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  • Author: Joseph Braude
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: A new opportunity has emerged to roll back generations of antisemitic and rejectionist messaging in Arab media, mosques, and schools. It stems from the convergence of interests between Israel and Arab powers, a youthful Arab grassroots trend in favor of a “peace between peoples,” and new Israeli and American Jewish capacities to engage Arab public discussions from the outside in. But prospects for change remain severely constrained: In addition to the effects of the Israeli-Palestinian stalemate, the legacy of antisemitic brainwashing endures in many Arab institutions and draws further energy from Iranian and jihadist information operations. Meanwhile, proponents of a positive shift lack coordination, planning, and adequate support. In Reclamation: A Cultural Policy for Arab-Israeli Partnership, Joseph Braude documents the opportunity as well as the obstacles, and then proposes a strategy to accelerate progress. He explains how to engage Arab allies in a coordinated communications reform effort, support independent Arab champions of civil relations with Israel and Jews, expand the “outside-in” capacities, and degrade Iranian and jihadist channels of indoctrination within the region.
  • Topic: International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Craig Kafura
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Abstract: The federal government remains in a partial shutdown, the longest in US history, as President Trump and Democrats in Congress are deadlocked over funding for expanding the border wall with Mexico. A just-completed Chicago Council Survey shows that both sides have the backing of their public constituencies, but the President’s insistence on this topic has not boosted support for the expansion among the general public. Overall more Americans now oppose expanding the US-Mexico border wall since last asked in 2016.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: The extraordinary criticism that Saudi Arabia is under holds the potential for the US Congress enacting legislation against OPEC. Anti-trust legislation would have turbulent impact on the global energy market in that such pressure could lead members withdrawing from OPEC.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: Since 2017, the decline of social capital in Morocco represents a tree that hides a forest. We are now at an interlocking point of two negative trends in this decline: one is political vertical, and the other is societal horizontal.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Morocco
  • Author: Anna Jacobs
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: Morocco’s migration policy reflects of the interconnectedness of foreign policy priorities, desired reform and the reality of domestic politics. Morocco has positioned itself as a counterterrorism and migration ally for Europe; while leaning toward the African Union, and African markets.
  • Topic: International Relations, Migration, International Affairs, Global Security
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Fatima Al-Smadi
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: The sanctions affect Iran in many ways, not only in economic terms. This paper examines the impact of sanctions on Iran’s domestic and foreign policy.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development sets peace, justice and strong institutions as goals for the international community to work toward, along with participatory decision-making at all levels and equal representation and participation of women in public affairs (Goals 5.5 and 16.7).1 The Human Rights Council stressed “the critical importance of equal and effective participation in political and public affairs for democracy, the rule of law, social inclusion, economic development and advancing gender equality, and for the realization of all human rights and fundamental freedoms.” 2 As part of their broad mandate to protect and promote human rights, national human rights institutions (NHRIs) have a key role to play in protecting and promoting the right to participate in public affairs.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: Election observation is the process by which parties, candidates, citizen groups or independent organizations deploy observers to witness the electoral process. Different types of observers have very different goals for watching an election. While observers from political parties seek to ensure that election administration does not disadvantage their campaigns, nonpartisan observers focus on checking compliance with election administration regulations. Credible nonpartisan observers are interested in promoting integrity, transparency, and efficiency in the electoral process and have no stake in the political outcome.During contentious or highly competitive elections, impartial observation can provide an important avenue for reliable feedback about which aspects of an election went well and what parts could improve
  • Topic: International Affairs, Democracy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Burak Akçapar
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation, New York University
  • Abstract: Since the launch of the Mediation for Peace initiative by Turkey and Finland in 2010, there has been an upsurge of activity at the United Nations (UN) and several regional organizations to promote mediation as a conflict resolution method. The UN General Assembly, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) have set out to develop mediation norms, procedures, and capacities. The assets and motivations of international actors, including foremost nation states, to provide mediation services as part of their foreign policy have been widely studied. However, the actual role played by specific leading nations in the promotion of mediation at international forums lacks a framework of analysis. This essay aims to fill this gap by employing the concept of “policy entrepreneurship” to explain the role of individual actors in transforming the politics, norms, and capacities that pertain to mediation. In this regard, the article discusses Turkey’s activities in the field of mediation and their transformative outcomes in a bid to test the proposed framework. It concludes that as the only country that co-chairs the friends of mediation groups simultaneously in the UN, the OSCE and the OIC, the distinguishing contribution of Turkey as a policy entrepreneur lies in its efforts to feed and shape the normative basis and capacities of international peace mediation efforts.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Sarah Cliffe
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation, New York University
  • Abstract: UN Secretary-General António Guterres was appointed in 2016 on an explicit reform platform. In 2017, we published commentaries on his reform proposals. Now that those reforms that have been approved are moving into implementation, we publish this simple guide to what has been achieved and the potential potholes still ahead.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Riva Kantowitz
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation, New York University
  • Abstract: This article, continuing CIC's work of exploring innovative finance for sustaining peace, examines important related conversations in the humanitarian and peacebuilding sectors, and efforts and tools in finance that could be utilized for sustaining peace. It also examines potential gamechangers such as blockchain and artificial intelligence—technologies and methods that have the potential to radically shift the way in which these tools are employed.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Kinga Szálkai
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Security and Defense Studies (BHKK)
  • Abstract: Since the beginning of the 1990s, political Islam is perceived as a revitalized force of modernity and as a counter-hegemonistic force. The issue, in the form of the worrisome emergence of radical Islamism, has also been present in the context of Central Asia. Around the turn of the 21st century, mainly due to 9/11, there was a boom in research dealing with this perceived problem. Uzbekistan was heavily concerned, as it is one of the three Central Asian countries, where the radical Islamist opposition has been significant. Moreover, the proximity to the war- and chaos-ridden Afghanistan also raised awareness towards the Islamist movements in the region
