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  • Author: Bryan MacDonald
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Rethinking Russia
  • Abstract: At the start of 1917, rumours reached London that something was stirring in Petrograd (now St. Petersburg). As a result, the concerned Prime Minister, David Lloyd George, urgently dispatched Lord Milner, a diplomat of some repute, to the Russian capital. His Lordship visited the Tsar and spoke to ministers and members of the Duma, who informed him that enemies of the state were spreading groundless yarns. Sadly, being a creature of his class, Milner believed that only the elites mattered so he neglected to consult any of the general public. Thus, cocooned in his bubble, the peer reported to London that there was nothing the government could not handle and no need to expect no major changes. However, the same British travelling party also included Lloyd George’s private secretary Philip Kerr. A little more clued in, Kerr walked the streets and interviewed the plain folk. Armed with their predictions, he sent a telegram to Downing Street which asserted that Russia was on the verge of an unstoppable revolution. As it happens, the man who stepped out of the comfort zone was right because Nikolai II was shorn of his crown before the British delegation made it home. We know this story because many years later the ‘Welsh Wizard,’ Lloyd George, revealed the details to Ivan Maisky, the Soviet ambassador to London. And almost a hundred years later, it is a salutary lesson in the dangers of the establishment refusing to acknowledge ordinary people’s concerns when evaluating the causes of political upheaval.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia, Global Focus
  • Author: Jeremy Shapiro
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: European Council On Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The transatlantic relationship is likely to face difficult challenges whatever the result of the US election. If Trump wins he will launch a revolutionary presidency — pulling back from NATO and other security guarantees, undermining key parts of the global free trade regime and building closer relations with strong-man leaders than allies. Even if Hillary is elected the transatlantic relationship could still face difficult albeit more everyday challenges. Her poor relations with Moscow, exacerbated by gender issues, could threaten transatlantic unity on Russia. Europe would be foolish not to learn lessons from the experience of Trump’s candidacy. Trump represents only an extreme version of a growing feeling in the United States that, in a time of relative decline, the country is getting a raw deal from its allies. The EU should not be complacent in assuming that the transatlantic relationship will continue as it is and should begin to take more responsibility for its own defence and build resilience against a potentially more self-interested US.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Michael Scott Doran
  • Publication Date: 05-2016
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Hudson Institute
  • Abstract: Testimony before the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, United States House of Representatives
  • Topic: International Affairs, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: William Perry, Deep Cuts Commission
  • Publication Date: 06-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: This report contains a number of bold proposals on how to better manage relations between the West and Russia in order to avert worst-case scenarios. Specifying that cooperative solutions are pos- sible without giving up on the fundamental interests of each side, it warrants a close look by officials in both Moscow and Washington.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Cooperation, International Security, International Affairs, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Russia, America, Europe, Global Focus
  • Author: Rupert Hammond Chambers, Pek Koon Heng, Tami Overby
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
  • Abstract: Since its rather humble beginnings as a free trade agreement between Chile, Brunei, Singapore, and New Zealand in 2005, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement has ballooned into a pact that includes two of the three biggest economies in the world. Signed by the 12 founding members in February 2016, namely the United States, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Australia, Peru, Vietnam, and Malaysia as well as the four original signatories, the TPP represents nearly 40 percent of the world’s GDP. It has been described as the most ambitious multinational trade deal in history, with high standards that address issues that have not been address by trade agreements until now including environmental protection, labor rights, and addressing competition issues related to state-owned enterprises.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ayla Gürel Moran, Harry G. Tzimitras, Hubert Faustmann
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: On 16 November 2016 the PRIO Cyprus Centre (PCC), the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Cyprus (FES) and the Atlantic Council (AC) co-hosted a one-day conference entitled ‘Global Energy Debates and the East Mediterranean’. The conference, held in the UN Buffer Zone in Nicosia, was organised with a view to introducing the Cypriot public to the increasingly complex global energy terrain. Thus, the main focus of the deliberations was not the Eastern Mediterranean, but rather the broader energy picture surrounding the region. The international experts who attended the conference presented topics that concern some of the more salient broader debates, such as the link between energy and global warming as well as the energy relations of the European Union, which constitutes the largest potential market in the neighbourhood for the hydrocarbons of the Eastern Mediterranean. The latter included examination of three important cases to Europe’s east: Russia, Iran, and Turkey. East Mediterranean energy develop- ments and regional cooperation prospects were also discussed by a panel of experts from Cyprus, Egypt and Israel. This edited volume comprises contributions submitted by speakers based on their talks delivered at the conference.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Environment, International Organization, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Alberto Martinelli
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI)
  • Abstract: Recent political events – from Trump’s election to the outcome of the Brexit Referendum - have somehow caught the world by surprise, and are contributing to a growing sense of concern or even alarm about the future of the Western world and, particularly, Western democracies as we know them. When looking at the political landscape in Europe, populism looks like an unprecedented game-changer. Populist parties are in power in Poland and Hungary, they are in the coalition governments in Switzerland and Finland, top the polls in France and the Netherlands, and their support is at record highs in Sweden. Not to mention the recent rise of Alternative für Deutschland in Germany and the successful story of Syriza, Podemos and of the Five Stars Movement in Southern Europe. The volume explores the rise of populism in Europe and the US by analyzing its root causes and the rationale behind its success. It also draws some policy recommendations to tackle the populist challenge.
  • Topic: Democracy, Political stability, Populism
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Adriana Abdenur
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Brazilian Center for International Relations (CEBRI)
  • Abstract: The present study aims to develop an analysis of how the fast-changing geopolitics and geoeconomics of East Asia impacts current and potential trends in cross-regional economic cooperation, with a focus on Latin America. The paper revolves around three anchor trends: i. The Economic Transformation of East Asia; ii. Security and Cooperation in the Pacific; and iii. Mega-Agreements. For each of these areas, the study provides a succinct yet analytical overview of current debates by incorporating both Western and non-Western perspectives from academe and policy.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Geopolitics, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Eduardo Viola, Leonardo Paz Neves
  • Publication Date: 05-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Brazilian Center for International Relations (CEBRI)
  • Abstract: In December 2015, members of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) gathered in Paris at the 21st Conference of Parties (COP). Expectations regarding the Conference were high: having failed to agree on a legally binding treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol at COP 15, in Copenhagen, when expectations were very high because of the new climate friendly presidency of Obama and the possibility of a shift in the Chinese position, and in 2012, when the first commitment period of the Protocol expired, members settled COP 21 as the new deadline. Achievements of the Conference, especially the Paris Agreement, will be judged differently depending from the point of view.
  • Topic: Climate Change, International Cooperation, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Lindsey. W Ford
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Asia Society
  • Abstract: ON JANUARY 20, 2017, AMERICA’S FIRST “PACIFIC PRESIDENT” WILL DEPART OFFICE. Many Asian observers fear that America’s regional commitments will depart along with him. The election of Donald Trump raises more questions than answers for Asian leaders eager to under- stand the nature of U.S. engagement in the region in the future. There has been a remarkable history of consistency and bipartisanship in the U.S. approach to Asia over many decades. But this election has upended many assumptions about U.S. policy in ways that leave foreign policy experts, both in the United States and abroad, unsure of what to expect next. President-elect Trump has made clear that few things will be “business as usual” for the future. Several of his proposals, including withdrawing the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, and annulling U.S. ratification of the Paris Climate Agreement would reverberate across the region and mark a significant about-face in U.S. policy. Other proposals, less directly related to Asia, such as suspending immigration from certain Muslim nations, would also have implications for Asian countries with significant Muslim majorities or minorities.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Organization, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus