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  • Author: Henry D. Sokolski
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Nonproliferation Policy Education Center
  • Abstract: Although much has been said about the fusion of China’s civilian and military sectors, no detailed, unclassified analysis has been done of how Beijing’s “peaceful” nuclear efforts might be exploited to make more nuclear warheads. Even the U.S. Department of Energy’s own explanations of the export restrictions it imposed on “advanced” nuclear exports to China failed to discuss this. This volume is dedicated to clarifying just what the connection could be. Much of it focuses on China’s advanced fast breeder reactor program and its related plutonium recycling efforts. As explained in this volume’s first chapter, “How Many Nuclear Warheads China Might Acquire by 2030,” the least burdensome way for China to achieve nuclear weapons parity with the United States is simply to use the weaponsgrade plutonium that its planned “peaceful” fast breeder reactor and reprocessing programs will produce to make primaries for the two-stage thermonuclear weapons designs they already have perfected. By exploiting this weapons plutonium and the highly enriched uranium and tritium that China can easily access or make, Beijing by 2030 could conservatively assemble an arsenal of 1,270 warheads (nearly as many as the US currently has deployed on its intercontinental missiles).
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Science and Technology, Military Affairs, Nonproliferation, Missile Defense, Denuclearization, Nuclear Energy
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Author: Henry D. Sokolski
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Nonproliferation Policy Education Center
  • Abstract: With a new Democratic administration, Washington is almost certain to moderate its demands that Japan and South Korea pay more for American forces on their soil. This should ease tensions with Seoul to Tokyo. To strengthen security relations with Japan and South Korea, though, more will be required. Rather than simply increase their conventional military deployments, Washington, Seoul, and Tokyo will need to collaborate in new ways to enhance allied security. This will entail working more closely on new military frontiers, such as enhancing allied command of outer and cyber space as well as in underwater warfare. Washington, Seoul, and Tokyo will also want to carve out new functional areas of cooperation to make existing energy sources more secure, communications more reliable, data sharing easier and safer, and allied economic assistance to developing nations in strategic zones more effective. Enhanced collaboration in each of these areas has begun but is not yet locked in or fully institutionalized. It should be. Washington, Seoul, and Tokyo need one another to deal with China and North Korea. Yet, how each currently strategically views Beijing and Pyongyang differs. Nor is America’s preferred military approach to deterring Chinese and North Korean adventurism — by preventing Beijing and Pyongyang from projecting military strikes against their neighbors — all that easy to achieve. Adding new, more tractable items to America’s Asian security alliance agenda won’t immediately eliminate these misalignments. But it will strengthen the security ties they have as liberal democracies — bonds Beijing and Pyongyang are straining to fray.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Nuclear Weapons, Science and Technology, International Security, Military Affairs, Cyberspace, Nuclear Energy
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, South Korea
  • Author: Larry Diamond, Eileen Donahoe, Ahmed Shaheed, Benjamin Greenacre, James Shires, Alexei Abrahams, Joshua Tucker, Xiao Qiang, Marwa Fatafta, Andrew Leber, Alexei Abrahams, Marc Owen Jones, Afef Abroughi, Mohamed Najem, Mahsa Alimardani, Mona Elswah, Alexandra A. Siegel, H. Akin Unver, Ahmet Kurnaz, Anita Gohdes, Zachary Steinert-Threlkeld
  • Publication Date: 08-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS)
  • Abstract: The Project on Middle East Political Science partnered with Stanford University’s Center for Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law and its Global Digital Policy Incubator for an innovative two week online seminar to explore the issues surrounding digital activism and authoritarianism. This workshop was built upon more than a decade of our collaboration on issues related to the internet and politics in the Middle East, beginning in 2011 with a series of workshops in the “Blogs and Bullets” project supported by the United States Institute for Peace and the PeaceTech Lab. This new collaboration brought together more than a dozen scholars and practitioners with deep experience in digital policy and activism, some focused on the Middle East and others offering a global and comparative perspective. POMEPS STUDIES 43 collects essays from that workshop, shaped by two weeks of public and private discussion.
  • Topic: Security, Civil War, Government, Human Rights, Science and Technology, Infrastructure, Authoritarianism, Political Activism, Democracy, Media, Inequality, Social Media, Surveillance, Borders, Digital Culture, Cyberspace
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Middle East, North Africa
  • Author: Hisham Aïdi, Marc Lynch, Zachariah Mampilly, Diana S. Kim, Parisa Vaziri, Denis Regnier, Sean Jacobs, Wendell Marsh, Stephen J. King, Eric Hahonou, Paul A. Silverstein, Afifa Ltifi, Zeyad el Nabolsy, Bayan Abubakr, Yasmin Moll, Zachary Mondesire, Abdourahmane Seck, Amelie Le Renard, Sumayya Kassamali, Noori Lori, Nathaniel Mathews, Sabria Al-Thawr, Gokh Amin Alshaif, Deniz Duruiz, Yasmeen Abu-Laban, Efrat Yerday, Noah Salomon, Ann McDougall
  • Publication Date: 09-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS)
  • Abstract: In February 2020, the editors of this volume organized a POMEPS workshop that explored the origins of the disciplinary divide between the study of Africa and the Middle East, examining issues that span both regions (i.e., cross-border conflict, Islamist politics, social movements and national identity, and Gulf interventionism.) In February 2021, we convened another workshop, sponsored by POMEPS and the newly-founded Program on African Social Research (PASR, pronounced Pasiri) centered on racial formations and racialization across the two regions. Both workshops centered around the need for a genuinely transregional scholarship, one which rejects artificial divisions between ostensibly autonomous regions while also taking seriously the distinctive historical trajectories and local configurations of power which define national and subregional specificities. The workshop brought together nearly two dozen scholars from across multiple disciplines to explore the historical and contemporary politics of racial formation across Africa and the Middle East.
  • Topic: Islam, Race, War, Immigration, Law, Slavery, Judaism, Colonialism, Borders, Identity, Amazigh
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan, Turkey, Middle East, Asia, South Africa, Yemen, Palestine, North Africa, Egypt, Madagascar, Tunisia, Oman, Gulf Nations
  • 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: Yoshiaki Takayama
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: Competition among great powers is accelerating moves to review international interdependence from the perspectives of foreign policy and national security. Since 2019, the US Department of Commerce has introduced export control of emerging technologies, in essence managing international interdependence based on foreign policy and security logic. With the above in mind, this report examines the US government's export control of emerging technologies and its implications.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, National Security, Science and Technology, Power Politics, Exports
  • Political Geography: United States of America
  • Author: Hirofumi Tosaki
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: The implications of emerging technologies have been an important issue in the debate on nuclear posture and deterrence relationship. Although the concrete objectives, concepts, plans and states of development of the nuclear-armed states regarding the introduction of emerging technologies into their nuclear weapons systems are not necessarily clear, a particular focus of discussion has been the potential impacts of introducing artificial intelligence (AI), quantum technology and other emerging technologies into intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and nuclear command, control and communications (NC3). With regard to ISR for early warning, threat detection, situational awareness and attack/damage assessment, the development of remote sensing technology through quantum sensing, for instance, could improve the ability to detect an adversary's offensive capabilities, and increase the possibility of addressing them before they are used. The use of cloud computing, ultrahigh-speed high-capacity data communications and AI is expected to enable the efficient collection and prompt analysis of vast amounts of information.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Nuclear Power, Deterrence, Artificial Intelligence, Destabilization
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • 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