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  • Author: Edward Thomas
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Sudan's Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) was signed in 2005, ending two decades of war between Sudan's central government and the Southern-based Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army. The CPA shares wealth and power between Sudan's powerful Centre, a newly autonomous South, and Sudan's other vast, diverse, impoverished peripheries. The bold peace gave new legitimacy to the two parties, who agreed to face their first competitive elections in 2009. Southern Sudan will have a referendum on self-determination in 2011.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Treaties and Agreements, War
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan
  • Author: Alex Evans
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Global food prices have eased significantly from their record highs in the first part of 2008. As a worldwide economic downturn has gathered pace, commodity markets have weakened significantly. By October 2008, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization's Food Price Index stood at 164, the same level as in August 2007, and 25% lower than the Index's high of 219 in June 2008.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Food
  • Author: Kate Bailey, Susan Ambler-Edwards, Alexandra Kiff
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Over the next few decades, the global food system will come under renewed pressure from the combined effects of seven fundamental factors: population growth, the nutrition transition, energy, land, water, labour and climate change. The combined effects will create constraints on food supply and if action is not taken, there is a real potential for demand growth to outstrip increases in global food production. Effects on developing countries would be devastating. Developed countries will be affected too. Expectations of abundant and ever cheaper food could come under strain. The UK can no longer afford to take its food supply for granted.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Climate Change, Demographics, Globalization, International Security
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom
  • Author: Robin Niblett
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: During his inaugural address on 20 January 2009, Barack Obama declared to 'all other peoples and governments, who are watching today, know that we are ready to lead once more'. In the following four weeks to the publication of this report, President Obama has set the United States on a course that is meeting widespread approval around the world. He has ordered the closure as soon as possible of the Guantánamo Bay detention facilities and of other secret facilities outside the United States that had so undermined America's international credibility with its allies and confirmed the anti-US narrative of its opponents. He has appointed special envoys for Middle East Peace and to implement an integrated strategy for both Afghanistan and Pakistan. He has offered to 'seek a new way forward' with the Muslim world as well as to 'extend a hand' to authoritarian governments if they are willing 'to unclench [their] fist'. His Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, has said that America will be more effective if it can 'build a world with more partners and fewer adversaries'. Both have recognized the virtues of pragmatism over ideology and the reality of interdependence.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Middle East, Asia, Latin America
  • Author: Vanessa Rossi
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Japan's economy has suffered exceptional damage because of its high level of exposure to the massive downturn in world trade and investment, notably impacting on demand for cars, consumer electronics and investment equipment. The depth of Japan's recession looks set to be far worse than that of the US and the EU. However, the recession has also radically reshaped the global financial environment in ways that suggest unexpected opportunities for Japanese financial institutions and markets. This report reviews the outlook for Tokyo as a financial centre and the role of Japan's financial sector in the light of domestic targets as well as international trends and competition.
  • Topic: Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Markets
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, Europe, Israel, Asia, Tokyo
  • Author: Paul Stevens
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Recent events between Russia and Ukraine at the start of 2009 and Russia and Georgia in 2008 have brought transit pipelines back into the media spotlight. Any reading of the history of transit oil and gas pipelines suggests a tendency to produce conflict and disagreement, often resulting in the cessation of throughput, sometimes for a short period and sometimes for longer. It is tempting to attribute this to bad political relations between neighbours. This is certainly part of the story, but also important is the nature of the 'transit terms' – tariffs and offtake terms – whereby transit countries are rewarded for allowing transit. Put simply, the trouble with transit pipelines has a significant economic basis.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Economics, Markets, Oil
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine, Georgia
  • Author: Paul Cornish, Rex Hughes, David Livingstone
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Cyberspace and the National Security of the United Kingdom provides a general overview of the problem of cybersecurity. The aim of the report is to inform debate and to make the case for a more coherent, comprehensive and anticipatory policy response, both nationally and internationally. In every area, society is becoming increasingly dependent upon information and communications technology (ICT). With dependency come exposure and vulnerability to misuse, criminality and even attack. Criminals and extremists are able to take advantage of the same 'global technological commons' upon which society is becoming so dependent. Cybersecurity has become a fast-moving and complex security challenge, one which requires a coordinated, agile and mutually reinforcing response from all those who benefit from the global ICT infrastructure.
  • Topic: Security, Crime, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Paola Subacchi, Robin Niblett, Alexei Monsarrat
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: What started last year as a growing international credit crunch and, by September, a global banking crisis has now spread into the real economy. International trade, investment and economic growth are all contracting. A drastic curtailment of credit, collapsing global demand and a loss of trade finance is having a devastating economic effect on both the developed and developing worlds, especially those economies that are heavily dependent on exports.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Cooperation, International Organization, International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Europe, London
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Ambition is high. Just a few years ago, the claim that the Gulf represented an important financial centre, let alone an aspiring Global Financial Centre (GFC), would have been seen as optimistic. However, it should be recalled that in the late 1990s, and even up until 2003, few analysts expected oil prices to move above the $20–30 range–yet by early 2008 oil was trading well above $100 and rising. The GCC economies have approximately tripled in size in just five years and their combined GDP will be well above $1 trillion in 2008, while their external financial wealth in the form of sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) and foreign exchange reserves alone is more than double this figure. These trends are not, of course, uncorrelated. Nevertheless, it is easy to see the region's comparative advantage from the swing in oil prices, whereas the scope for developing a significant advantage in global finance remains tentative. To develop and mature the Global Financial Centre concept will require considerable effort and nurturing, chiefly by GCC governments, banks and fund managers but including cooperative ventures with leading GFCs and financial services companies.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Markets
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia, Arab Countries
  • Author: Sally Healy
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: This report is a study of three peace processes in the Horn of Africa, a region of Africa distinguished by the prevalence and persistence of armed conflict. It deals with the Algiers Agreement of December 2000 between Ethiopia and Eritrea, the Somalia National Peace and Reconciliation Process concluded in October 2004 and the Sudan Comprehensive Peace Agreement of January 2005. It examines in turn the background and historical context of the conflicts that these peace agreements were intended to resolve. It charts the developments since the agreements were signed, seeking to assess how far they have achieved successful outcomes for peace and stability. The results are very mixed.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Disaster Relief, Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa