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  • Author: Brendan Helm, Dina Smeltz
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Abstract: Millennials, the oft-referenced generation born in the ’80s and ’90s, are the first generation to have access to the internet in their youth and are the largest and most diverse generation in American history. Now for the first time, Millennials are running for US president: Pete Buttigieg and Tulsi Gabbard were born in 1982 and 1981 respectively, putting them at the upper limit of the Millennial range. The 2019 Chicago Council Survey data provide insight into how this group views key foreign policy issues compared with previous generations. While there is some evidence that younger Americans are more hesitant to engage in the world and more likely to oppose the use of force than their elders, time will tell whether the post-Cold War and 9/11 experiences have shaped a new generation with enduring preferences for a more restrained, less military-focused foreign policy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Affairs, Public Opinion, Youth
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Heather Grabbe
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: This report is a rallying cry for Europeans to pull together and mobilize the EU’s assets to manage the three biggest changes of our times. Each section briefly diagnoses the consequences of climate change, aging populations, and digital revolutions and then explores the role the EU could play in supporting the inevitable transitions. The purpose is not to provide a detailed blueprint for each transition, but rather to launch a new kind of debate about the EU—a debate that does not revolve around how to tweak the current institutions but instead how to address a reordered set of priorities
  • Topic: International Affairs, Europe Union
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Nora Parr
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: Conceptually linked, noncontiguous, and undeniably national, Ibrahim Nasrallah’s book series Al-milhat al-filastiniyya (The Palestine Comedies) breaks conceptual ground. Told across twelve volumes, the Comedies represents the long-called- for Palestinian national novel, though in unconventional form. The series uses diverse literary devices, including intertextuality and the archetype of the twin, to demonstrate how formal innovations can redirect assumptions about what constitutes not only a national novel, but also a nation. The series reimagines relationships between space, time, and people, giving narrative shape to a community so often imagined as fragments. Abandoning the retrospective prerequisite of bounded sovereign space and homogeneous, linear time, the Comedies imagines a “nation constellation.” A close examination of two novels within the series, A‛ras amna (2004) and Tifl al-mimhat (2000), shows how Palestinian relationships can be imagined outside existing national logics. It reads the constellation as an alternative nation form that can both encompass colonial frameworks and free the delimitation of Palestine from the dominance of power structures that only begin with the nation-state
  • Topic: International Affairs, Power Politics, Linguistics
  • Political Geography: Palestine
  • Author: Mandy Turner
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: Richard Falk’s quest to combine academic scholarship with political activism is witnessed throughout his lifework, but perhaps especially so during his tenure as United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, a position he held from 2008 to 2014. Falk is a vocal critic of Israel’s occupation and a staunch supporter of Palestinian self- determination, positions that have drawn strong condemnation from Israel and its supporters, but praise from Palestinians and their supporters. There is little doubt that Falk’s work has had a huge influence on public debate and activism pertaining to this issue, both within Israel-Palestine as well as globally. This article outlines Falk’s scholarship and activism regarding Palestine, analyzes the post of UN special rapporteur in general, reviews both criticism of and support for Falk’s work, and assesses Falk’s concept of the “citizen pilgrim.” It concludes by reflecting on what this reveals about the experience of praxis for politically engaged academics.
