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  • 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
  • Author: Gary Kleck, Mark Gertz
  • Publication Date: 06-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Independent Institute
  • Abstract: Crime victims used to be ignored by criminologists. Then, beginning slowly in the 1940s and more rapidly in the 1970s, interest in the victim’s role in crime grew. Yet a tendency to treat the victim as either a passive target of another person’s wrongdoing or as a virtual accomplice of the criminal limited this interest. The concept of the victim precipitated homicide highlighted the possibility that victims were not always blameless and passive targets, but that they sometimes initiated or contributed to the escalation of a violent interaction through their own actions, which they often claimed were defensive.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Crime
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Marc Lynch
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS)
  • Abstract: Turkey has been in the news repeatedly in 2016, from the coup attempt of July to the subsequent government purges to its renewed fight against the PKK and crackdown on Kurdish populations. However surprising these developments may appear for an outside observer, they are deeply rooted in the history of the Turkish state, the evolution of the ruling Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi, AKP), and the complex identity politics of the region. In October, more than a dozen scholars of Turkish politics gathered at Rice University’s Baker Institute in Houston for a Project on Middle East Political Science workshop to delve into some of these underlying themes. The memos produced for that workshop have been published individually on the POMEPS website and the full collection is now available as a free download here. The authors in this collection provide rich context, new data, and sharp analysis of the nuanced challenges facing the country and the region today
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Marc Lynch
  • Publication Date: 08-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS)
  • Abstract: The Arab world never seemed more unified than during the incandescent days of the 2011 Arab uprisings. Tunisia’s revolution clearly and powerfully inspired Arabs everywhere to take to the streets. Egypt’s January 25 uprising that led to the removal of Hosni Mubarak taught Arab citizens and leaders alike that victory by protestors could succeed. The subsequent wave of protests involved remarkable synergies that could not plausibly be explained without reference to transnational diffusion. Bahrainis, Yemenis and Jordanians alike attempted to replicate the seizure and long-term encampments in Egypt’s Tahrir Square and protestors across the Arab world chanted the same slogans and waved the same signs.
  • Topic: International Security, Political stability
  • Political Geography: Middle East