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  • Author: Richard A. Sears
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: Abundant affordable energy has built the world in which we live today. Machines and the chemical energy that drives them have made it possible for a small percentage of the population to produce enough food for many of us to be scientists, engineers, artists, and authors. We are only able to pursue our diverse interests because available energy multiplies human effort many times over. With all the good that has come with access to energy resources extracted from the Earth, there is also an environmental price, which impacts our land, water, and air. My intent here is not to debate the merits of our current energy system; it is the reality in which we exist. Humans and human society have become dependent on energy in so many ways that we cannot simply undo what we have and flip overnight to alternatives that we believe preserve the benefits without the costs. The scale of our global energy use is enormous, and the infrastructure we have built to deliver that energy and convert it to useful work has been developed over more than a century. It will realistically take several decades for energy alternatives to grow to replace the major sources of primary energy that we utilize today; similarly, it will take many decades to rebuild our energy infrastructure to efficiently utilize new sources of primary energy.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Environment, Oil, Natural Resources, Infrastructure, Fossil Fuels
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Charles F. Doran
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: By attacking a major Saudi oil facility at Abqaiq on 13 September 2019, Iran established a new norm regarding oil security. Now, no oil field, pipeline, refinery, supertanker, or port facility is free from internecine warfare between oil-producing (OPEC) governments. Ironically, in attempting to defend a country from supply interruption, the United States risks worsening the magnitude and scope of that supply interruption rather than preventing its occurrence. In the era of highly accurate drones and missiles, the old oil field motto “all oil comes from a single barrel” has taken on a newly negative connotation. World oil stability rests on a precipice. Both exporters and importers suffer from supply interruption, although perhaps not equally, universally, or simultaneously. Supply interruption may benefit those who have oil to sell through resultant oil price increases if their own exports have not been interrupted. The same cannot be said for buyers who, unless they are energy speculators on the futures market, ardently want to prevent supply interruption and the virtually certain subsequent (though sometimes not lasting) increase in price.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Environment, International Political Economy, Oil, OPEC, Pipeline
  • Political Geography: Saudi Arabia, Global Focus
  • Author: Ashby Monk, Soh Young In
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: The move toward a global energy transition is underpinned by the collective need to limit the most severe impacts of climate change as well as to foster more sustainable economic growth. Floating photovoltaic power stations on Chinese lakes, integrated carbon capture technology on large-scale power plants in Canada, and decentralized urban wind turbines on Singaporean rooftops are just a few examples of how radical innovations in clean energy technology are fueling the global energy transition.1 Bringing cutting-edge technology from the lab to the global energy market requires a supportive ecosystem. Innovation must be matched by market readiness to adopt disruptive technologies, local capacities to scale up new energy projects, energy policies with climate objectives, technological development, and sufficient and “aligned” investment capital.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, International Trade and Finance, Finance, Innovation, Renewable Energy
  • Political Geography: China, Canada, Global Focus
  • Author: Brenda Shaffer
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: For most of the last fifty years, international energy policy has been a major focus of U.S. foreign and national security policy. Washington has viewed ensuring the energy security of its allies—especially in Europe, Japan, and South Korea—as part of its own national security. In this approach to energy policy, the United States was unique and contrasted with most Western countries, which generally treated energy policy as part of their economic and/or environmental policies. Washington has engaged in international energy policy on the highest executive levels in the White House and established influential units within cabinet departments and agencies to promote international energy policies and to integrate them with U.S. national security and foreign policies. Within the Department of State, successive special ambassadors were appointed to promote various international and regional energy policies and, in 2011, a full Bureau of Energy Resources was established.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Energy Policy, Environment, Oil, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: United States, Caspian Sea, Global Focus
  • Author: Erika Feller
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: The right to a nationality is often taken for granted. Over the course of decades, UN member states have enshrined this right through fundamental instruments, notably the UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Yet conservative estimates hold that approximately 10 million people spread across every continent are denied a nationality.1 Some, but not all, are refugees. Collectively, these individuals are stateless—they lack any claim to a nationality recognized or assumed by any state. For many years, statelessness was a forgotten issue, relegated to the realm of state sovereignty prerogatives. Recently, states and the UN have begun to focus on the pressing nature of the problem. They have made progress in addressing statelessness as a global, collectively shared challenge. However, the UN target of eradicating statelessness by 2024, while a fine aspiration, continues to face significant hurdles. These obstacles include a serious dearth of informa- tion about the problem’s scope, discriminatory national legislation and policies that obstruct UN efforts, an ambiguous international legal framework, and the absence of solutions that are accessible to stateless individuals.
  • Topic: Nationalism, Sovereignty, United Nations, Refugee Issues, Law, Citizenship, Nation-State, Legal Sector, Stateless Population
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ng Ser Song
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: Illicit drug use exacts a high cost on abusers, their families, and ultimately society as a whole. Livelihoods are lost, relationships are destroyed, children suffer, and the wider community pays a hefty price through a resulting worsened crime situation. Singapore has hence adopted a harm-prevention approach to drugs, incorporating educational, legal, and rehabilitative measures. While we acknowledge that there is a variety of approaches to drug policy globally, our approach has worked well for our local context and enabled people here to live to their fullest potentials.
  • Topic: Crime, Health, Law, Criminal Justice, Drugs
  • Political Geography: Singapore, Global Focus
  • Author: Russell Buchan
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: The essence of espionage is the non-consensual collection of confidential information. Espionage takes different forms depending upon the identity of the perpetrator and the nature of the confidential information targeted. Political espionage describes the state-sponsored theft of confidential information, and its purpose is to shed light on the capabilities and intentions of other state and non- state actors. Economic espionage is also state-sponsored, and it involves states stealing trade secrets from companies located in foreign jurisdictions, usually with the intention of passing this information to domestic companies so that they possess a competitive advantage. In contrast, industrial espionage is perpetrated by non-state actors insofar as it entails companies stealing foreign competitors’ confidential information without the support or assistance of a state.
  • Topic: Globalization, International Law, Business , Espionage
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Cristina Flesher Fominaya
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: In the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis, hundreds of protests spread across the world. Remarkably, despite the diversity of polities, regimes, and socioeconomic status across countries, these protests share two core demands to a varying degree: greater, more meaningful, or “real” democracy; and greater economic justice. While these are two distinct demands, they cannot be sepa- rated from each other. Although initially (and understandably) the protests were interpreted in direct relation to the global economic crash, especially in those countries hit hardest by the crisis and austerity politics, it soon became clear that the protests also reflected a crisis of representative democracy.
  • Topic: Economics, Financial Crisis, Protests, Global Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Coalter G. Lathrop
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: On land, the political map of the world has been relatively stable since the end of World War II: with some significant exceptions, most countries are, spatially, as they were in 1945 or shortly thereafter. Land borders are mostly set, and the major state-to-state territorial disputes that persist today are—again, with some notable exceptions—disputes over relatively small areas, mostly tiny insular features with negligible inherent value.
  • Topic: International Relations, Geopolitics, Navy, Oceans and Seas, Cartography
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Luis da Vinha
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: In his memoirs of his final years as one of the United States’ most prominent foreign policy decision-makers, Henry Kissinger offers an anecdote involving President Nixon and the Prime Minister of Mauritius, Seewoosagur Ramgoolam. As part of the celebration of the UN’s twenty-fifth anniversary, Ramgoolam was invited to dine with Nixon at the White House on 24 October 1970. The gathering nearly created a diplomatic faux pas due in large part to the admin- istration’s confusion regarding the geography of Africa. According to Kissinger, the national security staff mistook the country of Mauritius—U.S. ally and island nation located in the Indian Ocean east of Madagascar—for Mauritania, a northwestern African nation that had broken diplomatic relations with the United States in 1967 as a result of U.S. support for Israel during the Six-Day War.
  • Topic: International Relations, War, Geopolitics, Peace, Cartography
  • Political Geography: United Nations, Global Focus
  • Author: Yury Fedotov
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: In drug policy, the problems are never far from the headlines. From opioid overdoses and violence in the Americas to growing tramadol abuse in Africa and methamphetamine trade in Asia, drug threats to health, development, safety, and security are proliferating. Global opium and cocaine production have hit record levels. Drugs are killing people, and governments everywhere are struggling to respond.
  • Topic: United Nations, War on Drugs, Narcotics Trafficking, Law Enforcement, Drugs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Khalid Tinasti
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: Evidence indicates that the “war on drugs” has failed to achieve its stated objectives of eliminating or reducing the production, consumption, and trafficking of illegal drugs. In 2016, an estimated 275 million people used drugs globally, and the value of the drug trade is estimated at between US$426 and $652 billion, an increase from 208 million drug users and $320 billion of market turnover a decade ago.1 Furthermore, the war on drugs has created major negative unintended consequences impacting global development objectives: mass incarceration, a thriving illegal drug market, the spread of infectious diseases, urban violence, and human rights violations. These unintended consequences prompted a global movement to address the problems created by drug control policies, based on evidence that while drug use is harmful, harm can be mitigated with the right mix of policies.
  • Topic: Crime, War on Drugs, Narcotics Trafficking, Rule of Law
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Erin Jessee
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: Erin Jessee is Lord Kelvin Adam Smith Research Fellow in History at the University of Glasgow. She has over a decade of experience conducting oral historical and ethnographic fieldwork in confict-afected settings, particularly in Rwanda, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Uganda. She is the author of Negotiating Genocide in Rwanda: Te Politics of History, which was published in Palgrave Macmillan’s Studies in Oral History series in 2017. She has also published several articles in notable journals such as Memory Studies, Conflict and Society, History in Africa, Oral History Review, and Forensic Science International, among others.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, Genocide, International Cooperation, International Law, Humanitarian Intervention, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Rwanda, Global Focus