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  • Author: Leila Stockmarr
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Changing with rapid speed, the current political geography of the occupied Palestinian territory has de facto come to undermine a two-state solution and is turning the official aim and end point of international negotiations at best into a naïve mirage for policymakers and at worst into a façade for a very different political game playing out in the occupied territory of the West Bank and Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem: that of Israel's ongoing territorial expansion into Palestinian land. The study shows how the settlement policies inside what are internationally-recognised Palestinian territories are not merely undermining the realisation of the two-state solution: the territorial claims put forward and pursued in practice and their anchoring in strategies of legitimisation reach far beyond international legal standards. This reveals a very different political narrative embedded at the core of the conflict from that projected by those images often appearing in the mainstream media and policy circles: a narrative of an ongoing struggle over land detached from any 'Peace Process' measures.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Treaties and Agreements, Territorial Disputes
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Erik Beukel
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The divided Korean peninsula is a flashpoint in the regional security complex in East Asia. The central issue is the threat posed by North Korea and how to meet it. After a review of North Korea as an international actor and of two important incidents in 2010 (the sinking of the South Korean naval ship Cheonan and North Korea's shelling of the South Korean coastal island of Yeonpyeong), the rationality underlying the country's military efforts is considered. South Korea's Nordpolitik is reviewed and the rise and decline of its sunshine policy and the role of its alliance with the United States is described. Two non-Korean great powers, China and the United States, are important actors in the region, and their relations with North Korea, goals and priorities, and implementation strategies are outlined. The report concludes with reflections on the potential for changing the present security complex, which is marked by a fear of war, into a restrained security regime, based on agreed and observed rules of conduct.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Foreign Policy, Cold War, Communism, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Israel, East Asia, Korea, Island
  • Author: Erik Beukel
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The Sino-Japanese relationship is a highly complex one, marked both by Japan's aggressive wars from the 1930s on and the present economic interdependence between the two countries. Focusing on the role of the territorial conflict in the East China Sea, this DIIS Report considers how China's leaders handle anti-Japanese nationalism by adopting a Janusian stance and pursuing both China's basic interest in close economic relations with Japan and also domestic stability. After a review of Chinese and Japanese sovereignty claims in the area and of the rise of nationalism since the early 1980s, four crises over the East China Sea are examined to identify the character of and changes in China's policy. For the last ten years China's leaders have attempted to conduct a more pragmatic policy towards Japan and evade the pernicious shadow of history. But this policy faces critical problems both in a growing popular nationalism in China and in the Japanese government's lack of willingness to restrain their own nationalists and the absence of legal possibilities for them to do so.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Economics, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Israel, Asia
  • Author: Andreas Bøje Forsby
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: What are the implications of China's rapid rise for international order? This report seeks to answer the question from an identity perspective. The key argument is that China is currently undergoing an identity shift towards Sino-centrism, that is, a self-centering tendency to turn narrative attention towards the internally generated, specifically Chinese hallmarks associated with China's civilizational past and cultural heritage.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Foreign Policy, Culture
  • Political Geography: China, Israel
  • Author: Erik Beukel
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The South China Sea is subject to competing claims of sovereignty by the littoral states. Due to the number of claimants and the complexity of claims, it is called the “mother of all territorial disputes”. China is far the biggest country in the region and claims sovereignty over almost all the South China Sea. This Working Paper elaborates the claims and considers the implications for China's neighborhood relations and the alignments in the Asia-Pacific. The focus is on two faces of power in China's policy, military power and soft power, after China's seizure of Mischief Reef in 1995 that upset its neighbors. China attaches great weight to developing good neighborhood relations and has become an advocate of soft power. However, when it concerns the South China Sea the soft power approach is combined with a continuing use of military power to strengthen its position. It is concluded that the two faces of power present China with new unwieldy challenges.
  • Topic: International Relations, Territorial Disputes
  • Political Geography: China, Israel, Southeast Asia