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  • Author: Oleksiy Melnyk, Ian Anthony, Alyson J. K. Bailes
  • Publication Date: 11-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: In 1989, the year when the death knell sounded for the Communist bloc in Europe and for the 'cold war' which it had pursued with the West, a total of 6–7.6 million personnel depending on the method of counting (2.5–3.7 million from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO, and 3.5–3.9 million from the Warsaw Treaty Organization, WTO) stood in arms within the European theatre. This included some 915 000 forces stationed outside their national borders inter alia from Canada, the Soviet Union and the United States. In the same area there were 80 400 main battle tanks, 76 300 armoured combat vehicles (ACVs), 67 700 heavy artillery pieces, 11 160 combat aircraft and 2615 attack helicopters—as well as many millions of smaller and lighter weapons. Aimed at each other as part of the East–West strategic confrontation, the USA and the USSR in 1990 deployed 10 563 and 10 271 strategic nuclear warheads respectively, while the United Kingdom possessed 300 and France 621. In addition, significant proportions of European territory (especially in the 'front-line' states such as the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic, GDR) were taken up by military bases, exercise areas and other facilities such as airfields and pipelines. Large sectors of industry and of scientific, technological, and research and development (R) work were devoted to the needs of military defence. The resources involved were shut out from peaceful, civilian use more emphatically than would normally be the case today, because the bitterness of the strategic confrontation—and the associated risks of espionage and subversion—imposed a degree of secrecy often creating a situation where the citizens of a given state did not know what was happening on their own territory.
  • Topic: NATO, Politics, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine
  • Author: Simon Serfaty, Christina V. Balis, Pierre Messerlin, Chris Wiley
  • Publication Date: 06-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The French elections held during the past eight weeks—first for the presidency and then for the National Assembly—were the most significant elections held in France since 1981. On the whole, their outcome is good for France, for Europe, and for the United States. They restore a political coherence that had been lacking during seven of the last nine years, when the French political system lived under the strained conditions of political cohabitation (1993–1995 and 1997–2002). Moreover, by renewing the primacy of the French presidency, these elections enable Jacques Chirac to assert his leadership during the decisive years that loom ahead for the European Union (EU), as well as for its relations with the United States within the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Finally, these elections also confirm Europe's political drift to a center-right that the elections in Germany scheduled for September 23 are likely to make complete (Euro-Focus, September 15, 2002).
  • Topic: Economics, Politics, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, France
  • Author: Simon Serfaty, Christina V. Balis, George Handy, Georgeta Pourchot
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: “More Europe in every area” may sound like an ill-chosen motto for a six-month presidency facing an already demanding and inflated agenda. It is reflective of a concern, however, not to expand the current list of priorities to new initiatives that would risk the fate of past abortive attempts. Avoiding new confrontations, while ensuring the smooth pursuit of ongoing reforms, has become Spain's principal goal during its presidency in the first half of 2002.
  • Topic: Economics, Politics, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe
  • Publication Date: 11-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Since U.S. President George W. Bush's 24 June 2002 statement on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Palestinian reform has emerged as a key ingredient in Middle East diplomacy. In his statement, the president publicly identified “a new and different Palestinian leadership” and “entirely new political and economic institutions” as preconditions for the establishment of a Palestinian state. In early July, the Quartet of Middle East mediators (the European Union, Russian Federation, United Nations, and United States) established an International Task Force for Palestinian Reform “to develop and implement a comprehensive reform action plan” for the Palestinian Authority (PA). The September 2002 statement by the Quartet underscored reform of Palestinian political, civil, and security institutions as an integral component of peacemaking. The three phase-implementation roadmap, a U.S. draft of which was presented to Israel and the Palestinians by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State William Burns in October, provided details on this reform component.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia, United Nations
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: For the past decade Russia, China, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan have all been involved in high stakes negotiations to define their respective borders. Strong-arm politics, economic pressures, shadowy backroom deals, nationalist sentiments, public dissatisfaction and an environment of mutual mistrust have marked this process. The resolution of border issues peacefully and transparently would have a positive impact on regional security, economic cooperation, ethnic relations and efforts to combat drug trafficking and religious extremism. But progress has been slow, and no immediate breakthrough can be seen in an all too often antagonistic process that is defining the new map of Central Asia.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Ethnic Conflict, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Central Asia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan
  • Author: Linda Jakobson, Christer Pursiainen
  • Publication Date: 02-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: “Modernity ends when words like progress, advance, development, emancipation, liberation, growth, accumulation, enlightenment, embetterment, avant-garde, lose their attraction and their function as guides to social action.” By this definition, Russia and China are both still undertaking extensive modernisation – though by very different means. Why have Russia and China chosen such different paths for their post-communist transitions? How do their strategies differ, and how are they interrelated? When – at what junctures - were the crucial choices made?
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 12-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
  • Abstract: Both the number and intensity of humanitarian emergencies, as well as the number of people in need, will remain at about the same high level or even increase somewhat by December 2000- testing the capacity and willingness of the international donor community to respond adequately. According to the US Committee for Refugees, roughly 35 million people are in need of emergency humanitarian assistance. There are twenty-four ongoing humanitarian emergencies and new or renewed emergencies could appear in the Balkans, Sub-Saharan Africa, Russia, and/or Central America. Humanitarian conditions throughout the former Yugoslavia, Haiti, Iraq, and North Korea will continue to have a particularly significant impact upon regional stability, as well as on the strategic interests of major outside powers. Conditions are likely to worsen in Angola, Colombia, Ethiopia, Somalia, and the Republic of Serbia within the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY), excluding the province of Kosovo. The current drought in the Horn of Africa may induce a famine as severe as that of the mid-1980s. The humanitarian situations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC) and Sierra Leone are unlikely to improve significantly even if pending peace accords hold, and could worsen considerably if such accords were to fail. In addition to the emergencies cited above, several other major countries and regions may experience conflict, political instability, sudden economic crises, or technological or natural disasters- leading to new or renewed humanitarian emergencies: Resumed hostilities between India and Pakistan that expanded beyond the borders of Kashmir, as they did in previous conflicts, would displace a million or more people on both sides of the border. The countries of Central America and the Caribbean that were battered by hurricanes in 1998- especially Honduras, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, and Haiti-remain vulnerable to weather-induced disasters. Internal ethnic conflict would create substantial humanitarian needs in The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). The possibility of additional sudden economic emergencies also cannot be discounted. In Russia, drought threatens the grain harvest, and unless the outlook improves, Moscow will again need large-scale food assistance. Despite Nigeria's turn toward democracy, escalating conflict in the oil-rich Niger River Delta region could lead to widespread refugee flows into neighboring countries. The possible effects of widespread Y2K-related difficulties could aggravate current humanitarian emergencies or lead to new emergencies. The overall demand for emergency humanitarian assistance through December 2000 may exceed the willingness of major donor countries to respond. Overall funding for ongoing emergencies has probably temporarily spiked upward owing to Hurricane Mitch and Kosovo. Nevertheless, the focus on the Balkans could detract attention and resources from other regions with extensive humanitarian needs. Absent major new emergencies, the longer-term funding trend is likely to continue downward, increasing the shortfall. Government funding is likely to decline fastest for long-lasting conflicts where attempts at political resolution continue to fail.
  • Topic: Genocide, Government, Human Rights, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Balkans, Central America
  • Author: Andris Spruds
  • Publication Date: 12-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The paper focuses on interaction of political and economic aspects in Russian-Latvian relations. During the most of the 1990´s, the relationship was dominated by the «conflict manifestation, » which could be witnessed during the protracted Russian troop withdrawal and mutually irreconcilable positioning over NATO expansion and status of Russian-speaking population. However, in the context of EU enlargement and «economisation» of Russian foreign policy, economic factors may play an increasingly important role in Russian-Latvian relations. It is possible to discover a complex web of links and economic interdependence between economic actors in both Russia and Latvia. This especially refers to transit as Latvian ports remain among the major routes of Russian exports, primarily oil, to Western Europe. Yet, certain interests of particular economic groups in Russia as well as economic and political priorities of Russian government generally, in the region and domestically will have influence, not necessarily favourable, on further development of this economic interdependence.
  • Topic: NATO, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Latvia
  • Author: Caspar Fithin
  • Publication Date: 01-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: Striking parallels exist between post-Soviet Russia and Weimar Germany (1918-33) with regard to their international position, socio-economic conditions, sense of defeat and humiliation, and political situation. The analogy implies that a fascist regime is likely to come to power in Russia. However, the underlying causes of economic distress, the structure of the political system, and the cultural context in post-Soviet Russia and Weimar Germany also differ. Thus, contemporary Russia has weak fascist movements. The regime that emerges will probably be authoritarian and nationalist in character, and may to some extent exhibit fascist tendencies, but is very unlikely to be fully fascist in the classical sense.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Germany
  • Author: Vendulka Kubalkova
  • Publication Date: 01-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Peace and Security Studies
  • Abstract: Constructivism as an approach to IR and Soviet “new thinking” as a phenomenon of the final years of the cold war barely crossed paths since constructivism was coming into existence as an approach just as the other, “new thinking”, together with its main author, Mikhail Gorbachev, were about to exit international relations. Soviet “new thinking” is associated with Gorbachev's tenure of office as the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU). This ran from the mid 1980s till the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991. Nicholas Onuf introduced constructivism in his book World of Our Making in 1989 and it was only in 1992, a year after the formal dissolution of the USSR, that Alexander Wendt referred to “new thinking” in his article “Anarchy is What States Make of it” as “one of the most important phenomena in [recent] world politics” (Wendt 1992, 450). It is in this same article that he also used the term constructivism, a term he borrowed from Onuf. Other, freshly convert- ed constructivists followed in Wendt's footsteps and, as evidence of the strength of their new approach, they often used “the DNA of the deceased”: Soviet “new thinking” and other artifacts and stories related to the cold war, which—with its main protagonist gone—was over. “New thinking” figures prominently again in Wendt's theoretical book on constructivism, where it is probably the empirical case that he handles in a more sustained manner and devotes to it more time than to any other cases or examples (Wendt, 1999).
  • Topic: Cold War, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Soviet Union