Search

You searched for: Content Type Working Paper Remove constraint Content Type: Working Paper Publication Year within 3 Years Remove constraint Publication Year: within 3 Years Publication Year within 5 Years Remove constraint Publication Year: within 5 Years
Number of results to display per page

Search Results

  • Author: Fabrice Balanche
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Geneva Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: Discussion paper for the workshop on: “The Politics and Modalities of Reconstruction in Syria”, Geneva, Switzerland, 7-8 February 2019. The war in Syria has not ended, yet uncoordinated bottom-up reconstruction efforts have already taken place in many areas where the bombing and violence have stopped. The government is prioritising restoring electricity, as it is inexpensive, but water, education, and health are harder to restore cheaply and quickly. The resumption of public services, and investment in regime areas depends on loyalty, reminiscent of pre-war sectarian politics. The extent of politicisation of the reconstruction efforts led by the Syrian government is reduced because of limited funds, and government disconnection from local levels. Bottom-up efforts to reconstruction are limited to individuals rebuilding their houses using remittances, or low-level housing projects. Lack of large funding for infrastructure, industry and health will slow growth, reinforce fragmentation of industry and reproduce the root causes of the conflict.
  • Topic: Government, Infrastructure, Reconstruction, Conflict, Syrian War, Services
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Jonathan M. Harris
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts University
  • Abstract: Macroeconomic theory was shaken up in the wake of the financial crisis, with neoclassical approaches proving inadequate to analyze or respond to the need for policy action. Despite efforts to return to more conventional macro perspectives, a continuing re-evaluation of economic theory has important implications both for traditional economic concerns such as employment and inflation, and for ecological issues and the climate crisis. An emerging “green Keynesian” approach combines a radical Keynesian analysis with ecological priorities such as drastic carbon emissions reduction. One important aspect of this reorientation of theory is the analysis of economic and ecological deficits. In the years since the financial crisis, both economic and ecological deficits have increased. This poses a challenge for “green Keynesian” policy. It is therefore necessary to have effective analyses to measure and respond to ecological deficits, as well as policy measures to deal with economic deficits. This paper proposes a new approach to measuring ecological deficits, and a new perspective on economic deficits and debt. Since there is no single unitary measure for depletion or degradation of different kinds of resources, it is necessary to measure different kinds of deficit for different resources, with a goal of reducing all of these to zero or replacing them with surpluses. The analysis involves exploring the specific economic implications of reducing both ecological and economic deficits, which involves re-conceptualizing economic growth and "degrowth", and provides an alternative to current U.S. policies under the Trump administration, which are contributing to widening both deficits.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Debt, Financial Crisis, Macroeconomics
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Padmashree Gehl Sampath, Walter Park
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts University
  • Abstract: Market concentration in technology intensive industries has been a subject of interest to both scholars and policy analysts. This paper provides a first empirical assessment on how the patenting system contributes to market concentration and the generation of economic rents in three key sectors – pharmaceuticals, chemicals and ICTs. Using data for US multinationals and their foreign affiliates on the one hand, and locally registered private and public companies in Brazil, India and China, we conclude that the concentration of patent ownership is found significantly to relate to market concentration in the USA. In developing countries such as Brazil, India, and China, a strengthening of patent rights has contributed to greater returns for affiliates of U.S. companies but has not stimulated their R&D intensity. The affiliates of U.S. multinationals have enjoyed greater profitability relative to their local competitors in Brazil, India, and China. The paper draws implications for the setting of intellectual property policy and offers suggestions on the role of competition policy in curbing market concentration and related effects on inequality and access.
  • Topic: Markets, Inequality, Patents
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Monica Hernandez
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts University
  • Abstract: This research examines non-tariff measures (NTMs) and their use in impact assessments of free trade agreements (FTAs) based on computable general equilibrium models (CGE) as well as its implications. We show that projected gains related to FTAs tend to rely on removing ‘actionable’ NTMs and that, usually, impact assessments and empirical studies that provide this recommendation lack case-specific explanations behind actionability as well as of the channels and the way NTM elimination is supposed to improve welfare. We also find that the estimated economic gains from FTAs based on CGE models tend to be small and based on a high percentage of NTM elimination, which underestimates the social significance of these measures. Since NTMs comprise measures that target not only economic aspects but also social and environmental ones, indiscriminate NTM elimination suggests that small gains may come at a high cost.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Tax Systems, Free Trade, Non-Tariff Measures
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Pavel Havlíček
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Abstract: The past 10 years can be generally assessed as a success and this trend needs to be maintained in the upcoming decade. To this end, it will be necessary to come up with a new vision for EU-Eastern relations and keep the EU’s Eastern policy high on the EU agenda. This is where EaP supporters, such as Poland and Sweden, and again the Czech Republic, can play a decisive role. The strategic task ahead of those countries is to come up with new ideas and incentives on how to develop the policy until 2030, and beyond. The EU member states from the so-called “like-minded” group will also have to push for the Euro-Atlantic orientation of the Eastern European countries while keeping the door open to the future enlargement process in the long run. The policy paper looks at the past decade of Eastern Partnership, its achievements and failures and currents tasks and challenges that lie ahead of the both EU and the six EaP states. It brings policy recommendations for the European Union, Visegrad Group and the Czech Republic. The paper was published with a support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic in the framework of public diplomacy projects within Czech Foreign Policy and international relations. It follows up on the Eastern Partnership Day, an international conference organized by AMO and the Institute of International Relations in June 2019.
  • Topic: International Relations, European Union, Partnerships
  • Political Geography: Europe, Czech Republic
  • Author: Miroslav Tuma
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Abstract: Miroslav Tůma in his new Policy Paper titled "The Importance of Verification and Transparency in the Nuclear-Arms Control, Nonproliferation and Disarmament Process" explained how monitoring and verification procedure associated with the nuclear-arms control, nonproliferation and disarmament process is nowadays important, especially in the sphere between US and Russia, which posses 90% of nuclear weapons all over the world. The author also analysed the development of the verification procedure in this field and its future curse. Should be the engagement of verification activity in a straight line with international law? What attitude should the Czech Republic take towards this problem in the near future?
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Disarmament
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Nikola Schmidt, Ondrej Ditrych
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Abstract: Recommendations are articulated for a state such as the Czech Republic for which a pragmatic normative the framework defined herein provides a useful perspective to look at the governance of new technologies that ensure normatively desirable outcomes of sweeping technological change, and stimulate international scientific collaboration with positive spill-over effects to other domains of international cooperation. This research was supported by the Technological Agency of the Czech Republic. Particularly through a scientific grant TACR TL01000181: “A multidisciplinary analysis of planetary defense from asteroids as the key national policy ensuring further flourishing and prosperity of humankind both on Earth and in Space.”
