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  • Author: Christian Koch
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Geneva Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: The breakdown of state structures and the wider regional political order has resulted in a complex tapestry of conflict throughout the Middle East that is likely to produce a continued period of volatility and violence for several years to come. This is because there are numerous dynamics at play that are competing with one another across various levels. Within these dynamics, religion as a mobilizing factor which, alongside sectarianism has emerged as a primary driving force for many of the ongoing conflicts. In addition, the deep crisis of the nation-state has released different dichotomies resulting in overlapping lines of confrontation that seem to be exploding all at once. The situation is exacerbated by the diminished leverage of global players on regional forces and regional players over national ones, thus significantly complicating the search for solutions.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, North Africa
  • Author: Domhnall O'Sullivan
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Geneva Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: The first concerns the fundamental methodological logic of the policy instruments underpinning EU action in its neighbourhood. Historically, a certain duality has existed between the multilateral regionalism of grand approaches towards the south and the bilateral realism which often comes to the fore. According to institutional dynamics and preferences – as well as vacillating local conditions – the EU has moved back and forth along this continuum.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, North Africa
  • Author: Debbie Hillier
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The current Ebola outbreak in West Africa is totally unprecedented. The accelerating number of cases, the poor health infrastructure in affected countries, the short supply of skills, knowledge and personnel, and the fear surrounding this disease are providing a huge challenge to affected governments and the international community as they battle to bring the epidemic under control.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Health, Humanitarian Aid, Foreign Aid, Health Care Policy, Ebola
  • Political Geography: Africa, West Africa
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: If decision-makers are to cope with a rapidly emerging polycentric world characterized by compounding complexity and declining constitutionalism, new forms of statecraft are need - ed. Partnerships may well be the way forward.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, International Relations, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Power Politics
  • Author: Dinesh H.C. Rempling, Quentin Huxham
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: At his regular press briefing on 6 May 2013, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, dramatically threw down the gauntlet to Europe's leaders ahead of this December's European Council. Emphasising the need for improved cooperation and coordination between NATO and the EU, he called on Europe's leaders to ensure that, as a result of the first discussion about European security since the financial crisis at the European Council in December, Europe would be both willing and able to act in the interests of transatlantic security.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Defense Policy, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Europe, Lisbon
  • Author: Thomas Pierret
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The Syrian conflict's internal dynamics have reshuffled regional alignments alongside unprecedentedly clear-cut sectarian dividing lines; this has often occurred against the preferences of regional state actors−including Saudi Arabia and Iran. Foreign states have generally adopted expedient policies that followed sectarian patterns for lack of alternatives. Iran bears significant responsibility for exacerbating the conflict's sectarian character at the regional level. There is no such “diplomatic shortcut” to regional appeasement; it is the domestic Syrian deadlock that must be broken in order to alleviate sectarian tensions across the Middle East, not the opposite.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia, Syria
  • Author: Banning Garrett, Robert A. Manning
  • Publication Date: 03-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: As China's National Party Congress gathered in early March to anoint Xi Jinping and the next generation of Chinese leaders, Beijing's behavior at home and abroad strongly suggested that, while they have strategic goals, they have no strategy for how to achieve them. Beijing seems unable to change course from following a development model it has outgrown and pursuing assertive, zero-sum foreign policies that are counter to its long-term interests.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Corruption, Governance, Reform
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Barbara Slavin, Yasmin Alem
  • Publication Date: 05-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Iran has never had what the West would regard as free, fair, and competitive elections. Some would point to the brief periods following the 1906 Constitutional Revolution and between the end of World War II and 1953, when a CIA-backed coup re-installed Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, as possible exceptions to this rule. The upcoming presidential elections this June will be no such exception, with candidates restricted to eight proven loyalists to the regime. Nevertheless, the vote will be an important barometer of the stability and durability of an embattled regime that is increasingly unpopular domestically and isolated internationally. The elections will also produce a new turn of the kaleidoscope within Iran's shrinking political elite, as existing factions break apart and regroup. The next president is likely to be more moderate in tone, if not in policy, and more competent and less divisive than the outgoing Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. This could have important implications not just for the country's domestic course but for Iran's confrontation with the United States and the international community over the nuclear question.
  • Topic: International Relations, Democratization, Islam, Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East
  • Author: Linda Jakobson
  • Publication Date: 03-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Abstract: Australia's political relationship with China is far less developed than its economic relationship. This is detrimental to Australia's interests because China is not merely an economic power but also a crucial political and security actor in the region. Underdeveloped political and strategic relations between Canberra and Beijing weaken Australia's ability to exert influence regionally.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Australia
  • Author: Bülen Arınç
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research (SAM)
  • Abstract: The increase in the number of nation-states and the violent wars of the last century has triggered the evolution of a new approach that seeks to find a place for the individual in international law. In other words, human rights has become internationalised and this is for the good of all humanity. Today, the fundamental human rights principles, such as justice, equality and freedom, have been embraced unquestionably and put into writing, which demonstrates that they were adopted by all peoples on earth. The fundamental principles of human rights include ensuring a life and governance system where all people will be free and equal and not subject to discrimination due to their race, colour, sex, language, religion, faith, nationality or ethnic origin. In addition, the rights must include an adequate standard of living for the individual, encompassing health, education, food, shelter and social services; an equal enjoyment of legal protection; freedom of assembly and association; and freedom of belief, conscience, thought and speech.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Bülent Aras
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research (SAM)
  • Abstract: Both the EU’s recognition of the importance of its value system and Turkey’s rediscovery of its European component in its foreign policy identity have occurred during a period of radical transformation in the Mediterranean region. The Arab Spring has resulted in a process of renegotiation over territory, identity and governance which has eventually fostered the idea of a new regional political community. The EU is in an advantageous position now if it truly wants to build a political community eastwards and southwards. One logical move would be a renegotiation in the EU over Turkey’s role in a new vision for the future of the EU. Turkey’s European identity and policy style will continue to shape its own neighbourhood policy as it is at the centre of a new geopolitical thinking. Ankara sees itself as having an order-instituting role in its changing neighbourhood and is in a process of recalibrating its policies in this direction. The Turkish and EU models complement each other, and there is no possibility for any other model to compete with these perspectives in the foreseeable
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Jane Nakano
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: The United States, Japan, and the European Union—the three key consumers of Chinese rare earth materials—formally complained to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in March about Chinese restrictions on its rare earth exports. Several weeks later, China announced the establishment of a 150-plus member association with the official aim of promoting sustainable development within this sector. Some analysts wonder if this is part of a Chinese plan to circumvent international complaints by instituting an oligopolistic arrangement to control its rare earth exports. Others ask if this could be another step in an escalating dispute with China over the global supply of rare earth materials.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Europe
  • Author: Yun Sun
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: China's joint veto along with Russia of the UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) on Syria has provoked fierce international criticism. Labeled as “responsible for Syria's genocide,” Beijing's international image has struck a new low. China's decision to cast the unpopular vote was apparently well thought-out, as evidenced by its consistent diplomatic rhetoric and actions, both before and after the veto. However, in analyzing China's motivation, many analysts seemed to have missed an important point. That is, China's experience concerning Libya in 2011 had a direct impact on its actions regarding Syria this time around.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Insurgency, Popular Revolt
  • Political Geography: China, Middle East, Arabia, United Nations, Syria
  • Author: Debbie G. Donohue, Sabeen Altaf
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute of International Education
  • Abstract: Technological innovation is a driving force in every national economy worldwide, including the United States. The U.S. economy requires innovative programs to educate, develop, and train the next generation of globally competent scientists and engineers. Recent studies have identified a pressing need for a U.S. workforce that is more globally aware, more competent in foreign languages and intercultural skills, and more familiar with international business norms and behaviors. In the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), however, few academic programs provide adequate training and educational preparation in these areas. According to the 2011 IIE Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange, 3.9 percent of U.S. students who received credit for study or work abroad were engineers, while math and computer science students made up only 1.5 percent of U.S. students studying abroad. These two majors represented the smallest share of U.S. students abroad, other than those majoring in agriculture. While close to 10 percent of U.S. undergraduates study abroad before graduation, less than 4 percent of engineering students participate in study abroad programs; as a result, very few are gaining the global education they will need to be competitive professionals in the global workforce.
  • Topic: International Relations, Education, Immigration
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Scott J. Freidheim
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute of International Education
  • Abstract: Scott Freidheim spoke at the British Academy's International Conference in London in March 2012, presenting U.S. perspectives on study abroad as part of an international panel. At the conference, the British Academy and the University Council of Modern Languages (UCML) released a joint position statement, Valuing the Year Abroad, that advocated support for funding a third year abroad for British undergraduate students and that drew on case studies from a survey they conducted among study abroad alumni. With representatives from the United States, China, and Germany, the international panel was invited to discuss British government and higher education policy on study abroad, and other countries' policies and best practices in study abroad.
  • Topic: International Relations, Education, Globalization
  • Political Geography: United States, China, London, Germany
  • Author: Tural Ahmadov
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Global Political Trends Center
  • Abstract: Throughout the years the overwhelming preponderance of US global leadership is debated by scholars and politicians. In light of the 'rise of the rest', this preponderance is either diminishing or still standing. As of now, yet again, the US is a dominant player both economically and militarily. However, economic recession is likely to make the United States put more emphasis on domestic problems and less emphasis on foreign challenges. Since political and economic landscape is swiftly changing overseas, the United States should act accordingly and cooperate with regional powers on issues of mutual interest. Similarly, as current development is under way in the Middle East, the United States should staunchly back Turkey as the regional hub in dealing with Syrian crisis and foiling Iranian menace.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Economics, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: William R. Cline, John Williamson
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This Policy Brief updates our estimates of fundamental equilibrium exchange rates (FEERs) to the latest available data. For exchange rates, we apply the average rates of April 2012, while for the International Monetary Fund's balance of payments forecasts, we use the April 2012 issue of the World Economic Outlook (henceforth WEO; see IMF 2012a). This study is the fifth in an annual series, begun in 2008, in which we have used the spring WEO as the basis for drawing out implications for exchange rate changes needed if the world is to approach a reasonably satisfactory medium-run position. In addition, in semiannual updates (most recently in November 2011), we have tracked interim changes in exchange rates but not reestimated the underlying FEERs for the year in question.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Foreign Exchange, International Trade and Finance, Financial Crisis
  • Author: Ret. Amb. YALIM ERALP
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Strategic Research and Analysis
  • Abstract: Cultural differences have become, in the eyes of some, an impediment to Turkish accession to the EU. French sociologist Amaury de Riencourt makes a clear distinction between culture and civilization. From his perspective, "..Culture and Civilisation are two expressions that have been used more or less indiscriminately and interchangeably in the past. The distinction between them is of organic succession. They do not coincide in time but follow each other during the life span of a par-ticular society: each Culture engenders its own Civilisation..."
  • Topic: International Relations, Culture
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Baroness Hussein-Ece OBE
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Strategic Research and Analysis
  • Abstract: Last week the All Party Parliamentary Group on Conflict Issues, held an event in Westminster. The meeting introduced a new concept where a network of Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot civil society organisations (CSOs) were calling for a shake-up of the Cyprus peace process. They made a strong case to include a more central and active role for civil society, woman and young people to work in tandem with negotiations between the leaders of the two communities.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Greece
  • Author: Kemal Yurtnaç
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research (SAM)
  • Abstract: Across the world, there are many countries that have established institutions to serve and engage with their citizens and kin living abroad. Such institutions are called Diaspora Ministry/ Department in some cases, while in others they operate as independent units under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The dissolution of the Soviet Union in the late 1990s paved the way for the birth of a set of new countries that have their nationals or ethnic kin beyond their borders, and consequently increased the need to establish such institutions. The ensuing process of globalization facilitated countries in their efforts to establish closer ties with their citizens and kin communities. Today many countries work to strengthen their public diplomacy efforts, or “soft power,” and expand their sphere of influence through their diasporas.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Turkey