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  • Author: Kostas Ifantis
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Relations Council of Turkey (UİK-IRCT)
  • Abstract: The paper focuses on the impact of the crisis on the Greek public debate on, perception of, and strategy towards Turkey. The analysis is placed in the context of a strategic consensus that was ruptured during the crisis and the lack of bipartisanship on the country’s security preferences. Although Athens and Ankara have enjoyed an unusually long period of calm waters in the Aegean from 1999 to 2016, the last two years have produced the familiar aggressive rhetoric and mutual mistrust. With the bilateral issues intact, the traditional inertia on both sides can easily turn into heightened tensions with the risk of miscalculation given the proximity of military hardware being hardly insignificant. The paper also presents some of the findings of a research conducted by the two guest editors of this special issue on the Greek elites’ perceptions of Turkey in the midst of the crisis.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Greece
  • Author: Dimitrios Triantaphyllou
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Relations Council of Turkey (UİK-IRCT)
  • Abstract: This paper aims to explain how crisis-ridden Greece defines and defends its national interest. The constellation of the twin economic and migration crises coupled with the increasingly transactional nature of the global order have forced Greece’s hand in sticking to its guns with regard to its membership in both NATO and the European Union. While deterrence vis-à-vis Turkey remains a high priority, Greece has had to labour to regain its status and credibility within both aforementioned organizations by evolving away from its traditional policy of balancing between its membership obligations in NATO and the EU and its more nuanced approach to relations with Russia in contrast to many other countries. This has been done with the consensual adoption across the mainstream political spectrum of a policy of strategic realism which sees a distancing from the Euro-Atlantic context as an anathema, albeit the persistence of the reflex of exceptionalism and ethno-centrism. Its flank state status and the danger of further marginalization at a time of a changing Turkey have forced its hand while also presenting opportunities for the adoption of a renewed positive agenda with its neighbours.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Greece
  • Author: Kostas Ifantis, Dimitrios Triantaphyllou
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Relations Council of Turkey (UİK-IRCT)
  • Abstract: This is a collection of essays on Greece during a crisis that has already lasted more than eight years. A group of scholars discusses several aspects of the grand failure that is Greece since 2009. It is by no means a comprehensive treatise of what went so wrong and why a country that is still among the most developed and wealthy in the world cannot bounce back, reform itself, and deliver the public goods to its citizens. Although it is not explicit, a careful reading of the papers reveals an underlying theme. A populist wave finally swept Greece in early 2015 and nearly destroyed the old political guard. The post- Junta political, social and economic consensus that served as a bulwark for rapid democratization and modernization came under enormous pressure from extreme right and extreme left bullies. Civil War discourse and oratory was used to target political opponents and pseudo-revolutionary voluntarism was offered as the anti-European and anti-elite solution to the country’s misery. The justified rage became violent outbursts with the agents of populism barely hiding their satisfaction
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Greece
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: IEMed/EuroMeSCo
  • Abstract: On 12 October ISPI in cooperation with the IEMed organised a workshop “New Euro-Mediterranean Dynamics in the Eastern Mediterranean”. The event was organised in the framework of the EuroMeSCo ENI Project, co-funded by the European Commission. This dialogue workshop aimed at discussing the initial research results of the Joint Policy Study and engaging the participants in analyzing and sharing their perspectives on whether the Russian moment in the MENA region corresponds to opportunism, a new strategy or it falls in between these options. Additionally, this workshop aimed at shedding light on the role Russia is currently playing, how this can influence the balance of power as well as how regional players look at Russia. The present report is a summary of main points raised in workshop discussions
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia, Middle East, North Africa
  • Author: Mohammed Al-Misfer
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: Through a meditative and forward-looking vision, the book examines the relations of the GCC states from the council’s pre-establishment stage to its post-establishment phase. The book also looks at the different paths of cooperation and conflicts that have occurred in the intra-Gulf relations and their evolution during the last three decades of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty first. The book also explains the various local, regional and international factors that have influenced and continue to influence relations between the GCC countries both negatively and positively.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Global Security
  • Political Geography: Gulf Nations
  • Author: Mohammed Masbah
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: The unfulfilled promises of 2011 reversed citizens’ optimism, and hence pushed them to take to the street once again. While Moroccan authorities’ crackdown had intimidated protesters, boycotters learned the lessons and chose a different strategy.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Popular Revolt
  • Political Geography: Morocco
  • Author: Joseph Massad
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: Donald Trump’s “Deal of the century” is the final phase of the 1993 Oslo Accords, which formalized the final liquidation of the Palestinian anti-colonial national struggle for independence and liberation. The “Deal” is nothing more or less than the last step of the so-called “peace process.” In order to understand the aims of the “Deal,” we need to go back to the Oslo Accords, which anticipated this step and assiduously prepared the ground for it. Since the beginning of the so-called “peace process” inaugurated in Madrid in 1991, the PLO, through its unofficial negotiators, conceded Palestinian rights one by one, in a gradual process culminating in the official PLO signing of the Declaration of Principles in Washington D.C. on September 13, 1993.
  • Topic: International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: James M. Dorsey
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan lands in Beijing on November 3, the latest head of government to seek a renegotiation of commercial terms and/or focus of projects related to China’s infrastructure and energy-driven Belt and Road initiative. He follows in the footsteps of his Malaysian counterpart, Mahathir Mohamad has suspended US$26 billion in Chinese-funded projects; while Myanmar is negotiating a significant scaling back of a Chinese-funded port project on the Bay of Bengal from one that would cost US$ 7.3 billion to a more modest development that would cost US$1.3 billion in a bid to avoid shouldering an unsustainable debt. China has also witnessed pushback and rising anti-Chinese sentiment in countries as far flung as Kazakhstan, Nepal, and Denmark
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jamal Khashoggi, Mohammed Cherkaoui
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: Saudi intellectual and journalist Jamal Khashoggi was among a diverse group of panelists at a joint international conference, hosted by Aljazeera Centre for Studies (AJCS) and Johns Hopkins University (JHU) in Washington June 12, 2018, to discuss the topic “Shaping a New Balance of Power in the Middle East: Regional Actors, Global Powers, and Middle East Strategy”. In the morning, participants in the first panel “Dynamics of Political Geography in the Middle East” and the second panel “Non-State Actors and Shadow Politics” gave rather deconstructive perspectives on several recent trends in the politics of the region. They probed into several modalities of what seems to be competitive strategies of various global and regional actors and non-state actors in the Gulf, the Middle East, and North Africa.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Mohammed Cherkaoui
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: North Africa and the Middle East are struggling with their present; let alone how to shape their future. The promise of the 2011 uprisings has turned into growing malaise and widespread deception by the poor performance of Islamist, secular, military, nationalist, and other brands of Arab governments. After seven years of high expectations, the Arab story of reform and democratization has become a daunting cliffhanger. The main question now is how we got here. Why there is so much concentration of conflict and violence in this strategic region located at the heart of the world with enormous natural and human resources. Why is there still dire shortage of democratic steps and civility in the Arab public discourse across the region? One good example in Saudi Arabia, Tweeter has served as the best weapon of mass stigmatization of Qatari officials and their allies. Another intriguing question; what prevents Arab societies from forging a smooth path to modernity, welfare, and democracy? Are there any real prospects of an Arab age of enlightenment to help address this difficult Arab pregnancy of democracy?
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus