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  • Author: Oxford Analytica
  • Publication Date: 01-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: The formal position of the United Kingdom government that it favours entry into the European single currency 'in principle', but subject to five economic tests and popular sanction in a referendum, masks increasingly deep splits among senior ministers as to what exactly this formula means in terms of practical timing. A profound disagreement between the treasury and the foreign office, personified and led by their respective politicians, exists and is likely to intensify both in the run-up to the next UK election and throughout the next parliamentary term.
  • Topic: Government, International Trade and Finance, Politics
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Oxford Analytica
  • Publication Date: 01-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: Later this month, the US presidential primary season will commence. The opening contests—the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary—provide the best opportunities for either former Democratic senator Bill Bradley or Republican Senator John McCain and Republican Steve Forbes to prevent the present front-runners, Vice-President Al Gore and Texas Governor George Bush, from securing the Democratic and Republican nominations respectively. If Gore or Bush win clear victories in both these early polls, they will be extremely difficult to defeat in later contests. Both of the leading candidates are currently encountering more difficulties in New Hampshire than in Iowa.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 01-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: U.S. Government Statistics, Economic Statistics Briefing Room
  • Abstract: The Nation's international deficit in goods and services increased to $26.5 billion in November, from $25.6 billion (revised) in October, as imports increased more than exports.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Heikki Patomäki
  • Publication Date: 01-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In the 1970's James Tobin proposed a low rate tax on financial transactions of currencies. This tax would make many speculative movements unprofitable and the financial system less volatile and sensitive to daily political news and anticipation of economic policy changes. Consequently, it would create space for more autonomous economic policies of states.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, International Political Economy, United Nations
  • Author: Hanna Järä
  • Publication Date: 01-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: An essential challenge facing a society in transition stems from the legacy of the former power elite. A compelling need to restore moral order by the assessment of the abdication of the rule of law and violations of human rights requires an opportunity to face the past and its consequences. The process of dealing with the past includes a strong commitment to revealing the truth and redressing the past. The critical question around the issue is what is considered a proper reaction towards leaders and perpetrators who were responsible for oppressive activities and other violations of human rights, many of whom remain part of the new political structures or hold important positions in public life. The central tension is between the politics of compromise, the essence of which is to leave the past intact, and the radical notion of justice. Thus, the key dilemma facing the emerging democracies is whether past violations should be forgotten or confronted, forgiven or prosecuted.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Civil Society, Democratization, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Estonia
  • Author: Chris Browning
  • Publication Date: 01-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Since the end of the Cold War it is widely accepted that Finnish foreign policy has oriented increasingly towards the 'West', the most pertinent and concrete example of which, to date, has been accession to the EU. Implicit in many commentaries is the assumption that this orientation is a natural phenomenon, the natural culmination of an effervescent Finnish 'Western' cultural identity. Whilst the rhetorical style perhaps differs espousers of this view draw on Herderian and Hegelian assumptions, essentially arguing that after the unfortunate interruption and deviation from its true path occasioned by the Cold War the Finnish 'national spirit' is now back on its rightful historical and linear course to national fulfilment and blossoming. Looking into the nation's history such discourses see Finland's cultural and political roots as lying in the West and hence posit that with the break-up of the Soviet Union Finland is returning to these organic origins in Western civilisation, with all the effects for foreign policy such a 'Western' identity will entail. This is what we may term the 'Westernising' narrative of current debates about Finnish identity and Finnish foreign policy. On this basis the Finnish Cold War foreign policy of neutrality is characterised, either as having been a total aberration and betrayal of the Finnish 'Western' Self, or, and perhaps more commonly, as having been the best possible option available to the Finnish elite at the time: constrained by the dictates of power, agile Finnish political leaders were able to manoeuvre the Finnish ship of state through the various pitfalls and traps waiting to beguile them in the stormy waters of great power Cold War politics. Now free of such power dictates these current 'Westernising' discourses are attempting to push Finnish foreign policy towards the West, legitimising such a move to the Finnish public and the wider international audience on the grounds of Finland's claimed historical Western identity. To note the title of this panel discussion, “Defining New Identities Between East and West', for Westernising discourses there is no between about it. As an organically Western state why would Finland want to be between East and West any longer? On this basis the Finnish neutrality of the Cold War period merely disguised the true Finnish identity, a ruse so that Finland could in the future once more live as its true self when conditions once again permitted.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, International Political Economy, Nationalism
  • Political Geography: Europe, Finland
  • Author: Hanna Ojanen
  • Publication Date: 01-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: When thinking of the overall image of the European Union, one would not first come to visualise soldiers with the twelve starlets on blue background on their uniforms. During its 40 years' existence, the Community/Union has consolidated itself in quite other fields: in agriculture, trade, competition policy. Its own portrait as the 'ever closer Union' has gained resemblance with reality, notably through the economic and monetary union and cooperation in justice and home affairs. Common foreign and security policy, then, has from the very beginning been a central aspiration in the process of integration. Many would, however, treat such a goal as some sort of idealism, a wish, and the recurrent formulas about the Union that should speak with one voice in international affairs as some sort of a mantra of the Europeanist faith. Even a cursory acquaintance with the CFSP shows the divergence between the member countries' views when it comes to essential questions of foreign policy and tends to convince that if such a policy was ever to become a reality, it would at least not imply real common defence or a transformation of the Union into a military alliance - particularly so since following the division of labour between the different international organisations, there are others than the Union to take care of military cooperation.
  • Topic: Defense Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Linda Jakobson
  • Publication Date: 01-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Though the Chinese Communist Party clings to its monopoly on power and fully intends to avoid “walking down the road of the Soviet Union,” it is implementing revolutionary political reform in the countryside. For the past decade, multi-candidate elections, in which candidates need not be members of the Communist Party, have been held in hundreds of thousands of Chinese villages. Abdicating its prerogative to appoint village chiefs, the Party has conceded that elected ones are more effective. The grassroots-level governance reform (jiceng zhengquan gaige) not only empowers ordinary citizens and encourages them to take part in the decision-making process. It also institutionalizes the concepts of accountability and transparency.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, Soviet Union
  • Author: Raimo Lintonen
  • Publication Date: 01-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The purpose of this report is to analyse the threat perceptions, organisational contexts, practices as well as the “reflectiveness” of crisis management in Finland. The emphasis is on the overall situation, not on concrete historical crises. It is part of the groundwork for a project on the subject at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs (FIIA). The report is also an outgrowth of the participation of the FIIA since March 1999 in the evolving co-operation amongst European academics and practitioners in the field of crisis management.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Defense Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe, Finland
  • Author: Linda Jakobson
  • Publication Date: 01-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In the spring of 1999 Swiri-fever swept South Korea. Millions flocked to see the first domestic action film considered up to international standards. “Swiri,” a slick Hollywood-style spy thriller, revolves around the complex issue of Korean unification that lies at the heart of Korea's future. Since the inauguration of President Kim Dae-jung in February 1998, South Korea has debated unification more openly than ever before.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Civil Society, Humanitarian Aid, International Cooperation, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, North Korea, Korea