  • Topic: International Affairs, Political Theory
  • Political Geography: Uzbekistan
  • Author: Elvir Mammadov
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Security and Defense Studies (BHKK)
  • Abstract: Iran's international standing is currently under slow, but significant change due to the recently signed nuclear deal with the global powers group of "P5+1". The South Caucasus region will be one of the primary influenced regions by such a sharp turn in the history of Iran. Turning back to the recent history of Iran's foreign policy towards the South Caucasus, it can be seen that Tehran has found itself in unpleasant situation and unprepared to build up effective ties with the countries because of certain objective reasons. Emerged regional conflicts suddenly after the collapse of the Soviet Union between Azerbaijan and Armenia, and in Georgia with its two breakaway territories caused more difficulties for Iran's foreign policy towards the region. The targets put in the beginning for integration into the region has ended up with a defensive and limited position for Iran in the South Caucasus.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Tasnim Abderrahim
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: European Council On Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: In 2018 Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia roundly rejected EU plans for ‘regional disembarkation platforms’ out of concern: around the cost of hosting migrants on their own soil; for public opinion; and to remind Europe of their own sovereignty. North African governments further point out that they too have migration issues to deal with, including growing pressure on their borders, integration of newcomers, and domestic discontent about migration. While the EU’s concerns about irregular migration are legitimate, the proposal for disembarkation platforms was likely a misstep, as it only fuelled tension in the relationship with its southern neighbours. That said, Europe and North Africa already have a long and mature relationship when it comes to cooperating on migration matters. The 2018 proposal for disembarkation platforms may now be a non-starter. But opportunities remain for the EU to deepen its partnership working with Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia on border control and – although this area is more contested – on migrant returns.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Wendy Cutler
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Asia Society Policy Institute
  • Abstract: Tensions in U.S.-China economic and trade relations have steadily increased over the past year, leading to the imposition of tariffs and counter-tariffs impacting nearly USD $400 billion in two-way trade. At the time of writing, a negotiated solution has yet to materialize, but the two sides have continued to make progress, with a deal seemingly imminent. At the heart of the conflict are challenges posed by China’s state-led economic model, including excessive and under-reported industrial subsidies and other financial assistance, operation of state-owned enterprises (SOEs), opaque regulatory measures that advantage domestic producers, forced technology transfer, and centrally directed strategic guidance
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Kevin Rudd
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Asia Society Policy Institute
  • Abstract: 2018 REPRESENTED A FUNDAMENTAL STRATEGIC TURNING POINT in the 40-year history of U.S.-China relations. This is not just an American view; it is also the Chinese view. Just as it is my own analytical view based on 40 years of observation of this relationship, going back to the time when I was an undergraduate student at the Australian National University. The nature of this change is that the United States, after 40 years of strategic engagement with China following China’s decision under Deng Xiaoping to pursue a domestic policy shift toward economic reform and opening, has concluded that China is no longer a trustworthy strategic partner. The analytical underpinnings of the period of engagement were that China, having embarked upon a series of economic, social, and some political reforms, was incrementally integrating itself into the American-led international rules-based order. This, in turn, was based on China’s decision in 1978 to abandon its policy of support for communist revolutionary movements around the world. This change followed the abandonment of a decade-plus of political radicalism pursued by Mao during the Cultural Revolution. And it followed, perhaps most significantly, China’s decision to embrace one series after another of market-based economic reforms, beginning with the introduction of price-based incentives in agriculture, then light manufacturing, then the services industry before extending across much of the rest of the Chinese economy. On top of this, the normalization of political relations between the United States and China, from Richard Nixon’s visit in 1972 to formal diplomatic recognition under Jimmy Carter in 1979, led to a sustained period of fundamental strategic realignment between China and the United States against a common strategic adversary in the form of the Soviet Union
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Kevin Rudd
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Asia Society Policy Institute
  • Abstract: NEXT WEEK MARKS THE 216TH ANNIVERSARY of the founding of the West Point Military Academy. Its founding came less than 20 years after the defeat of the British at Yorktown in 1781. It followed the decision by President Thomas Jefferson to establish the United States Military Academy just after his inauguration in 1801. Indeed, the United States Continental army first occupied this place on January 27, 1778, two years into the Revolutionary War, when things were not proceeding all that well against the British in that great conflagration. So you have been here at West Point since virtually the first birth-pangs of this great Republic
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Asia Society Policy Institute
  • Abstract: ON JUNE 22–23 2018, THE CHINESE COMMUNIST PARTY concluded its Central Conference on Work Relating to Foreign Affairs, the second since Xi Jinping became General Secretary of the Party and Chairman of the Central Military Commission in November 2012. The last one was held in November 2014. These are not everyday affairs in the Party’s deliberations on the great questions of China’s unfolding global engagement.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Amar Bhattacharya, Homi Kharas, Mark Plant, Annalisa Prizzon
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: The new global agenda, with Agenda 2030 at its core, is ambitious, comprehensive, and universal. The three central goals now are to reignite growth, deliver on the sustainable development goals (SDGs), and meet the ambitions of the Paris climate agreement aimed at mitigating climate change and adapting to its effects. Achieving these goals will require a significant scaling up and reorientation of investments, especially for sustainable infrastructure and human development. Implementing this agenda is urgent, as the world is witnessing the largest wave of urban expansion in history and more infrastructure will come on stream over the next 15 years than the world’s existing stock. This is also the last opportunity to manage remaining significant demographic transitions.
  • Topic: International Affairs, International Development
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: John Page
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Economists have long regarded structural change—the movement of workers from lower to higher productivity employment—as essential to growth in low-income countries. Yet, until recently, Africa’s economic structure had changed very little, worrying both policymakers and analysts. The African Union, the African Development Bank, and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa have all voiced concern with Africa’s slow pace of structural change. Earlier this year, The Economist noted, “Africa’s development model puzzles economists.”
