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  • Author: Eva M. Lisowski
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Nonproliferation Policy Education Center
  • Abstract: The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was formed in 1957 to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy and to inspect civilian nuclear materials and activities to deter military diversions. To decide the frequency of inspections and inspection criteria, the IAEA set its safeguard standards with the objective of assuring “timely detection of diversion of significant quantities of nuclear material from peaceful nuclear activities to the manufacture of nuclear weapons.” The two nuclear weapon designs developed and detonated during World War II were the “gun-type” and “implosion” designs. Because implosion device technology requires much less fissile material than guntype technology, the IAEA significant quantity6 (SQ) values were determined based on the fissile material requirements of nuclear implosion devices like the plutonium-based “Fat Man” detonated over Nagasaki in 1945. Utilizing implosion designs perfected in the late 1940s, however, the explosive yields achieved in 1945 can be produced with much less fissile material. Table 1 lists the fissile material requirements of contemporary nuclear weapon technology. “Low Technical Capability” in Table 1 refers to the Mark III implosion device set off at Nagasaki. “Medium Technical Capability” refers to implosion designs perfected in the late 1940s and “High Technical Capability” in Table 1 refers to the implosion technologies the United States perfected in the 1950s.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Science and Technology, Nonproliferation, Nuclear Energy, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Masaki Matsuo
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: One of the effects that Gulf Arab countries extend to the entire Middle East is that of stabilization through financial assistance. Huge oil export revenues are transformed into financial aid and funneled into neighboring Arab countries. The Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) is known throughout the world as a region where no progress has been made in democratization. Thus, if financial assistance from the Gulf Arab countries is stabilizing the systems of neighboring countries, it suggests that the Gulf Arab countries are hindering democratization in MENA. Such concerns can be traced back to Beblawi (1987) but have never been demonstrated. In this paper, official development assistance (ODA) statistics and democratization indicators will be used to conduct a preliminary analysis of the effects of financial assistance provided to MENA by the Gulf Arab countries in curbing democratization.
  • Topic: Democratization, Foreign Aid, Finance, Gulf Cooperation Council
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arab Countries, Gulf Nations
  • Author: Jun Saito
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: The Arab countries of the Gulf have worked to expand domestic food production and to secure stable food procurement from overseas in order to respond to increasing food demand due to the unsuitability of their geographical environment for food production and their rapid population growth.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Food, Food Security, Imports
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Gulf Nations
  • Author: Toru Onozawa
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: Since its inauguration, the Biden administration has been rapidly changing Trump administration's policies in both domestic and foreign affairs. The extension of the New START with Russia, the return to the Paris Agreement and the suspension of support for Saudi Arabia's intervention in the Yemeni civil war are just some of the pledges that Biden made during his presidential campaign. The new US administration seems to be on a steady track to make changes it deems necessary.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Conflict, Joe Biden
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Yuko Ido
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: In 2020, in the midst of a global coronavirus pandemic, food insecurity and crises became more serious worldwide. In October 2020, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for its humanitarian assistance in conflict areas around the world. WFP Executive Director David Beasley said, "Food is the best vaccine." However, in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, where conflicts in Syria, Yemen, Libya and other countries continue, there have been concerns of serious hunger even before the coronavirus outbreak. In addition to conflicts, the region is regarded as one of the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, which is considered to have been one of the factors in these conflicts. This short paper intends to offer an overview of the common challenges faced in pursuing food security in the MENA region and discuss their prospects.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Food Security, Crisis Management
  • Political Geography: Middle East, North Africa
  • Author: Mari Nukii
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: It is no exaggeration to say that Iran has been one of victims most suffered from the Trump administration's 'America First' policy in the four years since President Trump's inauguration in 2017. The main cause was Trump's unilateral declaration on May 8, 2018 to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and resume sanctions against Iran. Furthermore, in May 2019, the United States imposed a total embargo on Iranian oil and sent the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln and bomber units to the Middle East, heightening the risk of military conflict between the two countries.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Politics, Elections, JCPOA
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, United States of America
  • Author: Masaaki Yatsuzuka
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: There is no question that China's presence in the Middle East is growing significantly. Will China continue to deepen its involvement in the region and play a role in shaping the regional order, taking the place of the United States? In other words, will China practice major power diplomacy in the Middle East? The view among researchers in China and elsewhere1 over this question is divided. To categorize their arguments into two camps, there is a cautious engagement theory that warns against the risk of getting caught up in the turmoil in the Middle East and recommends (or predicts) that China protect its economic interests while maintaining political neutrality vis-à-vis the Middle East as it has done so far. On the other hand, there is an active engagement theory advocating (or foreseeing) that China deepen its engagement, proactively participate based on the responsibility of a major world power in solving problems in the Middle East, and actively propose its own ideas in order to protect Chinese interests in the Middle East.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: China, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Eugene Gholz
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft
  • Abstract: U.S. interests in the Middle East are often defined expansively, contributing to an overinflation of the perceived need for a large U.S. military footprint. While justifications like countering terrorism, defending Israel, preventing nuclear proliferation, preserving stability, and protecting human rights deserve consideration, none merit the current level of U.S. troops in the region; in some cases, the presence of the U.S. military actually undermines these concerns.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, War, Military Affairs, Military Intervention, War on Terror, Troop Deployment
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East
  • Author: Amr Hamzawy
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: The current Egyptian political scene reveals an important paradox: since its ascendancy to power in 2013, the military-led authoritarian government has not faced significant challenges from civil society despite systematic hu- man rights abuses and continuous societal crises. Apart from limited protests by labor activists, student movements, and members of syndicates, Egyptians have mostly refrained from protesting, instead hoping that the government will improve their living conditions despite a rising poverty rate of 33 percent, an inflation rate between 11 and 12 percent, and unemployment at eight percent. This popular reluctance to challenge the authoritarian government has continued to shape Egypt’s reality since the collapse of the short-lived democratization process from 2011–2013.
  • Topic: Authoritarianism, Democracy, Rule of Law, Protests, Dictatorship
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East, North Africa, Egypt
  • Author: Dana Moss
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: Transnational social movements play a critical role in the fight against authoritarianism, and a growing field of diaspora studies shows that exiles, émigrés, emigrants, and refugees are especially well positioned to undermine dictatorships from abroad. Given their cross-border ties, diasporas often mobilize against abuses taking place in their homelands, move aid to war zones and refugee camps, and fuel revolutionary social change. Exiles who gain the right to protest and lobby in their places of settlement can also become powerful players in international relations. Iraqi expatriate Ahmed Chalabi, who helped to justify the United States-led invasion of Iraq by fabricating evidence of Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, is just one example of how influential exiles can be when exacting revenge on the autocrats who abused them.
  • Topic: Diaspora, Authoritarianism, Democracy, Protests
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East