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  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: Gerónimo Gutiérrez Fernández served as Mexico’s Ambassador to the United States (2017-2018). He played a prominent role in the negotiation of the United States of America, Mexico and Canada Agreement (USMCA). Currently, he is managing partner of BEEL Infrastructure, a specialized advisory & asset management firm focused on the infrastructure sector in Latin America. He also provides strategic advice to businesses and governments on political risk, public affairs and communications and business development; and serves in the Board of Directors of U.S. – Mexico Business Association (AEM) and the Advisory Board of the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute. Brown Journal of World Affairs: During your time as ambassador, the U.S.– Mexico relationship was highly politicized due to President Trump’s rhetoric. How did you navigate balancing between building a relationship with the U.S. government and standing up for your country?
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation, Immigration, NAFTA, USMCA
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America, Mexico
  • Author: Richard A. Sears
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: Abundant affordable energy has built the world in which we live today. Machines and the chemical energy that drives them have made it possible for a small percentage of the population to produce enough food for many of us to be scientists, engineers, artists, and authors. We are only able to pursue our diverse interests because available energy multiplies human effort many times over. With all the good that has come with access to energy resources extracted from the Earth, there is also an environmental price, which impacts our land, water, and air. My intent here is not to debate the merits of our current energy system; it is the reality in which we exist. Humans and human society have become dependent on energy in so many ways that we cannot simply undo what we have and flip overnight to alternatives that we believe preserve the benefits without the costs. The scale of our global energy use is enormous, and the infrastructure we have built to deliver that energy and convert it to useful work has been developed over more than a century. It will realistically take several decades for energy alternatives to grow to replace the major sources of primary energy that we utilize today; similarly, it will take many decades to rebuild our energy infrastructure to efficiently utilize new sources of primary energy.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Environment, Oil, Natural Resources, Infrastructure, Fossil Fuels
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Charles F. Doran
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: By attacking a major Saudi oil facility at Abqaiq on 13 September 2019, Iran established a new norm regarding oil security. Now, no oil field, pipeline, refinery, supertanker, or port facility is free from internecine warfare between oil-producing (OPEC) governments. Ironically, in attempting to defend a country from supply interruption, the United States risks worsening the magnitude and scope of that supply interruption rather than preventing its occurrence. In the era of highly accurate drones and missiles, the old oil field motto “all oil comes from a single barrel” has taken on a newly negative connotation. World oil stability rests on a precipice. Both exporters and importers suffer from supply interruption, although perhaps not equally, universally, or simultaneously. Supply interruption may benefit those who have oil to sell through resultant oil price increases if their own exports have not been interrupted. The same cannot be said for buyers who, unless they are energy speculators on the futures market, ardently want to prevent supply interruption and the virtually certain subsequent (though sometimes not lasting) increase in price.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Environment, International Political Economy, Oil, OPEC, Pipeline
  • Political Geography: Saudi Arabia, Global Focus
  • Author: Peter Maurer
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: Peter Maurer is the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). This interview was conducted at the beginning of March, before the COVID-19 outbreak had reached pandemic levels. Since that time, the ICRC has been adapt- ing its operations to respond to the disease’s impacts in conflict-affected countries. President Maurer wrote about his concerns for vulnerable populations in an opinion column in The Guardian, published 27 March 2020.
  • Topic: Health, Humanitarian Aid, Humanitarian Intervention, Violence, Civilians, Medicine , Red Cross, ICRC
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ashby Monk, Soh Young In
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: The move toward a global energy transition is underpinned by the collective need to limit the most severe impacts of climate change as well as to foster more sustainable economic growth. Floating photovoltaic power stations on Chinese lakes, integrated carbon capture technology on large-scale power plants in Canada, and decentralized urban wind turbines on Singaporean rooftops are just a few examples of how radical innovations in clean energy technology are fueling the global energy transition.1 Bringing cutting-edge technology from the lab to the global energy market requires a supportive ecosystem. Innovation must be matched by market readiness to adopt disruptive technologies, local capacities to scale up new energy projects, energy policies with climate objectives, technological development, and sufficient and “aligned” investment capital.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, International Trade and Finance, Finance, Innovation, Renewable Energy
  • Political Geography: China, Canada, Global Focus
  • Author: Brenda Shaffer
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: For most of the last fifty years, international energy policy has been a major focus of U.S. foreign and national security policy. Washington has viewed ensuring the energy security of its allies—especially in Europe, Japan, and South Korea—as part of its own national security. In this approach to energy policy, the United States was unique and contrasted with most Western countries, which generally treated energy policy as part of their economic and/or environmental policies. Washington has engaged in international energy policy on the highest executive levels in the White House and established influential units within cabinet departments and agencies to promote international energy policies and to integrate them with U.S. national security and foreign policies. Within the Department of State, successive special ambassadors were appointed to promote various international and regional energy policies and, in 2011, a full Bureau of Energy Resources was established.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Energy Policy, Environment, Oil, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: United States, Caspian Sea, Global Focus
  • Author: Cyril Obi
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: Oil endowment has been a significant factor in Africa’s history, politics, and development. The continent was positioned strategically following the global energy transition from coal to crude oil in the latter part of the nineteenth and early part of the twentieth centuries, which shaped the history of oil in Africa.1 Today, Africa’s oil reserves serve both as a supply of oil to the global market and as a node for the continued integration of the continent’s petro-economies into a volatile global oil market. However, the fortunes of Africa’s oil-producing states depend on a commodity whose price they do not determine, and they find themselves with limited options to collectively leverage their positions on the global stage.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Oil, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Author: David Baluarte
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: Miliyon is a stateless, failed asylum seeker residing in the United States. He initially sought refugee protection after he fled Ethiopia, where he had faced serious abuse because of his Eritrean ethnicity. Immigration authorities denied him asylum after concluding that the Ethiopian government’s deportation of his Eritrean father, the seizure of his family’s land and business, and the detention and torture of Miliyon himself constituted a property dispute not protected under U.S. refugee law. Miliyon fought this denial of protection over the next decade through various appeals processes but ultimately failed. At that point, he applied for a passport at the Ethiopian embassy in Washington, D.C. and resigned himself to return home and face whatever fate awaited him. Consular officials, however, refused to issue him a passport. Despite never having set foot in Eritrea or having any other connection to the country, Miliyon was told that he was Eritrean, not Ethiopian. He was informed that he had no right to return to Ethiopia, his country of birth and the only place he had ever lived. This led the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to declare Miliyon stateless. As a victim of discriminatory denationalization, Miliyon tried to renew his application for refugee protection. Notwithstanding the fact that Miliyon had endured this persecutory treatment, U.S. authorities once again denied his claim.
  • Topic: Refugee Issues, Immigrants, Deportation, Protected People, Stateless Population
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Ethiopia
  • Author: Muhammad Yunus
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: Muhammad Yunus is an economist and the founder of Grameen Bank, which provides microcredit to the impoverished without requiring collateral. Yunus and Grameen were awarded the Noble Peace Prize in 2006.
  • Topic: Development, International Trade and Finance, Capitalism, Finance, Microcredit
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jamie Liew
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: Canada is the canary in the coal mine in terms of efforts to combat statelessness among Western democracies. One might assume that Canada would have a sophisticated system for addressing stateless persons—those without any citizen- ship whatsoever in any nation—since its reputation for welcoming refugees is unparalleled. In 1986, Canada won the Nansen Medal, the highest distinction bestowed by the United Nations for aiding refugees.1 Its inland refugee determination system is considered the gold standard all over the world. Furthermore, Canadians have a generous refugee sponsorship program, which allows groups of persons, not just the government, to sponsor overseas refugees. This system is not without its problems. One notable example is that some border crossers at the Canada-United States border are denied the right to a refugee hearing and are consequently in danger of being sent back—before their refugee claim is assessed—to places where they may face persecution and/or torture. Not- withstanding such shortcomings, Canada is a democracy; there are continual efforts to improve the refugee system through dialogue between the courts and the legislature, advocacy and education by lawyers, NGOs, and migrants themselves, and the hard work of civil servants working to improve the system.
  • Topic: Migration, Refugee Issues, Democracy, Citizenship, Stateless Population, Noncitizens
  • Political Geography: Canada