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  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Global Philanthropy Project (GPP)
  • Abstract: As COVID-19 spread across the globe in 2020, and its health and broader political and socioeconomic implications became evident, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI)2 communities organized. To meet new challenges, LGBTI organizations across the world stepped up, aware that legal and social discrimination and marginalization would make their communities particularly vulnerable to impacts of the pandemic. LGBTI community response included: delivering essential food to communities of unemployed trans men in rural Guatemala; providing housing for LGBTI communities escaping unsafe living environments in Macedonia; ensuring that lesbian, bisexual, and queer female sex workers have access to essential medicines in Uganda; and other examples in communities around the world. As governments, donors, and service providers have largely failed to acknowledge the specific needs of LGBTI people in responding to COVID-19, LGBTI organizations have filled the void to provide basic protection and support for their communities. Many of these organizations have traditionally focused on advocacy and community organizing to advance and protect the human rights of LGBTI people. Now, in the era of COVID-19, they have become direct service providers, out of necessity—albeit with limited resources and capacity. In April 2020, the Global Philanthropy Project launched a short survey to understand the initial response of global LGBTI philanthropy to the pandemic, soliciting data from all GPP member organizations as well as non-GPP members within the top 20 funders of global LGBTI issues. A key outcome from that report was an identified role for GPP to monitor shifts in resources flowing to LGBTI movements and communities, as well as the broader impact of COVID-19 on international development and humanitarian assistance funding.
  • Topic: Health, Discrimination, LGBT+, Advocacy, Community, Marginalization
  • Political Geography: Global Focus, Global South
  • Author: Roxana Elena Manea
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Environmental Studies, The Graduate Institute (IHEID)
  • Abstract: Existing investigations of the impact of school feeding programmes on educational out- comes have provided mixed evidence of success. In this chapter, I investigate a potential explanation for this lack of consensus in the literature. I argue that the prevailing food security situation at the time and place of the programme's evaluation plays a major role. I study the case of rural Malawi. I use an instrumental variable approach and propensity score matching to estimate the impact of school feeding on primary school enrolment and retention rates. I focus on villages with overlapping characteristics. I estimate that school feeding has increased enrolments by 7 percentage points on average, but the im- pact on retention rates has been relatively limited. However, when I distinguish between food-secure and food-insecure areas, not only do I finnd a larger impact on enrolments in food-insecure areas, but I also uncover a significant increase of around 2 percentage points in the retention rate of students in these same areas. Across the board, impacts are not significant in food-secure areas. I conclude that school feeding programmes bear an impact on education as long as they also intervene to relax a binding food constraint.
  • Topic: Development, Education, Government, Food, Food Security, Nutrition
  • Political Geography: Malawi
  • Author: Roxana Elena Manea, Pedro Naso
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Environmental Studies, The Graduate Institute (IHEID)
  • Abstract: In this study, we investigate the impacts of the 2002 elimination of primary school fees in Mainland Tanzania. We explore how the magnitude of these effects depends on gender and the size of early investments in the educational infrastructure of Tanganyika. We use the 2002 and 2012 census waves as well as historical information on the location of schools in the late 1940s, and conduct a difference-in-differences analysis. We find that exposure to an average of 1.7 years of free primary education has reduced the proportion of people who have never attended primary education by 6.8 percentage points. The benefits of fee removal have been significantly larger for females compared to males, and females from districts where the size of investments in education was relatively larger during colonial rule have been the greatest beneficiaries.
  • Topic: Education, Gender Issues, Post Colonialism, Infrastructure, Women, Colonialism
  • Political Geography: Africa, Tanzania
  • 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: 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: Plamen Pantev
  • Publication Date: 07-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Security and International Studies (ISIS)
  • Abstract: In the Spring of 1991 Mette Skak, a Danish political scientist, and the author of this article, discussed in Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridsky” during a BulgarianDanish conference the possibilities of building a security community in the Balkans – in a similar way as it has been created in the Nordic region of Europe and in the territory covered by NATO and then European Community (EC). The core idea of this concept, elaborated during the 1960s by the American political scholar Karl Deutsch, was to get rid of war as a method of solving conflicting interests between states. It is unthinkable and inapplicable for the member countries of the security community to use force in case of a dispute among them. Of course, certain preconditions are to be met by the participating states and key among them is compatibility of the values of the societies and the states in the group. The discussion led to naming this idea of the two scholars as ‘political science fiction’. To some extent this assessment was true – the wars in a dissolving Yugoslavia had not yet started, the former federation has been lured by the EC, USA and still existing USSR to preserve at any cost its integrity, the animosities of the Cold War Balkan international relations were still persisting, the national democratic transformations in the former totalitarian states were just beginning to toddle.
  • Topic: NATO, Regional Cooperation, International Security, Military Affairs, Regional Integration
  • Political Geography: Bulgaria, Balkans, Southeast Europe
  • Author: Michael D. Swaine, Jessica J. Lee, Rachel Esplin Odell
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft
  • Abstract: The world faces twin crises — a global pandemic and rising climate chaos — even as an epochal change in the balance of power unfolds in East Asia. In response to these trends, the United States has doubled down on efforts to contain a rising China and maintain its eroding military dominance in the region. Simultaneously, it has neglected economic engagement and diplomatic cooperation with East Asian nations, thereby undermining its ability to manage the Covid–19 pandemic and the climate change challenge. This failed approach is directly harming the interests of the American people.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy, International Order
  • Political Geography: United States, East Asia
  • Author: Anatol Lieven
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft
  • Abstract: The unresolved conflict between Russia and Ukraine in the Donbas region represents by far the greatest danger of a new war in Europe — and by far the greatest risk of a new crisis in relations between the United States and Russia. The Biden administration does not wish to escalate tensions with Russia, and no doubt appreciates that admitting Ukraine into NATO is impossible for the foreseeable future, if only because Germany and France would veto it. Nonetheless, so long as the dispute remains unresolved, the United States will be hostage to developments on the ground that could drag it into a new and perilous crisis.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Diplomacy, War, Conflict, Negotiation
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Ukraine, Eastern Europe
  • 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: 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
  • Author: Chisako T. Masuo
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: The core problem in the Chinese Coast Guard Law is that it shows the Chinese authorities' readiness to use it as a domestic foundation for implementing a maritime military-civil fusion (MCF) strategy aimed at establishing Chinese control inside the first island chain in East Asia. China has improved its surveillance capabilities over the ocean dramatically in last years. Intentionally adopting an ambiguous strategy mingling security and economic affairs altogether, China is trying to expand its maritime sphere of influence and even make incursions into others' waters, using private fishermen as well as civilian officials and military personnel as the situation demands. Countries that share concerns with China should strengthen international technical cooperation in strategic domains and build seamless surveillance systems to keep an eye on various Chinese actors' external activities.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Maritime, Coast Guard, Readiness
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Takahiro Tsuchiya
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: In recent years, the United States and China have entered into a new conflict over advanced science and its application in emerging technologies. China places particular emphasis on artificial intelligence (AI), blockchains, quantum information science, and neuroscience applications as emerging technologies that could impact security in the future. In the following paragraphs, I will take blockchain technology as an example and discuss how China, which places importance on this technology, aims for "technological hegemony" through dual use (both military and civilian use).
  • Topic: Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Emerging Technology
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • 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: Midori Okabe
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: Human migration is a peaceful means of sustaining individuals' lives and promoting social success. However, it is also a human security issue that shows no sign of resolution. According to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), more than eight million people worldwide had been forcibly displaced as of mid-20201. Even during the coronavirus pandemic, forced displacement resulting from persecution has been reported in Syria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mozambique, Somalia, Yemen and other countries in the region of Africa commonly referred to as "the Sahel".
  • Topic: Migration, United Nations, Refugees, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Africa, Yemen, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mozambique, Syria, Somalia
  • Author: Takahiro Tsuchiya
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: "Economic security" has been gathering attention in recent years. The main reasons for this are (1) neo-globalization, (2) the achievement of objectives by major powers using the "economic statecraft"1 approach, and (3) the development of "game-changing" and other emerging technologies. In particular, there has been a heightened sense of international concern about China's attempts to coerce, demand obedience, or persuade other countries by acquiring/securing technologies (resorting to economic espionage if necessary) and human resources and by leveraging its economic power.
  • Topic: Development, Science and Technology, Xi Jinping, Economic Security
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Naoko Funatsu
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: The escalating confrontation between the United States and China has been one of the most important issues in American foreign policy in recent years. The weight of US foreign policy toward China has increased as China's presence in the international community has grown. This is due to China's remarkable economic growth, and many countries around the world sought to incorporate the booming Chinese economy into the international economy to promote their own economic growth; the United States had been no exception. As globalization and China's economy continued to grow, however, the trade imbalance between the US and China expanded, and the trade deficit with China became an issue in the US. In the US presidential election of November 2016, Republican candidate Donald J. Trump made correcting the trade deficit with China a policy priority and was elected. When the administration took office in January 2017, it was marked by a discourse based on economic nationalism, one of the characteristics of a Trump administration committed to putting "America first".
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Globalization, Bilateral Relations, Economy, Trade
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Hideyuki Mori
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: Broadly speaking, the COVID-19 crisis has been sparked by a combination of two factors. The first is the threat of zoonoses faced in common by humans and other vertebrate animals, and once again it has become clear that the capture and sale of wild animals can produce crises such as this. The second factor is the overall acceleration in the movement of people and goods across national borders that is characteristic of globalization. The first factor enabled transmission of the COVID-19 virus from animals to humans, while the second caused these infections to spread worldwide to a pandemic level.
  • Topic: Environment, Sustainability, COVID-19, Air Pollution
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Norichika Kanie
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: In modern society, every issue is connected to another. As suggested in the proverb "When the wind blows, the bucket maker gains", various self-differentiated issues actually interrelate and influence each other in today's world, where globalization has made considerable progress and the Internet infrastructure has become widespred and continues to evolve. These issues can be broadly divided into three types: economic, social and environmental. At first glance, economic, social and environmental issues appear to be independent issues, but in fact they are deeply and strongly related. If you buy and drink bottled water from a vending machine to cope with "life-threatening" heat, for instance, you can rehydrate yourself as an immediate necessary measure against climate change. But, if the water bottle is a petroleum product, incinerating it as garbage also promotes climate change. If we turn on air conditioning, we may be able to escape the mortal danger posed by climate change. However, as long as the electricity is produced by coal-fired power plants, using it will also contribute to climate change.
  • Topic: Environment, Governance, Economy, Sustainable Development Goals, Society
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Sachiko Ishikawa
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: With the COVID-19 pandemic threatening the lives and livelihoods of all people on Earth, UN Secretary-General Guterres from the outset has called for more international solidarity and cooperation than ever to respond to the coronavirus. Today, after a quarter of a century since the concept of human security was first brought to the world by the UNDP in 1994, the pandemic struck just as the importance of reconsidering its value and implementation in light of changes within the international community was being debated. In 2020, discussions about rethinking the concept and practice of human security in the context of the coronavirus pandemic increased, especially among academic societies and aid workers in Japan.
  • Topic: Recovery, Human Security, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Japan, Global Focus
  • Author: Yumiko Murakami
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: The decline in Japan's birthrate and the aging of its population are rapidly accelerating. Senior citizens aged 65 or over numbered 36.17 million in 2020, accounting for 28.7% of the general population, and both the absolute number of senior citizens and the population aging rate set new all-time highs1. Looking back, the ratio of elderly people went from less than 5% in 1950 to more than 14% in 1995 and then to 23% in 2010, surpassing the 21% level that defines super-aging. A drop of 290,000 from the previous year in Japan's 2020 population marked the start of a downtrend, and the aging of that population is expected to pick up speed. An estimate by the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research contends that the ratio of elderly people will reach 35.3% in 2040, when the generation born during the second baby-boom period (1971-1974) will be 65 years or older.
  • Topic: Demographics, Leadership, Aging
  • Political Geography: Japan, Asia
  • Author: Tetsuo Kotani
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: A summit meeting between Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and President Joe Biden was held on April 16, 2021, followed by a joint statement. In the statement, for the first time in the 52 years since 1969, the importance of the security of the Taiwan Strait was emphasized by the leaders of Japan and the United States, confirming that both countries are increasingly concerned about the current situation regarding Taiwan. According to a poll conducted by Nikkei Inc. after the summit, 50% of the Japanese public considered the U.S.-Japan summit itself as "positive" (32% "negative"), and 74% of the respondents "agreed" that Japan should be involved in stabilizing the Taiwan Strait, while only 13% "disagreed." These figures were received with some surprise by experts. This paper will analyze these changes in Japan's perception of Taiwan, and then examine the issues that Japan should address in the future following the recent Japan-U.S. joint statement.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Japan, Taiwan, Asia, United States of America
  • Author: Kyoko Kuwahara
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: An open democratic society is one that allows its members to access information from both inside and outside the country presenting a diversity of viewpoints, to freely express their own thoughts, and to involve themselves in free and fair national governance. The role of the media has traditionally been emphasized with regard to accessing information. Traditional media play an important role in shaping public opinion and in providing information that enables members of the public to participate actively and effectively in a democratic society (see Figure 1). Freedom of the press1 as guaranteed by Article 21 of the Constitution of Japan is also one of the core values of democracy.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Science and Technology, Media, Disinformation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: Masaru Watanabe
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: In January 2021, the Biden administration came to power in the United States, and in April a new directorate was inaugurated with a change of leadership at the Cuban Communist Party Congress. In this paper, I would like to analyze the US-Cuba relations in international politics, the future of socialist Cuba after the Party Congress, and the prospect for the relationship between the two countries by reviewing its past.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Bilateral Relations, Socialism, Joe Biden
  • Political Geography: Cuba, United States of America
  • Author: Hiroshi Yamazoe
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: On April 13, 2021, US President Joe Biden held a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss several issues that are hindering US-Russia relations. Two days later, the White House announced economic sanctions and other retaliatory measures, saying that these would impose costs for Russia's harmful activities. This statement gave a relatively detailed description of a cyberattack using SolarWinds products that surfaced in December 2020. On April 15, 2021, the same day that the retaliatory measures were announced, US and UK intelligence agencies officially designated Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) the responsible party for the first time. This article discusses some of the cybersecurity issues in US-Russia relations, focusing on the issues surrounding SolarWinds products, and uses part of my manuscript written in February 2021 for a report by the Japan Institute of International Affairs' Russian Study Group, with some additions made based on developments in April and May.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Bilateral Relations, Cybersecurity
  • Political Geography: Russia, 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: Chloe Berger, Cynthia Salloum
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: Russia’s presence in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is a significant component of contemporary Russian foreign and security policy. Moscow’s approach to NATO’s South1 has undoubtedly undergone considerable change since the collapse of the Soviet Union. During the Cold War, it had built a set of alliances with Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Algeria and Libya, among others, which gave Moscow important leverage throughout the region. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan stirred resistance and opposition in the Muslim world, marking a major turning point in its Middle Eastern foreign policy. With the demise of its empire, in addition to its economic and military weaknesses, Russia faced a series of new challenges: a further disintegration of its own south, notably in the South Caucasus, the rise of radical extremism in Chechnya and Dagestan and a NATO programme of partnerships and cooperation that threatened its influence. All of these constrained Moscow’s foreign policy at large, including its Middle Eastern arrangements. In pursuing interests above values, Russia, in the last twenty years, developed channels of dialogue and cooperation with several Sunni Arab states traditionally close to the US, including Saudi Arabia, while deepening diplomatic and military ties with Iran and the Syrian regime. Russia maintained relations with Fatah and recognized Hamas after it won the Palestinian parliamentary elections in 2006, while successfully engaging pragmatically with Israel.2 Keeping contacts open with all relevant parties marks continuity between Soviet and Russian foreign policies. Moreover, in the last decade, the increasing instability across the Middle East and North Africa after the Arab Spring, from which Moscow kept its distance, offered new opportunities for influence and power projection, most notably in Syria and Libya. Putin is tracking two main objectives there: one is building status as a regional actor; the other is enhancing his prestige domestically.3 From the Libyan power vacuum to the US retreat from Afghanistan, the Kremlin is making the most of strategic opportunities and may continue to do so. However, it remains to be seen whether its regained confidence will lead to a more permanent Russian presence and influence. In the South, Moscow has today a relative free rein. But an increasingly mature European Union and most importantly a powerful and more strategically oriented US under President Biden may seriously constrain Russia’s room for manoeuvre. Several drivers, ranging from domestic and economic politics to regional and global geopolitics, could explain Russian involvement in the MENA. Firstly, Russia is building a defensive strategy aimed at reinforcing its front line against Western encroachment and Islamist terrorist attacks. Secondly, it is displaying an expansionist drive, aimed at controlling at least parts of the Eastern and Southern Mediterranean by consolidating old alliances and building new coalitions including with business and arms traders. Thirdly, Russia’s presence in the MENA can be seen as a classic zero-sum game of power politics with the US whereby Moscow is trying to fill the void left by Washington. Last, but certainly not least, it is also driven by domestic considerations that strengthen Putin’s grip on power, and Russia’s regional influence and international prestige. While all these factors play a role, this edited volume shows that opportunism and contingency remain key variables to explain Russian behaviour in the MENA. All of these drivers were somehow on display in Syria, which became an ideal case-study to explain Russian policy in the South. Yet, beyond the specific rationale, some questions still remain about Russia’s future role and influence in the region. Is the MENA region significant enough to help Russia recover a status of global power beyond regional leadership? Do status and prestige suffice, and if so, at what cost? What are Russia’s current and future investments in the region and what are their consequences on trade, energy, and its military posture? What would the real benefits of a Russian return to the MENA region be for its economy and power? Most importantly, what would be the consequences of an assertive Russia for NATO and its partners in the South?
  • Topic: Defense Policy, NATO, Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, North Atlantic, North America
  • Author: Thierry Tardy
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: NATO’s history is marked by both profound continuity and deliberate adaptation. Over the past seven decades, NATO’s mission, the defense of the Euro-Atlantic area, and its constitutive values – democracy, individual liberty, the rule of law – have not changed. Similarly, the Alliance’s founding principle, namely the commitment Allies have made to defend each other and work together for their common security and defense, is as relevant today as it was when the Alliance was established in 1949. At the same time, NATO has adapted throughout its history to ensure it always remained capable to fulfil its mission and guarantee the defense and security of the almost one billion citizens it was established to protect. In the last decade, this meant that the Alliance had to boost its ability to tackle more sophisticated non-conventional threats. It has done so by investing in resilience as well as by enhancing its tools to fight terrorism, counter cyber threats, and respond to hybrid challenges. Even more fundamentally, since 2014, NATO has responded to the changing security environment by implementing the biggest adaptation of its collective defense since the end of the Cold War. This has led to deploying combat- ready troops in the East of the Alliance, modernizing NATO’s command structure and Headquarters, enhancing the readiness of Allied forces and to an increased and sustained Allied commitment to invest more in defense. In this context, NATO 2030, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg’s initiative, is driven by the belief that, to remain a strong and agile Alliance, NATO must continue its adaptation and focus on how to respond to a rapidly changing security environment. At the December 2019 NATO Leaders Meeting, Allied Heads of State and Government asked the Secretary General to lead a forward-looking reflection on NATO’s future. They asked him to provide concrete recommendations to NATO leaders in time for the 2021 Summit. In response, the Secretary General launched NATO 2030, focusing on the key question of how to prepare the Alliance for the next decade. To inform his thinking, the Secretary General decided to reach out and gather ideas from a wide number of actors: he appointed an independent group to provide him with their advice, established the NATO 2030 Young Leaders to hear the recommendations of the “next” generation, and launched a number of dialogues with civil society, youth and the private sector. The rationale behind this approach is solid: in an increasingly complex world where security challenges are more diverse and diffuse, it is especially important to engage with a broad set of stakeholders and to take different perspectives into consideration. The NATO Defense College’s work on NATO 2030 fits within this broader set of discussions and contributes to the policy debate on NATO 2030 and on NATO’s future more broadly. The timing is especially ripe for a reflection on NATO’s future adaptation. Looking at 2030, the Alliance needs to prepare for a more uncertain and competitive world. This requires understanding how the shifting global balance of power will affect both the international rules-based order as well as Allied security. It will be essential to consider how to best ready the transatlantic Alliance and how to forge a common approach to tackle these systemic challenges. At the same time, preparing for the future also means accounting for exponential technological changes and their impact on how conflicts are understood and fought; as well as stepping up efforts to combat climate change and prepare to mitigate and counter its security impact. It is also important to stress that while NATO needs to adapt to new challenges, it must also continue to strengthen its ability to tackle existing ones. NATO 2030 thus gives the Alliance an opportunity to both take stock of the impressive adaptation occurred over the past decade and to redouble its efforts to prepare for the upcoming one. To do so, the Secretary General put forward three broad goals: to keep NATO strong militarily, to make the Alliance stronger politically, and to ensure it adopts a more global approach. The papers presented in this volume contribute to the thinking on how to meet each of these goals. First, keeping NATO strong militarily is of course central to ensuring the Alliance’s ability to fulfil its mandate. Collective strength and solidarity are equally crucial to maintain Allied unity and cohesion and to underpin the Alliance’s political role. Ensuring NATO stays strong militarily requires sustained Allied investment in defense, but also a focus on Allied resilience and on technological innovation. Andrea Gilli’s paper on “NATO, Technological Superiority and Emerging and Disruptive Technologies” tackles the crucial question of how to ensure NATO’s technological superiority in the future. The paper rightly recognizes that historically the Alliance’s ability to deter and defend has always been predicated upon maintaining a technological edge over competitors and potential adversaries. Looking at a future of exponential technological change and geopolitical competition, it is evident that preserving Allied technological superiority will become simultaneously more complex and more important. NATO has recognized the growing importance of investing in innovation and in preventing a transatlantic gap when it comes to the adoption of emerging and disruptive technologies in security and defense. This is why, in recent years, the Alliance has redoubled its efforts in this field. Building on this progress, it is important to examine what more NATO could do towards 2030 when it comes to technological innovation in general and emerging and disruptive technologies specifically. Gilli’s paper points to a number of important areas, including by stressing the need to think creatively about what role NATO can play to foster transatlantic innovation and encourage more Allied investments and cooperation on R&D. A similarly interesting and related notion is the need for NATO to reflect on its role when it comes to transatlantic training and education, both crucial to fostering cooperation and boosting interoperability. Second, NATO 2030 focuses on how to strengthen NATO’s political role. On the one hand, this means ensuring NATO remains the platform where North America and Europe consult and coordinate on all issues relevant to their common security and defense. On the other hand, a more political NATO is also an Alliance that is better able to rely on both military and non-military tools to fulfil its mandate. The importance of this issue emerges clearly in Marc Ozawa’s paper “Adapting NATO to grey zone challenges”. The essay examines NATO’s tools and responses to a world in which competitors and potential adversaries increasingly rely on political, diplomatic, economic and military tools to challenge Allied security. The author argues that responding to these hybrid challenges requires the Alliance to update its broad strategy and expand its toolkit. This conclusion aligns with the Secretary General’s call to update the 2010 Strategic Concept to take into account the new strategic environment. In addition, enhancing NATO’s ability to respond to grey zone challenges, from information warfare, to asymmetric approaches and economic coercion, also means continuing and enhancing the Alliance’s work on resilience, as the first line of defense against both conventional and non-conventional challenges. In this respect, Ozawa rightly argues that NATO should both expand the lens through which it looks at resilience and widen the actors it involves in its consultations on this issue. Expanding NATO’s work on resilience could include, among others, using NATO more as a platform to discuss, identify and mitigate economic vulnerabilities that could be exploited to both sow disagreements and undermine Allied security. Similarly, broadening consultations on issues related to resilience and countering hybrid threats could lead to both more regular NATO meetings of Allied national security advisors and more robust engagement with the private sector. Finally, the Secretary General’s vision for NATO 2030 highlights the importance of adopting a more global outlook. Even though NATO is a regional Alliance, the challenges it faces are global, from terrorism to climate change. In this context, the question of how to better leverage NATO’s partnerships becomes especially important. Thierry Tardy’s essay, “From NATO’s partnerships to security networks” affirms the importance of partnerships as one of NATO’s key political tools and looks at how to further enhance them towards 2030. In a world of growing geopolitical competition, one of the key questions for NATO 2030 is how to further strengthen the Alliance’s political dialogue and practical cooperation with like-minded partners to deal with global challenges and defend the rules-based international order. Another important priority should be to examine how to further invest and leverage in partnerships to contribute to peace and stability in NATO’s immediate neighborhood. The three papers developed by the NATO Defense College’s researchers engage with the Secretary General’s 2030 vision by looking at how the Alliance can enhance its ability to innovate, strengthen its toolkit against hybrid threats and further leverage its partnerships as an important political tool. The breadth of topics reflects the fact that NATO finds itself in the most complex and challenging security environment since the end of the Cold War. In turn, this requires in-depth thinking about how to continue to deter and defend and tackle existing challenges as well as how to redouble efforts to adapt and innovate to address emerging ones.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, NATO, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Europe, North Atlantic, North America
  • Author: Schuyler Foerster, Jeffrey A. Larsen
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: This Research Paper addresses four key issues: 1) a holistic definition of strategic stability, highlighting the principal sources of instability in Europe and identifying requirements for strengthening stability in Europe; 2) an examination of recent NATO efforts to shore up its defense and deterrent capabilities, while underscoring the need to address defense against non-military threats to stability; 3) a discussion of how a comprehensive arms control agenda could contribute to strategic stability, including wide-ranging discussions with Moscow about Russia’s place in an evolving European security framework; and 4) an analysis of three different strategic approaches that NATO might pursue, each of which combines enhancements to military and non-military defense and the possibility of a broader collaborative security agenda. The continuing volatility of NATO’s strategic environment will require that NATO maintain its long-established strategies of deterrence, defense, and reassurance. However, a strategy that depends almost exclusively on the deployment of military forces will be insufficient to sustain strategic stability in the long run. NATO also requires a clear and purposeful strategy that incorporates both defense and dialogue – including arms control policies – as integral and complementary tools for addressing threats. The authors recommend that NATO should proceed to shape a new Strategic Concept by outlining a 21st century Harmel Doctrine, emphasizing both defense and dialogue with Russia as complementary paths to improving strategic stability. Simultaneously, NATO should fulfill its requirements for a 21st century strategy for deterrence and defense in dealing with nuclear, conventional, cyber, hybrid, and other military and non-military threats. For the foreseeable future, NATO will need to craft a strategy for security and stability in Europe based on the assumption that Russia does not share the West’s worldview and will likely continue to seek to undermine the stability and cohesion achieved in Europe following the end of the Cold War. If Russia proves unwilling to engage in a meaningful collaborative security relationship, NATO will be justified in embarking on a 21st century version of a renewed “containment” policy that includes the reintroduction of even greater military capabilities in Europe. In all cases, NATO should ensure that Alliance cohesion – including its transatlantic security link – is preserved even as it deliberates difficult strategic questions.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, NATO, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, North Atlantic, North America
  • Author: Bruno Tertrais
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: This Research Paper seeks to describe and explain the principles of nuclear deterrence and nuclear strategy. It does not defend or take sides – in favour of or against – a particular thesis, concept, idea or school of thought. While it mostly applies to Western conceptions and debates (i.e., the United States, the United Kingdom, France, NATO), most of the points made seem widely shared.1 The paper is structured as an investigation of nuclear strategy, moving stage by stage from the conceptual level to the planning level before setting out the issues that revolve around nuclear deterrence. Following an initial conceptualization of deterrence, the paper looks at its implementation in the nuclear domain. It then describes the various notions associated with nuclear deterrence and nuclear strategy, as well as the related interactions with weapons systems. It also explains the main dilemmas and questions associated with nuclear strategy, offering food for thought on the future of nuclear deterrence. One author suggests that there have been four waves of nuclear deterrence analysis.2 The first of these, in response to the invention of the atom bomb, conceptualized the basis of nuclear deterrence. The second focused on formal theorizing (with the occasional help of game theory), in a world of increasingly diversified nuclear arsenals. The third wave, based on trends observed over a period of many years, used case studies to judge how efficient nuclear weapons had been in deterring aggressions. The fourth wave, leveraging advances in cognitive sciences to challenge the initial “rational actor assumption”, grappled with post-Cold War problems such as so-called rogue states and terrorist networks. We may now be entering a fifth wave, as the expansion of cyberspace and the advent of artificial intelligence and quantum computing may have ramifications for nuclear deterrence. This Research Paper seeks to take stock of this corpus of studies, so as to produce a contemporary framework designed for policy-makers, practitioners and scholars.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, NATO, Nuclear Weapons, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy, Deterrence
  • Political Geography: Europe, North Atlantic, North America
  • Author: Roxana Elena Manea, Pedro Naso
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Environmental Studies, The Graduate Institute (IHEID)
  • Abstract: In this study, we investigate the impacts of the 2002 elimination of primary school fees in Mainland Tanzania. We explore how the magnitude of these effects depends on gender and the size of early investments in the educational infrastructure of Tanganyika. We use the 2002 and 2012 census waves as well as historical information on the location of schools in the late 1940s, and conduct a difference-in-differences analysis. We find that exposure to an average of 1.7 years of free primary education has reduced the proportion of people who have never attended primary education by 6.8 percentage points. The benefits of fee removal have been significantly larger for females compared to males, and females from districts where the size of investments in education was relatively larger during colonial rule have been the greatest beneficiaries.
  • Topic: Education, Environment, Gender Issues, Colonialism, Ecology
  • Political Geography: Africa, Tanzania
  • Author: Roxana Elena Manea, Patrizio Piraino, Martina Viarengo
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Environmental Studies, The Graduate Institute (IHEID)
  • Abstract: We study the relationship between housing inequality and crime in South Africa. We create a novel panel dataset combining information on crimes at the police station level with census data. We find that housing inequality explains a significant share of the variation in both property and violent crimes, net of spillover effects, time and district fixed effects. An increase of one standard deviation in housing inequality explains between 9 and 13 percent of crime increases. Additionally, we suggest that a prominent post-apartheid housing program for low-income South Africans helped to reduce inequality and violent crimes. Together, these findings suggest the important role that equality in housing conditions can play in the reduction of crime in an emerging economy context.
  • Topic: Apartheid, Crime, Economics, Law, Inequality, Violence, Legal Sector
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa
  • Author: Laura Nowzohour
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Environmental Studies, The Graduate Institute (IHEID)
  • Abstract: Adjustment costs are a central bottleneck of the real-world economic transition essential for achieving the sizeable reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions set out by policy makers. Could these costs derail the transition process to green growth, and if so, how should policy makers take this into account? I study this issue using the model of directed technical change in Acemoglu, Aghion, Bursztyn, and Hemous (2012), AABH, augmented by a friction on the choice of scientists developing better technologies. My results show that such frictions, even minor, materially affect the outcome. In particular, the risk of reaching an environmental disaster is higher than in the baseline AABH model. Fortunately, policy can address the problem. Specifically, a higher carbon tax ensures a disaster-free transition. In this case, the re-allocation of research activity to the clean sector happens over a longer but more realistic time horizon, namely around 15 instead of 5 years. An important policy implication is that optimal policies do not act over a substantially longer time horizon but must be more aggressive today in order to be effective. In turn, this implies that what may appear as a policy failure in the short-run | a slow transition albeit aggressive policy | actually re ects the efficient policy response to existing frictions in the economy. Furthermore, the risk of getting environmental policy wrong is highly asymmetric and `robust policy' implies erring on the side of stringency.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, Environment, Economic Growth, Green Technology, Economic Policy, Renewable Energy, Sustainability
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Kyle J Wolfley
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Department of Social Sciences at West Point, United States Military Academy
  • Abstract: The 2017 U.S. National Security Strategy appeared to bring deterrence back: departing from its predecessor, the document prioritized the concept by including “preserving peace through strength” as a vital national interest. From nuclear weapons to cyberspace, the strategy emphasized the logics of denial and punishment, which were hallmarks of the classical deterrence theory that emerged after World War II. However, recent thinking on deterrence has evolved beyond these simple logics. Now emerging concepts such as tailored deterrence, cross-domain deterrence, and dissuasion offer new ideas to address criticisms of deterrence in theory and practice. Therefore, the most vital question for the new administration is: how should the U.S. revise its deterrence policy to best prevent aggression in today’s complex environment? A review of the problems and prospects in deterrence thinking reveals that in addition to skillfully tailoring threats and risks across domains, U.S. policymakers should dissuade aggression by offering opportunities for restraint to reduce the risk of escalation.
  • Topic: Security, Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy, Cybersecurity, Deterrence
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Kyle J Wolfley
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Department of Social Sciences at West Point, United States Military Academy
  • Abstract: As the COIVD-19 pandemic forced the United States to scale down its massive Defender exercise in Europe, the Chinese military continued its multinational exercise programs with Cambodia, Russia, and Pakistan, despite China’s strict domestic lockdowns. These exercises highlight how China is wielding a form of military power commonly overlooked in assessments of its rise. Today, states leverage their armed forces not only for warfighting or coercion, but also to manage international relationships. Military power includes not only the capacity to conquer and compel, but also the ability to create advantage through attraction and persuasion—a concept I call “shaping.” Unlike military strategies of warfighting or coercion, shaping relies less on force and more on the use of persuasion to change the characteristics of other militaries, build closer ties with other states, and influence the behavior of allies. China’s leaders increasingly understand the value of using their military to shape the international system in their favor. American policymakers, if they wish to compete effectively, ought to take shaping more seriously as well.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Military Strategy, Hegemony, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Matías Dewey, Cornelia Woll, Lucas Ronconi
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Sciences Po Center on Coping with Instability in Market Societies (MaxPo)
  • Abstract: The legal order is the legitimate foundation of liberal democracy. Its incomplete enforcement of the law can therefore appear dysfunctional, reflecting weak institutions, state capture, and corrupt practices. This paper casts doubt on such categorical assessments by systematically examining the reasons for and intentions behind incomplete enforcement. It argues that law enforcement is part of the political process that is deeply affected by the constellation of actors concerned. Choices over law enforcement produce social order that is analytically distinct from the production of legal norms and their formal implementation. By analyzing different types of partial enforcement, its rationales, and intended effects, we propose an approach that studies law enforcement as an integral part of public policy analysis and of the study of socioeconomic orders.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, Law Enforcement, Law, Police, Legal Sector
  • Political Geography: Europe, Global Focus
  • Author: Rachel Morley
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR)
  • Abstract: Within the international development and human rights communities, awareness of the use of conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) as a tool of war has grown significantly over the past two decades. Truth commission have emerged as a key response to support victims of CRSV and provide recommendations on how the state should provide assistance and avoid future violations. This report draws on an analysis of the final reports of truth commissions in four African countries—Sierra Leone (2004), Liberia (2009), Kenya (2015), and Tunisia (2019)—to explore the evolving nature of truth commission engagement with this specific mandate on the continent.
  • Topic: Conflict, Sexual Violence, Peace, Reconciliation , Truth
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Tunisia
  • Author: Steven Rebello, Jesse Copelyn, Sinqobile Makhathini, Boikanyo Moloto
  • Publication Date: 08-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR)
  • Abstract: Militarisation refers to a process where societies (states, institutions, and citizens) prioritise, organise, prepare for and respond to threats or crises with military action or violence. This policy brief highlights how many countries across the world, including South Africa, adopted a militarised response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In South Africa, this militarised response has been noted by the deployment of the SANDF to assist with the enforcement of COVID-19 regulations as well as through the noticeable increase in the use of excessive force in response to protests.
  • Topic: Disaster Relief, Protests, Violence, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa
  • Author: Andrew Chubb
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: China Maritime Studies Institute, U.S. Naval War College
  • Abstract: This volume examines the role of popular nationalism in China’s maritime conduct. Analysis of nine case studies of assertive but ostensibly nonmilitary actions by which the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has advanced its position in the South and East China Seas in recent years reveals little compelling evidence of popular sentiment driving decision-making. While some regard for public opinion demonstrably shapes Beijing’s propaganda strategies on maritime issues, and sometimes its diplomatic practices as well, the imperative for Chinese leaders to satisfy popular nationalism is at most a contributing factor to policy choices they undertake largely on the basis of other considerations of power and interest. Where surges of popular nationalism have been evident, they have tended to follow after the PRC maritime actions in question, suggesting instead that Chinese authorities channeled public opinion to support existing policy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Nationalism, Public Opinion, Military Affairs, Navy, Maritime, Oceans and Seas
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Sergiusz Bober, Aziz Berdiqulov
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: This Research Paper focuses on practices concerning recognition and non-recognition of minority communities in six European and Central Asian countries (Denmark, Germany, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Poland, and Tajikistan). Additionally, it also assesses the risk of misrecognition with regard to some of the minority communities resulting from these practices. The text is structured as a dual comparative analysis, first scrutinizing approaches to recognition within two macro-regions, and afterwards confronting them in order to identify similarities and discrepancies. This results in the identification of two “cultures” of recognition: a “strong” one in Europe and a “weak” one in Central Asia, with their characteristics originating mainly from differences concerning social, political, and legal contexts. At the same time, some features are shared by both macro-regions: hierarchization of minority communities, general limited access to minority rights, and sometimes a severe risk of misrecognition. Moreover, the paper argues in favour of formal mechanisms of recognition, a wider scope of application of minority rights (especially in Europe), as well as the strengthening of minority rights frameworks in Central Asia.
  • Topic: Culture, Minorities, Ethnicity, Community
  • Political Geography: Europe, Central Asia, Asia
  • Author: Nina Henke
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: In less than 20 years after gaining its independence from the Soviet Union, Ukraine has faced several events, which have shaped the process of nation-building. The Euromaidan, the annexation of Crimea and the armed conflict with Russia have intensified the ‘us–them’ line of self-identification of the “Ukrainians” versus the “Others”. Ongoing “Ukrainisation” is spreading insecurity among minority groups and endangers possibilities to establish a cohesive Ukrainian society with a shared sense of belonging. In the context of a multicultural Ukrainian space and the international commitments of the State to protect and promote rights of its national, ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities, adopting an ethnocentric approach to the nation-building of the country is a conflict-prone factor. By examining and discussing identities in the perspective of the ongoing nation-building process in Ukraine, this research paper aims to identify the potential of the State and individuals to find mechanisms and grounds for reconciliation and integration. This is approached through a series of in-depth interviews and a complex analysis of current political guidelines on education, language and decommunisation.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Nationalism, Minorities, Ethnicity, Conflict, State Building, Identity
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine
  • Author: Ljubica Djordjevic
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: The paper analyses the texts of the constitutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia as a basis for exploring how these states deal with the (ethnic) diversity and balance between civic and ethnic concepts of nation. The four countries offer an interesting spectrum of different approaches, caused by different social contexts: the main feature of the approach in Bosnia and Herzegovina is the category of “constituent peoples”; Montenegro has opted for a civic concept; North Macedonia tries to balance between multiculturalism and a binational state; and Serbia juggles the concept of the nation-state combined with comprehensive protection for national minorities. The analysis shows that the constitutions struggle to various degrees with the balance between the civic (political) concept of a (supra-ethnic) nation and the ethnic (cultural) concept of nation(s), and, in essence, fail to contribute to interethnic interaction and wider social cohesion. Although it is clear that the recognition of specific group identities and accommodation of (minority) rights is essential for pursuing peace, stability, diversity and genuine equality in each of the four analysed countries, it is also evident that imbalance favouring the ethnic concept of nation and failure to establish stronger institutional links of common citizenship, inevitably leads to parallel (one could even argue “segregated”) societies where different groups simply live next to each other but do not genuinely interact, which is detrimental to social cohesion and social stability and prosperity in the long run.
  • Topic: Nationalism, Minorities, Ethnicity, Community, Identity
  • Political Geography: Europe, Balkans
  • 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: Plamen Pantev
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Security and International Studies (ISIS)
  • Abstract: The first reflection about the geopolitical environment that Bulgaria faced after the tectonic systemic shifts in the end of the 80s and the beginning of the 90s of the 20th century thirty years later is that the efforts of the country to influence the transformation of the Balkans into a regional security community were successful. The second reflection is that Bulgaria was not able to influence effectively a similar development in the Black Sea area. Both the Balkans and the Caspian Sea-Caucasus- Black Sea area were conflictual knots of relations inherited from the Cold War divide. While the traditional European great powers that polarized the Balkan system of international relations pushing the small countries one against the other and the United States had the strategic interest of pacifying the South Eastern region of Europe, the dominating great power in the Black Sea area – Russia, aimed at preserving the opportunities of coming back to the territories that the Soviet Union lost after its collapse by preserving various degrees of conflictness in the neighbouring countries. Depending on the general condition of the Russian economy and state as well as its domestic political status different opportunities were either designed or just used to preserve the profile of Russia of the empire that sooner or later will be back. What are, in this regard, the perceptions in Bulgaria of the annexation of Crimea?
  • Topic: Security, International Security, Geopolitics, Conflict, Empire
  • Political Geography: Russia, Caucasus, Soviet Union, Bulgaria, Caspian Sea
  • Author: Tchinda Kamdem Eric Joel, Kamdem Cyrille Bergaly
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)
  • Abstract: Cameroonian farmers face two tenure systems: a modern regime and a customary regime. These two regimes are perpetually confronting each other, putting farmers in a total uncertainty as to the regime to adopt to ensure the sustainability of their ventures. This study aims to assess the influence of land tenure security on agricultural productivity through credit access. To achieve this goal, a two-stage sampling technique was applied to data from the third Cameroon Household Survey (ECAM 3). The number of farmers selected for the analysis was 602. These data were analysed using descriptive and three-step recursive regression models. The results of the analysis reveal that land tenure security improves agricultural productivity through the credit access it allows. A proof of the robustness of this result has been provided through discussion of the effects of land tenure security in different agro-ecological zones and through a distinction between cash crops and food crops. The overall results confirm that land tenure security positively and significantly influences agricultural productivity. The regression has also shown that the size of the farm defined in one way or another, the perception of farmers on their level of land tenure security and therefore indicates the intensity with which land tenure security influences agricultural productivity. The recorded productivity differential indicates that smallholder farmers, because they keep small farms, feel safer and produce more than those who keep medium-sized farms. The results also show that land tenure security significantly improves the value of production per hectare of food products that are globally imported into Cameroon. Therefore, we recommend that the public authorities promote land tenure security by reinforcing the unassailable and irrevocable nature of land title, but also by easing the conditions of access to it.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Economics, International Political Economy, Economic structure, Economic Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Cameroon
  • Author: Lewis Landry Gakpa
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)
  • Abstract: The aim of this study is to examine the consequences of interaction between political instability and foreign direct investment (FDI) on economic growth of 31 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa in order to analyse one of the channels through which political instability affects economic growth. To achieve this objective, the study relies on a dynamic panel procedure and the Three Stage Least Squares Method to estimate a model of simultaneous equations over the period 1984-2015. The empirical results indicate that political instability affects economic growth directly and indirectly through its impact on foreign direct investment. We also highlight the simultaneous character of the relationship between political instability and the level of economic development in Sub-Saharan African countries. The results of the study then corroborate the idea that political instability hinders growth and thus calls for measures to improve the quality of political climate, which is one of the conditions necessary for a country’s economy to benefit from foreign direct investment.
  • Topic: Economics, Foreign Direct Investment, Political stability, Economic Policy, Macroeconomics
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa, Angola, Namibia, Botswana
  • Author: Kouassi Yeboua
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)
  • Abstract: For a long time, the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) countries have been experiencing persistently high budget and current deficits. This study was undertaken to empirically test the “Twin Deficits Hypothesis” in these countries. The analysis was conducted within the framework of the Panel Vector autoregressive (VAR) approach over the period 1975–2013. In contrast to the conventional view which claims a one-way relationship between budget and current account deficits, the results show that budget deficits lead to a deterioration in the current account balance, and vice versa (bilateral relationship). We also found that budget deficits have an impact on current account balance mainly through imports.
  • Topic: Economics, Monetary Policy, Budget, Economic Policy, Macroeconomics
  • Political Geography: Africa, West Africa
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)
  • Abstract: This study sets out to estimate the determinants of household economic wellbeing and to evaluate the relative contributions of regressed-income sources in explaining measured inequality. In particular, a regression-based decomposition approach informed by the Shapley value, the instrumental variables econometric method, and the 2007 Cameroon household consumption survey, was used. This approach provides a flexible way to accommodate variables in a multivariate context. The results indicate that the household stock of education, age, credit, being bilingual, radio and electricity influence wellbeing positively, while rural, land and dependency had a negative impact on wellbeing. Results also show that rural, credit, bilingualism, education, age, dependency and land, in that order, are the main contributors to measured income inequality, meanwhile, the constant term, media and electricity are inequality reducing. These findings have policy implications for the ongoing drive to scale down both inequality and poverty in Cameroon.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Poverty, Inequality, Economic Inequality, Economic Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Cameroon
  • Author: Ebaidalla M. Ebaidalla
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)
  • Abstract: Despite the importance of non-farm income in the livelihood of the rural population in Sudan, information available on its size and determinants is scanty. This study examined the patterns and determinants of decisions to participate in non-farm activities in rural Sudan. It also investigates whether the determinants of participation in non-farm activities vary across agriculture sub-sectors and income groups as well as among males and females. The data for this study was sourced from the Sudanese National Baseline Household Survey (NBHS) conducted by Sudan’s Central Bureau of Statistics in 2009. The results show that non-farm income is a crucial source of livelihood, contributing about 43% to household income in rural Sudan. The results of multinomial logit and probit estimation methods indicate that educational level, mean of transportation, lack of land and lack of access to formal credit are the most significant factors that push rural farmers to participate in non-farm activities. Surprisingly, the effect of household income was positive and significant, implying that individuals from rich households have higher opportunity to engage in non-farm activities compared to their poor counterparts. Moreover, the analysis revealed some symptoms of gender and location disparities in the effect of factors that influence participation in non-farm activities. The study concluded with some recommendations that aim to enhance the engagement in non-farm activities as an important diversification strategy to complement the role of the agriculture sector in improving rural economy in Sudan.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Economics, Rural
  • Political Geography: Sudan
  • Author: Reuben Adeolu Alabi, Oshobugie Ojor Adams
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)
  • Abstract: This study examined the impacts of the e-wallet fertilizer subsidy scheme on quantity of fertilizer use, crop output and yield in Nigeria. The study made use of the Nigeria General Household Survey (GHS)-Panel Datasets of 2010/2011 and 2012/2013 which contain 5,000 farming households in each of the panel. We applied relevant evaluation techniques to analyse the data. The results of the impact analysis demonstrate that the scheme has generally increased the yield, crop output and quantity of fertilizer purchase of the participating farmers by 38%, 47%, and 16%, respectively. The study concludes that increased productivity, which the scheme engenders, can help to reduce food insecurity in Nigeria. Provision of rural infrastructure, such as good road network, accessibility to mobile phones, radio, etc., will increase accessibility of the small-scale farmers to the scheme or any other similar agricultural schemes in Nigeria.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Economics, Income Inequality, Economic Growth, Rural
  • Political Geography: Africa, Niger
  • Author: Yahya Abou Ly
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)
  • Abstract: The empirical context of this research is in an environment where malnutrition is a real public health concern. The objective of this study was to identify the determinants of the nutritional state of children under the age of five years in Mauritania. Using data obtained from multiple indicators cluster surveys (MICS) in Mauritania in 2007 and 2015, we undertook fixed-effects clusters techniques to control for unobserved heterogeneity. The empirical results demonstrate that the age and sex of a child, level of education of the mother, the standards of living of the household, the area of residence, the availability and use of health care services and access to drinking water are all important factors for the good health of children in Mauritania. These findings suggests improvements in nutritional health, for example, by education of girls until completion of secondary school; an improvement in the conditions of households that are headed by women and an expansion in the coverage rate of multi-purpose health centres.
  • Topic: Health, Food, Children, Food Security, Child Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, Mauritania
  • Author: Dongue Ndongo Patrick Revelli
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)
  • Abstract: Understanding how domestic prices adjust to the exchange rate enables us to anticipate the effects on inflation and monetary policy responses. This study examines the extent of the exchange rate pass-through to the Consumer Price Index in Cameroon and Kenya over the 1991-2013 period. The results of its econometric analysis shows that the degree of the exchange rate pass-through is incomplete and varied between 0.18 and 0.58 over one year in Kenya, while it varied between 0.53 and 0.89 over the same period in Cameroon. For the long term, it was found to be equal to 1.06 in Kenya and to 0.28 in Cameroon. A structural VAR analysis using impulse-response functions supported the results for the short term but found a lower degree of pass-through for the exchange rate shocks: 0.3125 for Kenya and 0.4510 for Cameroon. It follows from these results that the exchange rate movements remain a potentially important source of inflation in the two countries. Variance decomposition shows that the contribution of the exchange rate shocks is modest in the case of Kenya but significant in that of Cameroon.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Monetary Policy, Exchange Rate Policy, Economic Policy, Inflation
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa, Cameroon
  • Author: Albert Makochekanwa
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)
  • Abstract: The main objective of the study was to investigate the impact of policy regulations on investments in mobile telecommunications network infrastructure in all the 15 member countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. The research employed panel data econometrics to achieve its stated objective. Estimated results shows that the coefficient of gross domestic product (GDP) per capita is positive and statistically significant, implying that an increase in this variable results in increase in demand and this in turn motivates infrastructure investment in mobile telephone. The coefficient on the previous level of mobile telephone infrastructure investment variable (Invkt-1) was found to be positive and statistically significant. This means that there is a systematic positive association between the previous level of mobile telephone infrastructure investment and the current. The coefficient of the main variable of interest representing mandatory unbundling (Regkt) was found to be positive and statistically significant. This implies that, overall, mandatory unbundling access regulation boost infrastructure investment in mobile telecommunication. Regression estimates shows that the coefficient on one of the variable of interest, political constraint (POLCON) has a negative and statistically significant impact on determining the level of mobile telephone infrastructure investment in SADC countries. Whilst this result is against expectations, one possible explanation may be presence of high level of rent seeking behaviour.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Regulation, Economic Growth, Economic Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa
  • Author: Negou Kamga Vincent de Paul, Nda’chi Deffo Rodrigue
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)
  • Abstract: Despite free basic vaccines administered by the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI), there is still a fairly high death rate of children aged 0-5 worldwide due to vaccine-preventable diseases. Sub-Saharan Africa is the most affected region due to low levels of vaccination. This study analyses the effect of birth order on the immunization status of children in Cameroon, considering the contribution of cultural, economic and community factors. To do this, it uses data from the Demographic and Health Surveys of 1991, 1998, 2004 and 2011 produced by the National Institute of Statistics with the support of UNFPA, UNICEF, the World Bank and USAID. The EPI module was administered to 3,350, 2,317, 8,125 and 25,524 children under five in 1991, 1998, 2004 and 2011, respectively. The multinomial probit model makes it possible to find that birth order has a negative and highly significant effect on the full and timely immunization of children under five and the impact increases with birth order. Moreover, the impact of birth order increases after adjusting for cultural factors. This increase indicates that, beyond the effect of birth order, cultural factors are at the root of prejudices leading to the abandonment of children. Considering children under two years of age, and vaccines taken during the first four months, the corresponding birth order effect points to the benefits of routine immunization and response campaigns in promoting immunization of children under five.
