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  • Author: Dina Smeltz
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Abstract: Over the past 12 months, there have been more discussions between South Korean, US, and North Korean officials about Pyongyang’s potential denuclearization than at any time since the Six-Party Talks in 2006 and 2007. Exactly where those discussions are headed is unclear. But in South Korea, the public generally sees an improvement in the South Korean security situation according to a just-completed Chicago Council on Global Affairs survey. As a result, support for South Korea developing its own nuclear weapon appears to have waned, though a slight majority remains in favor. Despite what seems to be a slight sense of relief, the South Korean public is skeptical that either Moon or Trump can convince Kim Jong Un to fully denuclearize
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Dana Stroul, Hanin Ghaddar
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Apart from its military intervention, Tehran has pursued a wide range of economic and social tactics for increasing its sway in Syria, but Washington can still push back with targeted assistance, innovative sanctions, and strategic messaging. This PolicyWatch is the first in a two-part series on how to counter Iran’s expanding activities in Syria amid talk of U.S. military withdrawal. Part 2 will discuss the array of Iranian-backed armed groups currently operating there
  • Topic: International Affairs, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu hopes to capture his fifth term in the April 9 national elections, and polls show he has a clear lead over other candidates, retaining support from approximately a quarter of the electorate. Yet it is insufficient to merely have the most votes; to govern, the winner must subsequently cobble together a majority of at least 61 seats in the 120-member Knesset. Netanyahu is also under the shadow of potential corruption indictments pending a hearing that would occur after the elections.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Israel
  • Author: David Pollock
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: As the United States prepares to withdraw its 2,000 troops from Syria, it has one last essential mission to accomplish. Those U.S. forces have fought successfully, hand in hand, with 60,000 Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) against Islamic State terrorists for the past four years. And President Trump’s latest statement about this, on January 2, noted his desire to protect these Kurds. So, despite all obstacles, the United States should still try to protect that brave and loyal militia in the short term, and secure a safer medium-term future for the Syrian Kurds and their local partners.
  • Topic: International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Syria
  • Author: Michael Herzog
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Jerusalem seeks to mitigate the potential risks of the president’s decision by shaping its implementation and obtaining U.S. security guarantees, though long-term concerns still loom. Israeli officials have been careful not to publicly criticize President Trump’s recent announcement that all U.S. military forces will be pulled out of Syria. Below the surface, however, they have exuded dissatisfaction, concern, and a desire to make the best out of the situation. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s initial public response was lukewarm, stating that Israel will continue to take care of its security and “will not abide Iranian entrenchment in Syria.” He followed those remarks with hectic bilateral discussions on the matter, holding a phone call with President Trump, meeting with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on the sidelines of a gathering in Brazil, and hosting National Security Advisor John Bolton in Jerusalem. These discussions elicited U.S. public assurances about Israel’s security and, so it appears, opened opportunities to affect the manner in which Trump’s decision is implemented.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jana Juzová
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: The Visegrad countries have since their own accession to the EU been one of the most active European actors advocating for further EU enlargement towards South- Eastern Europe. On the joint Visegrad-level as well as in their own foreign policies, the Western Balkans have a special position; the V4 countries provided them support on their path of European integration with transfer of know-how based on the V4’s own successful experience with economic and political transformation, regional cooperation and Euro-Atlantic integration. However, the Visegrad approach towards the Western Balkans is now being undermined and is losing its legitimacy due to several factors outlined in this paper. In spite of the positive impact of the Visegrad policy towards Western Balkans1, recent trends, such as worsening state of democracy in Hungary, Hungarian PM Orbán’s connections to autocratic leaders in the region (recently granting the asylum to former Macedonian PM Gruevski who escaped to Hungary from a jail sentence at home) are weakening not only Visegrad’s legitimacy as advocate for transformation of the region and its integration into the Euro-Atlantic structures, but also the normative power of the EU. Other V4 countries’ indifference towards this trend coupled with Poland’s new involvement in the Berlin Process framework, another EU member states’ initiative focused on the Western Balkans, only contribute to raising doubts about the commitment and legitimacy of Visegrad’s Western Balkan policy.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: The conflict in Sudan is now between two competing visions: where Bashir believes no political change is needed to address the crisis, the protestors are adamant that it can only be resolved with his departure. The question is which of these two positions will be victorious.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Sudan
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: Trump’s decision leaves the Kurdish nationalists of the KDP defenceless and, with their patron gone, will likely cause splits among Arab forces allied with Kurdish militiamen. Regionally, it sends a message to US allies in the Gulf about the Trump’s commitment to the Iran-containment strategy.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Kurdistan
  • Author: Jasmine El-Gamal
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: European Council On Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: European governments must decide when and how to protect Syrian refugees who are voluntarily returning home They should do so using their remaining levers of influence in Syria, in line with European interests and UNHCR protection parameters. European engagement on voluntary refugee returns should be limited, cautious, and conditional. Europe must work with Middle Eastern host countries to prevent forced refugee returns. European governments must talk to all relevant stakeholders in the Syrian conflict, particularly Russia.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Affairs, Refugee Crisis
  • Political Geography: Syria
  • Author: Asli Aydıntaşbaş
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: European Council On Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: European fears of Turkish expansionism in the Western Balkans have no basis in reality. Turkey spots opportunity in the region – yet it actually wants the Western Balkans inside the EU and NATO.The AKP’s approach once deserved a ‘neo-Ottoman’ tag, but Erdogan has since refocused on personalised diplomacy and pragmatic relations. Western Balkans governments remain reluctant to act on Turkey’s behalf by pursuing Gulenists, despite overall warm ties. Europeans should cease questioning Ankara’s motives and work on shared goals instead – hugging Turkey close and keeping it out of Russia’s embrace
  • Topic: Civil War, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Balkans
  • Author: Jacopo Maria Pepe
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP)
  • Abstract: Could China’s quiet but steadily rising penetration of Central Europe bear risks for the EU? Certainly, Beijing is using the region as a gateway to Western Europe’s markets while including the EU in its “Eurasian” integration project. But a deepening trade triangle of China, Germany, and Central European countries could put other EU countries at an economic disadvantage. Germany must address this risk, carefully balancing national interest and European cohesion.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Sergei Markedonov
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP)
  • Abstract: The outbreak of fighting in April 2016 between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the breakaway republic of Nagorno-Karabakh introduced new uncertainty to the South Caucasus. Russia’s policies are crucial here, just as they are in the region’s other ethno-political conflicts, in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. This insider’s perspective on the Kremlin’s involvement in the South Caucasus highlights Russia's security concerns. The post-Soviet neighborhood's different conflict zones require a differentiated approach.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: As Israel's April elections draw near and Palestinians continue looking toward presidential and legislative votes of their own, it is the responsibility of pollsters to identify changes in public attitudes on both sides and in the wider Arab arena. To discuss what recent surveys can tell us about the Israeli-Palestinian political climate, the prospects for renewed momentum toward peace, and related issues, The Washington Institute is pleased to host a Policy Forum with three renowned pollsters, Nader Said, Tamar Hermann, and David Pollock.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Israel
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: On April 5, Women of Color Advancing Peace, Security and Conflict Transformation (WCAPS) and the Foreign Policy program at The Brookings Institution hosted a discussion on the implications of this complex political environment in which domestic and foreign policy decisions influence each other.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Gentiola Madhi
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: Gentiola Madhi authored, within the Think Visegrad Non-V4 Fellowship programme, an analysis on the state of the affairs of regional cooperation in the Western Balkans.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Michael B Greenwald
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Many view the Belt and Road Initiative as the most geoeconomically significant infrastructure project since the Marshall Plan. Promising alternative trade routes, abundant capital flows, and advanced infrastructure to the developing world, the program has scaled significantly since its inception in 2013.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Michael B Greenwald
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Saudi Vision 2030 — Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s bid to diversify his nation’s oil-dependent economy — is one of the most consequential development plans in modern history. So it was no surprise to see MbS, as he is known, grinning with Chinese leaders during his Asian investment trip last month. As Chinese officials raved about the “enormous potential” of the Saudi economy, Saudi officials praised the compatibility of Chinese and Saudi cultures, and MbS even defended China’s maltreatment of Muslim Uighurs
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Michael B Greenwald
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: We can envision the advent of a new economic revolution forming in the Shia crescent as a new, cohesive political force in the Middle East between Sunni Gulf Arabs and Israel by deepening rapprochement to counter Iran’s expansion. Alongside years of discreet contact and informal diplomatic backchannels between Gulf Countries and Israel, the future portends closer economic links between these power blocs. With the combination of Israeli technology and Gulf capital, there is no shortage of synergies eager to be developed, as Gulf States explore new visionary economic reforms looking beyond a dependence on oil revenues.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Israel
  • Author: Philippe Le Corre
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Kazakhstan is one of China’s direct neighbours, and a prominent one by size and border. As the Chinese proverb states, “a close neighbour is more valuable than a distant relative”,[1] hence the importance of Sino-Kazakh ties, especially at a time when Beijing tries to promote its “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI) across Eurasia. The country has a 1782.75 km-long border with China, and shares much history and people with the former Middle Kingdom. Although data is sparse, it is known that many Uyghurs –the main tribe of Xinjiang, China’s troubled autonomous region – live in Kazakhstan. There are also ethnic Kazakhs living on the Chinese side, in Xinjiang (many of them facing great political difficulties, if not persecutions).
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Djavad Salehi-Isfahani
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The Islamic Republic of Iran marks its 40th anniversary this week. But, with the country beset by a severe economic crisis, the question on everyone’s lips –within Iran and the diaspora alike – seems to be whether the Islamic Revolution has actually improved Iranians’ lives.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Martin S. Feldstein
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Earlier this month, the Federal Reserve’s policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee voted unanimously to increase the short-term interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point, taking it from 2.25% to 2.5%. This was the fourth increase in 12 months, a sequence that had been projected a year ago, and the FOMC members also indicated that there would be two more quarter-point increases in 2019. The announcement soon met with widespread disapproval.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Financial Markets
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Muhammad Ferdaus Momand
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Centre for European Security Studies
  • Abstract: Afghanistan was/is a conservative country. Some of the Afghan kings and rulers started to open a chapter of relations with the outside world by bringing modern tools and technologies to the country. Foreign and strange arts for that time like photography were not really welcomed by the conservative and strongly religious people of the country. People used to think that if you take a photo, you become “Kafir”, which means “infidel” because photography and taking pictures are not allowed in Islam and as mentioned above, the majority of the people were conservative Muslims
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan
  • Author: Julia Hamann
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP)
  • Abstract: More fragmented than ever, Europe is at a crossroads, making the 2019 European Parliament election an immensely political event. Stakes are high for Emmanuel Macron, Matteo Salvini and Viktor Orbán, all of whom could shake up the balance of power in the EP. Macron has lost much of his initial vigor, and the disruptive potential of Salvini and Orbán is significant. If played well, their combined power could send shock waves across all European institutions
  • Topic: Elections, Democracy, Europe Union
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Julia Hamann, Sara Jakob
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP)
  • Abstract: For many young people in France, President Macron’s reforms failed to alleviate their social anxieties. Unemployment remains high, employment conditions precarious, and what started as a protest against new fuel taxes quickly spilled over to other reform areas including social policy. Macron will need to gain the youngsters’ trust ahead of the European Parliament election – not least because its outcome will decisively shape his domestic credibility, and consequently, his political fate
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Elena DeLozier
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: By benefiting from questionable wartime revenue streams and outright corruption, both the Houthi rebels and the U.S.-supported Hadi government are inhibiting a transition to peace. The latest UN Panel of Experts report on Yemen raises new red flags about potential threats to near-term conflict resolution and stabilization. In addition to questioning the cohesiveness of government and rebel forces, it anecdotally details the rise of a robust, mafia-like war economy that creates disincentives for peace on both sides. The panel’s conclusions include a new, particularly damning assessment of Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi’s government and its local affiliates, while also reiterating extant concerns about the Saudi-led coalition and the Houthi rebels.
  • Topic: Civil War, International Security
  • Political Geography: Yemen
  • Author: Joseph Braude
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: A new opportunity has emerged to roll back generations of antisemitic and rejectionist messaging in Arab media, mosques, and schools. It stems from the convergence of interests between Israel and Arab powers, a youthful Arab grassroots trend in favor of a “peace between peoples,” and new Israeli and American Jewish capacities to engage Arab public discussions from the outside in. But prospects for change remain severely constrained: In addition to the effects of the Israeli-Palestinian stalemate, the legacy of antisemitic brainwashing endures in many Arab institutions and draws further energy from Iranian and jihadist information operations. Meanwhile, proponents of a positive shift lack coordination, planning, and adequate support. In Reclamation: A Cultural Policy for Arab-Israeli Partnership, Joseph Braude documents the opportunity as well as the obstacles, and then proposes a strategy to accelerate progress. He explains how to engage Arab allies in a coordinated communications reform effort, support independent Arab champions of civil relations with Israel and Jews, expand the “outside-in” capacities, and degrade Iranian and jihadist channels of indoctrination within the region.
  • Topic: International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Craig Kafura
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Abstract: The federal government remains in a partial shutdown, the longest in US history, as President Trump and Democrats in Congress are deadlocked over funding for expanding the border wall with Mexico. A just-completed Chicago Council Survey shows that both sides have the backing of their public constituencies, but the President’s insistence on this topic has not boosted support for the expansion among the general public. Overall more Americans now oppose expanding the US-Mexico border wall since last asked in 2016.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: The extraordinary criticism that Saudi Arabia is under holds the potential for the US Congress enacting legislation against OPEC. Anti-trust legislation would have turbulent impact on the global energy market in that such pressure could lead members withdrawing from OPEC.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: Since 2017, the decline of social capital in Morocco represents a tree that hides a forest. We are now at an interlocking point of two negative trends in this decline: one is political vertical, and the other is societal horizontal.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Morocco
  • Author: Anna Jacobs
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: Morocco’s migration policy reflects of the interconnectedness of foreign policy priorities, desired reform and the reality of domestic politics. Morocco has positioned itself as a counterterrorism and migration ally for Europe; while leaning toward the African Union, and African markets.
  • Topic: International Relations, Migration, International Affairs, Global Security
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Fatima Al-Smadi
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: The sanctions affect Iran in many ways, not only in economic terms. This paper examines the impact of sanctions on Iran’s domestic and foreign policy.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Gabriel Cederberg, Jordan D'Amato
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: American democracy is under attack. From the daily news to our social media feeds, nation-state competitors target the United States and its citizens, seeking to fuel division and chaos at home while undermining our interests abroad and our will to defend them. It is critical that policymakers and citizens understand these threats and how to counter them. This playbook seeks to ensure that U.S. citizens, not foreign actors, determine the future of U.S. democracy.
  • Topic: Global Focus
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development sets peace, justice and strong institutions as goals for the international community to work toward, along with participatory decision-making at all levels and equal representation and participation of women in public affairs (Goals 5.5 and 16.7).1 The Human Rights Council stressed “the critical importance of equal and effective participation in political and public affairs for democracy, the rule of law, social inclusion, economic development and advancing gender equality, and for the realization of all human rights and fundamental freedoms.” 2 As part of their broad mandate to protect and promote human rights, national human rights institutions (NHRIs) have a key role to play in protecting and promoting the right to participate in public affairs.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: Election observation is the process by which parties, candidates, citizen groups or independent organizations deploy observers to witness the electoral process. Different types of observers have very different goals for watching an election. While observers from political parties seek to ensure that election administration does not disadvantage their campaigns, nonpartisan observers focus on checking compliance with election administration regulations. Credible nonpartisan observers are interested in promoting integrity, transparency, and efficiency in the electoral process and have no stake in the political outcome.During contentious or highly competitive elections, impartial observation can provide an important avenue for reliable feedback about which aspects of an election went well and what parts could improve
  • Topic: International Affairs, Democracy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Burak Akçapar
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation, New York University
  • Abstract: Since the launch of the Mediation for Peace initiative by Turkey and Finland in 2010, there has been an upsurge of activity at the United Nations (UN) and several regional organizations to promote mediation as a conflict resolution method. The UN General Assembly, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) have set out to develop mediation norms, procedures, and capacities. The assets and motivations of international actors, including foremost nation states, to provide mediation services as part of their foreign policy have been widely studied. However, the actual role played by specific leading nations in the promotion of mediation at international forums lacks a framework of analysis. This essay aims to fill this gap by employing the concept of “policy entrepreneurship” to explain the role of individual actors in transforming the politics, norms, and capacities that pertain to mediation. In this regard, the article discusses Turkey’s activities in the field of mediation and their transformative outcomes in a bid to test the proposed framework. It concludes that as the only country that co-chairs the friends of mediation groups simultaneously in the UN, the OSCE and the OIC, the distinguishing contribution of Turkey as a policy entrepreneur lies in its efforts to feed and shape the normative basis and capacities of international peace mediation efforts.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Sarah Cliffe
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation, New York University
  • Abstract: UN Secretary-General António Guterres was appointed in 2016 on an explicit reform platform. In 2017, we published commentaries on his reform proposals. Now that those reforms that have been approved are moving into implementation, we publish this simple guide to what has been achieved and the potential potholes still ahead.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Riva Kantowitz
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation, New York University
  • Abstract: This article, continuing CIC's work of exploring innovative finance for sustaining peace, examines important related conversations in the humanitarian and peacebuilding sectors, and efforts and tools in finance that could be utilized for sustaining peace. It also examines potential gamechangers such as blockchain and artificial intelligence—technologies and methods that have the potential to radically shift the way in which these tools are employed.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Kinga Szálkai
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Security and Defense Studies (BHKK)
  • Abstract: Since the beginning of the 1990s, political Islam is perceived as a revitalized force of modernity and as a counter-hegemonistic force. The issue, in the form of the worrisome emergence of radical Islamism, has also been present in the context of Central Asia. Around the turn of the 21st century, mainly due to 9/11, there was a boom in research dealing with this perceived problem. Uzbekistan was heavily concerned, as it is one of the three Central Asian countries, where the radical Islamist opposition has been significant. Moreover, the proximity to the war- and chaos-ridden Afghanistan also raised awareness towards the Islamist movements in the region
  • Topic: International Affairs, Political Theory
  • Political Geography: Uzbekistan
  • Author: Elvir Mammadov
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Security and Defense Studies (BHKK)
  • Abstract: Iran's international standing is currently under slow, but significant change due to the recently signed nuclear deal with the global powers group of "P5+1". The South Caucasus region will be one of the primary influenced regions by such a sharp turn in the history of Iran. Turning back to the recent history of Iran's foreign policy towards the South Caucasus, it can be seen that Tehran has found itself in unpleasant situation and unprepared to build up effective ties with the countries because of certain objective reasons. Emerged regional conflicts suddenly after the collapse of the Soviet Union between Azerbaijan and Armenia, and in Georgia with its two breakaway territories caused more difficulties for Iran's foreign policy towards the region. The targets put in the beginning for integration into the region has ended up with a defensive and limited position for Iran in the South Caucasus.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Alida Vračić
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: European Council On Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Western Balkans governments have failed to tap the potential of their vast diaspora – six million strong – around the world. This diaspora possesses the networks, skills, and assets that Western Balkans countries need to develop and to prosper in an age of fierce economic competition. Ireland’s experience sets the standard: today’s “Global Irish” population is a networked diaspora that champions Irish interests throughout the world and has made critical contributions to Ireland’s economic miracle. To follow in Irish footsteps, the Western Balkans urgently needs to gather data, including carrying out comprehensive labour force surveys, to understand the diaspora properly and learn how best to communicate with it. The EU must help. It should introduce circular migration programmes so that educated Western Balkans citizens in EU member states return to their home countries fully equippedto make an even greater contribution than they could have done before leaving
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Brexit
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Tasnim Abderrahim
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: European Council On Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: In 2018 Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia roundly rejected EU plans for ‘regional disembarkation platforms’ out of concern: around the cost of hosting migrants on their own soil; for public opinion; and to remind Europe of their own sovereignty. North African governments further point out that they too have migration issues to deal with, including growing pressure on their borders, integration of newcomers, and domestic discontent about migration. While the EU’s concerns about irregular migration are legitimate, the proposal for disembarkation platforms was likely a misstep, as it only fuelled tension in the relationship with its southern neighbours. That said, Europe and North Africa already have a long and mature relationship when it comes to cooperating on migration matters. The 2018 proposal for disembarkation platforms may now be a non-starter. But opportunities remain for the EU to deepen its partnership working with Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia on border control and – although this area is more contested – on migrant returns.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Wendy Cutler
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Asia Society Policy Institute
  • Abstract: Tensions in U.S.-China economic and trade relations have steadily increased over the past year, leading to the imposition of tariffs and counter-tariffs impacting nearly USD $400 billion in two-way trade. At the time of writing, a negotiated solution has yet to materialize, but the two sides have continued to make progress, with a deal seemingly imminent. At the heart of the conflict are challenges posed by China’s state-led economic model, including excessive and under-reported industrial subsidies and other financial assistance, operation of state-owned enterprises (SOEs), opaque regulatory measures that advantage domestic producers, forced technology transfer, and centrally directed strategic guidance
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Kevin Rudd
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Asia Society Policy Institute
  • Abstract: 2018 REPRESENTED A FUNDAMENTAL STRATEGIC TURNING POINT in the 40-year history of U.S.-China relations. This is not just an American view; it is also the Chinese view. Just as it is my own analytical view based on 40 years of observation of this relationship, going back to the time when I was an undergraduate student at the Australian National University. The nature of this change is that the United States, after 40 years of strategic engagement with China following China’s decision under Deng Xiaoping to pursue a domestic policy shift toward economic reform and opening, has concluded that China is no longer a trustworthy strategic partner. The analytical underpinnings of the period of engagement were that China, having embarked upon a series of economic, social, and some political reforms, was incrementally integrating itself into the American-led international rules-based order. This, in turn, was based on China’s decision in 1978 to abandon its policy of support for communist revolutionary movements around the world. This change followed the abandonment of a decade-plus of political radicalism pursued by Mao during the Cultural Revolution. And it followed, perhaps most significantly, China’s decision to embrace one series after another of market-based economic reforms, beginning with the introduction of price-based incentives in agriculture, then light manufacturing, then the services industry before extending across much of the rest of the Chinese economy. On top of this, the normalization of political relations between the United States and China, from Richard Nixon’s visit in 1972 to formal diplomatic recognition under Jimmy Carter in 1979, led to a sustained period of fundamental strategic realignment between China and the United States against a common strategic adversary in the form of the Soviet Union
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Kevin Rudd
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Asia Society Policy Institute
  • Abstract: NEXT WEEK MARKS THE 216TH ANNIVERSARY of the founding of the West Point Military Academy. Its founding came less than 20 years after the defeat of the British at Yorktown in 1781. It followed the decision by President Thomas Jefferson to establish the United States Military Academy just after his inauguration in 1801. Indeed, the United States Continental army first occupied this place on January 27, 1778, two years into the Revolutionary War, when things were not proceeding all that well against the British in that great conflagration. So you have been here at West Point since virtually the first birth-pangs of this great Republic
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Asia Society Policy Institute
  • Abstract: ON JUNE 22–23 2018, THE CHINESE COMMUNIST PARTY concluded its Central Conference on Work Relating to Foreign Affairs, the second since Xi Jinping became General Secretary of the Party and Chairman of the Central Military Commission in November 2012. The last one was held in November 2014. These are not everyday affairs in the Party’s deliberations on the great questions of China’s unfolding global engagement.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Qiyuan Xu
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for World Economics and Politics
  • Abstract: In 2017, the Chinese economy rebounded more significantly than expected. There is now general anticipation that growth in 2018 will fall slightly compared with that of 2017, but that it will remain stable at 6.5 percent or above. However, there are some factors that could lead to downward pressure on investment and consumption in 2018
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Ville Sinkkonen, Mika Aaltola
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Finnish Institute for International Affairs
  • Abstract: Donald Trump’s first year as President has been marked by continuity in US security policy, a partial challenge to the global principles of free trade, and a sea change in commitments to the liberal international order. These reflect a view of the international system as a zero-sum competitive realm.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Political Theory, Capitalism
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: LSE IDEAS
  • Abstract: This LSE IDEAS Special Report - with senior contributors from politics, journalism, and academia - looks at the internal causes and consequences of the return of the 'Middle Kingdom'. It explores the extent to which Deng's momentous economic reforms in 1978 have shaped modern China, what the country's expanded international role under Xi means, and who really makes Chinese foreign policy.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Samantha Custer, Elizabeth M King, Tamar Manuelyan Atinc, Lindsay Read, Kabir Sethi
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Today, 650 million children around the globe are at risk of being left behind as they fail to learn basic skills. Inequitable access to education is part of the problem, but even when children are in school, they may not be learning. In Uganda, for instance, barely half of grade 6 children read at a grade 2 level (Uwezo, 2016). In India, just one in four children enrolled in grade 5 can read a simple sentence or complete simple division problems (ASER Centre, 2017).
  • Topic: Education, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Johannes Lang, Rens van Munster, Robin May Schott
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Disagreements on how to define “autonomy” are stalling formal UN discussions on the compliance of autonomous weapons with international humanitarian law. A pragmatic approach that focuses on the weapon’s critical functions, such as target selection and firing, can help move discussions forward in the future.
  • Topic: International Security
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jean Pascal Zanders
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Geneva Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: This Policy Forum issue analyses both progress made by and challenges facing the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC). It does so in order to explore under what conditions and to what extent these two conventions might help build a zone in the Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their delivery vehicles (DVs). Finally, the issue presents some options for the future and a major long-term initiative towards this ambitious goal.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ana Karen Negrete-García
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper investigates the existence and nature of constraints prevailing among Mexican microenterprises. It provides inter‐temporal insights by relying on firm‐level data span‐ning from 1994 to 2012. A performance index is defined based on firm levels of capital stock and monthly profits, and is used to estimate the empirical probability of a business’s success. The predicted values are used to classify every microenterprise into one of three categories: upper, middle, or lower segment. Overall, the study provides evidence of con‐ strained productivity and capital misallocation. Specifically, middle‐segment firms exhibit entrepreneurial features and their average marginal returns are 15 percent. Because this segment faces mainly external constraints, cost‐effective interventions are plausible. Re‐garding the lower‐segment firms, it is estimated that their average monthly marginal re‐ turns are 30 per cent, compared to 1 per cent for the upper segment. It is also shown that, over time, the share that middle‐segment firms represent relative to all microenterprises increased from 16 to 22 percent. Lastly, the sources of variation in monthly profits among segments are explored using the Oaxaca‐Blinder decomposition method.
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Mexico
  • Author: Hernan Flom
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: In many developing countries with weak formal institutions, sectors within the state protect organized criminal activities, allowing illicit markets to thrive. This article posits that how state actors regulate drug trafficking affects the levels of violence associated with such criminal activity. I argue that political competition influences coordination within the police and leads to different types of regulatory regimes. On the one hand, coordinated forces implement protection rackets that contain violence. On the other, uncoordinated police carry out particularistic negotiations with drug traffickers that exacerbate criminal violence. I illustrate this argument with a subnational comparison of two Argentine provinces, Buenos Aires and Santa Fe, during a period in which both witnessed a surge in drug trafficking but only one (Santa Fe) suffered a dramatic increase in criminal violence. These cases show how corrupt states can obtain relative order in highly fragmented drug markets, and how the police shape the evolution of drug dealing in metropolitan areas.
  • Topic: Corruption, Narcotics Trafficking
  • Political Geography: Argentina
  • Author: Alain Tschudin, Albert Trithart
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: While the importance of good governance to sustaining peace is widely recognized, the focus tends to be on national governance. This overlooks the crucial role of local governance actors, particularly when the central government is fragmented or lacks broad legitimacy. These actors include not only formal institutions like municipal governments but also a mix of other actors that could range from traditional chieftaincies to community-based organizations to religious institutions.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Nadav Shragai
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: A new survey, conducted by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion among the Arabs of east Jerusalem, indicates an increasing desire among the city’s Arab population to participate in upcoming municipal elections.
  • Topic: International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Israel
  • Author: Nadav Shragai
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: A plan to build a Jewish residential neighborhood in Givat Hamatos (Airplane Hill) in southern Jerusalem was approved in 2014, but has been frozen for four years due to pressure from the U.S. and EU countries. The area is adjacent to a main traffic artery of west Jerusalem.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Israel
  • Author: Nadav Shragai
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital puts into deep-freeze plans for a division of the city.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Jerusalem
  • Author: Dahlia Scheindlin
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Mitvim: The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies
  • Abstract: Fresh thinking for old problems: comparing conflicts to advance Israeli-Palestinian peace
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Israel
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Mitvim: The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies
  • Abstract: Israel's Policy toward the Far-Right Party in Austria, Summary of a Knesset Meeting.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Mitvim: The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies
  • Abstract: The Collapse of Israel's Foreign Service, Summary of a Knesset Conference, February 2018
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Mitvim: The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies
  • Abstract: The Crisis in Israel-Jordan Relations, Summary of a Knesset Conference, January 2018
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Nimrod Goren, Roee Kibrik
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Mitvim: The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies
  • Abstract: Voting Patterns in UN Institutions Regarding Israel, 2009-2017, Dr. Roee Kibrik & Dr. Nimrod Goren
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Israel
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Mitvim: The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies
  • Abstract: The 2017 annual conference of the Mitvim Institute was held on 1 November 2017 in Jerusalem, in cooperation with the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung. As part of the conference, a public panel was held on opportunities for Israel’s foreign relations towards 2018. It featured Helit Barel, Prof. Elie Podeh, Dr. Thabet Abu Rass, and Eran Etzion who spoke about issues related to the Iran nuclear deal, Israel-US relations, Israel in the Middle East, the involvement of Israel’s Arab citizens in foreign affairs, Israeli-European relations, and the status of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Israel
  • Author: Niklas Bremberg
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: Research suggests that states and societies around the world are increasingly confronted by climate-related security risks. These risks are unavoidably transnational in character, and intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) are instrumental in developing policy solutions and enhancing international cooperation. However, previous research highlights that knowledge about the conditions under which IGOs address climate security risks, and when they do so effectively, is incomplete. There is a need for further in-depth analysis of relevant IGOs in the field of climate security.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Jaïr van der Lijn
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: Multilateral peace operations are increasingly confronting a set of interrelated and mutually reinforcing security challenges that are relatively new to them, that do not respect borders, and that have causes and effects which cut right across the international security, peacebuilding and development agendas. As a result, the New Geopolitics of Peace Operations III: Non‑Traditional Security Challenges initiative seeks to enhance understanding about peace operations and non-traditional security challenges such as terrorism and violent extremism, irregular migration, piracy, organized crime and environmental degradation. As a part of this initiative, this SIPRI Background Paper explores the ‘non-traditional’ security challenges that organized crime presents to multilateral peace operations.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The United States remains committed to its role as a global leader on humanitarian issues and will continue seeking to avert crises that spawn the need for humanitarian aid, Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan said.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Eleanore Ardemagni, Umberto Profazio
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: Th e reaction of the Arab armies to the 2011 uprisings is a subject that has been frequently examined, but the evolution and reform of Arab armies is a neglected topic.2 In times of global interdependence, the Atlantic Alliance must be ready to understand and interact with a changing Middle East, since NATO Arab partners’ security is more and more NATO’s security, in terms of shared objectives, common threats and cooperative security. Arab armies have entered a new era: traditional obstacles to military reform, mostly due to their politicization, persist; other variables emerge from the interaction of domestic, foreign and transnational threats.
  • Topic: International Security
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Maria Demertzis, Stavros Zenios
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Bruegel
  • Abstract: Since the financial crisis, EU countries' economies have recovered to the point that they are exiting their adjustment programmes. Institutional stability mechanisms have been improved at the European level, with the promotion of the banking union and the establishment of a European Monetary Fund, for instance. However, the authors argue that such crisis contingencies should include markets in their risk-sharing, which would require better coordination with institutions.
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Kyle L Marquardt
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Varieties of Democracy Institute (V-Dem)
  • Abstract: Many datasets use experts to code latent quantities of interest. However, scholars have not explored either the factors affecting expert reliability or the degree to which these factors influence estimates of latent concepts. Here we systematically analyze potential correlates of expert reliability using six randomly selected variables from a cross-national panel dataset, V-Dem v8. The V-Dem project includes a diverse group of over 3,000 experts and uses an IRT model to incorporate variation in both expert reliability and scale perception into its data aggregation process. In the process, the IRT model produces an estimate of expert reliability, which affects the relative contribution of an expert to the model. We examine a variety of factors that could correlate with reliability, and find little evidence of theoretically-untenable bias due to expert characteristics. On the other hand, there is evidence that attentive and condent experts who have a basic contextual knowledge of the concept of democracy are more reliable.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Matthew Blackwell, Adam Glynn
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Varieties of Democracy Institute (V-Dem)
  • Abstract: Repeated measurements of the same countries, people, or groups over time are vital to many fields of political science. These measurements, sometimes called time-series cross-sectional (TSCS) data, allow researchers to estimate a broad set of causal quantities, including contemporaneous and lagged treatment effects. Unfortunately, popular methods for TSCS data can only produce valid inferences for lagged effects under very strong assumptions. In this paper, we use potential outcomes to define causal quantities of interest in this settings and clarify how standard models like the autoregressive distributed lag model can produce biased estimates of these quantities due to post-treatment conditioning. We then describe two estimation strategies that avoid these post-treatment biases—inverse probability weighting and structural nested mean models—and show via simulations that they can outperform standard approaches in small sample settings. We illustrate these methods in a study of how welfare spending affects terrorism.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Daniel Robinson, Marcus Tannenberg
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Varieties of Democracy Institute (V-Dem)
  • Abstract: The study of popular support for authoritarian regimes, and the comparative study of political attitudes, has long relied on the assumption that survey respondents provide truthful answers on surveys. However, when measuring regime support in closed political systems there is a distinct risk that individuals are less than forthright due to fear that their opinions may be made known to the public or the authorities. In order to test this assumption, we conducted a novel web-based survey in China in which we included four list experiments of commonly used items in the comparative literature on regime support. We find systematic bias for all four measures as a result of selfcensorship; substantially more individuals state that they support the regime with direct questioning than do when presented with our anonymous, indirect list experiments. The level of self-censorship, which ranges from 16 to 22 percentage points, is considerably higher than previously thought. Selfcensorship is further most prevalent among the wealthy, urban, female and younger respondents. These findings indicate that prior studies that have found high levels of support for the Chinese regime using these particular measures likely overestimate the true level of support. Further, crossnational studies which compare popular support across regime type may be systematically biased if responses are not subject to the same level of falsification across regime types.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Carl Henrik Knutsen
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Varieties of Democracy Institute (V-Dem)
  • Abstract: The Historical Varieties of Democracy Dataset (Historical V-Dem) is a new dataset containing about 260 indicators, both factual and evaluative, describing various aspects of political regimes and state institutions. The dataset covers 91 polities globally – including most large, sovereign states, as well as some semi-sovereign entities and large colonies – from 1789 to 1920 for many cases. The majority of the indicators are also included in the Varieties of Democracy dataset, which covers the period from 1900 to the present – and together these two datasets cover the bulk of “modern history”. Historical V-Dem also includes several new indicators, covering features that are pertinent for 19thcentury polities. We describe the data, the process of coding, and the different strategies employed in Historical V-Dem to cope with issues of reliability and validity and ensure inter-temporal- and cross-country comparability. To illustrate the potential uses of the dataset we provide a descriptive account of patterns of democratization in the “long 19th century.” Finally, we perform an empirical investigation of how inter-state war relates to subsequent democratization.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Håvard Hegre, Michael Bernhard, Jan Teorell
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Varieties of Democracy Institute (V-Dem)
  • Abstract: The democratic peace is one of the most robust findings in international relations. Yet it suffers from two important limitations. First, even those who fully embrace the democratic peace have difficulty precisely identifying which facet of democracy drives the result. Second, the vast majority of studies have relied on a single measure of democracy – the Polity index. This paper reassesses interstate conflict on several new measures of democracy and their disaggregated components from the Varieties of Democracy project in a global sample of 173 countries from 1900–2010 (www.v-dem.net). We theorize three distinct mechanisms of constraint that may explain why some countries do not engage in military conflict with each other: formal vertical (e.g. elections), informal vertical (e.g. civil society activism), and horizontal accountability (e.g. interbranch constraint on the executive). We find that the formal vertical channels of accountability provided by elections are not as crucial as horizontal constraint and the informal vertical accountability provided by a strong civil society.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Armand M Leroi et al
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Varieties of Democracy Institute (V-Dem)
  • Abstract: Sometimes the normal course of events is disrupted by a particularly swift and profound change. Historians have often referred to such changes as "revolutions" and, though they have identied many of them, they have rarely supported their claims with statistical evidence. Here we present a method to identify revolutions based on a measure of the multivariate rate of change called Foote Novelty. We dene revolutions as those periods of time when the value of this measure, F, can, by a non-parametric test, be shown to be signicantly greater than the background rate. Our method also identies conservative periods when the rate of change is unusually low. Importantly, our method permits searching for revolutions over any time scale that the data permit. We apply it to several quantitative data sets that capture long-term political, social and cultural changes and, in some of them, identify revolutions, both well known and not. Our method is a general one that can be applied to any phenomenon captured by multivariate time series data of sufficient quality.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Daniel Shoag, Stan Veuger
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: We report three findings. First, using evidence from chain bankruptcies and data on 12 million to 18 million establishments per year, we show that large retailers produce significant positive spillovers. Second, local governments respond to the size of these externalities. When a town’s boundaries allow it to capture a larger share of retail spillovers, it is more likely to offer retail subsidies. Third, these subsidies partially crowd out private sector mechanisms that also subsidize large retailers, such as shopping malls. These facts provide powerful evidence of the Coase theorem at work and highlight a concern for local development policies even when externalities can be targeted.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: John Higginbotham, Jennifer Spence
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The opening of the Arctic Ocean and the forces of globalization it will unleash pose both pressing challenges and exciting opportunities for the largest and most autonomous of the Arctic regions, the North American Arctic (NAA) — Greenland, Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, Yukon and Alaska. However, a broad pan-Arctic cooperation is not always the best approach to address these issues; neither are international interests always well aligned with the priorities of Northerners.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: North America
  • Author: Alessandro Colombo, Paola Magri
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI)
  • Abstract: Under the pressure of the new US administration’s aggressive rhetoric, 2017 has revealed that traditional dynamics among great powers are back in the international context of the XXI century. Contrary to the most optimistic predictions and discourses of the early post-Cold War period, the “game of big powers” is regaining centre stage. This is mainly due to three intertwined processes: the growth and renewed assertiveness of potential United States’ global competitors such as Russia and China; the enduring crisis of multilateralism and global co-existence; and even more, the breakdown of the regional order into increasingly autonomous arenas, where regional powers are on the rise. The ISPI 2018 Report reflects upon this change, only partly offset by positive news coming from the global economy over the past year. The first part of the volume focuses on the global context; the second investigates the role Europe can play in a “world of big powers”; the last part addresses Italian foreign policy.
  • Topic: Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: John Mark Shorack
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: PalThink For Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The United States government under President Trump recently announced the withdrawal of monetary aid to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, commonly referred to as UNRWA. This is a major blow to UNRWA’s finances considering the United States’ yearly contribution’s amounted to one-third of their budget. Since UNRWA’s founding it has been a leading force providing support of Palestinian refugees across the Middle East region mainly providing education and emergency medical assistance.
  • Topic: Education, International Affairs, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Dimitris Tsarouhas
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Relations Council of Turkey (UİK-IRCT)
  • Abstract: This article focuses on the discursive frames used by policy entrepreneurs in Greece as they attempted to deal with the 2009 crisis and analyses the role played by discourse in handling the crisis’ consequences. Adopting a historical institutionalist framework, I argue that ineffective policy outcomes can be attributed to a path- dependent logic enshrined in the country’s political economy structures following the transition to democracy post-1974. Moreover, the reaction of policy entrepreneurs to the crisis was reinforced by their discursive logic of action, itself embedded in the state’s institutional matrix. Procrastination, a refusal to face an uncomfortable reality and politics as usual colours the response of Greek actors to the country’s biggest crisis in recent memory.
  • Topic: International Relations, Political Theory
  • Political Geography: Greece
  • Author: Marilena Koppa
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Relations Council of Turkey (UİK-IRCT)
  • Abstract: This article explores the role of Greece in the Balkans since the end of Communism and the impact of the sovereign debt crisis that followed. Since the beginning of the 1990s, while Greece failed to accomplish its vocation at the political level, at the level of the economy the country acted as an important regional actor. The article examines the dynamics of the Greek crisis on the Balkan economies and analyses the major challenges for Greece in this new reality. At the same times, it tries to identify the triple crisis faced currently by Greece: at the level of credibility and status, at the level of mediation between the region and the EU and, finally, at the level of the gradual peripherisation of the country.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Greece
  • Author: Tytti Erasto, Sibylle Bauer, Shannon N. Kile, Peter Topychkanov
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: Recognizing that the current international context is hardly conducive to arms control and disarmament, SIPRI working paper ‘Setting the stage for progress towards nuclear disarmament’ identifies 10 practical steps to revitalize the 1968 Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as the principal normative and legal foundation of the global nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime. At the same time, it recognizes the NPT’s inherent compatibility with other disarmament initiatives, most notably the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. In addition to restoring a sense of common purpose and addressing ‘old’ nuclear weapon-related risks, the paper highlights ‘new’ risks arising from developments in conventional capabilities and emerging technologies. The overarching objective is to set the stage for future concrete steps and initiatives to reduce the role of nuclear weapons and to eventually eliminate them.
  • Topic: Peace Studies, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: William H. Tobey
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Nonproliferation Policy Education Center
  • Abstract: As the Trump Administration prepares to negotiate with North Korea, a question has arisen as to what model Washington should follow. National Security Advisor John Bolton has suggested that the Libyan nuclear case represents the best example to emulate. Given the violence Libya suffered after it disarmed, this recommendation provoked criticism, not only from the North Korean government, but a number of American analysts. Anticipating the importance of this case, NPEC commissioned William Tobey, former Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation at the National Nuclear Security Administration, to write a primary history. Mr. Tobey served on the National Security Council in the Bush (43) Administration when the Libyan nuclear case was being worked.
