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  • Author: Ioannis Salavrakos
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: he paper challenges the view that the fall of France in June 1940 is attributed to military errors of the French High Command and with the brilliant German offense in the Ardennes. The paper highlights that the French security strategy after the end of World War I failed because the country lacked the economic basis to implement its strategy. Thus the paper argues that the French endorsed an internal and external balancing strategy against Germany. The internal balancing strategy was associated with the ability of France to sustain powerful armed forces and obviously this was associated with high defense spending and a strong economy. The second part was associated with external balancing which was associated with the creation of alliances in Eastern Europe in order to block any German expansion. Again this was associated with strong economic relations between France and these states. This strategy was implemented during the 1919-1929 period however after the global economic crisis erupted the deterioration of the French economy made the continuation of this strategy impossible. Thus France was forced to follow a defensive strategy at the military level and the privileged bilateral economic relations with Eastern European countries were abolished and Germany replaced France as the major economic and trading partner of these states.
  • Topic: Economics, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy, World War II
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe, France, Germany
  • Author: Tarek A. Hassan, Laurence van Lent, Stephan Hollander, Ahmed Tahoun
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET)
  • Abstract: Using tools from computational linguistics, we construct new measures of the impact of Brexit on listed firms in the United States and around the world: the share of discussions in quarterly earnings conference calls on costs, benefits, and risks associated with the UK’s intention to leave the EU. Using this approach, we identify which firms expect to gain or lose from Brexit and which are most affected by Brexit uncertainty. We then estimate the effects of these different kinds of Brexit exposure on firm-level outcomes. We find that concerns about Brexit-related uncertainty extend far beyond British or even European firms. US and international firms most exposed to Brexit uncertainty have lost a substantial fraction of their market value and have reduced hiring and investment. In addition to Brexit uncertainty (the second moment), we find that international firms overwhelmingly expect negative direct effects of Brexit (the first moment), should it come to pass. Most prominently, firms expect difficulties resulting from regulatory divergence, reduced labor mobility, trade access, and the costs of adjusting their operations post-Brexit. Consistent with the predictions of canonical theory, this negative sentiment is recognized and priced in stock markets but has not yet had significant effects on firm actions.
  • Topic: Economics, Political Economy, Regional Cooperation, Brexit, Global Political Economy, Economic Policy
  • Political Geography: Britain, United States, United Kingdom, Europe, European Union
  • Author: Daniel S. Hamilton
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Transatlantic Relations
  • Abstract: For decades the partnership between North America and Europe has been a steady anchor in a world of rapid change. Today, however, the transatlantic partnership itself has become unsettled and uncertain. Nowhere is this clearer than in the economic sphere. Voters across the United States and many parts of Europe have grown skeptical of open markets. Concerns about stagnant wages, widening income inequality, and pockets of stubbornly high unemployment have combined with fears of automation, digitization and immigration to swell economic insecurities on each side of the Atlantic. The election of Donald Trump as U.S. president and the decision by British citizens to leave the European Union have only added to transatlantic uncertainties. This state of division and mutual inwardness threatens the prosperity and ultimately the position of North America and Europe in the global economy and the broader global security system. This study charts possible paths by which Americans and Europeans can navigate this strange new world. It describes how the transatlantic economy is being transformed by domestic political uncertainties, the digital revolution, the changing nature of production, and the diffusion of global power and intensified global competition. It takes account of shifting trade relations among the United States, Canada and Mexico through NAFTA, and what Brexit and the rise of non-EU Europe may mean for the European Union and for transatlantic partnership.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements, Partnerships, Brexit, Economic growth, Trump, NAFTA
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe, Canada, North America, Mexico, United States of America, European Union
  • Author: Sandy Brian Hager
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Global Political Economy, University of Sussex
  • Abstract: This paper offers new theoretical and empirical insights to explain the resilience of the U.S. Treasuries market as a safe haven for global investment. Going beyond the standard systemic explanation, the paper highlights the importance of domestic politics in reinforcing the safe haven status of U.S. Treasury securities. In particular, the research shows how a formidable “bond” of interests unites domestic and foreign owners of the public debt and works to sustain U.S. power in global finance. Foreigners who now own roughly half of the U.S. public debt have something to gain from their domestic counterparts. The top one percent of U.S. households that dominate domestic ownership of the U.S. public debt have considerable political clout, thus alleviating foreign concerns about the creditworthiness of the U.S. federal government. Domestic owners of the U.S. public debt, in turn, have something to gain from the seemingly insatiable foreign appetite for U.S. Treasury securities. In supplying the U.S. federal government and U.S. households with cheap credit, foreign investors in U.S. Treasuries help to deflect challenges to the top one percent within the wealth and income hierarchy.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, International Political Economy, Inequality, Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom
  • Author: Nancy Birdsall
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics & International Affairs
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: Thomas Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century is a tour de force—a compelling and accessible read that presents an eloquent and convincing warning about the future of capitalism.* Capitalism, Piketty argues, suffers from an inherent tendency to generate an explosive spiral of increasing inequality of wealth and income. This inegalitarian dynamic of capitalism is not due to textbook failures of capitalist markets (for example, natural monopolies) or failures of economic institutions (such as the failure to regulate these monopolies), but to the way capitalism fundamentally works. Unless the spiral is controlled by far more progressive taxation than is now the norm, the political fallout could undermine the viability of the successful “social state” (p. 471) in the advanced economies, putting the democratic state itself at risk.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom, France
  • Author: Michael Dauderstädt, Jose Enrique de Ayala, Domenec Ruiz Devesa, Vicente Palacio, Vicente Palacio
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Fundación Alternativas
  • Abstract: The new European Parliament (EP) elected in May 2014 is facing a state of emergency in Europe. As 2014 draws to a close, austerity policies and the threat of populism are jeopardizing the present and the future of the European project. Unemployment rates in Europe are double the unemployment rate in the US and growth in the Eurozone is expected to fall below 1% in 2015. Although “the worst of the crisis” would appear to be behind us, Europe continues to be vulnerable to further economic shocks going forward. In fact, the EU could well be teetering on the brink of a third recession, the immediate threats on the horizon being current deflationary trends and a growing periphery crisis that is already manifest in Greece and could well spread to France and Italy. There is much uncertainty about the short- and medium-term future. It is not clear whether institutions such as the EP or the European Central Bank (ECB) will exercise their powers to the limit in order to counterbalance those of the governments of Member States and the Council, whether and when Germany will step up and assume a more active role in Eurozone stimulus, whether some kind of reform of the Lisbon treaty is in the cards or what kind of solutions will be provided to countries like Greece whose economies remain on the verge of collapse. ECB Governor Mario Draghi’s July 2014 speech in Jackson Hole, during which he strongly emphasized job creation rather dwelling on inflation and alluded to the possibility of implementing demand-side policies, structural reforms linked to a rise in 5 productivity, and enhancing competitiveness on a basis other than lower labour costs, was a very good sign. More recently, ECB authorities announced a new round of quantitative easing (QE) to take place in early 2015, and EC President Jean Claude Juncker made a commitment to devote €315 billion to infrastructure as part of his investment plan. Although we cannot expect a radical shift in economic policy any time soon, at least a minimal “Brussels consensus” if the EU is ever to put itself on the sure track towards a sustained recovery, structural reforms will need to be accompanied by fiscal stimulus. The time looks ripe for revising the economic policies that failed to achieve the objectives for which they were devised: pulling Europe out of the crisis and accelerating growth and employment. The time also looks ripe for a deep political and institutional shift: restoring the role of EU institutions – mainly the EP and the Commission – in forging the destinies of European citizens. If we accept the viewpoint that the EP is the institution that best embodies the concept of a European democracy built on the will of average citizens, the question we must subsequently ask ourselves whether the incoming EP elected in May 2014 will be able to bring about the change of tack that Europe needs. If viewed from a strictly quantitative perspective, the final outcome of the May elections was less damaging than originally feared. The European People’s Party once again won a majority (with 221 seats compared to 265 in 2009), and the breakdown for the rest of the parties and groups, in order of representation, was: the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (191/184); the Conservatives and Reformists (70/51); the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (67/84); the Greens (50/55); the European United Left (52/35), the Non-attached Members group (52/27) and the anti-Union Europe of Freedom and Democracy (48/32). Voter turnout across the EU fell very slightly from the 43% registered in 2009 to 42.5% in May, but did not break the crucial “psychological barrier” of 40%. 6 Table 1. Current distribution of seats and Parliamentary Groups in the EP (2014- 19 legislature) Source: Europarl http://www.europarl.europa.eu/elections2014-results/en/electionresults-2014.html If one takes a tally of only the seats now held by the traditional “big three” (the European People’s Party, the Socialists and the Liberal-Democrats), it is obvious that the pro-European forces still enjoy a solid majority in the EP – a very welcome majority in the sense that it signals that a majority of European voters continue to believe in a more united Europe, even in the context of the current economic, social and institutional crisis. The good news, therefore, is that there may be a sufficient “critical mass” in favour of going forward with the integration process rather than reversing it. Moreover, if the big three are successful in building ad hoc alliances with other parties such as the European Left and the Greens regarding a social and economic platform for a better Europe, it might even be possible to muster a majority willing to go even further in a federalist direction. However, these new distribution figures reveal only a small part of the entire story. Firstly, they should not keep us from recognizing the qualitative significance of the rise of a heterogeneous group of anti-integration and anti-European forces in the EP that represent a growing number of Europeans willing to cast their votes for Eurosceptic, nationalistic, populist, or xenophobic parties. The rising tide of Eurosceptics and Europhobia within the EP could well be perceived as a potential Trojan horse that could eventually undermine the stability of the EU and its very existence. Even if divided by 7 country, ideology, opportunity and other criteria and unable (or unwilling) to forge strong, sustained parliamentary coalitions, taken together, these forces hold 170 out of 751 seats in the current EP – an impressive 22%. The number of MEPs of the French National Front increased from 3 in 2009 to 24 in 2014, the new German right-wing antiEuro party Alternative for Germany (AFD) won 7 seats, and UKIP - which won the popular vote in Britain - moved up to 24 (from 13 in 2009). The situation is more worrying if we take into consideration that an overwhelming number of European citizens (almost 58%) did not go to the polls to vote. Had they chosen to make their voices heard, their vote would have supposed a turning point for Europe in one direction or another. Secondly, Euroscepticism and Europhobia are also having a considerable impact on the national politics of Member States (MS), and the most alarming examples of this phenomenon have surfaced in the major, “hard core” countries upon which European construction heavily depends such as France, Italy, Germany, or even for that matter, the UK. What these diverse parties ultimately have in common is their fierce defence of national sovereignty. They have reached the point of setting national policy agendas throughout the EU. As of the end of November 2014, the National Front was still ahead in voter intention polls in France, the AFD was gaining support according to polls conducted in Germany, and similar surveys in the UK showed that support for the anti-immigration UKIP was holding strong. The rise of UKIP is putting David Cameron’s government under intense pressure to hold a referendum on Britain’s exit from the EU. The victory of Matteo Renzi’s centre-left Democratic Party in the May EP elections does not obscure the fact that the fiercely populist and Eurosceptic Five-Star movement remains the largest party in the Italian Chamber of Deputies since February 2013. Sweden’s xenophobic Democratic Party could hold the key to governance in that country after the March 2015 elections. For the first time, a majority of citizens in both France and Germany regard the EU as a problem. Parallel to these developments, the anti-Muslim street demonstrations are becoming more and more frequent in Germany and the Netherlands. Should the economic situation in Europe worsen, the diverse range of tensions originating in northern and southern MSs, not to mention the tensions between them, could ratchet support for populist movements to dangerously high levels.
  • Topic: Economics, Europe Union, Election watch, Unemployment
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe, Germany, Brussels
  • Author: Erkan Erdogdu
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) is a European Commission initiative aimed at facilitating the diversification of the routes and sources of gas imported into Europe. This paper is devoted to the analysis of Turkey's role in this initiative. Following a summary of the current economic and energy situation in Turkey, the paper presents recent developments in the SGC and an analysis of Turkey's role in the EU's SGC vision. It concludes that although the newly-built infrastructure within the SGC framework will probably serve Azerbaijani and Turkish interests first in their future relations with the EU, rather than the other way round, as had been initially hoped by the EU, it still addresses the EU's basic strategic interests, namely, the diversification of gas supply routes and suppliers.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Russia, United Kingdom, Europe, Turkey, Asia, Netherlands
  • Author: Nancy Birdsall, Homi Kharas, Nabil Hashmi
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The Quality of Official Development Assistance (QuODA) measures donors' performance on 31 indicators of aid quality to which donors have made commitments. The indicators are grouped into four dimensions associated with effective aid: maximizing efficiency, fostering institutions, reducing the burden on partner countries, and transparency and learning. The 2014 edition finds that donors are overall becoming more transparent and better at fostering partner country institutions but that there has been little progress at maximizing efficiency or reducing the burden on partner countries. The World Bank's concessional lending arm, the International Development Association (IDA), performs very well in QuODA, ranking in the top 10 of 31 donors on all four dimensions. The United States ranks in the bottom half of all donors on three of the four dimensions of aid quality and last on reducing the burden on partner countries. The United Kingdom ranks in the top third on three of four dimensions of aid quality and scores particularly well on transparency and learning. The Global Fund ranks in the bottom third on fostering institutions but ranks in the top third on the other three dimensions of aid quality, including the top spot in maximizing efficiency.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Development, Economics, Foreign Aid, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom
  • Author: Charles Kenny
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Government contracts regarding the use of public property and finances should be published by default. Many jurisdictions already require that contracts be made public in response to requests for the information; some now publish contracts proactively. Doing so helps new entrants compete in the market for public contracts, helps governments model their projects on other successful examples, and allows citizens greater insight into how their taxes are being spent. This brief, summarizing the conclusions of the Working Group on Government Contract Publication, provides a practical outline for reaping the benefits of open contracts while addressing legitimate concerns about costs, collusion, privacy, commercial secrecy, and national security.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom
  • Author: Tomas Hellebrandt
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: The Great Recession, which cost tens of millions of jobs, a collapse of asset values around the world, and threatened the global financial system, has generated renewed concern over the long-standing issue of the fairness of the distribution of wealth and income in many societies. Economic inequality has increased in the United States and many other advanced economies over the past 20 to 30 years. This trend generated less worry in the boom years, when unemployment rates were low and cheap credit enabled consumers to borrow and maintain higher standards of living, masking the impact of growing income disparity on consumption patterns and perceptions of well-being.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Poverty, Social Stratification, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Italy, Ireland