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  • Author: Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Olle Östensson, Perrine Toledano
  • Publication Date: 07-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Employment creation is often seen as a key benefit of investment in natural resources. However, this benefit sometimes falls short: job estimates may be inflated, governmental policies may fail to maximize employment generation, and, in some cases, investments may lead to net livelihood losses. A more thorough examination of employment tied to mining and agricultural investments is thus useful for assessing whether and how employment from natural resource investments contributes to sustainable economic development—a particularly timely topic as countries consider how they will achieve the Sustainable Development Goals adopted in 2015.
  • Topic: Agriculture, International Affairs, Economic growth
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: CCSI has been working with the World Economic Forum, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) to create a shared understanding of how the mining industry can most effectively contribute to the SDGs. The report will help mining companies navigate where their activities – from exploration, through operations and mine closure – can help the world achieve the SDGs. Governments, civil society and other stakeholders can also identify opportunities for shared action and partnership with the industry.
  • Topic: International Development
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 07-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: CCSI developed A Policy Framework to Approach the Use of Associated Petroleum Gas. Associated Petroleum Gas (APG) is a form of natural gas that is found associated with petroleum fields. APG is often flared or vented for regulatory, economic or technical reasons. The flaring, however, is problematic from health and environmental perspectives. Moreover, flaring and venting APG wastes a valuable non-renewable resource that could be re-injected into the oil field or used for local and regional electricity generation. This framework aims at providing guidance for regulators, policymakers, and industry leaders seeking to develop practical approaches to unlock the economic value of APG.
  • Topic: Industrial Policy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Tamás Lattmann, Veronika Bílková
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Abstract: The Islamic State (IS) must not be recognized as a State. It is an illegitimate non-state actor engaged in serious violations of international law. The use of force against the IS does not have a uniform legal basis. Some of the related actions can be justified on the grounds of the consent of the territorial State (this is the case with the US in Iraq, and Russia in Syria). The legality of other actions against the IS (those of Turkey in Iraq, and of the US in Syria) remains doubtful. The IS is likely to be defeated in the upcoming months. The situation does not require a more active engagement by the Czech Republic beyond what it is already doing (provision of weapons, training of armed and police personnel, etc.).
  • Topic: International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Miroslav Tuma
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Abstract: The 9th Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) was held from 27 April to 22 May 2015 at the UN Headquarters in New York, but it failed. The Czech Republic should engage in urging other countries to achieve progress in nuclear disarmament through a compromise approach known as “the building blocks”. In parallel, it should also actively support the process of emphasizing the humanitarian consequences of the use of nuclear weapons. Also, the Czech Republic’s good relations with Israel should focus on the support for holding a Middle East conference on the creation of a zone free of weapons of mass destruction, a project enjoying long-term EU support. It would also be desirable for the Czech Republic to continue with its strong support for the achievement of the NPT’s universality, the early entry of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty into force and the start of a substantive debate about the main points at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Christopher J. Lamb
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: There is strong bipartisan support for Section 941 of the Senate’s version of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2017, which requires the Pentagon to use cross-functional teams (CFTs). CFTs are a popular organizational construct with a reputation for delivering better and faster solutions for complex and rapidly evolving problems. The Department of Defense reaction to the bill has been strongly negative. Senior officials argue that Section 941 would “undermine the authority of the Secretary, add bureaucracy, and confuse lines of responsibility.” The Senate’s and Pentagon’s diametrically opposed positions on the value of CFTs can be partially reconciled with a better understanding of what CFTs are, how cross-functional groups have performed to date in the Pentagon, and their prerequisites for success. This paper argues there is strong evidence that CFTs could provide impressive benefits if the teams were conceived and employed correctly.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: T. X. Hammes
  • Publication Date: 07-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Numerous trends are slowing, and may even be reversing, globalization over the next decade or two. Manufacturing and services, driven by new technologies, are trending toward local production. For economic, technical, and environmental reasons, new energy production is now dominated by local sources—solar, wind, hydro, and fracked natural gas. To meet an increasing demand for fresh, organic foods, firms are establishing indoor farms in cities across the developed world to grow and sell food locally. Recent trade flow statistics indicate these factors have already slowed globalization. Technological and social developments will accelerate these inhibiting trends. Voters in the United States and Europe are increasingly angry over international trade. Prospects for passage of major trade agreements are dim.Authoritarian states, particularly China and Russia, are balkanizing the Internet to restrict access to information.Technological advances are raising the cost of overseas intervention while deglobalization is reducing its incentives. This paper argues that deglobalization would have momentous security implications. Accordingly, deglobalization must be monitored closely and if the trend continues,U.S. leaders will need to consider restructuring organizations, alliances,and national security strategy
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Hal Klepak
  • Publication Date: 07-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: President Barack Obama’s visit to Cuba in March 2016 opened up the possibility of strategic benefits for both nations. Well after over 50 years of hostility, however, it will not be easy to keep this nascent relationship on track. Avoiding missteps requires a deep knowledge of Cuba and particularly its Revolutionary Armed Forces (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias, or FAR). The FAR are a complex and powerful institution that enjoys great public respect—more so than Cuba's Communist Party—and remain central to the functioning of the Cuban economy and state. Broadening rapprochement without the support of the FAR is inconceivable. To build on the historic opening in diplomatic relations, both sides need a better appreciation of the other’s institutional norms and some clear "rules of the road" to guide the relationship. This paper offers insights concerning the FAR. It argues that it will be important to expand cooperation in the right areas and that it will be important to start small, go slow, build trust, consult early and often, let Cuba take the lead, and avoid imposing or reflecting a U.S.-centric view of civil-military relations.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Christopher J. Lamb, Joseph C Bond
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Over the past 20 years, there has been a sea change in senior leader views on national security reform from skepticism to support. Nine major studies argue the national security system cannot generate or integrate the capabilities needed to manage security problems well. The system is “broken.” Yet there are major obstacles to reform. Inexperienced U.S. Presidents discover system limitations too late, when it is politically difficult to correct them; experts who have not studied system behaviors underestimate their liabilities; and leaders in the Department of Defense are more likely to favor reform than their counterparts in other departments, which creates a bureaucratic backlash against reform. However, two key prerequisites for success are in place: galvanizing cases of unsustainable performance, and in-depth problem analysis that reveals the origins of the same. A third prerequisite is committed leadership. With that in mind, the authors identify several reasons why Presidential candidates should embrace national security reform during the 2016 campaign.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Vivek Chadha
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses
  • Abstract: The impact of the demonetisation policy as related to curbing the finance of terrorism announced on November 08, 2016, is gradually emerging from the shadow of its surprise announcement. It is becoming abundantly clear that this is unlikely to remain a one off decision taken in isolation and will in all probability be accompanied by additional measures against the financing of terrorism and corruption. Even as the rollout takes place, it provides an opportunity to assess its potential fallout in the mid and long term, as also possible future options available to the government to further build upon the ongoing initiative.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus