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  • 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: Carl W Baker, Federica Dall’ Arche
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: There have been remarkable transformations in UK/US-Myanmar relations over the past few years with the signing of trade agreements, lifting of sanctions, and investments. Nevertheless, some issues such as the government’s alleged violations of the human rights of minority ethnic groups have prevented better relations. There is currently a fairly wide gap in perceptions regarding the issue of human rights violations in the Rakine State. While some outsiders accuse the government of genocide or ethnic cleansing, the Myanmar government has consistently portrayed its actions as justified based on the need for counterterrorism measures against international terrorists. An open dialogue over these
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons, International Security, International Affairs, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Britain, America, Myanmar
  • Author: Mehdi Khalaji
  • Publication Date: 02-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, a former Iranian judiciary chief who holds a prominent position in the Assembly of Experts, now has two paths to leadership of the Shiite community. The first is as a potential successor to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, now seventy-seven; the second is to eventually take the place of Najaf-based Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who at eighty-six is the preeminent religious authority in Shia Islam. A certain air of mystery surrounds Shahroudi, whose life has been chronicled heretofore only in a flattering pamphlet produced by his own office. But the trends in his philosophy are clear enough: on the religious front, he has grown more conservative; in matters of Iranian nationalism, a harder-line revolutionary. Author Mehdi Khalaji offers here the first comprehensive study of Ayatollah Shahroudi, encompassing his upbringing in holy Najaf, his move to Iran after the Islamic Revolution, his role as a stalwart in Khamenei's power base, and his brutal tenure as chief justice from 1999 to 2009. A scenario worth imagining, though hardly inevitable, is one in which Shahroudi consolidates power as both Supreme Leader and transnational marja, thereby reinforcing Iran's regional clout and its revolutionary orientation.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Eugene B. Rumer
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Deception and active measures in all their incarnations have long been and will remain a staple of Russia’s dealings with the outside world for the foreseeable future.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Security, International Affairs, Elections, Democracy, Post Truth Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, America
  • Author: Haya Al Noaimi
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for International and Regional Studies: CIRS
  • Abstract: The Great Game in West Asia examines the strategic competition between Iran and Turkey for power and influence in the South Caucasus. These neighboring Middle East powers have vied for supremacy and influence throughout the region and especially in their immediate vicinity, while contending with ethnic heterogeneity both within their own territories and across their borders. Turkey has long conceived of itself as not just a bridge between Asia and Europe but in more substantive terms as a central player in regional and global affairs. If somewhat more modest in its public statements, Iran’s parallel ambitions for strategic centrality and influence have only been masked by its own inarticulate foreign policy agendas and the repeated missteps of its revolutionary leaders. But both have sought to deepen their regional influence and power, and in the South Caucasus each has achieved a modicum of success. In fact, as the contributions to this volume demonstrate, as much of the world’s attention has been diverted to conflicts and flashpoints near and far, a new great game has been unravelling between Iran and Turkey in the South Caucasus
  • Topic: International Relations, Globalization, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: West Asia
  • Author: Vanda Felbab-Brown
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: In “Myanmar Maneuvers,” a detailed report published by the United Nations University Centre for Policy Research’s Crime-Conflict Nexus Series in April 2017, Vanda Felbab-Brown assesses complex interactions among illegal economies, conflict, peace, and political transitions in Myanmar since the 1990s. She analyzes the evolution of the illegal economies in drugs, logging, wildlife trafficking, and gems and minerals as well as land grabbing and crony capitalism, showing how they shaped political transitions and how political evolution and changes shaped them. She also examines the impact of geopolitics and the regional environment, particularly the role of China, both in shaping domestic political developments in Myanmar and the country’s illicit economies.
  • Topic: Corruption, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Myanmar
  • Author: Manjeet S. Pardesi
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: As China asserts itself economically and militarily, the United States is faced with maintaining a balance of power in East Asia and safe-guarding its global dominance. In contrast to its competitive position with China, the US relationship with India--projected to be the third-largest economy by 2030--is set on a more collaborative course. American support for a rising India aligns with its broader security and strategic goals. India, for its part, remains intent on achieving a position of regional primacy, but welcomes the US presence in the South Asia/Indian Ocean region. The two nations, for example, have signed an agreement giving each other access to military facilities, and they conduct many bilateral military exercises. These developments are a far cry from the mid-twentieth century, when Jawaharlal Nehru called for the removal of all foreign militaries from Asia. What factors pushed the India-US relationship in this new direction? And what shared interests and goals does the partnership reinforce?
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: America, India
  • Author: Pradeep S Mehta, Kyle Cote
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Less than three months into Donald Trump’s tenure as President of the United States, Indian observers are contempla ng the future of bilateral rela ons with the global leader, not to men on the regional implica ons of the new administra on. Questions arise whether to take Mr Trump’s “America First” rhetoric seriously, or to believe that dealing with a businessman persona will ul mately benefit India’s diplomats, businesses, and citizens. Taking into account such uncertainty and what we’ve seen of Mr. Trump and his team thus far, the path forward for India in key geo‐economics and geopoli cal areas is fraught with challenges. Nevertheless, India has an opportunity to expand and deepen its trade relations, upgrade its domes c capacity, move forward with climate change ac on, and become a leader in the Asia‐Pacific region. Therefore, India must design and implement a clear, internally‐based strategy through an inclusive process to promote open and fair trade and coopera on bilaterally, regionally, and mul laterally.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: America, India
  • Author: Christian Kvorning Lassen
  • Publication Date: 02-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: Denmark to be excluded from Europol due to electing not to abolish its JHA opt-outs. The Operational Agreement it has since negotiated with the EU falls short in several key areas, preventing optimal mutual cooperation between Denmark and the EU on important issues such as counter-terrorism and international organized crime. The implications ofthe operational agreement in regards to Europol are potentially far-reaching for Denmark in terms of both its EU policy and security, but also for the EU, which has to balance institutional dilemmas with security concerns.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: In Canada, implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) is an opportunity to explore and reconceive the relationship between international law, Indigenous peoples’ own laws and Canada’s constitutional narratives. In May 2016, Indigenous and Northern A airs Minister Carolyn Bennett addressed the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues at the United Nations and o cially endorsed UNDRIP1 — without the quali cations attached by the previous government, which held the declaration to be aspirational and not legally binding. While this announcement did not change the legal relevance of UNDRIP in Canada, it does express the political will to begin implementation and signals that Canada may be on a path toward reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. us, the announcement also raised legal and policy questions about how the federal government intends to adopt and implement this soft law instrument.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Law, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Canada
  • Author: Charles Perry, Bobby Anderson
  • Publication Date: 02-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis (IFPA)
  • Abstract: This report summarizes key findings and policy recommendations developed by IFPA over the course of a two-year research and workshop project on the prospects for and future direction of U.S.-Japanese-South Korean maritime cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Maritime Commerce
  • Political Geography: Japan, America, South Korea
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: On May 7–9, 2017, the Council on Foreign Relations hosted the sixth annual conference of the Council of Councils. The conference was made possible by the generous support of the Robina Foundation for CFR’s International Institutions and Global Governance program. The views described here are those of workshop participants only and are not CFR or Robina Foundation positions. The Council on Foreign Relations takes no institutional positions on policy issues and has no affiliation with the U.S. government. In addition, the suggested policy prescriptions are the views of individual participants and do not necessarily represent a consensus of the attending members.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Edward Alden, Robert Litan
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The challenge of how to help those left behind by rapid economic change—whether caused by technology or global competition—has moved to the center of the U.S. national debate in a way it has not been since the 1930s. Trade competition, especially from China, has been a significant factor in declining U.S. manufacturing employment over the past decade. Trade also became a major issue in the 2016 presidential campaign, despite the larger role played by automation and technological change in displacing manufacturing workers for decades. This process will only continue in coming years, with advances in robotics, artificial intelligence, and software that will eliminate many jobs while creating others, regardless of what policies the federal government may adopt toward trade and outsourcing.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Juliane Schmidt
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: European Policy Centre
  • Abstract: The European Union and emerging market economies are facing a great variety of challenges and transformations in a rapidly changing world. They are important players on the world stage, working through and shaping the various multilateral organisations they are members of. The European Policy Centre (EPC), in cooperation with the Institute for the Scientific Advancement of the South (ISAS), has carried out a project that looked at the political, economic, and environmental interests of the EU and emerging market economies and considered the future of their cooperation in global governance. In order to shed light on the relationship between emerging market economies and the EU, the project focused on four key areas of multilateralism: climate change, trade, international financial institutions, and global governance in the security realm. This report reflects upon the outcomes of the project’s discussions, while also providing punctual updates.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: European Union
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: European Policy Centre
  • Abstract: This is the fifth in a series of National Reports to be published as part of the new phase of the New Pact for Europe project.* According to the NPE Italian Reflection Group, the EU is stuck, with member countries prioritising national interests over the European ones, while problems in the economic, security and migration policy areas are far from overcome. Drawing on the discussions held amongst the members of the group, the report presents a set of conclusions on how to address the key challenges the Union and member states are facing at the moment, and calls on them to take action to boost the legitimacy of the European integration project:
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Zephyr Dessus, Albana Rexha, Albana Merja, Corina Stratulat
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: European Policy Centre
  • Abstract: Ever since its declaration of independence in 2008, Kosovo has made European integration one of its key foreign policy objectives. Having made headway over the past years in its efforts to draw nearer to the European Union – most recently by signing a Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with the EU – Kosovo is now eager to take the next step in its EU integration process: to apply for EU membership and receive candidate status. However, with five member states still unwilling to recognise its statehood, Kosovo finds itself in a unique and difficult position regarding its eligibility to advance towards the EU and eventually accede to the European Union.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Political and institutional effectiveness
  • Political Geography: Kosovo
  • Author: Dhruva Jaishankar
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Donald Trump’s election at a time of growing and converging interests between India and the United States necessitates a re-evaluation of several aspects of Indian domestic and foreign policy. This paper identifies four areas in which Trump’s election affects Indian interests: bilateral relations (encompassing trade, investment, immigration, and technological cooperation), the Asian balance of power, counterterrorism, and global governance. It argues that India must continue to engage with the Trump administration and other stakeholders in the United States—including the U.S. Congress, state governments, and the private sector—in all of these areas. New Delhi must attempt to convince Washington that India’s rise is in American interest. This idea provided the underlying logic behind the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations’ engagement with India, but it will be more difficult to sustain given the United States’ new political realities and impulses.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: America, India
  • Author: Raj M. Desai, Homi Kharas
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Does an expanding middle class benefit society’s poorest? Much has been written recently about the rapid growth of the middle class as well as the rapid fall in absolute poverty (Kharas 2017; Kocharand Oates 2015; Burrows 2015). However, few studies seek to link these two trends. It is worth emphasizing at the outset that a growing middle class and a falling poverty rate are not simply two sides of the same coin; there is a large “vulnerable” (or near poor) cohort between the poorest individuals and the middle class. Additionally, the trends can be quite different. In the United States, for example, the percentage of middle-class households has steadily fallen since the 1970s, while the portion of households in the lowest income brackets has remained steady (Kochhar,Fry, and Rohal 2015). Similar trends have occurred in the European Union since the early 2000s (ILO 2015). By contrast, in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America, most of those lifted out of poverty appear to have joined the ranks of the vulnerable rather than the middle class (Calvo-Gonzalez 2017; Chandy 2015). There, the middle class has stagnated despite reductions in poverty.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Elizabeth Mann
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Amid persistent concerns about the well-documented skills gap, community colleges have the potential to provide low-cost, high-quality education and training to students. Robust relationships between colleges and local industry partners are critical to building strong workforce development programs for students. In this context, this toolkit offers practical advice on how community college leaders can take a deliberate approach to communication with potential partners in their community, including local businesses and industry leaders.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Homi Kharas
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: “Foreign assistance” combines two of the least popular words in United States politics. Since the end of the Cold War, isolationism has slowly weakened internationalism, perhaps because of the growing feeling that foreigners are freeloading on the U.S. as the world’s policeman and problem solver. Some indicators of popular attitudes toward foreign assistance are concerning, although these are not all consistent with each other. A 2016 Pew Survey found far more Americans responding that the U.S. does too much in terms of solving global problems (41 percent) than too little (27 percent). Similarly, a significant majority (57 percent) think that the U.S. should deal with its own problems and let others deal with theirs as best they can.
  • Topic: International Affairs, International Development
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Stephen Kull
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Is President Donald Trump’s “America First” policy a reflection of a larger isolationist trend in public attitudes? And what do Americans think about foreign aid in particular? The answer is complex. On the one hand, recent polls suggest a robust majority support an engaged U.S. role in the world, a moral dimension to U.S. foreign policy, and giving foreign aid, especially humanitarian aid. On the other, many are dissatisfied with America’s role in the post-Cold War era, and Trump has effectively played on that disillusionment. The U.S. is seen as having overextended itself in playing a hegemonic role in the world, a role that has served corporate interests and the wealthy, but that has not effectively served the middle class, which is largely footing the bill for it. This overextension is seen as being reflected in the U.S. budget deficit, which troubles the public more than the elites.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Future for Advanced Research and Studies (FARAS)
  • Abstract: The international community’s e orts have recently succeeded in reducing the sources of funding of many terror organizations in the Middle East. ISIS is one instance, where the military operations launched by a US- led global coalition since September 2014, have signi cantly reduced the terrorist group’s funds generated from oil sales and illicit trade and caused huge losses.
  • Topic: Terrorism, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Future for Advanced Research and Studies (FARAS)
  • Abstract: Turkey and Russia recently announced that their talks about the delivery of the Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile defense system to Ankara were now at a nal stage. That is a sign that a key element of the deal, estimated at USD 2.5 billion, has already been achieved. According to statements delivered by Sergei Chemezov, the head of Russia’s Rostec state corporation, in Moscow one week before the MAKS-2017 air-show, the two countries resolved technical issues regarding the con- tract of the four missile interceptor batteries, with only administrative issues remaining. His statement indicates that the serious steps have been already taken towards implement- ing what can be described as a done deal.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia, Turkey
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Future for Advanced Research and Studies (FARAS)
  • Abstract: ISIS appears to be planning to attack the interests of some states that are in- volved in the war against it. The terror group’s recent assault was conducted in retaliation for its defeat in Mosul, liberated on July 10, 2017. That is evi- denced in ISIS’ quick claim of responsi- bility of the attack on the Iraqi Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan on July 31, 2017.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Future for Advanced Research and Studies (FARAS)
  • Abstract: European states seek to increase the chances of maintaining the implementation of the nuclear agreement, also known as the Joint Comprehen- sive Plan of Action (JCPOA), concluded on July 14, 2017 between Iran and the P5+1 group of world powers, which includes the European Union, France as well as Germany. The bid is especially driven by the European view that a collapse of the deal would in ict grave consequences on their interests. However, the European bid is facing no easy hurdles. While the United States is keen to impose new sanctions on Iran over its ballistic missile program, Iran is similarly adamant about continuing this program as well as exploiting the nuclear deal to expand its in infuence in the region through backing terrorist organizations and establishing relations with non-state actors.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Future for Advanced Research and Studies (FARAS)
  • Abstract: The raging war between Hezbollah and al-Nus- ra-Front in Arsal region raises several questions about militia wars, their features, mechanisms and outcomes. Such concerns have been raised especially after the relatively swift and decisive battle, which ended with a truce between the two parties sponsored by Lebanese General Se- curity and International Red Cross. Under the truce, al-Nusra Front militants and their families were evacuated from the Lebanese Arsal to Syria, in addition to the exchange of hostages between the parties. This was not the rst war raging be- tween armed militias in Syria, Iraq or Libya, as such kind of war has become common in recent times, especially in countries where ideologically disparate militias ght over spheres of in uence.
  • Topic: International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Future for Advanced Research and Studies (FARAS)
  • Abstract: Current data on the political and military situation in Syria indicate that the military as- pect remains the dominant factor in the crisis due to the faltering political track at Geneva and Astana. Nonetheless, significant political changes that developed recently cannot be underestimated in determining the future of the crisis.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Syria
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Future for Advanced Research and Studies (FARAS)
  • Abstract: The so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) is making steady progress on the ground in Raqqa, ISIS’ main stronghold in Syria. The alliance of militias recently announced that they retook 70% of the city from the terrorist group following a successful plan to divide the city into an eastern and western zone and storm the city from both sides. The SDF militants advancing from the eastern and western parts of the city linked up for the first time on August 11 prevent- ing ISIS from reaching the Euphrates River and keeping its fighters with civilians who remain besieged by both groups.
  • Topic: Democratization, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Laura Rosenberger
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: when I chose a career in foreign policy and national security, I never considered the fact that I was entering a historically male-dominated profession. In a purely abstract way I was keenly aware of the continued gender imbalance among decisionmakers who influence national security, but I never thought about my own gendered role in that field, or that anyone might see me as a woman in national security. I was simply a young, driven woman who entered the State Department in the good company of many other young, driven women.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Gender Issues, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Elizabeth Rosenberg, ​Neil Bhatiya, Edorado Saravalle
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: Congress adopted new sanctions in late July to codify and significantly expand U.S. financial restrictions on Russia and tightly constrain the president’s exercise of policy in this domain. The sanctions bill was driven by concerns over Russia’s interference in U.S. elections and destabilizing aggression abroad, as well as a broadly held belief by legislators that the president is mishandling critical national security issues. With these new sanctions authorities, Congress is taking an unprecedented step to assume greater control over a domain of foreign policy
  • Topic: International Relations, International Trade and Finance, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia, America
  • Author: Edward Fishman, Peter Harrell, Elizabeth Rosenberg
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: North Korea has emerged as one of the most significant national security threats facing the United States and its allies today. Since leader Kim Jong Un came to power in 2011, North Korea has accelerated the pace of its nuclear tests, and appears to have made substantial progress in developing operational medium-, long-range, and intercontinental ballistic missiles. Many experts assess that if left unchecked, Pyongyang could develop the capability to strike the contiguous United States with a nuclear warhead within 5–10 years. Because of that, in June 2017 U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis characterized North Korea as “the most urgent and dangerous threat” to U.S. peace and security.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: North Korea, Global Focus
  • Author: Basheer Al Zoghbi
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: This paper addresses the phenomenon of settlers’ acts of violence and attacks directed against Palestinian civilian population, civilian property and livelihood in the occupied territory of the de jure State of Palestine in the context of international humanitarian law and human rights law.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Murat Yeşiltaş
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: Turkey's current strategic move is it is a continuation of Turkey’s new vision for regional politics within the context of the new regional geopolitical realities.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Stasa Salacanin
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: In 2005, Qatar imposed a self-moratorium on future gas developments in the North Field, but has recently lifted it in defence of the country’s leading LNG market share as new global players rapidly expand their production.
  • Topic: International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Wang Dong, Sun Bingyan
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Korean Economic Institute (KEI)
  • Abstract: What will it take to jump start trilateral talks among Beijing, Seoul, and Washington over the situation on the Korean Peninsula, including the denuclearization of North Korea? If this subject has been on the minds of South Koreans in 2016-17 with some approaching their counterparts in Beijing and Washington, DC in the hope that such triangular talks can be launched—the more official, the better—not many Chinese have addressed what would be necessary to enlist their country in this endeavor. This chapter argues that, at present, China is unprepared to take this route. A major factor is the sense that there are imbalances that complicate the triangle. Beyond the substance of what would be on the agenda, Chinese are concerned by South Korea’s alignment and how it would affect the course of the discussions.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: China, America, Korea
  • Author: Kim Heung-kyu
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Korean Economic Institute (KEI)
  • Abstract: Although we are only into the first months of the Trump administration, many Koreans recognize that the U.S.-led, market-oriented, liberal international order has been severely shaken. In the background, the rapid rise of China and rather successful economic reforms under Xi Jinping have dramatically reduced its vulnerability and sensitivity to the United States. As one power’s grip is shaken and another’s is energized, two different orders are emerging in East Asia. We accordingly witness a “Clash of Titans,” the fallout from which could be fatal to the security and economy of the Republic of Korea.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Joel Wuthnow
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Korean Economic Institute (KEI)
  • Abstract: During the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, the candidates reached a bipartisan consensus on one issue: how to deal with North Korea. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump both called for China to do more to convince Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear program once and for all. Candidate Trump said that China has “absolute control” over North Korea and promised to do whatever it takes to convince Beijing to use that leverage, including imposing penalties on Chinese firms. As president, however, Trump will have to navigate the reality of China’s extreme hesitance to use the only type of pressure likely to divert North Korea’s nuclear ambitions—the threat of regime-endangering punishment. If and how China should continue to fit into U.S. strategy for dealing with North Korea will thus be a key issue facing Trump and his advisors
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Korea
  • Author: Mark Tokola
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Korean Economic Institute (KEI)
  • Abstract: For the proverbial visitor from Mars, the political situation in Northeast Asia is inexplicable. Sitting amidst a group of relatively stable, wealthy, and powerful countries, is a small, poor, belligerent nation that all agree is a threat to regional stability. Furthermore, the rogue state has been sanctioned and its behavior condemned by the United Nations for its weapons programs and its human rights abuses. Why can the Republic of Korea (ROK), Japan, the United States, Russia, and China not combine their considerable leverage to do something about North Korea?
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Korea
  • Author: Gilbert Rozman
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Korean Economic Institute (KEI)
  • Abstract: The construct “Chinese national identity” refers to narratives from China’s leadership, media, and academic spokespersons about what makes their country distinctive and how those ideas matter in relations with other nations. This is a relational concept that serves to distinguish the “self” and “other,” whose interpretation is shaped by interactions with other states. Seen from the vertical dimension of identity, these interactions are filtered through rhetoric aimed at promoting unity at home. Demonizing other nations while conveying an image of enemies or states seeking to contain China is a means to boost solidarity behind Communist Party control over a society with little means to dissent. The horizontal dimension of identity depicts bilateral relations as the result not of different national interests, but of clashing and often irreconcilable identities. Examining the way national identity on the Chinese side impacts five external relationships is the objective of this set of articles, which concentrate on Chinese rhetoric during the period of Xi Jinping.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Yinan He
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Korean Economic Institute (KEI)
  • Abstract: Sino-Japanese relations have been in another volatility cycle since the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands disputes flared up again in summer 2012. The downward trend seems to have bottomed out in November 2014 when the two leaders Xi Jinping and Abe Shinzo finally held their first meeting since entering office. However, the anticipated recovery has proved tenuous; the momentum toward further improvement has halted since early 2016 when confrontation escalated in both the South China Sea and East China Sea. While acknowledging the role of realist power shift and geostrategic rivalry in causing Sino-Japanese tension, this paper argues that a widening gap between their national identities is also highly relevant. The current Xi government has promoted a national reinvigoration campaign emphasizing Chinese history and culture, the socialist model, and defense of core interests, which runs counter to that of Abe’s Japan, a democratic and historically revisionist country. This national identity conflict has exacerbated mutual distrust, denied chances of reassurance, and generated domestic popular objections to diplomatic compromise between the two countries.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Korea
  • Author: See-Won Byun
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Korean Economic Institute (KEI)
  • Abstract: How do Chinese national identity narratives affect Sino-South Korean relations? The Koguryo history war more than a decade ago was a turning point in bilateral relations since diplomatic normalization in 1992, generating enduring competition over representations of history. In 2010, China’s commemoration of its entry into the Korean War raised early warnings in South Korea over Beijing’s hostile foreign policy orientation under Xi Jinping. Contrary to such expectations, however, the earliest summit agreements between presidents Xi Jinping and Park Geun-hye after both took office in 2013 were on history cooperation as common victims of Japanese colonialism. Most notably in 2015, Park’s participation in Beijing’s 70th anniversary celebrations of the end of World War II consolidated joint claims of what was called the best period in bilateral relations. This chapter assesses the impact of Chinese national identity on China-Republic of Korea (ROK) relations under the Xi and Park administrations since 2013. It examines Chinese constructions of national identity and their implications for the security, economic, and cultural dimensions of the Sino-South Korean relationship. Rather than promoting partnership, competing identities across these dimensions reinforce enduring differences over the region’s political, economic, and cultural order. These differences surfaced most saliently in 2016, following an initial period of engagement that corresponds with the downward trend in China-Japan relations since 2012. Managing them requires the very trust-building that both Beijing and Seoul have prioritized since 2013.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Korea
  • Author: Gilbert Rozman
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Korean Economic Institute (KEI)
  • Abstract: While the other parts of this book bring China fully into the coverage—diplomacy, national identities, and sanctions—here we narrow the focus on U.S.-ROK relations with an eye to the current uncertainty about the future of the KORUS FTA, the five-year old bilateral trade agreement. Donald Trump has assumed the presidency critical of trade imbalances in goods, including assertions about the negative impact of the FTA with South Korea. It appears that the U.S. side will insist on renegotiating the agreement. In order to assess what this could mean, we take a close look at what the impact of KORUS has been and at how the debate in Washington has been unfolding under Trump’s watch. The three chapters were written in the early spring of 2017; so they could capture only the initial impact of Trump at a time when South Korean leadership was paralyzed between impeachment and the election of a new president without any serious bilateral engagement over economic issues. Yet, as tensions over economics are expected to rise, our objective is to inform the discussion with relevant economic background and with awareness of what Trump has been saying and how it may shape the political debate.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: America, Korea
  • Author: Luigi Bonatti
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: In The Euro’s Difficult Future – Competitiveness Imbalances and the Eurozone’s North-South Divide author Luigi Bonatti, a professor of economics at the University of Trento in Italy, stresses that the existing North-South competitiveness divide creates growing tensions between member countries and fuels hostility towards European Union institutions. The paper illustrates why this competitiveness divide is structural, cannot be tackled by macroeconomic policies, and could threaten the euro’s survival.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Phillip Smyth, Tim Michetti, Owen Daniels
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Revolution Unveiled: A Closer Look at Iran’s Presence and Influence in the Middle East, by Phillip Smyth, Tim Michetti, and Owen Daniels, pieces together snapshots of Iran’s influence in the region using photographic analysis, geolocation, social media monitoring, and other methods. Through four case studies, this report systematically examines new or lesser-known methods Iran employs to project its influence beyond its borders. By using proxy Shia groups, ideology, arms provision, and transnational networks, Tehran destabilizes and strikes at regional adversaries to achieve its strategic and policy objectives.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The Atlantic Council's State Department Reform Report—written by a group of ten foreign policy experts—explores the critical subject areas of structure and process, personnel, budget, congressional relations, and USAID. The report serves as a foundation for reform efforts that will lead to the empowerment of the State Department at a time when a rapidly evolving global environment consistently poses new challenges and threats. The department's role is indeed unique and vital in the US national security apparatus; diplomacy based in continued and robust support for US interests and values is critical to favorable long-term outcomes, including a more secure and stable global environment.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Elena Postnikova
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The US Congress enacted the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938 (FARA) to ensure that the American people were aware when foreign governments funded media sources; at the time, their concerns focused on the Nazi regime in Germany. Today, this issue has resurfaced with concerns about the Russian propaganda outlet RT (formerly Russia Today). RT broadcasts are reliably consistent with official statements of the Russian government, which is unsurprising, as it is 99 percent funded by the Kremlin. In Agent of Influence, author Elena Postnikova not only argues that RT should register with FARA but makes a legal case for it while laying out recommendations for policy makers. At a minimum, RT’s activities warrant a thorough investigation by the Department of Justice (DOJ). Strong evidence supports the conclusion that Russia’s RT is owned, controlled, and financed by the Russian state. RT advances Russia’s interests abroad and uses communication channels to influence US domestic and foreign policy. RT has not presented evidence to support that it is a bona fide media organization, which would be excluded from registration. If RT fails to respond to a DOJ inquiry or to present ample evidence that it should be exempt, an enforcement action should follow.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Dimiter Toshkov
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: To many, the European Union (EU) is a complex entity overburdened by rules. In The European Union Could Be Simple, Inclusive, or Effective. Pick Two., author Dimiter Toshkov, an associate professor at the Institute of Public Administration at Leiden University, presents the structural dilemma facing the EU: accommodating the diverse interests of twenty-eight member states while delivering effective policies for over 510 million citizens in a simple way.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Arron Stein
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: This report is based on a series of interviews with US officials and details two efforts to achieve US objectives to take back territory from ISIS in Syria—with elements trained in Turkey, as part of the Train and Equip program, and through the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the dominant local force in northeastern Syria.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Syria
  • Author: Aaron Stein
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: This report examines Turkish foreign and energy policy toward Russia, Iran, and Iraq. It is divided into three case studies in which the lessons learned from past Turkish decision making might help chart likely courses of actions vis-à-vis Ankara’s future energy relationship with all three countries. The case studies also consider potential impacts on American interests in these three countries along with bilateral US-Turkish relations.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Daniel Fried
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Once again, authoritarians are challenging the world’s leading democracies, using twenty-first century versions of aggression, propaganda, and subversion. The very notion of a rules-based, democratic-leaning international order—the Free World—seems in doubt, questioned also by newly-emboldened nationalists on both sides of the Atlantic. In “The Free World,” Ambassador Dan Fried, who retired this year as the United States’ longest-serving diplomat, reminds us what the Free World achieved, where it has gone wrong, and what democratic forces can do to restore the momentum of ideas that still represent the best hope for American interests, democratic values, and the world.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Daniel Fried
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Once again, authoritarians are challenging the world’s leading democracies, using twenty-first century versions of aggression, propaganda, and subversion. The very notion of a rules-based, democratic-leaning international order—the Free World—seems in doubt, questioned also by newly-emboldened nationalists on both sides of the Atlantic. In “The Free World,” Ambassador Dan Fried, who retired this year as the United States’ longest-serving diplomat, reminds us what the Free World achieved, where it has gone wrong, and what democratic forces can do to restore the momentum of ideas that still represent the best hope for American interests, democratic values, and the world.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ryan C. Crocker
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The report of the Task Force on the Future of Iraq chaired by Ambassador Ryan Crocker offers a strategy for how the United States can build on the success that the Iraqi government and its coalition partners have had in liberating areas once occupied by ISIS, in order to bring about a lasting defeat of the extremist group and to and secure US national security interests in Iraq over the long term.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Iraq
  • Author: Franklin Kramer, Laura Speranza
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Since its takeover of Crimea in 2014, Russia has become increasingly emboldened, undertaking actions that, rather than propping up a failing regime, strike directly against the functioning of Western democracy. Employing a combination of "hybrid" actions–political, diplomatic, informational, cyber-, economic, covert and low-level force–the Kremlin has targeted countries not only on the fringes of its sphere of influence, but in the heart of Europe and even the United States.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Grant Harris
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: African nations have rarely been perceived as essential partners in the pursuit of US national security and economic interests, but a re-assessment of Africa’s strategic importance is past due. Transnational threats emanating from the continent continue to evolve, and trade and investment relationships have deepened. A better and broader understanding of the threats and opportunities posed by the countries of Africa is urgently needed, both to strengthen United States-Africa bilateral relations and to create a coherent regional policy.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Roy Blunt, Ben Cardin
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The Atlantic Council’s Colombia Peace and Prosperity Task Force, co-chaired by Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), has been working for the past year to put forward recommendations for continued US engagement in Colombia. Today, Colombia is a strategic US partner. Its achievements and experience fighting international networks of organized crime have transformed the country into an exporter of security expertise and training. It is the view of this high-level Task Force that Colombia continues to symbolize a bipartisan US foreign policy success story. Read our report to find out the task force's full recommendations.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Colombia
  • Author: Luis Cosenza
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: To many Americans, the difficult issues facing Central America’s Northern Triangle—El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras—may seem distant. But the future of the United States is tied to these countries as some of our closest neighbors. Geography alone demonstrates that their stability and prosperity is critical to our national interest.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Bessma Momani
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The Kurds of Iraq have been patiently waiting for the right time to secede from the troubled state. Monday's referendum turnout was high and the result was clear: 92 per cent are overwhelmingly in favour of independence. While many Kurds felt the time was right to have a referendum on the question of independence, it is the worst time for all regional stakeholders and the Kurds may have made it more difficult for themselves to realize their national dream.
  • Topic: International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Kurdistan
  • Author: Marc Lynch
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS)
  • Abstract: The Middle East has experienced a dramatic flood of refugees and forced migration over the last fifteen years. The UN High Commission on Refugees reports more than 16 million refugees and 60 million displaced persons around the world today, including asylum seekers and the internally displaced. The wars in Syria and Iraq have produced the greatest share of the Middle East’s refugees in recent years, but many more have fled wars and failed states in Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. Neighboring states have faced severe challenges in absorbing millions of refugees, while North African states and Turkey have emerged as key transit hubs for refugee flows into Europe.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Security, International Affairs, Refugee Crisis
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Melissa Conley Tyler, Antonia Mochan
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Australian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: When Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop and I launched the EU-Australia Leadership Forum – last September in Brussels – she made a passionate case for our friendship, and for a strong and united Europe. She remembered thousands of Australians who died fighting in our continent during the world wars, and the 70 years of peace that a united Europe has made possible for its member states. She celebrated economic prosperity inside Europe, and the European Union’s contribution to a global order based on rules, on cooperation, on sustainable development.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe, Australia
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: People join campaigns for different reasons: electing a leader they believe in, advancing an agenda, cleaning up government, or experiencing the rush and adrenaline of campaign life. These are some of the reasons we got involved in politics. We certainly didn’t sign up because we wanted to become cyber experts and we’re guessing you didn’t either
  • Topic: International Affairs, Cybersecurity
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ash Carter
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: On December 11, 2016, just before my time as Secretary of Defense would end, I stepped off a C-130 transport plane onto a cold and dusty patch of northern Iraq that had been on my mind for more than a year: an Iraqi military airfield called Qayyarah West. Q-West, as it was known to the American military, was a talisman of progress on one of the defining issues of my time as secretary, the fight to defeat ISIS. A year before, General Joe Dunford and I had briefed the President on a plan to energize the counter-ISIS fight. We had laid out a series of military tasks, in Iraq and Syria, that would lead us to the liberation of ISIS’ strongholds in Mosul, Iraq, and Raqqa, Syria. Q-West was a fulcrum of that plan. Ejecting ISIS and turning the airstrip into a logistics hub was essential to seizing Mosul, just 40 miles to the north.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Robert Stavins, Robert Stowe
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The Harvard Project on Climate Agreements has released a volume of seventeen briefs summarizing research on options for elaborating the Paris Agreement's Article 6, the evolution of market-based systems, and how these two processes might best support each other. The briefs are designed to be readily accessible — and, it is hoped, useful — to negotiators, policy makers, and other stakeholders, as they consider how to elaborate the Paris Agreement in order to realize its potential to effectively address global climate change. Most authors were participants in a research workshop conducted by the Harvard Project on July 6, 2017, and the volume builds upon the discussions in that forum. Participants included twenty of the world's leading researchers focusing on market mechanisms and the Paris Agreement, coming from the disciplines of economics, political science, international relations, and law — and based in Europe, the Republic of Korea, and the United States.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Pawal Kowal, John S Micgiel
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for East European Studies, University of Warsaw
  • Abstract: “All we have left of the Soviet Union are jokes...” I’d like to ask you all somewhat perversely, besides jokes, is there any good memory left behind from this empire? Did the Soviet Union leave anything good behind? I mean the Soviet Union not as the Soviet Union itself, but also as the whole region, in other words the Warsaw Pact countries, as well as other communist countries and parties in the world. So, we see the empire as Alexei Salmin, the Russian political scientist, views it – as a concentrated orb: the Russian Federation, around it the USSR, then the Warsaw Pact, followed by other communist countries and finally the Comintern, and after its dissolution, parties cooperating with the Kremlin from all over the world. So, we see the entire empire, not just the Soviet Union, and the question is this – did it leave anything good behind? Surely every empire leaves something good behind
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Poland
  • Author: Roman Bäcker
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for East European Studies, University of Warsaw
  • Abstract: Questions regarding definitions of authoritarianism and totalitarianism date from the interwar period. This article draws on the classic approaches and argues that the definition of Juan Linz, with changes suggested by Roman Bäcker (2011), and may o er a solid base for understanding the location of each non-democratic regime on a continuum determined by two extreme ideal types: authoritarianism and totalitarianism. e former is de ned here by three essential features: bureaucratic sovereignty (or siloviki), social apathy and emotional mentality. e latter is identified by references to: state-party apparatus sovereignty, mass and forced mobilisation, and political gnosis. these categories are useful to deal with the research problem considering where Russia is on this continuum, after the annexation of Crimea. It requires, however, carrying out an in-depth analysis on three levels: sovereignty, social behaviour and social consciousness. is article aims to reveal how to identify and approach these analytical levels.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Authoritarianism
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Vladislav Volkov, Oksana Ruzha
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for East European Studies, University of Warsaw
  • Abstract: Interethnic communication is viewed as a form of social communication that happens “between people of different cultures”. Researchers associate the importance of studying such communication with the need to analyse the possibilities for mutual understanding of effective interaction between people of different cultures (Rogers, Hart, Miike 2002, p. 5, 7). Communication between people of different cultures can encompass a wide range of characteristics and goals – from the desire to put forward legitimate claims of ethnic identity to bias against other groups, from the establishment of associative relationships between groups prior to their dissociation (Kim 2006, p. 284, 291), from imposing the dominant culture’s standards and exclusion of non-dominant cultures from public life to the positive recognition of ethno-cultural minorities in the common cultural space (Young 1996, p. 29), etc.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe
  • Author: Richat Sabitov
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for East European Studies, University of Warsaw
  • Abstract: Russian foreign policy and European security is continuing to receive special attention in light of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. An analysis of Russia- NATO relations is necessary to understand Moscow’s behaviour in the so-called “near abroad” – the territory of the former Soviet republics. It is, therefore, important to study Russia’s reaction to Ukrainian aspirations towards Europe and the implications it holds for the Crimean Peninsula’s status
  • Topic: International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Crimea
  • Author: Rudolf Pikhola
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for East European Studies, University of Warsaw
  • Abstract: On 25 September 1990, one of the rst meetings of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of Russia was held in the building of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR. e agenda consisted of the issue of ensuring the economic sovereignty of Russia in the USSR. Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Yuri Skokov, responsible for industrial policy, spoke with bitterness about his meeting with Minister of Metallurgy of the USSR Seraphim Baibakov: “We spoke to him about our sovereignty, and he said: ‘I’m sorry, but last year I became an owner of property and a legal successor of state property.’ Kolpakov became Krupp. Now he creates 10-15 companies, leaving a small management structure. It is presidential rule in the steel-casting complex.”
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Kateryna Nasonova
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for East European Studies, University of Warsaw
  • Abstract: Nowadays virtual social networks have become the most frequently visited Internet resources. Although the Internet space exists as an open area of communication – overcoming linguistic, spatial and temporal barriers – certain internet products, like social networks, are gaining popularity in particular geographical areas. For example, Facebook, which is popular all over the world, failed to gain much of a foothold in countries of the former USSR. ere, the Facebook niche is dominated by such networks as VKontakte and Odnoklassniki. It shows that virtual social networks are a re ection of the community functioning in real-time, space and area. Social network users are not relieved of the burden of group, religious or ethnic identity, nor the ideology of the dominant society in the process of virtual communication. Such virtual activity becomes an expression of the system of coordinates and philosophical orientations that emerges during the process of socialization. Further, we can presume that the unpopularity of Facebook in former countries of the USSR is due to the impact of the post-Soviet mentality on the formation of virtual social networks, like VKontakte and Odnoklassniki. To con rm this thesis, we conducted a comparative analysis of three virtual social networks: VKontakte, Odnoklassniki and Facebook. these sites are quite similar in structure and function. However, they distinguish themselves from one another through the conceptual framework around which their user audience communication is built.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Social Media
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Vakhtang Maisaia
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for East European Studies, University of Warsaw
  • Abstract: he NATO Wales and Warsaw Summits held in 2014 and in 2016, were historic events due to the complex processes associated with them. The Summits have generated much discussion and are comprised of decisive issues and decisions. In the last Warsaw Summit, up to ten documents were adopted, including the final communique, which was for the first time quite “thick” for and more detailed, compared to previously adopted documents (about 139 items). For the first time in the last few decades, the European Union and NATO came to a consensus and adopted a common declaration, where they expressed their united position on common problems within the frameworks of Transatlantic security, and agreed on plans for further strategic cooperation (EU-NATO Joint Declaration 2016). Most importantly, the representatives of both organisations declared a common approach toward threats emanating from the East and South (i.e. Russia and ISIS). At this stage, the Alliance identi ed three geostrategic special regions for more active operations in the context of strategic defence and deterrence. ose regions became the main issue of the summit: the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea and the Aegean Sea. NATO must boost its support for the Southern ank via crisis management capabilities and strengthened partnerships (Lorenz “NATO at a Critical Crossroads”, 11). In general, NATO has returned to a collective defence strategy. is is a new game where the South Caucasus is becoming a “red frontier” line between the main actors: NATO and Russia. It seems that the priorities of NATO and Russia in the region are evolving within the framework of the so-called “security dilemma”, where both parties are trying to build up their military capabilities and tools of political pressure on the countries of the region, competing with each other in various geostrategic dimensions. is includes intensive NATO military exercises in Georgia and implementation of the Comprehensive Assistance Package, as well as strengthening military potential in the territories of occupied Abkhazia and South Ossetia, not to mention the establishment of a joint air defence system with Armenia, and strengthening the Caspian Flotilla by Russia.
  • Topic: NATO, International Trade and Finance, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
87. Forward
  • Author: John S Micgiel, Pawel Kowal
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for East European Studies, University of Warsaw
  • Abstract: Twenty- five years ago, we bade farewell to the Soviet Union, but after a quarter- century we still feel how much of its empire it left behind. It was not an “ordinary” empire because its essential feature was a totalitarian system. ideological pressure of Soviet Russia has changed the social structures of great swathes of the globe. e legacy of the USSR is a fascinating research topic, unfortunately today one rarely raised by researchers.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Pawel Kowal
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for East European Studies, University of Warsaw
  • Abstract: List of contributors in latest review
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ana Belén Sanchez
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Fundación Alternativas
  • Abstract: Lo que este IIº Informe sobre sostenibilidad plantea es que conviene pasar a la acción, sin más demora, si queremos evitar situaciones catastróficas. Los datos son concluyentes. En 40 años hemos doblado las emisiones de carbono, dentro de unos años habrá más plásticos que peces en los mares, con la desaparición de miles de especies marinas; la energía sigue dependiendo de materias fósiles y 7 millones de personas mueren al año por contaminación. Los desórdenes atmosféricos se suceden, amenazando territorios y millones de personas. Es como si la madre naturaleza protestara ó castigara los despropósitos de sus descarriados hijos, los humanos.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Spain
  • Author: Rubén Ruiz-Rufino
  • Publication Date: 02-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Fundación Alternativas
  • Abstract: El Informe sobre la Democracia en España nació con el objetivo de analizar el funcionamiento de la democracia española y los desafíos derivados del afán por mejorar sus instituciones. En las distintas ediciones continúa proporcionando una información sobre acontecimientos y decisiones colectivas, de utilidad para el análisis, el debate social y la formación de la opinión pública. Para la realización del Informe sobre la Democracia en España (IDE 2016), el Laboratorio de la Fundación Alternativas designó un Consejo Asesor que, junto con el director del IDE, debatió su estructura y orientación a lo largo de varias sesiones, conoció los trabajos en curso y la propuesta de documento final. Un equipo de investigadores contratado por el Laboratorio llevó a cabo la recogida de la información, la elaboración de los datos relevantes y la redacción inicial de los diferentes capítulos que componen este IDE. La edición final correspondió a la dirección del mismo.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Democracy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Brazilian Center for International Relations (CEBRI)
  • Abstract: In July, representatives from the public and private sectors, think tanks, and academia, discussed, over a day, themes common to Brazil and Africa, explored ways to bring the two regions together, and inaugurated, in practice, a new phase of inter-Atlantic interaction.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Dr Jans Woischnik
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Brazilian Center for International Relations (CEBRI)
  • Abstract: In the last decade of the 20th century, when the Cold War came to an end, there was a growing understanding that International Law was consolidated as legitimation body for state actions. It was the beginning of a new peaceful world order, the world hoped that an old problem of geopolitics could finally be fully addressed by the International Law, a problem which the Athenian General Thucydides observed already more than 2000 years ago, according to which in the realm of the international, “the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must”. In this new world order right was supposed to finally come before might.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Wyatt Hoffman, Ariel Levite
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The cyber revolution and ever-growing transfer of human activities into the virtual world are undermining the social contract between modern states and their citizens. Most governments are becoming unable and unwilling to protect citizens and private enterprises against numerous, sophisticated cyber predators seeking to disrupt, manipulate, or destroy their digital equities. Inevitably, states are focused on protecting governmental assets and national infrastructure, leaving themselves with modest residual capacity and resolve to underwrite other cybersecurity risks. Faced with this reality, private entities are reluctantly but increasingly complementing their passive cybersecurity practices with more assertive “active cyber defense” (ACD) measures. This approach carries substantial risks, but if guided by bounding principles and industry models, it also has the potential for long-term, cumulative benefits.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Cybersecurity
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Rajesh Rajagopalan
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: India is a rising power, but its transformation is occurring in the shadow of China’s even more impressive ascent. Beijing’s influence will almost certainly continue to grow and has already upset Asia’s geopolitical balance. India must decide how to secure its interests in this unbalanced environment by choosing among six potential strategic options: staying unaligned, hedging, building indigenous military power, forming regional partnerships, aligning with China, or aligning with the United States. A closer alignment with Washington likely represents India’s best chance to counter China, while efforts to foster regional partnerships and cultivate domestic military capabilities, although insufficient by themselves, could play a complementary role.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Ashley Tellis
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The international community’s routine call for continuous India-Pakistan dialogue is not only misguided but also counterproductive. This entreaty, which often follows major Pakistani-supported terrorist attacks in India, fails to recognize that the security competition between the two nations is not actually driven by discrete, negotiable differences. Rather, the discord is rooted in long-standing ideological, territorial, and power-political antagonisms that are fueled by Pakistan’s irredentism, its army’s desire to subvert India’s ascendency as a great power and exact revenge for past Indian military victories, and its aspirations to be treated on par with India despite their huge differences in capabilities, achievements, and prospects.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Sarah Chayes
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: In some five dozen countries worldwide, corruption can no longer be understood as merely the iniquitous doings of individuals. Rather, it is the operating system of sophisticated networks that cross sectoral and national boundaries in their drive to maximize returns for their members. Honduras offers a prime example of such intertwined, or “integrated,” transnational kleptocratic networks. This case thus illustrates core features of the way apparently open or chaotic economies are in reality structured worldwide—and some of the dynamics that are driving climate change, persistent inequality, and spiraling conflict.
  • Topic: Corruption, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Honduras
  • Author: Wael Abdul-Shafi
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: Falling oil and gas prices and shrinking demand across global energy markets pose enormous challenges for energy exporting countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia and lead to decreasing revenues from this sector. Despite differences in the structures of their respective national economies, both countries share common challenges in adapting to this new situation. High youth unemployment rates, an underrepresentation of women in the workforce, a public sector unable to absorb the high numbers of university graduates as well as environmental degradation and pollution, all constitute major problems for both countries and their economies. But, while solving many of these issues would ideally demand bilateral cooperation, a political climate of mutual mistrust and enmity currently inhibits such a process.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Iran, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Sven Biscop
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: How will the great powers behave? That is what determines the future world order – or the absence of order. Could it be that China and the EU have found an alternative for the old-fashioned grand strategies that Russia and the US are again pursuing
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: David Mastro
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: The international community is beginning to grapple with several questions regarding whether one or more countries contributing troops to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM)—which has been key to successes against al-Shabaab in recent years—will prematurely withdraw their troops from the mission due a confluence of regional and international factors.1 What is the likelihood that one or more troops contributing countries (TCCs)—Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda—withdraw from AMISOM? How would AMISOM’s operational effectiveness be impacted if a TCC left the mission? Would another country or countries be willing and able to fill the void created by a TCC’s withdrawal? This paper attempts to provide answers to these questions to inform policy discussions related to the long-term commitment of the TCCs to the mission. It also seeks to provide some actions or policies that the international community could undertake to reduce the likelihood that a TCC leaves AMISOM early.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Affairs, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Somalia
  • Author: Iñigo Guevara Moyano
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
  • Abstract: Over the past decade, the Mexican military has been crafted into hardened and more professional military, skilled in fourth generation warfare, operating across the spectrum of conflict from surgical small-unit Special Forces missions to division-level stability operations in areas comparable in size to Belgium. As new—state and non-state—threats loom on the horizon, the U.S. and Mexican militaries will need to rely on deepening their connection and increasing bilateral trust to build a stronger and interdependent defense relationship. The increase in dialogue and cooperation builds trust and promotes mutual understanding between Mexico and the United States, crafting deep ties between both militaries during a time when the radicalization of political ideas threatens to transcend electoral campaign rhetoric and affect the economic and social fields of North America. For two neighbors that share an annual trade worth USD 534 billion along a 2,000-mile border, understanding each other’s strengths and weaknesses should be a priority. This paper is meant to provide a deeper understanding of the Mexican military and its contribution to the defense and security of North America. It does so by analyzing the evolution of Mexico’s armed forces, and the past and present cooperation between the Mexican and the U.S. militaries.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Affairs, Armed Forces, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: America, Mexico