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  • Author: Richard Barrett
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Soufan Group
  • Abstract: Over 12,000 fighters from at least 81 countries have joined the civil war in Syria, and the numbers continue to grow. Around 2,500 are from Western countries, including most members of the European Union, the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. There are also several hundred from Russia. But the great majority are from the Arab World. Most are fighting with rebel groups, and increasingly with the most extreme among them; but many are also fighting with the Government, or with ethnic or faith communities that are trying to protect themselves from both sides. A lot are young, often teenagers, and a fair percentage of those arriving from non-Muslim majority countries are converts to Islam. These and others who share their faith commonly express their motivation as a religious obligation to protect fellow Muslims from attack. This sense of duty is captured by their loose use of the word ‘jihad’.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Syria
  • Author: Guido Lenzi
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institute for Security and International Studies (ISIS)
  • Abstract: We have not reached the “end of history”, but this is one of its crossroads, a hinge, like Westphalia in 1648, Vienna in 1815, Versailles in 1919, San Francisco 1in 1945 (or the soon forgotten Paris in 1990). We are all, in other words, once again „present at the creation‟. Not much further than the square one that Roosevelt and Truman established seventy years ago. The “winds of change” that Harold MacMillan detected in 19561 are blowing anew. International relations have to cope with unprecedented situations, in what is essentially a systemic transition from traditional power-politics to global cooperative endeavors. Having discovered that military might is not decisive anymore, that deterrence cannot apply to non-state troublemakers and terrorists, and that, both regionally and globally, self-protective instincts prevail over international solidarity. While borders do not mean much anymore, state sovereignty makes a comeback. A mixture of inherent contradictions, that only a new international paradigmcan cope with, and that only „the West‟ appears able, if less willing, to provide
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 01-2013
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for International and Regional Studies: CIRS
  • Abstract: Middle East experts, scholars, and laymen were equally caught off guard by the startling political upheaval that rippled through the Arab world like a contagious disease in early 2011. While the situation is still in flux and one cannot draw conclusions as to what will ultimately emerge, the unexpected nature of these Arab uprisings has certainly provoked debate around some of the existing assumptions about the domestic politics of the region. Over the years, a robust body of scholarship has developed focusing on the durability of authoritarian rule in the Middle East, and the remarkable resilience of the regimes in power. Much of this analysis has been based on the rigorous study of the patterns of socio-political behavior in the Middle East, both at the regional level of analysis as well as that of individual states, and, in particular, on the carefully crafted “ruling bargains” between regimes and their citizens.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Political Theory
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relation
  • Abstract: This report examines whether traditional liberalism stands a chance in today’s India, where the individual’s role has been nearly subsumed by a dominant state seeking to be benefactor.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Melissa Conley Tyler
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Australian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Australian Institute of International Affairs (AIIA) was established in 1924 with to promote public understanding and interest in international affairs. The AIIA works actively to engage younger people in the community in its work by coordinating events such as careers fairs, school events, mentoring, internships and the Young Diplomats Program
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Australia
  • Author: Saban Kardas
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research (SAM)
  • Abstract: This policy brief studies Turkey’s contributions to the resolution of the Afghan conflict by focusing on its regional approach. The brief puts forth the argument that Afghanistan provides a good show-case to demonstrate the elements of a new security culture Turkey has adopted in its post-Cold War transformation. Reflecting the growing power of civilians in the making of foreign policy, Turkey’s security culture has evolved in ways that it has embraced many liberal elements, which can be grouped under the concept of cooperative security.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relation
  • Abstract: This bi-annual report includes features written exclusively (unless mentioned otherwise) for Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relations by various contributors, and Gateway House staff, from January-July 2012.
  • Topic: Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, India, Brazil
  • Author: Melissa Conley Tyler
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Australian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Australian Institute of International Affairs (AIIA) was established in 1924 to promote public understanding and interest in international affairs. The AIIA works actively to engage young people in its work including through young professionals’ networks, careers fairs, schools events, internships, mentoring and the Young Diplomats Program
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Australia
  • Author: Bülent Aras
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research (SAM)
  • Abstract: This brief critically examines a new area of activism in Turkey’s foreign policy agenda: Turkey’s rise as a mediator in regional and international crises zones. It contextualizes Turkey’s reliance on a multitude of actors to support its mediation initiatives, most notably its vibrant civil society and NGOs, as a successful case of total performance, a principle forming Turkey’s new foreign policy doctrine. The brief then outlines the broad frameworks and characteristics of Turkey’s approach to mediation, as laid out by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ahmet Davutoğlu. The brief takes a closer look at the case of Turkey’s involvement in the attempt to seek resolution in the Afghanistan conflict and it illustrates a good example of Turkey’s new style in mediation. The brief concludes with a discussion of the Friends of Mediation Initiative, launched under the UN framework through joint Turkish-Finnish initiative.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Geoffrey Kemp
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Nixon Center
  • Abstract: At the height of America’s postwar power, in the 1960s and 1970s, the U.S. Seventh Fleet was able to sustain an unchallenged presence “East of Suez” to embrace the Persian Gulf, the Indian Ocean, the Indonesian Straits, and the South and East China Seas as well as the Western Pacific. Today the U.S. remains the dominant maritime power in this vast area, especially in the region to the west of the Straits of Malacca. However, in the region closer to China, the growing power projection and sea denial capabilities of China’s military raises questions about the future ability of the United States to operate with immunity in an area China increasingly believes is part of its own patrimony. Although the United States has many allies in the region, especially Singapore, Australia, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, and increasingly Vietnam, the trends in military spending and force deployments suggest the U.S. will have to increasingly rely on cooperation with allies if there is to be a balance against China’s maritime aspirations. The downside of this is that the U.S. must avoid being drawn into the many bilateral disputes between China and its neighbors and must try to play a conciliatory role rather than taking sides. This will inevitably mean that the U.S. will have to play a different role from the one it became accustomed to during its days as the undisputed hegemon. The U.S. will still remain the key policeman in the Indian Ocean and Gulf regions, but will have to adapt to a different role in parts of the Western Pacific and southeast Asian waters.
  • Topic: International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus