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  • Author: Kristi Raik, András Rácz
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: International Centre for Defence and Security - ICSD
  • Abstract: The relationship between the EU and Russia is characterised by a considerable degree of interdependence. In the 1990s and 2000s, the EU’s approach to Russia was based on the expectation that economic ties and interaction in various fields would contribute to regional stability and security and possibly even the democratisation of Russia. However, looking at the relationship today, one has to admit that the expected positive effects of interdependence have not materialised. Since 2014, the conflict over Ukraine and rising geopolitical tensions have pushed the Europeans to reassess their approach and put more emphasis on reducing the vulnerabilities created by mutual ties, notably (but not only) in the field of energy. Russia, for its part, has been keen to reduce its dependence on Europe, for instance in the financial sector and in respect of food imports. As a result, the preconditions for developing the EU-Russia relationship in accordance with the logic of positive interdependence have weakened further.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Ukraine
  • Author: Henry D. Sokolski
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Nonproliferation Policy Education Center
  • Abstract: With 190 state members, the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) is almost universal. However, it has fallen on hard times. North Korea violated it and withdrew in 2002. Israel, Pakistan, India, and North Korea—the nuclear-armed states most likely to use them—refuse to sign. Others—e.g., Syria, South Korea, and Egypt—have violated its safeguards and yet suffered no serious consequences. Also, with the Iran deal, enriching uranium or re- processing spent reactor fuel, which can bring states to the very brink of bomb making, is now less taboo. Finally, with President Trump’s suggestion that South Korea’s and Japan’s acquisition of nuclear weapons is inevitable, the prospect of the treaty lasting in perpetuity is easily open to question.1
  • Topic: International Organization, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Michael J. Green
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: Soon after the American Revolution, ​certain of the founders began to recognize the strategic significance of Asia and the Pacific and the vast material and cultural resources at stake there. Over the coming generations, the United States continued to ask how best to expand trade with the region and whether to partner with China, at the center of the continent, or Japan, looking toward the Pacific. Where should the United States draw its defensive line, and how should it export democratic principles? In a history that spans the eighteenth century to the present, Michael J. Green follows the development of U.S. strategic thinking toward East Asia, identifying recurring themes in American statecraft that reflect the nation’s political philosophy and material realities. Drawing on archives, interviews, and his own experience in the Pentagon and White House, Green finds one overarching concern driving U.S. policy toward East Asia: a fear that a rival power might use the Pacific to isolate and threaten the United States and prevent the ocean from becoming a conduit for the westward free flow of trade, values, and forward defense. By More Than Providence works through these problems from the perspective of history’s major strategists and statesmen, from Thomas Jefferson to Alfred Thayer Mahan and Henry Kissinger. It records the fate of their ideas as they collided with the realities of the Far East and adds clarity to America’s stakes in the region, especially when compared with those of Europe and the Middle East.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Asia-Pacific
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231542722
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN
  • Author: Robert McNally
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: As OPEC has loosened its grip over the past ten years, the oil market has been rocked by wild price swings, the likes of which haven't been seen for eight decades. Crafting an engrossing journey from the gushing Pennsylvania oil fields of the 1860s to today's fraught and fractious Middle East, Crude Volatility explains how past periods of stability and volatility in oil prices help us understand the new boom-bust era. Oil's notorious volatility has always been considered a scourge afflicting not only the oil industry but also the broader economy and geopolitical landscape; Robert McNally makes sense of how oil became so central to our world and why it is subject to such extreme price fluctuations. Tracing a history marked by conflict, intrigue, and extreme uncertainty, McNally shows how—even from the oil industry's first years—wild and harmful price volatility prompted industry leaders and officials to undertake extraordinary efforts to stabilize oil prices by controlling production. Herculean market interventions—first, by Rockefeller's Standard Oil, then, by U.S. state regulators in partnership with major international oil companies, and, finally, by OPEC—succeeded to varying degrees in taming the beast. McNally, a veteran oil market and policy expert, explains the consequences of the ebbing of OPEC's power, debunking myths and offering recommendations—including mistakes to avoid—as we confront the unwelcome return of boom and bust oil prices.
  • Topic: Economics, Oil, OPEC
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231543682
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN
  • Author: Manlio Graziano
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: Religions are reemerging in the social, political, and economic spheres previously occupied and dominated by secular institutions and ideologies. In the wake of crises exposing the limits of secular modernity, religions have again become significant players in domestic and international politics. At the same time, the Catholic Church has sought a "holy alliance" among the world's faiths to recentralize devout influence, an important, albeit little-noticed, evolution in international relations. Holy Wars and Holy Alliance explores the nation-state's current crisis in order to better understand the religious resurgence's implications for geopolitics. Manlio Graziano looks at how the Catholic Church promotes dialogue and action linking world religions, and examines how it has used its material, financial, and institutional strength to gain power and increase its profile in present-day international politics. Challenging the idea that modernity is tied to progress and secularization, Graziano documents the "return" or the "revenge" of God in all facets of life. He shows that tolerance, pluralism, democracy, and science have not triumphed as once predicted. To fully grasp the destabilizing dynamics at work today, he argues, we must appreciate the nature of religious struggles and political holy wars now unfolding across the international stage.
  • Topic: International Relations, Religion
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231543910
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN
  • Author: Jonathan Buchsbaum
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: In Exception Taken, Jonathan Buchsbaum examines the movements that have emerged in opposition to the homogenizing force of Hollywood in global filmmaking. While European cinema was entering a steady decline in the 1980s, France sought to strengthen support for its film industry under the new Mitterrand government. Over the following decades, the country lobbied partners in the European Economic Community to design strategies to protect the audiovisual industries and to resist cultural free-trade pressures in international trade agreements. These struggles to preserve the autonomy of national artistic prerogatives emboldened many countries to question the benefits of accelerated globalization. Led by the energetic minister of culture Jack Lang, France initiated a series of measures to support all sectors of the film industry. Lang introduced laws mandating that state and private television invest in the film industry, effectively replacing the revenue lost from a shrinking theatrical audience for French films. With the formation of the European Union in 1992, Europe passed a new treaty (Maastricht) that extended its legal purview to culture for the first time, setting up the dramatic confrontation over the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (GATT) in 1993. Pushed by France, the EU fought the United States over the idea that countries should preserve their right to regulate cultural activity as they saw fit. France and Canada then initiated a campaign to protect cultural diversity within UNESCO that led to the passage of the Convention on Cultural Diversity in 2005. As France pursued these efforts to protect cultural diversity beyond its borders, it also articulated "a certain idea of cinema" that did not simply defend a narrow vision of national cinema. France promoted both commercial cinema and art cinema, disproving announcements of the death of cinema.
  • Topic: Film
  • Political Geography: France
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231543071
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN
  • Author: Austin Choi-Fitzpatrick
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: Drawing on fifteen years of work in the antislavery movement, Austin Choi-Fitzpatrick examines the systematic oppression of men, women, and children in rural India and asks: How do contemporary slaveholders rationalize the subjugation of other human beings, and how do they respond when their power is threatened? More than a billion dollars have been spent on antislavery efforts, yet the practice persists. Why? Unpacking what slaveholders think about emancipation is critical for scholars and policy makers who want to understand the broader context, especially as seen by the powerful. Insight into those moments when the powerful either double down or back off provides a sobering counterbalance to scholarship on popular struggle. Through frank and unprecedented conversations with slaveholders, Choi-Fitzpatrick reveals the condescending and paternalistic thought processes that blind them. While they understand they are exploiting workers' vulnerabilities, slaveholders also feel they are doing workers a favor, often taking pride in this relationship. And when the victims share this perspective, their emancipation is harder to secure, driving some in the antislavery movement to ask why slaves fear freedom. The answer, Choi-Fitzpatrick convincingly argues, lies in the power relationship. Whether slaveholders recoil at their past behavior or plot a return to power, Choi-Fitzpatrick zeroes in on the relational dynamics of their self-assessment, unpacking what happens next. Incorporating the experiences of such pivotal actors into antislavery research is an immensely important step toward crafting effective antislavery policies and intervention. It also contributes to scholarship on social change, social movements, and the realization of human rights.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Sex Trafficking, Slavery
  • Political Geography: India, Global Focus
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231543828
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN
  • Author: Ann M. Lesch
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Foreign Policy Research Institute
  • Abstract: General Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, Egypt’s ruler since July 2013, brooks no dissent. Having “saved” Egypt from the Muslim Brothers, he has ruled by decree in the absence of a parliament, supported by a handpicked technocratic cabinet. His security apparatus muzzles the press, keeps dissident voices off-air, arrests secular as well as Islamist critics, and clamps down on civil society. He has built ten new prisons to accommodate the overflow, as political prisoners may now total 60,000.[1] As typical of military rulers, he announces grandiose projects – the new channel in the Suez Canal, the Dabaa nuclear power plant, million-unit agricultural and housing schemes, and a multi-billion dollar new capital city – without taking into consideration their cost, integrating them into long term plans, conducting comprehensive feasibility studies, or examining their social and environmental impact.
  • Topic: Security, Civil Society, Islam, Politics, Authoritarianism
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Author: A. Yakovna
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Success multiplied by intuition is behind many discoveries. This fully applies to British historian Prof. Gabriel Gorodetsky* who has written numerous scholarly works including The Precarious Truce: Anglo-Soviet Relations, 1924-1927, Stafford Cripps’ Mission to Moscow, 1940-1942, etc. Prof. Gorodetsky came across the diaries of Ivan Maisky,** Soviet Ambassador to London while preparing official Soviet-Israeli documents for publication and was immediately interested. Before him few historians had paid attention to this unique historical document. in fact, Stalin never encouraged officials to keep diaries; this explains why they are few and far between in soviet archives.
  • Topic: Communism, Diplomacy, History
  • Political Geography: Israel, Soviet Union
  • Author: Paul R. Pillar
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: Drawing a line from colonial events to America's handling of modern international terrorism, Pillar shows how presumption and misperception bolstered the "with us or against us" attitude of the George W. Bush administration. Fundamental misunderstandings have created a cycle in which threats are underestimated before an attack occurs and then are overestimated after they happen. By exposing this longstanding tradition of misperception, Pillar hopes the United States can develop policies that better address international realities rather than biased beliefs.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Government, United States
  • Political Geography: United States, Global Focus
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231540353
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN