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  • Author: Ben Lombardi
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: In January 1879, a muzzle-loading gun aboard HMS Thunderer, one of the Royal Navy’s most powerful warships, exploded. A parliamentary investigation determined that the accident occurred because of human error brought about by a highly innovative, but complicated, loading mechanism. Given earlier unsatisfactory experience with early breech-loading guns, contemporary naval engagements and expectations of the future nature of conflict at sea, retention of muzzle-loaders seemed a reasonable course of action. Vast sums were, therefore, spent in ensuring that Britain’s navy had the biggest and most powerful of that type of ordnance. But the explosion and other advances in gun design meant that muzzle-loaders were a dead end, and the incident on Thunderer became the impetus for the Royal Navy to adopt breech-loaders. This incident shines light upon the thinking within the Royal Navy at the time regarding advanced guns. But it also underscores the uncertainty and unpredictability that is inevitably attached to rapid innovation by a large military institution such as the Royal Navy was in the late-19th century. This story is highly relevant to force development considerations today because in any era of continuous technological change, mistakes are inevitable and their expectation should be accommodated within planning.
  • Topic: Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Navy, Maritime
  • Political Geography: Britain, Europe
  • Author: Jannike Wachowiak
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Policy Centre
  • Abstract: As the end of the transition period nears, the EU must prepare for a fundamentally different and more conflictual relationship with the UK. Whatever the outcome of the Brexit negotiations, there will be profound economic, political and geopolitical implications for the EU. While the EU as a whole might be better placed than the UK to absorb the economic shock of a no-deal, the fallout within the EU will be uneven, resulting in winners and losers. The asymmetrical impact and differential capacity and willingness of national governments to mitigate the shock could exacerbate regional disparities and unbalance the EU’s internal level playing field. As such, it might become more difficult to maintain the same level of EU unity post-no-deal.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Treaties and Agreements, European Union, Brexit
  • Political Geography: Britain, Europe
  • Author: Facundo Albornoz, Jake Bradley, Silvia Sonderegger
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Nottingham Interdisciplinary Centre for Economic and Political Research (NICEP)
  • Abstract: We show that the sharp increase in hate crime following the Brexit referendum was more pronounced in more pro-remain areas. This is consistent with a model where behavior is dictated by the desire to conform to imperfectly observed social norms in addition to following individual preferences, and where the referendum revealed that society’s real preferences over immigration were less positive than previously thought. For identification, we exploit the feature that the referendum revealed new information overnight in a context where other determinants of attitudes remained constant. The data can be replicated with a sensible parameterization of the model.
  • Topic: Immigration, Public Opinion, Brexit, Discrimination
  • Political Geography: Britain, United Kingdom
  • Author: Owen Barder, Hannah Timmis, Arthur Baker
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: here has been a resurgence in calls to reconsider the cross-party consensus in the UK on foreign aid and development. The main political parties are all committed to spending 0.7 percent of gross national income on aid, to using the internationally agreed definition of aid, and to maintaining a separate government department to administer the majority of this aid, led by a Cabinet Minister. In their recent report, Global Britain: A Twenty-first Century Vision, Bob Seely MP and James Rogers lay challenge to these long-established pillars of UK development policy. In this note, we consider some of the questions they raise and suggest alternative answers.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Foreign Aid, Bureaucracy
  • Political Geography: Britain, Europe
  • Author: Maria C. Latorre, Zoryana Olekseyuk, Hidemichi Yonezawa, Sherman Robinson
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This paper examines 12 economic simulation models that estimate the impact of Brexit (Britain’s exit from the European Union). Most of the studies find adverse effects for the United Kingdom (UK) and the EU-27. The UK’s GDP losses from a hard Brexit (reversion to World Trade Organization rules due to a lack of UK-EU agreement) range from –1.2 to –4.5 percent in most of the models analyzed. A soft Brexit (e.g., Norway arrangement, which seems in line with the nonbinding text of the political declaration of November 14, 2018, on the future EU-UK relationship) has about half the negative impact of a hard Brexit. Only two of the models derive gains for the UK after Brexit because they are based on unrealistic assumptions. The authors analyze more deeply a computable general equilibrium model that includes productivity and firm selection effects within manufacturing sectors and operations of foreign multinationals in services. Based on this latest model, they explain the likely economic impact of Brexit on a wide range of macroeconomic variables, namely GDP, wages, private consumption, capital remuneration, aggregate exports, aggregate imports, and the consumer price index.
