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  • Author: Lorenzo Vidino
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI)
  • Abstract: In the past few years, the MENA region witnessed a rise in jihadist extremism and radicalization, as countries in the area were rocked by a series of deadly terrorist attacks. As authorities responded to the threat, it became clear that in order to effectively counter the phenomenon, traditional repressive measures had to now be accompanied by alternative methods of prevention, rehabilitation and dissuasion. How have different governments around the Mediterranean responded? What sort of alternative measures have been taken? How effective have these policies been? What further steps can be taken to strengthen the response of the authorities? These are just some of the key issues that this ISPI Report seeks to cover. The experts in this volume illustrate the policies of contrast, prevention and de-radicalization that have been adopted by countries in the MENA region, revealing emerging trends, lessons learned and overviews of this security status.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Radicalization
  • Political Geography: Middle East, North Africa
  • Author: Alessia Amighini
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI)
  • Abstract: This year marks the 40th anniversary of China’s reforms and opening up. In four decades, China has learned how to grasp the benefits of globalisation and has become a world economic champion. As the world’s second-largest economy, today China is no longer the factory of the world but an industrial power aiming at the forefront of major hightech sectors, in direct competition with Europe and the US. In sharp contrast with Trump’s scepticism on multilateralism, President Xi has renewed his commitment to growing an open global economy. But how does globalisation with Chinese characteristic look like? Is Beijing offering more risks or more opportunities to both mature and emerging economies? To what extent is China willing to comply with international rules and standards? Is Beijing trying set its own global rules and institutions? Is the world destined to a new model of economic globalisation detached from political and cultural openness?
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Valeria Talbot
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI)
  • Abstract: Over the last few years, Turkey seems to have embraced the East again. Ankara’s closer relations with Eurasian countries go hand in hand with the international trend to move eastwards, towards the ever-growing and most dynamic region in the world. They are also the result of an increasing differentiation of Turkey’s foreign relations, driven by strategic, economic and energy interests. Stronger ties with the Eurasian countries, i.e. Russia and China, are also the litmus test for the ups and downs in relations with the Washington and Brussels. While Ankara still retains strong ties with the West, it is laying the groundwork to further widen its interests to the East. This report aims to analyse the multi-faceted aspects of Ankara’s Eurasian shift, highlighting domestic drivers of Turkey’s “Eurasianism”, the interests at stake, the areas of cooperation and competition, and last but not least the implications for the EU.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Emad Drimly, Fares Akram
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: PalThink For Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: GAZA, Hamas parliamentary bloc has recently approved the financial budget for Hamas’ government in the Gaza Strip, officials said on Monday. The Hamas-dominated Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) approved the budget, although other parliamentary blocs, including Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah movement, boycotted the session. The budget for the fiscal year is 428 million U.S. dollars and it applies only in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, excluding the West Bank which is ruled by the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) led by Abbas. Fatah says the PLC sessions have been illegal since June 2007 when Hamas routed pro-Abbas forces and seized control of the coastal strip. The approval of the budget took place as Israel still keeps a tight blockade on Gaza and amid vagueness and controversy over Hamas’ financial resources. In the West Bank, the Western-backed Abbas government goes through fiscal crisis despite financial support from the international community.
