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  • Author: François Chimits, Ashley T. Lenihan, Jonathan Liebenau, Stephen Paduano, Anthony Vinci, Peter Watkins
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: LSE IDEAS
  • Abstract: The Biden Presidency offers opportunities for a renewed effort at formulating a coordinated allied approach to technological and economic competition with China. The latest report from China Foresight at LSE IDEAS provides a guiding framework for transatlantic coordination, and offers insights into key elements of future cooperation. While challenges abound, the opportunities for action prove just as great in number.
  • Topic: Economics, Science and Technology, Transatlantic Relations, Strategic Competition
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, United States of America
  • 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: Moonis Ahmar
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: LSE IDEAS
  • Abstract: There is a history of ups and downs in Pak-US relations since early 1950s till today. From the period of alliances to ostensible hostility and indifference, the changing dynamics of Pak-US relations must be analysed from a pragmatic point of view where power, national interests, security and sovereignty matter. Furthermore, mistrust, suspicions, ill-will and paranoia still influence the political, security, economic and power dynamics of relations between Pakistan and the United States. This research follows the theory of soft power due to two main reasons. First, instead of being a ‘patron-client’ relationship, PakUS relations could be transformed by focusing on diplomacy, trade and technology instead of threats and coercion. Second, President Obama’s policy of ‘do more’ for Pakistan in combating terrorism in Afghanistan proved to be counterproductive as anti-Americanism surged in Pakistan. Overcoming the bitterness of the past in Pak-US relations will be a major challenge to the Biden-Harris administration. Moving forward in Pak-US relations will require political will, determination, prudence and trust from both sides. It is up to the leadership from both countries to foster trust and take confidence building measures which can transform their relations from patron-client to partners in progress. Shift from geopolitics to geoeconomics will ensure a win-win situation for both sides in the years to come.
  • Topic: Economics, Violent Extremism, Democracy, Geopolitics, Soft Power
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, South Asia, North America, United States of America
  • 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: Chris Alden, Stephen Paduano, Mzukisi Qobo, Lukas Fiala, Iginio Gagliardone, Yu-Shan Wu, Gidon Gautel, Lina Benabdallah
  • Publication Date: 10-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: LSE IDEAS
  • Abstract: The China-Africa relationship has continued to evolve over the last years. In light of the 8th Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) that will take place later in 2021, the latest report from LSE IDEAS China Foresight brings together an international team of experts to shed light on emerging and consolidated areas of engagement between China and Africa that will likely shape the relationship in the years to come.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Engagement
  • Political Geography: Africa, China
  • Author: Leon Mangasarian
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: LSE IDEAS
  • Abstract: In the past six decades, the four pillars of Germany’s post-World War II security model were built and expanded: NATO, the European Union, trans-Atlanticism and free trade. This gave Germans their longest period of peace, making them fantastically rich as the world’s fourth biggest economy. Can Germany’s view of itself as a ‘big Switzerland’ be sustained? Leon Mangasarian argues not. The Biden presidency is providing Germans with a false sense of security, one which means that Germany will fail to build the appropriate policies and NATO alliances Germany desperately needs in order to build a grand strategy of its place in Europe. If that debate is not led by the chancellery then it needs to come from the Bundestag, from the country’s expanding think tank community, the universities and citizen fora.
  • Topic: NATO, European Union, Economy, Transatlantic Relations
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • Author: Gidon Gautel
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: LSE IDEAS
  • Abstract: The 2020s will see a flurry of space activity, with both national and commercial programs picking up pace. Both the United States and China hold strong ambitions in telecommunications, lunar exploration, and beyond. However, currently fraught relations between the superpowers are unlikely to improve and may yet deteriorate further. On the one hand, competition between both countries may drive space activities and foster technological innovation. On the other, as both superpowers expand their activities in space, geopolitical tensions may increase the risk of harmful dynamics that could endanger the sustainable rollout of future programs. In this Strategic Update, Gidon Gautel seeks to outline and call attention to two high-risk flash points arising from the development of the US and China’s national space programmes and industries.
  • Topic: Geopolitics, Space, Innovation, Strategic Competition
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North America, United States of America