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Governance, Space
  • Political Geography: Europe, Czech Republic
  • Author: Eleanor Acer
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Human Rights First
  • Abstract: The Trump Administration has purposefully mismanaged the refugee and humanitarian challenges pushing people to flee political repression, human rights abuses, economic deprivation, and climate displacement in Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. Trump Administration policies have actually made things worse, cutting programs countering displacement, turning a blind eye to human rights abuses, encouraging crossings between official ports of entry, and punishing people seeking U.S. protection through punitive and traumatizing family separations and detention. These harmful policies have aggravated humanitarian challenges—deliberately provoking disorder, chaos, and confusion. Congress must take swift action to push real solutions, and over the longer term the next administration will need to ensure these solutions are enduring. Congress should champion a new initiative to strengthen protection across the region. This initiative must truly tackle the rights abuses and deprivations pushing people to flee, greatly enhance the capacity of Mexico and other countries to provide asylum and host refugees, and set a strong example at home by upholding America’s own refugee protection commitments. Upholding human rights commitments is not only the right thing to do, it is also in the U.S. national interest. These commitments have saved millions of lives and encourage countries around the world—including front-line countries that host the vast majority of the world’s refugees—to continue hosting refugees. The heroic work of many Americans—working and volunteering with faith-based shelters, community groups, legal representation, and other organizations—should be supported. They are, and always have been, an essential part of the solution. The measures outlined below would restore order to the region and the U.S. border while upholding the United States’ legal and humanitarian commitments. Key steps include: 1. Address the actual causes of displacement in Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. The United States should increase support for effective programs that counter violence, strengthen justice systems, spur economic opportunities, and safeguard communities from climate displacement, so that people do not need to flee in search of safety or survival. In addition, U.S. diplomats must press the leaders of these countries to safeguard rights, support anti-corruption efforts, and address abuses from security forces. 2. Strongly support increased asylum and refugee-hosting capacity in Mexico and other Latin American countries, so that these countries—which are already hosting growing numbers—have the ability to continue accepting refugees. Asylum filings in Mexico, for example, have increased by over 700 percent since 2014. The United States should sharply increase support for the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) to increase regional capacity, to develop strong asylum and refugee protection systems, and to better integrate refugees in Mexico and the region. U.S. diplomacy, law enforcement cooperation, and rule of law assistance should be leveraged to reduce violence against refugees and migrants in Mexico. In addition, the United States should launch a regional resettlement effort, providing some refugees with routes to safety in the United States as well as other countries, and relaunch the Central American Minors (CAM) program to allow some children with family in the United States to come to our country safely. 3. Combat smuggling in the region while safeguarding access to protection. U.S. agencies must ensure anti-smuggling and anti-trafficking efforts do not block escape from dangerous countries and include measures to safeguard human rights and access to asylum. By strengthening asylum, resettlement, and work visas in the region, more refugees and migrants will have alternate routes to protection. 4. Manage U.S. asylum arrivals effectively through a genuine humanitarian response that upholds U.S. law and provides order, including: Restore timely and orderly asylum processing at ports of entry and ensure humane conditions at all Department of Homeland Security (DHS) facilities; End the Remain in Mexico scheme and “metering” policies that push people to cross between ports of entry and put the lives of asylum seekers at risk as they wait in danger in Mexico; Support and fund NGOs and shelters in the United States—including faith-based groups that have been effectively partnering with DHS in U.S. cities along the border—to address humanitarian needs, a typical and necessary move in managing refugee arrivals; and Launch a community-based case management program that supports appearance, as recommended by ICE’s own advisory group, rather than jailing asylum seekers for even longer. 5. Restore order through measures providing timely, fair, and effective U.S. adjudications, including: Increase, rather than “get rid of,” immigration judges and interpreters. In order to understand what is being said in their courtrooms and ensure due process, judges must be supported by interpreters. And, since a judge set on furthering a politicized agenda is worse than no judge at all, safeguards against politicized court hiring must be immediately restored. Additional measures to support judges include: increased recruitment of interpreters who speak indigenous dialects to assure accurate hearings and prevent continued adjournments, ensuring the time necessary to gather evidence to prove cases, and rejecting absurd schemes that would entrust protection determinations to border agents or rush cases through adjudications; Support a major legal representation initiative to ensure eligible refugees receive protection at the earliest stages of the process and institute universal legal orientation presentations (LOPs)—including for families released from DHS/Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody—to explain appearance obligations, the legal system, and how to secure counsel; Enable more cases to be granted efficiently at the USCIS asylum office by providing initial decision-making authority to the asylum office in all asylum cases, changing policies and practices that have prompted asylum officers to refer, rather than grant, cases that meet the asylum criteria— unnecessarily adding them to the immigration court caseload—and assure the availability of an application process for “cancellation of removal” relief so these cases do not clog the asylum system; Make the immigration courts independent, as the American Bar Association recommends, to secure due process and judicial independence, ensuring that political appointees can no longer attempt to improperly influence the courts’ decisions in asylum and other cases; and Reverse Trump Administration efforts to prevent refugees from receiving asylum in the United States—including former Attorney General Sessions’ ruling attempting to deny protection to women who have fled domestic violence and families escaping from deadly gangs. The measures outlined above would restore order and bring about real and enduring solutions. As the president and top Trump Administration officials are doubling down on punitive policies and political rhetoric that fail to solve these challenges, Congress must demand effective strategies that are consistent with America’s ideals.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Prisons/Penal Systems, Border Control
  • Political Geography: United States, Central America, North America, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador
  • Author: Eleanor Acer
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Human Rights First
  • Abstract: Families and children from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador—fleeing human rights abuses, deadly violence, climate displacement and economic deprivations—continue to seek refuge in the United States and other countries. This is a regional humanitarian crisis—a manageable one that should be addressed using proven strategies, as are humanitarian challenges around the world. Yet instead of taking the steps necessary to address the crisis, the Trump Administration is making things worse, threatening cuts to effective programs that could reduce the problems forcing people to flee, sending refugees back to danger, canceling rather than expanding case management, and cutting orderly processing at ports of entry, increasing crossings between ports of entry. The Trump Administration’s actions appear designed to generate chaos. The regional crisis requires real solutions in several key areas: tackling the rights abuses and deprivations pushing people to flee, enhancing the capacity of Mexico and other countries to provide asylum and host refugees, and managing U.S. refugee protection requests in fair, effective and orderly ways—ways that uphold America’s refugee laws and treaty commitments. Most immediately, the United States must end the dysfunction at the border by launching a public-private humanitarian initiative and a long overdue case management system, which would keep asylum seekers informed and ensure they appear for their hearings. At the same time, the U.S. government should fix the asylum and immigration court adjudication systems to provide fair, non-politicized, and timely decisions. To effectively manage border and adjudication systems, the United States must upgrade to manage new realities, instead of pushing mass detention and other outdated, inadequate and ineffective responses that are also costly, cruel, and inhumane. As part of this strategy, the United States should launch a major initiative, with other countries, to expand regional protection so that Mexico and others, which are already hosting growing numbers, have the ability to continue accepting refugees. Critically, the United States and other donors should increase support for efforts to build the capacity of these countries to provide asylum, host, protect, and integrate refugees. In addition, the United States should work with other resettlement countries to launch a robust regional initiative that provides orderly routes to protection in the United States and other third countries. The United States must also advance a targeted strategy—leveraging both diplomacy and aid - to address the actual root causes of migration and displacement in the Northern Triangle. This should focus on programs that reduce violence, combat corruption, strengthen rule of law, decrease femicide and other gender-based harms, address gang violence, protect vulnerable populations, and promote sustainable economic development. By helping to build real protections for women, children, LGBTQ, indigenous, and other at-risk people in Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador, while expanding protection of refugees in Mexico and other countries, this strategy will ultimately reduce the numbers fleeing to the United States. The measures outlined below would restore order to the region and the U.S. border while upholding U.S. legal and humanitarian commitments. Congress—and over the longer term, the next administration—must push real solutions.
  • Topic: Humanitarian Aid, Prisons/Penal Systems, Border Control, Refugees
  • Political Geography: United States, Central America, North America, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador
  • Author: Loren B. Landau, Caroline Wanjiku-Kihato, Hannah Postel
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination, Princeton University
  • Abstract: African migration—its drivers, dynamics, and consequences—increasingly features in European and global policy debates.Through an examination of existing data on African mobility, this report argues there are few reasons to expect dramatic changes in the sources, directions, or nature of migration within and from sub-Saharan Africa. In the coming 30 years, economic inequality (within the continent and between Africa and Europe), climate change, persecution, and conflict will continue to encourage ever-diversifying movements to cities, to neighboring countries, and beyond Africa. The vast majority of those moving will stay within their countries of citizenship or move to neighboring countries; about one-fifth of sub-Saharan migrants will seek passage to Europe, Australasia, or North America. Although the proportion of Africans migrating internationally may not substantially increase in the decades ahead, the onset of the continent’s demographic boom will result in many more Africans on the move. Ironically, current development investments intended to sedentarize would-be migrants or reduce fertility (and hence the number of potential migrants) are only likely to intensify movements. For sub-Saharan African economies to absorb the surplus labor, African states would almost universally need to sustain two decades of economic growth at a pace previously unseen in global history.
  • Topic: Migration, Displacement, Mobility, Humanitarian Crisis
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Author: Isabella Banks
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Public International Law Policy Group
  • Abstract: Criminal liability in international law is unique from that of most national legal systems in that it extends to those physically distant from the crime. International law’s expanded notions of criminal liability and commission are what have made it possible for justice institutions – first the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal (IMT) in 1945 and now the International Criminal Court (ICC) – to hold high-level perpetrators who order, plan, coordinate, or facilitate mass atrocities from afar accountable for their actions. A question that international legal authorities have largely left unanswered is how this expanded notion of criminal liability might be applied in the age of global online networks and in particular, social media. There is mounting evidence that in addition to helping us stay connected and “bring the world closer together,” social media platforms are being used to proliferate ideas that result in real-world violence.
  • Topic: Crime, International Cooperation, Violence, International Criminal Court (ICC)
  • Political Geography: Myanmar, Global Focus
  • Author: Cleo Meinicke
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Public International Law Policy Group
  • Abstract: In October 2018, the Bosnian state court indicted a former soldier of crimes against humanity for his involvement in the murder and enforced disappearance of civilians in the Kljuc area. In September of that year, a German court convicted Ibrahim Al F. for war crimes committed in Syria and in the same month a military tribunal in the Democratic Republic of the Congo found two military commanders guilty of crimes against humanity committed in the villages of Kamananga and Lumenje (South Kivu). These are just three recent examples of domestic efforts in the prosecution of those responsible for international crimes. Based on the complementarity principle of the International Criminal Court (ICC), where states are “unwilling or unable” to prosecute international crimes, the ICC may step in to prosecute those most responsible for the commission of the crimes under its jurisdiction, namely genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression. However, out of 28 cases before the Court since its inception in 2001 only three resulted in successful convictions. Several suspects were acquitted after lengthy proceedings, of which Gbagbo and Blé Goudé are the latest examples. Therefore, the ICC should be regarded as a last resort while domestic courts carry the main responsibility to prosecute those responsible for international crimes.
  • Topic: Crime, International Law, Crimes Against Humanity, International Criminal Court (ICC)
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Germany, Democratic Republic of Congo, Bosnia and Hercegovina
  • Author: Phedra Neel
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Public International Law Policy Group
  • Abstract: Between the 7th and 10th February 2019, Human Rights Watch organized, in cooperation with De Balie, the seventh edition of the Human Rights Weekend. This year’s topic was “Where do I stand” and invited the attendees to think about how they are (in)directly involved in human rights violations and how they can contribute in ending these violations. The program consisted of masterclasses, lectures, and documentaries. One of these documentaries showed the incredible story of Nadia Murad. Nadia is a Yazidi girl, who witnessed her community being murdered by ISIS. She was later captured herself and forced to become a sex slave. Today she is known as the most recent Nobel peace Prize winner for her global advocacy campaign to fight for the rights of the Yazidi. This campaign consists of addressing heads of states and governments, asking for help for the survivors and for the attack on her people to be considered as genocide. Whereas some states have indeed passed legislation that recognizes the events as genocide, others refuse to do so until the United Nations (UN) itself officially uses the word genocide to describe the atrocities.
  • Topic: Genocide, Human Rights, Crimes Against Humanity, International Criminal Court (ICC)
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Francisca De Castro
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Public International Law Policy Group
  • Abstract: ince the 1960s, Colombia has been faced with a situation of armed violence that has plunged the country in insecurity and crisis. Groups of farmers had created self-defense militias, which later turned into guerrilla groups, over agrarian disputes with the government. The violence turned into a conflict between state forces, paramilitary groups, and guerrilla groups such as the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC), amongst others. In 2016, the Colombian government and the FARC signed a peace agreement which put an end to more than 60 years of civil war. However, three years later, the humanitarian reality in Colombia is still far from resolved. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) reported that the humanitarian situation in Colombia had in fact decayed in 2018. According to the ICRC, this was a consequence of the five remaining armed conflicts with other groups that were running in parallel, and the ineffective state response to these conflicts in certain rural communities, such asthe Catatumbo and the Cauca regions.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Violence, Peace, Humanitarian Crisis
  • Political Geography: Colombia, South America
  • Author: Tanushree Nigam
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Public International Law Policy Group
  • Abstract: n a major decision, the International Criminal Court ruled on September 6, 2018 that the Court may exercise jurisdiction over the crime of alleged deportation of the Rohingyas from Myanmar to Bangladesh. The Pre-Trial Chamber accepted the OTP’s argument that the Court may exercise jurisdiction over the crime of cross border deportation of Rohingyas even though the alleged crime had been committed in Myanmar which is not a State Party. The Pre-Trial Chamber stated that this could be done as some “elements of the crime” had taken place in the territory of Bangladesh, which is a State Party. This judgment makes a towering statement that ICC’s jurisdiction is objective rather than subjective in nature. In this post, I discuss the basis and implications of the Chamber’s findings.
  • Topic: Legal Theory , International Criminal Court (ICC), Humanitarian Crisis, Deportation
  • Political Geography: Africa, Asia, South Korea, North Korea, Myanmar
  • Author: Gary King, Melissa Sands
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Universities require faculty and students planning research involving human subjects to pass formal certification tests and then submit research plans for prior approval. Those who diligently take the tests may better understand certain important legal requirements but, at the same time, are often misled into thinking they can apply these rules to their own work which, in fact, they are not permitted to do. They will also be missing many other legal requirements not mentioned in their training but which govern their behaviors. Finally, the training leaves them likely to completely misunderstand the essentially political situation they find themselves in. The resulting risks to their universities, collaborators, and careers may be catastrophic, in addition to contributing to the more common ordinary frustrations of researchers with the system. To avoid these problems, faculty and students conducting research about and for the public need to understand that they are public figures, to whom different rules apply, ones that political scientists have long studied. University administrators (and faculty in their part-time roles as administrators) need to reorient their perspectives as well. University research compliance bureaucracies have grown, in well-meaning but sometimes unproductive ways that are not required by federal laws or guidelines. We offer advice to faculty and students for how to deal with the system as it exists now, and suggestions for changes in university research compliance bureaucracies, that should benefit faculty, students, staff, university budgets, and our research subjects.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jürgen Haacke
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: In the context of the complex unipolar post-Cold War period that has witnessed China’s reemergence as an economic and military power, small and middle powers are increasingly considered to be hedging. This analysis is especially prevalent in relation to Southeast Asian countries, many of which face security challenges posed by China. However, as the literature on hedging has expanded, the concept’s analytical value is no longer obvious. Different understandings of hedging compete within the literature, and there are many criteria by which hedging is empirically ascertained, leading to confusion even over the basic question of which countries are hedging. In response, this article presents a modified conceptual and methodological framework that clearly delineates hedging from other security strategies and identifies key criteria to evaluate whether smaller powers are hedging when confronting a serious security challenge by one of the major powers. This framework is then applied to Malaysia and Singapore.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Post Cold War
  • Political Geography: China, Malaysia, Asia, Singapore, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Paul Saunders, John Van Oudenaren
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for the National Interest
  • Abstract: The report provides a synthesis of Japanese and American expert perspectives on the recent history, current state and future prospects for Japan-Russia relations. The authors examine the political, diplomatic, security, economic and energy dynamics of this important, but understudied relationship. They also assess how the Japan-Russia relationship fits within the broader geopolitical context of the Asia-Pacific region, factoring in structural determinants such as China’s rise and the level of U.S. presence in the region. Finally, the authors consider potential policy implications for the United States, paying special attention to how shifts in relations between Tokyo and Moscow could impact the U.S.-Japan alliance. As Saunders observes in his introduction to the volume, the currently shifting strategic environment in the Asia-Pacific region, which is a central factor in Tokyo and Moscow’s efforts to foster constructive relations, also raises a host of questions for the US-Japan alliance. What are the prospects for Japan-Russia relations? What are Russian and Japanese objectives in their bilateral relations? How does the Trump administration view a possible improvement in Russia-Japan relations and to what extent will U.S. officials seek to limit such developments? Is the U.S.-Russia relationship likely to worsen and in so doing to spur further China-Russia cooperation? Could a better Russia-Japan relationship weaken the U.S.-Japan alliance? Or might it in fact serve some U.S. interests?
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Japan, China, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Jennifer R. Dresden, Thomas E. Flores, Irfan Nooruddin
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute of International Education
  • Abstract: The notion that robust democracy and violent conflict are linked is commonplace. Many observers of international politics attribute violent conflict in contexts as diverse as Myanmar and Syria to failures of democracy. Conversely, most agree that continuing political violence undermines any effort to build strong democratic institutions in Libya or South Sudan. As a matter of policy, democratization has often been promoted not only as an end in itself but as a means toward building peace in societies scarred by violence. Development professionals tackle these challenges daily, confronting vicious cycles of political violence and weak democratic institutions. At the same time, scholars have dedicated intense scrutiny to these questions, often finding that the interrelationships between conflict and democracy belie easy categorization. This report, the third in a series on democratic theories of change, critically engages with this literature to ask three questions: Under what circumstances do democratic practice or movement toward democracy quell (or exacerbate) the risk of different kinds of violent conflict? Under what circumstances do the risk and experience of violent conflict undermine democratic practice? How can external interventions mitigate risks and capitalize on opportunities inherent in transitions to democracy and peace? To answer these questions, a research team at George Mason University and Georgetown University spent eight months compiling, organizing, and evaluating the academic literature connecting democratic practice and violent conflict, which spans the fields of political science, economics, peace studies, anthropology, sociology, and psychology. This work was funded by USAID’s Center of Excellence on Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance (the DRG Center), under the Institute of International Education’s (IIE’s) Democracy Fellows and Grants Program. Beginning in May 2018, the authors organized a team of three research assistants, who read and summarized more than 600 journal articles, books, reports, and newspaper articles. The resulting White Paper was the subject of an August 2018 workshop with representatives from USAID and an interdisciplinary group of eight scholars with expertise in conflict and democracy. Based on their feedback, the authors developed a new Theories of Change Matrix and White Paper in October 2018. This draft received further written feedback from USAID and another three scholars. The core team then revised the report again to produce this final draft. This report’s approach to the literature differs from past phases of the Theories of Democratic Change project. While past reports detailed the hypothesized causes of democratic backsliding (Phase I) and democratic transitions (Phase II), this report focuses on the reciprocal relationship between democratic practice and conflict. The report therefore organizes hypotheses into two questions and then sub-categories within each question.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Education, Democracy, Conflict, Political Science, USAID
  • Political Geography: Libya, Syria, North America, Myanmar, South Sudan, Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: Gilbert Tietaah, Sulemana Braimah
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: National Endowment for Democracy
  • Abstract: West Africa sits at a critical juncture that will determine whether the coming years are spent defending against reversals in media freedom and pluralism, or moving forward toward new and lasting progress. In this context, the Media Foundation for West Africa consulted stakeholders from all 16 countries of the West Africa region on the question of how cross-border coalitions can help to promote a robust and independent press. This report puts forward a vision for such a region-wide strategy, and how it can coordinate the efforts of civil society organizations, media actors, government allies, and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Specifically, the report highlights four concrete actions that could be taken as the foundation for such a coordinated, regional strategy.
  • Topic: Media, Journalism, The Press, Freedom of Press
  • Political Geography: Africa, West Africa