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  • Author: Sofija Mandić
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: The Centre For Security Studies
  • Abstract: Citizens of the Western Balkans have a high level of trust and confidence in the education system, the health system and the police. However, even in the case of institutions they trust most – such as the police, trusted on average by 58% of the population – many believe that they cannot be relied on. Rep- resentative bodies (the Parliament), the judiciary, the prosecutors’ offices and the media are trusted the least. In comparison with the survey conducted in 2015, trust in most key institutions has increased. The respondents see the average policewoman first as polite and good looking, and only then as a professional ready to perform her job. Male members of the police force are associated primarily with their professional engagement – protection of citizens, someone who is strong and trustworthy – and to some extent with behaviour and method of communication, whereas assessments concerning their physical appearance are completely absent.
  • Topic: National Security, Public Opinion
  • Political Geography: Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Author: Jamila Venturini, Luiza Louzada, Marilia Maciel, Nicolo Zingales, Konstantinos Stylianou, Luca Belli
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: American Assembly at Columbia University
  • Abstract: Nicolo Zingales and colleagues’ new report, Terms of Service and Human Rights: an Analysis of Online Platform Contracts, analyzes the Terms of Service of 50 online platforms and assesses how they deal with the human rights to freedom of expression, privacy, and due process.
  • Topic: Intellectual Property/Copyright, Information Age
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Alexander Henley
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Lebanese religious leaders are often treated as authentic representatives of their sects and are given broad powers over religious affairs. However, their leadership is not organic, nor are they necessarily popular, as these individuals are trained and selected by elite institutions. These figures do not incite sectarian hatred, and even aim to reduce it, but the way they are empowered and their monopoly on spiritual matters inhibit social integration among various religious communities and reinforce sectarian divisions.
  • Topic: Religion, Sectarianism, Authoritarianism
  • Political Geography: Lebanon
  • Author: Mark Lynch
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Arab Islamist parties faced exceptional challenges and opportunities following the 2011 uprisings. After decades of facing authoritarian regimes, they suddenly had to navigate in radically new domestic, regional, and intra-Islamist contexts. Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood had the most spectacular rise and fall, but its experience was atypical of other Islamist parties, which adapted more successfully. These changes overhauled the structure, ideology, and strategy of these parties in ways that unsettled long-standing expectations about their ideas and behavior.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Popular Revolt
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Author: Mark Ferchen
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: China’s expanding global economic and geopolitical role has spawned a growing divide between those who portray the country’s rise as a force for prosperity and peace and those who depict it as an assertive, mercantilist threat. Such conflicting paradigms oversimplify the complex political economy of the country’s international relations. These flawed frameworks reflect a lack of boundary-breaking thinking, research, and policymaking that can account for the interaction between the economic and geopolitical aspects of China’s rise. Recognizing such shortcomings is the first step toward better understanding and constructive engagement with China.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Rashad Hasanov
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Center for Economic and Social Development (CESD)
  • Abstract: In August, the exchange rate of national currency of Azerbaijan-“Manat” beat all historical records. That is to say, the exchange rate was 1 USD= 1.61 Manat in previous month . It should be noted that, the exchange rate hit 1 USD= 1.6 Manat in March, 2016. Since the second half of 2014, due to the fall of oil prices in the world markets there is a visible pressure on the national currency ‘Manat’. Overall, the Azerbaijani “Manat” lost 49.6% of its value in 2015 and in addition, a depreciation of more than 3% in the first 8 months of 2016, the losses could reach 52.2%. Although the occurring rapid dollarization and the observed stagnation in the business environment especially in imports in the first months of 2015 and 2016 resulted in short-term reduction in foreign exchange demand in the March-May period of this year and strengthening the exchange rate of USD/Manat at the level of 1.49, the process of depreciation proceeded again afterwards.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, Finance
  • Political Geography: Azerbaijan
  • Author: Cristina Juan Carrion, Leman Orujova
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Center for Economic and Social Development (CESD)
  • Abstract: The trade relations between Azerbaijan and the European Union are a substantial part of enhancing economic and political relations among both parties. Recent years have been characterized by an expansion of the trade volume between two parties; the EU turned out to be Azerbaijan’s biggest trade partner, in terms of both imports and exports. Moreover, trade in services and foreign direct investment relations were also on rise. On the other hand, Azerbaijan is one of the main energy suppliers of the European Union among European Neighborhood countries and is a key partner to guarantee energy security.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Azerbaijan
  • Author: Cristina Juan Carrion
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Center for Economic and Social Development (CESD)
  • Abstract: During the course of 2015 Azerbaijan suffered the impact of two devaluations of the national currency, Azerbaijani Manat (AZN), due to the decrease of the world oil prices. Given that oil and natural gas accounts for more than 90% of Azerbaijani exports, continued low world oil prices had a critical negative impact on the Azerbaijani economy. The current situation has led Azerbaijan to establish new priorities that could help restructure the financial system at this critical moment. The drastic change in the economic outlook of the country has created the need to open a wider window to the European Union (EU) in order to overcome the current economic downturn.
  • Topic: Finance, Financial Markets
  • Political Geography: Azerbaijan
  • Author: Bart Hilhorst
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Regional Studies: CIRS
  • Abstract: Ongoing expansions of hydro-infrastructure in the Nile basin, combined with infrastructure completed in the past decade, are increasing the capacity to regulate the Nile as well as the benefits accrued to the Nile waters. No longer reliant on funding from the World Bank and Western donors alone, Nile water development is accelerating in a number of upstream riparian states. Hence, the river Nile upstream of the Aswan High Dam is gradually being transformed from a natural to a regulated river. Hydro-infrastructure projects represent a strong driver for issue-based cooperation among the most affected riparians, but it is noted that the basin- wide perspective is not considered in these ad hoc arrangements. This paper describes the emerging cooperative regime in the Nile basin and analyzes its effectiveness. It presents an inventory of where cooperation among Nile riparians is needed, and discusses the required level of cooperation. It looks at the benefits of cooperation that are not related to a specific geographic area. The paper then identifies four distinct sub-basins that have substantial autonomy in managing their water resources. It concludes that the emerging cooperative setup is logical and for now quite effective, and does not lock in arrangements that may prove inconsistent—at a later point in time—with the overall objective of reasonable and equitable use of the Nile waters by each riparian state. Hence, the emerging cooperative regime arguably represents a positive step in the evolution from a basin without cooperation to a basin managed to optimize the use of the Nile waters for the benefit of its people.
  • Topic: Environment, Climate Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa, Egypt
  • Author: Richard Vedder
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Independent Institute
  • Abstract: Like most economics professors, I have spent my academic lifetime examining the economic and public policy effects of issues involving the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services—political economy, if you will. There is, however, a “political economy” to the very act of producing and disseminating economic knowledge and examining public policies. And that political economy and my assessment of it has changed over a career spanning more than half a century. In this brief article, I will confine my attention mostly to the research dimension and look at five issues, most relating to the political economy of the study of political economy.
  • Topic: Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: America