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  • Author: Kamran Ismayilov, Konrad Zasztowt
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Azerbaijan recently had to face a wave of criticism from the European institutions (the OSCE and the European Parliament) due to its government’s undemocratic practices. In response, Baku accused its European partners of Islamophobia and declared the suspension of parliamentary cooperation in the framework of the EU’s Euronest. The Azerbaijani ruling elite also blames the West of supporting a “fifth column” in Azerbaijan (meaning civil society organisations) as well as of giving political support to its arch-enemy Armenia in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. At the same time authorities in Baku are displaying their developing political partnership with Russia. This paper examines the consequences of the crisis in relations between the EU and Azerbaijan and Azerbaijani-Russian rapprochement for the prospects for EU-Azerbaijan energy projects and regional security in the South Caucasus.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Civil Society, Politics, Governance
  • Political Geography: Russia, Azerbaijan
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Following the 2015 national election in Turkey the AKP, for the first time since coming to power in 2002, failed to win enough votes to form a majority government. Since the election the AKP has given the impression that it is attempting to form a coalition government, but in reality the party has been employing a number of tactics in order to increase its share of the vote in preparation for a snap election. These tactics have mainly revolved around increasing the nationalist vote and damaging the main Kurdish party. However, these manoeuvres have increased polarisation in Turkey and have resulted in an escalation of the conflict with the Kurds. Worryingly, it has become evident that the AKP aims to win power in the next election at all costs.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Politics, Governance, Elections
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Patryk Kuglel
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The EU-India Strategic Partnership launched in 2004 has made only modest achievements and needs a thorough rethink. Both sides must reset cooperation and base it on a more realistic footing centred on common interests, such as economic cooperation, global governance, development cooperation, and defence. The resumption of free trade negotiations, the organisation of a long overdue bilateral summit, and more frank dialogue on contentious issues is necessary in order to utilise the partnership’s potential. Poland may use this strategic drift to revitalise bilateral cooperation and play a more active role in reviving EU-India dialogue.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Politics, Bilateral Relations, Governance
  • Political Geography: Europe, India
  • Author: Patryk Sasnal
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Syrians constitute the biggest national group migrating to Europe in 2015, according to Frontex. Of all the social diversity within a single society, two generalised profiles of a Syrian refugee can be inferred from available information: a poorer, rural worker based in camps in Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon, and a richer, middle-class professional living outside of refugee camps, recently migrating to Europe via the Greece and Western Balkans route. While Europe has so far received the best of the Syrian society, poorer Syrians may also be on the move without an immediate and substantial improvement of educational infrastructure and their legal labour market status in host countries.
  • Topic: Civil War, Economics, Migration, Poverty, Refugee Issues, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Syria
  • Author: Terje Østebø, Wallelign Shemsedin
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Norwegian Centre for Conflict Resolution
  • Abstract: The Intellectualist movement is one of the major Islamic reform movements in contemporary Ethiopia. Informal and decentralised in character, it has attracted young students, professionals and urban intellectuals. The movement was inspired to a great extent by the ideas of the Muslim Brotherhood, which were critically contextualised and applied to the Ethiopian context. This has entailed avoiding the more political aspects of Brotherhood thinking while emphasising the positive role of Islamic virtues in the formation of individual and societal piety. The Intellectualists have further been formative for Ethiopian Muslims' thinking about secularism, democracy and constitutional rule, and have played a significant role in mediating between various religious actors in Ethiopia, as well as negotiating the position of Islam in relation to the political authorities. Of particular importance is the way in which the movement has served as a moderating force in a rapidly changing and fluid political and religious landscape. This demonstrates the inherent complexity of the trend commonly labelled as Islamism, and points to the need for nuanced and localised approaches when trying to understand this trend.
  • Political Geography: Ethiopia
  • Author: Wenche Hauge
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Norwegian Centre for Conflict Resolution
  • Abstract: In recent decades Haitian migration to the Dominican Republic has been unregulated. It has garnered more attention after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti caused a slight peak in cross-border migration. The ruling of the Dominican Republic's Constitutional Tribunal on September 23rd 2013, which effectively denationalised many Dominicans of Haitian ancestry, has increased this attention. However, a narrow focus has defined the debate in terms of human rights concerns versus the Dominican Republic's sovereignty. This policy brief shows why it is necessary to broaden the focus to include other aspects of the relationship between Haiti and the Dominican Republic, such as asymmetrical trade relations and how they affect Haitian communities along the border between the two countries in particular. It also points out the importance of social representation, and how images that Dominican and Haitian populations have of each other are formed, and influence the situation of Haitian migrant workers and their families in the Dominican Republic. Finally, it argues that more attention should be paid to the role of local civil society in support of Haitian migrant workers in the Dominican Republic, because civil society has proven to be very active, using a multifaceted strategy in its work.
  • Author: Adeniyi Adejimi Osinowo
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Despite earning the inauspicious title in recent years as the shipping corridor with the highest number of piracy attacks in the world, regional responses to piracy and maritime security threats in the Gulf of Guinea, have been fragmentary. Maritime domain awareness remains low, interagency coordination is limited, and intra-regional coordination mechanisms that have been established are often underfunded.
  • Topic: International Security, International Affairs, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Papua New Guinea
  • Author: Sophie Heine
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: For several decades, the European Union has been at the forefront of significant progress in the struggle towards equality between women and men, among others in the fight against sex-based discriminations. The contemporary EU approach to gender has however become much more interested in representations and social norms. This paper analyses this stance and highlights its deficiencies – more specifically, it looks at the flaws entailed in an excessive focus on “gender
  • Topic: Gender Issues, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Amy Hawthorne, Frances G. Burwell, Danya Greenfield
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: A new Atlantic Council report warns against the tendency of Europe and the United States to sideline political and economic reform in the Middle East while they pursue urgent security priorities in this turbulent region. Instead, the transatlantic partners should forge a shared strategy to encourage political systems that can protect Arab citizens' basic rights, provide security, deliver broad prosperity, and mitigate violent extremism.
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Middle East
  • Author: Danya Greenfield, Faysal Itani
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: To cling to current short-sighted policies and to help sustain dysfunctional states in the Middle East for the sake of short-term security would condemn the region to poverty and further instability, which threaten to have negative consequences for US interests.
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East