested in this region. ASEAN has been an attractor of foreign direct investment (FDI). Business interest in ASEAN has increased again recently due to the (i) relatively low wage of ASEAN compared to China, (ii) establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), (iii) economic partnership network with a core of ASEAN countries, (iv) large-scale market covered by ASEAN, and (v) rise of CLMV countries (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Viet Nam). In these trends, ASEAN has established a reciprocal economic relationship with other countries and regions. To develop its economy, ASEAN member states are expected to further advance the AEC at a high level. Hence, ASEAN must address challenges such as deepening further economic integration and narrowing development gaps in the region. Most importantly, ASEAN still needs to increase the attractiveness of its 'whole region' as an essential and integral part of global value chains to draw further FDI.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Japan, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Mark Hallerberg, Christopher Gandrud
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Bruegel
  • Abstract: Japan serves as a cautionary tale for Italy on how to clean up banking-sector problems. A general lesson is the need for policies to forthrightly address non-performing loans (NPLs) in countries with widespread banking problems. This helps address zombie banks and sluggish economic growth. The Japanese experience indicates that three elements are necessary to address NPLs: (a) sufficiently capitalised banks that can take losses from NPL write-downs; (b) an independent regulator that can identify problems and force action; and (c) tools to manage the orderly disposal of NPLs. The problem is not that this combination of policy tools is unknown, but that banks and governments lack incentives to use them in combination. Italy’s December 2016 package providing €20 billion for recapitalisation of banks is a step in the right direction. Similarly, pressure from the European Central Bank on Italian authori- ties and on banks to address NPLs is welcome. However, policy tools to manage and dispose of NPLs and, just as importantly, incentives to use them, are lacking. In January 2017, the European Banking Authority published a set of policy proposals for NPL resolution. Those include national and European-level public asset management companies (AMC), also known as ‘bad banks’. We argue that in Italy, the incentives to use such tools and dispose of NPLs have been weak.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Political Economy, Economic structure, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Japan, Italy
  • Author: Uuriintuya Batsaikhan, Robert Kalcik, Dirk Schoenmaker
  • Publication Date: 02-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Bruegel
  • Abstract: London is an international financial centre, serving European and global clients. A hard Brexit would lead to a partial migration of financial firms from London to the EU27 (EU minus UK) to ensure they can continue to serve their EU27 clients. Four major cities will host most of the new EU27 wholesale markets: Frankfurt, Paris, Dublin and Amsterdam. These cities have far fewer people employed in finance than London. Moreover, they host the European headquarters of fewer large companies. The partial migra- tion of financial firms will thus have a major impact on these cities and their infrastructures. Banks are the key players in wholesale markets. United States and Swiss investment banks, together with one large German and three large French banks, will make up the core of the new EU27 wholesale markets. Some Dutch, Italian and Spanish banks are in the second tier. The forex, securities and derivatives trading markets are now in London. We map the current, limited market share of the four major cities that might host the EU27 client business. The expected migration of financial trading will lead to a large increase in trading capacity (eg bank trading floors). Clearing is the backbone of modern financial markets. A comparative overview of clearing facilities in the EU27 shows that Germany and France have some clearing capacity, but this will need to be expanded. The ownership of clearing is often intertwined with stock exchanges. Were the planned LSE-Deutsche Börse merger to go ahead, LSE would sell the Paris subsidiary of its clearinghouse. In terms of legal systems, there is an expectation that trading activities will be able to continue under English contract law, also in the EU27. A particular challenge is to develop FinTech (financial technology) in the EU27, as this innovative part of the market is currently based in London. We estimate that some 30,000 jobs might move from London to the EU27. This will put pressure on the facilities (infrastructure, offices, residential housing) in the recipient cities. The more the European Union market for financial services is integrated, the less need there will be for financial firms to move to one location, reducing the pressure for all facilities to be in one city (see Sapir et al, 2017, which is a companion piece to this paper).
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Brexit
  • Political Geography: Britain, Europe
  • Author: Maria Demertzis, André Sapir, Guntram Wolff
  • Publication Date: 02-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Bruegel
  • Abstract: The United States is the European Union’s most important trade and bilateral investment partner, which has, until now, supported a multilateral trade system and European integration and has provided a security guarantee to the countries of the EU. But like other advanced economies, the US’s relative weight in the global economy has declined. The new US administration seems intent on replacing multilateralism with bilateral deals. In trade, it aims to secure new trade deals in order to reduce bilateral trade deficits and to protect, in particular, the US manufacturing sector. In climate policy, the US commitment to the Paris Agreement is being questioned. In defence, the security umbrella appears less certain than previously. The overall promise behind this change of direction is to put ‘America first’ and deliver better results for US citizens.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Bilateral Relations, Multilateral Relatons, Political stability
  • Political Geography: Europe, United States of America
  • Author: Andre Sapir, Dirk Schoenmaker, Nicolas Veron
  • Publication Date: 02-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Bruegel
  • Abstract: The United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union creates an opportunity for the remaining EU27 to accelerate the development of its financial markets and to increase its resilience against shocks. Equally, Brexit involves risks for market integrity and stability, because the EU including the UK has been crucially dependent on the Bank of England and the UK Financial Conduct Authority for oversight of its wholesale markets. Without the UK, the EU27 must swiftly upgrade its capacity to ensure market integrity and financial stability. Furthermore, losing even partial access to the efficient London financial centre could entail a loss of efficiency for the EU27 economy, especially if financial developments inside the EU27 remain limited and uneven.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Political stability, Brexit
  • Political Geography: Britain, Europe
  • Author: Robert Kalcik, Guntram Wolff
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Bruegel
  • Abstract: Brexit offers a political opportunity for the European Parliament to reform the allocation of seats to member states. This Policy Contribution explores different options for reform and their implications for equality of representation and distribution of seats to countries, within the constraints set by the EU treaties.
  • Topic: International Organization, International Affairs, Political Theory, European Union, Democracy, Brexit
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Zsolt Darvus
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Bruegel
  • Abstract: The ‘poverty’ target set by the European Commission aims to lift “over 20 million people out of poverty” between 2008 and 2020 in the EU27. Progress to date against this target has been disappointing. Why is it so hard to reach the Europe 2020 ‘poverty’ target? What does the poverty indicator actually measure?
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Mikkel Runge Olesen, Matthew Hinds
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The election of Donald Trump as US president was met with considerable unease in Europe. This has not least been the case among those who, like the UK and Denmark, consider themselves among America’s closest allies. In the policy brief, Matthew Hinds and Mikkel Runge Olesen take stock of the US special relationships in Europe – large and small. In the policy brief they discuss both the classical “Special Relationship” between the US and the UK, as well as the US-Danish relationship, as an example of a small power that has chosen to give the relationship to the superpower premium priority. Hinds and Runge Olesen find that Trump may destabilize relations, but also that he may open up for new opportunities as well – especially for the UK.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Britain, America, Europe