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  • Author: Hanmin Kim
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Pacific Forum
  • Abstract: State-funded news media outlets and the ways in which they convey the messages of government and government-affiliated officials represent an essential but under-emphasized area of study in the realm of international diplomacy. Through a case study of the Hong Kong protests of 2019, this paper draws on theories from journalism and public diplomacy to analyze articles by state-funded media covering the unrest. This paper argues that the state-funded news outlets of the US and China used the same frame—violence and conflict—but approached the Hong Kong protests differently. Using this frame, state media outlets made themselves channels for government officials during the US-China rivalry, but made different arguments regarding the violence that occurred there. While US government-funded media focused on the violence of the Hong Kong Police Force as a danger to the territory’s democracy, Chinese state media emphasized the violence of the Hong Kong protestors as a danger to national security.
  • Topic: Government, Communications, Media, Protests, Journalism
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Hong Kong
  • Author: Melinda K. Abrams, Reginald D. Williams II, Katharine Fields, Roosa Tikkanen
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Commonwealth Fund
  • Abstract: About one-quarter of U.S. adults report having a mental health diagnosis such as anxiety or depression or experiencing emotional distress. This is one of the highest rates among 11 high-income countries. While U.S. adults are among the most willing to seek professional help for emotional distress, they are among the most likely to report access or affordability issues. Emotional distress is associated with social and economic needs in all countries. Nearly half of U.S. adults who experience emotional distress report such worries, a higher share than seen in other countries. The United States has some of the worst mental health–related outcomes, including the highest suicide rate and second-highest drug-related death rate. The U.S. has a relatively low supply of mental health workers, particularly psychologists and psychiatrists. Just one-third of U.S. primary care practices have mental health professionals on their team, compared to more than 90 percent in the Netherlands and Sweden.
  • Topic: Health, Health Care Policy, Mental Health, Drugs, Substance Abuse
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Global Focus
  • Author: Vibeke Schou Tjalve, Minda Holm
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In this policy note, we explore the nature, strength and tensions of the contemporary US-Central Eastern Europe relationship. We describe the expanding US-CEE ‘brotherhood in arms’: growing trade relations, intensified military cooperation, and rekindled diplomatic ties. Further, we unpack the striking and largely ignored dimensions of the US-CEE ‘brotherhood in faith’: the many ways in which the United States and Central and Eastern Europe are tied together by overlapping ideologies of national conservatism and a particular version of Christian ‘family values’. This involves addressing the complexities of an increasingly influential and ambitious Visegrád Group, whose key players – Poland and Hungary – may be brothers, but are by no means twins. It also means raising some broader, burning discussions about the future of NATO and the meaning of ‘Europe’. Universalist, multicultural and postnational? Or conservative, Christian and sovereigntist?
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Conservatism, Alliance, Ideology, Christianity, Trade Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Eastern Europe, Central Europe
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: World Politics Review
  • Abstract: The ballistic missiles that Iran fired at two military bases in Iraq housing American troops could only be the start of Tehran’s retaliation. Many observers worry that more blowback could come in the form of Iran’s favored tactic of asymmetric warfare waged through its proxies, such as Hezbollah in Lebanon and pro-Iranian militias in Iraq. This escalation did not begin with the killing of Soleimani, but in May 2018, when Trump unilaterally took the United States out of the international agreement curbing Iran’s nuclear program, known as the JCPOA, and reimposed crippling sanctions on Iran’s economy. What impact has the U.S. exit from the nuclear deal had in Iran? How has it changed the Iranian regime’s foreign policy calculations? And how have Iranian citizens reacted to Trump’s campaign of “maximum pressure” and more sanctions? This WPR report provides an essential view of events from Iran.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons, Sanctions, Military Affairs, Nuclear Power, Denuclearization
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran
  • Author: Brad Glosserman
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Pacific Forum
  • Abstract: The Pacific Forum, with support from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), brought 41 officials and experts from the United States, Japan, and the Republic of Korea (ROK), along with eight Pacific Forum Young Leaders, all attending in their private capacity, to Maui, Hawaii, Sept. 5-6, 2019 to explore the three countries’ thinking about extended deterrence and prospects for and obstacles to strengthened trilateral security cooperation. A two-move tabletop exercise (TTX) was focused on concerted and coordinated efforts by China and North Korea to revise the status quo in Northeast Asia. Key findings include: Despite political difficulties, there was little difference among participants regarding assessments of the situation and dynamics in Northeast Asia. They were generally aligned and this was evident in responses to the TTX: they sought to prevent opportunism, provide off-ramps for adversaries, and didn’t rush to connect the incidents. Official statements notwithstanding, there is rising anxiety in Seoul and Tokyo for a variety of reasons. In the ROK, some concerns focus on the role of nuclear solutions to national security problems. In Japan, the issue is often the US-China balance of power. Tokyo and Seoul remain committed to their alliances with the US, however. Participants acknowledged that conventional strength among allies and the ability to coordinate more seamlessly strengthened extended deterrence.
  • Topic: Deterrence
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, Northeast Asia, Korean Peninsula, Pacific Ocean
  • Author: David Santoro, Robert Gromoll
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Pacific Forum
  • Abstract: This material is based on research sponsored by DTRA and managed by the US Air Force Academy (USAFA), and Pacific Forum International under agreement number FA7000-19-2- 0012. The US Government is authorized to reproduce and distribute reprints for Governmental purposes notwithstanding any copyright notation thereon. The opinions, findings, views, conclusions or recommendations contained herein are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as necessarily representing the official policies or endorsements, either expressed or implied, of the USAFA, DTRA, or the US Government. This paper was written by Dr. David Santoro, Vice President and Director for Nuclear Policy at the Pacific Forum, and Dr. Robert Gromoll, former Director of the Office of Regional Affairs at the US Department of State’s Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation; Dr. Gromoll is now retired. Both Drs. Santoro and Gromoll participated in numerous dialogue rounds, and Dr. Santoro was a co-organizer. The paper is based primarily on the contents of the dialogue’s written reports, several of which were authored or co-authored by Dr. Santoro. By and large, the paper draws directly from these reports and reviews how the topics addressed in the dialogue were approached and discussed by the US and Chinese sides over time. (A list of these reports is included at the end of the paper; some have been published, others have not.) The paper is also based on the authors’ broader experience in participating in the Track-1.5 dialogue; the conversations they have had with US and Chinese participants on these issues over the years, both during the dialogue and on the margins; and their own personal research. This paper represents the views of the authors and not those of Pacific Forum or the US State Department.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, International Cooperation, Nuclear Weapons, Treaties and Agreements, Nonproliferation, Denuclearization
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Author: Sahana Dharmapuri, Pamela Tansey, Lexie Van Buskirk
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Our Secure Future
  • Abstract: The Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda is a transformative policy mandate with a global constituency. It provides policymakers with the tools to end cycles of violent conflict, create more equitable peace processes, and promote gender equality on a global, national, and local scale. Passed in October 2000, United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (UNSCR 1325) underscores women’s agency, voice, and capacities as intrinsic to creating more effective international peace and security policies. Since 2000, more than 80 countries have adopted Women, Peace and Security National Action Plans and other policies to robustly implement the WPS agenda. In 2017, the US Congress adopted the Women, Peace, and Security Act to incorporate the principle of gender equality into US foreign policy. The two main objectives of the WPS agenda are to 1) increase the representation of women in decision-making positions, and 2) to apply a gender perspective to matters of international peace and security.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Gender Issues, Women, Peace
  • Political Geography: United States, Global Focus
  • Author: Michelle M. Doty, Eric C. Schneider, Roosa Tikkanen, Arnav Shah, Reginald D. Williams II
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Commonwealth Fund
  • Abstract: With more than 4 million confirmed cases and 150,000 deaths as of August, the United States is failing to control the COVID-19 pandemic. At a time when many nations are reopening their economies and societies, the U.S. is struggling in its attempts to do the same. To examine the early impact of the pandemic on the well-being of adults in the U.S. and abroad, the Commonwealth Fund joined the survey research firm SSRS to interview 8,259 adults age 18 and older between March and May 2020. It is the latest in the Commonwealth Fund’s series of cross-national comparisons featuring the United States and nine other high-income countries that participate in the Fund’s annual International Health Policy Survey. The following exhibits illustrate COVID-19’s effects on people’s mental health and economic security and compare levels of public trust in national leaders in responding to the pandemic.
  • Topic: Health, Health Care Policy, Mental Health, Public Health
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Global Focus
  • Author: Meredith B. Rosenthal, Paul F. van Gils, Caroline A. Baan, Eline F. de Vries, Jeroen Struijs
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Commonwealth Fund
  • Abstract: We identified 23 initiatives in eight countries that have implemented bundled-payment models, focusing on procedures such as total joint replacements and cardiac surgery, as well as chronic conditions like diabetes and breast cancer. Of the 35 studies retrieved, 32 reported effects on quality of care and 32 reported effects on medical spending. Twenty of 32 studies reported modest savings or a modest reduction in spending growth, while two studies (both based on the same initiative) demonstrated increased spending in the early years of the bundled-payment model’s implementation. Eighteen of 32 studies reported quality improvements for most evaluated measures, while other studies showed no difference in measured quality. Our study provides evidence that bundled-payment models have the potential to reduce medical spending growth while having either a positive impact or no impact on quality of care.
  • Topic: Economics, Health, Health Care Policy, Income Inequality, Macroeconomics, Coronavirus, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: United States, Global Focus
  • Author: Roosa Tikkanen, Melinda K. Abrams
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Commonwealth Fund
  • Abstract: A 2015 Commonwealth Fund brief showed that — before the major provisions of the Affordable Care Act were introduced — the United States had worse outcomes and spent more on health care, largely because of greater use of medical technology and higher prices, compared to other high-income countries. By benchmarking the performance of the U.S. health care system against other countries — and updating with new data as they become available — we can gain important insights into our strengths and weaknesses and help policymakers and delivery system leaders identify areas for improvement. This analysis is the latest in a series of Commonwealth Fund cross-national comparisons that uses health data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to assess U.S. health care system spending, outcomes, risk factors and prevention, utilization, and quality, relative to 10 other high-income countries: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. We also compare U.S. performance to that of the OECD average, comprising 36 high-income member countries.
  • Topic: Health, Health Care Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Global Focus