  • Topic: Democratization, International Political Economy, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Gaza
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: PalThink For Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Investment opportunities are rare in the Gaza Strip. So when Nabila Ghabin saw one last year, she pawned her car and jewelry and put $12,000 into a network of tunnels that brought in supplies smuggled from Egypt. She was one of about 4,000 Gazans who gave cash to middlemen and tunnel operators in 2008 as Israel blocked the overland passage of goods. Then Israeli warplanes bombed the tunnels before and during the Dec. 27 to Jan. 18 Gaza offensive and the investments collapsed. Now investors, who lost as much as $500 million, want their money back from Hamas, which runs Gaza. Hamas Economics Minister Ziad Zaza says about 200 people were taken into custody in connection with the tunnel investments; most have been released. Hamas is offering a partial repayment of 16.5 cents on the dollar using money recovered from Ihab al-Kurd, the biggest tunnel operator. The imbroglio over the 800 to 1,000 tunnels has deepened Hamas’s decline in public opinion in Gaza and highlights the Wild West nature of the underground economy that supports this jammed enclave of 1.4 million people
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Gaza
  • Author: Constantine A. Papadopoulos
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Relations Council of Turkey (UİK-IRCT)
  • Abstract: The central argument of this essay is that, in order to understand the reasons behind the Greek economy’s inability to recover sooner from its 8-year recession, analysis must focus on the institutional, political and cultural traits of the country rather than take a primarily “economistic” approach and simply blame “excessive austerity” and/or the euro. In fact, it will be argued that Greece’s positive performance under the euro (until government actions derailed the economy) is generally underappreciated, suggesting that if the country’s institutional weaknesses are addressed, the economy will grow. If they are not, the country’s long-term economic potential will almost certainly remain unfulfilled
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Greece
  • Author: Kostas A Lavdas
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Relations Council of Turkey (UİK-IRCT)
  • Abstract: This paper focuses on stalled Europeanization as a field of practices, institutions and discourse connected with a process of ambivalent reform. The absence of a consensual national strategy of adaptation to a particularly challenging environment, i.e., participation in the eurozone, produced dramatic consequences when confronted with the financial crisis after 2009. It is argued that the country’s sluggish Europeanization reached a critical turning point in 2009 when the urgency of the crisis brought to the fore a number of issues and vulnerabilities. Asymmetric policy adjustment – limited in some areas, extensive in others – has been the combined result of perceived necessity, insufficiently designed and implemented reform packages, party-political repositioning, and plain politicking. Europeanization in Greece became a stalled process in 2015; restarting the stalled process since 2016 leads to ongoing but sluggish Europeanizing interactions, involving shifts in the roles of domestic politics, institutional traditions and interest groups while reshaping the patterns of political contestation.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe, Greece
  • Author: Nicolas Papanastasopoulos
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Relations Council of Turkey (UİK-IRCT)
  • Abstract: The field of crisis management in public policy (both in its internal and external aspect) is currently facing a number of essential and important challenges with theoretical, institutional and political dimensions. This paper aims at deconstructing existing limitations by bringing together the necessary inter-disciplinary elements. The paper attempts to analyze Greek public policy and the government’s capacities to cope with a turbulent (geo)political environment. At the same time, an effort is made to analyze the way the Greek political personnel managed the debt crisis. In this context, the discussion combines both theoretical and empirical approaches.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Domestic politics
  • Political Geography: Greece
  • Author: Dimitris Keridis
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Relations Council of Turkey (UİK-IRCT)
  • Abstract: The migration and refugee crisis that erupted in 2015 landed recession riven Greece with a series of humanitarian, political, social, and financial as well as foreign policy and security challenges. Following a near disastrous open- borders policy steeped in leftist ideological parochialism, Athens aligned itself closely with Germany in support of the EU-Turkey deal that drastically reduced the human flows from Turkey into the EU and invited NATO naval forces to help monitor the implementation of the agreement. This paper is structured around two parts: the first part describes the immigration and refugee crisis itself, from a global, European and national-Greek perspective; the second part analyzes the risks to and policy responses of Greece and how they relate to the country’s overall geostrategic position, at a time when Europe is being redefined as it struggles to respond to a multitude of challenges
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Greece
  • Author: Christos Baxevanis
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Relations Council of Turkey (UİK-IRCT)
  • Abstract: Since the signing of the EU-Turkey Statement, there has been a significant reduction in the number of people unlawfully crossing European borders or losing their lives in the Aegean. Turkey plays a crucial and decisive role in addressing the refugee crisis in the Middle East and the Mediterranean region. At the same time, Greece is invited to carry out an unprecedented administrative, legislative and operational project that has not been undertaken so far. Furthermore, Greek authorities have to deal with a series of urgent needs (accommodation, nutrition, asylum procedures, health) or social integration processes (education, training, access to labour). This article focuses on the legal and political aspects in terms of Greek Asylum System as well as special attention is given to the EU- Turkey statement and how its implementation impacts on Greek-Turkish-EU relations. The author notes that this discussion cannot be taken place without taking into account the European institutional and political framework as well as the greatest economic-fiscal crisis faced both by EU and Greece.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Greece