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  • Author: Patrick Nopens
  • Publication Date: 02-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: Three major geopolitical events are putting the stability of the Eastern Mediterranean at risk. Most of the region is in a deep monetary and economic crisis. The Arab Spring is causing turmoil in the Levant and the Maghreb. Gas and oil discoveries, if not well managed, could further destabilise the region. At the same time, Russia and Turkey are staging a comeback. In the face of these challenges, the EU approaches the Greek sovereign debt crisis nearly exclusively from a financial and economic viewpoint. This brief argues that the EU has to develop a comprehensive strategy for the region, complementing its existing multilateral regional framework with bilateral agreements in order to secure its interests in the Eastern Mediterranean.
  • Topic: Security, Debt, Oil, Regime Change, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Turkey, Arabia
  • Author: Khalid Koser
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Geneva Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: Economic and financial crises have always impacted on international migration patterns, processes, and policies. The Great Depression (1929- 33) resulted in massive repatriations of Latin Americans from the United States and the introduction of highly restrictive immigration policies in a number of industrialized countries, including France and Canada. The Oil Crisis (1973) resulted in severe restrictions on labour migration, a concomitant growth in asylum applications and irregular migration in Europe, and the emergence of new flows of labour migration to emerging industrial centres in Asia and Latin America. As a result of the Asian financial crisis (1997-99) several South-East Asian countries introduced policies of national preference and sought to expel migrant workers. The Russian financial crisis (1998) accelerated rates of emigration from Russia, in particular of Russian Jews and the highly-skilled. The gravity of the Latin American financial crisis (1998- 2002) also resulted in a significant exodus, in particular from Argentina.
  • Topic: Economics, Migration, Global Recession, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Russia, Asia, Latin America
  • Author: Graeme P. Herd
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Geneva Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: In the wake of the global financial crisis, a debate over necessary policy responses morphed into something much more profound and fundamental – the sustainability of Russia's current governance model and its preferred longer-term modernization paradigm. On 10 September 2009 President Medvedev published a remarkably frank article entitled 'Russia, Forward!' This article noted that Russia's governance model appeared to be failing, proving vulnerable in the face of the global financial crisis. President Medvedev himself criticized Russia's 'humiliating' dependence on raw materials, as well as its 'inefficient economy, a semi-Soviet social sphere, an immature democracy, negative demographic trends, unstable Caucasus.' In his 12 November 2009 Message to the Federal Assembly, Medvedev elaborated further on this theme: Russia could either modernize or deteriorate; modernization would provide a touchstone for 'how we can overcome our chronic backwardness, dependence on raw materials exports, and corruption'. On 3 February 2010, the Institute for Contemporary Development (INSOR) published a report that received widespread coverage entitled 21st Century Russia: The Image of Tomorrow We Want. As President Medvedev had created INSOR in 2008 to give him independent advice on economic and foreign policy and sat as a trustee on its board, this report received widespread publicity. Such publicity was magnified as the report touched just about every exposed nerve by advocating that Russia should join NATO, end censorship, abolish the state security service, and adopt a Western-style democracy, entailing the separation of the courts from the state, of the legislative branch from the executive, horizontal modernization (characterized as the debureaucratization of the vertical top-down corrupt, over-regulated economic process)3. Without change, Russia faced a strategic cul de sac that leads to slow and steady strategic marginalization: 'In a few years, when it turns out that Russia has nothing to boast about except export supplies of raw materials at prices that are dictated to us, we will be exporting people. And, not only the cleverest like now, but any workers, who are in demand in Europe, as is happening today in Latvia, for example. I frankly do not know what Russia should do in this situation. This problem will be one of the main ones for the president who is elected in 2012
  • Topic: Democratization, Global Recession, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Latvia
  • Author: Uri Dadush, Lauren Falcao
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: More than 200 million people reside in a country that is not their birthplace. This “diaspora nation” of migrants outranks all but four of the world's countries in population. These migrants make an immense economic contribution both to their host country and to their home country, primarily through transfers of money they earn back to their home country, which are known as “remittances.” About 82 percent of migrants originate in developing countries, and their remittances, which amounted to an estimated $305 billion in 2008, represent an essential source of foreign exchange for these countries, as well as a major instrument in the fight against poverty.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, Migration, Immigration, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Russia, America, Dubai
  • Author: Igor Torbakov, Vadim Kononenko
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: As the Kremlin believes that the global economic downturn is increasing the trend towards greater regionalism, the strategic conclusion is to strengthen Russia's position as the centre of its "own region" - post-Soviet Eurasia. In order to enhance its geopolitical posture in the ex-Soviet area, Russia has been pursuing a two- track policy: it is buying up assets from, and giving out loans to, its distressed neighbours on a massive scale. Several forces appear to be working at cross-purposes with the Kremlin's ambitions: 1) the state of Russia's own economic system; 2) the wiliness and cunning maneuvering of Moscow's "allies"; and 3) the growing competition on the part of the other centres of power - the European Union and China. Ultimately, the Kremlin's desperate efforts to turn Russia into a geopolitical leader of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) are likely to be frustrated by Russia's lack of a coherent long-term strategy and by its socio-political system's dearth of appeal.
  • Topic: Globalization, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, Asia, Soviet Union
  • Author: Jaya Prakash Pradhan
  • Publication Date: 08-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Just over a year ago, outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) from India seemed to be on a path of rapid and sustained growth. Its annual average growth of 98% during 2004–07 had been unprecedented , much ahead of OFDI growth from other emerging markets like China (74%), Malaysia (70%), Russia (53%), and the Republic of Korea (51%), although from a much lower base. Much of this recent growth had been fuelled by large-scale overseas acquisitions, however, and it faltered when the global financial crisis that started in late 2007 made financing acquisitions harder.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Foreign Direct Investment, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Malaysia, India, Korea