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  • Author: Enika Abazi
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article discusses Kosovo's independence from a framework of political and legal perspectives and assesses regional and global responses to the declaration of independence. Kosovo's independence, it is argued, has revealed shifting strategic landscapes, security concerns and domestic developments in regional and international politics with significant implications for all actors in the region. Russia, for instance, calculated to restore its lost 'superpower' status and control Serbia's strategic oil industries while Turkey's prompt recognition of independence has increased its impact in the region. Kosovo's independence will be a test case for keeping peace and stability in the Balkans within the new dynamics of regional and international politics. The way to escape from regional and international rivalries in Kosovo and its environs is to enhance the forces of cooperation in this volatile region and avoid zero sum games among regional and international actors.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Political Economy, Oil
  • Political Geography: Russia, Turkey, Kosovo, Balkans
  • Author: Alexandros Petersen
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Russia's new president, Dmitry Medvedev, should be expected to broadly continue his predecessor Vladimir Putin's foreign policy toward Turkey and the broader Black Sea region. Analysts who cast Medvedev as a mere Putin puppet, or those who anticipate a gradual increase in power for the new man in the Kremlin miss the crucial question about decision-making in Russia: how much influence will the siloviki – current and former security service officers – wield to implement policies based largely on mistrust and calculation? Russia's policies in the Black Sea region are unlikely to change much in substance, although Medvedev may adopt a more subtle, effective style in seeing them through. Their exclusionary nature - a product of the silovik worldview - should be expected to continue. Therefore, despite recent significant improvements in Turkey's relations with Russia, over time Turkey may find itself in an uncomfortable middle ground between its Western allies and its new-found friends in Moscow.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Turkey
  • Author: Michael Mylrea
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: al Nakhlah
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: In an attempt to revive peace talks, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert recently met with Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas at his residence in Jerusalem. Once again, Palestinian and Israeli leaders appear to be at an important crossroads. Is peace on the horizon? Or will violence erupt? Tough questions loom ominously. The complex environment of Middle East diplomacy is like walking a tightrope, where each negotiation rests on a delicate balance between peace and war. As Israel's former Ambassador to the United States and Chief Negotiator to Syria, Itamar Rabinovich has walked this tightrope, negotiating through some of Israel's most challenging times. Former Ambassador Rabinovich sat down with al Nakhlah to shed light on his diplomatic experience, offering important lessons from the past and his unique perspective on the future challenges and opportunities in the Middle East.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Josep Baqués Quesada
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Athena Intelligence Journal
  • Institution: Athena Intelligence
  • Abstract: This article addresses the difficult Afghan situation, which is characterized by ethnic rivalries, the emergence of religious radicalisms and the presence of interests from other international actors. All this hinders the achievement of what should be the immediate goal: that Afghanistan becomes a State (which truly functions as such). In fact, lately the situation has deteriorated. This analysis poses a framework for action that assumes that complex conflicts require complex solutions. It is not valid to allude to individual military, economic, political or ideological tracks. The solution goes through integrating these and other aspects in a unique, polyhedral type of scenario.   En este artículo se aborda la difícil situación afgana, caracterizada por las rivalidades étnicas, por la aparición de radicalismos religiosos y por la presencia de intereses de otros actores internacionales. Todo ello dificulta el logro del que debería ser el primer objetivo: que Afganistán llegue a ser un Estado (que verdaderamente funcione como tal). De hecho, últimamente la situación se ha deteriorado. Este análisis plantea un marco para la acción que asume que los conflictos complejos requieren de soluciones complejas. No vale aludir a vías militares, económicas, políticas o ideológicas. La solución pasa por integrar esos y otros aspectos en un escenario único, de tipo poliédrico.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Philippines
  • Author: Nicholas Szechenyi, Michael J. Green
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Prime Minister Fukuda Yasuo outlined his foreign policy agenda in an address to the Diet, highlighting – as did his predecessors Abe Shinzo and Koizumi Junichiro – the U.S.-Japan alliance and international cooperation as the foundations of Japanese diplomacy. But legislation authorizing Japan's naval refueling mission in the Indian Ocean became a political football in a divided legislature and expired on Nov. 1, forcing Fukuda to draft a new bill and extend the Diet session twice in an attempt to continue Japan's support for the war on terror. Fukuda noted the importance of the bill during a November summit with President Bush in Washington that also covered other issues including the Six-Party Talks and concerns in Japan about a perceived shift in the U.S. position on Japanese citizens abducted by North Korea. Other developments such as a new agreement on host nation support for U.S. forces in Japan and a successful sea-based missile defense test demonstrated forward trajectory for alliance cooperation. Yet the quarter ended with other issues unresolved, namely Japan's suspension of Indian Ocean refueling operations and Pyongyang's failure to come clean on its nuclear programs.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, Washington, India, North Korea, Pyongyang
  • Author: Victor D. Cha
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The major event of the first quarter of 2008 was the inauguration of a new government in South Korea. The Lee Myung-bak government offered some initial signals of the types of policies it intends to pursue both on and off the peninsula. While there is much that was accomplished under the Roh Moo-hyun government in U.S.-ROK relations, most experts agree that the overall tone between the new Lee government and the Bush administration will improve considerably. Meanwhile, U.S.-DPRK relations in the context of the Six-Party Talks remain stuck on completing the second phase of the denuclearization agreement, despite some audibles by the U.S. team in conjunction with the Chinese. While we may be in the first quarter of the year, it may be the last quarter for the six-party process absent any progress.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Ji-Young Lee, David C. Kang
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Despite the change in Japanese leadership from hard-liner Abe Shintaro to the more dialogue-oriented Fukuda Yasuo, this quarter's Japan-North Korea relations were largely uneventful and produced little progress. Tokyo criticized Pyongyang for missing the year-end deadline for declaring all its nuclear programs and facilities, urging North Korea to make a “political decision” to fulfill its commitment under the Six-Party Talks agreement. Pyongyang reiterated that Japan should be excluded from the talks, and blamed Japan for the U.S. failure to remove Pyongyang from its list of state sponsors of terror. North Korea asserted that there would be no improvement in their bilateral relations as long as Japan continues to press resolution of the abduction issue on Pyongyang. By mid-March, Tokyo had decided to extend economic sanctions against Pyongyang for another six months after they expire April 13, if the current situation continues with no breakthroughs. Meanwhile, with the change in South Korean leadership from a liberal-minded Roh Moo-hyun to the more conservative Lee Myung-bak, Tokyo exerted diplomatic efforts to bring South Korea closer to Japan by trying to form a united front between Japan, South Korea, and the U.S. against North Korea.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, South Korea, North Korea, Tokyo, Pyongyang
  • Author: Murat Gül
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: The sudden collapse of the Soviet Union has, on several levels, brought about many novel complexities to world politics. On the global level, the collapse of the Soviet Union ended the bi-polar world politics in the dangerous confrontations between Soviet ideology and power and that of the United States. The impact of the disintegration of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) has been seen at the regional level as well. In particular, Central Asia and Caucasus, Eastern and Central Europe, and Baltic countries have escaped from direct Soviet domination, and so new competitions for domination have arisen. However, the most important and challenging changes have been witnessed at the individual level, insofar as fifteen new independent states have emerged post-collapse. After escaping from the domination of the USSR, these emerging states have been perplexed by the challenges of nationhood, identity politics, and state-building, re-reformulating their economic system, and entering into a global situation as independent but weak states. Thus, the collapse of Pax Sovieticus has raised a series of new foreign and security challenges, posing various obstacles and dilemmas for them.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Central Asia, Asia, Soviet Union, Azerbaijan
  • Author: Munir Hussain
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: After a decade of stagnant relations, Pakistan-Turkey relations seem to be improving in the right direction. Both countries have traditionally enjoyed close and cordial relations. The manifold commonalties between the two countries have been reinforced by the firm resolve of their leadership to further deepen mutual cooperation in all fields.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs, History
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Turkey, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Enayatollah Yazdani
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: US relations with the Islamic world are a part of its international relations that cannot be overlooked. Here the main questions are how America has instituted its policy towards the Muslim world? How has the US global hegemony affected the Islamic World? How US policy towards the Islamic World may be influenced by the radical Islamic movements? And what is the influence of the war in Iraq on perceptions of US relations with the Islamic World? This paper aims to answer these questions.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Islam
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America, Middle East