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  • Author: Efraim Inbar
  • Publication Date: 07-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Begin-Sadat Centre for Strategic Studies (BESA)
  • Abstract: The United States is retreating from the Middle East. The adverse implications of this policy shift are manifold, including: the acceleration of Tehran’s drive to regional hegemony, the palpable risk of regional nuclear proliferation following the JCPOA, the spread of jihadist Islam, and Russia’s growing penetration of the region. Manifest US weakness is also bound to have ripple effects far beyond the Middle East, as global players question the value of partnership with an irresolute Washington.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security
  • Political Geography: America, Middle East
  • Author: Lucia Najšlová
  • Publication Date: 06-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: At a time when the Visegrad Group (V4) is becoming a more ambitious regional bloc, several policymakers and analysts have floated the idea of deepening a dialogue with Turkey, a country of tremendous importance for the EU, and one that is enjoying unprecedented interest of policymakers, business circles and publics at large.2 Perhaps this should not come as a surprise – although the V4’s approach to the refugee crisis left some Western EU leaders questioning whether accepting the Eastern Europeans in the 2004 enlargement was a mistake – the V4 has a track-record of constructive engagement in the EU neighborhoods, and consistent support for further enlargement, including Turkey’s accession.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Thanos Dokos
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP)
  • Abstract: ELIAMEP Policy Paper 26/2016 deals with the Eastern Mediterranean in 2020. It is edited by Director General of the Foundation Dr Thanos Dokos. The policy paper employs scenarios and includes policy recommendations. Findings are based on a conference organised by ELIAMEP and Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) in Athens on “The Eastern Mediterranean in 2020: Possible Scenarios and Policy Recommendations” . The conference was organised in cooperation with the EU Institute for Security Studies (EU-ISS) and with the support of NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division.
  • Topic: Political Theory
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: M Shteiwi
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center of Strategic Studies (CSS)
  • Abstract: For Europe, 2015 was the year of the biggest migration and refugee crisis in the European Union’s history. Around 1.5 million asylum seekers arrived in Europe (0.2% of the combined EU population) in 2015, most of them Syrian refugees. More than 4 million Syrians have fled their country since the onset of the conflict in 2011. According to the Syrian Regional Refugee Response, there are 639,000 UNHCR registered refugees in Jordan (8% of the population), 1 million in Lebanon (17%), 2.7 million in Turkey (3.5%), 246,000 in Iraq (0.7%), and 118,000 in Egypt (0.1%). Many other Syrians living in those countries have not been registered by UNHCR. In addition, 7.5 million are estimated to be internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Syria itself. These are only the numbers directly related to the Syrian conflict. Iraqi, Sudanese, Somali, Palestinian, Eritrean and Ethiopian refugees are also registered in the aforementioned countries. Between 1998 and 2003 unauthorised entries by sea into Greece, Italy, Malta and Spain had stabilised, except for 2011 due to the Arab Spring (Fargues, 2015), but in 2015 the numbers increased dramatically, as shown in this pape
  • Topic: Diaspora, Refugee Crisis
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Awni Taimeh
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center of Strategic Studies (CSS)
  • Abstract: Food security is very vital and a complex issue that depends on many interrelated and dynamic factors. Its complexity is attributed to the strong connectivity of the global, re- gional and national drivers and their interactions. Moreover, the boundaries between the global, region, and national levels, and their impacts are not strict. The growing world population and the disproportional expansion of land resources to feed the growing number of people gives the national food security an international dimension with great pressure on countries with poor resilient economy and their ability to coup with the risk associated with these global dynamics.
  • Topic: Food Security
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 07-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: The military coup attempt that unfolded in Turkey on the night of 15 July 2016 was successfully put down by popular protests across the country responding to President Erdogan’s calls for citizens to stand for democracy. Despite this, the coup attempt will have domestic, regional and international implications. This policy brief is a preliminary analysis of the reasons the coup failed, the paths Turkish politics may take after this coup and the regional and international reactions to the coup.
  • Topic: International Security, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Publication Date: 05-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: After two meetings between Turkey’s President Erdogan and Prime Minister Davutoglu in the span of less than a week, Davutoglu announced his resignation as head of government and head of the AKP party on 5 May 2016. This policy brief examines the key points of contention between Erdogan and Davutoglu, the republic’s governmental crisis, the impact of Davutoglu’s resignation on the Justice and Development (AKP) Party and the possibility of constitutional reform that will change the country’s system of governance.
  • Topic: Democratization, Political Power Sharing, Political stability
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: This policy brief examines developments regarding resolution of the Syrian issue, particularly in light of three key events: Russia’s announcement of a withdrawal, Geneva III talks and the opposition’s latest announcement that they wanted the talks to cease given increasing aggression on civilian areas. For the opposition belonging to the High Negotiations Committee (HNC), Assad cannot have a role in Syria’s political future, particularly given that his regime and its allies is responsible for 95 per cent of the casualties in the country, far exceeding any other actors in Syria, including the Islamic State organisation.(1) This policy brief looks at the outcomes of the third round of Geneva III, what Russia has gained from its intervention and so-called withdrawal, and argues that any future proposals for Syria which maintain Assad’s position will result in continuation of fighting.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Civil War
  • Political Geography: Syria
  • Author: Andrea Charron
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: Canada’s use of sanctions is little studied which means the full scope and effect of this tool are not appreciated. Until 2006, Canada applied sanctions in support of the United Nations almost exclusively. Since then, Canada has also applied discretionary sanctions in support of allies such as the European Union and United States’ measures in addition to those required by the UN Security Council. Lacking extraterritorial reach and with this new tendency to layer sanctions (applying UN and additional measures) requires the navigation of multiple pieces of Canadian legislation. Banks and private companies, which are largely responsible for giving effect to Canada’s sanctions, must navigate this legislation. This has ensnared a few Canadians in the process with little evidence that Canada’s application of sanctions is compelling its targets (people, companies, and states) to change their behaviour. Canada’s application of sanctions is a signal of its desire to support multilateral, collective security efforts – nothing more or less.
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Canada
  • Author: Colin Robertson
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau can use this week’s Washington Summit to advance Canadian interests with the Obama Administration. Successful outcomes in Washington will also help to set both the agenda and right mood for the upcoming North American Leaders Summit and, next January, for opening discussions with the next U.S. Administration. A Canadian action agenda is outlined below followed by background and historical analysis. Specific initiatives are grouped in four baskets: Security; Trade and Economic; Climate and the North; and Getting It Done.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: America, Canada
  • Author: Colin Robertson
  • Publication Date: 06-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: On Wednesday, June 29th, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will host US President Barack Obama and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto for the tenth North American Leaders’ Summit (NALS). All three leaders want this meeting to succeed. For President Obama, it will advance his climate agenda continentally and help to cement his legacy in managing good neighbourhood relations. Climate also rates high in President Peña Nieto’s agenda, along with improving access for Mexican goods and mobility for Mexicans within North America. In terms of Canada-Mexico relations, President Peña Nieto expects Prime Minister Trudeau to announce the lifting of the obnoxious Canadian visa requirement. For Prime Minister Trudeau, making his debut as host of a multilateral summit, it is another demonstration that ‘Canada is back’. He must reset the Mexican relationship by announcing the long-promised lifting of the visa. He will get to know Enrique Peña Nieto better (they met briefly at November’s G20 summit and they were friendly ‘rivals’ for ‘APEC ‘hottie’ at the subsequent Manila summit). The summit represents another opportunity for ‘face-time’ with Barack Obama with whom he has quickly established a strong personal friendship and to reciprocate the hospitality of the White House meetings and state dinner in March. The North American summit comes within a week of the Brexit referendum. It will offer an opportunity for the three leaders to demonstrate a different kind of continental integration – less centralized, less bureaucratic – but still successful in mutually advancing economic prosperity that reinforces the sovereignty of each member.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: America, Canada
  • Author: Chris Westdal
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: Canada and Russia are on speaking terms again. Our government has abandoned Stephen Harper’s policy of vocal disdain and the attempted isolation of Russia. We stand against Russian “interference” in Ukraine but, in the words of Global Affairs Minister, Stephane Dion, “the more we disagree, the more we have to discuss.” This paper describes the setting of Canada-Russia re-engagement in terms of current tension in East-West, NATO-Russia relations and of heightened Canadian foreign policy aspiration; rehearses the case for earnest, long-term Western and Canadian engagement, with investment of senior attention and talent; cautions that, though a bit of spring has sprung, there is a lot of ice to thaw, as bilateral sanctions are likely to be lifted only in step with allies and the implementation, halting at best, of the Minsk peace plan; assesses Russia’s vulnerabilities and the record of its interventions in Georgia, Ukraine and Syria; recommends active Canadian support, by all means, for Ukrainian-Russian reconciliation and for a better fence, a “mending wall” between Russia and NATO; and suggests formats and first steps toward the normalization of bilateral and multilateral relations with our Arctic neighbour.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Cooperation, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia, Canada
  • Author: James Milner
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: The resettlement of 25,000 Syrian refugees has been a prominent policy priority of the Liberal government since the October 2015 elections. This paper asks how Canada can build from its resettlement accomplishments in the context of three upcoming events: the High-Level Meeting of the UN General Assembly on 19 September 2016; US President Obama’s Summit on 20 September 2016; and Canada’s likely accession to Chair of the Executive Committee of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in October 2016. Given that these opportunities coincide with a need for substantial reform of the UN’s refugee system and Canada’s desire to re-engage with the United Nations System, the paper argues that the Government of Canada should prioritise three areas of leadership in the next two years: sharing its model for private sponsorship of refugee resettlement; championing the implementation of the new Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework in pilot countries; and leading a consultation process to make international cooperation for refugees more predictable. Leadership in these areas will contribute to a more efficient and effective refugee regime. It will also demonstrate Canada’s recommitment to multilateralism and advance Canada’s foreign policy objectives, including its bid for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council.
  • Topic: Refugee Issues
  • Political Geography: Canada
  • Author: Thomas Juneau
  • Publication Date: 07-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: The proposed $15 billion sale of light armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia has brought significant attention – mostly negative – to Canada’s partnership with the Arabian Peninsula kingdom. Much of this criticism is valid: the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia is abysmal, and Canada and its allies incur costs by being associated with Riyadh’s poor foreign policy choices. But to stop the analysis here and call for the cancelling of the deal fails to take into account the strategic rationale underlying the relationship with Saudi Arabia. Despite its many flaws, the partnership between Saudi Arabia and West, and therefore Canada, remains necessary; rejecting it and turning Saudi Arabia into a rival would make things worse. An important implication is that the best way forward with regards to the LAV deal is to collectively hold our nose, uphold the agreement, and move on.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Canada, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: John M Weekes
  • Publication Date: 08-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: This paper looks at the significance of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) for Canada. It situates the Agreement in the changing environment within which global commerce is conducted. It considers the prospects for TPP ratification, generally, in the US and Canada. It looks at the nature of the TPP as an agreement. It discusses the impacts on Canada in particular in the growing Asia Pacific region. Finally, it suggests options should TPP not be ratified in a timely fashion by the United States.
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Canada
  • Author: Colin Robertson
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: Energy, the environment, and climate change will figure prominently in Canada-US relations after January 20, 2017. The environmental movement will continue to press for ‘environmental justice’ –which means different things to different groups - in alignment with allies, especially indigenous peoples. Regardless of whether it is a Clinton or Trump presidency, Canadian leadership - provincial, federal, and private sector - must pro-actively advance our interests with Congress, the Administration and its agencies, and with state governments. Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump plan to spend a lot of money on infrastructure, including that related to energy. US business likes this idea. A majority of Republicans and Democrats, in both the Senate and House, as well as governors, would like more money devoted to infrastructure. Again, there will be opportunities for collaboration, improving North America’s relative competitiveness. Trade figured prominently throughout the campaign with Hillary Clinton stating that she would not accept the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in its current form and would appoint a ‘Trade Prosecutor’. Donald Trump has declared he will “tear up” the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and not sign the TPP. Regardless of who becomes president, we can expect more US protectionist trade action whether aimed directly at Canada - levies on softwood lumber are coming soon - or indirectly, as we recently experienced on aluminum when the US took aim at China.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: America, Canada
  • Author: Eric Miller
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: With a majority government and a different world view than his predecessor, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is re-making Canada’s foreign policy priorities and approaches. This paper offers some suggested approaches for engagement with Latin America. In the area of trade, the paper recommends seeking associate membership in the Pacific Alliance while continuing to strengthen linkages with Mexico within the North American commercial policy framework. It also suggests exploring the scope of what is possible with countries with which Canada does not have free trade agreements, especially Brazil and Ecuador. On the security front, the paper suggests that Canada needs a strategy for the Colombian peace process and to step up support to Mexico in strengthening the integrity of the southern border of North America. With regards to foreign policy, Canada needs a serious strategy for the new Cuba and needs to expand its diplomatic representation, namely in Paraguay and Bolivia. Finally, on the institution-building front Canada needs to secure senior positions at the Inter-American Development Bank and Organization of American States in order to help to drive institutional reform. Canada further needs a coherent strategy to attract in-bound foreign investment from Latin America. The region is rich with possibilities and a coherent engagement strategy can deliver much.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Canada, Latin America
  • Author: Stephen Blank
  • Publication Date: 06-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: The global economy can be viewed today as a myriad of border-crossing supply chain networks of production, supply, distribution and marketing systems. Given the enormous value embodied in these systems, and an environment increasingly characterized by uncertainty and vulnerability, it is not surprising that concern about supply chain security has intensified. Concern takes many forms. For example, how supply chains might be used as vehicles for criminal activity (smuggling, trafficking of narcotics and importing counterfeit goods) or acts of terrorism (radio-active materials, bombs, even nukes in containers). Technology-based threats to supply chains, such as cybercrimes, data breaches and IT failures, now appear more frequently in the literature on supply chain security. These threats could result in substantial disruption to supply chains and damage to companies and their customers. But larger storms are brewing, whose menace to supply chain security is greater still – and where actions to protect supply chains move more slowly. These include the continued deterioration of transportation infrastructure, a new posture on trade which views supply chains as threats to jobs and wages, and the impact of climate change. These threats do not lie off in the distant future; they are threats of today and tomorrow.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Divina Frau-Meigs, Lee Hibbard
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Children and young people are increasingly reliant on the Internet for their everyday lives. They communicate, share and collaborate online; use it to learn and play; and recognize its importance for their adult working lives. Considering their increasing access, agency and autonomy in using content and services, their protection as a vulnerable group needs to be coupled with their education as emerging citizens to ensure they develop a healthy and positive relationship regarding the Internet. Their general well-being, participation in society and prospects of employment greatly depend on media and information literacy (MIL) as the new set of basic skills for the twenty- rst century, where computational thinking interfaces with the rich and diverse “cultures of information” (news, data, documents, codes and so on). This paper examines education and its digital transition, mindful of the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations. It discusses a variety of perspectives and trends, arguing that the future of education should be part of the global debate on Internet governance. It posits that Internet governance offers a new form of legitimacy for children and young people to go beyond their current “protected” status. Active participation in Internet governance can empower them to become actors in policy deliberations. This can be achieved by developing a “frontier” eld integrating existing Internet studies with MIL, rede ned to comprise Internet governance principles, protocols and processes. This new eld can be integrated into the school curriculum as a key discipline. Such a digital transition from education 2.0 (where information and communication technology [ICT] are support tools) to education 3.0 (where MIL and Internet governance are the new basics) can provide children with competencies for cooperation, creativity and social innovation. It can also nurture their human rights and understanding of shared values, which, in turn, will help to build more inclusive societies. As a global resource managed in the public interest, the Internet depends not only on policy makers and decision makers, but also on education leaders, on the adults around children and, most importantly, on children themselves. Mindful of children’s cognitive development, cultural differences in the conceptualization of childhood and children’s exposure to all sorts of materials and resources online, this paper explores the mutually reinforcing opportunities for both children and the multi-stakeholder Internet community through their alliances in education and Internet governance.
  • Topic: Education
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Martin Guzman
  • Publication Date: 05-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: It is e cient that insolvent debtors restructure their liabilities. A timely and e cient process of debt restructuring is in the best interest of the aggregate. Conversely, delaying the restoration of debt sustainability may aggravate the economic situation of the debtor. is is ine cient: the prolongation of a recession decreases the amount of resources to be shared by the debtor and its creditors. e costs can be enormous for societies, as deep depressions are usually accompanied by high and persistent unemployment (generally unevenly distributed among the di erent cohorts and segments of the labour force), inequality and poverty.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Sustainable Development Goals
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: John Goodman
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Independent Institute
  • Abstract: For decades, people have increasingly sought to better manage life’s risks by appealing for help from their government, even when other alternatives would yield better results. Moreover, the growing dependence on government to solve major life problems has taken a heavy toll—higher taxes, greater political polarization, and numerous hidden costs and unintended consequences. Fortunately, we need not resign ourselves to this predicament. Opportunities for better managing life’s risks and reducing government waste are all around us, according to Independent Institute Senior Fellow John C. Goodman.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: America
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: This paper explores both the role that local content measures can play in advancing sustainable development, and the impact that trade and investment treaties concluded over the past 20 years have had and will continue to have on the ability of governments to employ those tools. Certain local content measures had been restricted under the WTO due to wide agreement by negotiating parties that their costs outweigh their benefits. But the WTO also left a number of local content measures in governments’ policy toolboxes. As is discussed in this paper, however, that is changing, with the range of permissible actions for many countries being significantly smaller than it was even a decade ago. This narrowed policy space, in turn, can limit the steps governments can take to make progress on the universally adopted Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Olle Östensson, Perrine Toledano
  • Publication Date: 07-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Employment creation is often seen as a key benefit of investment in natural resources. However, this benefit sometimes falls short: job estimates may be inflated, governmental policies may fail to maximize employment generation, and, in some cases, investments may lead to net livelihood losses. A more thorough examination of employment tied to mining and agricultural investments is thus useful for assessing whether and how employment from natural resource investments contributes to sustainable economic development—a particularly timely topic as countries consider how they will achieve the Sustainable Development Goals adopted in 2015.
  • Topic: Agriculture, International Affairs, Economic growth
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: CCSI has been working with the World Economic Forum, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) to create a shared understanding of how the mining industry can most effectively contribute to the SDGs. The report will help mining companies navigate where their activities – from exploration, through operations and mine closure – can help the world achieve the SDGs. Governments, civil society and other stakeholders can also identify opportunities for shared action and partnership with the industry.
  • Topic: International Development
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 07-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: CCSI developed A Policy Framework to Approach the Use of Associated Petroleum Gas. Associated Petroleum Gas (APG) is a form of natural gas that is found associated with petroleum fields. APG is often flared or vented for regulatory, economic or technical reasons. The flaring, however, is problematic from health and environmental perspectives. Moreover, flaring and venting APG wastes a valuable non-renewable resource that could be re-injected into the oil field or used for local and regional electricity generation. This framework aims at providing guidance for regulators, policymakers, and industry leaders seeking to develop practical approaches to unlock the economic value of APG.
  • Topic: Industrial Policy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Benjamin Tallis
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Abstract: The Czech-German Strategic Dialogue has been hailed as a significant upgrading of relations between the two countries. However, while it holds great potential, the dialogue mainly covers practical or tactical cooperation and is currently lacking in real strategic content. This deficit reflects a wider lack of strategic convergence between the partners and requires political, rather than bureaucratic action to address it. Doing so will require a larger shift in foreign policy thinking and action, particularly on the Czech side," writes Benjamin Tallis in his newest policy paper
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Benjamin Tallis
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Abstract: Difficulties in persuading EU Member States (EUMS) to act in solidarity with each other – or with refugees – have led to a focus on the ‘external dimensions’ of the migration crisis. This has created a misleading impression of the crisis as external to, rather created by, the EU and EUMS. Equally misleadingly, this framing suggests that the crisis can be dealt with outside, rather within the EU – generally by trying to stop the flow of migrants to Europe. This policy paper challenges this framing and argues that the migration crisis is one of Europe’s own making – and one which must be addressed, primarily, at home," writes Benjamin Tallis in his new policy paper on migration.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Tamás Lattmann, Veronika Bílková
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Abstract: The Islamic State (IS) must not be recognized as a State. It is an illegitimate non-state actor engaged in serious violations of international law. The use of force against the IS does not have a uniform legal basis. Some of the related actions can be justified on the grounds of the consent of the territorial State (this is the case with the US in Iraq, and Russia in Syria). The legality of other actions against the IS (those of Turkey in Iraq, and of the US in Syria) remains doubtful. The IS is likely to be defeated in the upcoming months. The situation does not require a more active engagement by the Czech Republic beyond what it is already doing (provision of weapons, training of armed and police personnel, etc.).
  • Topic: International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Michal Šimečka, Benjamin Tallis
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Abstract: The concept of a strategic partnership is gaining prominence in Czech diplomatic practice, but its meaning and implications remain inadequately understood. The policy paper seeks to redress the situation by unpacking the concept and building a framework for understanding strategic partnerships in the Czech context. It argues that while it is not necessary to construct a rigorous definition, more coherence and clarity is needed for strategic partnerships to serve as a meaningful instrument of Czech foreign policy.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Miroslav Tuma
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Abstract: The 9th Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) was held from 27 April to 22 May 2015 at the UN Headquarters in New York, but it failed. The Czech Republic should engage in urging other countries to achieve progress in nuclear disarmament through a compromise approach known as “the building blocks”. In parallel, it should also actively support the process of emphasizing the humanitarian consequences of the use of nuclear weapons. Also, the Czech Republic’s good relations with Israel should focus on the support for holding a Middle East conference on the creation of a zone free of weapons of mass destruction, a project enjoying long-term EU support. It would also be desirable for the Czech Republic to continue with its strong support for the achievement of the NPT’s universality, the early entry of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty into force and the start of a substantive debate about the main points at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Abdisaid Ali
  • Publication Date: 08-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The growth of Salafist ideology in East Africa has challenged long established norms of tolerance and interfaith cooperation in the region. This is an outcome of a combination of external and internal factors. This includes a decades-long effort by religious foundations in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states to promulgate ultraconservative interpretations of Islam throughout East Africa’s mosques, madrassas, and Muslim youth and cultural centers. Rooted within a particular Arab cultural identity, this ideology has fostered more exclusive and polarizing religious relations in the region, which has contributed to an increase in violent attacks. These tensions have been amplified by socioeconomic differences and often heavy-handed government responses that are perceived to punish entire communities for the actions of a few. Redressing these challenges will require sustained strategies to rebuild tolerance and solidarity domestically as well as curb the external influence of extremist ideology and actors.
  • Topic: Islam, Religion, Violent Extremism, Global Security
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Oluwakemi Okenyodo
  • Publication Date: 06-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: As in much of Africa, the vast majority of security threats facing Nigeria are internal, often involving irregular forces such as insurgents, criminal gangs, and violent religious extremists. Effectively combating such threats requires cooperation from local communities—cooperation limited by low levels of trust in security forces who often have reputations for corruption, heavy-handedness, and politicization. Tackling modern security threats, then, is directly tied with improving the governance and oversight of the security sector, especially the police. Key paths forward include clarifying the structure of command and oversight, strengthening merit-based hiring and promotion processes, and better regulating private and voluntary security providers.
  • Topic: International Relations, Corruption, International Affairs, Governance
  • Political Geography: Nigeria
  • Author: David C. Logan
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: China is developing its first credible sea-based nuclear forces. This emergent nuclear ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) force will pose unique challenges to a country that has favored tightly centralized control over its nuclear deterrent. The choices China makes about SSBN command and control will have important implications for strategic stability. Despite claims that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Rocket Force will be responsible for all Chinese nuclear forces, Chinese SSBNs currently appear to be under the control of the PLA Navy. However, China may choose to revise its command and control structures as its SSBNs begin armed deterrent patrols. There are three broad command and control models, allocating varying degrees of authority to the PLA Navy or the Rocket Force. China’s decisions about SSBN command and control will be mediated by operational, bureaucratic, and political considerations. A hybrid approach to command and control, with authority divided between the navy and the Rocket Force, would be most conducive to supporting strategic stability.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Christopher J. Lamb
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: There is strong bipartisan support for Section 941 of the Senate’s version of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2017, which requires the Pentagon to use cross-functional teams (CFTs). CFTs are a popular organizational construct with a reputation for delivering better and faster solutions for complex and rapidly evolving problems. The Department of Defense reaction to the bill has been strongly negative. Senior officials argue that Section 941 would “undermine the authority of the Secretary, add bureaucracy, and confuse lines of responsibility.” The Senate’s and Pentagon’s diametrically opposed positions on the value of CFTs can be partially reconciled with a better understanding of what CFTs are, how cross-functional groups have performed to date in the Pentagon, and their prerequisites for success. This paper argues there is strong evidence that CFTs could provide impressive benefits if the teams were conceived and employed correctly.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: T. X. Hammes
  • Publication Date: 07-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Numerous trends are slowing, and may even be reversing, globalization over the next decade or two. Manufacturing and services, driven by new technologies, are trending toward local production. For economic, technical, and environmental reasons, new energy production is now dominated by local sources—solar, wind, hydro, and fracked natural gas. To meet an increasing demand for fresh, organic foods, firms are establishing indoor farms in cities across the developed world to grow and sell food locally. Recent trade flow statistics indicate these factors have already slowed globalization. Technological and social developments will accelerate these inhibiting trends. Voters in the United States and Europe are increasingly angry over international trade. Prospects for passage of major trade agreements are dim.Authoritarian states, particularly China and Russia, are balkanizing the Internet to restrict access to information.Technological advances are raising the cost of overseas intervention while deglobalization is reducing its incentives. This paper argues that deglobalization would have momentous security implications. Accordingly, deglobalization must be monitored closely and if the trend continues,U.S. leaders will need to consider restructuring organizations, alliances,and national security strategy
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Hal Klepak
  • Publication Date: 07-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: President Barack Obama’s visit to Cuba in March 2016 opened up the possibility of strategic benefits for both nations. Well after over 50 years of hostility, however, it will not be easy to keep this nascent relationship on track. Avoiding missteps requires a deep knowledge of Cuba and particularly its Revolutionary Armed Forces (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias, or FAR). The FAR are a complex and powerful institution that enjoys great public respect—more so than Cuba's Communist Party—and remain central to the functioning of the Cuban economy and state. Broadening rapprochement without the support of the FAR is inconceivable. To build on the historic opening in diplomatic relations, both sides need a better appreciation of the other’s institutional norms and some clear "rules of the road" to guide the relationship. This paper offers insights concerning the FAR. It argues that it will be important to expand cooperation in the right areas and that it will be important to start small, go slow, build trust, consult early and often, let Cuba take the lead, and avoid imposing or reflecting a U.S.-centric view of civil-military relations.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Richard H.M Outzen, Ryan Schwing
  • Publication Date: 05-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Fifteen years into the era of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, U.S. influence on his inner circle and support base, the new generation of Turkish strategic thinkers, and the Turkish public at large has diminished rather than improved. American Turkey watchers have grown frustrated with perceived divergence of interests, values, and agendas. A growing number consider Erdoğan and his inner circle autocratic, difficult, ideologically extreme, and dangerous.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Philip C. Saunders, Joel Wuthnow
  • Publication Date: 05-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is undertaking its most significant restructuring since 1949, including changes to all of the PLA’s main organizational pillars—the Central Military Commission, services, and theaters. The reforms are modeled partly on the U.S. military structure, where combatant commanders lead operations and the services train and equip troops. However, the PLA remains a Leninist military responsible for defending Chinese Communist Party (CCP) rule. The reforms aim to tighten CCP supervision over a force seen as corrupt and unaccountable and to enhance the PLA’s ability to conduct joint operations across multiple domains. Theater commanders will be able to develop force packages drawn from all the services, and a new Strategic Support Force will provide C4ISR support. The reforms will create a short term organizational disruption, but may enable more effective joint war fighting over the long term. The PLA will have to overcome significant obstacles such as continued ground force dominance and inter-service rivalry to make the reforms succeed.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Christopher J. Lamb, Joseph C Bond
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Over the past 20 years, there has been a sea change in senior leader views on national security reform from skepticism to support. Nine major studies argue the national security system cannot generate or integrate the capabilities needed to manage security problems well. The system is “broken.” Yet there are major obstacles to reform. Inexperienced U.S. Presidents discover system limitations too late, when it is politically difficult to correct them; experts who have not studied system behaviors underestimate their liabilities; and leaders in the Department of Defense are more likely to favor reform than their counterparts in other departments, which creates a bureaucratic backlash against reform. However, two key prerequisites for success are in place: galvanizing cases of unsustainable performance, and in-depth problem analysis that reveals the origins of the same. A third prerequisite is committed leadership. With that in mind, the authors identify several reasons why Presidential candidates should embrace national security reform during the 2016 campaign.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Joel Wuthnow
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: China is poised to increase economic and diplomatic cooperation with Iran as a result of sanctions relief under the recent Iran nuclear deal, though a close geopolitical alignment between the two states is unlikely. Sino-Iranian relations will remain limited by several enduring constraints, including China’s desire for positive ties with other states, its pursuit of energy diversification, and its need for regional stability. Renewed Chinese arms sales to Iran could constitute an emerging challenge for the United States. This could increase Iran’s antiaccess/ area-denial threat to U.S. military forces and create proliferation risks. U.S. officials should press Chinese interlocutors to avoid exporting advanced weapons, which could embolden Iran to conduct a more brazen foreign policy that would threaten China’s fundamental need for regional stability
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: China, Iran
  • Author: David F. Helvey
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Unification of the Korean Peninsula would remove the primary threat that has animated the U.S.–Republic of Korea (ROK) alliance for over 60 years, but it need not require termination of the alliance. An alliance between the United States and a unified Korea would, at a macro level, reinforce the international liberal democratic order. At a micro level, it could help ensure security on the Korean Peninsula during the process of integrating the North, assist in the defense of Korea, and serve as a platform for multilateral security cooperation. A future alliance should be a part of planning for Korean unification and should consider the purpose of the alliance, its roles and missions, coordinating structures, and presence (if any) of U.S. troops. It should also include diplomatic efforts to assure China, Russia, and Japan that a future alliance would respect sovereignty and support stability. A reconfigured alliance should reflect greater equality between the United States and a unified Korea to ensure its political sustainability in both capitals. Planning for a future alliance must not erode the critical functions of deterrence that the alliance performs today
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Korea
  • Author: Vivek Chadha
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses
  • Abstract: There has been an upsurge in violence in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) in recent years. This has been accompanied by increasing cross-border violations by Pakistan and heavy retaliation by India. The Uri terrorist attack on September 18, 2016 — directed, equipped and supported by Pakistan, led to the surgical strike by India across the Line of Control (LoC), which caught Pakistan off-guard. These were followed by repeated attempts by Islamabad to disrupt the 2003 ceasefire along the LoC and hit at targets inside J&K through orchestrated terrorist strikes. The brief analyses fidayeen attacks that have taken place during the last three years by Pakistan sponsored terrorist groups. It then delineates steps the security forces could take to counter such attacks effectively.
  • Topic: International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Vivek Chadha
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses
  • Abstract: The impact of the demonetisation policy as related to curbing the finance of terrorism announced on November 08, 2016, is gradually emerging from the shadow of its surprise announcement. It is becoming abundantly clear that this is unlikely to remain a one off decision taken in isolation and will in all probability be accompanied by additional measures against the financing of terrorism and corruption. Even as the rollout takes place, it provides an opportunity to assess its potential fallout in the mid and long term, as also possible future options available to the government to further build upon the ongoing initiative.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Priyanka Singh
  • Publication Date: 08-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses
  • Abstract: Most of India’s geopolitical vexations stem from a contested northern periphery, entailing disputes born either in the aftermath of independence or inherited from British rule. Principal among these is the region of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), part of the erstwhile princely state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). Soon after independence, a huge portion of J&K’s territory was bifurcated from the rest of the princely state as a result of the Pakistan-aided assault conducted in these regions during 1947-48. Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) refers to those parts of the erstwhile princely state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) that continue to be under Pakistan’s control. It comprises the so-called ‘Azad’ Jammu and Kashmir (‘AJK’), and Gilgit Baltistan, which latter was referred to as the Northern Areas by the government of Pakistan until 2009. India stakes a claim on these territories by virtue of the Instrument of Accession signed by Maharaja Hari Singh on 26 October 1947.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Sushil Kumar Sharma
  • Publication Date: 06-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses
  • Abstract: Earlier this year, the Karbi People’s Liberation Tigers (KPLT) issued a threat to the local media after journalists at a meeting in Diphu Press Club unanimously decided not to publish the outfit’s calls for bandh against the assembly election scheduled in the district on April 04, 2016.1 In fact, just two days before the election, two KPLT militants were killed in an encounter with security forces in Karbi Anglong. Over the years, insurgency has adversely affected the socio-economic development of the district compared to the rest of the state. Development projects in the district have long been hampered by abductions and demands for extortion money by the insurgents.2 While most of the local insurgent groups have come under the ceasefire agreement, the KPLT continues to pose threat to security and development in the Karbi Anglong region. Apart from KPLT, the Naga Rengma Hills Protection Force (NRHPF) and the Kuki Revolutionary Army (KRA) are also active in the area.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: P. Stobdan
  • Publication Date: 06-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses
  • Abstract: The Foreign Ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) have recently finalised the draft agenda for the next Summit of the grouping to be held in Tashkent on June 23-24. Among other things, they adopted a procedure document for accession of India (and Pakistan) into the SCO. Originated in 1996 as “Shanghai-5” to build confidence building measures along the Sino-Central Asian frontier, the SCO became a full-fledged grouping in 2011 with a broader charter for anchoring Eurasian political, economic and military affairs. While SCO was initially an exclusive club comprising of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, other countries – India, Mongolia, Iran, and Pakistan – joined in 2005 as Observer states.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ajey Lele
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses
  • Abstract: Several advancements made in the field of space technology over the last few decades have significantly benefitted mankind. Today, space technology is considered critical to human survival and progress. Since space offers numerous socio-economic benefits, the number of states investing in satellite technology has grown over the years. Satellites are now being used for many purposes: meteorology, television broadcasting, mobile telephony, navigation and internet. Space systems are increasingly being used in multiple fields, such as financial management, education, tele-medicine, scientific research and disaster management, to gather real time information and increase efficiency and connectivity. Satellite technology is also playing a crucial role in measuring greenhouse gas emissions globally. In fact, space is rapidly emerging as an important component of the global economy.
  • Topic: International Security
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Fabian Willermain, Quentin Genard
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: A few weeks after the presentation by the European Commission of ‘Juncker Plan 2.0’, it is high time to look back at what has so far been achieved by the earlier version of the Juncker Plan – and how well it has worked for Belgium.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Jacqueline Breidlid, Cenni Najy
  • Publication Date: 06-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: For those wishing to see the UK exit from the EU, Switzerland has become a poster child, an example of how a country outside the EU can retain access to the EU’s internal market, thereby flourishing economically, and yet retaining its sovereignty and independence. But can a similar arrangement to that of Switzerland really provide a suitable alternative – a “Plan B” – for the UK’s relationship with the EU? With the referendum providing potential exit for the UK from the EU rapidly approaching, a Swiss-type plan B deserves some serious consideration. This paper examines the central claims made by those who see Switzerland as a model for the UK’s future relationship with the EU and argues that the Swiss model is no Holy Grail for the UK.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Brexit
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: John Ryan
  • Publication Date: 05-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: A Monetary Union is one where there is a single fiat currency with a single monetary authority (a central bank). It also has a single interest and exchange rate, and a single legal entity responsible for issuing that currency across a geographic area. This combination of features required for a true monetary union suggests that many previous monetary unions, including the Latin Monetary Union (LMU) and the Scandinavian Monetary Union (SMU) were not proper monetary unions as such, while the Austro-Hungarian Monetary Union (AHMU) was and the Eurozone is.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Sophie Heine
  • Publication Date: 05-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: This paper will address a rising issue within the EU – the increase of single parent families. Firstly, we will draw a general picture of the disadvantages faced by single parents and outline the possible causes of this phenomenon. Secondly, we will attempt to sketch possible alternative solutions that could inspire policymakers at the national and European levels. Both in our analysis and recommendations, we will put a particular emphasis on the dynamic role played by norms and representations.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Sophie Heine
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: How can we reinforce internal security without destroying basic freedoms? This dilemma will become increasingly topical in the context of rising terrorist threats and in view of some of the responses already put in place at the national level. Many observers have pointed out the threat that these measures pose to individual freedom. But few have highlighted their relative inefficiency. Indeed, if the right to security is one of the founding reasons for political government and one of its main sources of legitimacy, can states still guarantee this basic right? This article examines this dilemma and focuses more specifically on its implications for the notion and practice of sovereignty. It also sketches a strong, but nuanced, rescue of sovereignty at the European level in order to assure individual security while, at the same time, protecting our freedoms.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Owen Barder, Petra Krylová
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The Commitment to Development Index ranks 27 of the world's richest countries on their policies that affect more than five billion people living in poorer nations. Moving beyond comparing how much foreign aid each country gives, the CDI quantifies a range of rich country policies that affect poor people.
  • Topic: Development, Poverty, Foreign Aid, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Growing numbers of Central Asian citizens, male and female, are travelling to the Middle East to fight or otherwise support the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL or ISIS). Prompted in part by political marginalisation and bleak economic prospects that characterise their post-Soviet region, 2,000-4,000 have in the past three years turned their back on their secular states to seek a radical alternative. IS beckons not only to those who seek combat experience, but also to those who envision a more devout, purposeful, fundamentalist religious life. This presents a complex problem to the governments of Central Asia. They are tempted to exploit the phenomenon to crack down on dissent. The more promising solution, however, requires addressing multiple political and administrative failures, revising discriminatory laws and policies, implementing outreach programs for both men and women and creating jobs at home for disadvantaged youths, as well as ensuring better coordination between security services.
  • Topic: Islam, Religion, Terrorism, International Security
  • Political Geography: Central Asia, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Brenda Shaffer
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In last week's State of the Union Address, President Obama threatened to veto new legislation affecting five issues, four of them in the domestic policy arena and just one covering foreign policy. The foreign policy issue in question involved the prospect of new sanctions legislation targeting Iran. Correspondingly, the administration has recently ramped up efforts to conclude a nuclear deal with Iran.
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Andrew J. Tabler
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Washington's nascent policy of "uncoordinated deconfliction" with Bashar al-Assad's regime in the fight against the "Islamic State"/ISIS may not be a formal alliance, but it does have the potential to foster serious problems. The regime's tacit agreement to avoid firing on coalition strike aircraft -- juxtaposed with long delays in the Obama administration's train-and-equip program for the Syrian opposition and the president's October 2014 letter to Iran's Supreme Leader on cooperation against ISIS -- is creating widespread perceptions that the United States is heading into a de facto alliance with Assad and Tehran regarding the jihadists. If Washington continues this policy as is, it will merely contain ISIS, not "defeat" or "destroy" the group as called for by President Obama. Worse, it could lead to a deadly extremist stalemate in Syria between Iranian-backed/Hezbollah forces and jihadists, amplifying threats to U.S. national security interests.
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Syria
  • Author: Anna Borshchevskaya
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: After two rounds of peace talks in Geneva failed to resolve the Syrian crisis, Moscow proposed in December 2014 its own peace talks between the Syrian government and the opposition. Earlier this month, Russian deputy foreign minister Mikhail Bogdanov confirmed that the talks would take place January 26-29, according to Russian press reports. Bogdanov has described the talks as "consultative" and "preparatory," without any preconditions or set agenda. They could, he said, lead to more concrete discussions. Although the United States is not participating in the Moscow talks, U.S. secretary of state John Kerry expressed hope on January 14 in Geneva that they "could be helpful."
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Moscow
  • Author: David Schenker
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On January 18, six senior members of the Lebanese terrorist organization Hezbollah and a commander of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps were killed while visiting Quneitra in the Syrian Golan Heights, reportedly by an Israeli missile. The attack came just days after Hezbollah secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah threatened to deploy troops across the border into the Galilee in retaliation for repeated Israeli strikes against militia targets in Syria. In the past, the audacious timing and resultant high-profile casualties would have prompted significant and unambiguous Hezbollah military retribution. While the group may eventually retaliate -- anonymous Hezbollah officials in Lebanon say it is "inevitable" -- its ongoing military operations in Syria and the evolving sectarian dynamic in Lebanon may constrain its actions. The pressure to respond is great, but the last thing Hezbollah needs right now is an escalation with Israel that devolves to war.
  • Political Geography: Israel, Lebanon, Syria
  • Author: David Pollock, Robert Satloff, Andrew J. Tabler, James F. Jeffrey
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In last night's State of the Union speech, President Obama had the opportunity to educate the American people on the unique challenges posed by the "Islamic State"/ISIS, as well as the tough choices the United States and others will have to make as they deal with this phenomenon. Instead, he cited the issue only in passing, reiterating his "degrade and ultimately destroy" commitment without giving any idea what the next steps are beyond mentioning the increasingly risible effort to arm a Syrian opposition on slow simmer (see PolicyWatch 2357, "Train and Equip Not Enough for U.S.-Backed Syrian Rebels"), and the passing of a Congressional resolution to authorize the use of force against ISIS. This was in contrast to the extensive airtime he dedicated to touting his initiative on Cuba, which -- regardless of one's views on that decision -- is an almost irrelevant issue given the various crises occurring around the globe.
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Ed Stafford
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In all the discussions about Turkey not being particularly supportive to the coalition fighting the "Islamic State"/ISIS, little has been said about the military's role in shaping the government's policy. In part this reflects the ruling Justice and Development Party's diminution of the military's role in policy formulation since 2002, and the ascendancy of the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) for the implementation of Syria policy. But there are other reasons for the military's reluctance to combat ISIS, some of which have existed for decades and are more deeply rooted than the recent resentment over political emasculation of the military leadership. These views are also common among the politically active class beyond the AKP ruling elites.
  • Political Geography: Syria
  • Author: Scott A. Vickery
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Coalition airstrikes in Iraq and Syria have had clear benefits, but a broader campaign involving more intelligence and targeting assistance on the ground is required to reap the full strategic benefits of turning back ISIS.
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Syria
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Although the prospect of the ICC actually prosecuting Israeli officials is uncertain at best, the PA has torpedoed any chances for near-term diplomacy merely by opening that door, and perhaps invited U.S. financial countermeasures as well.
  • Political Geography: United States, Palestine
  • Author: Matthew Levitt, Phillip Smyth
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Although Iran's proxies are fighting ISIS in parallel with the U.S.-led effort, their actions and radical Shiite agendas are diametrically opposed to the goal of building inclusive governments and societies in Iraq and Syria.
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Syria
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: 'Local Needs Policing' is the hallmark of the Sierra Leone Police community policing model. This DIIS Policy Brief lays out ten key observations that may be helpful when police reform is established elsewhere in the Global South.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Civil Society, Crime, Law Enforcement
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Soufan Group
  • Abstract: The Islamic State has been moving aggressively to exploit the chaos of Libya since last summer, with profound risks for the Mediterranean region and beyond Libya is a perfect breeding ground for an expanded Islamic State, with large amounts of heavy weaponry, systemic lawlessness, a divided population, and sustained armed conflict The group has formed three active and capable groups in Libya-in Tripoli, Fezzan, and Barqa-all of which have conducted deadly attacks in recent months The phenomenon of Islamic State affiliates-beginning in the summer of 2014, before which the group was entirely focused on Iraq and Syria-is actually in the tradition of its arch-rival al-Qaeda the presence and power of the Islamic State in Libya will likely increase as conditions in Syria and Iraq deteriorate for the group, and conditions in Libya continue to worsen.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Islam, Terrorism, Armed Struggle, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Libya, Syria
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Soufan Group
  • Abstract: King Salman has confirmed his reputation as a religious conservative through the reappointment of traditionalist clerics However he has also made some effort to streamline the Saudi government Recent changes have given considerable power to two men from the next generation: King Salman's son and his nephew The result may be good for hard security measures, but less certain for the soft measures necessary for Saudi Arabia to weather the storm.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Economics, Islam, Political Economy, Governance
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Soufan Group
  • Abstract: The Islamic State's murder of Jordanian hostage Lt Moaz al-Kasasbeh was both a message to the group's fighters that it can counter the coalition's relentless airstrikes as well as an offensive move designed to provoke a high-profile overreaction The air campaign against the Islamic State has been relentless while at the same time has receded from the headlines-a double blow to the group in that it suffers the losses but doesn't benefit from the attendant spectacle The drawn-out 'negotiations' over this past month-while the hostage was already dead-were likely intended to sow division and tension in Jordan, and draw attention to the issue as long as possible before the gruesome finale While Jordan is understandably enraged and will have to strike back, the most effective response might be an escalation that continues to kill the group's fighters away from the headlines.
  • Topic: Security, Political Violence, Islam, Terrorism, Armed Struggle, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Soufan Group
  • Abstract: Like a page out of the 2004 extremist manifesto "Management of Savagery," the Islamic State has tried to goad the international community into near-sighted reactions without long-term approaches by highlighting the barbarity of its executions of hostages This tactic has thus far failed to ignite the overreaction (outside of press reporting) of Western powers, leaving the group without an important recruitment and incitement tool The Islamic State needs consistent replenishment of fear to overcome its inherently terrible local governance, and so it depends on shocking savagery to serve as both its recruitment magnet and opposition suppression As the group encounters less and less Westerners, given the danger of their presence in the region, it will find increasingly fewer ways to incite the 'us-versus-them' battle it needs to survive.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Islam, Terrorism, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Soufan Group
  • Abstract: While the threat of an immediate escalation between Israel and Hizballah appears to have subsided after deadly tit-for-tat attacks, the trend lines suggest greater conflict ahead In an important and ominous speech on January 30, Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah created, in effect, one long front against Israel that now includes Syria and the Golan Heights as well as Lebanon, increasing the potential for conflict with Israel Iran is no longer moving in the shadows but rather is openly coordinating strategy with its proxy Hizballah as the two seek to strengthen and expand 'the resistance' against Israel All parties involved have specific reasons to avoid a near-term conflict-the upcoming Israeli elections, ongoing Iranian nuclear negotiations, Hizballah's commitments in Syria-but shifting regional power dynamics will only increase the likelihood of serious fighting between them.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Islam, Terrorism, Armed Struggle, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Soufan Group
  • Abstract: The still-unresolved hostage situation involving Jordan, Japan, and the Islamic State is unlike any of the group's previous kidnappings Jordan is in a precarious position, as it seeks the release of one of its citizens-a national hero who comes from a prominent tribe-while not wanting to free one of the perpetrators of the worst terrorist attack in the country's history By demanding the release of failed suicide-bomber Sajida al-Rishawi from Jordanian custody, the Islamic State is trying to elevate itself to the status of negotiating nation-state, and weaken and embarrass a vital member of the coalition seeking its destruction In a striking difference with previous Islamic State hostage situations, current circumstances provide a chance for the group to bolster its standing in the vital Iraqi province of al-Anbar-where al-Rishawi is from-and perhaps slightly lessen tribal pressure on the group The issue is causing tensions between the Iraqi-born leadership of the Islamic State, who want to make the exchange, and a small faction of primarily Saudi fighters, who want to execute the Jordanian pilot for bombing the group.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Islam, Terrorism, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Japan, Middle East, Arab Countries, Jordan
  • Author: Jonathan Rynhold
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On February 23, Jonathan Rynhold and Elliott Abrams addressed a Policy Forum at The Washington Institute. Rynhold is a senior researcher at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies (BESA), director of the Argov Center for the Study of Israel and the Jewish People, and author of the just-released book The Arab-Israel Conflict in American Political Culture (Cambridge University Press). Abrams is a senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and former deputy national security advisor in the George W. Bush administration. The following is a rapporteur's summary of their remarks.
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Washington, Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Matthew Levitt, Gilles de Kerchove, Jacob Bundsgaard, Maj. Gen. Doug Stone
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On the margins of the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism (CVE), global leaders in efforts to rehabilitate radicalized fighters gathered at the Institute to share their insights into what works -- and what doesn't. On February 20, Gilles de Kerchove, Jacob Bundsgaard, Doug Stone, and Matthew Levitt addressed a Policy Forum at The Washington Institute. Kerchove is the European Union Counterterrorism Coordinator. Bundsgaard is Lord Mayor of Aarhus, Denmark, and a prominent player in the city's widely known jihadist rehabilitation program. Stone, a retired Marine major general, oversaw all theatre interrogation and detention in Iraq during the post- 2006 surge; he now works for the UN and helped develop the Rome Memorandum, the seminal best-practices compendium for rehabilitation and reintegration of violent extremist offenders. Levitt is the Fromer-Wexler Fellow and director of the Stein Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence at the Institute. The following is a rapporteur's summary of their remarks.
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Europe, Denmark, Rome
  • Author: Robert Rabil
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On February 13, Robert Rabil addressed a Policy Forum at The Washington Institute. Dr. Rabil is a professor of Middle East studies in Florida Atlantic University's Department of Political Science and the Lifelong Learning Society (LLS) Distinguished Professor of Current Events. He is the author of Salafism in Lebanon (Georgetown University Press, October 2014). The following is a rapporteur's summary of his remarks.
  • Political Geography: Washington, Middle East, Lebanon, Florida
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Israeli parties are placing a premium on capturing marginal votes within their blocs rather than competing across the left-right spectrum, and this status quo is working to Netanyahu's benefit. Israeli election polls have been fairly stagnant in the lead-up to the March 17 parliamentary vote, despite a plethora of campaign tactics to shake up the race. Some fluidity has been seen within the wider political blocs, but little if any between them. Socioeconomics, geography, and ethnicity have reinforced the current blocs, making wild swings unlikely. Typically, Israel's upper-middle-class, secular Ashkenazi (European origin) voters tend to focus on the high cost of living and concerns about the country's potential isolation in Europe, making them more likely to vote center-left. In contrast, Sephardic (Middle East origin) voters with more traditional and humble socioeconomic roots tend to focus on security threats and are therefore more likely to vote right. The clear segmentation of the political spectrum has led to a variety of mini-races rather than one overarching race.
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Adeniyi Adejimi Osinowo
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The 5,000-nautical mile (nmi) coastline of the wider Gulf of Guinea offers seemingly idyllic conditions for shipping. It is host to numerous natural harbors and is largely devoid of chokepoints and extreme weather conditions. It is also rich in hydrocarbons, fish, and other resources. These attributes provide immense potential for maritime commerce, resource ex-traction, shipping, and development. Indeed, container traffic in West African ports has grown 14 percent annually since 1995, the fastest of any region in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Political Geography: Africa, West Africa
  • Author: Damian Wnukowski
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The World Trade Organisation (WTO) is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its creation. As the successor of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), it has inherited a wide scope of trade issues to address. An ambitious agenda along with a lack of consensus, mainly between the developed and developing states, are the main reasons for a stalemate in negotiations within the flagship initiative, The Doha Round. The ineffectiveness of the talks has pushed numerous countries to seek regional cooperation, which further hampers multilateral negotiations. In this situation, it is high time to rethink the future shape of the WTO and its role in the world economy.
  • Author: Ali Jalali
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Afghanistan's presidential election was resolved in a U.S.-brokered deal that created a national unity government (NUG). New president Ashraf Ghani, by decree, created the post of chief executive officer (CEO), filled by Abdullah Abdullah. This has resulted in a power-sharing arrangement between two teams, the legal parameters of which will not be decided for another two years. In addition to its internal tensions, the NUG faces a challenging political, security, and economic situation in the country at large—one that threatens to be exacerbated as international assistance and U.S. military forces draw down. The formation of the NUG, however, also presents an opportunity for Afghanistan's leaders to redefine the role of government and institute reforms that can strengthen public support and improve the chances of obtaining further international assistance. To take advantage of these opportunities, leaders in the NUG could make a serious unified commitment to reforms and fully integrate the governing body both politically and professionally, despite the power-sharing arrangement that has been created.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States
  • Author: Amy Calfas
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Women’s civic engagement during the 2014 elections reached an all-time high, with women voters constituting 37.6 percent of all votes and three hundred female candidates running for provincial council posts. Women’s political participation has been supported by the national constitution’s quota system but may be threatened by new constitutional reforms or a failure to nominate a significant number of female ministerial candidates. The new national unity government must affirm its commitment to implementing the Elimination of Violence Against Women law while increasing the availability of legal recourse and protections from harassment and violence. Still severely underrepresented in the security sector and judicial system, women can be supported with increased funding from the National Defense Authorization Act, gender- based violence trainings, and better facilities for female employees.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan
  • Author: Justin Finkelstein
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy Research Institute
  • Abstract: As improbable as it may sound, over the past decade or so about half of Israelis and Palestinians have been willing to accept something akin to the two-state solution (as described in the box below) to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Even amidst the mayhem and turmoil in the Israeli-Palestinian arena over the past several months, polls have continued to show that there is no other solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on which Israeli and Palestinian public opinion converge to such a large degree.
  • Political Geography: Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Shibley Telhami
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy Research Institute
  • Abstract: The Arab-Israeli peace process is a broad subject; therefore, this paper will briefly touch on some of the major peace agreements and negotiations that have taken place. It should be noted that as of today—and based on public opinion polls that I have conducted—most Israelis, Palestinians, and Arabs outside of the Palestinian territories believe that peace will never happen. This has resulted in a real problem, where people in the region no longer take the term “peace process” seriously. In order to understand how we got to this point, we need to look back at the history of the peace process on both the Israeli-Palestinian front and also on the Arab-Israeli front.
  • Political Geography: Israel, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Liora Halperin
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy Research Institute
  • Abstract: One of the key forces in shaping the history of Palestine was the Zionist movement. This movement emerged from and is rooted in political developments in Europe, but it changed and developed as it evolved from a political movement in Europe to a settlement and nation-building project in Palestine. Thus, we need to step outside the physical context of the Middle East to understand a force that ultimately changed the Middle East.
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Palestine
  • Author: Tami Davis Biddle, Robert M. Citino
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy Research Institute
  • Abstract: The resort to war signals the failure of far more satisfactory means of settling human conflicts. It forces us to face and wrestle with the darkest corners of the human psyche. It signals the coming of trauma and suffering—often intense and prolonged—for individuals, families and societies. War-fighting concentrates power in non-democratic ways, infringes upon civil liberties, and convulses political, economic, and social systems. From the wreckage—the broken bodies, the re-drawn boundaries, the imperfect treaties, the fresh resentments and the intensified old ones—altered political and social patterns and institutions emerge that may help to prevent future conflicts, or sow the seeds of new ones. All of this creates a difficult, complicated, and fraught historical landscape to traverse.
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy Research Institute
  • Abstract: <p>On February 3, 2015, the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia, Drexel University, and The Franklin Institute presented a symposium, entitled, rather hyperbolically, 21st Century Technology: New Beginning, or Terrible End. The sessions addressed issues of particular interest to millennials, as well as the future of the Internet, genetics in medicine, energy and climate change, space exploration (with special guest speaker, Col. Buzz Aldrin), and transformations of healthcare by big data. Council President Craig Snyder challenged both panelists and the audience to think broadly about both the promises of technology, which, he explained, are exemplified by his childhood experiences of the Apollo Moon landings and Star Trek, but also about the dystopian visions of the Terminator movies and other works of science fiction that explore the Faustian vision of the defeat of humankind at the hands (or robotic claws) of its own inventions. The following essay is my response to this challenge, as well as responses to the questions posed by Mr. Snyder about Internet technology and its future./p
  • Author: Mohammed S. Dajani, Zainab al-Suwaij
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On February 25, Mohammed Dajani and Zainab al-Suwaij addressed a Policy Forum at The Washington Institute. Dajani is the Institute's Weston Fellow and founder of al-Wasatia, a moderate Islamic movement in Palestine. Suwaij is cofounder and executive director of the American Islamic Congress (AIC). The following is a rapporteur's summary of their remarks.
  • Political Geography: America, Palestine
  • Author: Michael Eisenstadt
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The coalition effort to rebuild and retrain the Iraqi security forces (ISF) will have better odds of success if American advisors urge their counterparts to incorporate lessons from other Arab armies that have experienced defeat, learned from their failures, and eventually prevailed against their enemies. These armies -- Egypt in the 1973 war with Israel, Iraq in the latter phases of its 1980-1988 war with Iran, and even hybrid actors such as the "Islamic State"/ISIS -- succeeded by developing workarounds for persistent shortcomings exhibited by conventional Arab armies, and by adapting foreign concepts and practices to their specific needs.
  • Political Geography: Iraq, America, Arabia
  • Author: Michael Knights, Phillip Smyth, P.J. Dermer
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On February 6, 2015, Michael Knights, Phillip Smyth, and P.J. Dermer addressed a Policy Forum at The Washington Institute. Knights is an Institute Lafer Fellow and author of the Institute study The Long Haul: Rebooting U.S. Security Cooperation in Iraq. Smyth is a researcher at the University of Maryland and author of the Institute study The Shiite Jihad in Syria and Its Regional Effects. Dermer is a retired U.S. Army colonel who served multiple tours in the Middle East, including two in Iraq. The following is a rapporteur's summary of their remarks.
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Andrew Engel
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Earlier this month, Aref Ali Nayed -- Libya's ambassador to the UAE and former lead coordinator of the Libya Stabilization Team -- visited Washington to address the "Islamic State"/ISIS presence in his country. In his view, the group is rapidly expanding and may threaten Europe, though the U.S. government assessment is less certain -- some American intelligence officials believe Nayed may be overstating his case, but U.S. Ambassador to Libya Deborah Jones asked in a February 4 tweet whether "a divided Libya" can withstand ISIS. Indeed, the group has dramatically increased its physical and media presence in Libya since the Islamic Youth Shura Council (IYSC) of Darnah pledged allegiance to it last October, after which ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi recognized the Libyan "provinces" of Barqa (Cyrenaica), Tripolitania, and Fezzan as belonging to his self-styled "caliphate." At the same time, the group's supporters online have been aggressively recruiting while making the case for ISIS expansion in Libya and a new strategy in North Africa.
  • Political Geography: United States, Libya, North Africa
  • Author: Lori Plotkin Boghardt
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: New allegations by an al-Qaeda prisoner in the United States have revived questions about official Saudi support for 9/11, while at home the kingdom has been re-arresting former al-Qaeda convicts in a new war on terror.
  • Political Geography: Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Louis Brennan
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: As the motives driving China’s outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) have expanded from resource - seeking to asset - and market - seeking, Chinese FDI in Europe has grown rapidly. Although Europe, with its advanced technologies and know - how, brands and sophisticated markets, represents an attractive destination for asset - seeking and market - seeking Chinese FDI, it has also posed challenges for Chinese investors. They arise for a number of reasons: the divergent characteristics of the host region, home country liability of origin, as well as China’s OFDI regulation and the capabilities of the investing enterprises.
  • Political Geography: China, Europe
  • Author: Sophie Nappert
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: In her Perspective, Lise Johnson takes a strong stance in favor of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Rules on Transparency in Treaty-based Investor-State Arbitration (“Rules”). The Rules apply in UNCITRAL proceedings, and may be adopted in non-UNCITRAL proceedings, under future investment treaties. Since coming into force in April 2014, the Rules have been welcomed as a ground-breaking, positive development.
  • Topic: United Nations
  • Author: Axel Berger, Lauge N. kovgaard Poulsen
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: The prospect of including investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) into the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) has produced a polarizing debate in the Europe an Union (EU). Critics have argued that this adjudication mechanism is unnecessary in TTIP as United States (US) investors can expect fair treatment in EU courts and vice versa.
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Ilan Strauss, Ralf Krüger
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Over the last decade Africa has attracted an increasing share of global foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows. China and other emerging markets are usually highlighted as important sources of this increase — and they are. However, perhaps the most significant contributor has been Africa itself.
  • Political Geography: Africa, China
  • Author: Steven Globerman
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: The growth of outward foreign direct investment (OFDI), particularly from China, has generated substantial controversy about whether government - controlled or state - influenced foreign investors should be treated differently than other foreign investors by host country governments. Indeed, several developed country governments impose special review procedures on OFDI undertaken by state - owned enterprises (SOEs). For example, in 2012 the Canadian government announced that takeovers of domestic companies by foreign SOEs would face “strengthened scrutiny,” permitting them only in “exceptional circumstances.”
  • Author: Marijke Deleu
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) used to make international headlines for the conflict that has flared up repeatedly over the past 20 years. When the M23 rebel group was defeated in November 2013, there seemed to be a shift away from these repeated cycles of violence. The country appeared to be turning a corner into a post-conflict phase. However, new research presented in this briefing paper shows that citizens continue to experience widespread exploitation. In many areas they are still vulnerable to brutal violence from armed groups and in some cases from government, including the police, army and local officials. The challenge - how to consolidate the authority of the state, in a way that serves its people and ensures a lasting peace - remains a huge but vital priority.
  • Author: Ben Murphy, Scott Paul, Anne-Marie Schryer-Roy, Ed Pomfret
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Every year, the Somali diaspora sends home approximately $1.3bn. Remittances account for 25–45 percent of Somalia's economy and exceed the amount it receives in humanitarian aid, development aid and foreign direct investment combined. As Somali money transfer operators lose their bank accounts, Somali families are losing their only formal or transparent channel through which to send money. Somalia needs long-term support to build sustainable financial institutions, and urgent help to maintain its current remittance flows. This briefing reviews international efforts to facilitate remittances to Somalia and focuses on the US and the UK, where the threat to the Somali remittance system is most acute. It also looks at the uncertain future viability of the Somali remittance industry in Australia.
  • Political Geography: Somalia
  • Author: Jessica Hamer, Maria Dolores Bernabe, Mark Fried
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Asia is at a Crossroads. Rising inequality poses a dire threat to continued prosperity in Asia, where an estimated 500 million people remain trapped in extreme poverty, most of them women and girls. The huge gap between rich and poor hinders economic growth, undermines democratic institutions and can trigger conflict. If Asia's policymakers hold tight to yesterday's truths, hoping against hope that growth and prosperity will trickle down to all, they will put everyone's welfare at risk. But if there are courageous leaders, willing to tackle inequality head-on, they can ensure inclusive and sustainable development for all of Asia's people. Oxfam is calling on Asia's governments to make a determined effort to combat discrimination and improve policies on taxation and social spending. This is needed now if the region is to secure a stable and prosperous future.
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Ellen T. Hoen
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: According to the World Health Organization, cancer is one of the leading causes of death around the world, with 8.2 million deaths in 2012. More than 60 percent of the world's new cases of cancer occur in Africa, Asia, and Central and South America and these regions account for 70 percent of the world's cancer deaths. In low- and middle-income countries, expensive treatments for cancer are not widely available. Unsustainable cancer medication pricing has increasingly become a global issue, creating access challenges in low-and middle-income but also high-income countries. This report describes recent developments within the pricing of medicines for the treatment of cancer, discusses what lessons can be drawn from HIV/AIDS treatment scale-up and makes recommendations to help increase access to treatment for people with cancer.
  • Political Geography: Africa, America, Asia
  • Author: Sinikukka Saari
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The traditional cornerstones of the popularity of the Putin regime – stability, growing prosperity, the increased status of Russia in international affairs – seem to be rapidly eroding, which has led many observers to predict major changes in Russia in the near future. However, there are significant structural issues – alongside the mechanisms of 'political technology' and the outright oppression of dissent – that support and maintain the Putin regime, regardless of its malfunctioning and undisputed failings. Even in the unlikely event of Putin suddenly disappearing from the political scene, significant hurdles remain for the restructuring of the Russian economy and political system. No major modernisation or reform mode is to be expected. The EU and Finland should base their policies on a realistic assessment of Russia's long-term trajectory. There are unlikely to be any shortcuts to success, and no western policy is likely to produce positive results in the short term. What is needed now is a long-term perspective and principled policies, while acknowledging that only the Russians can change Russia's political direction.
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Katja Creutz
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Targeted sanctions are political acts that infringe upon the enjoyment of fundamental rights by designated individuals and entities, especially the rights of defence and the right to an effective remedy. Increasing international attention has therefore been paid to the legal implications of targeted sanctions. Targeted sanctions must meet basic standards of fair and clear procedures not only to guarantee the rights of individuals, but also in order to be a credible and effective foreign policy tool. To date, concerns over fair treatment have been addressed in a fragmented and piecemeal way. Judicial review before European courts has provided an important incentive for change, especially for the creation of the office of the UN Ombudsperson. A holistic approach should be developed, which not only emphasizes retrospective review of sanctions, but would also address concerns in the initial phase of their adoption. Increased attention should be paid to the use of confidential information and the right of designated individuals to receive information. Efforts to strengthen legality aspects in the use of targeted sanctions must take account of the circumstances in which these measures are taken. Concerns for international peace and security, and especially for the authority of the Security Council, must be balanced against the protection of fundamental rights.
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Niklas Helwig
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The new EU leadership has restructured the way the European Commission manages its external relations. The High Representative/Vice-President, Federica Mogherini, was formally put in charge of coordinating the work of the Commissioners' Group on External Action and relocated her offices to the Commission building. Under the new approach, the Commission aims to be more closely involved in the preparation of Foreign Affairs Council meetings. Regular meetings of external action Commissioners are supposed to foster a common position, as well as increase the Commission input on sectoral policies and instruments ahead of ministerial meetings. In the face of the gravitational shift towards the Commission, it is in the interests of member states to ensure that the EEAS remains, despite all its teething troubles, the political hub of EU external relations, and to invest in its development accordingly. An in-depth examination of the externally relevant policies within the remit of the Commission reveals that, across all issues, EU foreign policy can improve by a joint approach combining the political perspective of the EEAS with the sectoral expertise of the Commission.
  • Political Geography: Europe