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  • Author: Plamen Pantev
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Security and International Studies (ISIS)
  • Abstract: The first reflection about the geopolitical environment that Bulgaria faced after the tectonic systemic shifts in the end of the 80s and the beginning of the 90s of the 20th century thirty years later is that the efforts of the country to influence the transformation of the Balkans into a regional security community were successful. The second reflection is that Bulgaria was not able to influence effectively a similar development in the Black Sea area. Both the Balkans and the Caspian Sea-Caucasus- Black Sea area were conflictual knots of relations inherited from the Cold War divide. While the traditional European great powers that polarized the Balkan system of international relations pushing the small countries one against the other and the United States had the strategic interest of pacifying the South Eastern region of Europe, the dominating great power in the Black Sea area – Russia, aimed at preserving the opportunities of coming back to the territories that the Soviet Union lost after its collapse by preserving various degrees of conflictness in the neighbouring countries. Depending on the general condition of the Russian economy and state as well as its domestic political status different opportunities were either designed or just used to preserve the profile of Russia of the empire that sooner or later will be back. What are, in this regard, the perceptions in Bulgaria of the annexation of Crimea?
  • Topic: Security, International Security, Geopolitics, Conflict, Empire
  • Political Geography: Russia, Caucasus, Soviet Union, Bulgaria, Caspian Sea
  • Author: Mira Kaneva
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Security and International Studies (ISIS)
  • Abstract: Christopher Nolan’s film Inception creates a mesmerizing maze where each action of the protagonists has a ripple effect down through the whole fabric of the story. Making one’s way through the maze, though only in one’s own imagination, leaves the viewer disoriented. The film is all about process, about fighting one’s way through enveloping sheets of reality and dream, reality within dreams, dreams without reality. There is no time or place synchronization; architecture has a way of disregarding gravity where buildings tilt, streets coil and characters are adrift in what is more an emotional than a rational ‘ball of thread’ of experience. In a similar fashion, a complex network of events envelops the Western Balkans since the neologism’s ambiguous inception in the early 1990-s. For nearly three decades the region has been misperceived as stuck-in-the mud, criticized for being entangled in a desynchronized microcosm, involved in a set of flashbacks to archetypal conflicts on identity grounds and doomed to stagnated Europeanization. Both material facts such as cost-benefit calculations and ideational categories such as perceptions, beliefs, values, narratives are at play here. Almost like a Wiki-article, this paper attempts a disambiguation of several key assumptions about the Western Balkans so that it advances the argument that the Western Balkans region is inevitably on its way out of the shoals not least due to the European and Atlantic perspective for its future as offered by the European Union and NATO. It tackles three highly contentious statements: first, it refutes the proposition that the Western Balkans are entrapped in a specific ethnic security dilemma that offers no exit; second, it contends that at the moment the region is caught in a vicious circle of hard security threats (territorial conflicts) and soft security threats (radicalization, populism, corruption and organized crime); third, it holds a moderate optimistic view that the region is likely to be involved in a process of socialization within a vaster security community. The course of reasoning follows the case study of Serbia’s political and social development in the last decade; the theoretical framework is influenced by the security dilemma debate in International Relations literature.
  • Topic: Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Balkans, Global Focus
  • Author: Toby Dalton, Wyatt Hoffman, Ariel Levite, Li Bin, George Perkovich, Tong Zhao
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: There is no clear, internationally accepted definition of what activities or technologies constitute a nuclear weapons program. This lack of definition encumbers nuclear energy cooperation and complicates peaceful resolution of proliferation disputes. A “nuclear firewall” could enhance the distinction between nuclear weapons–related activities and other non-weapons uses of nuclear technology. Applying a firewall framework for analyzing nuclear programs could improve international governance of nuclear technology and facilitate peaceful nuclear cooperation and disarmament. It could also expand the time and means available to key states and international bodies, such as the International Atomic Energy Agency and United Nations Security Council, to diplomatically resolve impending proliferation crises.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ananth Padmanabhan
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as UAVs or drones, have decentralized airspace access, allowing agriculturists, construction workers, and other civilian users to integrate aerial monitoring into their daily work. This technological revolution comes with a set of concerns, impinging as it does upon the proprietary, reputational, and security interests of individuals. An appropriate regulatory response and new policy recommendations must go beyond the current regulatory intervention in India.
  • Topic: Security, Civil Society
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Kateřina Ženková Rudincová
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Abstract: The Czech foreign policy towards Sub-Saharan Africa can be characterised as continuous with aims of deepening the relations with traditional African partners in the fields of economy, defence, security and agriculture, and establishing new partnerships mainly with the Sahel countries. Similarly to the previous year, none of the themes connected to Sub-Saharan Africa were either politicised or polarised. The co-operation between ministries successfully continued with multi-sectoral visits on the continent by the representatives of the Czech Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Agriculture, Defence and Industry and Trade. The Czech Republic was also active on the European level, since it took part in the 5th EU-AU Summit and also worked actively on the negotiation mandate and draft of the post-Cotonou agreement with the ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific) countries. The Czech foreign policy towards Africa puts an emphasis on creating real partnerships with African states with the aim to achieve their sustainability and accountability.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Agriculture, Economy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Czech Republic, Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Author: Yosra El Gendi
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: On October 13, 2014 in Corniche Street, Alexandria a police superintendent at a checkpoint and a navy officer engaged in a fist fight. The army officer contacted the military police which took the police officer and superintendent at the checkpoint to an army base where they were requested to stand hours in the sun as a form of punishment (Madgy et al., 2015). While many insist that these are individual incidents (Abdel- Aal, 2015). This is only one incident of at least 6 of clashes between members of both institutions since the 2011 uprising (Madgy, 2015). These incidents that point to the different security institutions’ extensive powers and the divisive structure in which they are based, a structure that was once called a “mamluk state” (al- Sherif, 2012). This points to the failed processes of state-building at the core of the institutional weaknesses in Egypt.
  • Topic: Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Egypt