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Amanda Sloat
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Policymakers in the United States and European Union are struggling with how to manage their relations with Turkey. What makes the country such a conundrum is that its problematic leadership faces real threats. Turkey is confronting challenges from the aftermath of the July 2016 coup attempt and the destabilizing effects of the Syrian war. Yet the country’s president is growing more authoritarian, using virulent anti-Western rhetoric, and making foreign policy choices contrary to the interests of the trans-Atlantic alliance. The policy goal is navigating this gray zone today to preserve the possibility of better relations in the future.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Constanze Stelzenmüller
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Year one of the Trump administration has been uniquely unnerving. Yet the trans-Atlantic security community has also been breathing a sigh of relief, because many of their worst expectations seem to have been averted: trade wars, an attack on North Korea, the end of NATO. The conventional wisdom in Washington, DC and many European capitals today is that—despite a president who continues to defy conventions—U.S.-European relations have largely normalized. As a result, most Europeans are attempting to ride out what they believe to be a temporary aberration of American politics with a mixture of hugging and hedging. There is certainly evidence for a normalization of U.S. foreign policy, not least in the president’s formal endorsement of NATO’s mutual defense clause, and the reinforcement of American contributions to reassurance and deterrence in Eastern Europe. There are also many signs that the past year has re-energized American civil society, belying determinist critics in Europe. But Trumpism needs to be recognized as a massive discontinuity. Trump is the first postwar American president to question the liberal order as such. In its purest form, the “America First” doctrine has implications for the EU and some of its member states (especially Germany) that should be of intense concern to Europeans. Europeans should worry even more, however, about its fundamentalist critique of globalization (which it refers to as globalism) as a quasiadversarial ideology. The globalization-globalism dichotomy, unlike all previous transAtlantic disagreements, is a dispute about the nature of the world we live in. And it is a wedge that could drive the United States and Europe apart. America could attempt (at immense cost to itself) to decouple from the liberal world order and the global economy. But for Europe to do so would be suicidal. This flips the existing logic of the trans-Atlantic alliance on its head: it is Europe now that has the greater—and for it, existential—interest in preserving an international order that safeguards peace and globalization
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Adam Looney, Constantine Yannelis
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: We examine the distribution of student loan balances and repayment rates in the United States using administrative student loan data. We show that increases in credit limits and expansions in credit availability resulted in rising borrowing amounts, and that the share of borrowers holding very large balances has surged. For instance, the share of borrowers leaving school with more than $50,000 of federal student debt increased from 2 percent in 1992 to 17 percent in 2014. Consequently, a small share of borrowers now owes the majority of loan dollars in the United States. Although these large-balance borrowers have historically strong labor market outcomes and low rates of default, repayment rates have slowed significantly between 1990 and 2014 reflecting, in part, changes in the characteristics of students, the schools they attended, and the rising amounts borrowed. A decomposition analysis indicates that changes in the types of institutions attended, student demographics, default rates, and increased participation of alternative repayment plans and forbearance largely explain the decrease in student loan repayment.
  • Topic: Education, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Helene Maria Kyed, Finn Stepputat, Lars Erslev Andersen, Maya Mynster Christensen
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: By 2035 an estimated 60 per cent of the world’s population will live in cities. Due to the fast-growing rate of urbanisation, many future conflicts are expected to take place in urban terrains. Therefore defence and security organisations are becoming increasingly interested in understanding the trends and dynamics of cities. This report under the DIIS Defense and Security Projects contributes with a deepened understanding of the security challenges in four cities – Nairobi, Beirut, Hargeisa and Yangon – with a particular focus on mass migration and political authority.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Alexander Mattelaer
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: The Belgian defence budget for 2018 increases by a factor of 4.7 in commitment credits. Not only does this allow for offsetting the significant investment shortfalls of the previous years, it also provides a window of opportunity for regenerating the Belgian armed forces with a view to meeting future challenges. This Security Policy Brief makes the case that the longawaited modernisation of the major weapon systems needs to go hand in hand with a significant recruitment effort to address the critical human resources situation the Ministry of Defence finds itself in. Yet adding up personnel and equipment, the 25,000-strong force structure outlined in the Strategic Vision still risks being insufficient for meeting future requirements as they emerge in both the national and the international context (NATO/EU). As such, defence planners will need to engage with the question how best to redevelop the force structure from this minimum baseline in function of how the strategic environment evolves. For strengthening Belgium’s national security and diplomatic position in the twenty-first century the present window of opportunity is not to be missed.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Belgium
  • Author: Marc Otte
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: The Middle East is once again going through a period of war and upheaval, including mass murder of civilians, state failure, transnational terrorism, sectarian wars, physical and societal destruction, massive arms purchases, use of nonconventional weapons (notably chemical) and a permanent risk of proliferation of WMD. These developments are a threat to the region, but also to the rest of the world and to Europe in particular. The current turmoil should not be underestimated for its potential to trigger an even bigger hot war that could involve other players, if only because of miscalculations by some of the parties involved.
  • Topic: International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Sven Biscop
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: The 100th Egmont Paper deals with an issue that, unfortunately, provides little cause for celebration: the impact of Brexit on European diplomacy and defence. Unless, as Sven Biscop argues, a new “special relationship” can be established between Britain and the EU, both London and Brussels will
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs, Brexit
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Andre Barrinha
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: Cyberspace has become a major locus and focus of international relations. Most global powers have now streamlined cyber issues into their foreign policies, adopting cyber strategies, and appointing designated diplomats to pursue these strategic objectives. This article proposes to explore the concept of cyber-diplomacy, by analysing its evolution and linking it to the broader discussions of diplomacy as a fundamental institution of international society, as defined by the English School of International Relations. It argues that cyber-diplomacy is an emerging international practice that is attempting to construct a cyber-international society, bridging the national interests of states with world society dynamics – the predominant realm in which cyberspace has evolved in the last four decades.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Cybersecurity
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Margriet Drent
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Clingendael Netherlands Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: Every year is special and challenging when it comes to European integration. The highlights of 2017 were a number of high-level strategy papers and speeches such as the European Commission White Paper on the Future of Europe, the State of the Union Address by Commission President Juncker, French President Macron’s Initiative for Europe, and the Future of Europe report by President of the European Parliament Tajani. These papers and speeches all pave the way for the discussions on improving and deepening the European Union in the months towards the European elections in spring 2019. The upcoming EP elections will be different from earlier elections as the current discussions aim to offer political choices to ensure the elections are content-based.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Europe Union
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Global Political Trends Center
  • Abstract: Recent years have seen many regions of Africa involved in war and internal or external conflict, from the seven or so countries directly involved in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to the Libyan crisis and the war in Sudan/South Sudan and the various other civil wars. According to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), there were 6.9 million new Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) caused by conflict and violence in 2016. Sub-Saharan Africa overtook the Middle East as the region most affected with almost one million new displacements in the Democratic Republic of Congo as a result of violent clashes in the provinces of North Kivu, South Kivu and Kasai.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Michael Asiedu
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Global Political Trends Center