  • Topic: Economics, World Trade Organization, Brexit, Multinational Corporations
  • Political Geography: Britain, Europe, European Union
  • Author: Sana Knaneh
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Mitvim: The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies
  • Abstract: Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel, who feel their political representatives cannot achieve significant change for them on domestic issues, find it hard to believe that their voice could be meaningful in Israel’s foreign relations. Indeed, their involvement in Israeli foreign relations, both in the governmental and non-governmental arena, is limited. However, one area in which their involvement and influence have significant untapped potential lies in forging ties with Diaspora Jewry. For instance, in London, there is a clear disconnect between the representative bodies of the Jewish community, such as the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Jewish Leadership Council, and those representing the Palestinian community, such as The Association of the Palestinian Community in the UK and the Palestinian Forum in Britain which reflect the main currents of Palestinian thinking. While the disconnect is evident on the formal-organizational level, it does not preclude unofficial ties between Palestinians and Jews in London. Nonetheless, links between the two communities are limited, as is the space for joint discussions and exchanges of views, thoughts and narratives.
  • Topic: Politics, Sovereignty, Diaspora, Minorities, Political Activism
  • Political Geography: Britain, Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Tarek A. Hassan, Laurence van Lent, Stephan Hollander, Ahmed Tahoun
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET)
  • Abstract: Using tools from computational linguistics, we construct new measures of the impact of Brexit on listed firms in the United States and around the world: the share of discussions in quarterly earnings conference calls on costs, benefits, and risks associated with the UK’s intention to leave the EU. Using this approach, we identify which firms expect to gain or lose from Brexit and which are most affected by Brexit uncertainty. We then estimate the effects of these different kinds of Brexit exposure on firm-level outcomes. We find that concerns about Brexit-related uncertainty extend far beyond British or even European firms. US and international firms most exposed to Brexit uncertainty have lost a substantial fraction of their market value and have reduced hiring and investment. In addition to Brexit uncertainty (the second moment), we find that international firms overwhelmingly expect negative direct effects of Brexit (the first moment), should it come to pass. Most prominently, firms expect difficulties resulting from regulatory divergence, reduced labor mobility, trade access, and the costs of adjusting their operations post-Brexit. Consistent with the predictions of canonical theory, this negative sentiment is recognized and priced in stock markets but has not yet had significant effects on firm actions.
  • Topic: Economics, Political Economy, Regional Cooperation, Brexit, Global Political Economy, Economic Policy
  • Political Geography: Britain, United States, United Kingdom, Europe, European Union
  • Author: Elias Chukwuemeka Ngwu, Anthony Chinedu Ugwu, Emeka Charles Iloh
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: African Heritage Institution (AfriHeritage)
  • Abstract: Policies of free trade and the adoption of neoliberal economic models, which are important aspects of globalization, have caused major disruptions in labor markets around the world. In the less developed regions of the world, relatively unskilled agricultural hands have been rendered redundant in production processes while in the more technologically advanced countries, several long-stable industries closed down while some others were outsourced to less developed countries in a bid to maintain competitiveness. As the flow of material and cultural goods and services accelerated over time under the rubrics of globalization, human beings dislodged from their various productive bases became important components of the exchange. However, whereas the process of globalization appears to be bringing humanity closer together due to advances in transportation and communication technologies, this apparent physical closeness has created social distance between individuals and groups across territorial boundaries. Large numbers of mostly economic migrants from the less developed regions have ossified into an army of social outcasts, born throwaways, in various destination and transit countries. This paper explored the contradictions and tensions arising from globalization-induced migration within and out of Africa. It found that the massive outflow of irregular migrants from Africa has fed into the stream of modern day slavery in transit and destination countries that is unlikely to abate even in the face of apparent repudiation of globalization by its avid promoters, the United States and Great Britain.
  • Topic: Development, Globalization, Markets, Migration, Neoliberalism, Economic Development
  • Political Geography: Britain, Africa, United States
  • Author: Lauren McLaren, Anja Neundorf, Ian Paterson
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Nottingham Interdisciplinary Centre for Economic and Political Research (NICEP)
  • Abstract: Research on the relationship between immigration-related diversity and public attitudes to immigration generally focuses on contemporary levels of (or recent changes in) diversity. Drawing on the political socialization literature, this paper argues that by ignoring the effect of diversity during early socialization years, existing research fails to fully understand longterm trends in attitudes to immigration. Applying a generational change perspective to the British sample of the European Social Survey (2002-2017), along with two innovative approaches to modeling generational differences - generalized additive models (GAMs) and hierarchical age‒period‒cohort (HAPC) models - we are able to investigate attitudes among groups of birth cohorts socialized between 1935 and 2010. The findings show that younger cohorts are systematically more positive about immigration. These increasingly positive attitudes are related to a macro-context of higher diversity in younger cohorts’ early years. This effect may, however, be diminished by a context of high income inequality during the formative years.
  • Topic: Immigration, Diversity, Social Order, Models
  • Political Geography: Britain, Global Focus
  • Author: Lara Montesinos Coleman
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Global Political Economy, University of Sussex
  • Abstract: The intellectual authors of neoliberalism were aware of the lethal implications of what they advocated. For ‘the market’ to work, the state was to refuse protection to those unable to secure their subsistence, while dissidents were to be repressed. What has received less attention is how deadly neoliberal reforms increasing come wrapped in social, legal and humanistic rhetoric. We see this not only in ‘social’ and ‘legal’ rationales for tearing away safety nets in Europe’s former social democratic heartlands, but also in the ‘pro-poor’ emphasis of contemporary development discourse. This includes contexts where colonial legacies have facilitated extreme armed violence in service of corporate plunder. To expose these dynamics, I juxtapose the everyday violence of austerity in Britain with neoliberal restructuring in Colombia. The latter is instructive precisely because, in tandem with widespread state-backed terror, Colombia has held fast to the language and institutions of liberal democracy. It has, as a result, prefigured the subtle authoritarian tendencies now increasingly prominent in European states. The reconceptualization of law, rights and social policy that has accompanied neoliberal globalization is deeply fascistic. Authoritarian state power is harnessed to the power of transnational capital, often accompanied by nationalistic and racist ideologies that legitimize refusal of protection and repression, enabling spiraling inequality. Nevertheless, extending Boaventura de Sousa Santos’s discussion of ‘social fascism’, I suggest that widespread appeal to the ‘social’ benefits and ‘legal necessity’ of lethal economic policies marks a significant and Orwellian shift. Not only are democratic forces suppressed: the very meanings of democracy, rights, law and ethics are being reshaped, drastically inhibiting means of challenging corporate power.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Social Stratification, Law, Fascism, Neoliberalism
  • Political Geography: Britain, Colombia
  • Author: Micky Aharonson
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security (JISS)
  • Abstract: In spite of the impressive international front against Russia following the former spy’s poisoning in Britain, its activity seems to be limited mainly to rhetoric and diplomatic gestures, which will not achieve Russia’s isolation
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Intelligence, Assassination
  • Political Geography: Britain, Russia, Europe
  • Author: Eran Lerman
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security (JISS)
  • Abstract: The American-British-French strike in Syria should be seen as an exercise in building Western deterrence and creditability in advance of the decision expected next month regarding the nuclear deal with Iran
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Deterrence
  • Political Geography: Britain, Europe, Iran, Middle East, France, Syria, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Julian Lindley-French
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: Will Britain’s departure from the EU lead to the creation of an Anglosphere and a Eurosphere within NATO? Unfortunately, there are a range of challenges to such a formulation. First, if the EU continues to drive a hard post-Brexit relationship with the British, it may be increasingly difficult for any government in London to convince the British people that other Europeans are worth defending. Second, would the United States, Canada and others entertain such an idea? Third, France is not going to abandon its strategic relationship with Britain – Brexit or no Brexit. Fourth, there will be a Brexit deal and Britain will remain a key factor in European defence. Fifth, “events, dear boy, events!” However, Brexit or no Brexit, NATO’s pillars are shifting. The United States will demand more of its allies if Washington is to maintain a credible security and defence guarantee for Europe. The changing nature of conflict will tend to emphasize intelligence and power projection, both of which play to Britain’s residual strengths. Canada? It is hard for an outsider to discern Canadian defence policy, other than bumbling along in strategic suburbia with the desire to be seen as the good neighbour. This is a mistake. NATO’s shifting pillars will have profound implications for Canadian security and defence policy. A formal Anglosphere and Eurosphere within NATO? Most likely not. A U.S.-sphere and German-sphere? Quite possibly, but don’t mention it in polite company. Canada? Who knows?
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, NATO, Brexit, Alliance
  • Political Geography: Britain, Europe, Canada, North America
  • Author: Krševan Antun Dujmović
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Development and International Relations (IRMO)
  • Abstract: Over the course of past twelve months, Europe was holding its breath in a couple of nerve wrecking moments that were to decide the destiny of the European Union (EU). Indeed, in June last year the British cast their votes for the unimaginable and decided that the United Kingdom (UK) should leave the EU. Shockwaves battered the woozy continent sprawling from over the other side of the English Channel, and it was the President of the European Parliament, incumbent German SPD leader Martin Schulz who exclaimed in the wake of the Brexit vote that the UK should exit the EU as quickly as possible. Just four months later Europe experienced another shockwave, this time propelled from the other side of the Atlantic, as the Americans voted for Donald Trump, who was in support of Brexit during his campaign, advocating overtly against the European integration and even renouncing the fundament of Trans-Atlantic integration - NATO. The beginning of 2017 set a murky atmosphere as the EU started to brace itself for another big test in France. The victory of Emmanuel Macron in May meant that the EU would survive, albeit crippled as the Britons lead by Theresa May continued relentlessly their divorce with Europe by triggering the Article 50 in March. With the British already one foot out, and the French �irmly in the Union, the attention of the European public is shifting more to Germany which will hold the federal election on September 24th this year. After the disappointing break away decision in Britain, some Europeans seem to invoke a renewed Franco-German axis as the power engine of European integration. Since the great economic depression swept Europe like a contagion in 2008, Germany has been the best performing European economy, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel was perceived as the “savior of Europe”. Due to these facts, it is no wonder that all of Europe eagerly expects the outcome of the German federal election which will largely determine the fate of the continent.
  • Topic: Elections, European Union, Brexit
  • Political Geography: Britain, Europe, France, Germany, Western Europe
  • Author: Nancy Gallagher, Clay Ramsay, Ebrahim Mohseni
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: Summary of Findings 1. Views of the Rouhani Administration President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif enjoy high levels of popular support in Iran. Nearly 8 in 10 Iranians say they have a favorable opinion of Rouhani and Zarif. Yet the intensity of their popularity has substantially eroded since August 2015. With Iran’s parliamentary elections only about a month away, 6 in 10 Iranians continue to want Rouhani supporters to win, while a growing minority favors his critics. Though Rouhani receives high marks for improving Iran’s security and deepening Iran’s relations with European countries, views of the economy are mixed. An increasing majority of Iranians think that Rouhani has not been successful in reducing unemployment. Iranians are also substantially less optimistic about Iran’s economy, with less than half now thinking that the economy is getting better. 2. Iran’s February 2016 Parliamentary Elections Four in ten Iranians voice confidence that the upcoming Majlis (Iran’s Parliament) elections will be very fair, and another four in ten assume it will be somewhat free and fair. Two thirds are highly confident they will vote in the upcoming elections for the Majlis and the Assembly of Experts. The most important issues Iranians want the new Majlis to tackle are unemployment and Iran’s low performing economy. 3. Civil Liberties in Iran Two in three Iranians believe that it is important for President Rouhani to seek to increase civil liberties in Iran. However, only a small minority complains that Iranians have too little freedom. While only about a third thinks that civil liberties in Iran have increased during Rouhani’s presidency, a plurality expects that civil liberties will increase at least somewhat over the next two years. 4. Approval for Nuclear Deal Seven in ten Iranians approve of the nuclear deal, though enthusiasm has waned somewhat. The deal garners support from majorities of those who favor Rouhani’s critics in the Majlis election, as well as those who favor his supporters. Two thirds still think the Iranian leadership negotiated a good deal for Iran, though the number of those disagreeing has risen to one in five. The number who believes it was a win for Iran has also declined, while the number who believes it was a victory for both sides has risen and is now a majority. 5. Perceptions of the Nuclear Deal Substantial numbers of Iranians now have a more accurate picture of the deal than they did in August 2015. About half (up from a third) now realizes that Iran has accepted limits on its nuclear research. Almost half (up from a quarter) now knows that many US sanctions are not covered by the agreement and will continue. However, growing majorities continue to believe incorrectly that Iranian military sites cannot be inspected under any conditions. A majority also believes that the US has agreed to not impose new sanctions to replace the ones that were removed as part of the nuclear deal. 6. Expectations of Economic Benefits Three in five Iranians expect that the nuclear deal will eventually result in improvements in their own economic well-being. This sentiment is shared by a majority of those who support Rouhani’s critics in the upcoming parliamentary elections. Majorities expect to see, within a year, better access to medical products from abroad, more foreign investment, and significant improvements in unemployment and the overall economy, though these majorities have declined from August 2015. 7. The Nuclear Deal’s Effect on Iran’s Foreign Relations A large majority of Iranians thinks that Iran’s relations with European countries have already improved as a result of the nuclear deal, but only one in three thinks Iran’s relations with the United States have improved. 8. Views of US Cooperation in the Nuclear Deal Six in ten Iranians are not confident that the US will live up to its obligations under the nuclear agreement and do not think the US will accept other countries cooperating with Iran’s civilian nuclear sector, as provided for under the deal. Half assume the US will use pressure and sanctions to extract more concessions from Iran—up from only a quarter in August 2015. 9. Views of the Nuclear Program Just as in past years, four in five Iranians see the development of an Iranian nuclear program as very important, and three in four see this program as being for purely peaceful purposes. Four in five continue to favor the idea of a Middle East nuclear-free zone that would require all countries in the Middle East, including Israel, not to have nuclear weapons. 10. Iran’s Involvement in Syria and Fighting ISIS Large majorities of Iranians approve of Iran being involved in Syria and strongly support countering ISIS, preserving Iran’s influence in the region, and countering Saudi, American, and Israeli influence. Overwhelming majorities approve of Iran fighting ISIS directly. Large majorities also approve of Iran supporting Shiite and Kurdish groups fighting ISIS and providing support to Iranian allies in the region. Strengthening the Assad government gets more modest support and is seen as a secondary goal for Iran. Two in three Iranians approve of sending Iranian military personnel to help Assad fight against armed Syrian rebels, including ISIS. 11. Views of US Involvement in Syria A large majority of Iranians disapproves of US involvement in Syria. US involvement in Syria is widely perceived as being primarily motivated by a desire to topple the Assad government, to increase US influence and power in the region, to protect Israeli and Saudi interests, and to decrease Iran’s influence and power in the region. Views are divided about whether the United States is seeking to protect Syrian civilians, to end the conflict, to prevent the conflict from spreading, or to fight ISIS. A modest majority says US efforts against ISIS are not at all sincere. A bare majority supports direct cooperation with the United States to counter ISIS in Iraq. 12. Views of Other Nations Involved in Syria Large majorities of Iranians approve of the involvement in Syria of Russia and Hezbollah, and seven in ten express confidence that Russia’s efforts against ISIS are sincerely motivated. However, large majorities disapprove of the involvement in Syria of Turkey, France, and, especially, Saudi Arabia. Large majorities say that the Saudis’ efforts against ISIS are insincere; views of the sincerity of the efforts by Turkey and France are less negative. A large majority has a negative view of Saudi efforts to create a coalition against terrorism, primarily because Saudi Arabia is seen as a supporter of ISIS. 13. International Collaboration on Syria and ISIS Despite their suspicions of other countries operating in the region, eight in ten Iranians approve of Iran participating in the international talks on the conflict in Syria. Of those who know about the Vienna agreement, seven in ten approve of it. 14. Views of Other Countries Iranians view their country’s allies, notably Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Hezbollah, favorably, and view Saudi Arabia and Turkey increasingly unfavorably. Views of Russia and China are generally favorable and have improved considerably over time. Western countries, with the exception of Germany, are viewed unfavorably, with Britain and the US viewed negatively by large majorities in Iran. In contrast, a majority has a favorable opinion of the American people.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Nuclear Weapons, Terrorism, Geopolitics, ISIS, Hezbollah
  • Political Geography: Britain, Russia, United States, China, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Syria