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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