  • Abstract: The marginalization of Libyan youths has contributed to a much larger extent their propensity to be radicalized. In 2011, Libyan youths both armed and unarmed formed the fulcrum of the Libyan revolution (Luhrmann, 2015). They were clear in their demands, “Gaddafi must go”. They fought and laid down their arms in hope for better prospects post Gaddafi; to be included in Libya’s body politic fully. This was however, not to be. This desolation has prompted many Libyan youths who supported the revolution against former Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi to feel dejected in retrospect
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Libya
  • Author: Nimrod Goren
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Mitvim: The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies
  • Abstract: Special report on Dynamics and potential for cooperation in eastern Mediterranean
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Michael Harari, Ofer Zalzberg, Nimrod Goren, Gil Murciano
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Mitvim: The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies
  • Abstract: After an Iranian drone entered Israeli airspace 10 February 2018, Israel responded by striking Iranian and Syrian targets in southern Syria. Anti-aircraft fire led to the downing of an Israeli F-16 warplane. This was the first direct confrontation between Israel and Iran in Syria, and it has prompted concern over further military escalation along the Israeli-Syrian border. In order to prevent such an escalation, Israel cannot rely only on security means. It should also make effective use of diplomacy: to identify clear and feasible policy goals regarding Syria, to foster alliances with countries that can help advance these goals, and to mobilize these countries into constructive action. This document includes experts’ perspectives on Israeli interests at stake, and diplomatic channels that can be promoted with Russia, the US, Turkey, and Germany in order to prevent further escalation. It is based on a policy workshop convened by the Mitvim Institute on 15 February 2018
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Israel
  • Author: Frank Aum
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The surprise visit to Beijing by North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un could offer both Kim and Chinese President Xi Jinping stronger hands for upcoming discussions with the United States, says USIP analyst Frank Aum. As news of the meeting broke, Aum, who previously advised the U.S. Defense Department on Korea issues, discussed its implications
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: North Korea
  • Author: Syed Mohammed Ali
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Passage of the eighteenth amendment to Pakistan’s constitution in 2010 was rightly hailed as a major accomplishment. Not only did it devolve significant powers from the central government to the provinces, it also mandated the formation of local governments to bring government closer to the people. It took half a decade for the provinces to set up local governments—and real decision-making authority and financial resources have been even slower to arrive. In this Special Report, Syed Mohammad Ali takes stock of Pakistan’s devolution process and why its success is critical to the long-term prospects of democracy and the cultivation of new generations of democratic leaders.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: A historic peace accord ended the 50-year armed conflict between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in 2016. Following the terms of the agreement, in 2017, more than 10,000 FARC combatants surrendered over 8,000 weapons and consolidated into 26 encampments, transitioning to civilian life. Implementing the accord — which means cementing the agreement into national legislation and ensuring its provisions reach all corners of the country equitably — remains difficult.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Bartosz Bieliszczuk, Aleksandra Gawlikowska-Fyk
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Polish Institute of International Affairs together with the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs present the report Nordic-Baltic Security in Times of Uncertainty: The Defense-Energy Nexus. The report shows that energy and defence in the Nordic-Baltic region are closely interrelated. During the Cold War, the energy cooperation of Western European countries with the USSR was seen as an element of strengthening the status quo and reducing the risk of conflict. In the new strategic situation, when Russia is interested in regaining the status of regional and global power, there is a real threat that Kremlin will use Europe's dependence on Russian gas to divide NATO and the EU. The Russian military advantage in the region, the ability to block access to Alliance forces and the ability to influence its members through energy blackmail may encourage Russia to test NATO's credibility, increasing the risk of conflict in the region. NATO's ability to deter Russia creates a natural platform of cooperation for Norway and Poland. Both states should also be interested in reducing the Alliance's dependence on Russian energy resources.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Nordic Nations
  • Author: Patryk Kugiel
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: On 15 August 2017, India celebrated the 70th anniversary of independence. In that time, it has changed from a newly post-colonial, underdeveloped, and famine-suffering state to one of the largest economies in the world and an emerging power. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s accession in 2014 marked a new stage in the reforms and transformation of the country to release its potential and accelerate development. As the latest large economy to open to more foreign investment and international cooperation, India offers huge business opportunities. This report introduces the reforms and programmes implemented in India that indicate opportunities for Polish companies interested in this market. Prepared as a guidebook, the report also formulates recommendations for businesses and the Polish administration to strengthen cooperation with India (available only in Polish).
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Poland
  • Author: Sergiy Gerasymchuk
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Slovak Foreign Policy Association
  • Abstract: Although the issue of hybrid war with its instruments and phases is well elaborated in the academic literature,the Russian invasion of Ukraine and illegal annexation of Crimea has introduced certain new aspects of hybrid and non-linear warfare to the international political and academic agenda. The author attempts to synthesze the existing definitions of hybrid warfare in the Western literature with the new generation warfare involving the Russian/Soviet concepts of deep operations, active measures and reflexive control, and non–linear war. By analyzing the so called Gerasimov Doctrine,the phases and sections of Russian hybrid warfare in Ukraine, and political developments in the Republic of Moldova, the author comes to the conclusion that the current situation in the Republic of Moldova can be characterized as the preparatory phase of a hybrid war that may shift into attack and stabilization phases in the following year when parliamentary elections are held in Moldova. In addition, the author argues that – despite a lack of certain key prerequisites for Russian hybrid war in Visegrad countries (such as a Russian ethnic population)– the V4 still faces the risk of a growing Russian influence, and that V4 countries can still be targeted by Russian non-linear warfare within the vulnerable spheres indicated. The author would like to express his gratitude to Alexander Duleba, Pavol Demeš, Juraj Marušiak, Kálmán Petőcz, and the SFPA team, for their consultations and advice
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Erik Lundsgaarde
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Critical public attitudes toward economic globalization reflect a response to different facets of globalization and varied consequences of international market integration for individuals. The distribution of benefits and losses related to globalization provides a starting point for numerous studies of attitudes toward economic integration. Individuals perceive globalization’s benefits differently depending on their sector of employment or level of educational attainment, among other factors. In addition to these explanations, attention to the institutions and policies that influence how governments engage with globalization and manage its domestic consequences can also inform the analysis of why scepticism to economic integration varies across national settings.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Rasmus Alenius Boserup, Luis Martinez
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: In this new DIIS report senior researcher at DIIS, Rasmus Alenius Boserup and Research Director at Sciences Po, Luis Martinez, analyse how European policy-makers have recently come to perceive the Sahel as a threat to Europe’s own security and stability. Marking the end of the Sahel-Maghreb Research Platform – a research project funded by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and hosted by DIIS in collaboration with Voluntas Advisory – the report draws on input and analysis provided by an international team of experts and scholars associated to the project.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Danielle Pletka
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: In connection with an assessment of AEI’s work on the Middle East over the past two decades, I drafted the following survey. The arc of our scholarship in this critical region is fascinating and illuminates the continuity and evolution of the challenges the United States faces in the Middle East. What is ultimately clear is that in the region both the challenge of destructive ideas and the fostering of better ones will shape outcomes.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Andrew Saultz
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: A majority of teacher dismissal cases in Atlanta from 2011 to 2017 were related to issues of professionalism, including not showing up for work, not following a directive from a supervisor, or not completing tasks (i.e., grading).
