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  • Author: Stefano Manservisi
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: As the Coronavirus pandemic expands, and peak contagion remains uncertain, policy responses are gradually emerging, being implemented in a number of domains. The crisis has several important implications, but two are currently dominating the headlines: individual health and the sustainability of national healthcare systems, and the economic fallout from the pandemic.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Finance, International Development, Development Aid, Coronavirus
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Global Focus
  • Author: Danielle Pletka, Brett D. Schaefer
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: In a pandemic, a global health organization that is overly deferential to one nation and incapable of being an honest broker costs the very lives it exists to save. While China deserves primary blame for the devastation of COVID-19, the WHO also played a key role by failing to alert the world to Beijing’s lack of transparency. The WHO’s failures cannot be allowed to recur. Without change, it will fail again. It must implement reforms if it wants to restore confidence and earn US support.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, World Health Organization, Coronavirus, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: China, North America, Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: Vibeke Schou Tjalve, Minda Holm
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In this policy note, we explore the nature, strength and tensions of the contemporary US-Central Eastern Europe relationship. We describe the expanding US-CEE ‘brotherhood in arms’: growing trade relations, intensified military cooperation, and rekindled diplomatic ties. Further, we unpack the striking and largely ignored dimensions of the US-CEE ‘brotherhood in faith’: the many ways in which the United States and Central and Eastern Europe are tied together by overlapping ideologies of national conservatism and a particular version of Christian ‘family values’. This involves addressing the complexities of an increasingly influential and ambitious Visegrád Group, whose key players – Poland and Hungary – may be brothers, but are by no means twins. It also means raising some broader, burning discussions about the future of NATO and the meaning of ‘Europe’. Universalist, multicultural and postnational? Or conservative, Christian and sovereigntist?
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Conservatism, Alliance, Ideology, Christianity, Trade Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Eastern Europe, Central Europe
  • Author: Patryk Kugiel
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Trump administration recognises the “Indo-Pacific” region—which in official terminology has replaced “Asia-Pacific”—as the most important area for maintaining U.S. global dominance by confronting China. The anti-China approach in the American strategy is not shared by other countries that also are developing Indo-Pacific policy because they are concerned about the negative effects of the U.S.-China rivalry. The Americans will put pressure on their NATO and EU allies to more strongly support the achievement of U.S. goals in the region. However, the EU approach is closer to that of the Asian countries in seeking cooperation and strengthening the stability of a cooperative and rules-based regional order.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Geopolitics, Grand Strategy, Donald Trump
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North America, United States of America, European Union, Indo-Pacific
  • Author: Richard L. Morningstar, András Simonyi, Olga Khakova, Jennifer T. Gordon
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Transatlantic cooperation is essential to European energy security, which is and should remain a key national security priority for the United States. European energy security is crucial for the maintenance of a strong European economy and for European political stability, both of which are in the best interests of the United States. The new report from the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center, European Energy Security and the Critical Role of Transatlantic Energy Cooperation: Final Report and Recommendations, by Richard L. Morningstar, András Simonyi, Olga Khakova, and Jennifer T. Gordon, provides insights into how the United States and European Union (EU) can work together to strengthen European energy security. The Global Energy Center’s new report recommends that the United States and the EU focus their energy cooperation in several areas that will benefit the EU’s efforts to meet climate targets and that, at the same time, will also bolster energy security. These areas include: the development of competitive and transparent energy markets; the identification of alternative energy sources and routes; collaboration on new energy technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and coordination of a transatlantic financing strategy. Additionally, new energy infrastructure, interconnected grids, the European Green Deal, and broader geopolitical challenges also represent areas of opportunity for cooperation between the United States and the EU.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Environment, International Cooperation, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Europe, North America
  • Author: Tate Nurkin, Ryo Hinata-Yamaguchi
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Geopolitical and security dynamics are shifting in the Indo-Pacific as states across the region adjust to China’s growing influence and the era of great-power competition between the United States and China. These geopolitical shifts are also intersecting with the accelerating rate of innovation in technologies associated with the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) to reshape the future of military-technological competition and emerging military operations. This report, Emerging Technologies and the Future of US-Japan Defense Collaboration, by Tate Nurkin and Ryo Hinata-Yamaguchi, explores the drivers, tensions, and constraints shaping US-Japan collaboration on emerging defense technologies while providing concrete recommendations for the US-Japan alliance to accelerate and intensify long-standing military and defense-focused coordination and collaboration.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, International Cooperation, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: Japan, East Asia, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Dina Fakoussa, Laura Lale Kabis-Kechrid
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP)
  • Abstract: Jordan’s stability is severely challenged by socio-economic hardship. The country is plagued by high un-employment rates, an alarming debt-to-GDP ratio of around 94 percent, corruption, and dismal social ser-vices. The fight against terrorism has also resulted in further infringement of rights such as freedom of expression. These grievances have led to a series of protests and strikes in the past two years; the latest strike by teachers has had a far-reaching impact on the public.
  • Topic: Security, International Cooperation, Terrorism, Employment, Economy, Freedom of Expression, Protests, Unemployment, Social Cohesion
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Jordan
  • Author: Dina Fakoussa, Laura Lale Kabis-Kechrid
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP)
  • Abstract: Grievances have been growing over Jordan’s socio-economic and political problems, including high public debt, a significant current account deficit, and high unemployment. In June 2018, former Prime Minister Hani al-Mulki was forced to resign after mass protests swept the country in response to a new income tax law proposal. Jordan’s socio-economic challenges are further augmented by its challenging neighborhood. This includes the conflicts in neighboring Syria and Iraq, the threat posed by extremist actors in the region as well as the impact which the Gulf Cooperation Council’s crisis over the blockade of Qatar has had on Jordan.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Cooperation, Employment, Trade
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Syria, Jordan
  • Author: Frederik Stender, Axel Berger, Clara Brandi, Jakob Schwab
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: This study provides early ex-post empirical evidence on the effects of provisionally applied Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) on two-way trade flows between the European Union (EU) and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP). Employing the gravity model of trade, we do not find a general EPA effect on total exports from ACP countries to the EU nor on total exports from the EU to ACP countries. We do, however, find heterogeneous effects when focusing on specific agreements and economic sectors. While the agreement between the EU and the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM), which concluded several years ahead of the other EPAs in 2008, if anything, reduced imports from the EU overall, the provisional application of the other EPAs seems to have at least partly led to increased imports from the EU to some partner countries. More specifically, the estimation results suggest an increase in the total imports from the EU only in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) EPA partner countries. On the sectoral level, by comparison, we find increases in the EU’s agricultural exports to SADC, Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) and the Pacific. Lastly, in the area of manufactures trade, we find decreases of exports of the ESA and SADC countries to the EU, but increases in imports from the EU into SADC countries. While this early assessment of the EPA effects merits attention given the importance of monitoring future implications of these agreements, it is still too early for a final verdict on the EPAs’ effects and future research is needed to investigate the mid- and long-term consequences of these agreements.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, International Cooperation, Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements, Manufacturing, Trade
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, South Africa, Caribbean, Asia-Pacific, European Union
  • Author: Julia Pomares, María Belén Abdala
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for the Implementation of Public Policies for Equity and Growth (CIPPEC)
  • Abstract: We are living in an era of unprecedented changes. Mature democracies, emerging polities and the least electorally competitive countries are now facing new challenges in a globalized world. They are all dealing with technological breakthroughs, changes in global economic power, ageing populations and urbanization of their territories. Today’s picture shows that social inclusion seems to be an unfulfilled promise, and social cohesion is weakening. Some citizens are disenchanted, and political systems are having trouble adapting and responding to new demands. According to Edelman’s Trust Barometer (2017), one in every two countries does not have faith in the system, and we still do not know how this picture is going to evolve. In democracies, pro-democracy attitudes coexist with openness to nondemocratic forms of governance, such as rule by experts (49 per cent), strong leaders (26 per cent) or the military (24 per cent). This picture might be part of a transition period or indicating that polities are not being able to cope with some of the new challenges. It is why we need to think about the future of politics and how these trends will shape global governance in the next 10 to 20 years. Are political systems ready to govern a digital economy? How should political leaders evolve to address radical changes in an automated world? What will the consequences be for global governance and for the role of G20? This paper analyzes current global trends in domestic politics and the prospective scenarios on the future of politics. To do so, the paper presents a brief description on three forces we know will forge the future: technological breakthroughs, demographic changes and shifts in global economic power. Later, it turns to the uncertainty of the future. We live in nation states, so we first attempt to devise how these forces will shape domestic politics. We then look at global governance and the way these trends will impact upon it. The final stop of this journey is an analysis of the implications of these scenarios for the role of the G20.
  • Topic: Economics, International Cooperation, Governance, Democracy, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Egoh Aziz
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Nkafu Policy Institute
  • Abstract: The recent outbreak of COVID-19 has caused waves of horror and anxiety across many nations in the world. Considering the intense unravelling of the pandemic, no exact figure as per the number of confirmed and death cases worldwide is definite because the situation changes almost every hour. However, on April 14, 2020 3:40 GMT, Worldometer reported 210 countries and territories across the globe having a total of 1,925,179 confirmed cases, and a dead toll of 119,699 deaths. The impact of the pandemic is disastrous globally affecting a variety of sectors including the service and supply chain, as well as trade, manufacturing, and tourism. This article aims to provide a synoptic assessment of the impact of COVID-19 on Sino-African trade activities. It stresses that, if African policymakers revamp their efforts to quickly address COVID-19, the human casualty will be less and African economic growth may experience lesser shock as previewed by the IMF. On the other hand, if they relent their efforts, the human casualty will soar while the growth rate may decline. The effect of COVID-19’s outbreak in China has caused a slowdown on exports and services directed towards China.According to statistics from the General Administration of Customs of China, in 2018, China’s total import and export volume with Africa was US$204.19 billion, a yearly increase of 19.7%, surpassing the total growth rate of foreign trade in the same period by 7.1 percentage points. Among these, China’s exports to Africa were US$104.91 billion, up 10.8% and China’s imports from Africa were US$99.28 billion, up 30.8%; the surplus was US$5.63 billion, down 70.0% every year. The growth rate of Sino African trade was the highest in the world in 2018. This shows that Sino-African trade has a significant contribution to the growth of African economies.
  • Topic: Economics, Health, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Trade, Coronavirus, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Asia, Cameroon
  • Author: Tomasz Żornaczuk
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: This year, Germany participated for the second time in a Three Seas Initiative (TSI) summit as an observer. Its participation is motivated by the desire to strengthen cooperation with Central European countries and reduce divisions in the EU. It also aims to limit U.S. economic ambitions in the region, with TSI a potential key vehicle for them. Germany’s efforts to gain membership should be seen as a foreign policy goal. Its success could contribute to influencing infrastructure priorities in Central Europe, if implemented under the TSI.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany, North America, Central Europe, United States of America
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: The eleventh report of the UN Secretary-General on the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) emphasizes the important role of prevention. The report takes stock of a range of measures that individual states and the international community can undertake while upholding their preventive responsibilities based upon best practices since the adoption of R2P at the 2005 UN World Summit. While acknowledging a growing number of contemporary atrocity situations around the world, the Secretary-General cautions that “there is a growing gap between our words of commitment and the experience of protecting vulnerable populations.” The report offers a number of practical policy suggestions based upon experiences of the last decade and serves as a call to action for member states and international institutions.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Law, Responsibility to Protect (R2P), Atrocities
  • Political Geography: United Nations, Global Focus
  • 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
  • Author: Marija Ignjatijevic
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Belgrade Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: NATO shares its expertise with partner countries in order to assist them with defence education and training reform through a set of mechanisms. By joining different NATO initiatives partner countries open up the opportunity to exchange insights and experience in areas of common interest, gain access to the advice and support of NATO experts, as well as to take part in various NATO events and activities. Partnership education and training mechanisms are predominantly designed as bilateral tools - focused on enhancing cooperation and interoperability between the Alliance and the partner.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Regional Cooperation, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Irene Schöfberger
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: The European Union (EU) has been struggling to find a shared course on African migration since the entry into force of the Schengen Agreement (1995). It has done so through two interrelated processes of negotiation. Firstly, parties have negotiated narrative frames about migration and, in particular, whether migration should be interpreted in terms of security or in terms of development. Secondly, they have negotiated internal and external migration policies, that is, how migration should be managed respectively inside the EU (based on cooperation between EU member states) and outside it (based on cooperation with third states). In times in which narrative frames increasingly shape policy negotiations, it becomes very important to analyse how policymakers negotiate narrative frames on migration and how these shape policy responses. However, such an analysis is still missing. This discussion paper investigates how European states and institutions have negotiated the relation between EU borders and African mobility between 1999 and the beginning of 2019. It focusses in particular on how the process of negotiation of migration policies has been interrelated with a process of negotiation of narrative frames on migration. It does so based on an analysis of EU policy documents from 1999 to 2019 and on interviews with representatives of European and African states and regional organisations. Two major trends have characterised related EU negotiation processes: migration-security narrative frames have strengthened national-oriented and solid borders-oriented approaches (and vice versa), and migration-development narrative frames have strengthened transnational-oriented and liquid borders-oriented approaches (and vice versa). Since 1999, the European Council has mostly represented security- and national-oriented approaches, and the European Commission has mostly represented development- and transnational-oriented approaches. The two competing approaches have always been interlinked and influenced each other. However, in the last years, security-oriented national and solid border approaches have gained prominence over development-oriented transnational and liquid border approaches. In particular, the Commission has progressively mainstreamed national objectives in its transnational actions and security concerns in its development measures. Prioritising security over transnational development has augmented inequalities, in particular at the expenses of actors with scarce political representation in Africa and the EU. Such inequalities include increasing migrant selectivity and wage dumping.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, International Cooperation, Migration, History, Negotiation
  • Political Geography: Africa, European Union
  • Author: Laura-Theresa Krüger, Julie Vaillé
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: On 22 January 2019, France and Germany signed the Treaty of Aachen, which – among other things – foresees a stronger coordination and cooperation in the field of development policy. Against the backdrop of the Agenda 2030, the need for collective action has rarely been higher. Yet, although formal agreements on Franco-German cooperation were initially made in the 1963 Élysée Treaty, preliminary research insights point to the fact that cooperation has so far been driven more by opportunity than by strategy. That is why this study seeks to analyse the main obstacles to Franco-German cooperation in global development and how these play out in practice. To this end, it provides an assessment of Franco-German cooperation in support of global sustainable development in general, as well as in two particular cases. These are the Sahel Alliance, founded on a French initiative and confirmed by France, Germany and the European Union in 2017 with a view to increasing coordination and effectiveness to the benefit of development and security in five Sahel countries; and a second initiative providing assistance to developing and emerging countries in conceiving and implementing their nationally determined contributions (NDCs), the NDC Partnership. The NDC Partnership was launched at the 22nd Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22) in Marrakesh in 2016 on an initiative by Germany, Morocco and the World Resources Institute (WRI). Against this backdrop, the study formulates policy recommendations as to how Franco-German cooperation could be enhanced to the benefit of global development.
  • Topic: Security, Development, International Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Europe, France, Germany, North Africa
  • Author: Wawrzyniec Smoczynski
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMFUS)
  • Abstract: Thirty years after leading the democratic transition in Central Europe, Poland is struggling to uphold democratic institutions and discover a sense of political community.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Poland
  • Author: Kristi Raik, András Rácz
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Centre for Defence and Security - ICSD
  • Abstract: The relationship between the EU and Russia is characterised by a considerable degree of interdependence. In the 1990s and 2000s, the EU’s approach to Russia was based on the expectation that economic ties and interaction in various fields would contribute to regional stability and security and possibly even the democratisation of Russia. However, looking at the relationship today, one has to admit that the expected positive effects of interdependence have not materialised. Since 2014, the conflict over Ukraine and rising geopolitical tensions have pushed the Europeans to reassess their approach and put more emphasis on reducing the vulnerabilities created by mutual ties, notably (but not only) in the field of energy. Russia, for its part, has been keen to reduce its dependence on Europe, for instance in the financial sector and in respect of food imports. As a result, the preconditions for developing the EU-Russia relationship in accordance with the logic of positive interdependence have weakened further.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Ukraine
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Körber-Stiftung
  • Abstract: Dear Readers, Welcome to the third edition of The Berlin Pulse! The first edition, published in November 2017, was an experiment. Two years later, I am convinced that The Berlin Pulse has made a positive contribution to Germany’s foreign policy debate. Internationally, the past two editions have served as a valuable tool for explaining the forces underlying German foreign policy. I would like to start, therefore, by thanking all who have contributed to this project through comments and suggestions, their own contributions, or simply by reading. The idea behind The Berlin Pulse remains the same: To identify potential gaps between German public opinion and international expectations of Berlin’s foreign policy. However, the results of this year’s survey once more underline a different gap, namely that between public opinion and government policy: To policy-makers in Berlin, the transatlantic alliance remains a pillar of German foreign policy. In contrast, a majority of the population (52 percent) believe that Germany should reconsider its alliance with Washington, even at the cost of more than doubling the country’s defence budget. However, despite efforts to strengthen Europe’s defence capabilities, Germany will continue to rely on the United States for its security for the foreseeable future. Clearly, its politicians need to become better at explaining to Germans why this is in the country’s interest. As Germans and the world are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the breakdown of the Iron Curtain, dividing lines old and new are making (re-)appearances. Therefore, the present issue will focus on three particular challenges facing German policy-makers: Berlin’s role in the EU and the Union’s foreign policy; transatlantic relations under the Trump administration, and the question of what role Germany will be willing and able to play in Asia. With Germany preparing for the presidency of the European Council and the US elections looming, 2020 is bound to be an eventful year. Amid continuing threats to multilateralism and the liberal international order, friends and competitors alike are closely watching the decisions taken (or not taken) by Berlin. This year’s authors hail from a rich variety of backgrounds, and include Germany’s Federal Minister of Defence, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the Bulgarian intellectual Ivan Krastev, eminent Chinese diplomat, Madam Fu Ying, as well as public intellectual and journalist Walter Russell Mead, to name but a few. Last but not least, allow me to thank our editor, Joshua Webb. It is in no small part thanks to his excellent work that I am confident the present issue of The Berlin Pulse will provide you with plenty of food for thought and discussion. I wish you an insightful read. Thomas Paulsen
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, International Cooperation, Military Intervention
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany