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  • Publication Date: 01-2022
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: First, a lack of effective internal control prevents external oversight bodies, such as parliamentary committees, from fulfilling their role effectively. Intelligence service managers play a crucial role in facilitating scrutiny by oversight bodies not only by ensuring that major infractions are reported to the appropriate authority, but also by creating an environment that encourages cooperation with oversight bodies. Second, while transparency is essential to maintaining democratic control of government, intelligence services require a significant degree of secrecy to be effective. Consequently, intelligence services are subject to highly restricted oversight, unlike other public institutions. Effective internal control is therefore essential to rectify this inherent (and unavoidable) imbalance by ensuring that the day-to-day work of intelligence services is carried out in accordance with the law and with respect for human rights. Third, to avoid undue influence and ensure independent, objective analysis, intelligence services must retain a degree of autonomy from the executive. Executive control over intelligence services is therefore sometimes less pronounced, meaning that effective internal control is vital to ensuring intelligence services act within the rule of law. For the above reasons, intelligence services should be subject to both effective oversight and internal control. This Thematic Brief addresses the latter by examining internal control systems used in Euro-Atlantic countries.
  • Topic: Security, Intelligence, Military Strategy, Governance, Rule of Law
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Plamen Pantev
  • Publication Date: 02-2022
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Institute for Security and International Studies (ISIS)
  • Abstract: Unless we change and improve the quality of the international relations system (IRS) – the political toolbox for building a community with a shared future for mankind, for more effective global governance and for a more balanced global partnership for development, we shall miss the historic chance and still open window of opportunity to reach these lofty goals. How to shape such a better functioning IRS? What are its invariant characteristics in the second decade of the 21st century?
  • Topic: International Relations, Governance, International Relations Theory, Strategic Competition, Power
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Josh Rudolph
  • Publication Date: 01-2022
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMFUS)
  • Abstract: Kleptocracies do not stop at their own borders. The same actors, networks, tactics, and resources that they wield to prevent democracy and rule of law from sprouting at home are also repurposed for foreign aggression. While cronies, oligarchs, and lesser operatives do get rich in the process, “strategic corruption” is chiefly a geopolitical weapon directed by autocratic regimes to secretly undermine the sovereignty of other countries. The three most common manifestations of strategic corruption vary on a spectrum of how directly and boldly they violate sovereignty and subvert democratic processes. Starting with the most indirect and chronic form of strategic corruption, Russia and China invest “corrosive capital” throughout Eastern Europe and the Belt and Road Initiative, respectively. They use corrupt patronage networks and opaque business dealings to spread their kleptocratic model of authoritarian governance. Those corrupt investments are usually also supported by tactics of “malign influence,” like when a minister or politician receives bribes or economic threats until they censor their political speech, advance a foreign policy initiative, or otherwise subordinate the legitimate sovereign interests entrusted to them by their own people in favor of the interests of a foreign power. Finally, the most direct and acute form of strategic corruption involves financial methods of election interference and other tactics of corrupting democratic processes. Often funded with the proceeds of kleptocracy, election interference through covert political financing has become the bailiwick of Kremlin-directed oligarchs. Separate from those three manifestations of strategic corruption—corrosive capital, malign influence, and election interference—China and Russia try to hide their dirty money and malign activities by pressuring foreign journalists into silence through surveillance, thuggery, and lawsuits. Western foreign assistance has not yet offered a coherent response to kleptocracy and strategic corruption, but that is starting to change under the Biden administration. Building resilience to this transnational threat through foreign aid will require four new approaches that are more political and coordinated than traditional development assistance. First, aid should be informed by local political analysis. More important and less used than technical reviews of laws and institutions, political analysis should center anti-corruption efforts around known corrupt activity. That starts by asking sensitive questions about which individuals, institutions, and sectors are the most corrupt, how extensively their networks of wealth and power span, and which corrupt figures must be held accountable to thoroughly purge grand corruption. Second, aid should be responsive to political shifts, scaling up and down, respectively, in response to windows of opportunity for anti-corruption reform and times of backsliding toward kleptocracy. Third, aid responses to kleptocracy should be coordinated at the regional and global levels, similarly to how grand corruption operates across borders through transnational networks of actors and tools. Fourth, anti-corruption programming should be deeply integrated across the traditional sectors of assistance, particularly health, infrastructure, energy, climate, and security. Some of these new approaches are already being prioritized under the Biden administration’s new strategy to combat corruption, particularly coordinating across tools and sectors to fight transnational corruption. But operationalizing this mission will be no small endeavor, given that anti-corruption assistance is delivered through a notoriously technocratic and apolitical bureaucracy built during the Cold War to aid socioeconomic development in individual countries steadily over decades. But getting this right offers the key to defending democracies from autocratic aggression, showing how democracy can deliver, and even helping bring foreign policy and domestic politics into alignment for the first time in a generation.
  • Topic: Corruption, Development, Finance, Kleptocracy
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Eastern Europe, Global Focus
  • Author: Alan McPherson
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Strategic Visions
  • Institution: Center for the Study of Force and Diplomacy, Temple University
  • Abstract: Contents News from the Director Fall 2020 Lecture Series ……………2 Fall 2020 Prizes …………………….3 Funding and the Immerman Fund ….3 Note from the Davis Fellow …………4 Temple Community Interviews Dr. Joel Blaxland …………………5 Dr. Kaete O’Connell ……………….6 Jared Pentz ………………………….7 Brian McNamara …………………8 Keith Riley …………………………9 Book Reviews Kissinger and Latin America: Intervention, Human Rights, and Diplomacy Review by Graydon Dennison …10 America’s Middlemen: Power at the Edge of Empire Review by Ryan Langton ……13 Anthropology, Colonial Policy and the Decline of French Empire in Africa Review by Grace Anne Parker ...16 Latin America and the Global Cold War Review by Casey VanSise ……19
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Human Rights, Military Intervention, Empire
  • Political Geography: United States, France, Latin America, Global Focus
  • Author: Melinda K. Abrams, Reginald D. Williams II, Katharine Fields, Roosa Tikkanen
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Commonwealth Fund
  • Abstract: About one-quarter of U.S. adults report having a mental health diagnosis such as anxiety or depression or experiencing emotional distress. This is one of the highest rates among 11 high-income countries. While U.S. adults are among the most willing to seek professional help for emotional distress, they are among the most likely to report access or affordability issues. Emotional distress is associated with social and economic needs in all countries. Nearly half of U.S. adults who experience emotional distress report such worries, a higher share than seen in other countries. The United States has some of the worst mental health–related outcomes, including the highest suicide rate and second-highest drug-related death rate. The U.S. has a relatively low supply of mental health workers, particularly psychologists and psychiatrists. Just one-third of U.S. primary care practices have mental health professionals on their team, compared to more than 90 percent in the Netherlands and Sweden.
  • Topic: Health, Health Care Policy, Mental Health, Drugs, Substance Abuse
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Global Focus
  • Author: Marijke Verpoorten, Nik Stoop
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Political Violence @ A Glance
  • Abstract: On January 1, 2021, the European Conflict Minerals Act came into force. It aims to regulate the trade in four minerals—tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold, also known as 3TG—that are often sourced from conflict-affected countries where the profits may allow armed groups to finance their activities. The regulation aims to break the link between minerals and conflict by ensuring that European Union (EU)-based companies only import minerals from conflict-free sources. If companies import minerals from conflict regions, the law requires them to report where the minerals were mined, the location of processing and trade, and the taxes and fees that were paid.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Conflict, Minerals
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Global Philanthropy Project (GPP)
  • Abstract: As COVID-19 spread across the globe in 2020, and its health and broader political and socioeconomic implications became evident, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI)2 communities organized. To meet new challenges, LGBTI organizations across the world stepped up, aware that legal and social discrimination and marginalization would make their communities particularly vulnerable to impacts of the pandemic. LGBTI community response included: delivering essential food to communities of unemployed trans men in rural Guatemala; providing housing for LGBTI communities escaping unsafe living environments in Macedonia; ensuring that lesbian, bisexual, and queer female sex workers have access to essential medicines in Uganda; and other examples in communities around the world. As governments, donors, and service providers have largely failed to acknowledge the specific needs of LGBTI people in responding to COVID-19, LGBTI organizations have filled the void to provide basic protection and support for their communities. Many of these organizations have traditionally focused on advocacy and community organizing to advance and protect the human rights of LGBTI people. Now, in the era of COVID-19, they have become direct service providers, out of necessity—albeit with limited resources and capacity. In April 2020, the Global Philanthropy Project launched a short survey to understand the initial response of global LGBTI philanthropy to the pandemic, soliciting data from all GPP member organizations as well as non-GPP members within the top 20 funders of global LGBTI issues. A key outcome from that report was an identified role for GPP to monitor shifts in resources flowing to LGBTI movements and communities, as well as the broader impact of COVID-19 on international development and humanitarian assistance funding.
  • Topic: Health, Discrimination, LGBT+, Advocacy, Community, Marginalization
  • Political Geography: Global Focus, Global South
  • Author: Nina von Uexkull, Halvard Buhaug
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Political Violence @ A Glance
  • Abstract: While former US President Donald Trump frequently denied man-made climate change, the Biden administration has pledged to make climate change a priority, including for national security. In line with years of thinking within the defense sector, the Biden-Harris team refers to climate change as a “threat multiplier,” pointing to risks of regional instability and resource competition driven by worsening environmental conditions. This perspective also aligns with the initiatives of other countries that have pushed climate security in the UN Security Council and other international bodies.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Climate Change, International Security, Conflict, Armed Conflict
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: R2P Monitor is a bimonthly bulletin applying the atrocity prevention lens to populations at risk of mass atrocities around the world. Issue 55 looks at developments in Afghanistan, Cameroon, the Central Sahel (Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger), China, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen, Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Myanmar (Burma), Nigeria and South Sudan.
  • Topic: International Law, Responsibility to Protect (R2P), Atrocities
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, China, Yemen, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mozambique, Syria, Venezuela, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Mali, Myanmar, South Sudan, Cameroon, Sahel, Central African Republic, Global Focus, Niger, Burkina Faso
  • Author: O. Shamanov
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs: A Russian Journal of World Politics, Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: East View Information Services
  • Abstract: Issues concerning global climate change – by objective criteria, one of the most serious environmental threats of our time – have for many years been filling the top slots of the international agenda, and the political tem- perature of debates on this topic remains at the highest degree. Soon a new milestone will be reached on the thorny path of the inter- national climate process: on December 31, 2020, the Doha Amendment to the kyoto Protocol of the united nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (unFCCC) comes into force.1 this document extends the time frame of the kyoto Protocol from 2013 to 2020 (hence its unofficial title, kyoto-2) and contains a whole set of amendments to the kyoto guidelines, including updated quantitative criteria for greenhouse gas emission reductions for developed countries. Climate activists will probably schedule their next mass marches for this date, in order to mark this "historic" stage in the fight against global warming. Leaders from a number of states are expected to make bold new calls to “set the bar high” for the sake of averting a global climate col- lapse. But what remains hidden behind the scenes? What are the root caus- es of such a paradoxical situation, in which kyoto-2 is going into effect at the very end of its second commitment period?
  • Topic: Climate Change, Diplomacy, Environment, International Cooperation, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Global Focus