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  • Author: Niklas Helwig, Carolin Rüger
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: When Catherine Ashton took up office as High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (HR), she met with high expectations - and much disappointment. As the first incumbent of the remodelled position, she had the chance to leave a legacy for her successor, but faced an unclear job description. What was the HR's role in EU foreign policy? It is argued that the HR acted as a diplomat and manager of EU external action, while her role performance in co-leadership and brokering were less successful. Role expectations and performance entered a fragile equilibrium at the end of Ashton's tenure. However, the future role of the HR might shift more towards a co-leader of EU foreign policy.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Nicolo Sartori
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The unconventional oil and gas revolution is certainly a game changer in the current international political setting, since it will bring the United States close to energy self-sufficiency. However, it seems unlikely that this new energy status will dramatically redefine US foreign policy and security priorities. In strategic regions such as the Middle East, US interests are expected to remain unchanged, while the new energy status will contribute only in part to modifying the US approach towards the EU's energy posture vis-à-vis Russia. What the new American energy condition is likely to change are the tools and policy options available to Washington to cope with the strategic challenges - China's power in primis - emerging in the multipolar international relations system.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Washington
  • Author: Timo Behr
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The rise of political Islam in the EU's southern neighbourhood represents a political as well as conceptual challenge to the EU as a foreign policy actor. In the past, the EU reacted to this challenge based on its essentialist perception of political Islam and its overarching interest in regional stability and security. However, the growing salience of 'contingencist' interpretations of political Islam and the resolution of the EU's democratisation-stabilisation dilemma in the wake of the Arab Spring have recently provided an opportunity for greater engagement and cooperation. This has enabled a switch in EU policies from a strategy of containment to a strategy of engagement. Despite this, problems remain as the EU continues to expect Islamist actors to adjust to its own discursive framework and as intra-European divisions revive as a result of the renewal of secular-religious divisions in the neighbourhood. This will complicate EU attempts to build a new partnership with Islamist democracies and will fuel old stereotypes and animosities.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Islam
  • Political Geography: Europe, Arabia
  • Author: Tom Farer
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The only means available to the US to assume a responsibility to protect the Syrian people from slaughter was by credibly threatening Bashar al-Assad and the security and military elite surrounding him with a decapitating air strike if they did not immediately cease murdering protestors and begin negotiations with opposition figures to the end of making the regime broadly representative of the Syrian population. Credibility probably demanded an initial decimation, a technically possible move. In part because the US lacks the ideology and institutional structure of a real imperial power, in part because it is post-Bush a careful calculator of national interests, Syria, unlike Libya but much like Sudan and the DRC, was a bridge too far.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Sudan, Libya, Syria
  • Author: Karen E. Smith
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Can the EU serve as a pole in a multipolar, interdependent international system? The EU will face three particular challenges operating in such a system: the challenge of re-establishing credibility after the euro crisis; the ever-present challenge of achieving unity among the member states; and the challenge of adapting foreign policy behaviour to match the new international environment. There is a risk that the EU could slide into irrelevance.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Environment
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Andrés Malamud, Gian Gardini
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Since 1960, Latin American attempts at regionalism have undergone distinct phases. More notably, they have tended to diverge across space, gradually giving birth to separate blocs that seem to be tearing South, Central and North America apart. Additionally, within and across these regions several overlapping projects coexist. This article focuses on the dynamics of segmented and overlapping regionalism in order to describe what they look like, analyse how they articulate with one another, and explain why member states have pushed for such a messy outcome. This situation, linked to the evolution of the global context, might be indicating that regionalism in Latin America has reached its peak, beyond which it may be difficult to achieve further progress. Two conclusions are elicited: first, economic integration is becoming a geographically diffused phenomenon rather than a regional one; second, regionalism is still a compelling foreign policy but its causes, goals and outcomes are no longer what they used to be.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics
  • Political Geography: Latin America, North America
  • Author: Cui Liru
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: China intends to realise its national resurgence and modernisation through a peaceful path by integrating into or accepting and participating in the existing international system. With reform and opening-up as its hallmark, China's growth model is in a sense a marriage between Oriental and Occidental civilisations in the age of globalisation. Openness and inclusiveness are the intrinsic attributes of this model. China's diplomacy since 1978 is essentially an extension of the national modernisation drive, its chief task, basic policies and behavioural patterns being the creation of an international environment conducive to this endeavour.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Claudia Astarita
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Review of: Handbook of China's international relations, edited by Shaun Breslin, Routledge, 2010
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Erik Jones
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The Obama administration is attempting to 'lead from behind' in Libya, causing much concern among its allies and derision among its adversaries. Nevertheless this strategy represents an appropriate response both to the specific situation in Libya and to the wider constraints on American global leadership. With the shift in global resources from North to South and West to East, collective action has become more difficult to organise and global institutions have become harder to reinforce. Meanwhile governments in the United States and elsewhere must wrestle to bring their fiscal accounts back under control. A cooperative approach is the only answer. The difficulty for the Obama administration is that by emphasizing cooperation they make the success of their Libya intervention depend upon the actions of the other countries involved. Should France and Great Britain fail in Libya, President Obama's new conception of American global leadership will falter as well.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, America, France, Libya
  • Author: Michele Comelli
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Review of: Constructivism and rationalism in EU external relations : the case of the European neighbourhood policy, by Petr Kratochvil and Elsa Tulmets, Nomos, 2010
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Richard Youngs, Ana Echague
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: European Union policy towards the Middle East and North Africa suffers from geographic fragmentation and an increasing functional imbalance which reflects a growing trend towards securitisation. While policy towards the Mediterranean is highly institutionalised, the Gulf Cooperation Council states receive much less attention and policies towards Iran, Iraq and the occupied Palestinian territories exist in isolation. A narrow focus on an exclusionist approach to security has taken over to the detriment of political and economic concerns. The shortcomings in European foreign policy towards the broader Middle East in terms of lack of breadth and coherence need to be addressed in order to forge a more cohesive and effective policy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Europe, Iran, Middle East, North Africa
  • Author: Emiliano Alessandri
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Turkey is not 'drifting' towards the east. It is in search of a new place and a new identity, given the many changes that have taken place in the domestic and international contexts, particularly since the end of the Cold War. This complex process of transformation does not in itself challenge Turkey's Western orientation, but it certainly puts it to the test. It is time for the debate on Turkey's drift to be replaced by a more serious and fruitful one on the reasons why Turkey is still important for the EU and the West and what Europe and the West mean for and can offer contemporary Turkey.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Cold War
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Alison Pargeter
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Since July 2008 when one of Qadhafi's sons was arrested in Geneva, Libya has been engaged in a major stand-off with Switzerland. What began as a personalised affair soon escalated into a major diplomatic crisis with the Libyan leader going so far as to declare jihad against the Swiss. Yet whilst Libya's response to the arrest surprised many and prompted questions about whether the recently rehabilitated Libya had really changed its ways, this affair in fact demonstrates some of the constants of Libyan foreign policymaking since the revolution of 1969. These include the highly personalised nature of policymaking in the Libyan state and the use of foreign policy in the enduring quest for popular legitimacy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Geneva, Libya, Switzerland
  • Author: Christopher R. Hughes
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Elections for a new parliament and president in Taiwan last year have led to a relaxation in the relationship with China that had become increasingly tense under the previous administration in Taipei. Having come to power on a platform of economic revival, the newly elected president, Ma Ying-jeou, now has to win over a wary public to support his policy of deeper engagement with China. This is becoming increasingly difficult as the economic downturn on both sides of the Taiwan Strait has made it hard to deliver the expected material benefits and the island slides into a severe recession. Meanwhile, Ma faces a growing dilemma as he waits for Beijing to deliver concessions on allowing the island more international space. If this is not forthcoming, domestic politics could force him back towards the more assertive foreign policy developed by his predecessors.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: China, Taiwan
  • Author: David Kerr
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Russia did not join the West, nor did it join the East. Russia's commitment to its strategic autonomy and independent foreign and security policy requires the preservation of a 'middle continent' that bridges and transcends Europe and Asia. Russia pursues a restorationist strategy for Eurasia but faces a three-way struggle: for its own autonomy as a great power; for resistance to absorption within the US-centred system of common strategic space; and for management of the dynamics between the emergent powers through negotiation between strategic partnerships and regionalisms. This article examines these dilemmas in relation to Eastern Eurasia, and in particular the Sino-Russian relationship.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eurasia, Asia
  • Author: Arthur S. Ding
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: China's rapid military modernisation in the past decade has raised concern over when and how will China use its military power in the future. There is no definite answer to this concern. However, the new course in Taiwan, urgent non-traditional security issues, the domestic agenda for re-allocating resources to development of a 'harmonious society', and the looming economic crisis could shape China's foreign policy goals so that it continues the engagement approach adopted in the past decade.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: China