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Gary J. Schmitt
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was established to meet the security threat posed by the Soviet Union. Often overlooked, though, are the ways in which it has provided the material and behavioral grounds for the larger liberal order in Europe to emerge.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Frederick M. Hess, Lanae Erikson Hatalsky
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Only about half of students who begin college actually complete their degree, which makes it increasingly difficult and expensive to brush the college completion problem under the rug.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Bradford Wilcox, Wendy Wang, Ronald Mincy
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Over the last decade, much of the racial news and academic research on black men in America has been sobering, if not downright depressing. But negative news isn’t the only story about race or even about black males in the United States. In Black Men Making It in America, we report some good news:
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Race, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Nils-Sjard Schulz
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: After intense negotiations, the United Nations General Assembly has endorsed the reform of the United Nations Development System (UNDS). Most players in New York, including Secretary-General António Guterres and ambassadors to the United Nations, are optimistic that the UNDS will now take the multi-adjective route requested by the General Assembly (“more strategic, accountable, effective, transparent, collaborative, efficient, effective and result-oriented”).
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Data has been hailed by some as “the new oil,” an analogy that captures the excitement and high expectations surrounding the data-driven economy. The success of the world’s most valuable companies (Apple, Google, Facebook and Microsoft) is now underpinned by a sophisticated capacity to collect, organize, control and commercialize stores of data and intellectual property. Big data and its application in artificial intelligence, for example, promises to transform the way we live and work — and will generate considerable wealth in the process. But data’s transformative nature also raises important questions around how the benefits are shared, privacy, public security, openness and democracy, and the institutions that will govern the data revolution. The recent Cambridge Analytica scandal has exposed the vulnerability of democracies to data strategies deployed on platforms such as Facebook to influence the outcomes of the Brexit referendum and the 2016 US presidential race. Any national data strategy will have to address both the economic and non-economic dimensions of harnessing big data. Balances will have to be struck between numerous goals. The essays in this collection, first published online in spring 2018, by leading scholars and practitioners, are grouped into five blocks: the rationale of a data strategy; the role of a data strategy for Canadian industries; balancing privacy and commercial values; domestic policy for data governance; and international policy considerations. An epilogue concludes with some key questions to consider around data governance in the digital age.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Basic Data
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The World Refugee Council (WRC) was created to build on the momentum generated by UN meetings in New York in September 2016, which saw the unanimous adoption of the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, and to develop bold approaches to transform the current refugee system, focusing on the issues of accountability, responsibility sharing and governance, and finance. The WRC offers this interim report, and other discussion and research papers, to raise awareness of these issues and to stimulate ideas for reform that will transform lives.
  • Topic: International Organization, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Stephanie Maclellan, Christian Leuprecht
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: By virtue of the constitutional division of powers into federal and provincial jurisdictions, the governance of the provision of cyber security in Canada — and in comparable federal systems with constitutionally distinct levels of government, such as the United States and Australia — raises a host of policy-making challenges. This special report’s authors ponder the division of authority and responsibility — for cyber, in general, and cyber security, in particular — between public and private actors and different levels of government. Drawing on expertise and insights from business, law, policy and academia, they posit normative models of cyber security governance and gauge the advantages and disadvantages of different approaches. Their contributions illuminate some preliminary lessons for policy makers striving to improve governance outcomes across the cyber domain in Canada.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Dr. Kim Richard Nossal, Dr. Stéfanie von Hlatky, Prof. William G. Braun III
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: In the wake of two extended wars, Western militaries find themselves looking to the future while confronting amorphous nonstate threats and shrinking defense budgets. The 2015 Kingston Conference on International Security (KCIS) examined how robotics and autonomous systems that enhance soldier effectiveness may offer attractive investment opportunities for developing a more efficient force capable of operating effectively in the future environment. This monograph offers 3 chapters derived from the KCIS and explores the drivers influencing strategic choices associated with these technologies and offers preliminary policy recommendations geared to advance a comprehensive technology investment strategy. In addition, the publication offers insight into the ethical challenges and potential positive moral implications of using robots on the modern battlefield.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Mr. Jeffrey L. Caton
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: Over the last century, the domains of air, space, and cyberspace have joined the traditional warfighting domains of land and sea. While the doctrine for land operations is relatively mature, the doctrine for space and cyberspace continue to evolve, often in an unstructured manner. This monograph examines the relationships among these domains and how they apply to U.S. Army and joint warfighting. It concentrates on the central question: How are U.S. military operations in the newest domains of space and cyberspace being integrated with operations in the traditional domain of land? This inquiry is divided into three major sections:
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Rosella Cappella Zielinski
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University
  • Abstract: This report provides estimates for how the United States government has paid for its wars, from the War of 1812 through the current post-9/11 “Global War on Terror” (Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other Operations), and addresses the relationship between war finance and inequality. The findings suggest that government borrowing to pay for wars leads to greater social inequality in the aftermath of the war. This happens when wars are paid for via general public debt versus a war bond campaign, particularly when combined with indirect taxes (such as sales, value-added, excise, and customs taxes) or a tax cut. Conversely, wars financed via bond campaigns targeted to low- and middle-income populations and direct taxes (such as income, property, and corporate taxes) result in greater social equality.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: In April, Cato’s Patrick Eddington introduced his new online initiative Checkpoint America: Monitoring the Constitution-Free Zone.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Gene Healy
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Presidential impeachments are vanishingly rare in American constitutional history: in the 230 years since ratification, only three presidents have faced serious attempts to remove them from office. And yet, as President Donald J. Trump’s tumultuous tenure continues, it seems increasingly plausible that we’ll see a fourth.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Democracy, Constitution
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Noah Kaufman
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on Global Energy Policy
  • Abstract: In July 2018 Representative Carlos Curbelo proposed legislation that would put a price on US carbon dioxide emissions (“Curbelo proposal”). A carbon price is widely viewed as a necessary part of a cost-effective national strategy to address the risks of climate change. This proposal is especially notable because Republicans, who currently control the US Senate, House of Representatives, and presidency, have not proposed national carbon pricing legislation in nearly a decade.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Shashank Mohan, Peter Marsters, Whitney Herndon, John Larsen
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on Global Energy Policy
  • Abstract: A price on carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions has long been a preferred instrument among economists and other academics for addressing the threat of climate change.[1] The idea is simple: putting a price on carbon internalizes the societal costs caused by consumption of fossil fuels and other activities that emit GHGs. The concept sits firmly in the tradition of Pigouvian taxation, which has been applied to address other “externalities”—from the health system costs of tobacco and alcohol use to the environmental cost of substances that deplete Earth’s ozone layer. The concept of pricing carbon by way of a tax has been gaining traction among economists as an efficient, market-based strategy for reducing GHG emissions in the United States. More recently, the idea has garnered the attention of prominent Republicans and Democrats within and outside of Congress as well as advocates on the left and right poles of the national political spectrum.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Joseph Rosenberg, Eric Toder, Chenxi Lu
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on Global Energy Policy
  • Abstract: A federal carbon tax in the United States would reduce greenhouse gas emissions and generate significant new revenue for the federal government. In this study, part of the Carbon Tax Research Initiative led by Columbia University’s SIPA Center on Global Energy Policy (CGEP), the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center (TPC) estimates the effects of various potential carbon taxes on the tax burdens of US households across the income distribution.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: John Diamond, George Zodrow
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on Global Energy Policy
  • Abstract: The potential for utilizing a federal carbon tax to address the risks of climate change has been discussed in U.S. policy debates on both sides of the aisle. Under a carbon tax, consumers and producers would account for the costs of climate change in their decision making. The policy would reduce greenhouse gas emissions without sacrificing the efficiency of private markets.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, International Affairs, Domestic politics
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Jason Bordoff, Antoine Halff, Akos Losz
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on Global Energy Policy
  • Abstract: The last few years have offered a reminder, if any was needed, that oil markets are no stranger to volatility. From OPEC’s reported demise to OPEC’s resurgence, the rapid fall and rise again of US shale, and the ebb and flow of geopolitical risk, oil has been on a rocky ride. After industry leaders and experts declared that the days of cheap oil were over—“$100 per barrel is becoming the new $20,” explained one top oil CEO in 2014[1]—consensus shifted to a view that oil prices would remain “lower for longer”[2] before sharply rising again in the last few months. Each day brings yet another reminder of risks to oil prices, with oil markets tight, OPEC nations signaling they intend to continue supporting prices beyond $80 per barrel, President Trump canceling the Iran nuclear deal, Venezuelan production in freefall, and geopolitical risks rife from Syria to Libya and beyond.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Oil, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Mike Fulwood
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on Global Energy Policy
  • Abstract: Almost every LNG conference has on its agenda nowadays the topic of Asian LNG trading hubs. Governments, regulatory authorities, academics, and market participants are all presenting on how a hub might be developed in Asia. There have also been a number of reports published in the last few years on the development of hubs in Asia.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jason Bordoff, Akos Losz, Aaron Linn
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on Global Energy Policy
  • Abstract: On April 2, 2018, the EPA announced that planned fuel economy increases for cars and light trucks in model years 2022–2025 are too stringent and should be revised.[2] The EPA thus initiated a process to set new standards for 2022–2025, in partnership with the NHTSA. The standards were a central part of the Obama administration’s efforts to reduce US greenhouse gas emissions. The move to weaken the standards has been sharply criticized by many environmental groups, policymakers, and others. Supporters of the current standards argue that the standards would substantially reduce emissions at a modest cost. But the standards have been highly controversial, and the move has also received a great deal of praise from other groups. Supporters of weakening the standards—including those in the Trump administration—argue that the current standards would be excessively costly to consumers and automakers, while providing little or no benefit to the public. Many analyses have proclaimed that this announcement would have profound effects on consumers, oil consumption, oil imports, and greenhouse gas emissions. One think tank, for example, told the Financial Times that US oil consumption, which was nearly 20 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2017, would be 1.5 million bpd higher in 2025 if the 2022–2025 fuel economy standards were rolled back
  • Topic: Energy Policy, International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Richard Nephew
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on Global Energy Policy
  • Abstract: The diplomacy associated with Libya’s 2003 decision to abandon its weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs and support for terrorism has been rightly held up as a model. After years of isolation and international sanctions, Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi decided to change course. He agreed to dismantle and repatriate most of his nuclear infrastructure, to eliminate his chemical weapon stocks and ballistic missiles, and to abandon the use of terrorism as a foreign policy instrument. Libya wanted to be largely normalized and was prepared to pay a price to achieve this end but also wanted to receive the benefits of this normalization.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Libya
  • Author: Tim Boersma, Casey Johnson
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on Global Energy Policy
