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You searched for: Content Type Policy Brief Remove constraint Content Type: Policy Brief Publishing Institution Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre Remove constraint Publishing Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre Topic Economics Remove constraint Topic: Economics
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  • Author: Rabab el-Mahdi
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: The puzzle of Egypt's apparently wild swings from the Mubarak regime to a Muslim Brotherhood government and then back to a military dictatorship have been manipulated to fit the simplistic linear and binary categorical models of democratic transition, with an emphasis on procedural outcomes, when in fact deeper structural issues are at stake. Three challenges explain mainstream Egyptians' choices and the tumultuous path the revolution has been following. The first is the structural economic crisis facing Egypt, coupled with lack of state administrative capacity, which no government has been able to effectively deal with. The second is the repercussions of Egypt's post-colonial history, which as a consequence tends to see the army as the "saviour" and "liberator" of the nation. The third is the failure of alternative groups to to provide solid political alternatives for the majority to rally around against the two reactionary poles and their inability to devise strategies to break loose from and reconstruct the hegemonic discourse . Consequently, international actors who throw their weight behind one reactionary faction or the other based solely on pragmatic considerations of their ability to bring about stability will be backing the wrong horse.
  • Topic: Economics, Islam, Armed Struggle, Regime Change, Popular Revolt
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Egypt
  • Author: Balkan Devlen
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: From the start of the Ukrainian crisis Turkey kept a low profile and adopted a strategy best described as "don't poke the Russian bear". Russia is a major Turkish trading partner and Turkey relies heavily on Russian natural gas for its energy needs, while Turkish prime minister Erdogan has also been dealing with serious domestic challenges in the last year. Therefore, due to both external and internal factors, Turkey will avoid confronting Russia directly and will pass the buck to the U.S. and EU. In the short to medium term there are three plausible scenarios under which Turkey will change its current policy. They include the oppression of Crimean Tatars by the Russian authorities; military confrontation in the Black Sea between Russia and NATO; or a more unified, tougher stance against Russia by the West. In the long term Turkey most likely will revert to its traditional role of balancing Russia by strengthening its ties with the West, while reducing its energy dependence on Russia.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, Governance
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Turkey, Ukraine, Asia
  • Author: Eckart Woertz
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: Saudi Arabia's domestic energy consumption is skyrocketing. The growth of electricity demand is particularly strong and shows a high degree of seasonality due to the need for air conditioning in the hot summer months. Demand drivers are population growth, industrial development and a subsidy regime that encourages wasteful consumption. Saudi Arabia now faces a natural gas shortage and is seeking alternative energy sources like nuclear power and renewables in order to reduce the common practice of using fuel oil, crude oil and diesel in power stations. If unchecked, domestic energy demand will threaten oil export capacity and could compromise Saudi Arabia's role as swing producer in global oil markets. However, a reform of the subsidy regime is politically sensitive, because citizens regard subsidies as an entitlement. The government is reluctant to touch subsidies in order to avoid the kind of political unrest that has occurred elsewhere in the wake of the Arab Spring.
  • Topic: Demographics, Economics, Energy Policy, Oil
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: David Sogge
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: According to recent research, Western policies on fragility and peacebuilding pay little attention to the "root causes" of destructive conflict. It is broadly evident that sociopolitical inequalities are among these root causes. Understanding how inequalities drive organised violence and are in turn driven by it can help inform policies for peace. This policy brief sketches some issues and recent research findings on this topic. It focuses on inequalities among social groups as major sources of risk; the distribution of material goods, power and status as preconditions of organised violence; the dynamics of organised violence stemming from inequalities; the risks of organised violence as a consequence of inequality, and vice versa; and lines of approach open to outside agencies, including knowledge gaps that they can help fill.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Political Violence, Economics, Poverty, Social Stratification
  • Author: Steffen Hertog
  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: Saudi Arabia's national oil company, Saudi Aramco, has been a critical agent for the social, economic and infrastructural development of Saudi Arabia; its managerial capacities are unrivalled in the Kingdom – and, indeed, the Gulf region. After it played a rather limited role outside the hydrocarbons sector in the 1980s and 1990s, its range of tasks and ambitions has recently again expanded drastically into a number of new policy sectors, including heavy industry, renewable energy, educational reform, infrastructure-building and general industrial development. This presents both opportunities and risks for Aramco, which has started to operate far outside its traditional politically insulated "turf" of running the upstream oil and gas infrastructure in the Kingdom. It is now involved in activities that are more political and more closely scrutinised by the Saudi public, and will have to build up new institutional and political capacities to maintain its reputation for clean and efficient management.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Industrial Policy, Oil, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Diana Felix da Costa
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: Despite the Murle group being politically and economically marginalised, local and national political and popular discourses portray this group as the main aggressor in South Sudan's Jonglei State. This widely asserted narrative ignores the fact that responsibility for the cycle of violence in Jonglei rests with all those perpetrating violence and certainly not solely with one group. While sharing an overarching ethnic identity, when it comes to issues of peacebuilding, the Murle can be neither seen nor treated as a consolidated group. Rather, there are cattlekeeping Murle living in the lowlands of Pibor county and agrarian Murle living in the Boma Plateau; there are also age-sets, clans and many other differentiating factors. Accusing all Murle of responsibility for violence only serves to magnify the sense of marginalisation and isolation felt by the Murle as a whole. This policy brief seeks to address some of the differences between the cattlekeeping lowlands Murle and the cultivating highlands Murle from the Boma Plateau. By doing so, it highlights the importance of understanding cultural specificities and the local political economy and, when it comes to peacebuilding, of differentiating who is responsible for a specific conflict and who has influence over those responsible.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Economics, Ethnic Conflict, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan
  • Author: Clare Castillejo
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: Pakistan's election result was a vote for the status quo and has clearly maintained power in the hands of the country's political elite. However, analysis of the election process and outcome does indicate some shifts in the deeply entrenched patterns of political, social and economic exclusion that fuel Pakistan's fragility. On the negative side these include increased splits among the provinces and a more dominant Punjab, as well as greater threats to minorities and secular voices. However, some positive trends also emerge. These include a possible increase in political appetite for economic reform and development investment; growing political confidence among Pakistan's women; and the political engagement of the urban youth and middle-class populations with an interest in changing Pakistan's corrupt political system. As the international community begins to engage with Nawaz Sharif's new government it must recognise the importance of addressing exclusion as a major cause of Pakistan's instability. In particular, it must seek new entry points in the post-election environment to support the emergence of a more inclusive political settlement in Pakistan.
  • Topic: Corruption, Democratization, Economics, Ethnic Conflict, Gender Issues, Islam
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, South Asia
  • Author: Adriana Erthal Abdenur, Danilo Marcondes de Souza Neto
  • Publication Date: 05-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: For most of the twentieth century, the strategic importance of the North Atlantic outstripped that of the southern part of the ocean. However, the past decade has brought significant shifts in Atlantic dynamics, with regional and external actors developing new interests in the region. Brazil, in particular, has been working to reinforce its control and influence in the South Atlantic. To this end, over the last five years the Brazilian government has launched or intensified efforts meant to securitise the South Atlantic. This strategy combines unilateral initiatives – naval build-up, domestic military publicity efforts, and international legal moves – with a vastly expanded international defence cooperation programme that covers nearly the entire South Atlantic perimeter. This policy brief analyses key components of Brazil's strategy, situating them within the South Atlantic's changing ecology of actors and suggesting some of the potential tensions that may arise from Brazil's growing protagonism in the South Atlantic.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, Regional Cooperation, Governance
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Evanthia Balla
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: The South Caucasus, situated as it is at the crossroads of Eurasia's major energy and transport corridors, continues to play a vital role in the world's security affairs. After the end of the cold war the South Caucasus emerged as a key region in the geopolitical contest among regional and global powers. The South Caucasus states of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia are constantly performing a balancing act in their relations with the U.S., Russia, Turkey and Iran. Armenia has developed strong political and economic ties with Iran in order to counter the Turkish-Azerbaijani axis. Azerbaijan seeks to reinforce its links with the West, especially the U.S., as its main extraregional source of diplomatic and economic support, while it remains cautious towards both Russian and Iranian ambitions in the region. Especially after the 2008 war with Russia and the loss of its provinces of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Georgia has reinforced its links to Western powers and structures while strengthening its ties with Turkey. Both Turkey and Iran are trying to increase their influence in the region, while promoting their national interests in the international arena.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Economics, Islam, Power Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Pinar Tank
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: The end of the cold war and the bipolar world order heralded an era of transition for global governance. Twenty years on there is still no consensus on the status of the distribution and exercise of power in today's multipolar world. What is clear, however, is the rise of new powers seeking a global political role comparable with their increased economic clout. Often referred to as the BRICS – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa – to which second-tier powers such as Indonesia, Turkey and Mexico can be added, these states are called “rising powers” or “new powers” because of their rapid economic development, and expanding political and cultural influence.
  • Topic: Cold War, Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa, Russia, China, India, Brazil
  • Author: Mark B. Taylor
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: International responses to conflict have highlighted the role of natural resources and other forms of wealth in helping to sustain “self-financing wars”. For over a decade there have been sporadic attempts to come to grips with the international dimensions of the economies of conflict, but concrete efforts to grapple with the problem have been sporadic and incoherent. However, in 2011 developments at the UN and OECD have laid the foundations for a more coherent approach, one that seeks to control the irregular war economies in part by excluding the results of unacceptable activities from global value chains. This is a step in the right direction. However, as this policy brief argues, the effectiveness and legitimacy of this approach relies on the conscious development of a strategy that defines clear norms as the basis for exclusion, builds the capacity in the public and private sector for managing the process of exclusion, and mitigates any unintended harms resulting from exclusion to vulnerable people in conflict-affected areas.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, United Nations, War, Natural Resources
  • Author: Steffen Hertog
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) countries' financial sectors are solid, but not very sophisticated: business is mostly financed through bank lending rather than bonds or stock issues, and banks continue to rely on state support and, in many cases, are directly state owned.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Andrew Gardner
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: Although large-scale migration to the Arabian Peninsula is often framed as a new or novel situation, an examination of historical accounts reveals cities, ports and peoples intricately connected with the greater Indian Ocean world for more than a millennium. For much of the past century, however, migration to the region has been organised through the kafala , or sponsorship system, which is almost ubiquitously posited as the causal force behind current labour-related problems. The right to work in the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) states has been globally commodified, and low-skilled workers often pay $2,000 or more for the right to work in Arabia for a year or more. Low-skilled workers in the GCC states are best conceptualised as emissaries of a larger household livelihood and investment strategy. Living quarters for such workers in Arabia are often substandard, and the enforcement of existing laws, regulations and policies is often poor to inadequate. Youthful and worldly local populations have a demonstrably different attitude to labour rights and issues than their predecessors and elders, and these growing trends should be broadly supported through policy planning in the region. The enforcement of existing regulations and labour laws should also be supported where possible. Finally, the overall number of international organisations now focused on labour rights in Arabia provides ample opportunity for policy planners to seek collaborative relationships that might strategically yield significant benefits.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Rights, Migration, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Martha Brill Olcott
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: The absence of a functional government in Afghanistan has been creating economic and security challenges for the Central Asian states since their founding in 1991. Long frustrated by the international community's failure to end the Afghan civil war through negotiation, the 2001 September 11 attack created the expectation among these countries that the US would intervene successfully in Afghanistan, leading to an economic recovery that would advance the development of all the states in the region.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Economics
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Central Asia