  • Topic: International Organization, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Palestine
  • Author: Victor Kattan
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: On 25 March 2019, U.S. president Donald Trump signed a proclamation recognizing the occupied Golan Heights as part of Israel. The Golan Heights proclamation, which endorses Israel’s annexation of the territory captured from Syria in the 1967 war, was issued two weeks before the Israeli general election in a photo-op with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House. Undermining internationally agreed-upon norms prohibiting states from recognizing the annexation of territory by force, the proclamation could have detrimental consequences for the international legal order, providing a precedent for other states to take steps to annex territory they claim is necessary for their defense.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs, Occupation
  • Political Geography: Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Shir Hever
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: German organizations are among the last Palestine solidarity groups in Europe to have embraced the call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), launched in 2005. Pro-Israel German groups have been quick to respond with aggressive rhetoric equating a BDS-favorable stance with Nazism. The vilification of the movement has had the unintended consequence of inserting BDS into German politics, both at federal and local levels. Select case studies show that the BDS debate in Germany has developed somewhat differently than in other European countries, and that religious discourse is significant in shaping attitudes to Israel and Palestine. While the Palestine solidarity movement tends to single out the “Anti-Germans”—a pro-Israel formation that grew out of the Left after the reunification of Germany—as the major culprit, it is in fact conservative Christian, mostly Evangelical, organizations that are largely responsible for discouraging BDS activism.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Israel
  • Author: International Crisis Group
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Middle Eastern states are accelerating their competition for allies, influence and physical presence in the Red Sea corridor, including in the Horn of Africa. Rival Gulf powers in particular are jockeying to set the terms of a new regional power balance and benefit from future economic growth.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: International Crisis Group
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: In the bruising contest for power in Venezuela, the armed forces’ loyalties will be a decisive battleground. The high command continues to offer frequent vocal support for President Nicolás Maduro’s government. The opposition, led by Juan Guaidó, who has asserted a claim to the interim presidency backed by the U.S. and numerous Latin American states, has sought since January to fracture that support so as to force Maduro from office and stage fresh elections. This plan has succeeded in exposing the depths of discontent in the military’s rank and file but not in its primary goal. Maduro remains in place, despite a tremendous economic contraction, escalating U.S. sanctions and regional diplomatic isolation
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: International Crisis Group
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The past eight years of uprisings and war have redrawn Yemen’s political map almost entirely. UN-led attempts first to prevent and then to end the country’s bloody civil war have failed, often because they lag behind the rapidly changing facts on the ground. The latest political rupture came in August 2019, when the secessionist Southern Transitional Council (STC), a self-styled government-in-waiting led by Aydrous al-Zubaidi, seized the southern port city of Aden, the country’s interim capital, from the internationally recognised government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. As of this writing, the situation is in flux: the government is mounting an offensive in hopes of retaking Aden; both sides are preparing for renewed battle; and their respective external allies appear to be stepping in.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: International Crisis Group
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The rockets that fell close to U.S. assets in Iraq in mid-June and the explosions that struck the assets of Iraqi paramilitary groups with ties to Iran in July and August are ominous signals. They are clear warnings of how badly escalation between the U.S. and Iran could destabilise Iraq and the region as a whole. Even short of hostilities, Washington’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Tehran could wind up placing as much stress – and inflicting as much harm – on its nominal ally Iraq as it does on its enemy Iran. For Iraq, the timing hardly could be worse. It is still recovering from the havoc wreaked by the Islamic State (ISIS) and the costly battle to defeat the jihadists; its institutions and security forces remain brittle; and its government, elected a little over a year ago, hangs on to a slim, precarious parliamentary majority. Washington and Tehran should keep Baghdad out of their confrontation: the costs to both of renewed instability in Iraq would exceed any benefits to either. Attempts to compel the Iraqi government to choose sides would likely fail and lead to chaos instead.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: In 2018, Turkey encountered a complex security environment and endured a wide range of challenging situations ranging from cross-border counterterrorism operations to multidimensional conflicts involving various influential state actors. With this in mind, the SETA Security team compiled SETA Security Radar: Turkey’s Security Landscape in 2019 in line with the critical developments that took place in 2018. This work aims to provide a timely and accessible assessment of the challenges awaiting Turkey in 2019. Hence, SETA Security Radar: Turkey’s Security Landscape in 2019 pertains to the following topics: Turkey’s role in Syria, Turkey’s counterterrorism strategy, Turkey’s military activism, the Turkish defense agenda, Turkey and the Eastern Mediterranean, and Turkey’s bilateral relations with the United States and Russia. By creating awareness among policymakers and interested researchers, SETA Security Radar: Turkey’s Security Landscape in 2019 intends to achieve a common understanding of the security prospects awaiting Turkey in 2019.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Murat Yeşiltaş, Omar Özkızılcık
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Since the planned wide-scale military operation by the Assad regime in July 2018 against the different military factions, Idlib has been the center of the Syrian conflict. On January 1, 2019, renewed clashes between Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), the former Al-Nusra Front, and the Nureddin Zengi Movement brought Idlib again at the epicenter of the Syrian conflict. Now, HTS has become a dominant power in the region in terms of controlling territory, and has become capable of transforming Idlib. This paper aims to give a brief overview of the recent battle and the dynamics inside Idlib which led to the fighting between the Nureddin Zengi Movement and HTS. Furthermore, the dynamics which enabled HTS to win the battle will be analyzed. Based on the implications for the interfactional dynamics in Idlib, the Sochi agreement between Turkey and Russia has to be adjusted given that certain of its terms couldn’t be implemented on the ground. The paper also offers an array of possible scenarios of how Turkey and Russia might adjust the Sochi agreement in order to counter the violent extremist group in Idlib and prevent a humanitarian crisis
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Burak Akçapar
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: Inequality and exclusion are among the most pressing political issues of our age. They are on the rise and the anger felt by citizens towards elites perceived to be out-of-touch constitutes a potent political force. Policy-makers and the public are clamoring for a set of policy options that can arrest and reverse this trend. The Pathfinders’ Grand Challenge on Inequality and Exclusion seeks to identify practical and politically viable solutions to meet the targets on equitable and inclusive societies in the Sustainable Development Goals. Our goal is for national governments, intergovernmental bodies, multilateral organizations, and civil society groups to increase commitments and adopt solutions for equality and inclusion.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Paige Arther
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: As the world faces a significant upward trend in conflict—including a tripling of civil wars since 2007 and conflict increasingly prevalent in middle-income countries—practitioners in peace and security have sought to expand their toolkits to take advantage of the revolution in information gathering, data analytics, ICTs, and machine learning. On March 20, 2019, participants from around the world showcased 25+ innovative, data-driven approaches that are transforming the methods and the effectiveness of those working on early warning, conflict prevention, peacebuilding, stabilization, and international security
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: This review is based on a framework of both recognition and redistribution: i.e. that tangible redistributive outcomes are important in social protection, but so is the sense of recognition, meaning that the recipients of social protection are treated as equals, without loss of dignity or humiliation; and that differences in identity and circumstances are taken into account. This framework captures and incorporates recent innovations in social protection that include key aspects of subjective well-being, including dignity and respect, empowerment and agency, identity and belonging; strengthens the horizontal solidarity within communities and vertical relationships with the state; and recognizes citizens should be accorded rights and a voice in program design and implementation.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Paul von Chamier
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: The dynamics of socio-economic inequality and technical solutions geared toward addressing it have been well identified. The inability of many societies to deploy those solutions nonetheless is of a political nature. The focus of the debate should therefore be to understand the political dynamics around the subject and to learn to navigate the interests of key stakeholders. Throughout modern history, countries would transition back and forth between progressive, income-neutral, and sometimes even regressive fiscal systems. In doing so, they responded to shifting global and domestic contexts. This policy paper demonstrates that the decision on the progressivity of a tax system and fiscal spending is at its core a political rather than an economic or a technical one.4 When there is enough political momentum to address economic inequality, appropriate policies are usually found
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Paige Arthur
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: The United Nations acknowledges that prevention is first and foremost a national priority. Indeed, governments routinely undertake efforts to reduce the risks of violent conflict, even when such actions are not formally called “prevention.” Bringing attention to nationally led efforts to reduce risks and build resilience can provide opportunities to create a positive narrative around prevention and to improve their effectiveness through an accompaniment and capacity-building approach. Such efforts also show how nationally led prevention can strengthen sovereignty, particularly as it both strengthens protective factors against violence and addresses risks.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Alex Evans
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: All over the world, countries at widely varying levels of development and with very different histories are grappling with a similar challenge: breakdown of common ground in politics. The exact contours of the problem vary from one country to another, and variously include falling trust, declining citizen engagement in politics, shrinking civic space, rising autocratization, or increasing political polarization in public attitudes or political party positioning. Yet across these areas, there are underlying themes – above all, the emergence of concerns about whether citizens and leaders share a sense of the common good, or have the capacity to reach compromises on complex issues.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jason Stearns
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: The Democratic Republic of the Congo held national presidential and legislative elections on December 30th 2018. The elections, which had been delayed by two years, were mired in controversy. The national electoral commission declared opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi the winner of the presidential poll. However, a leak from the same commission, whose results were extremely similar to those released by the Catholic Church’s observation mission, showed that Martin Fayulu, another opposition leader, clearly won the elections.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jeni Klugman
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: It is well known that gender inequality is bad for economic growth. Better gender equality is associated with gains in terms of income, economic growth, and national competitiveness. What is less widely recognized is that greater gender equality—in terms of labor force participation, wages, education, health, and assets—can work to close income gaps in society more broadly.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Antulio J. Echevarria II, Eric B. Setzekorn, Richard G. Malish, Kelly A. Grieco, Vinay Kaura, Paul E. Vera Delzo, Richard Milburn, Brandon T. Euhus
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The Autumn issue of Parameters opens with a forum featuring two contributions that highlight some important Challenges for USCivil-Military Relations. The first contribution, “Policy Revolt: Army Opposition to the Korea Withdrawal Plan” by Eric Setzekorn, argues senior US Army leaders adopted a Fabian strategy of indirect resistance to Carter’s desire to reduce the number of troops stationed in Korea. The strategy worked. But the author leaves us wondering whether that success was a positive development for US civil-military relations. The second article, “The Walter Reed Scandal and the All-Volunteer Force” by Richard Malish, provides intriguing evidence that the American public might have put the AVF on a pedestal high enough that it harms civil-military relations. Our second forum, On Alliances and Coalitions, offers three essays addressing the importance of integrating disparate perspectives under a common strategy. The first article, “Fighting and Learning in the Great War: Four Lessons in Coalition Warfare” by Kelly Grieco, describes the key insights the United States and its allies drew, or ought to have drawn, during the First World War. All of these, as Grieco shows, have immediate relevance today. The second contribution to the forum, Vinay Kaura’s article “India-US Relations: From Distant Partners to an Alliance” suggests American and Indian interests are converging in a manner that makes an alliance between them, hitherto inconceivable, now a worthy objective. Paul Vera Delzo’s “Toward a Whole-of-Government Approach: Revamping Peru’s Strategy Process” describes how Peru can obtain greater efficiency and effectiveness from its strategies by integrating all government agencies. The final forum, On Clausewitz, presents two articles that challenge nontraditional interpretations of On War. Richard Milburn’s “Reclaiming Clausewitz’s Theory of Victory” takes on Emile Simpson’s “Clausewitz’s Theory of War and Victory in Contemporary Conflict” (Parameters Winter 2017–18). Milburn rejects Simpson’s view and maintains Clausewitz’s theory of victory remains relevant in the twenty-first century. Brandon Euhus’s “A Clausewitzian Response to ‘Hyperwarfare’ ” urges military planners to remember the human dimension of war, as expounded upon by military writers from Thucydides to Mao Zedong, is ultimately the decisive one.
  • Topic: Security, International Affairs, Armed Forces, Military Affairs, Army
  • Political Geography: India, North America, Korea, United States of America
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: European Union Institute for Security Studies
  • Abstract: Since 2016, the European Union has developed a number of new initiatives on security and defence. In particular, the introduction of Permanent Structured Cooperation and the European Defence Fund have been designed to allow the EU to become a more autonomous actor with regard to crisis management, capacity building and protecting Europe and its citizens. Yet the development of these new initiatives raises questions about their overall coherence and the role of parliamentary scrutiny. It is necessary to analyse the role of the European Parliament and national parliaments in relation to the scrutiny of the European Defence Fund. There is a need for recommendations on how parliamentary scrutiny can be enhanced at the EU level in the area of security and defence
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Sabina Kajnc
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: European Union Institute for Security Studies
  • Abstract: According to the 2016 EU Global Strategy, a credible accession process grounded in strict and fair conditionality is essential to foster resilience in the Western Balkans.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • 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
  • 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: Zena Grecni
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: A network of sustained assessment specialists created within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (NOAA RISA) program present five case studies of successful local responses to climate change that are supported by scientific information. Based in three regions—the U.S. Pacific Islands, the South Central United States, and the Rocky Mountain West—the case studies in this report feature local managers who are providing and applying climate information, with valuable outcomes, across a range of geographic scales and sectors. They include improving local climate-adaptation efforts in San Angelo, Texas, enhancing the resilience of iconic coastal ecosystems on Hawai‘i Island, managing water in the Colorado River Conservation District, increasing conservation resilience in the southern Great Plains, and using El Niño forecasts to plan for drought in the Pacific Islands. The case studies provide new insights, which are summarized as five practical lessons for anyone seeking to better integrate climate considerations into decision-making.
  • Topic: Environment, International Affairs, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Wenhong Chen
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data, and Cloud Computing (ABC) have generated unprecedented opportunities and challenges for economic competitiveness, national security, and law and order, as well as the future of work. ABC policies and practices have become contentious issues in U.S.-China bilateral relations. Pundits see a U.S.-China AI race and are already debating which country will win. Kaifu Lee, the CEO of Sinovation Ventures, believes that China will exceed the United States in AI in about five years. Others argue that China will never catch up. This essay focuses on two issues: the comparative ABC strengths of the United States and China in data and research and development (R&D); and the emerging ABC policies and practices in the two nations. Empirical analysis suggests that the United States and China lead in different areas. Compared to China’s top-down, whole-of-government, national- strategy approach, the U.S. ABC policy has been less articulated but is evolving.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Dhenghua Zhang
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: The current trade war between China and the United States has drawn global attention to competition in U.S.-China relations. Such competition should not, however, obscure areas of mutual interest where cooperation is possible. Based on U.S.-China trilateral pilot projects, trilateral cooperation creates opportunities for aid officials and practitioners from China and the United States to communicate, but it would be ambitious to expect the limited number of pilot projects to shape Chinese aid practices or improve Chinese aid performances in the short term. These pilot projects are small in scale, and the level of coordination between China and the United States should be strengthened further. More effort by both sides is needed if trilateral aid cooperation is to sustain and even thrive. In this context, trilateral aid cooperation has the potential to become a modality in the middle, promoting mutual understanding and facilitating coordination.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Dhenghua Zhang
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: On July 14, newly re-elected Indonesian incumbent President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo delivered a speech on his visions for the second term, set to kick off in October 2019. The president’s speech did not touch upon foreign policy, a subject many have claimed to be his weakness. Expectedly, Jokowi focused his speech on infrastructure and economy — which reflects the administration’s main concerns since he first assumed presidential office in 2014. This does not mean, however, that Indonesia under Jokowi has been neglecting foreign affairs.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Fan Lulu
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Taobao is the leading Chinese online shopping and e-commerce website, founded by the Alibaba Group. In 2018, there were 3,202 "Taobao villages" in 24 provinces, municipalities, and autonomous regions of China. Taobao merchants sell clothing and other consumer items, mostly obtained from small local factories. Most Taobao manufacturing firms operate informally and do not necessarily adhere to basic labor and safety standards. The current lack of governance raises challenges for trade unions and government entities tasked with ensuring the rights and welfare of workers. If the negative aspects related to lack of oversight can be addressed, however, Taobao villages could provide a promising development model for rural and remote areas, not only in China but also in other countries of Asia.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Rebecca Strating
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Over the past five years, Australia has expressed concern over China’s island building, militarization of land features, and excessive maritime claims in the South China Sea (SCS). Australia shares similar interests with the United States in upholding the maritime rules-based order, yet there are important divergences that reflect differing perspectives on geostrategic competition in the Indo-Pacific. While bipartisan support for the U.S. alliance remains strong, the importance of protecting trade relations with China has also shaped Canberra’s response to the SCS disputes.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: N Janardhan
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Following five years of periodic controversies and criticism – some factual, others contrived – President Xi Jinping used the Belt and Road (BRI) Forum in April to set the agenda for the next five years of his hallmark project. At the forum’s second edition, meant to promote a “stronger partnership network,” the Chinese leader pledged to “clean up,” stressed “zero tolerance” to corruption, and emphasized readiness to adopt “internationally acceptable” standards in the bidding process of BRI projects in the future. This language indicates Beijing’s openness to constructive criticism and willingness to objectively tweak some inherent weaknesses in the strategy and implementation mechanisms for the BRI during the 2013-2018 period. It also sets the stage for the start of “BRI 2.0,” where the stress is likely to be on the qualitative, rather than just quantitative, attributes. The following are some analytical pointers on how BRI 2.0 is likely to be different from version 1.0, especially keeping in mind what Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi referred to as a “high-quality” shift from “big freehand” to “fine brushwork” in planning BRI’s future projects
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ranjan K. Panda
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: India-China relations witnessed a new wave of optimism for a progressive and engaging partnership following the Wuhan Summit, the informal 2018 meeting between Narendra Modi and Xi Jinping. Key to this has been continuous exchange of political and official visits from both sides. However, these exchanges might not be sufficient to remove uncertainty and suspicion from their relations. As long as China’s relationship with the United States remains adversarial, China will embrace India—without guaranteeing that it will not adopt a confrontational posture in the future. Their shifting relations, though suggesting an official longing for an upward trajectory, are based on a compromised context. External circumstances have pushed them to rapprochement, but could also drive them apart. Whether India and China will sustain this rapprochement is difficult to foresee.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Raymond Yamamoto
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) proposed by President Xi Jinping in 2013 is among the most ambitious global visions promoted by one country. The general goal of BRI is the provision of economic infrastructure worth at least $1 trillion to improve the land and sea routes between Asia, Africa, and Europe. In order to attract additional international investments to finance the initiative, China even created a multilateral bank – the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) — in 2015. However, China’s ambitious BRI strategy has met considerable criticism from politicians and policy-makers, journalists, analysts, and scholars. These criticisms include accusations of pursuing debt-trap diplomacy to gain concessions from countries participating in BRI. The decision of Sri Lanka in 2018 to lease Hambantota port to China in order to reduce its BRI debt burden is often cited as a prime example. Together with growing Chinese military strength and assertiveness in the South and East China Seas, BRI is being framed as an instrument deployed by China to build up its global dominance.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Michael Galant
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: The #MeToo movement started with a single tweet — now, it has produced an international treaty. One in three women have experienced physical or sexual violence in their lifetimes, while close to three in four report having been sexually harassed. Much of this violence occurs in the workplace, where power imbalances and economic pressures increase the risk of abuse. Yet 59 countries have no legislation specifically addressing workplace harassment.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Wolfgang Schroeder
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: As a young, single-seat fighter pilot based in Germany in the Royal Air Force of the early 1980s, I enjoyed a degree of certainty about my role in life. The world was, to all intents and purposes, a bi-polar place. We knew exactly from where our threat emanated and, indeed, had comprehensive standing plans for dealing with it. In the event of an attack by the Warsaw Pact on NATO’s eastern flank, we had pre-designated areas in which we would interdict any enemy military force heading westwards. We had pre-planned missions for systematically taking down all elements of Soviet air power — be it through suppression of enemy air defense sensors and surfaceto-air systems or denial of his airfields’ operating surfaces. In the event that the conflict escalated too rapidly, or went too far, we even had plans to resort to the ultimate sanction of the pre-planned and graduated employment of tactical nuclear weapons. Our plans, and our skills, were tested on a frequent and regular basis. It was no rare experience to be woken by a siren in the middle of the night to be called to duty. Our response time was measured, as was the ability to demonstrate our preparedness to brief our wartime missions, arm our aircraft, and prove our abilities to be airborne within the allocated time period. The results of these exercises—known as NATO Tactical Evaluations (TacEvals)—were equally rigorous in the Land and Maritime domains. Their results were widely shared within Alliance circles. Achieving a “one” for a TacEval result was every commanding officer’s goal
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Peter Engelke, David Michel
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Himalayan Asia is a shorthand term referring to the Asian countries that depend on river water from the high mountain ranges of the Tibetan Plateau. As the rivers produced by the Himalayas and other mountain ranges on the Plateau are under increasingly serious pressure, water insecurity threatens much of the continent’s peace and security. Himalayan Asia’s transboundary water dynamics threaten to erode interstate cooperation, including among the continent’s major powers, risk worsening geopolitical competition, and heighten the odds of domestic and interstate conflict. Yet there are viable pathways for avoiding such outcomes, the most important of which treat water as a shared resource to be managed cooperatively.
  • Topic: Peace Studies, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Max Hess
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Foreign Policy Research Institute
  • Abstract: This report illustrates how the Russian Federation’s sovereign debt, particularly foreign currency bonds, have become an arena for interstate competition in the aftermath of Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea. Sanctions, both real and threatened, on Russia’s government, state-owned enterprises
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: William Spiegelberger
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Foreign Policy Research Institute
  • Abstract: Are U.S. sanctions on Russia working? Does Russia use its energy resources as a tool to coerce European countries? Any assessment of Russian foreign policy and the Kremlin’s relations with the United States depends on a clear-eyed understanding of Russian political economy. FPRI’s Eurasia Program features credible, expert analysis on key themes in Russian political economy. The Russia Political Economy Project will publish papers and host events in Washington, New York, and other cities on the subject. The Project also includes FPRI’S BMB Russia which provides a daily round-up of the major news items related to Russian politics and economics
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: David Mihalyi, Patrick Heller
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Natural Resource Governance Institute
  • Abstract: National oil companies (NOCs) produce the majority of the world’s oil and gas, pumping out an estimated 85 million barrels of oil equivalent per day. Within their home countries, NOCs influence the degree to which billions of people benefit (or suffer) from their countries’ hydrocarbon assets. Many of these companies manage multi-billion-dollar portfolios of public assets, execute complex projects across their territories and at sea, employ citizens in the tens or hundreds of thousands, and perform a range of public services from providing energy to building infrastructure. Despite their importance, NOCs are poorly understood thanks to weak and uneven reporting, sparse research, and an absence of publicly available comparative data.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Natural Resource Governance Institute
  • Abstract: This report explores common resource governance successes and challenges in sub-Saharan Africa, taking advantage of the rich dataset and wealth of evidence documentation provided by the Resource Governance Index. While the authors detect common trends across the region, there is also great diversity between and within countries. It also documents examples of good practices from which officials in other countries can learn. The authors conclude with the suggestion that policymakers, parliamentarians, civil society, media and regional institutions focus more on narrowing the implementation gap, which will help to restore trust between government, communities and investors and thus strengthen sustainable management of natural resources. Creating space for public debate, strengthening capacity of public institutions and oversight actors, addressing lack of political will and learning from past legal reforms are possible solutions to address the implementation gap.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Daniel M. Kliman
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: Since its launch in 2013, what China calls “One Belt, One Road” has emerged as the cornerstone of Beijing’s economic statecraft. Under the umbrella of the Belt and Road, Beijing seeks to promote a more connected world brought together by a web of Chinese-funded physical and digital infrastructure. The infrastructure needs in Asia and beyond are significant, but the Belt and Road is more than just an economic initiative; it is a central tool for advancing China’s geopolitical ambitions. Through the economic activities bundled under the Belt and Road, Beijing is pursuing a vision of the 21st century defined by great power spheres of influence, state-directed economic interactions, and creeping authoritarianism
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Richard Fontaine
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: In June 2008, the Center for a New American Security published a compendium of essays to grapple with the central questions of American grand strategy.1 The volume compiled the views of leading senior strategists from across the political spectrum and from both academia and the policy community. Four years later, CNAS embarked on a similar venture, presenting the views of four more expert thinkers
  • Topic: International Affairs, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Carrie Cordero
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: Congressional oversight is essential for providing accountability for the activities of the intelligence services.1 Effective oversight by the congressional intelligence committees – by an independent branch of government – is needed in order to monitor the adequacy of legal authorities, the lawfulness of activities carried out under those authorities, and the responsible application of public funds for intelligence activities. As elected representatives entrusted with providing an outside check on activities that are conducted out of the public eye, members of the committees serve a critical function in facilitating accountability, transparency, and confidence in intelligence activities conducted under law.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Paula J. Dobriansky
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: U.S. foreign policy officials have embraced economic sanctions as a tool of choice for American foreign policy. Decisionmakers have deployed sanctions against strategic adversaries and national security threats ranging from Russia to non-state actors such as terrorist groups, drug cartels, and businesspeople who engage in corrupt activities. The appeal to both policy leaders and key constituent groups of the potent economic impacts of sanctions in several recent high-profile cases, particularly those of Iran, Russia, North Korea, and Venezuela, combined with broad bipartisan support for aggressive use of U.S. sanctions, suggests that the United States will favor this policy tool and be an active practitioner in the years ahead
  • Topic: International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: John Klein
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: Recent U.S. space policy initiatives underscore the far-reaching benefits of commercial space activities. The White House revived the National Space Council to foster closer coordination, cooperation, and exchange of technology and information among the civil, national security, and commercial space sectors.1 National Space Policy Directive 2 seeks to promote economic growth by streamlining U.S. regulations on the commercial use of space.2 While the defense community generally appreciates the value of services and capabilities derived from the commercial space sector—including space launch, Earth observation, and satellite communications—it often overlooks one area of strategic importance: deterrence.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Affairs, Cybersecurity
  • Political Geography: Global Focus