  • Topic: Intelligence, International Affairs, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Libya
  • Author: Henry Sokolski (ed)
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Nonproliferation Policy Education Center
  • Abstract: With the Trump Administration’s announcement last fall that it intended to negotiate a civil nuclear cooperative agreement with Saudi Arabia, a debate has ensued over how restrictive any such agreement should be over the enrichment of uranium and the reprocessing of plutonium. These nuclear activities can bring a country within weeks of making its first batch of bombs. This announcement immediately raised the question, how much economic sense it made for Saudi Arabia to invest in nuclear power. It also raised a number of security questions. Should the United States allow Riyadh to reprocess and enrich even though these activities could bring Saudi Arabia within weeks of acquiring nuclear weapons? If Washington acceded to this demand by Riyadh, what would be the implications for the terms of nuclear cooperation with the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, and Morocco? How would such an agreement impact efforts to tighten the terms of our nuclear understanding with Iran? Would such a permissive deal with Riyadh make it more difficult to say no to Seoul’s demand that we allow them to enrich uranium? All of these questions and more are discussed in this volume’s four sections
  • Topic: International Affairs, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Diana Ngo, Sebastian Bauhoff
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Rwanda’s performance-based incentives were effective for some indicators, but unconditional financing also induced improvements. The incentive effects persisted in the mediumrun and as the program was scaled-up. Additionally, the analysis demonstrates how observational research methods and secondary data can generate new insights on existing evaluations
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ifran Yar
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on International Policy (CIP)
  • Abstract: In the wake of the incipient peace process in Afghanistan, new hopes have emerged and an aura of optimism has spread across the country. After the first successful meeting with the Taliban, US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad met recently with the insurgents to discuss the peace talks in Qatar. This comes after Russia, reasserting its influence in the region, hosted a landmark international conference aimed at spurring the peace efforts in its restive neighborhood. The meeting was attended by the Taliban and its adversaries and concluded without any formal breakthrough. Since 2010, many efforts have been made to broker a peace deal with the Taliban but to no avail. Will this peace process convince the Taliban to give up its insurgency?
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ben Tannenbaum
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on International Policy (CIP)
  • Abstract: Turkey’s military has historically played an outsized role in the country’s politics. Since assuming power in 2003, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) have worked to limit the military’s political influence, a process that has damaged Turkish civil society. The military overthrew the previous AKP government in 1997, and Erdoğan sought to avoid a similar fate. However, after the first decade of Erdoğan’s rule, political loyalties shifted. His chief ally against the military, Fethullah Gülen, became Erdoğan’s principal rival. The drama escalated in 2016 when Gülen allegedly cultivated a cohort of military officers in an attempted coup against Erdoğan. Since thwarting the coup, Erdoğan has successfully re-escalated his quest to constrain the military’s domestic political role. Nevertheless, despite this political feuding, Erdoğan and the Turkish military do hold some common interests on foreign policy. Their overlapping goals have provided some basis for cooperation between Erdoğan and his military. Erdoğan has scored political gains from his relationship with the military, instituting policies that have harmed Turkey’s economy and threatened its democracy.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Basel Ammane
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on International Policy (CIP)
  • Abstract: During the last NATO Summit in Brussels in July, the first since the onset of the Trump presidency, observers were carefully watching in anticipation of any indicators about the state of commitment by the US to the alliance. Trump’s antics, such as the insults he levelled at Germany, the impudent demands he made, and the thinly-veiled threat he issued unsurprisingly dominated media coverage. This served as a reminder that the alliance and its members need to work vigorously to safeguard US commitment given that this president’s preoccupation with prodding allies into increasing military spending, though echoed by previous administrations, is much more forceful and borders on the nakedly belligerent. To make matters worse, a skeptical view of alliances that sees them through a transactional prism and portrays them as burdens seems to be a consistent view that President Trump has held for years. This further demonstrates that the risk of a declining US commitment to the alliance is real. But a shaky commitment by a US president is hardly the only source of problems for today’s NATO.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Basel Ammane
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on International Policy (CIP)
  • Abstract: The recent attacks in Eastern Ghouta in which a swath of land housing a population of 400,000 was surrounded, shelled incessantly and later invaded have refocused the world’s attention on the events in Syria.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Transparency International
  • Abstract: As available resources for official development assistance have come under strain in the past ten years, blended finance has been hailed as a means to finance development in low- and middle-income countries. Governments and international organisations are increasingly advocating the use of blended finance to fill the “financing gap” between current commitments and target levels of investment needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Little consideration has been given to potential corruption risks in blended finance mechanisms. As a result, integrity issues in blended finance projects are understudied and poorly appreciated by many development practitioners, investors and regulators. As blended finance becomes an increasingly common instrument in development assistance, a richer understanding of the cause and impact of corrupt practices in this form of development finance is essential.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Transparency International
  • Abstract: One of the oldest weapons in Transparency International’s anti-corruption arsenal is the Integrity Pact, designed specifically to tackle corruption in public procurement – one of the biggest areas of corruption risk for governments.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Transparency International
  • Abstract: Social audit is a powerful social accountability tool. It has led to the conviction of public officials for violating the right to information law in Guatemala, a 50 per cent reduction in the costs of public construction works in Peru, and cancelling an illegal education fee in Ghana. Social audit scrutinises public officials’ decisions and/or actions, looking for administrative or financial irregularities. It seeks to uncover discrepancies by comparing public documents, processes or services with how they should be. It can take many names and forms, ranging from social audits in Guatemala and anti-corruption brigades in Peru, to social auditing clubs in Ghana. This report extracts lessons from the social audits implemented by Acción Ciudadana in Guatemala, Proética in Peru and Ghana Integrity Initiative in Ghana. The report examines the social audit outcome reports and other records shared by the three Transparency International chapters, and includes an extensive review of the wider literature on social audits. Based on these experiences, the report outlines 20 key steps to implement an effective social audit.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Marina Nistotskaya, Michelle D'Arcy
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Quality of Government Institute. University of Gothenburg.
  • Abstract: The institutional literature on development has emphasized the need to check abuse of power, but overlooked whether the state has power in the first place. Bridging the state capacity and collective action literatures, we argue that since public goods critical for development, such as public health provision, constitute collective action problems (CAPs), and solving CAPs in groups the size of countries requires state high infrastructural power that makes individual behaviour observable/legible, so that it can be monitored and compliance enforced. It is only when democracy is institutionalized within such a state that it can have a positive effect on public goods provision. We test this argument using a novel measure of accumulated infrastructural power – the age, extent and quality of cadastral records – for over 1,000 years for 155 countries. Our analysis shows that this variable has an independent positive effect on infant and child mortality, and it also conditions the effect of democracy. This research has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 339571) and the Swedish Research Council (grant agreement D0112101). The authors thank Robert Ellisa for excellent research assistance.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Anna Khakhunova, Marina Nistotskaya
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Quality of Government Institute. University of Gothenburg.
  • Abstract: New Public Management (NPM) reforms have been adopted worldwide since the mid-1970s to improve government effectiveness and efficiency. The basic premise of NPM reforms is that market orientation and management focus in the public sector will enhance effectiveness and efficiency of service delivery (Christensen and Lægreid 2010). Although NPM reforms have existed for a quarter century, we still have limited understanding of whether NPM reforms fulfill their expectations. Most importantly, very few empirical studies have been conducted that actually assess the impact of NPM reforms on performance (Alonso, Clifton, and Díaz-Fuentes 2015, Dahlström, Nistotskaya, and Tyrberg 2016, Hammerschmid and Van de Walle 2011). This study helps fill this gap by examining the effect of different NPM-type reforms on municipal performance. In particular, we assess the impact of NPM reforms on three dimensions of municipal performance – gender equity, efficiency and effectiveness – by using a data set of 810 city-level Japanese municipalities. Findings show that municipalities’ overall effort to create NPM reforms is not associated with gender equity and effectiveness in revenue expansion. However, findings suggest that municipalities with a higher commitment to various NPM- type reforms are likely to operate with lower administrative overhead costs. Results also suggest that municipalities’ efforts supporting individual reform, including outsourcing and municipal assets and debt management reform, are associated with higher efficiency in overhead costs and increased revenues from selling municipal assets. This study tests the impacts of NPM-type reforms on municipal performance in an understudied Asian developed setting.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Sofia B. Vera
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Quality of Government Institute. University of Gothenburg.
  • Abstract: The literature studying citizen responses to exposed political corruption is rapidly growing. While some studies explore how information credibility and group identities can reduce the electoral impact of the exposure of corruption, this article addresses different mechanisms for weak electoral accountability for corruption: public works provision and corruption prevalence. It uses a vignette experiment embedded in a national survey in Peru to isolate the causal effect of political corruption on electoral support. The results suggest that even types of corruption with side benefits would be harshly punished when attributed to incompetent politicians. They also indicate that while voters punish corruption more leniently when a candidate is competent, they respond negatively to corruption regardless of the prevalence of corruption, which casts doubt on the idea that voters in highly corrupt environments are tolerant of corruption
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Lena Wängnerud
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Quality of Government Institute. University of Gothenburg.
  • Abstract: There are a growing number of studies with the ambition to present causal reasoning linking the presence of women in political organizations to reductions in levels of corruption. The theoretical mechanisms proposed are however seldom directly tested, instead scholars tend to use designs where a large number of control variables are introduced in order to “rule out” rivalry hypotheses. These designs leave us with a number of loose ends that needs to be more carefully dealt with. The aim of this paper is to introduce a new and comparatively simple way of measuring degrees of femininity and masculinity and discuss whether this approach could add to the understanding of gender effects found in research on corruption. The analysis show that femininity is linked to pro-social values and the suggestion is for future research to focus more on indirect effects on corruption from the inclusion of women in political organizations. Exposure-based theories highlight mechanisms such as changed group norms that may pave the ground for an increased focus on the public good. The data used draws on a large-scale survey among Swedish citizens in 2013.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Rasmus Broms, Carl Dahlström, Marina Nistotskaya
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Quality of Government Institute. University of Gothenburg.
  • Abstract: Against a backdrop of increased levels of marketization of welfare services in OECD countries, this article aims to shed light on the separate effects of private ownership and competition on service quality. Using residential elderly care in Sweden as our case, we leverage unique panel data of ownership and competition against a set of indicators, pertaining to the structure, process and outcome dimensions of care quality. The main finding of our analyses is that competition does surprisingly little for quality: private entrepreneurs perform neither better nor worse under stiff competition and the quality of care is approximately the same in those nursing homes that are exposed to competition from private actors as in those that are not.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Gabriella R. Montinola, Sarah Prince
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Quality of Government Institute. University of Gothenburg.
  • Abstract: The longstanding debate on whether foreign aid promotes development suggests that aid’s efficacy depends on conditions in recipient states. Advocates of gender equality argue that empowering women is desirable not only in its own right but also as a means to other sought-after outcomes. We bring together these issues and argue that women’s empowerment in aid-receiving countries should enhance the effect of foreign aid on child development outcomes. We find support for this argument in analyses of up to 107 developing countries from 1986-2010. Our results indicate that aid is associated with greater reductions in infant mortality where women are more empowered. Furthermore, we find that among the different dimensions of empowerment—political, economic and social—political participation has the strongest and most consistent mediating effect on foreign aid. Our work has implications for research on aid effectiveness, the consequences of gender equality, and the politics of presence
  • Topic: Gender Issues, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Gissur Ólafur Erlingsson, Gunnar Helgi Kristinsson
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Quality of Government Institute. University of Gothenburg.
  • Abstract: The longstanding debate on whether foreign aid promotes development suggests that aid’s efficacy depends on conditions in recipient states. Advocates of gender equality argue that empowering women is desirable not only in its own right but also as a means to other sought-after outcomes. We bring together these issues and argue that women’s empowerment in aid-receiving countries should enhance the effect of foreign aid on child development outcomes. We find support for this argument in analyses of up to 107 developing countries from 1986-2010. Our results indicate that aid is associated with greater reductions in infant mortality where women are more empowered. Furthermore, we find that among the different dimensions of empowerment—political, economic and social—political participation has the strongest and most consistent mediating effect on foreign aid. Our work has implications for research on aid effectiveness, the consequences of gender equality, and the politics of presence
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Dragana Davidovic
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Quality of Government Institute. University of Gothenburg.
  • Abstract: Environmental taxes are argued to be the key to more effective environmental protection in developing countries. This paper investigates whether such taxes have the necessary public support to be successfully implemented in different contexts, including countries outside the Western and European spheres. Applying a multilevel analysis approach, using data from the World Values Survey and International Social Survey Programme, interaction effects between values, political and social trust, and perceived quality of government (QoG) are explored. It is hypothesized that if people lack trust in public authorities to implement green taxes in an efficient, fair and uncorrupt manner, they will be less likely to support such taxes despite their strong pro-environmental values or trust in other people. The results show that people holding green values are more likely to support environmental taxes if they live in countries with high levels of QoG. Moreover, the effect of social trust on support for green taxes appears to be contingent on individual-level political trust rather than the quality of government institutions. These interactions need further exploration since they vary across countries and datasets. While support for environmental taxes is found to be relatively high in some developing countries, public aversion towards higher taxes for environmental protection is still relatively high internationally.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Monika Bauhr, Nicholas Charron
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Quality of Government Institute. University of Gothenburg.
  • Abstract: What factors explain public support for international redistribution? While the European Union has sent billions of taxpayers’ money to over indebted euro countries in an attempt to avoid an economic collapse, these transfers have encountered fierce resistance among both donor and recipient constituents. However, we know surprisingly little about why citizens support or oppose redistribution within the EU. This paper suggests that domestic levels of corruption and institutional quality may be one of the most important explanations for the great variation in public support for financial assistance and aid. Using recent European Elections Survey data merged with data on regional level quality of government, we show that the effects of institutional quality are consistently stronger than macro-economic factors, including economic development, inequality or levels of public debt. We find strong evidence that citizens’ in low corrupt contexts are more likely to support financial assistance to fellow member states. The results have implications for future challenges in securing public support for EU economic integration as well as for our understanding of how and why corruption undermines society’s collective action capacity
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus