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  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: LSE IDEAS
  • Abstract: The LSE Economic Diplomacy Commission was convened in 2019 to establish a strategic direction for a new age of foreign economic policy, to understand the domestic ramifications of changes to the UK’s trade agenda, and to present recommendations that may best advance the UK’s priorities at home and abroad. The aim of the Report is to position the UK optimally in a changed 21st century global economy while maintaining the UK’s support for an open, multilateral trade and rules-based international system. The Report proposes a refined economic diplomacy framework that seeks to balance commercial openness with strategic domestic and foreign policy aims, broadly defined.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Economics, Trade
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Richard Higgott, Simon Reich
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: LSE IDEAS
  • Abstract: For some time, international relations has trended in the direction of an American and Chinese dominated binary world order. While the Trump administration has been an accelerator not a cause of this trend between 2016 and 2020, not coincidentally the post 2016 era has also seen key EU figures move to develop a strategy of greater "strategic autonomy". This interest in strategic autonomy was, in no small part, a reflection of growing European distrust in the reliability of both China and, increasingly, the USA. The paper shows, in contrast to the Cold War era during which the EU was unambiguously aligned, how the EU now appears to have embarked on a hedging strategy, albeit implemented more by default than design. In its desire to defend its core interests the EU appears to lean to one side or the other on an issue by issue basis in at least seven key policy domains identified in the paper. This approach is seen to be the outcome of its dual desire to articulate the values of its much touted “Geopolitical Commission" at the same time as it tries to continue its traditional institutional commitment to multilateralism. The paper concludes that the ambiguity present in this endeavour to straddle the realist-liberal fence only serves to expose the limitations of the strategy.
  • Topic: International Relations, European Union, Geopolitics, Strategic Autonomy
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia, United States of America
  • Author: Corina Rebegea, Wojciech Michnik, Ivan Vejvoda
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: LSE IDEAS
  • Abstract: This LSE IDEAS report assesses the likely impact of the new Biden administration on security and defence in the Black Sea, Balkan and Central European regions. The report finds grounds for optimism but also for managing expectations. President Biden's support for multilateral security approaches is likely to strengthen NATO and regional cooperation, particularly on Russia, but the region cannot expect to be the US' top priority. A return to values-based diplomacy under Biden, too, may put pressure on democratically-backsliding allies to whom his predecessor turned a blind eye.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, NATO, Diplomacy, Elections, Multilateralism
  • Political Geography: Europe, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Luke Cooper, Roch Dunin-Wąsowicz, Mary Kaldor, Niccolò Milanese, Iavor Rangelov
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: LSE IDEAS
  • Abstract: Civil society in Europe and its attitudes towards the European project have changed dramatically in the past decade of multiple crises. This study mapped, tracked and monitored developments in European civil society from 2018 to 2020, revealing the nature and implications of these changes.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Migration, Insurgency, Crisis Management
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Luke Cooper
  • Publication Date: 07-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: LSE IDEAS
  • Abstract: Authoritarianism has become a major buzzword of global politics today. But the public debate has often focused on headline-catching cases of democratic decline. In the European Union (EU), Hungary and Poland, have tended to dominate discussion and critique with the implication that a modern-day ‘containment’ strategy might suffice to withstand the authoritarian advance. This brings dangers for how we think about politics in Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe (CESEE), involving a problematic reading of the region as a source of threat to democracy, rather than a theatre for its renewal. This new LSE IDEAS report, Authoritarian protectionism in Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe: diversity, commonality and resistance, seeks to provide a wider regional contextualisation through the examination of Hungary and Poland in tandem with four other case studies in the region: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Romania and Slovakia. The paper argues that the recent histories of these states provide a vantage point for reflection on the broader tendencies driving democratic decay globally. As the populaces of these states have shown tremendous civic energy in their willingness to resist authoritarianism, often in very large numbers, these case studies also point to the need to re-frame how this topic is discussed in the European public sphere. They suggest we should highlight how events in the region may be a harbinger of new opportunities for democratic advance. The snapshot comparative analysis of these states is undertaken through the frame of what the author, Dr Luke Cooper, calls authoritarian protectionism. This emphasises the importance of a politics of ethnonational partisanship to the contemporary challenge to democracy. In the cases examined in the report, authoritarian protectionism draws particular attention to the coherence that exists amongst such actors– despite the fact the examples are drawn from the left, centre and right of the political spectrum.
  • Topic: Politics, Authoritarianism, European Union, Democracy, Diversity, Protectionism
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe, Central Europe, Southern Europe
  • Author: Andrew Hammond, Tim Oliver
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: LSE IDEAS
  • Abstract: The withdrawal of the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union (EU) on January 31 was a seminal moment in post-war history, and one that presents challenges and opportunities for both key parties. Yet far from being a single, isolated event, the departure derives from a much broader process of well over a dozen negotiations (a catch-all term used here for formal diplomatic discussions and wider debates about Brexit) between and within the UK and EU about their futures. With so many Brexit negotiations still underway, this paper underlines that the final form of the UK’s departure from the EU is not yet set in stone. Even with a withdrawal deal now ratified, there are multiple scenarios still possible: from a disorderly exit this year, through to the outside prospect of the transition being extended and a deep, comprehensive deal being concluded later in the 2020s. The stakes in play therefore remain huge and historic as both sides seek a new constructive partnership that can hopefully bring significant benefits for both at a time of global geopolitical turbulence.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, European Union, Partnerships, Geopolitics, Brexit
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: John Ryan, Gabriel Felbermayr, Clemens Fuest, Jasmin Katrin Gröschl, Daniel Stöhlker
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: LSE IDEAS
  • Abstract: This report explores a No-Deal Brexit which would leave the UK economically, politically and diplomatically weakened and isolated. It further examines the relationships with its two main allies - the European Union and the United States - which would become more difficult and complicated.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Politics, Treaties and Agreements, European Union, Brexit
  • Political Geography: Britain, Europe, United States of America
  • Author: John Ryan
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: LSE IDEAS
  • Abstract: This report explores the need to make the ECB more transparent and democratically accountable to prevent the next Eurozone crisis. The ECB can justly claim to have held together a poorly-designed system in difficult circumstances, but its overlapping roles create potential conflicts of interest. What does this mean for the countries, companies, and banks that have grown to depend so much on the ECB?
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Hugh Sandeman
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: LSE IDEAS
  • Abstract: In November 2017 the Global Strategies Project at LSE IDEAS brought together a group of British politicians, senior officials, and other experts at Ditchley Park to discuss options for the UK’s foreign, defence, and security policy after Brexit. This report summarieses that discussion, which covered the UK’s future relations with Europe, the US, and China, as well as the relationship between policymakers and the British public.
  • Topic: International Security
  • Political Geography: Europe