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  • Author: Elliott Prasse-Freeman, Tani Sebro
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Myanmar’s recent military coup has, for now, ended the country’s brief ten-year experiment with democracy. But the military junta did not anticipate a massive country-wide social movement against the brazen power-grab, in which millions have taken to the streets. As protests continue in urban centers, a trans-ethnic and pro-poor solidarity movement is emerging. Myanmar’s most excluded subjects, many of whom watch the protests from refugee camps, are now weighing both the possibilities and precariousness that the coup entails.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Migration, Minorities, Displacement, Conflict, Coup
  • Political Geography: Asia, Myanmar, Oceania
  • Author: Joshua Fitt
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Many of China’s technology companies perfect their products in the domestic market by facilitating the party-state’s oppression and data control, and subsequently seek to export the technology to fledgling authoritarian states or nations with fragile democracies. This is part of Beijing’s strategy to enhance its digital instruments of national power, normalize illiberal uses of technology, and equip foreign governments with the tools to replicate aspects of the CCP’s authoritarian governance model. If Washington wants to blunt this strategy, the US government needs to implement a comprehensive strategy of its own to address this.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Governance, Law, Authoritarianism, Grand Strategy, Multilateralism
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Shaoyu Yuan
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Tensions in the South China Sea continue to rise. China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN)’s Rear Admiral Lou Yuan, regarded as a hawkish military commentator, recently proclaimed that the continuing dispute over the ownership of the South China Sea could be resolved by sinking two US aircraft carriers. Statements like these result in a legitimate fear that China’s increasing presence in the South China Sea might spark a kinetic military conflict with the United States. However, while most Western scholars and media are paying excessive attention to the rise of China, few are contemplating China’s weaknesses in the region. Despite China’s constant verbal objections and rising tensions with the United States in the last century, the world has yet to witness any major military confrontation between the two superpowers. China will continue to avoid directly confronting the United States in the South China Sea for at least another decade because China’s military remains immature and defective.
  • Topic: Security, Power Politics, Territorial Disputes, Grand Strategy, Conflict
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North America, South China, United States of America
  • Author: Obert Hodzi
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: With a few exceptions, armed civil wars are no longer commonplace in Africa, but anti-government protests are. Instead of armed rebels, unarmed civilians are challenging regimes across Africa to reconsider their governance practices and deliver both political and economic change. In their responses, regimes in countries like Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Rwanda, and Burundi have favored the combat mode—responding to dissent with military and repressive means. With few options, civilian movements look to the United States for protection and support while their governments look to China for reinforcement. If the United States seeks to reassert its influence in Africa and strengthen its democratic influence, its strategy needs to go beyond counterterrorism and respond to Africa’s pressing needs while supporting the African people in their quest for democracy and human rights.
  • Topic: Security, Conflict, State Violence, Civilians
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Ian Williams
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: For decades, China has engaged in a fervent game of “catch-up” with U.S. military capabilities. This effort, which has ballooned China’s defense spending to 620 percent of its 1990 level, is beginning to bear real fruit. While still far from achieving military parity, China’s military technology and doctrine are quickly coalescing into a coherent form of warfare, tailored to overpowering the U.S. military in a short, sharp conflict in the Eastern Pacific. This strategy of “informationized” warfare focuses first on eroding U.S. situational awareness, communications, and precision targeting capabilities.
  • Topic: Security, Science and Technology, Military Affairs, Weapons , Military Spending, Conflict, Surveillance
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Simon Lester, Huan Zhu
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Trump administration has left the Biden administration a number of difficult trade policy issues to deal with, but the biggest challenge is likely to be China. The Biden administration will need to find a way forward in the increasingly tense US-China relationship, which covers aspects of trade, as well as foreign policy, security, and human rights issues. This article describes the rise of China as a priority in US trade policy, reviews the current set of US-China trade issues, and makes suggestions for the Biden administration going forward.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Grand Strategy, Multilateralism, Trade, Donald Trump, Joe Biden
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Jeffrey Neilson
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In 1870, the Dutch colonial government established the principle of domein verklaring (free state domain) in its East Indies colony when it enacted agrarian laws to promote private investment. The now-independent Indonesian nation is still trying to resolve the principle’s implications for community access to land, which threaten the long-term sustainability of livelihoods across the country. Further legal recognition of pre-existing customary rights over land is required to prevent exacerbating the marginalization of rural community interests.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Civil Society, History, Law, Colonialism, Land
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Tae Yong Jung
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The South Korea case study indicates the co-benefits of air quality and climate change policy, by designing relevant legal and institutional frameworks in a more comprehensive and holistic way.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Science and Technology, Law, Sustainability
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea
  • Author: Reza Hasmath
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: China’s implementation of new ESG practices suggests a serious shift towards meeting global standards and domestic-level sustainable development objectives. The new ESG regime also has the potential to be a tool for Chinese foreign policy in the 2020s.
  • Topic: Economics, Environment, Governance, Business , Sustainability
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Justin Fendos
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: This article is the first installment in a two-part series. Unlike South Korea’s centralized approach to contact tracing, other democracies faced legal impediments to similar approaches. The second installment reviews alternative, non-centralized approaches currently being implemented in these countries and their limitations.
  • Topic: Demographics, Science and Technology, Law, COVID-19, Health Crisis
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea
  • Author: Justin Fendos
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: This article is the second installment of a two-part series. It reviews the alternative, non-centralized approaches to contact tracing currently being implemented in many Western democracies. The first installment described South Korea’s centralized approach to contact tracing and the legal impediments to its implementation in other countries.
  • Topic: Demographics, Science and Technology, Law, COVID-19, Health Crisis
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea
  • Author: Vincent Artman
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The ecological dimensions of the death of the Aral Sea are fairly well known. Once the fourth largest lake in the world, the Aral has all but disappeared since 1960. The complex and fragile ecosystems that once characterized the Aral Sea basin have been supplanted by the parched landscape of the Aralkum Desert, leading to a dramatic collapse of biodiversity. Desertification, in turn, has profoundly altered the regional climate, for the absence of the sea’s moderating influence has resulted in drier, hotter summers and more frigid winters.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Energy Policy, Environment, Water, Geopolitics, Crisis Management
  • Political Geography: Kazakhstan, Asia, Aral Sea
  • Author: Jeremy A. Murray
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Cultural and educational exchanges between the United States and China have become pawns in an increasingly fraught relationship. But maintaining and deepening these ties will prevent a return to the dangerous mutual ignorance of the Cold War.
  • Topic: Cold War, Education, Nationalism, Bilateral Relations, Culture, Academia
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, United States of America
  • Author: Shababa Haque, M. Feisal Rahman, Saleemul Huq
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: While climate change continues to threaten all nations, the full severity of its impacts is yet to be understood. A range of root factors including geographic location, socioeconomic conditions, and political landscape will determine the particular risks and hazards faced by different countries and communities. The southwestern coast of Bangladesh, for example, is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Salinity increases in the region continue to threaten local livelihoods and may render traditional adaptation strategies unsustainable in the long run. This article first discusses how increasing salinity affects existing adaptation strategies in coastal Bangladesh. It then argues that adaptation approaches without consideration for long-term impacts or system-wide change will ultimately be insufficient.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Sustainability
  • Political Geography: Bangladesh, South Asia, Asia
  • Author: Brahma Chellaney
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: While the international attention remains on China’s recidivist activities in the disputed waters of the South China Sea, where it continues to incrementally expand its strategic footprint, Beijing is also quietly focusing its attention on the waters of rivers that originate in the resource-rich, Chinese-controlled territory of Tibet.
  • Topic: Development, Environment, Science and Technology, Territorial Disputes, Water, Sustainability
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, Tibet
  • Author: Fumiko Sasaki
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has advanced two trends: the US-China confrontation and the increasing importance of soft power in the networked world. These developments present Japan and South Korea in particular—caught as they are between China and the United States—not only with serious challenges but also a grand opportunity.
  • Topic: Governance, Grand Strategy, Multilateralism, Trade, Pandemic, COVID-19, Health Crisis
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Asia, South Korea, United States of America
  • Author: Junteng Zheng
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: On May 24, 2019, Taiwan became the first in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage. In what was widely celebrated as a milestone in the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) rights movement in the region, Taiwan joined twenty-seven other countries/regions in achieving marriage equality. This article looks into this development and its implications, with a focus on the constitutional court ruling and the vote that revealed a contradictory public opinion.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Culture, Law, Public Opinion, LGBT+
  • Political Geography: Taiwan, Asia
  • Author: Neil Watts
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: While the global economy is shuddering under repeated blows from the coronavirus-induced economic contagion, North Korea continues to sustain its fortress economy. North Korea—known by its formal title as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)—continues to grab headlines amidst the global turmoil with its staged ballistic missile launches and, less noticeably, its ongoing illicit trade. Despite the combination of a comprehensive United Nations sanctions regime and stringent unilateral sanctions imposed by individual countries and the European Union, the isolated country somehow continues undeterred, and sustains its nuclear and ballistic missile programs without missing a beat. A great deal has been written about the regime’s ability to prevail, and many theories abound, but the inevitable conclusion is the old adage that all roads lead to Rome—or, in this case, Beijing.
  • Topic: Sanctions, Business , Multilateralism, Illegal Trade
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Asia, North Korea, United States of America
  • Author: Bradley O. Babson
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Since his first-annual New Year’s speech in 2012 setting North Korea’s policy priorities, Kim Jong Un has emphasized his commitment to economic development, notably promising his people that they will never have to tighten their belts again. The Byunjin policy of equally prioritizing economic development and security through nuclear and missile programs reflects Kim’s desire to assure regime stability by delivering broad-based economic development while establishing a security environment that deters external threats and potential domestic unrest. While United States policy has used sanctions and other pressures to stymie Kim’s ambitions, the Kim regime has nonetheless modestly furthered economic development and significantly advanced security through its nuclear and missile testing programs.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Economics, Human Rights, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: Asia, North Korea, North America, United States of America
  • Author: John J. Chin
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Hong Kong, once renowned as an apolitical and orderly British entrepôt, is now seething with political discontent, student unrest, and pro-democracy protests. Nothing less than the future of “one country, two systems”—the framework through which China agreed to maintain Hong Kong’s autonomy for fifty years in exchange for British agreement to restore Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty in July 1997 after more than a century of British administration—is at stake.
  • Topic: Government, History, Social Movement, Law, Democracy, Protests
  • Political Geography: Asia, Hong Kong