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  • Author: Salome Minesashvili
  • Publication Date: 08-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Georgia`s foreign policy, especially the implementation of international agreements, is best understood in the context of domestic contestation among alternative foreign policy views. • Nativist views exert increasing influence on the Georgian public. Georgia’s European partners should engage the Georgian public through civil society support and people-to-people contacts, to build trust and facilitate open debate. • The exclusive character of differing foreign policy positions further fuels the extreme political polarization. The government and opposition should be encouraged to come together over shared democratic values, instead of playing up the differences. • Pluralism and tolerance should be encouraged in the public and media debate.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Treaties and Agreements, Public Opinion, Europeanization, Polarization
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eurasia, Georgia
  • Author: Tamta Gelashvili, Helge Blakkisrud, Nino Kemoklidze
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: De facto states – unrecognized secessionist entities that eke out a living on the margins of the international system – are often heavily dependent on external patron states for economic aid and investment. When the parent state – the state that the de facto state seeks to break away from – responds to the secessionist attempt by imposing sanctions or economic blockades, this further exacerbates such dependency. Moreover, due to their lack of international recognition, de facto states often have limited opportunities to engage with the outside world beyond the patron and the parent state. However, closer examination of one such de facto state, Abkhazia, reveals that de facto states can enjoy some bounded independent economic agency. Abkhazia’s maneuvering between Russia as “patron,” Georgia as “parent state,” and the wider international community (here exemplified by the EU) in the sphere of trade and economic interaction has important implications for de-facto state conflict transformation.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Economics, Emerging States, Trade
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia
  • Author: Jakub M. Godzimirski
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: This Policy Brief presents the most recent data on the performance of the Russian energy sector and discusses its strategic importance in the current setting.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy, Grand Strategy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia
  • Author: Jakub M. Godzimirski
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: This research paper examines the critical external and internal challenges that faced NATO at its 70th anniversary, and how the policies of two members – Norway and Poland – can influence the internal cohesion of the Alliance and thus its ability to provide security to all its members. The survival of NATO as a viable security actor will depend on its capacity to maintain internal cohesion, a crucial factor influencing its ability to address external risks, challenges and threats in the increasingly turbulent international environment. This study places the debate in the broader context of discussion on alliance survivability in general, maps the external and internal challenges facing the Alliance after seven decades of its existence, and examines possible risks that the policies of Norway and Poland may pose to NATO’s internal cohesion and thus its ability to react to external challenges.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Alliance
  • Political Geography: Europe, Norway, Poland
  • Author: Mathilde Tomine Eriskdatter Giske
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: This research paper examines the concept 'resilience' as a response to the constantly changing environments and turbulence of the world. While resilience is used by several international organisations and nation states, there is still a lack of consensus regarding what the concept really means – it denotes both resisting change and being willing to adapt at the same time. This paper offers some clarity and argues that a temporal dimension is needed when applying the concept of resilience.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, International Organization, European Union, Pandemic, Resilience, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Stein Sundstol Eriksen
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In 2017–2018, NUPI (the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs) headed a project where political economy analyses were undertaken in eleven of Norway’s partner countries. These analyses were published as eleven separate reports. The reports focused on power relations and political developments in the partner countries, but they also analyzed the nature of governance. After the publication of the World Bank’s Worldwide Governance Indicators for 2019, the MFA approached NUPI and requested that we summarize the findings of this report for Norway’s eleven partner countries and assess these findings in light of the political economy analyses. We were also asked to investigate whether there were any connections between the nature and quality of governance on the one hand, and the nature of social policies and the human rights situation on the other. This report presents the findings of this assessment of the governance scores in the light of the above-mentioned political economy analyses. The report is structured as follows: Firstly, after briefly describing the governance indictors used by the World Bank, we summarize the eleven countries’ scores on the various governance indicators. Secondly, we assess the evolution of governance in the eleven countries, by comparing the scores in the 2019 report with those from 2011. Thirdly, we summarize the findings of the political economy analyses of the eleven countries and discuss how they fit with the governance scores. Finally, we present the eleven countries’ expenditure on social policies, as reported in the ILOs World Social Protection Report, and the human rights situation for the partner countries, and then describe how these findings relate to the governance scores.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Political Economy, Governance, Social Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Norway
  • Author: Natasja Rupesinghe, Mikael Hiberg Naghizadeh, Corentin Cohen
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The ways in which jihadist insurgents in the Sahel govern is rarely considered in the academic literature. They have often been portrayed as ‘Islamic terrorists’, who achieve their objectives by using brutal force against the civilian population and who finance their activities through criminal networks and activities. However, scattered empirical evidence reveals a different picture. Jihadist insurgents, like other insurgent groups, often use a variety of strategies to rule territory and populations. The scale, character and form of how such groups govern differs not only between countries but also at the sub-national level within the same group. Nevertheless, until recently jihadist insurgent governance in Africa and particularly the Sahel region has largely been overlooked. This synthesis reviews the existing literature on jihadist governance in West Africa, with a particular emphasis on the understudied region of the Sahel. The review is organised as follows: first, we clarify key concepts and provide definitions. Second, we provide a brief overview of Islam and politics in the Sahel, contextualising the rise of Salafist-jihadism as well as historical cases of jihadist governance. Third, we provide a brief overview of the literature and synthesise the existing research on jihadist insurgent governance in the Sahel. Fourth, we examine some key cases of jihadist governance in northern Mali, Nigeria and the Liptako-Gourma region straddling Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger. Finally, we conclude by summarising our findings, discussing the implications for the study of civil war and insurgency and consider avenues for future research.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Terrorism, Governance, Jihad
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • 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
  • Author: Karsten Friis
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The establishment of the European Defence Fund (EDF) represents an important step towards a more coherent European security architecture. It is broadly recognised that Europe needs to reduce duplication between, as well as the number of, weapons systems and platforms. The EU recently opened up for associated countries to participate in the Fund, but the Norwegian government has failed to set aside money for the EDF, despite official policy to participate.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, European Union, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, Norway
  • Author: Julie Wilhelmsen
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: After the crises in Ukraine, and despite the Georgian government’s allegedly more pragmatic attitude towards Russia, official statements from Moscow increasingly project Georgia as hostile. This may be the result of the Kremlin stepping up a propaganda campaign to put pressure on Georgia, but it is also linked to growing perceptions of Georgia as becoming an agent of NATO. Moreover, Russia’s increasingly insistent rhetorical and practical support for the independent status of the two Georgian breakaway republics, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, is still framed with reference to Kosovo as a tit-for-tat in a conflict with the West. In parallel with this hardening in Russian views, there is hardly any diplomatic contact between Russia and Georgia. The regional multilateral frameworks have become dysfunctional, obstructed by polarization. Further Georgian NATO integration could entail an increasing risk of war, unless frank discussions and engagement with Russia can be promoted.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, NATO, Proxy War
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eurasia, Georgia
  • Author: Vibeke Schou Tjalve, Minda Holm
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • 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: International Relations, Foreign Policy, NATO, Military Affairs, Trade
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, North America, Central Europe, United States of America
  • Author: Hans Jørgen Gåsemyr
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: China’s role as an international development actor is growing, with real and increasing potential to impact Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). On some issues, Chinese initiatives align well with Norwegian interests, but China’s approach to development also diverges on some key practices and norms. While Chinese international efforts meet mixed reactions, Norway should stake out its own course for when and how to engage with China over SDGs.
  • Topic: Development, International Organization, United Nations, Sustainable Development Goals
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Norway, Asia
  • Author: Cedric H. de Coning
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The African Union is coordinating the effort to contain the spread of COVID-19 in Africa, but the measures introduced are also significantly disrupting the reforms, programmes and operations of the AU.
  • Topic: International Organization, African Union, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Jakub M. Godzimirski
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: This policy brief presents the main findings of a project on Russian approaches to technological challenges, and the implications for security developments in the High North. It begins by examining the Russian debate on the technological challenges identified as posing a threat to national security by the country’s policymakers. Next, it explores how these challenges have been dealt with by Russia in the post-2014 context, paying special attention to developments in the field of military technology and how President Putin has taken advantage of these to address questions of strategic balance. Finally, the brief sets out the strategic implications for Norway, as NATO’s representative in this northern corner and Russia’s direct neighbour.
  • Topic: Development, Military Affairs, Vladimir Putin
  • Political Geography: Russia, Norway
  • Author: Cedric H. de Coning
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Between the African Union, European Union, OSCE, NATO and United Nations there are approximately 160,000 civilian, police and military personnel deployed in more than 50 missions. These missions have all been forced to take unprecedented steps to adapt and cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. This may be just the beginning and much more significant reductions and changes in the way these operations function may be needed over the coming months.
  • Topic: United Nations, International Affairs, European Union, African Union, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Stein Sundstol Eriksen
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Summary: • The pandemic and lockdowns threaten the supply of medicines, especially from India • Poor countries relying on supplies of cheap Indian medicines are especially vulnerable • New medicines and vaccines are likely to be developed and patented by Western companies and will be expensive. • Norway should help fund the supply of medicines and promote reforms of patent rules to make medicines more affordable
  • Topic: Political Economy, Asia, Vaccine, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: China, South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Frida Bjørneseth, Morten Bøås, Henriette U. Erstad, Alessia Iocchi, Kari M. Osland
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: What lessons can we draw from the 2014-2016 Ebola crisis in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone? While both the outbreak itself and the context is different, there are enough similarities between the Ebola crisis and COVID-19 to extract useful lessons and best practices. In this research note, the focus is on three key lessons from the Ebola experience: community engagement, crisis communication and countering the rumour mill. In the world’s most fragile states, an uncontrolled outbreak of COVID-19 would have devastating consequences for the population. In a scenario where the spread of the coronavirus is under control in large parts of the world, the survival of COVID-19 in fragile states would also most certainly be a source for new waves of infections to the rest of the world. Not only do fragile states lack capacity to react adequately on their own, but their ability to utilise external support and assistance is limited due to low absorption capacity.
  • Topic: Ebola, Crisis Management, Public Health, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Africa, West Africa
  • Author: Kari M. Osland, Arthur Boutellis
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Recent years have seen important developments regarding the UN Security Council and the UN Secretariat. The Security Council, which has increasingly recognized organized crime as a serious threat to international peace and security—especially in relation to terrorism—has begun using sanctions to deal with organized crime and trafficking in Mali and Libya. Further, serious and organized crime (SOC) police units have been established in several UN field operations, including in the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Mali. However, there is still no UN-wide policy on organized crime, and the issue has been conspicuously absent from recent strategic documents such as the Action for Peacekeeping Declaration (A4P). This report argues that there is need for a UN system-wide approach to peace operations for preventing and addressing organized crime, and its links to terrorism. To achieve this, UN member states and the UN Secretariat should seek to consolidate and broaden its nascent law enforcement capacity- building police approach into a context sensitive, system-wide approach. Six specific recommendations for the way forward are offered.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, International Organization, United Nations, Peace, Organized Crime
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Cedric H. de Coning
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly disrupted UN peacekeeping operations. In the short-term, activities have been reduced to the most critical, rotations have been frozen, and most staff are working remotely. Most of the missions have adapted remarkably well, but even more extreme changes are likely in the medium term, as the global economic recession that will follow in the wake of the virus may force UN peace operations to drastically contract in size and scope.
  • Topic: United Nations, Peacekeeping, Peace, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Africa, Global Focus
  • Author: Kari M. Osland, Maria Gilen Røysamb, Jenny Nortvedt
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Summary: • Women appear to be disproportionately affected by Covid-19 • Pushback on global commitment to gender equality • Gender equality and human development are correlated: focussing on gender equality will have a catalytic effect on the SDGs • The increasing strain on peace operations is likely to have a negative effect on the WPS agenda.
  • Topic: Security, International Organization, United Nations, Women, Peace, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Global Focus