  • Abstract: Over the preceding decade until November 2016, energy came to occupy a more central position in the United States’ foreign policy apparatus, and the term “energy diplomacy” became frequently used in policy circles and the media. The reasons for this are numerous, but a 2014 headline from the New York Times captures the essence: “Oil’s Comeback Gives U.S. Global Leverage.”[1] Indeed, the unleashing of massive amounts of US unconventional oil and gas transformed the country from a political and economic superpower that was relatively energy poor in relation to its consumption habits into an energy superpower in its own right. The US energy narrative shifted quickly from talk of scarcity and ever-increasing import dependence to one of abundance, in which the nation became a major global exporter. For US diplomats, this occasioned the rethinking of what role energy could play in advancing strategic interests abroad. In October 2012, then secretary of state Hillary Clinton gave a major address at Georgetown University on energy diplomacy in the 21st century, proposing that energy could be used to help solve territorial and maritime disputes, promote competition in Europe, get the Republic of Iraq back on its feet, bring peace in the South Sudan and Sudan conflict, and tackle energy poverty and climate change.[2] Secretary Clinton’s State Department stood up a Bureau of Energy Resources with dozens of diplomats devoted to these topics. At meetings abroad and in Washington, energy was literally on the agenda, assuming a more prominent role than at any time since the Carter administration.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Energy Policy, International Affairs, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: James Stock
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on Global Energy Policy
  • Abstract: The US Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was introduced in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and expanded in both scope and duration in the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007. The policy goals of the RFS program are threefold: - enhance energy security through additional domestic production of biofuels, - support rural economies by expanding the demand for agricultural products, and - expand the development and production of second-generation low–greenhouse gas transportation fuels. The RFS requires the blending of increasing quantities of biofuels into the US surface vehicle transportation fuel supply. These quantities are specified in the EISA but are subject to modification by the US EPA under certain conditions (“waiver authorities”). The EPA issues annual rules specifying the overall fractions of renewable fuels in the fuel supply. The fractional requirements are specified by fuel category: cellulosic, advanced biomass-based biodiesel, other advanced fuels, and total renewable fuels. Compliance with the blending standards is demonstrated by obligated parties (petroleum refiners and importers) retiring electronic certificates, called renewable identification numbers (RINs), when they sell petroleum fuel into the surface transportation fuel supply. RINs, which become available when a renewable fuel is blended into the fuel supply, are tradable and bankable (with limitations). Thus obligated parties have the choice of either producing RINs themselves through blending operations or purchasing RINs on the open market.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, International Affairs, Climate Finance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jason Bordoff, John Larsen
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on Global Energy Policy
  • Abstract: While there seem to be no immediate prospects for a national carbon tax in the United States, there is growing interest among some policymakers and thought leaders across the political spectrum. If and when a legislative opening emerges in the coming years, policymakers will need to grapple with a range of important design issues that will determine the effectiveness of a carbon tax in reducing carbon emissions.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, International Affairs, Climate Finance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Elizabeth Elliot-Meisel, P. Whitney Lackenbauer
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Military and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Captain Thomas Charles Pullen (1918-1990), also known as “Pullen of the Arctic,” became a noted authority on and explorer of the Arctic after he took command of the naval icebreaker HMCS Labrador in 1956. After his thirty years of active naval service, Pullen served as an advisor and consultant to government and industry on arctic marine operations for another twenty-four years, earning the reputation as North America’s foremost expert on Arctic navigation and icebreaking. This volume reproduces key diaries and reports on Arctic operations that Pullen wrote in various official capacities over his career. The first part documents his role as the commanding officer of the Labrador during operations in the Canadian Arctic in 1956 and 1957. The second part reproduces his observations as the Government of Canada’s official representative onboard the icebreaking tanker Manhattan during its two transits of the Northwest Passage.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Luuk van Middelaar, Monika Sie Dhian Ho
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Clingendael Netherlands Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: The Netherlands shouldn’t dramatize Britain’s departure from the European Union. Sure, it’s a downer for the economy and a political blow, but not a catastrophe. Brexit may even help us to break the established patterns of our foreign policy. And that is urgently needed: Brexit and Trump require us to reset our geopolitical compass towards our neighbours and partners on the continent. In this Alert authors Luuk van Middelaar and Monika Sie Dhian Ho give four tips for a new Europe policy.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Pawal Kowal
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for East European Studies, University of Warsaw
  • Abstract: What challenges does East Central Europe face today? Now fully sovereign, the countries of the region seek new partnerships globally, address new and old problems locally, and engage their neighbours to tackle issues of common interest. This, the eighth edition of the Warsaw East European Review (WEER) is the consequence of the 2017 Warsaw East European Conference, entitled “East Central Europe vis-a-vis Global Challenges”. Some ninety scholars met and presented their views over four days of meetings in Warsaw in July 2017. The editors invited those with particularly timely remarks to submit their essays for publication, and have included a discussion of the WEER editorial board
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Marcin Kaczmarski
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Russia and China play dissimilar roles in global governance and define their interests in this sphere in divergent ways. While the two states agree on certain international principles and norms, their engagement with global governance differs significantly. These differences pose the most serious long-term obstacle to closer cooperation between Moscow and Beijing
  • Topic: International Affairs, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Russia, China
  • Author: John Ryan
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: LSE IDEAS
  • Abstract: This report explores the need to make the ECB more transparent and democratically accountable to prevent the next Eurozone crisis. The ECB can justly claim to have held together a poorly-designed system in difficult circumstances, but its overlapping roles create potential conflicts of interest. What does this mean for the countries, companies, and banks that have grown to depend so much on the ECB?
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Micheal Cox, Adrian Guelke, Paul Gillespie
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: LSE IDEAS
  • Abstract: This report explores the impact of Brexit from an Irish perspective, explaining Europe’s role in improving Ireland-UK relations since 1970s and outlining the threat posed by Brexit to the political settlement in Northern Ireland
  • Topic: International Affairs, Brexit
  • Political Geography: Ireland
  • Author: James Kadtke, John Wharton
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: Rapid globalization of science and technology (S&T) capacity presents a serious and long-term risk to the military and economic security of the United States. To maintain U.S. preeminence, our domestic science and technology enterprise requires a new paradigm to make it more agile, synchronized, and globally engaged. U.S. technological competitiveness depends not only on research but also on legal, economic, regulatory, ethical, moral, and social frameworks, and therefore requires the vision and cooperation of our political, corporate, and civil society leadership. Re-organizing our domestic S&T enterprise will be a complex task, but recommendations presented in this paper could be first steps on the path to maintaining our future technological security.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Sexual Violence Research Initiative
  • Abstract: Every two years, the Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI) hosts the leading global event in the world on sexual and intimate partner violence – the SVRI Forum. The SVRI has noted an increase in the number of presentations on sexual violence in childhood since the Forum began in 2009. This increase is reflected in the number of initiatives underway globally looking at the connections between violence in childhood and later victimisation and perpetration.3 Whilst SVRI Forums and global programmes are helping to promote joint programming between the violence against children and violence against women fields, child and youth participation in research on sensitive topics remains a challenging issue for many academic researchers. Research presented at the SVRI Forum which includes young people beyond their role as research subjects is also limited, as is the number of young people aged 18-24 years old participating
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Human Welfare, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Fabio Rugge
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI)
  • Abstract: The year 2018 marks the thirtieth anniversary of the Morris worm, the first malware ever released in the Internet. Thirty years later, technological innovations have dramatically increased the importance of the Internet in virtually every economic, social and political endeavor, tremendously expanding the potential “surface” of cyber attacks. The cyber domain makes it possible to gather privileged information, disrupt industrial processes, create havoc by targeting, for instance, ICT supporting critical infrastructures, and to launch cyber-enabled information warfare campaigns against largely unaware foreign target audiences. Cyberspace, in sum, allows states to achieve strategic results with campaigns that fall below the threshold of the “use of force”, while offering an unprecedented level of plausible deniability, as the real perpetrator of a cyber attack is always difficult to identify with certainty. And yet, this is only the beginning: we are in the midst of a digital revolution. By 2025, with the development of the Internet of Things (IoT), the cyber domain will connect more than 75 billion devices, many of which will control key functions of our daily lives and most of our critical infrastructures.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Cybersecurity
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Karim Mezran, Arturo Varvelli
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI)
  • Abstract: The Arc of Crisis in the MENA Region volume deals with the countries of the Middle East and North Africa that are facing a particularly troubled period in their historical development. Syria, Iraq, Libya, Egypt and to a lesser extent Jordan and Tunisia have plunged into a legitimacy crisis that in some cases has turned into civil war or violent upheaval. As traditional authorities lose their legitimacy, two alternatives are emerging. The first is a more decentralized system of government, evinced by the empowerment of subnational government bodies and the growing legitimacy of local authorities; in this trend, the local authorities are able to keep the state united and more functional. The second is a growing number of political groups that act as opposition to authoritarianism, which is experiencing a revival. The analysis herein also focuses on Islamist movements; namely, their organizational and ideological development as well as how the shrinking of the political space affects them and the entire polity. This Report explores the distinctive dynamics and characteristics of these challenges in the post-Arab Spring era.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Global Security, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Middle East, North Africa
  • 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
  • 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: 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Author: Koki Ishigohoka
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: President Donald Trump is considering holding a second summit with Chairman Kim Jong-un “sometime next year, sometime early next year [2019].” (1) The Trump-Kim relationship, which was clearly an attitude of mutual diversion at first, has now entered a new phase. Russia and China are providing major support to North Korea, with the aim of holding a five-way round of talks including South Korea and the United States. (2) Since heading his new government in 2012, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe appears to be cut out of the loop despite his ‘new level of pressure’.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Richard Schmalensee, Robert Stavins
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The U.S. Clean Air Act, passed in 1970 with strong bipartisan support, was the first environmental law to give the Federal government a serious regulatory role, established the architecture of the U.S. air pollution control system, and became a model for subsequent environmental laws in the United States and globally. We outline the Act’s key provisions, as well as the main changes Congress has made to it over time. We assess the evolution of air pollution control policy under the Clean Air Act, with particular attention to the types of policy instruments used. We provide a generic assessment of the major types of policy instruments, and we trace and assess the historical evolution of EPA’s policy instrument use, with particular focus on the increased use of market-based policy instruments, beginning in the 1970s and culminating in the 1990s. Over the past fifty years, air pollution regulation has gradually become much more complex, and over the past twenty years, policy debates have become increasingly partisan and polarized, to the point that it has become impossible to amend the Act or pass other legislation to address the new threat of climate change.
  • Topic: Climate Change, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Todd Schatzki, Robert Stavins
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Like many other states, Oregon has begun to pursue climate policies to attempt to fill the gap created by the lack of effective climate policy at the Federal level. After adopting a variety of policies to address climate change and other environmental impacts from energy use, Oregon is now contemplating the adoption of a greenhouse gas (GHG) cap-and-trade system. However, interactions between policies can have important consequences for environmental and economic outcomes. Thus, as Oregon considers taking this step, reconsidering the efficacy of its other current climate policies may better position the state to achieve long-run emission reductions at sustainable economic costs.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Nancy Birdsall
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Does governance matter for the long-run financing of the multilateral development banks? The structure of governance of the legacy MDBs (the World Bank and the four major regional development banks founded in the twentieth century) ideally should minimize any tradeoff between the confidence of creditor shareholding countries, on which an MDB’s own financing depends, and the sense of ownership, legitimacy, and trust of borrowing countries, on which the MDB’s effectiveness in supporting development in those borrowing countries depends. Among the five legacy MDBs, the African Development Bank stands out as the one where the governance arrangements, including the distribution of shares and votes between borrowers and nonborrowers, most favors borrowers. Indicators of the AfDB’s relative financial strength (a measure of creditworthiness based on sovereign members’ vote shares, and a measure of the capacity of each bank’s members to engage in collective action or cooperation in raising financing) indicate that its current governance is likely to make it less competitive than its sister MDBs in sustaining creditor (or “donor”) confidence in its operations over the long run, and thus in raising substantial capital and concessional resources. The governance problem is most obvious in the case of the African Development Bank’s African Development Fund, which today has only about 15 percent of the resources the World Bank has for Africa. The creditors of the AfDB have sufficient control to ensure the Bank’s financial soundness (and AAA rating), but a collective action constraint in pushing for reforms in the Bank’s operations. The paper concludes with ideas for long-run reform of governance at the African Development Bank, modeled more closely on the governance of the Inter-American Development Bank.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Nicolai Nielsen
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Council on International Policy (CIP)
  • Abstract: The admission of new countries into NATO and the European Union is not seen in the West as an active part of an encroachment of Russia. However, that is the view in Russia, as NATO and the EU are not only approaching but incorporating former Soviet republics and Warsaw Pact states. These regions, now consisting of the independent nation-states of Eastern Europe, is still regarded by Russia as being part of its sphere of influence. The Russian mindset is rooted in this essentially
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus