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  • Author: Alessia Amighini, Yukon Huang, Tyson Barker, Eduardo Missoni, Giulia Sciorati, Haihong Gao, Elisa Sales, Maximilian Kärnfelt, Paola Magri
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI)
  • Abstract: The coronavirus pandemic that has rocked China since December 2019 has posed a gruelling test for the resilience of the country’s national economy. Now, as China emerges from its Covid-induced "recession", it feels like the worst is behind it. How did China manage to come out almost unscathed from the worst crisis in over a century? This Report examines how China designed and implemented its post-Covid recovery strategy, focussing on both the internal and external challenges the country had to face over the short- and medium-run. The book offers a comprehensive argument suggesting that, despite China having lost economic and political capital during the crisis, Beijing seems to have been strengthened by the “pandemic test”, thus becoming an even more challenging “partner, competitor and rival” for Western countries.
  • Topic: Politics, Science and Technology, Economy, Resilience, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Axel Berkofsky, Giulia Sciorati
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI)
  • Abstract: In 2020, the way we define “insecurity” has drastically changed. Insecurity can now also be invisible and all around us, in the shape of a virus that disrupts people’s lives, upends the economy, subverts the core functions of national governments and jeopardises the foundations of international cooperation. At the same time, the Sars-CoV-2 pandemic has not made traditional security challenges disappear, especially in and around Asia. This Report presents short- and long-term scenarios for each of the hotspots that challenge peace and stability in Asia, a region that, after the pandemic, has become even more crucial for a swift global recovery.
  • Topic: Security, Political stability, Peace, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Giorgio Fruscione, Michael L. Giffoni, Gentiola Madhi, Chiara Milan, Jovana Marovic, Giorgio Fruscione, Nikolaos Tzifakis
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI)
  • Abstract: One year after it landed in Europe, the Covid-19 pandemic has left a deep mark on the Western Balkans. On the one hand, it has exacerbated geopolitical dynamics that had been ongoing for decades, especially with regards to the activity of external actors. And while the EU has continued to be inconclusive, proceeding at a snail’s pace with its carrot-and-stick approach, China has seized on the opportunity and expanded its footprint. On the other hand, the pandemic has had deep consequences on domestic politics, too. The two keywords explaining local trends are continuity and new hopes. They are both shaping the speed and direction of democratic transitions or consolidations, which remain far from complete. How has the geopolitical competition among big powers evolved in the Balkans over the last year? What have been the effects of the pandemic on local democratic standards? Is there room for new hopes in terms of regime change and citizen participation?
  • Topic: Democracy, Geopolitics, Domestic politics, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Balkans
  • Author: Aldo Ferrari, Eleonora Tafuro Ambrosetti, Maxim Matusevich, Marianne Belenkaya, Andrei Kolesnikov, Alicja Curanović, Alexander Graef, Paola Magri
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI)
  • Abstract: What drives Russia’s foreign policy in Vladimir Putin’s times? Why did the Kremlin decide to annex Crimea, occupy South Ossetia, intervene in Syria, or give its blessing to Nord Stream II? When explaining Russia’s foreign policy, the consolidation of Putin’s autocratic tendencies and his apparent stability despite many economic and political challenges have contributed – at least in the West – to an excessive “Putin-centrism” and the relative neglect of other agents of domestic politics. As a result, many facets of the country’s foreign policy decisions are misunderstood or shrouded under a thin veil of vagueness and secrecy. This Report attempts to fill this gap, exploring the evolving distribution of political and economic power under the surface of Putin’s leadership to assess the influence of different “lobbies” on Russia’s foreign policy. Who decides what in Moscow? The answer, unsurprisingly, is not always “Vladimir Putin”. All of the contributions in the volume underline the complexity of Russia’s decision-making process beneath the surface of a monolithic and increasingly personalistic government.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, Politics, Authoritarianism, Domestic politics
  • Political Geography: Africa, Russia, Eurasia
  • Author: Fabio Petito, Fadi Daou, Michael Driessen, Elie Al-Hindy, Georges Fahmi, Nejja Al-Ourimi, Silvio Ferrari, Mohammed Hashas, Scott M. Thomas, Pasquale Ferrara, R. Scott Appleby, Miguel Angel Moratinos, Alberto Melloni, Azza Karam, Paul Gallagher, Nayla Tabbara, Mohamed Abdel-Salam, Andre Azoulay, Jean-Marc Aveline
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI)
  • Abstract: Polarization and discrimination linked to religion have been increasing in many parts of the world, including on the two shores of the Mediterranean. Against this background, however, seeds of hope have emerged from a number of religious leaders who have called for a new narrative of human fraternity and inclusive citizenship. This report analyzes the opportunities which human fraternity and inclusive citizenship offer for government-religious partnerships aimed at building more inclusive and peaceful societies across both shores of the Mediterranean and puts forward interreligious engagement as a new policy framework that recognizes and amplifies these novel dynamics. Can the interreligious narrative of human fraternity help to create new inclusive forms of citizenship? How can governments and international organizations better partner with religious leaders and communities to concretely build inclusive societies from the MENA region to Europe?
  • Topic: Islam, Religion, Refugees, Citizenship, Pluralism , Inclusion
  • Political Geography: Europe, North Africa, Mediterranean
  • Author: Matteo Villa, Marta Foresti, Elena Corradi
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI)
  • Abstract: Migration is often envisioned as a movement from origin A to destination B. But, even for forcibly displaced people, migration trajectories are much more complex and can be made up of multiple displacements. This study aims to look at how decisions to migrate are shaped and what it is that drives, diverts or deters migratory movements across borders. It focuses on how education in emergency (EIE) affects the migratory decisions of forcibly displaced people. What impact does EIE have on the living conditions of forcibly displaced people in countries of transit? How does the perspective of education in emergency affect their decisions on when, where, and how to migrate further?
  • Topic: Education, Migration, Displacement
  • Political Geography: Europe, Italy
  • Author: Valeria Talbot, Ugo Tramballi, Paola Magri, Zhao Jianming, Kabir Taneja, Adel Abdel Ghafar, Jeongmin Seo, Naser Al-Tamimi, Nael Shama, Sara Bazoobandi, Anshel Pfeffer
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI)
  • Abstract: As the world’s economic and political centre of gravity moves increasingly towards East and South Asia, we can expect a number of countries in these regions to devote more attention to the Middle East. The relations between East and South Asia and the Middle East have significantly expanded as a result of the global rise of Asian economic powers, particularly China, India, Japan and South Korea. Not only oil but also trade, investment, infrastructure, and tourism is the name of the business with the MENA region. Beyond energy and economic interests, questions arise about the potential geopolitical dimension of these evolving ties. What are the strategic implications of the projection of Asian countries in an unstable, fragmented and volatile region? How do they interact with each other and with other international players? Last but not least, will the Covid-19 pandemic be a game changer in (re)shaping relations in the future?
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Oil, Regional Cooperation, European Union, Geopolitics, Business , Soft Power
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Europe, Iran, Middle East, India, Israel, Asia, South Korea, Egypt, Gulf Cooperation Council, Gulf Nations
  • Author: Mario Del Pero, Paola Magri, Gary C. Jacobson, Michele Alacevich, Gabriella Sanchez, Scott L. Greer, Mario Del Pero, William F. Wechsler, Erik Jones
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI)
  • Abstract: Unprecedented and unpredictable: this is how US President Donald Trump's administration has repeatedly been labelled. Beyond the frequent tweets and bombastic rhetoric, however, lie a more conventional four years, as the United States navigated an ever-evolving international reality, compounded by a global pandemic and one of the deepest economic recessions in over a century. This Report analyses the continuity and changes that occurred during Trump’s presidency. Domestically, it investigates the growing political polarization, the country's pre-pandemic economic performance, Trump's approach towards regular and irregular migration, and the US’ response to a healthcare emergency. At the international level, this volume looks at how the US stance has changed vis-à-vis China, the Middle East, and Europe. Which long-term trends has President Trump had to ride through? What was his trademark, and what might be his lasting legacy?
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, Immigration, European Union, Inequality, Economic Growth, Engagement , Donald Trump, COVID-19, Polarization, Disengagement
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Middle East, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Giovanni Carbone, Michele D'Alessandro, Zemalak A. Ayele, Giovanni Putoto, David Styan, Michael Woldemariam, Afyare A. Elmi, Abdi M. Hersi, Aleksi Ylönen, Alexander Meckelburg, Camillo Casola
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI)
  • Abstract: In the context of the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Horn of Africa remains one of the most dynamic and intriguing regions on the African continent. The political processes currently under way – including the recent conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region – have deep implications that reflect on the domestic equilibria within the area’s core states - Ethiopia itself, but also Eritrea, Somalia and Djibouti – as well as on the relations among them. The nature and extent of involvement by external, non-African players is bound to be affected too. How is the Horn of Africa changing, following the leadership transition in Ethiopia? What are the main political and security prospects for the region and for the states belonging to it? And how will ongoing dynamics impact on European political strategies?
  • Topic: Hegemony, Geopolitics, State Building, Domestic Policy, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Africa, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea, Horn of Africa
  • Author: Fabio Rugge, John R Allen, Giampiero Massolo, Thomas A. Campbell, Samuele Dominioni, Caitlin Chin, Mishaela Robison, John Villasenor, Darrell M. West, Paola Benanti
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI)
  • Abstract: The rise of Artificial Intelligence applications is accelerating the pace and magnitude of the political, securitarian, and ethical challenges we are now struggling to manage in cyberspace and beyond. So far, the relationship between Artificial Intelligence and cyberspace has been investigated mostly in terms of the effects that AI could have on the digital domain, and thus on our societies. What has been explored less is the opposite relationship, namely, how the cyberspace geopolitics can affect AI. Yet, AI applications have so far suffered from growing unrest, disorder, and lack of normative solutions in cyberspace. As such, from algorithm biases, to surveillance and offensive applications, AI could accelerate multiple growing threats and challenges in and through cyberspace. This report by ISPI and The Brookings Institution is an effort to shed light on this less studied, but extremely relevant, relationship.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Authoritarianism, Cybersecurity, Inequality, Surveillance, Artificial Intelligence, Disinformation, Cyberspace
  • Political Geography: Global Focus