  • Topic: Economics, Health, Health Care Policy, Children
  • Political Geography: Africa, Cameroon
  • Author: Dina Wahba
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: In my visit to Egypt in late March 2018, two things were happening simultaneously: the demolition of Maspero Triangle, the neighbourhood I have been working on for my case study, and the re-election of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi for his second term. There was a big campaign banner, one of many engulfing Cairo, with El Sisi’s face and the slogan “You are the hope”. This banner on 6th of October bridge was overlooking the neighbourhood as the bulldozers were hard at work demolishing what was for years the homes of over 4000 families spanning generations. I was in a taxi trying inconspicuously to take pictures of the banner and wondering what my interlocutors would say when I ask them about how they view this promise of hope overlooking the destruction of their homes. I was also marvelling at the almost nonsensical sequence of events. In 2011 Maspero was one of the most militant neighbourhoods, among many in downtown and old Cairo (Ismail 2013), that defended the occupation of Tahrir Square. As it was adjacent to Tahrir, it played a crucial role in sustaining the square during the first 18 days of the uprising. Seven years after the revolution, the neighbourhood was faced with complete erasure. How did we get here? I argue for the productivity of looking at Egyptian politics through the lens of affect as a possible way to answer this question. As Laszczkowski and Reeves argue in their edited book Affective States (2017) “Affect is at the heart of those moments when the political catches us off guard or when it leaves us feeling catatonically suspended, wondering where we are, how we even go there, and when this became so ordinary”. In this paper, I examine one such moment: the demolition of Maspero neighbourhood that coincided with the re-election of Abd El Fattah El Sisi in early 2018. I investigate state-society relations and the shifts throughout those moments by looking at how one neighbourhood negotiated their survival that culminated in their removal. Much like the wider socio-political context in Egypt and the story of the Egyptian revolution itself, Maspero is a story of a negotiated failure. A youth-led movement that demanded basic rights, exhausted various political tactics to lobby the government and failed the bigger fight, but scored some victories, such as the ability of some 900 families to come back to Maspero after the development project is over. I argue that Maspero can uncover much about the wider political tribulations since 2011. The case offers a lens through which we can see political openings and opportunities, clampdowns and closures as well as the current regime’s agenda for ensuring that what happened on 25 January 2011 does not happen again. I claim that one of the tactics of the regime is to systematically deconstruct the politics of the urban subaltern that played a major role in the revolution (Ismail 2013) through urban reconfiguration as well as new and old methods of affective co-optation and coercion. In her analysis of state-society relations, Cilja Harders argues that “political science tends to privilege macro-level perspectives” rendering the urban subaltern as only passive subjects of political transformations (Harders 2003). I argue that this has not changed in analysing the aftermath of the revolution. Few studies discussed the role of the urban poor in the revolution; however, many scholars neglected the politicisation of the urban subaltern when analysing transformation (or lack thereof) in Egyptian politics in the last few years. After eight years, the situation seems bleak and the task futile. To argue for any kind of change, let alone transformation, one must be blind to the strong backlash against any attempt to capitalise on the temporary gains of the revolution. The only story left to be told seems to be one of failure. The utter failure of a reformist movement to impose even partially its agenda for change (Bayat 2017). However, the case of Maspero neighbourhood and its youth alliance allow me to trace the revolution back into the everyday politics of citizens in a crushing struggle with the regime to examine whether the revolution disrupted informal traditional ways of doing politics. Rather than examine radical or even reformist regime or legal changes in national politics, I am interested in informal politics and its disruption. “It is in the local scale that power relations become tangible and abstract concepts such as ‘state’ and ‘politics’ observable” (Hoffmann, Bouziane & Harders 2013, 3). Building on the work of scholars of everyday politics, street politics and politics from below, I focus, therefore, on the street and, more specifically, Maspero, a neighbourhood adjacent to Tahrir Square that lived the revolution with all its tribulations, a neighbourhood that affected and was affected by the revolution. I find Salwa Ismail’s work on the role of the urban subaltern in the revolution productive in unpacking and tracing the “everyday” in the Egyptian revolution. “The infrastructures of mobilisation and protest lay in the microprocesses of everyday life at the quarter level, in their forms of governance and in the structure of feelings that developed in relation to state government” (Ismail 2012, 450). Ismail’s argument highlights the quarters or neighbourhoods as spatial political laboratories where the urban subaltern, through rigorous negotiations and “every day” encounters with the different arms of the state, accumulates knowledge about modes of governance and how to resist them. This was obvious in the role that the urban subaltern played in the revolution and was reflected in the narratives of my interlocutors and highlighted in some of the scholar’s accounts of the revolution. In Ismail’s (2012) account of the “backstreets of Tahrir”, she narrates several important “battles” in informal neighbourhoods that she believes were vital to the success of the revolution. These “battles” manifest the moment of convergence between locally grounded grievances and national revolutionary politics. “The account of the battles serves to draw attention to the place of popular quarters in the geography of resistance, and to the spatial inscription of popular modes of activism”. (Ismail 2012, 446) The importance of Ismail’s account is in linking popular resistance to the spatial characteristics of the quarter, which brings up the question of what will happen to popular resistance when the neighbourhood is gone. I argue that the removal of entire neighbourhoods has a political purpose, that of dismantling the political laboratories and crushing street politics. In discussing the battles in Tahrir, Bulaq Abu Al-Ila features prominently in sheltering activists, defending the occupation of the square and engaging in prolonged street fights that exhausted the police and kept it from reclaiming the square. Ismail (2012, 448) links the neighbourhood’s repertoire of contention to a history of patriotism that goes back to the resistance of the French colonial conquest, again highlighting a spatially bounded accumulation of generational knowledge and affective register of popular resistance. The aim of my endeavour is not just to highlight the role of the urban subaltern in the revolution and the subsequent politicisation and depoliticization and what one may learn from it. It is also to link this to what the state has been learning about countering any possible future mobilisation in order to foresee state strategies of radically altering the “every day” modes of governance and with it modes of resistance and to connect this to the urgency of urban restructuring processes happening in Cairo on an unprecedented scale since the 1990s. Asef Bayat (2012) explores the politics of the urban subaltern in “neoliberal cities” in an authoritarian regime. Bayat offers the concept of “social non-movements” to analyse street politics (2012, 119). According to him, the streets are vital to the urban subaltern: he writes that “[t]he centrality of streets goes beyond merely the expression of contention. Rather, streets may actually serve as an indispensable asset/capital for them to subsist and reproduce economic as well as cultural life” (2012, 119). Bayat describes the ongoing conflict over the public space between the state and the urban subaltern as “street politics” (Bayat 2009). These ongoing processes consequently create the “political street”, hence, politicising ordinary citizens through their struggles over urban space. Some of the questions that arise here and reflect the limitations of Bayat’s arguments in this point of history relate to what happens to “street politics” when the urban subaltern loses the “political street”. Reflecting on the case of Maspero neighbourhood, what happens to the politicisation and cultural and economic appropriation when they are relocated to Asmarat, a far-off gated community out of central Cairo? What happens to the politics of the urban poor when they lose their “capital”? And, what kind of political and spatial affects are tied to this dispossession? One of the challenges of studying Maspero was to understand the affective attachments that people had to the neighbourhood. Drawing from the literature on street politics and Asef Bayat’s notion of encroachment (2009), I could understand materially the reasons why forcefully displacing people from their homes could be traumatic. However, as I witnessed them mourn the neighbourhood it became clear to me that there are reasons beyond what this literature can offer. Here, affect theories can be helpful. Yael Navaro Yashin calls for “a reconceptualization of the relation between human beings and space” (2012, 16). Yashin critiques what she calls “the social-constructionist imagination” in its focus on conceptualising space only through what humans project on it. Building on Teresa Brennan’s work on the transmission of affect, Yashin argues for affective relationality between humans and their environment. However, she does not take an object-centred approach but combines the human subjective approach with one that explores that “excess” in the environment that she studies through the lens of affect. Yashin’s work on the collision of the phantasmatic and the material is essential in understanding the “affect” of the neighbourhood. According to Yashin, “the make-believe is real” (2012, 10). Reflecting on the case of Maspero, the affective attachments that the inhabitants of the neighbourhood developed was built around the material, the encroachment, and the social networks but moved beyond this. To them, Maspero is their country and their home. Below one of my research interlocutors, a male resident of Maspero in his 30s explains to me the attachment of the people to Maspero Triangle. “We belong to this place; it is part of us, and we are a part of it. This place holds our memories and childhood. This is something that officials never understood. But we felt it. In this place I used to play, when I am upset, I like to sit in this place and talk to my friends. We are attached to this place not just because it is close to our work. We are linked spiritually to this place; our hearts are attached to this place. I do not want to go out. I do not want to live even in Zamalek, which is very close to us. I do not want to live there. We are attached to this place.” Nigel Thrift (2007) argues that for the political importance of studying affect in cities and affective cities to trace how affect and cities interact to produce politics. The interactions between space, bodies and affect are linked to political consequences. Thrift goes further to point to the political engineering of affect in urban everyday life and what might seem to us as aesthetic is politically instrumentalised. This engineering of affect can have various political aims. To erase emotional histories, create new affective registers or mobilise old ones in urban settings through urban restructuring (Thrift 2007, 172). Thus, it is not farfetched to argue that the urban restructuring of cities is linked to eliciting or inhibiting political responses. The massive plan of the Egyptian government to drastically change downtown Cairo, a space that witnessed a revolution has interlinked political and affective goals. It aims at erasing the affective register of the 2011 Egyptian revolution and inhibits the politics of the urban poor.
  • Topic: Human Rights, United Nations, Revolution, Urban, Youth Movement
  • Political Geography: Africa, North Africa, Egypt, Maspero
  • Author: Raj Chetty, John N. Friedman, Emmanuel Saez, Nicholas Turner, Danny Yagan
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University
  • Abstract: We construct publicly available statistics on parents’ incomes and students’ earnings outcomes for each college in the U.S. using de-identified data from tax records. These statistics reveal that the degree of parental income segregation across colleges is very high, similar to that across neighborhoods. Differences in post-college earnings between children from low- and high-income families are much smaller among students who attend the same college than across colleges. Colleges with the best earnings outcomes predominantly enroll students from high-income families, although a few mid-tier public colleges have both low parent income levels and high student earnings. Linking these income data to SAT and ACT scores, we simulate how changes in the allocation of students to colleges affects segregation and intergenerational mobility. Equalizing application, admission, and matriculation rates across parental income groups conditional on test scores would reduce segregation substantially, primarily by increasing the representation of middle-class students at more selective colleges. However, it would have little impact on the fraction of low-income students at elite private colleges because there are relatively few students from low-income families with sufficiently high SAT/ACT scores. Differences in parental income distributions across colleges could be eliminated by giving low and middle-income students a sliding-scale preference in the application and admissions process similar to that implicitly given to legacy students at elite private colleges. Assuming that 80% of observational differences in students’ earnings conditional on test scores, race, and parental income are due to colleges’ causal effects – a strong assumption, but one consistent with prior work – such changes could reduce intergenerational income persistence among college students by about 25%. We conclude that changing how students are allocated to colleges could substantially reduce segregation and increase intergenerational mobility, even without changing colleges’ educational programs
  • Topic: Income Inequality, Economic Inequality, Higher Education, Economic Mobility
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: David Mansfield
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU)
  • Abstract: There are up to 1.4 million people in southwestern Afghanistan whose livelihoods are under threat. These people reside in the former desert areas of Farah, Nimroz, Helmand and Kandahar. In the 1990s, this region was largely barren uninhabited land, apart from the valley of Khash Rud in Nimruz and the lower part of Marjah. Drawing on fieldwork conducted over a 10-year period, and using high-resolution remote imagery, this paper charts the processes that led to the encroachment, settlement and transformation of the deserts of the southwest. It documents how patterns of migration to these areas varied over time and by location, and details how these once barren landscapes were transformed into areas of permanent settlement. The paper then provides evidence of how this rapid transformation has impacted the population that reside there, and outlines the threats to the long-term viability of their livelihoods. Finally, the paper recommends solutions to the pressures on this population, not just in addressing the factors that drive migration to these former desert areas, but also interventions that might ease the economic, social and environmental challenges that those living there currently face, potentially preventing a massive displacement of people within Afghanistan, to neighbouring countries and possibly further afield.
  • Topic: Environment, Migration, Natural Resources, Water, Ecology
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, South Asia
  • Author: Hosuk Lee-Makiyama, Badri Narayanan Gopalakrishnan
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE)
  • Abstract: Regulations are an indispensable part of an economy and are proven to generate a significant impact on the economic, environment and social landscape. Through an extensive survey of literature and empirical study, the paper contrasts the benefits and costs arising in the light of the imposition of ex ante regulations of attempting to regulate a market sector, before a market failure has even occurred. It diverges from the norm of regulating ex-post, i.e. addressing market failures as they arise, which is the case in most modern open economies. The study highlights the economic impacts of shifting from ex post to ex ante in the online services sector as stipulated by the proposals for the Digital Services Act. It estimates a loss of about 85 billion EUR in GDP and 101 billion EUR in lost consumer welfare, due to a reduction in productivity, after accounting for other control variables. These costs are equivalent to losing all the gains that the EU has achieved to date from all its bilateral free trade agreements; or losing the contribution of passenger cars to the EU trade balance with the rest of the world. In the context of the pandemic-induced economic contraction, the GDP loss is equivalent to one-quarter of EU current account surplus projected for 2020. The extraordinarily high costs and rarity of ex ante rules warrant a discussion on the true objectives of the Digital Services Act. It is unclear which market failures it is envisaged to address – or how these failures can be so critical for the well-being for the European citizens, yet so irreparable and impossible to remedy ex post.
  • Topic: Economics, Environment, International Political Economy, Markets, Treaties and Agreements, Social Policy, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Florian Forsthuber, Oscar Guinea
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE)
  • Abstract: A new consensus is growing across the European Union – and other parts of the world too: that globalization has gone too far. The argument goes as follows: as an exchange for higher efficiency and lower prices, Europe has sacrificed its ability to take care of itself and protect its own citizens. The Covid-19 crisis has revealed how much Europe depends on the rest of the world for products like medical goods and medicines. Therefore, if Europe does not want to live through another shortage of essential supplies, the lesson of the Covid-19 crisis is that the EU has to produce these products itself. This conclusion may sound intuitive but it is fundamentally wrong. Europe is not overly dependent on the rest of the world because most trade in the EU is done within its own borders. New evidence presented in this paper shows that there were only 112 products, making just 1.2% of the value of EU total imports, for which the four largest suppliers were non-EU countries as compared to more than two thousand products for which the four largest suppliers were from EU member states. And while not every product is equally important in the face of a global pandemic, there is not a single Covid-19 related good for which all EU imports only came from non-EU countries. This paper debunks the idea that the EU is too reliant on other countries. Instead, our analysis shows that imports from the rest of the world make every EU member state more resilient by diversifying its sources of supply. Because of their geographical location and economic integration, if there was to be a shock like a pandemic, a plague, or a nuclear disaster, groups of EU countries are likely to be hit simultaneously. Having sources of supply outside the EU is therefore critical to reduce Europe’s vulnerability to these shocks. Europe’s recent experience has shown that international trade is a strength, not a weakness, and the EU was blessed to be able to tap into the manufacturing capacity of the rest of the world to buy urgently needed medical goods from abroad during the hardest months of the pandemic. Preparing for future crisis like Covid-19 is extremely complex. Nobody knows which type of shock will come after Covid-19, which economic activities will be impacted, or what kind of goods will be needed to protect our citizens. Yet, any debate about the merits of re-shoring should be based on figures and not on narratives. This paper analyzes EU imports on more than 9,000 products and concludes that Europe should not build its resilience by the mandatory re-shoring of economic activities. That is the opposite of diversification. Besides, re-shoring will increase costs and hit citizens in the poorest countries the hardest. An economy that is served by multiple firms across multiple locations is more resilient to random shocks than one where goods are produced by fewer firms in the same location. While re-shoring may bring the illusion of control, in reality, the EU will be more vulnerable and dependent on fewer and larger companies. This is why globalization and the EU’s reliance on the rest of the world is what makes the EU more resilient.
  • Topic: Globalization, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Economic Development
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Matthias Bauer
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE)
  • Abstract: Corporate tax laws vary significantly between different jurisdictions. Over the past four decades, governments globally competed for business activity by lowering statutory and effective corporate tax rates. Many governments provide special tax incentives for businesses to invest and expand employment. Special economic zones often grant full corporate tax exemptions to stimulate commercial development. Corporate income tax incentives for research and development activities are common across countries’ corporate tax codes reflecting governments’ desire to stimulate innovation and business development. While corporate tax competition is common government practice in the world economy, the OECD currently aims to curb international corporate tax competition. The OECD’s corporate tax reform proposals officially aim to address “corporate tax avoidance” and “unfairness in taxation”. The policy debate is driven by some governments’ motivation to increase revenues from taxes on corporate income. Economic impact assessments of the OECD’s current Pillar I and II proposals are still scarce. Individual governments have so far failed to conduct impact assessments or are hesitant to make their assessments available to the general public. The OECD’s secretariat expects additional tax revenues of 100bn USD annually, which are said to be evenly distributed among the 137 countries comprising the Inclusive Framework. The narrow focus on changes in governments’ revenues and the static nature of the OECD’s analysis is in various respects misleading. This paper highlights that the proposed reforms would shift taxing powers (tax sovereignty) and economic activity away from small open economies to the world’s largest countries, of which most (currently) apply very high statutory corporate tax rates. The implementation of Pillar I and II proposals would pave the way for a global tax redistribution framework transferring financial funds away from governments that embrace free international trade and investment to the many of the world’s worst-performing governments with respect to economic openness, acceptance of the rule of law, corruption, state interventionism, and the recognition of basic human rights (e.g. Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and Russia). Conversely, the OECD’s proposed corporate tax reforms would punish the world’s best performing economies with regard to economic freedoms, trade and investment openness and the rule of law (e.g. Estonia, the Czech Republic, Ireland, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, including small city and island states, such as Hong Kong, Luxembourg and Singapore). The reforms proposed by the OECD would have a significant impact on how much and where multinational enterprises would have to pay corporate income tax in the future. The proposed measures would therefore impact where large companies produce and invest in the future. Continued tax competition would contribute to a narrowing of international corporate tax rate differentials up to the 12.5% minimum tax threshold level proposed by the OCED. The narrowing of tax rate differentials between today’s high-tax jurisdictions, of which most are very large countries, and today’s low-tax jurisdictions would direct international and domestic investments and investment-induced tax revenues away from small countries. Estimates show that inward FDI in today’s high-tax countries would increase and outward FDI would decrease. In a symmetrical way, inward FDI in today’s low-tax countries would decrease and outward FDI would increase. Overall, the shift in effective taxing powers would undermine small countries’ relative attractiveness to international businesses and, on top of that, would induce domestic businesses to relocate to larger countries with the gravity of larger markets. Contrary to claims made by the OECD, the implementation of Pillar I and II proposals would not improve the global allocation of capital. Global trade and investment flows would still be subject to tax competition and prevalent trade and investment barriers. The OECD’s current proposals would likely incentivise the governments of large countries to maintain long-standing barriers to trade and investment. The economic gravity of large countries may even incentivise large country governments to erect additional barriers that would restrict market access for companies from small open economies. For small open economies that are home to research- and knowledge-intensive multinational companies, the OECD’s proposed tax reforms would undermine future investments in R&D, innovation and business model development, with adverse implications for existing research clusters, education systems and high value-added jobs. Policymakers should reconsider whether taxes on corporate income actually contribute to governments’ overall social and economic policy objectives, such as economic development, redistribution and fairness in taxation. Replacing tax systems that include taxes on corporate income by systems that rely more or exclusively on direct taxes on labour income, capital income and consumption (VAT/sales taxes) would increase transparency about the distributional effects of taxation and significantly improve governments’ tax manoeuvrability in response to citizens’ preferences for fairer taxation. A regime change towards greater use of VAT/sales taxes would also have a positive impact on global capital allocation. Companies would no longer have to pay attention to corporate tax rate differentials, while governments would have additional invectives to embrace foreign trade and investment, materialising in lower barriers to trade and investment and a more efficient allocation of global capital respectively.
  • Topic: Government, International Political Economy, Business , Tax Systems, R&D, Corporate Tax, OECD
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Frank Lavin, Oscar Guinea
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE)
  • Abstract: We are at the moment, the first in seventy-five years, where there is no international consensus in support of trade. Indeed, trade is unloved, unsupported, and even unwanted. There is no shortage of topics in the rhetoric of trade complaints: from the rapid rise of China to Coronavirus as a metaphor for the evils of greater connectivity. Regardless of the validity of these complaints, none of them negate the central truth of trade: countries that engage in trade move ahead, and those that do not, stagnate. Our political leaders disagree. Anti-trade positions are held by leaders across the political spectrum, from Donald Trump to Bernie Sanders. And yet, the public is increasingly warm to the idea of trade. When Gallup asks Americans, “Do you see foreign trade more as an opportunity for economic growth through increased U.S. exports or a threat to the economy from foreign imports?” a record high of 79% see trade as an opportunity, with 18% viewing it as a threat. How did the world arrive at this moment where the benefits of trade are clearly evidenced while trade has become politically toxic? We identify four main factors: (i) U.S. absenteeism from the leadership role; (ii) detachment between trade and security architecture; (iii) no alternative leadership in Europe or elsewhere; and (iv) the cumbersome WTO process. Against this background we put forward five initiatives that will be big enough to count but unobjectionable enough to be adopted. The Big Three. The U.S., EU, and Japan, should establish a consultative body on trade to forge a new approach that allows trade to move ahead in the absence of universal consensus. No harm, no foul. Each of the Big Three should commit to zero tariffs on any item not produced in each particular market. A de minimis strategy. Tariffs should be eliminated on all products where the current tariff is less than 2%. At that level tariffs are simply a nuisance fee. Mind the social costs. Expand the Nairobi Protocols to include health products and green tech. Scrapping import tariffs on medical and green goods would not only encourage additional trade but will also provide health and environmental benefits. Harmonize down. The Big Three should commit that on every tariff line each of the three will be no worse than the next worse. In other words, each of the Big Three will agree to reduce its tariff on every product where it has the highest tariff of the three. These actions will spur the WTO, not undermine it. The measures we propose can be set up on a plurilateral basis that would allow other trading powers to participate. By breaking away from the tyranny of universal consensus, these actions will encourage the trading community – including the WTO – to get back in forward motion. In some respect, convergence between the Big Three is already happening. The EU and Japan signed an FTA that lowers import tariffs between these two economies, while the U.S. and Japan agreed to negotiate a comprehensive FTA. And if China is willing to step up? China should be welcomed into this group if it supports the four initiatives, changing the Big Three to the Big Four.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Global Markets, Trade, WTO
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Europe, Global Focus
  • Author: Fredrik Erixon, Matthias Bauer
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE)
  • Abstract: Covid-19 and its broader implications have highlighted the importance of Europe’s digital transformation to ensure Europeans’ social and economic well-being. It provides important new learnings about Europe’s quest for “technology sovereignty”. While the debate about technology sovereignty is timely, the precise meaning of sovereignty or autonomy in the realm of technologies remains ambiguous. It should be noted that the political discussions about European technology sovereignty emerged far before the outbreak of the Coronavirus. The European Commission’s recently updated industrial and digital policy strategies “institutionalised” different notions of sovereignty, reflecting perceptions that more EU action is needed to defend perceived European values and to secure Europe’s industrial competitiveness. Often the political rhetoric reflected perceptions that Europe is losing global economic clout and geopolitical influence. It was said that dependency on technological solutions, often originating abroad, would require a European industrial and regulatory response. Against this background, the Corona crisis provides two important lessons for EU technology policymaking. Firstly, during the crisis digital technologies and solutions made European citizens stronger. Technology kept Europe open for business despite the lock-down by enabling Europeans to work from home, receive essential home deliveries, home schooling, online deliveries and to use online payments, etc. In addition, Europe’s citizens became more sovereign with respect to accessing information and data that helped track and contain the spread of the virus. Secondly, the crisis tested Europe’s resilience and perceived dependency on (foreign) technology solutions. Early developments indicate that Member States’ homemade solutions did not fare better than existing European and international solutions. A few national and EU IT solutions failed while existing European and global solutions, from cloud infrastructure to communications, payments to streaming services, all continued to work well. Politically, however, the crisis could be used to justify more EU or national government interference in Europe’s digital transformation. Indeed, for some the debate about European technology sovereignty is largely about designing prescriptive policies, which paradoxically risk reducing Europeans’ access to the innovative technologies, products and services that helped Europe through the crisis. Policies taken into consideration include new subsidies to politically picked companies, or new rules and obligations for certain online business models. Policy-makers advocating for such policies tend to ignore critical insights from the Covid-19 crisis and failed industrial policy initiatives, including sunk public investments and protracted subsidies for industrial laggards. In a time of economic hardship, the EU and national governments should be wary of spending even more taxpayer money to replicate existing world-class technology solutions, that in most cases are used in combination with local technologies, with “Made in EU” services of inferior quality and reliability. Moreover, due to different levels of economic development and differences in regulatory cultures, prescriptive technology policies would exclude many Member States from utilising existing and new opportunities that arise from digitalisation, slowing down economic renewal and convergence. The EU cannot be considered a monolithic block that thrives on a unique set of prescriptive technology policies. Before the Corona pandemic, initiatives towards European technology sovereignty were mainly pushed by France and Germany, fed by concerns over their companies’ industrial strength in times of growing economic and geopolitical competition. Industrial and technology policies favoured by the EU’s two largest countries will have a disproportionately negative impact on Europe’s smaller open economies, whose companies and citizens could be deprived from cutting-edge technologies, new economic opportunities and partnerships on global markets, undermining these economies’ development and international competitiveness. Any EU-imposed technology protectionism along the lines suggested by some policy-makers in large EU Member States would leave the entire EU worse off. It would disproportionately hurt countries in Europe’s northern, eastern and southern countries more than the large countries whose economies are generally more diverse than Europe’s smaller Member States. It would, however, make sense for the EU to agree on a shared definition of “technology sovereignty”. Different interpretations could cause serious policy inconsistencies, undermining the effectiveness of EU and national economic policies. Anchored in technological openness, technology sovereignty can indeed be a useful ambition to let Europe’s highly diverse economies leapfrog by using existing technologies. To become more sovereign in a global economy, Europeans need to focus on becoming global leaders in economic innovation – not just in regulation. If anchored in mercantilist or protectionist ideas, technological sovereignty would make it harder for many Member States to access modern technologies, adopt new business models and attract foreign investment – with adverse implications on future global competitiveness, economic renewal and economic convergence. Policymaking towards a European technology sovereignty that benefits the greatest number of Europeans – not just a few politically selected “winners” – should aim for a regulatory environment in which technology companies and technology adopters can thrive across EU Member States’ national borders. The European Single Market has deteriorated in recent years and significantly during the crisis. The new von der Leyen Commission has now repeatedly called for a strengthening of the Single Market. Becoming a world leader in innovation requires a real Single Market in which companies can scale up, with as few hurdles as possible, and then compete globally. It should be supplemented by pro-competitive policies and incentives for research and investment. Brussels cannot set the global standards in technology policymaking alone. Europe’s policy-makers should aim for closer market integration and regulatory cooperation with trustworthy international partners such as the G7 or the larger group of the OECD countries. It is in the EU’s self-interest to advocate for a rules-based international order with open markets. International cooperation should be extended beyond trade to include cooperation on technology policies, e.g. artificial intelligence. Regulatory cooperation with allies such as the USA is essential to jointly set global standards that are based on shared values. Both the EU and the US have much more to gain if they prioritise such alignment, to advance a shared vision for a revamped open international trading system, in a world increasingly influenced by regimes with fundamentally different views on state intervention and human rights. Anchored in technological openness, the EU and the US can promote technology sovereignty that allows for development and renewal elsewhere in the world.
  • Topic: Industrial Policy, International Political Economy, Science and Technology, Sovereignty, European Union, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Global Focus
  • Author: Philipp Lamprecht, Fredrik Erixon
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE)
  • Abstract: There is now a long history of countries improving sustainability standards in most parts of the economy while at the same time pursuing the ambitions of rules-based international trade and economic integration with other countries. It is not surprising that countries at the vanguard of sustainability also tend to be the countries that are most open to trade. This Report looks closer at the interplay between the formulation of domestic standards and provisions in Free Trade Agreements that either acknowledge domestic standards or establish standards in a direct way. This interplay is crucial for two reasons: first to establish market access arrangements that help to promote sustainability standards, second to provide the policy basis to make standards and possible market access restrictions conducive to basic trade rules. It lays a focus particularly on the growing importance of sustainability standards in international trade agreements, or Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) – in particular for the food sector. Such standards are relevant for all new high-ambition Free Trade Agreements – from the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership between eleven trans-pacific nations. The Report considers especially nine modern FTAs. The purpose of the Report is to investigate how governments with high sustainability ambitions approach the issue of trade and sustainability – in particular how they work with, on the one hand, specific provisions in FTAs and, on the other hand, the development of domestic standards and their linkage to trade. The Report also looks directly at how these standards are designed, and what lessons that can be learned for governments that want to raise sustainability ambitions. It puts the results of the analysis in the context of Norwegian ambitions to improve its sustainability standards for food placed on the Norwegian market. The analysis of how trade and sustainability have been made compatible starts with the rules of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). These rules are important in their own right, but they also carry political significance. WTO-rules form the basis of the bilateral free trade agreements that countries sign with each other – and that now make up the main plank of international trade negotiations. In the language of the WTO, basic trade rules serve to protect the principles of national treatment and non-discrimination. Sustainability policies that are grounded on solid evidence and that follow international scientific norms will be compatible with WTO rules. Sustainability policies that confer advantages to domestic producers or that are arbitrary will get a harsh treatment. Consequently, the bilateral free trade deals that the European Union or the European Free Trade Area (EFTA) have concluded with other parts of the world are not just compatible with WTO rules, they rely on these rules as the foundation stone. Moreover, these rules inform governments how they should organise their sustainability policy if they also want the opportunity to take part in modern trade agreements. If countries aren’t willing to play by these rules, they should also accept that they won’t be able to enjoy the benefits of trade agreements. What member countries of the WTO have agreed in past multilateral trade accords are not a blockage of sustainability policy, but they bar countries from pursuing such policies in a way that would lead to unequal application of trade rules – between home and foreign producers, or between different foreign producers. In addition, it is of interest – also to the Norwegian policy discussion – to consider how EU policies are likely to change in the forceable future. The analysis provides a discussion of issues that are likely to remain very high on the agenda of the next European Commission. These include possible improvements in the TSD Chapters of trade agreements in particular with regard to enforcement mechanisms, the engagement of civil society, and climate action. Further policy highlights include a possible introduction of a carbon border tax, as well as the discussions related to due diligence of supply chains, and multilateralism. In terms of conclusions, the Report identifies four main observations that should inform future policy development in Norway: First, there is clearly a case to be made for aligning Norwegian trade policy to EU trade policy when it comes to provisions on trade and sustainability in Free Trade Agreements. Second, there is a substantial body of scientific evidence, risk assessments and international experience of standards in areas that are related to sanitary and phyto-sanitary standards and to environmental standards which any government that want to raise sustainability standards can draw on. Third, many countries struggle to formulate their domestic sustainability standards in a structured way. Arguably, this is a critical point for governments that are considering to introduce higher standards with consequence for market access for foreign producers. To avoid confusion or accusation of standards being a disguised trade restrictions, countries like Norway would have to structure and systematise its standards if the ambitions were to be raised and formed part of market access policy. A first step for a policy that seeks to condition import on the compliance with a stand is to make the standard clear and explicit. Fourth, there are direct and indirect relations between domestic standards and provisions in FTAs. FTAs often deal with policies that cannot be directly formulated in a domestic standard, like some aspects of labour laws. They also deal with other forms of standards that need policy convergence in order to guarantee smooth trade between the contracting parties. Generally, it cannot be said that the EU or other entities use FTAs to “regulate” or to establish the standard. That rather happens bottom-up – through domestic regulations that later get reflected in trade agreements.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Partnerships, Global Markets, Free Trade, Trade, Sustainability
  • Political Geography: Europe, Global Focus
  • Author: V. Srinivas
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: India International Centre (IIC)
  • Abstract: Nelson Mandela once said, ‘do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.’ Economists have warned that the Covid-19 pandemic will have a substantial economic impact on Sub-Saharan Africa, and the economic costs could be devastating. The June 2020 Regional Economic Outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa projects that real GDP will contract by 3.2 per cent, and per capita income will fall by 5.5 per cent in 2020, levels last seen a decade ago. Lockdowns have affected informal sector workers, and small and medium enterprises in service sectors, resulting in more poverty and income inequality. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said that Africa’s regional policies should remain focused on safeguarding public health, supporting people and businesses hardest hit by the crisis, and facilitating recovery. The magnitude of the economic crisis in Africa can be gauged from the slowdown being witnessed in the larger economies. In South Africa, economic activity is projected to contract by 8 per cent in 2020, in Nigeria, the economic contraction is projected at 5.4 per cent in 2020, in Angola, economic activity will fall by 4 per cent, and in Ethiopia, economic growth is projected at 1.9 per cent, which is still 1.3 per cent below 2019 growth rates.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, Economic Policy, Pandemic, COVID-19, Regional Economy
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Author: Eva Bortolotti
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Environmental Studies, The Graduate Institute (IHEID)
  • Abstract: Substantial private investment is required if public policy objectives aim to increase the market share of Electric Vehicles (EVs) and prevent locking-in emissions-intensive development pathways. To maximize the effectiveness of future policies and successfully attract private capital, policy makers need to gain a better understanding of how investors behave, and of how policy design can drive investments decisions. This paper leverages an adaptive conjoint analysis (ACA) method to investigate the policy preferences of 41 European investors affiliated with different investment institutions. Findings reveal that investors' characteristics as institution type and size of assets under management affect investors' preferences over different e-mobility policy attributes. Furthermore, this study shows that behavioral factors, namely investors' a-priori beliefs on the impacts of climate change and the COVID-19 crisis, play a role in determining investors' policy preferences. By providing an analysis of investors' behavior, this research can support policymakers to design more effective policy instruments to attract investments in electric mobility during and after the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Topic: Environment, Green Technology, Investment, Private Sector, COVID-19, Ecology, Motor Vehicles, Cars
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: François Cohen, Giulia Valacchi
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Environmental Studies, The Graduate Institute (IHEID)
  • Abstract: Climate policy will predominantly affect industries that primarily rely on fossil fuels, such as steelmaking. Within these industries, exposure may be different by country according to the energy-intensity of national plants. We estimate the effect of coal prices on steel plant location worldwide and production preferences for BOF, a polluting technology, and EAF, a greener one. A 1% increase in national coal prices reduces BOF installed capacity by around 0.37%, while it has no statistically significant impact on EAF capacity. We simulate the implementation of a stringent European carbon market with no border adjustment and find a non-negligible shift in steel production outside Europe, with a concomitant impact on the technologies employed to produce steel. If applied worldwide, the same policy would primarily affect production in Asia, which relies on BOF and currently benefits from lower coal prices than those expected to emerge in the future.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Natural Resources, Green Technology, Fossil Fuels, Coal, Price
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: William Quarmine
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Ghana Center for Democratic Development
  • Abstract: In March 2017, the New Patriotic Party (NPP)-led government announced the implementation of a ‘Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ)’program in pursuit of its 2016 election campaign promise of enhancing agricultural productivity. Launched in April, 2017, the program seeks to promote self-sufficiency in food production while providing jobs to Ghanaians. The government sought to achieve the program objectives through the provision of improved seeds, the supply of fertilizers, the provision of dedicated extension services, purchase and marketing of food produce, among other initiatives. As part of its mission to track allocation of national resources, and especially the extent to which marginalized communities and groups, particularly women and youth, are included in this resource allocation, the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) implemented a project titled ‘Promoting Fiscal Justice for Socio-Economic Transformation (PFJSET)’. The overall objective of this project was to track and assess the extent of inclusiveness of the PFJ program in terms of reach and resource allocation.
  • Topic: Labor Issues, Food, Women, Food Security, Youth, Job Creation, Marginalization
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ghana
  • Author: Elizabeth Shackelford
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft
  • Abstract: In U.S. foreign policy circles today, the bar to justify ending a military intervention is higher than it is to keep one going. Small wars have become routine foreign policy tools, executed with minimal oversight or scrutiny. Somalia offers a clear example of how this approach leads to high accumulated costs for the American people with little to show in gains for the U.S. national interest. The current military-led strategy promises no end to lethal interventions, and the costs and risks associated with it exceed the threats it is meant to address. Expanding U.S. military activity over the past five years has done little to impede the Somali terrorist insurgency group al–Shabaab, but it has continued to overshadow and undermine diplomatic and development efforts to address Somalia’s political and governance problems. At the same time, military intervention has propped up an ineffective government, disincentivizing Somali political leaders from taking the hard steps necessary to reach a sustainable peace and build a functioning state. The U.S. military cannot be expected to stay indefinitely in Somalia to maintain a messy stalemate. Rather than reflexively increase U.S. military activity when it falls short of stated objectives, the United States should reassess its overall strategy in Somalia by returning to basic questions: Why is the U.S. military fighting a war there? What U.S. national interest is the war serving? And are America’s actions in Somalia and the region furthering that national interest?
  • Topic: Diplomacy, War, Military Strategy, Governance, Military Affairs, Military Intervention, Peace
  • Political Geography: United States, Somalia
  • Author: Andrea Gilli
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: The increasing power of processors, accuracy of algorithms, and availability of digital data are driving the dramatic artificial intelligence (AI)-centred technological transformation now in progress. These changes have already turned companies, industries and markets upside down, and we are also starting to see their effects on the battlefield. The employment of unmanned vehicles, reliance on big data for target detection, identification and acquisition, as well as the potentials of machine learning in other critical functions such as logistics and maintenance are only some of the possible examples of how warfare will evolve in the near future. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and its Allies cannot be bystanders during this technological transition. Some countries and organizations have already taken important steps. Others are more hesitant. The Atlantic Alliance has a moral obligation to act, both to preserve and extend its military leadership – and thus the wealth and security of its citizens – and to shape this process in keeping with its democratic principles, freedom-inspired values and commitment to fundamental human rights. As NATO works on its Artificial Intelligence Strategy, which could be published in 2021, this Research Paper aims at contributing to both the policy debate and the public discussion about AI and its implications for the Alliance. The paper offers a series of analyses, lessons learned, proposals, and recommendations, that build on best practices and solutions adopted in the civilian and military fields, on perspectives drawn from the academic literature as well as on ideas generated in the broader AI community. The various parts of the paper are all linked to the single overarching concept of “NATO-mation”, or the idea that NATO has an important role to play so as to prepare for and to shape this technological transformation. NATO Allies need to be proactive: without common, coordinated, cooperative or joint solutions, they will not be able to achieve all their goals effectively and efficiently.
  • Topic: NATO, Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy, Leadership, Artificial Intelligence
  • Political Geography: Europe, North Atlantic, North America
  • 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: Cyril Obi
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: Oil endowment has been a significant factor in Africa’s history, politics, and development. The continent was positioned strategically following the global energy transition from coal to crude oil in the latter part of the nineteenth and early part of the twentieth centuries, which shaped the history of oil in Africa.1 Today, Africa’s oil reserves serve both as a supply of oil to the global market and as a node for the continued integration of the continent’s petro-economies into a volatile global oil market. However, the fortunes of Africa’s oil-producing states depend on a commodity whose price they do not determine, and they find themselves with limited options to collectively leverage their positions on the global stage.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Oil, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Author: David Baluarte
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: Miliyon is a stateless, failed asylum seeker residing in the United States. He initially sought refugee protection after he fled Ethiopia, where he had faced serious abuse because of his Eritrean ethnicity. Immigration authorities denied him asylum after concluding that the Ethiopian government’s deportation of his Eritrean father, the seizure of his family’s land and business, and the detention and torture of Miliyon himself constituted a property dispute not protected under U.S. refugee law. Miliyon fought this denial of protection over the next decade through various appeals processes but ultimately failed. At that point, he applied for a passport at the Ethiopian embassy in Washington, D.C. and resigned himself to return home and face whatever fate awaited him. Consular officials, however, refused to issue him a passport. Despite never having set foot in Eritrea or having any other connection to the country, Miliyon was told that he was Eritrean, not Ethiopian. He was informed that he had no right to return to Ethiopia, his country of birth and the only place he had ever lived. This led the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to declare Miliyon stateless. As a victim of discriminatory denationalization, Miliyon tried to renew his application for refugee protection. Notwithstanding the fact that Miliyon had endured this persecutory treatment, U.S. authorities once again denied his claim.
  • Topic: Refugee Issues, Immigrants, Deportation, Protected People, Stateless Population
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Ethiopia
  • Author: Jamie Liew
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: Canada is the canary in the coal mine in terms of efforts to combat statelessness among Western democracies. One might assume that Canada would have a sophisticated system for addressing stateless persons—those without any citizen- ship whatsoever in any nation—since its reputation for welcoming refugees is unparalleled. In 1986, Canada won the Nansen Medal, the highest distinction bestowed by the United Nations for aiding refugees.1 Its inland refugee determination system is considered the gold standard all over the world. Furthermore, Canadians have a generous refugee sponsorship program, which allows groups of persons, not just the government, to sponsor overseas refugees. This system is not without its problems. One notable example is that some border crossers at the Canada-United States border are denied the right to a refugee hearing and are consequently in danger of being sent back—before their refugee claim is assessed—to places where they may face persecution and/or torture. Not- withstanding such shortcomings, Canada is a democracy; there are continual efforts to improve the refugee system through dialogue between the courts and the legislature, advocacy and education by lawyers, NGOs, and migrants themselves, and the hard work of civil servants working to improve the system.
  • Topic: Migration, Refugee Issues, Democracy, Citizenship, Stateless Population, Noncitizens
  • Political Geography: Canada
  • 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: George Fust
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Department of Social Sciences at West Point, United States Military Academy
  • Abstract: This commentary responds to Thomas N. Garner’s article “Civil-Military Relations and Today’s Policy Environment” published in the Winter 2018–19 issue of Parameters (vol. 48, no. 4).
  • Topic: Civil Society, Politics, Military Affairs, Civil-Military Relations
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: George Fust
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Department of Social Sciences at West Point, United States Military Academy
  • Abstract: This article seeks to help intelligence professionals better define an operating environment through the use of civil military relations theory.
  • Topic: Intelligence, Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Civil-Military Relations
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Joseph M. Lapointe
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Department of Social Sciences at West Point, United States Military Academy
  • Abstract: The debate over whether the President, the Senate, or the Congress has primacy in treaty termination remains unsettled. Professor Curtis Bradley incorrectly argues that custom supports a presidential authority to terminate treaties independently. This paper argues that a fuller view of custom, combined with the Intent of the Framers and functional considerations, shows treaty termination is a shared executive-legislative power.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Politics, Treaties and Agreements, Leadership, Federalism
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Emanuele Ferragina, Andrew Zola
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Sciences Po Center on Coping with Instability in Market Societies (MaxPo)
  • Abstract: The Covid-19 pandemic is disrupting the international political economy context unlike any event since World War II. As a consequence, the French government has, at least momentarily, reversed decades of fiscal consolidation policies sedimented around austerity narratives by instating a costly emergency furlough scheme for a third of the workforce. This crisis provides a natural setting to investigate the relations among an emerging “critical juncture” in political economy, public preferences, and the salience of austerity narratives. We collected panel data and administered two experiments to test if citizens’ viewpoints are sensitive to the trade-off between health and economics, still receptive to austerity narratives, and conditioned by socioeconomic status in supporting them. We find public viewpoints were highly swayable between health and economic concerns at the first peak of the epidemic outbreak in April 2020, but they were not influenced by the austerity narratives during the phase-out of the lockdown in June, with the exception of the upper class. Overall, public support is shifting in favor of increased social spending, and austerity might no longer inhabit the majority’s “common sense.” We conclude with further implications for the study of class and conflict in a post-pandemic world.
  • Topic: Economics, Political Economy, Public Opinion, Class, Macroeconomics, Austerity
  • Political Geography: Europe, France
  • Author: Andreas Eisl
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Sciences Po Center on Coping with Instability in Market Societies (MaxPo)
  • Abstract: In recent years, all eurozone member states have introduced national fiscal rules, which put limits on public deficits and debt. Fiscal rules reduce the fiscal policy discretion of politicians and affect their capacity to use public budgets for macroeconomic steering and redistribution. While such institutional discretion constraints run against the traditional policy preferences of social democratic parties, it is puzzling why they supported national fiscal rule reforms during the European debt crisis. This paper argues that the concept of structural deficit rules, central to reform efforts across the eurozone, allowed for the formation of an ambiguous consensus between center-right and center-left parties. While conservative and liberal parties are generally supportive of institutional discretion constraints, structural deficit rules – in contrast to nominal deficit rules – allowed social democratic and other left-wing parties to link such rules with their broader policy preferences of Keynesian countercyclical policymaking and the protection of tax revenues across the economic cycle to ensure the state’s capacity for redistribution. Drawing on three country case studies (Germany, Austria, France), this paper shows how the concept of structural deficit rules facilitated – at least discursively – the support for discretion-constraining institutions among social democratic and other left-wing parties. In theoretical terms, this study also advances research on the role of ambiguity in political decision-making, (re-)conceptualizing three forms of ambiguity underlying ambiguous consensus: textual ambiguity, institutional ambiguity, and ideational ambiguity
  • Topic: Economics, Macroeconomics, Fiscal Policy, Eurozone, Political Parties, Public Debt, Fiscal Deficit
  • Political Geography: France, Germany, Austria
  • Author: Olivier Godechot, Paula Apascaritei, István Boza, Lasse Folke Henriksen, Are Skeie Hermansen
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Sciences Po Center on Coping with Instability in Market Societies (MaxPo)
  • Abstract: Analyzing linked employer-employee panel administrative databases, we study the evolving isolation of higher earners from other employees in eleven countries: Canada, Czechia, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Norway, Spain, South Korea, and Sweden. We find in almost all countries a growing workplace isolation of top earners and dramatically declining exposure of top earners to bottom earners. We compare these trends to segregation based on occupational class, education, age, gender, and nativity, finding that the rise in top earner isolation is much more dramatic and general across countries. We find that residential segregation is also growing, although more slowly than segregation at work, with top earners and bottom earners increasingly living in different distinct municipalities. While work and residential segregation are correlated, statistical modeling suggests that the primary causal effect is from work to residential segregation. These findings open up a future research program on the causes and consequences of top earner segregation.
  • Topic: Economics, Political Economy, Labor Issues, Income Inequality, Class, Labor Market
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Patrick Kaczmarczyk
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Sciences Po Center on Coping with Instability in Market Societies (MaxPo)
  • Abstract: The definition of various growth models is the latest innovation of comparative capitalism (CC) research. Yet, the literature has its weaknesses in explaining the dynamics within and the interdependencies between different growth models. I argue that this weakness stems inter alia from an inadequate conceptualization of transnational corporations (TNCs). I provide empirical evidence on the footprint of international capital in the global economy and outline how including TNCs as a unit of analysis can help us to better understand economic outcomes. This leads to several implications for the growth models literature, which I conclude my argument with.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, Global Political Economy, Economic Growth, Transnational Actors, Multinational Corporations, Macroeconomics
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jenny Preunkert
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Sciences Po Center on Coping with Instability in Market Societies (MaxPo)
  • Abstract: States require money to function and therefore every government has to continuously raise new funds. On the financial markets, governments cannot be sure that auctions of their debt will be sufficiently attractive to financial investors, which is why governments usually enter into cooperative agreements with selected banks. The best known and most widespread form of cooperation is the primary dealer system. Primary dealers are banks that agree to participate regularly in government debt auctions and to act as formalized market makers on government debt markets. The article analyzes European primary dealer systems and asks why banks are willing to participate in these systems. I will show that both domestic and foreign banks use their status as primary dealers to build long-term relationships with one or more European governments and to gain an advantage on the global stage. In Bourdieu’s terms, primary dealer banks use their financial capital to accumulate social and symbolic capital.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Financial Markets, Banks, Macroeconomics
  • Political Geography: Europe, European Union
  • Author: Craig Willis
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: Research on Gaelic language in Scotland has increased substantially in recent decades, as has Scottish regional development programmes following devolution. However, the overlapping of these two aspects remains limited, particularly in the context of regional development data available on regions where Scottish Gaelic speakers mostly reside. This Research Paper uses the OECD Regional Wellbeing index as a framework to measure regional development in Scotland at the level of council area, comparing this with its percentage of Gaelic speakers. Equivalent data for eight of the eleven OECD topics is analysed and the focus is placed on the three council areas with significant Gaelic speaking populations – Argyll and Bute, Na h-Eileanan Siar and Highland. The results show that these three regions consistently perform average or good across the eight topics measured, in comparison to the national average in Scotland. This demonstrates that Gaelic language is not a hindrance to development and the three regions perform comparably to other remote council areas such as the Orkney and Shetland Islands.
  • Topic: Development, Minorities, Language, Regionalism, Identity
  • Political Geography: Britain, United Kingdom, Europe, Scotland
  • Author: Craig Willis
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: This Research Paper focuses on economic effects experienced by Roma communities in seven non-EU states during the COVID-19 pandemic and states’ consequent lockdown measures in the first half of 2020. Roma communities in Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Ukraine, were all facing socio-economic exclusion and marginalisation before the pandemic and international organisations were warning very early on that Roma communities were at serious risk during the pandemic, including in the fields of employment or loss of income. This research paper uses primary data collected from a survey of 440 Roma individuals across the seven states in order to add empirical evidence to an under-researched area. The main findings include that almost 73% of them experienced a reduced income and the major reason for this was due to access to or demand for informal work was hindered by the lockdowns. Moreover, most Roma who needed to borrow money did so through private means (family and friends) rather than through official or state institutions.
  • Topic: Economics, Minorities, Ethnicity, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19, Identity
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine, Moldova, Serbia, Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia
  • Author: Akofa Boglo
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: Since the World Health Organisation characterised Covid-19 as a pandemic in early 2020 (WHO, 2020), the spread of the virus and efforts to control it have necessitated an ongoing restructuring of interactions between individuals, communities and entire societies. The pandemic has been an inconvenience for some and a disaster for others. Minority communities in particular have increasingly been shown to be disproportionately affected by the direct and indirect impact of the virus, which has highlighted and exacerbated existing inequalities. This paper aims to add to efforts to understand the impact of this multi-faceted crisis on societies and in particular minority communities through an assessment of the space between government and minority community responses in the Republic of Ireland. By considering how Traveller organisations have worked to protect the Traveller community, and the extent to which this effort was met and supported by the Government of Ireland’s ‘governance response’ during the first ‘wave’ of the pandemic, this case study aims to contribute to understandings of minority agency and inclusion in liberal democratic societies both during and outside of times of crisis, and hopes to show that moments of upheaval are not by necessity points of deterioration for minorities, but can carry the potential for more inclusive practices, processes and societies moving forward.
  • Topic: Minorities, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19, Identity, Travel
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ireland
  • Author: Marc Lynch, Bassel Salloukh, Toby Dodge, Jeroen Gunning, Dima Smaira, Stacey Philbrick Yadav, Morten Valbjørn, Simon Mabon, Ala'a Shehabi, Mariam Salehi
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS)
  • Abstract: The challenges to inclusionary states in the MENA region are daunting—including fiercely authoritarian states, the reality or threat of political violence, and ongoing protest movements. In September 2019, POMEPS and the Lebanese American University (LAU) brought together a diverse, interdisciplinary group of scholars to discuss the challenges to building more inclusive orders under these conditions.
  • Topic: Security, Civil Society, Politics, Sovereignty, Sectarianism, Transitional Justice, State, Reconciliation , Inclusion , Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF)
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Yemen, North Africa, Lebanon
  • Author: Marc Lynch, Simon Mabon, Christopher Phillips, F. Gregory Gause III, Morten Valbjørn, Maria-Louise Clausen, Johan Eriksson, Helle Malmvig, Tamirace Fakhoury, Bassel Salloukh, May Darwich, Edward Wastnidge
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS)
  • Abstract: The essays collected here were initially presented at a joint SEPAD-POMEPS workshop held at Chatham House in February 2020. The authors were asked to reflect on the ways in which geopolitical tensions between Saudi Arabia, Iran, the United States – and others – shapes conflict and societal tensions across the Middle East and beyond.
  • Topic: International Relations, Nationalism, Infrastructure, Sectarianism, Geopolitics, Arab Spring, Repression, Geography, Rivalry
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Central Asia, Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, United States of America, Horn of Africa
  • Author: Marc Lynch, Eleanore Ardemagni, Jesse Marks, Elizabeth Parker-Magyar, Allison Spencer Hartnett, Ezzeldeen al-Natour, Laith al-Ajlouni, Carla Abdo-Katsipis, Lucia Ardovini, Yasmine Zarhloule, Yasmina Abouzzohour, Brent E. Sasley, Ehud Eiran, Sally Sharif, Diana Galeeva, Matthew Hedges, Elham Fakhro, Kristin Diwan, Guy Burton, Ruth Hanau Santini, Justin Schon, Alex Thurston, Adam Hoffmann, Robert Kubinec
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS)
  • Abstract: This special issue of POMEPS STUDIES collects twenty contributions from a wide range of young scholars writing from diverse perspectives, which collectively offer a fascinating overview of a region whose governance failures, economic inequalities and societal resilience were all suddenly thrown into sharp relief.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Economics, Islam, Nationalism, United Nations, Governance, Authoritarianism, Refugees, Inequality, Conflict, Pandemic, Resilience, COVID-19, Identity
  • Political Geography: China, Middle East, Israel, Yemen, North Africa, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Morocco
  • Author: Hisham Aïdi, Marc Lynch, Zachariah Mampilly, Nisrin El-Amin, Jean-Baptiste Gallopin, Noah Salomon, Samar Al-Bulushi, Wolfram Lacher, Federico Donelli, Lina Benabdallah, Ezgi Guner, Afifa Ltifi, Zekeria Ould Ahmed Salem, Alex Thurston, Alex de Waal
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS)
  • Abstract: The papers, published in this collection, ranged widely over issues connecting West Africa, the Horn, the Sahel and North Africa thematically, politically, militarily and culturally. The goal of this volume is to get American political science to break down the barriers between academic subfields defined by regions and open the fields to new questions raised by scholars from and across Africa and the Middle East.
  • Topic: Islam, War, Regime Change, Media, Conflict, Political Science, Revolution, Capital
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Sudan, Turkey, Middle East, Libya, Saudi Arabia, North Africa, West Africa, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, East Africa, Sahel, Horn of Africa
  • Author: Marc Lynch, Michael Barnett, Nathan Brown
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS)
  • Abstract: In October 2019, the Project on Middle East Political Science convened a workshop with more than a dozen scholars – Israelis, Palestinians, and others – to discuss the contours of this emergent one state reality. The essays in this collection represent an initial assessment of this reality, and many more will follow over the years to come. The authors each bring their own perspective and history, their own commitments and values, their own aspirations for the future, producing areas of agreement and disagreement. But all agree on the urgent need to recognize the Israeli-Palestinian reality for what it really is and to develop the theoretical language and conceptual tools to rigorously describe and compare that reality. We hope this collection makes a small contribution to the vibrant intellectual debates developing around these issues and joins those ongoing dialogues in a productive way.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Human Rights, Territorial Disputes, Citizenship, Ethnicity, Mobility, Settler Colonialism, Segregation
  • Political Geography: Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Mediterranean, West Bank
  • Author: Marc Lynch
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS)
  • Abstract: Over the last year, the MENA region’s simmering conflicts have seemed frozen in place. The internationally-fueled civil wars in Syria, Yemen and Libya have long since settled into an equilibrium in which no side can either truly win or truly lose. Those conflicts have been held in place in part by local ecologies and war economies and in part by the competitive interventions by regional and international powers on behalf of their proxies and clients. But are these conflicts truly frozen? What does viewing them through such a lens gain, and what are the theoretical and analytical costs? To explore these questions, POMEPS convened a virtual research workshop on September 25, 2020, with scholars from diverse empirical and theoretical backgrounds.
  • Topic: Security, Civil War, Politics, Citizenship, Military Intervention, Conflict, Syrian War, Mental Health, Crisis Management, Peace, Justice, Capital, Mobilization
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Libya, Yemen, North Africa, Lebanon, Syria, United States of America