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  • Author: Abbas Shiblak
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The quest of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes is not only a legal and moral right but has become a major part of Palestinian identity and symbolizes Palestinian historical narratives. It has been an effective instrument of mobilization that became the political priority of various resistance groups which later formed the Palestine Liberation Organization. The PLO embarked on a line of negotiation which sought to reconcile rightist and realist approaches. They sought acknowledgment by Israel of its responsibility for the refugee issue and acceptance in principle of their right of return while showing flexibility and readiness to discuss various formulations of return. At the core of the inter-Palestinian debate is the dynamic between the two objectives of achieving statehood and the resolution of the refugee issue. State-building came to be seen not only as a means of reconstructing Palestinian identity but also as a catalyst to resolution of the refugee issue. A peace agreement should widen the options for the refugees and address all aspects of the refugee issue including the rights of repatriation to Israel, return to a Palestinian state, compensation, and equality and full citizenship rights in countries where refugees choose to remain. A comprehensive peace agreement must include the regional aspects of the refugee issue and all regional actors. There is an urgent need to review the current format of negotiations and bring about more balanced and effective international political engagement in the bilateral Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Political Violence, Political Economy, Post Colonialism, Poverty, Terrorism, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Israel, Palestine, Arab Countries
  • Author: Jim Rollo, Peter Holmes
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The collapse of world trade is threatening to create a negative feedback loop to the global economy. Some countries have seen their trade fall by 30–50% in the year to February 2009, a bigger fall than between 1929 and 1930. Annual figures for world trade in 2008 show a big fall in the fourth quarter – a trend that has been accelerating. The world's trade ministers have failed to get the Doha Development Agenda back on track, despite direct instructions from the G20 leaders to do so quickly after the November summit in Washington, DC. This failure sends a very powerful negative signal about the G20's lack of policy coordination on even bigger issues. There is a two-way interaction between trade and the macro-economy at a national and global level. The current crisis is threatening countries that rely on export-led growth, a strategy that has led billions out of poverty. It is imperative for there to be recognition that the current shrinkage in global trade is a macro-economic problem requiring macro-economic solutions, and that the necessary actions must be coordinated.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Economics, Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Political Economy
  • Author: Ginny Hill
  • Publication Date: 11-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Yemen presents a potent combination of problems for policy-makers confronting the prospect of state failure in this strategically important Red Sea country. It is the poorest state in the Arab world, with high levels of unemployment, rapid population growth and dwindling water resources. President Saleh faces an intermittent civil war in the north, a southern separatist movement and resurgent terrorist groups. Yemen's jihadi networks appear to be growing as operating conditions in Iraq and Saudi Arabia become more difficult. The underlying drivers for future instability are economic. The state budget is heavily dependent on revenue from dwindling oil supplies. Yemen's window of opportunity to shape its own future and create a post-oil economy is narrowing.
  • Topic: International Relations, Political Economy, Politics
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Yemen, Arab Countries, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Julie Smith
  • Publication Date: 05-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Europe's voters go to the polls in mid-June to elect 732 Members of the European Parliament. In the past European Parliament (EP) elections have been characterized by low turnout, with an emphasis on national rather than European issues. The evidence suggests that this year's elections will be little different despite the enlargement of the Union on 1 May.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Government, Political Economy, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The first speaker considered the questions, 'What was expected from the internal market/ “1992” Programme?' and 'What is the single market?' The single market is the cornerstone of the EU, enshrined in Article 3 of the Treaty on European Union. It had not yet been completed but the Commission had argued, nevertheless, that EU GDP is 1.8% higher than it would have been without the single European market (SEM).
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Europe