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  • Author: Edward Lemon, Vera Mironova, William H. Tobey
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: In the fall of 2016 Fletcher School professor Monica Duffy Toft and I were completing work on an issue brief in which we argued that the Islamic State should be further rolled back and dismantled rather than allowed to remain in the hopes that it would somehow become a normal state. IS was already in retreat at the time, having lost much of the territories it had once controlled in Syria and Iraq.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ash Carter
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: As Secretary of Defense, I devoted a large amount of my time to visiting our troops at bases around the world. These were my favorite trips because they gave me the opportunity to spend time with the most important, dynamic, and inspiring part of the United States Armed Forces: our people In June 2016, I visited Fort Knox on one of these trips, where I met with Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) cadets and observed their training. These were college students training to be commissioned officers. Meeting with them, I felt an overwhelming sense of pride. Any American who had the chance to look these young women and men in the eye would be proud to observe how dedicated, disciplined, talented, and principled they are. And to know what they are doing for all Americans—to protect us and make a better world for our children—makes you even prouder.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jesse Reynolds, Gernot Wagner
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: New technologies, such as social media and do-it-yourself biotechnology, alter the capacities and incentives of both state and nonstate actors. This can include enabling direct decentralized interventions, in turn altering actors’ power relations. The provision of global public goods, widely regarded as states’ domain, so far has eluded such powerful technological disruptions. We here introduce the idea of highly decentralized solar geoengineering, plausibly done in form of small high-altitude balloons. While solar geoengineering has the potential to greatly reduce climate change, it has generally been conceived as centralized and state deployed. Potential highly decentralized deployment moves the activity from the already contested arena of state action to that of environmentally motivated nongovernmental organizations and individuals, which could disrupt international relations and pose novel challenges for technology and environmental policy. We explore its feasibility, political implications, and governance.
  • Topic: Climate Change, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ian Anthony, Carrie Weintraub
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: Th e National Security Strategy published by the Swedish government in January 2017 underlines that the security challenges facing the country are complex and subject to rapid change. One current challenge is the re-emergence of traditional forms of power politics, including in the Baltic Sea region, which is described as one of the main areas of friction between Russia and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).2
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Todd Moss
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: After nearly thirty years of working on and in Zimbabwe, I was hopeful, after the long nightmare of misrule by Robert Mugabe, that the July 2018 election was an opportunity to put the country on a positive track. I had the good fortune of visiting Zimbabwe with a delegation of former US diplomats prior to the election to assess conditions. I came away from that trip deeply pessimistic about the prospects for a free, fair, and credible election, unconvinced that economic reforms were real, and skeptical of the intentions of Emmerson Mnangagwa and the ruling ZANU-PF. It all appeared little more than a poorly-disguised charade.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Michael Clemens, Kate Gough
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The world needs better ways to manage international migration for this century. Those better ways finally have a roadmap: the Global Compact for Migration. Now begins the journey. National governments must lead in order to implement that Compact, and they need tools. One promising tool is Global Skill Partnerships. This brief explains what Global Skill Partnerships are and how to build them, based on related experiences around the world.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: Beni territory in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo has suffered from some of the most brutal violence in the country’s recent history. However, the massacres around Beni, which began in October 2014 and have killed more than 1,000 people, have been shrouded in mystery. No group has officially claimed responsibility for the killings; research by Congo Research Group (CRG) and the UN Group of Experts suggests that many actors, including the Congolese government, have been involved.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Transparency International
  • Abstract: Companies increasingly recognise that integrity is good for business. Yet bribery and corruption persist. Large-scale corporate scandals show that much remains to be done to tackle corruption in the business sector. Based on four case studies, this paper shows how Transparency International
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Mira Kaneva
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Security and International Studies (ISIS)
  • Abstract: Christopher Nolan’s film Inception creates a mesmerizing maze where each action of the protagonists has a ripple effect down through the whole fabric of the story. Making one’s way through the maze, though only in one’s own imagination, leaves the viewer disoriented. The film is all about process, about fighting one’s way through enveloping sheets of reality and dream, reality within dreams, dreams without reality. There is no time or place synchronization; architecture has a way of disregarding gravity where buildings tilt, streets coil and characters are adrift in what is more an emotional than a rational ‘ball of thread’ of experience. In a similar fashion, a complex network of events envelops the Western Balkans since the neologism’s ambiguous inception in the early 1990-s. For nearly three decades the region has been misperceived as stuck-in-the mud, criticized for being entangled in a desynchronized microcosm, involved in a set of flashbacks to archetypal conflicts on identity grounds and doomed to stagnated Europeanization. Both material facts such as cost-benefit calculations and ideational categories such as perceptions, beliefs, values, narratives are at play here. Almost like a Wiki-article, this paper attempts a disambiguation of several key assumptions about the Western Balkans so that it advances the argument that the Western Balkans region is inevitably on its way out of the shoals not least due to the European and Atlantic perspective for its future as offered by the European Union and NATO. It tackles three highly contentious statements: first, it refutes the proposition that the Western Balkans are entrapped in a specific ethnic security dilemma that offers no exit; second, it contends that at the moment the region is caught in a vicious circle of hard security threats (territorial conflicts) and soft security threats (radicalization, populism, corruption and organized crime); third, it holds a moderate optimistic view that the region is likely to be involved in a process of socialization within a vaster security community. The course of reasoning follows the case study of Serbia’s political and social development in the last decade; the theoretical framework is influenced by the security dilemma debate in International Relations literature.
  • Topic: Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Balkans, Global Focus
  • Author: Michael A Mehling, Gilbert E. Metcalf, Robert Stavins
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The Paris Agreement has achieved one of two key necessary conditions for ultimate success—a broad base of participation among the countries of the world. But another key necessary condition has yet to be achieved—adequate collective ambition of the individual nationally determined contributions. How can climate negotiators provide a structure that will include incentives to increase ambition over time? An important part of the answer can be international linkage of regional, national, and sub-national policies—that is, formal recognition of emission reductions undertaken in another jurisdiction for the purpose of meeting a Party’s own mitigation objectives. A central challenge is how to facilitate such linkage in the context of the very great heterogeneity that characterizes climate policies along five dimensions: type of policy instrument; level of government jurisdiction; status of that jurisdiction under the Paris Agreement; nature of the policy instrument’s target; and the nature, along several dimensions, of each Party’s Nationally Determined Contribution. We consider such heterogeneity among policies, and identify which linkages of various combinations of characteristics are feasible; of these, which are most promising; and what accounting mechanisms would make the operation of respective linkages consistent with the Paris Agreement.
  • Topic: Climate Change, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus