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  • Author: Philippe Le Corre
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Kazakhstan is one of China’s direct neighbours, and a prominent one by size and border. As the Chinese proverb states, “a close neighbour is more valuable than a distant relative”,[1] hence the importance of Sino-Kazakh ties, especially at a time when Beijing tries to promote its “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI) across Eurasia. The country has a 1782.75 km-long border with China, and shares much history and people with the former Middle Kingdom. Although data is sparse, it is known that many Uyghurs –the main tribe of Xinjiang, China’s troubled autonomous region – live in Kazakhstan. There are also ethnic Kazakhs living on the Chinese side, in Xinjiang (many of them facing great political difficulties, if not persecutions).
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: China
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: Since 2017, the decline of social capital in Morocco represents a tree that hides a forest. We are now at an interlocking point of two negative trends in this decline: one is political vertical, and the other is societal horizontal.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Morocco
  • Author: Anna Jacobs
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: Morocco’s migration policy reflects of the interconnectedness of foreign policy priorities, desired reform and the reality of domestic politics. Morocco has positioned itself as a counterterrorism and migration ally for Europe; while leaning toward the African Union, and African markets.
  • Topic: International Relations, Migration, International Affairs, Global Security
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Burak Akçapar
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation, New York University
  • Abstract: Since the launch of the Mediation for Peace initiative by Turkey and Finland in 2010, there has been an upsurge of activity at the United Nations (UN) and several regional organizations to promote mediation as a conflict resolution method. The UN General Assembly, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) have set out to develop mediation norms, procedures, and capacities. The assets and motivations of international actors, including foremost nation states, to provide mediation services as part of their foreign policy have been widely studied. However, the actual role played by specific leading nations in the promotion of mediation at international forums lacks a framework of analysis. This essay aims to fill this gap by employing the concept of “policy entrepreneurship” to explain the role of individual actors in transforming the politics, norms, and capacities that pertain to mediation. In this regard, the article discusses Turkey’s activities in the field of mediation and their transformative outcomes in a bid to test the proposed framework. It concludes that as the only country that co-chairs the friends of mediation groups simultaneously in the UN, the OSCE and the OIC, the distinguishing contribution of Turkey as a policy entrepreneur lies in its efforts to feed and shape the normative basis and capacities of international peace mediation efforts.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Kevin Rudd
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Asia Society Policy Institute
  • Abstract: 2018 REPRESENTED A FUNDAMENTAL STRATEGIC TURNING POINT in the 40-year history of U.S.-China relations. This is not just an American view; it is also the Chinese view. Just as it is my own analytical view based on 40 years of observation of this relationship, going back to the time when I was an undergraduate student at the Australian National University. The nature of this change is that the United States, after 40 years of strategic engagement with China following China’s decision under Deng Xiaoping to pursue a domestic policy shift toward economic reform and opening, has concluded that China is no longer a trustworthy strategic partner. The analytical underpinnings of the period of engagement were that China, having embarked upon a series of economic, social, and some political reforms, was incrementally integrating itself into the American-led international rules-based order. This, in turn, was based on China’s decision in 1978 to abandon its policy of support for communist revolutionary movements around the world. This change followed the abandonment of a decade-plus of political radicalism pursued by Mao during the Cultural Revolution. And it followed, perhaps most significantly, China’s decision to embrace one series after another of market-based economic reforms, beginning with the introduction of price-based incentives in agriculture, then light manufacturing, then the services industry before extending across much of the rest of the Chinese economy. On top of this, the normalization of political relations between the United States and China, from Richard Nixon’s visit in 1972 to formal diplomatic recognition under Jimmy Carter in 1979, led to a sustained period of fundamental strategic realignment between China and the United States against a common strategic adversary in the form of the Soviet Union
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jean Pascal Zanders
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Geneva Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: This Policy Forum issue analyses both progress made by and challenges facing the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC). It does so in order to explore under what conditions and to what extent these two conventions might help build a zone in the Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their delivery vehicles (DVs). Finally, the issue presents some options for the future and a major long-term initiative towards this ambitious goal.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Dimitris Tsarouhas
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Relations Council of Turkey (UİK-IRCT)
  • Abstract: This article focuses on the discursive frames used by policy entrepreneurs in Greece as they attempted to deal with the 2009 crisis and analyses the role played by discourse in handling the crisis’ consequences. Adopting a historical institutionalist framework, I argue that ineffective policy outcomes can be attributed to a path- dependent logic enshrined in the country’s political economy structures following the transition to democracy post-1974. Moreover, the reaction of policy entrepreneurs to the crisis was reinforced by their discursive logic of action, itself embedded in the state’s institutional matrix. Procrastination, a refusal to face an uncomfortable reality and politics as usual colours the response of Greek actors to the country’s biggest crisis in recent memory.
  • Topic: International Relations, Political Theory
  • Political Geography: Greece
  • Author: Amal Cemal Ertürk
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Global Political Trends Center
  • Abstract: Since the end of World War II, foreign policy and security issues have haunted the European dreams of complete integration in terms of alignment in a highly challenging field, which is also constantly interrupted by sovereignty concerns of member states. Within today’s changing dynamics, the EU’s current instruments seem to fall short of preventing terrorism or providing a meaningful answer to the problems in the Middle East. The EU’s capacity to act in this field needs to be strengthened. The newest approach presented by the European External Action Service (EEAS) is called PESCO (the Permanent Structured Cooperation) and aims to change this current structure of “inactivity”. This short paper will briefly analyze this new instrument.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Michael Asiedu
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Global Political Trends Center
  • Abstract: Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi indicated in a televised broadcast on 16 January, 2018 that his country neither wants war with Sudan nor Ethiopia; Egypt was also not looking to meddle in the internal affairs of these two countries. These pronouncements came at the backdrop of what is proving to be a challenge for these three countries, the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), the largest hydro-electric dam project in Africa. This policy brief gives a snapshot of the brewing tension surrounding the GERD and some of the regional geopolitical concerns as well as an alternative for a workable solution.
  • Topic: International Relations, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Ethiopia
  • Author: Maaike Okano-Heijmans
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Clingendael Netherlands Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: The risk of a connectivity conflict becoming the next Great Game in the Balkans and Black Sea region is real. If, instead, countries in the region are to capitalize on their geography and history as a trading hub, all stakeholders need to invest in furthering political will, money, cooperation and trust. The Balkans and Black Sea Cooperation Forum (BBSF), convened in Athens in May 2018, is a noteworthy building block in this process.
  • Topic: International Relations, Sustainable Development Goals
  • Political Geography: Balkans