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  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: Since 2017, the decline of social capital in Morocco represents a tree that hides a forest. We are now at an interlocking point of two negative trends in this decline: one is political vertical, and the other is societal horizontal.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Morocco
  • Author: Anna Jacobs
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: Morocco’s migration policy reflects of the interconnectedness of foreign policy priorities, desired reform and the reality of domestic politics. Morocco has positioned itself as a counterterrorism and migration ally for Europe; while leaning toward the African Union, and African markets.
  • Topic: International Relations, Migration, International Affairs, Global Security
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Burak Akçapar
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation, New York University
  • Abstract: Since the launch of the Mediation for Peace initiative by Turkey and Finland in 2010, there has been an upsurge of activity at the United Nations (UN) and several regional organizations to promote mediation as a conflict resolution method. The UN General Assembly, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) have set out to develop mediation norms, procedures, and capacities. The assets and motivations of international actors, including foremost nation states, to provide mediation services as part of their foreign policy have been widely studied. However, the actual role played by specific leading nations in the promotion of mediation at international forums lacks a framework of analysis. This essay aims to fill this gap by employing the concept of “policy entrepreneurship” to explain the role of individual actors in transforming the politics, norms, and capacities that pertain to mediation. In this regard, the article discusses Turkey’s activities in the field of mediation and their transformative outcomes in a bid to test the proposed framework. It concludes that as the only country that co-chairs the friends of mediation groups simultaneously in the UN, the OSCE and the OIC, the distinguishing contribution of Turkey as a policy entrepreneur lies in its efforts to feed and shape the normative basis and capacities of international peace mediation efforts.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Kevin Rudd
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Asia Society Policy Institute
  • Abstract: 2018 REPRESENTED A FUNDAMENTAL STRATEGIC TURNING POINT in the 40-year history of U.S.-China relations. This is not just an American view; it is also the Chinese view. Just as it is my own analytical view based on 40 years of observation of this relationship, going back to the time when I was an undergraduate student at the Australian National University. The nature of this change is that the United States, after 40 years of strategic engagement with China following China’s decision under Deng Xiaoping to pursue a domestic policy shift toward economic reform and opening, has concluded that China is no longer a trustworthy strategic partner. The analytical underpinnings of the period of engagement were that China, having embarked upon a series of economic, social, and some political reforms, was incrementally integrating itself into the American-led international rules-based order. This, in turn, was based on China’s decision in 1978 to abandon its policy of support for communist revolutionary movements around the world. This change followed the abandonment of a decade-plus of political radicalism pursued by Mao during the Cultural Revolution. And it followed, perhaps most significantly, China’s decision to embrace one series after another of market-based economic reforms, beginning with the introduction of price-based incentives in agriculture, then light manufacturing, then the services industry before extending across much of the rest of the Chinese economy. On top of this, the normalization of political relations between the United States and China, from Richard Nixon’s visit in 1972 to formal diplomatic recognition under Jimmy Carter in 1979, led to a sustained period of fundamental strategic realignment between China and the United States against a common strategic adversary in the form of the Soviet Union
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Wolfgang Schroeder
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: As a young, single-seat fighter pilot based in Germany in the Royal Air Force of the early 1980s, I enjoyed a degree of certainty about my role in life. The world was, to all intents and purposes, a bi-polar place. We knew exactly from where our threat emanated and, indeed, had comprehensive standing plans for dealing with it. In the event of an attack by the Warsaw Pact on NATO’s eastern flank, we had pre-designated areas in which we would interdict any enemy military force heading westwards. We had pre-planned missions for systematically taking down all elements of Soviet air power — be it through suppression of enemy air defense sensors and surfaceto-air systems or denial of his airfields’ operating surfaces. In the event that the conflict escalated too rapidly, or went too far, we even had plans to resort to the ultimate sanction of the pre-planned and graduated employment of tactical nuclear weapons. Our plans, and our skills, were tested on a frequent and regular basis. It was no rare experience to be woken by a siren in the middle of the night to be called to duty. Our response time was measured, as was the ability to demonstrate our preparedness to brief our wartime missions, arm our aircraft, and prove our abilities to be airborne within the allocated time period. The results of these exercises—known as NATO Tactical Evaluations (TacEvals)—were equally rigorous in the Land and Maritime domains. Their results were widely shared within Alliance circles. Achieving a “one” for a TacEval result was every commanding officer’s goal
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Carrie Cordero
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: Congressional oversight is essential for providing accountability for the activities of the intelligence services.1 Effective oversight by the congressional intelligence committees – by an independent branch of government – is needed in order to monitor the adequacy of legal authorities, the lawfulness of activities carried out under those authorities, and the responsible application of public funds for intelligence activities. As elected representatives entrusted with providing an outside check on activities that are conducted out of the public eye, members of the committees serve a critical function in facilitating accountability, transparency, and confidence in intelligence activities conducted under law.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Eric M. Brewer, Elisa Catalano Ewers
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: The Trump administration has adopted an aggressive Iran strategy. The United States seeks to achieve—via the application of maximum pressure—nothing short of a fundamental change to policies that have defined the Islamic Republic for decades, if not since its founding, and have been a constant source of tension with the United States. Although the U.S. decision to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and re-impose sanctions on Iran has garnered most of the attention, the administration also is leveraging diplomatic, law enforcement, informational, and other tools to apply pressure across a range of issues: Iran’s missile program, support for terrorism, regional influence, and human rights record
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Amanda Sloat
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Policymakers in the United States and European Union are struggling with how to manage their relations with Turkey. What makes the country such a conundrum is that its problematic leadership faces real threats. Turkey is confronting challenges from the aftermath of the July 2016 coup attempt and the destabilizing effects of the Syrian war. Yet the country’s president is growing more authoritarian, using virulent anti-Western rhetoric, and making foreign policy choices contrary to the interests of the trans-Atlantic alliance. The policy goal is navigating this gray zone today to preserve the possibility of better relations in the future.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Constanze Stelzenmüller
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Year one of the Trump administration has been uniquely unnerving. Yet the trans-Atlantic security community has also been breathing a sigh of relief, because many of their worst expectations seem to have been averted: trade wars, an attack on North Korea, the end of NATO. The conventional wisdom in Washington, DC and many European capitals today is that—despite a president who continues to defy conventions—U.S.-European relations have largely normalized. As a result, most Europeans are attempting to ride out what they believe to be a temporary aberration of American politics with a mixture of hugging and hedging. There is certainly evidence for a normalization of U.S. foreign policy, not least in the president’s formal endorsement of NATO’s mutual defense clause, and the reinforcement of American contributions to reassurance and deterrence in Eastern Europe. There are also many signs that the past year has re-energized American civil society, belying determinist critics in Europe. But Trumpism needs to be recognized as a massive discontinuity. Trump is the first postwar American president to question the liberal order as such. In its purest form, the “America First” doctrine has implications for the EU and some of its member states (especially Germany) that should be of intense concern to Europeans. Europeans should worry even more, however, about its fundamentalist critique of globalization (which it refers to as globalism) as a quasiadversarial ideology. The globalization-globalism dichotomy, unlike all previous transAtlantic disagreements, is a dispute about the nature of the world we live in. And it is a wedge that could drive the United States and Europe apart. America could attempt (at immense cost to itself) to decouple from the liberal world order and the global economy. But for Europe to do so would be suicidal. This flips the existing logic of the trans-Atlantic alliance on its head: it is Europe now that has the greater—and for it, existential—interest in preserving an international order that safeguards peace and globalization
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Michael Asiedu
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Global Political Trends Center
  • Abstract: The marginalization of Libyan youths has contributed to a much larger extent their propensity to be radicalized. In 2011, Libyan youths both armed and unarmed formed the fulcrum of the Libyan revolution (Luhrmann, 2015). They were clear in their demands, “Gaddafi must go”. They fought and laid down their arms in hope for better prospects post Gaddafi; to be included in Libya’s body politic fully. This was however, not to be. This desolation has prompted many Libyan youths who supported the revolution against former Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi to feel dejected in retrospect
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Libya
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Mitvim: The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies
  • Abstract: Israel lacks a coherent foreign policy. This has a harmful effect on its position in the world, on the role of its Ministry of Foreign Affairs in decision making processes, and on the conduct of Israel’s diplomacy. Israeli foreign policy is subordinated to the security establishment and focuses on public diplomacy (hasbara) efforts, rather than advancing diplomatic processes that would enable Israel a fresh start among the nations, regional belonging, and a future of peace, security and prosperity. The Mitvim Institute is working to change that. A multi-disciplinary Mitvim task-team formulated guiding principles for a new Israeli foreign policy paradigm - a pro-peace, multi-regional, outward looking, modern and inclusive foreign policy. This paper presents these guiding principles.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Israel
  • Author: Peter van Ham
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Clingendael Netherlands Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: Europe’s conventional arms control architecture requires a thorough makeover. Today’s arms control and confidence-building arrangements are based on two legally binding pillars: the Conventional Armed Forces Europe (CFE) Treaty of 1990 and the Open Skies Treaty of 1992. The Vienna Document on Confidence- and Security-Building Measures (CSBMs), originally adopted in 1990 and most recently updated in 2011, is politically binding and aims to increase the transparency of military postures and activities in Europe. Today, these arrangements are either blocked or in dire need of modernization.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Jérôme Tubiana, Clotilde Warin, Gaffar Mohammud Saeneen
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Clingendael Netherlands Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: This report studies the effects of EU migration policies and the externalisation of EU border control on Saharan migration routes and on practices in the border regions connecting Niger, Chad, Sudan and Libya. The report finds that, in response to the obstacles and opportunities that border externalisation policies present for migrants, migration routes diversify and move to other countries. Beyond the fact that migration is a transnational phenomenon not linked to one particular route or itinerary, this continuous moving of routes is made possible by cross-border Saharan trade and trafficking networks that have put in place the necessary logistics to facilitate migration and which often fall outside government control. Pushed by EU efforts to curtail migration, states such as Niger, Chad and Sudan have shored up border patrols and anti-smuggling operations in the border regions under study here. The report shows that this has been done in a manner that is often not conducive to stability in the region and which contributes to the ‘militia-isation’ – the growing power of militias whose presence undermines the state – of the countries at issue.
  • Topic: International Relations, Migration
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Kars de Bruijne(ed.)
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Clingendael Netherlands Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: The Global Security Pulse tracks emerging security trends and risks worldwide. This month the Global Security Pulse focuses on the subject of political warfare. It specifically assesses how it plays a role in the foreign relations of Russia
  • Topic: International Relations, War
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Pawal Kowal
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for East European Studies, University of Warsaw
  • Abstract: What challenges does East Central Europe face today? Now fully sovereign, the countries of the region seek new partnerships globally, address new and old problems locally, and engage their neighbours to tackle issues of common interest. This, the eighth edition of the Warsaw East European Review (WEER) is the consequence of the 2017 Warsaw East European Conference, entitled “East Central Europe vis-a-vis Global Challenges”. Some ninety scholars met and presented their views over four days of meetings in Warsaw in July 2017. The editors invited those with particularly timely remarks to submit their essays for publication, and have included a discussion of the WEER editorial board
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Kostas A Lavdas
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Relations Council of Turkey (UİK-IRCT)
  • Abstract: This paper focuses on stalled Europeanization as a field of practices, institutions and discourse connected with a process of ambivalent reform. The absence of a consensual national strategy of adaptation to a particularly challenging environment, i.e., participation in the eurozone, produced dramatic consequences when confronted with the financial crisis after 2009. It is argued that the country’s sluggish Europeanization reached a critical turning point in 2009 when the urgency of the crisis brought to the fore a number of issues and vulnerabilities. Asymmetric policy adjustment – limited in some areas, extensive in others – has been the combined result of perceived necessity, insufficiently designed and implemented reform packages, party-political repositioning, and plain politicking. Europeanization in Greece became a stalled process in 2015; restarting the stalled process since 2016 leads to ongoing but sluggish Europeanizing interactions, involving shifts in the roles of domestic politics, institutional traditions and interest groups while reshaping the patterns of political contestation.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe, Greece
  • Author: Christos Baxevanis
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Relations Council of Turkey (UİK-IRCT)
  • Abstract: Since the signing of the EU-Turkey Statement, there has been a significant reduction in the number of people unlawfully crossing European borders or losing their lives in the Aegean. Turkey plays a crucial and decisive role in addressing the refugee crisis in the Middle East and the Mediterranean region. At the same time, Greece is invited to carry out an unprecedented administrative, legislative and operational project that has not been undertaken so far. Furthermore, Greek authorities have to deal with a series of urgent needs (accommodation, nutrition, asylum procedures, health) or social integration processes (education, training, access to labour). This article focuses on the legal and political aspects in terms of Greek Asylum System as well as special attention is given to the EU- Turkey statement and how its implementation impacts on Greek-Turkish-EU relations. The author notes that this discussion cannot be taken place without taking into account the European institutional and political framework as well as the greatest economic-fiscal crisis faced both by EU and Greece.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Greece
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: IEMed/EuroMeSCo
  • Abstract: On 12 October ISPI in cooperation with the IEMed organised a workshop “New Euro-Mediterranean Dynamics in the Eastern Mediterranean”. The event was organised in the framework of the EuroMeSCo ENI Project, co-funded by the European Commission. This dialogue workshop aimed at discussing the initial research results of the Joint Policy Study and engaging the participants in analyzing and sharing their perspectives on whether the Russian moment in the MENA region corresponds to opportunism, a new strategy or it falls in between these options. Additionally, this workshop aimed at shedding light on the role Russia is currently playing, how this can influence the balance of power as well as how regional players look at Russia. The present report is a summary of main points raised in workshop discussions
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia, Middle East, North Africa
  • Author: Jason Walsh
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Third Way
  • Abstract: In recent years, the conversation on energy in the United States has shifted from a theme of scarcity to one of abundance. The surge in domestic production of oil and gas alone, which provides a significant advantage to the US economy, may also have drained some of the urgency and enthusiasm from efforts to improve energy efficiency while achieving economic growth targets, particularly in the industrial sector. Yet even in this age of abundance, smarter, cleaner, and more efficient energy use could still provide enormous benefits to American industry, workers, and the country as a whole. Greater national focus on improving industrial energy use could help to: • Increase Economic Competitiveness and Job Growth - US manufacturers are the cornerstone of our nation’s industrial sector and a vital source of good-paying jobs. By improving energy performance, we can help businesses reduce waste, create and sustain jobs, save money, and invest in long-term growth. • Achieve Climate Goals - The industrial sector is America’s biggest end-use emitter of greenhouse gases (GHGs). Unless we have a strategy to reduce these emissions, we have little chance of hitting our climate targets
  • Topic: International Relations, Climate Change, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Paul Saunders
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Nixon Center
  • Abstract: America’s relationship with Russia was among the most controversial foreignpolicy issues of the 2016 presidential campaign, and has remained so in the Trump administration’s initial weeks. Much of the controversy has been strictly political, focused primarily on exploiting anger and suspicion toward Moscow as a weapon during the election campaign and, more recently, in confirmation hearings for President Donald Trump’s key foreign-policy and national-security nominees. That said, public discussion before and after the November election has also exposed sharp differences over U.S. policy toward Russia and the assessments of U.S. and Russian interests, objectives and values that shape Washington’s choices. This volume seeks to contribute to that debate by exploring U.S. options in pursuing President Trump’s stated intent to engage with Moscow
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Japan, America
  • Author: Amira Jadoon
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point
  • Abstract: In the years following its official formation in January 2015, the Islamic State Khorasan (ISK) has conducted some of the most devastating attacks in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, persisting in the face of U.S. airstrikes, Pakistani military operations, and clashes with the Afghan Taliban. But what exactly is ISK? What are the broader contours of ISK’s lethality, targets, and tactics in Afghanistan and Pakistan? More broadly, what explains ISK’s demonstrated ability to survive and thrive in the AfPak region, and what do its operational trends and alliances collectively tell us about its future trajectory?
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Amit Bhandari, Chaitanya Giri
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relation
  • Abstract: President Vladimir Putin is in India on a two-day state visit to India, his third trip to India during Prime Minister Modi’s term. A key agreement that has just been signed is the $5 billion deal for the S-400 air defence system. However, U.S. sanctions on Russia’s top defence manufacturers will be a hurdle in closing this agreement, making payments to Russia difficult and scaring away potential Indian partners, especially those with investments in the West. Gateway House looks at India’s options for successfully concluding this agreement without falling foul of American sanctions
  • Topic: International Relations, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: Russia, India
  • Author: K N Vaidyanathan, Akshay Mathur
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relation
  • Abstract: The cross-border flow of payments, remittances, aid and investments is integral for globalisation. Ensuring transparency in such cross-border financial transactions is critical for the stability of the global financial system. A key goal for policy-makers has been the necessity to identify beneficial ownership in multi-country financial transactions to protect against money laundering, terrorist financing and tax evasion, which have besieged developed and developing countries alike. Existing global efforts on tracing Beneficial Ownership are insufficient since verification is limited to self-disclosures and by national regulations. What is needed is a global framework to enable data exchange, cross-referencing, tracing and analysis of data on crossborder financial transactions.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Itamar Radai
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies
  • Abstract: “On the deck of the Titanic,” thus sailed the members of the Joint List of Arab parties on the eve of the 2015 Knesset (parliamentary) elections, according to senior journalist Wadea Awawdy.[1] Four years later, in light of the results of the 2019 elections, it seems that this prophecy has almost materialized, even though the ships have narrowly escaped the iceberg, at least for the time being. The Hadash-Taʿal list attained 193,293 votes, equivalent to six seats in the Knesset, while Raʿam-Balad barely crossed the electoral threshold of 3.25 percent with 143,863 votes, giving them four seats. Arab voters’ turnout declined to a historic low of about 50 percent, as opposed to the overall turnout of around 68 percent.[2] The sharp drop in Arab voter turnout led to Arab parties’ political representation declining from 13 seats in 2015 to 10. Israeli Hebrew-language media coverage explained this change in terms of Arab alienation and marginalization. However, the mainstream Hebrew media outlets tend to neglect the coverage of Arab politics, including the election campaigns,[3] hence ignoring at large an important internal factor: the collapse of the Joint List on the eve of the 2019 elections, and its implications. This article will focus on the rise and dramatic fall of the Joint List, and its repercussions.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs, Elections
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Murat Yeşiltaş
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: DAESH was one of Turkey’s significant security threats and the terrorist group was able to conduct several major terrorist attacks on Turkish soil; however, DAESH terrorism was halted by Turkish counterterrorism efforts which culminated in cross-border military engagements. This paper analyzes the factors behind this success in order to draw conclusions that explain why previous terrorist attacks took place, and to offer proposals that can further enhance Turkey’s national security policy in a post-DAESH environment. The study argues that specific developments such as the territorial decline of DAESH, the removal of the terrorist group from the borders, enhancements in intelligence and operation fields, and counterterrorism experience ensured the prevention of more terrorist attacks by DAESH terrorists. Consequently, this study proposes that in a post-DAESH setting, Turkey’s national security should be shaped by certain requirements including intelligence superiority, high-level readiness, awareness, and external military activism. Furthermore, it is important that Turkey meticulously examines from the perspective of de-radicalization the possible risks that could unfold from the thousands of DAESH militants detained and currently incarcerated within its borders.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Charlene Barshefsky, Evan G. Greenberg, Jon M. Huntsman Jr.
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The Asia Pacific is home to over half of humanity and many of the world’s largest and most dynamic economies. Over the coming decades, no region of the world will do more to shape U.S. economic fortunes. More than ever before, American jobs and growth are tied to the Asia Pacific, and these opportunities are likely to grow. But the region is undergoing profound change. Today, mutually beneficial relations with the Asia Pacific are challenged by slowing growth, a rise in security tensions, and threats to the U.S.-led order. The rise of China is altering the Asia-Pacific landscape in profound ways and playing a critical role in the region’s prosperity and perceived stability. These economic and security shifts offer opportuni- ties for the United States to strengthen cooperation with emerging economies and reinforce part- nerships with established allies. But new policies are needed in what has become a more volatile environment. These policies must be grounded in the enduring interests of the United States and informed by the realities of a changing Asia Pacific. And just as economics is at the heart of Asia’s rise, so must economics be at the heart of an effective strategy.
  • Topic: International Relations, Globalization, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: America, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: Mehdi Khalaji
  • Publication Date: 02-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, a former Iranian judiciary chief who holds a prominent position in the Assembly of Experts, now has two paths to leadership of the Shiite community. The first is as a potential successor to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, now seventy-seven; the second is to eventually take the place of Najaf-based Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who at eighty-six is the preeminent religious authority in Shia Islam. A certain air of mystery surrounds Shahroudi, whose life has been chronicled heretofore only in a flattering pamphlet produced by his own office. But the trends in his philosophy are clear enough: on the religious front, he has grown more conservative; in matters of Iranian nationalism, a harder-line revolutionary. Author Mehdi Khalaji offers here the first comprehensive study of Ayatollah Shahroudi, encompassing his upbringing in holy Najaf, his move to Iran after the Islamic Revolution, his role as a stalwart in Khamenei's power base, and his brutal tenure as chief justice from 1999 to 2009. A scenario worth imagining, though hardly inevitable, is one in which Shahroudi consolidates power as both Supreme Leader and transnational marja, thereby reinforcing Iran's regional clout and its revolutionary orientation.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Asia Society
  • Abstract: OVER THE PAST YEAR, THE GLOBAL AND REGIONAL TRADE LANDSCAPE HAS BEEN CHALLENGED AS NEVER BEFORE. A growing number of people around the world are questioning the value of trade agreements, holding them accountable for slow wage growth, rising inequalities, and job losses. Exemplified by Brexit and the U.S. presidential election, a wave of anti-globalization has washed over the world. Further, global trade is slowing, and existing trade agreements have not kept pace with the changing nature of trade itself, owing to the increasingly important role of digital and services trades. But trade has been one of the strongest drivers behind global growth and stability, particularly in Asia. In the past quarter century, the number of trade agreements in the region has increased dramati- cally. At the same time, Asian countries experienced average annual growth rates nearly 3 percent higher after liberalizing their markets.1 The region’s openness has been a critical ingredient in spurring growth, creating jobs, and lifting millions out of poverty. Trade has also helped nations develop stronger ties, giving them a greater stake in one another’s economic success and reducing the likelihood of conflict. What the French philosopher Montesquieu wrote during the eighteenth century remains as relevant in the twenty-first: “Peace is a natural effect of trade.” 2
  • Topic: International Relations, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Dylan O’Driscoll, Dave van Zoonen
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Middle East Research Institute (MERI)
  • Abstract: This report views the Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilisation Forces, PMF) as having played an intrinsic role in the provision of security in Iraq since the dramatic rise of the Islamic State (IS). However, through the lens of nationalism it analyses the negative role the PMF may play once IS is defeated. The report therefore presents suggestions to deal with the perceived threat of the PMF in the short to medium term.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security
  • Political Geography: Iraq
  • Author: Haya Al Noaimi
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for International and Regional Studies: CIRS
  • Abstract: The Great Game in West Asia examines the strategic competition between Iran and Turkey for power and influence in the South Caucasus. These neighboring Middle East powers have vied for supremacy and influence throughout the region and especially in their immediate vicinity, while contending with ethnic heterogeneity both within their own territories and across their borders. Turkey has long conceived of itself as not just a bridge between Asia and Europe but in more substantive terms as a central player in regional and global affairs. If somewhat more modest in its public statements, Iran’s parallel ambitions for strategic centrality and influence have only been masked by its own inarticulate foreign policy agendas and the repeated missteps of its revolutionary leaders. But both have sought to deepen their regional influence and power, and in the South Caucasus each has achieved a modicum of success. In fact, as the contributions to this volume demonstrate, as much of the world’s attention has been diverted to conflicts and flashpoints near and far, a new great game has been unravelling between Iran and Turkey in the South Caucasus
  • Topic: International Relations, Globalization, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: West Asia
  • Author: François Godement
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: European Council On Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The Chinese have long been obsessed with strategic culture, power balances and geopolitical shifts. Academic institutions, think-tanks, journals and web-based debates are growing in
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Eran Lerman
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Begin-Sadat Centre for Strategic Studies (BESA)
  • Abstract: Overshadowed by the Syrian tragedy, the collapse of the Libyan state had dangerous consequences for Mediterranean security. It also demonstrated the cost of a hastily organized intervention followed by disastrous neglect and the rise of Islamist forces. Still, its latest chapter – the successful campaign to eradicate IS in Sirte – proves that when carefully chosen, limited military means can achieve strategic goals: and in that basis, measures should be taken to satisfy General Hiftar and his Egyptian backers.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, International Security
  • Political Geography: Libya
  • Author: Vanda Felbab-Brown
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: In “Afghanistan Affectations,” a detailed report published by the United Nations University Centre for Policy Research’s Crime-Conflict Nexus Series in April 2017, Vanda Felbab-Brown assesses how counterinsurgency, stabilization, and reconstruction dynamics have interacted with organized crime, illicit economies, and generalized predatory criminality since 2001 and warped and weakened the post-conflict stabilization and reconstruction efforts.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan
  • Author: Geoffrey Gertz
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: President Donald Trump has promised to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which links the United States with two of its largest trading partners, Canada and Mexico. Officials in both Canada and Mexico have signaled they are open to renegotiations, and talks are expected to begin soon. New commerce secretary Wilbur Ross has indicated he hopes the negotiations could be completed within a year.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Trade and Finance, International Security
  • Political Geography: America, Canada, Mexico
  • Author: Robert Einhorn
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: The global nuclear non-proliferation regime, as it has evolved since the entry into force of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in 1970, has been remarkably resilient. Despite predictions of a “cascade of proliferation,” there are currently only nine states with nuclear weapons, and that number has remained the same for the past 25 years.[1] The NPT is nearly universal, with 190 parties and only five non-parties (India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, South Sudan). Several countries voluntarily abandoned nuclear weapons development programs (Argentina, Brazil, Egypt); several others were forced diplomatically or militarily to give up the quest (Iraq, Libya, South Korea, Syria); three former Soviet republics inherited nuclear weapons but gave them up (Belarus, Kazakhstan, Ukraine); and one country built a small arsenal before unilaterally eliminating it (South Africa). With Iran’s path to nuclear weapons blocked by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) for at least 10 to 15 years, there are no non-nuclear weapon states currently believed to be pursuing nuclear weapons, according to U.S. government sources. And despite cases of nuclear smuggling and continuing interest of terrorist groups in acquiring nuclear weapons, no thefts of enough fissile material to build a bomb are believed to have taken place.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Manjeet S. Pardesi
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: As China asserts itself economically and militarily, the United States is faced with maintaining a balance of power in East Asia and safe-guarding its global dominance. In contrast to its competitive position with China, the US relationship with India--projected to be the third-largest economy by 2030--is set on a more collaborative course. American support for a rising India aligns with its broader security and strategic goals. India, for its part, remains intent on achieving a position of regional primacy, but welcomes the US presence in the South Asia/Indian Ocean region. The two nations, for example, have signed an agreement giving each other access to military facilities, and they conduct many bilateral military exercises. These developments are a far cry from the mid-twentieth century, when Jawaharlal Nehru called for the removal of all foreign militaries from Asia. What factors pushed the India-US relationship in this new direction? And what shared interests and goals does the partnership reinforce?
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: America, India
  • Author: Pradeep S Mehta, Kyle Cote
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Less than three months into Donald Trump’s tenure as President of the United States, Indian observers are contempla ng the future of bilateral rela ons with the global leader, not to men on the regional implica ons of the new administra on. Questions arise whether to take Mr Trump’s “America First” rhetoric seriously, or to believe that dealing with a businessman persona will ul mately benefit India’s diplomats, businesses, and citizens. Taking into account such uncertainty and what we’ve seen of Mr. Trump and his team thus far, the path forward for India in key geo‐economics and geopoli cal areas is fraught with challenges. Nevertheless, India has an opportunity to expand and deepen its trade relations, upgrade its domes c capacity, move forward with climate change ac on, and become a leader in the Asia‐Pacific region. Therefore, India must design and implement a clear, internally‐based strategy through an inclusive process to promote open and fair trade and coopera on bilaterally, regionally, and mul laterally.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: America, India
  • Author: Christian Kvorning Lassen
  • Publication Date: 02-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: Denmark to be excluded from Europol due to electing not to abolish its JHA opt-outs. The Operational Agreement it has since negotiated with the EU falls short in several key areas, preventing optimal mutual cooperation between Denmark and the EU on important issues such as counter-terrorism and international organized crime. The implications ofthe operational agreement in regards to Europol are potentially far-reaching for Denmark in terms of both its EU policy and security, but also for the EU, which has to balance institutional dilemmas with security concerns.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Katerina Davidova
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: The European Commission unveiled its long-awaited extensive package of energy legislation proposals at the end of 2016. While it is an important step on the way towards an integrated European Energy Union, the project still exists more on paper than in reality. Bridging the gap between vastly differing energy policies of various member states such as Germany and Poland will be one of the hardest obstacles to overcome on its way to success. With the increasing desire to limit the power of the Commission, however, the fate of the Energy Union will be decided more by what is going to happen outside of the EU, than in its centre.
  • Topic: International Relations, Climate Change, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Edward Alden, Robert Litan
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The challenge of how to help those left behind by rapid economic change—whether caused by technology or global competition—has moved to the center of the U.S. national debate in a way it has not been since the 1930s. Trade competition, especially from China, has been a significant factor in declining U.S. manufacturing employment over the past decade. Trade also became a major issue in the 2016 presidential campaign, despite the larger role played by automation and technological change in displacing manufacturing workers for decades. This process will only continue in coming years, with advances in robotics, artificial intelligence, and software that will eliminate many jobs while creating others, regardless of what policies the federal government may adopt toward trade and outsourcing.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Dhruva Jaishankar
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Donald Trump’s election at a time of growing and converging interests between India and the United States necessitates a re-evaluation of several aspects of Indian domestic and foreign policy. This paper identifies four areas in which Trump’s election affects Indian interests: bilateral relations (encompassing trade, investment, immigration, and technological cooperation), the Asian balance of power, counterterrorism, and global governance. It argues that India must continue to engage with the Trump administration and other stakeholders in the United States—including the U.S. Congress, state governments, and the private sector—in all of these areas. New Delhi must attempt to convince Washington that India’s rise is in American interest. This idea provided the underlying logic behind the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations’ engagement with India, but it will be more difficult to sustain given the United States’ new political realities and impulses.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: America, India
  • Author: David Dollar
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Global value chains (GVCs) break up the production process so different steps can be carried out in different countries. Many smart phones and televisions, for example, are designed in the United States or Japan. They have sophisticated inputs, such as semiconductors and processors, which are produced in the Republic of Korea or Chinese Taipei. And they are assembled in China. They are then marketed and receive after-sale servicing in Europe and the United States. These complex global production arrangements have transformed the nature of trade. But their complexity has also created difficulties in understanding trade and in formulating policies that allow firms and governments to capitalize on GVCs and to mitigate negative side effects.
  • Topic: International Relations, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Future for Advanced Research and Studies (FARAS)
  • Abstract: Turkey and Russia recently announced that their talks about the delivery of the Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile defense system to Ankara were now at a nal stage. That is a sign that a key element of the deal, estimated at USD 2.5 billion, has already been achieved. According to statements delivered by Sergei Chemezov, the head of Russia’s Rostec state corporation, in Moscow one week before the MAKS-2017 air-show, the two countries resolved technical issues regarding the con- tract of the four missile interceptor batteries, with only administrative issues remaining. His statement indicates that the serious steps have been already taken towards implement- ing what can be described as a done deal.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia, Turkey
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Future for Advanced Research and Studies (FARAS)
  • Abstract: ISIS appears to be planning to attack the interests of some states that are in- volved in the war against it. The terror group’s recent assault was conducted in retaliation for its defeat in Mosul, liberated on July 10, 2017. That is evi- denced in ISIS’ quick claim of responsi- bility of the attack on the Iraqi Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan on July 31, 2017.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Future for Advanced Research and Studies (FARAS)
  • Abstract: Turkey has recently launched vigorous e orts to increase its domestic oil and natural gas produc- tion to meet its domestic demands. The ongoing problem of reliance on energy imports to meet the majority of its increasing demand has be- come a key determinant in Turkey’s foreign pol- icy. It is even driving the country’s push towards convergence with the world’s biggest two gas ex- porters, especially Russia.
  • Topic: International Relations, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Future for Advanced Research and Studies (FARAS)
  • Abstract: European states seek to increase the chances of maintaining the implementation of the nuclear agreement, also known as the Joint Comprehen- sive Plan of Action (JCPOA), concluded on July 14, 2017 between Iran and the P5+1 group of world powers, which includes the European Union, France as well as Germany. The bid is especially driven by the European view that a collapse of the deal would in ict grave consequences on their interests. However, the European bid is facing no easy hurdles. While the United States is keen to impose new sanctions on Iran over its ballistic missile program, Iran is similarly adamant about continuing this program as well as exploiting the nuclear deal to expand its in infuence in the region through backing terrorist organizations and establishing relations with non-state actors.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Future for Advanced Research and Studies (FARAS)
  • Abstract: Current data on the political and military situation in Syria indicate that the military as- pect remains the dominant factor in the crisis due to the faltering political track at Geneva and Astana. Nonetheless, significant political changes that developed recently cannot be underestimated in determining the future of the crisis.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Syria
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Future for Advanced Research and Studies (FARAS)
  • Abstract: The Kurdistan Democratic Union party (PYD) led by Saleh Musallam continues its ef- forts and takes new executive actions with the aim of turning the federal system, an- nounced on 17 March 2016 in areas under its control in northern Syria (Rojava regions) into reality. The previous step taken by PYD was preparing a draft Federal Constitution composed of 85 articles stipulating that the constitution is a social contract for the dem- ocratic federal Rojava, and considering the city of Qamishli as the capital and center of the federation.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Future for Advanced Research and Studies (FARAS)
  • Abstract: March 8 parties – particularly Hezbollah – in support of the Iranian axis have sought rapprochement with Bashar al-Assad’s regime and they are trying to push the Lebanese state to establish direct political and economic relations with it. March 14 parties, particularly the Lebanese Forces which opposes Syria, objected because Hezbollah’s attempts aim to help the Syrian regime exit its regional and international isolation, to make it present again in Lebanon and enhance economic cooperation as a path to establish more comprehensive strategic relations.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security
  • Political Geography: Syria
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Future for Advanced Research and Studies (FARAS)
  • Abstract: Turkey and Iran appear to be bent on upgrading political and security coordination over regional developments of common and special interest. This was evidenced by Iranian Chief of Staff General Muhammad Bagheri’s three-day vis- it to Turkey on August 15, 2017. This visit indicates that a “convergence of necessity” is headlining relations between the two regional powers despite a number of pending issues between them.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security
  • Political Geography: Iran, Turkey
  • Author: Julia M. Santucci
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: The Obama administration made efforts to advance gender equality around the world one of its core national security and foreign policy priorities, based on the premise that countries are more stable, secure, and prosperous when women enjoy the same rights as men, participate fully in their countries’ political systems and economies, and live free from violence. A growing body of research makes a compelling case about these links. Former Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Cathy Russell and former National Security Advisor Tom Donilon sum up much of the evidence in this Medium piece, noting that advancing gender equality around the world helps grow global gross domestic product, decreases hunger, strengthens the prospects for peace agreements to succeed, and counters violent extremism.1
  • Topic: International Relations, Gender Issues, International Security
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Alexander Velez-Green
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: The United States has long looked to Egypt as a key partner in the Middle East. Egypt’s adherence to the Camp David Accords is fundamental to Israeli security. Cairo has also been a key player in the Israeli–Palestinian peace process for many years. In addition, the Egyptian state has played an essential role in supporting the U.S. fight against global jihadism. Its provision of reliable access to the Suez Canal, Egyptian airspace, and intelligence sharing directly enables U.S. operations against al Qaeda and the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) across the Middle East. That is not to mention the blood and treasure that Egypt itself has spent to defeat terrorist groups operating in the Sinai Peninsula and elsewhere.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security, Political stability
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Adam Klein, Madeline Christian, Matt Olsen, Tristan Campos
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act is an important intelligence tool that will expire on December 31, 2017, unless Congress re-authorizes it. Here’s what it is, and how it works. First, a bit of background: The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 requires the government to get a court order to intercept the electronic messages of a suspected spy or terrorist on U.S. soil. By contrast, overseas spying took place with no court oversight. That made sense for 20th century technology, because international communications rarely transited the United States. The internet made things far more complicated: now, foreigners’ communications often travel through the United States, or are stored on servers here. That produced an anomaly: FISA was forcing the government to apply Fourth Amendment safeguards when a foreign terrorist or spy’s internet messages passed through the U.S.—even though non-Americans overseas do not have Fourth Amendment rights. This overtaxed the Justice Department and made counterterrorism more difficult. To remedy this, Congress passed the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which included Section 702. Section 702 creates a middle ground between U.S.-based surveillance under FISA and overseas surveillance by the NSA.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Elizabeth Rosenberg, ​Neil Bhatiya, Edorado Saravalle
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: Congress adopted new sanctions in late July to codify and significantly expand U.S. financial restrictions on Russia and tightly constrain the president’s exercise of policy in this domain. The sanctions bill was driven by concerns over Russia’s interference in U.S. elections and destabilizing aggression abroad, as well as a broadly held belief by legislators that the president is mishandling critical national security issues. With these new sanctions authorities, Congress is taking an unprecedented step to assume greater control over a domain of foreign policy
  • Topic: International Relations, International Trade and Finance, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia, America
  • Author: Edward Fishman, Peter Harrell, Elizabeth Rosenberg
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: North Korea has emerged as one of the most significant national security threats facing the United States and its allies today. Since leader Kim Jong Un came to power in 2011, North Korea has accelerated the pace of its nuclear tests, and appears to have made substantial progress in developing operational medium-, long-range, and intercontinental ballistic missiles. Many experts assess that if left unchecked, Pyongyang could develop the capability to strike the contiguous United States with a nuclear warhead within 5–10 years. Because of that, in June 2017 U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis characterized North Korea as “the most urgent and dangerous threat” to U.S. peace and security.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: North Korea, Global Focus
  • Author: Nicholas Heras
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and trans-Sahara regions are undergoing a period of instability and state collapse, with active civil wars raging in four of the most important countries in the region: Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Libya. As witnessed during the Arab uprisings of 2010–2011, the MENA region has begun to grapple with the once and future challenges of instability as the regional population grows and skews younger, economies stagnate and start to collapse, and resources become scarcer. U.S. national security policy toward the MENA and trans-Sahara regions is at a point of high uncertainty, with a new administration developing strategies to address the security threats to the United States and its partner nations being caused by the region’s civil wars.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Dr. Mohammed Cherkaoui
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: The new approach of the U.S. foreign policy toward the Middle East has increasingly pivoted around possible ways of fighting radical groups with various denominations.
  • Topic: International Relations, Counter-terrorism
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Stasa Salacanin
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: The GCC crisis has put all international actors, including Europe, in a complicated position, and as ever louder calls for the greater engagement in the mediation process comes at challenging times as Europe is facing countless problems at home.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East
  • Author: Thembisa Fakude
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: The recent developments in Saudi Arabia’s foreign policy towards Syria, Iraq and Yemen have created great confusion. A “bastion of Sunni Islam”, Saudi Arabia has made controversial political decisions that have resulted in immense criticism from across the world.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Madawi al-Rasheed
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: Riyadh is keen to impose guardianship on its Gulf neighbours, but most of them resist, which mires the Gulf system in recurring conflicts. This will not be settled definitively unless their relations are based on the principles of equality and mutual respect.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security
  • Political Geography: Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Dr. Mohamed Erraji
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: This paper reviews the role of media fabrication and propaganda in the current political crisis in the Gulf. Propagandists have deliberately created a new political reality to demonise Qatari politics and political leaders with a detailed political approach to create a prefabricated reality.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Murat Yeşiltaş
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: Turkey's current strategic move is it is a continuation of Turkey’s new vision for regional politics within the context of the new regional geopolitical realities.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Wang Dong, Sun Bingyan
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Korean Economic Institute (KEI)
  • Abstract: What will it take to jump start trilateral talks among Beijing, Seoul, and Washington over the situation on the Korean Peninsula, including the denuclearization of North Korea? If this subject has been on the minds of South Koreans in 2016-17 with some approaching their counterparts in Beijing and Washington, DC in the hope that such triangular talks can be launched—the more official, the better—not many Chinese have addressed what would be necessary to enlist their country in this endeavor. This chapter argues that, at present, China is unprepared to take this route. A major factor is the sense that there are imbalances that complicate the triangle. Beyond the substance of what would be on the agenda, Chinese are concerned by South Korea’s alignment and how it would affect the course of the discussions.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: China, America, Korea
  • Author: Joel Wuthnow
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Korean Economic Institute (KEI)
  • Abstract: During the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, the candidates reached a bipartisan consensus on one issue: how to deal with North Korea. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump both called for China to do more to convince Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear program once and for all. Candidate Trump said that China has “absolute control” over North Korea and promised to do whatever it takes to convince Beijing to use that leverage, including imposing penalties on Chinese firms. As president, however, Trump will have to navigate the reality of China’s extreme hesitance to use the only type of pressure likely to divert North Korea’s nuclear ambitions—the threat of regime-endangering punishment. If and how China should continue to fit into U.S. strategy for dealing with North Korea will thus be a key issue facing Trump and his advisors
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Korea
  • Author: Mark Tokola
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Korean Economic Institute (KEI)
  • Abstract: For the proverbial visitor from Mars, the political situation in Northeast Asia is inexplicable. Sitting amidst a group of relatively stable, wealthy, and powerful countries, is a small, poor, belligerent nation that all agree is a threat to regional stability. Furthermore, the rogue state has been sanctioned and its behavior condemned by the United Nations for its weapons programs and its human rights abuses. Why can the Republic of Korea (ROK), Japan, the United States, Russia, and China not combine their considerable leverage to do something about North Korea?
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Korea
  • Author: Gilbert Rozman
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Korean Economic Institute (KEI)
  • Abstract: The construct “Chinese national identity” refers to narratives from China’s leadership, media, and academic spokespersons about what makes their country distinctive and how those ideas matter in relations with other nations. This is a relational concept that serves to distinguish the “self” and “other,” whose interpretation is shaped by interactions with other states. Seen from the vertical dimension of identity, these interactions are filtered through rhetoric aimed at promoting unity at home. Demonizing other nations while conveying an image of enemies or states seeking to contain China is a means to boost solidarity behind Communist Party control over a society with little means to dissent. The horizontal dimension of identity depicts bilateral relations as the result not of different national interests, but of clashing and often irreconcilable identities. Examining the way national identity on the Chinese side impacts five external relationships is the objective of this set of articles, which concentrate on Chinese rhetoric during the period of Xi Jinping.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Yinan He
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Korean Economic Institute (KEI)
  • Abstract: Sino-Japanese relations have been in another volatility cycle since the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands disputes flared up again in summer 2012. The downward trend seems to have bottomed out in November 2014 when the two leaders Xi Jinping and Abe Shinzo finally held their first meeting since entering office. However, the anticipated recovery has proved tenuous; the momentum toward further improvement has halted since early 2016 when confrontation escalated in both the South China Sea and East China Sea. While acknowledging the role of realist power shift and geostrategic rivalry in causing Sino-Japanese tension, this paper argues that a widening gap between their national identities is also highly relevant. The current Xi government has promoted a national reinvigoration campaign emphasizing Chinese history and culture, the socialist model, and defense of core interests, which runs counter to that of Abe’s Japan, a democratic and historically revisionist country. This national identity conflict has exacerbated mutual distrust, denied chances of reassurance, and generated domestic popular objections to diplomatic compromise between the two countries.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Korea
  • Author: See-Won Byun
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Korean Economic Institute (KEI)
  • Abstract: How do Chinese national identity narratives affect Sino-South Korean relations? The Koguryo history war more than a decade ago was a turning point in bilateral relations since diplomatic normalization in 1992, generating enduring competition over representations of history. In 2010, China’s commemoration of its entry into the Korean War raised early warnings in South Korea over Beijing’s hostile foreign policy orientation under Xi Jinping. Contrary to such expectations, however, the earliest summit agreements between presidents Xi Jinping and Park Geun-hye after both took office in 2013 were on history cooperation as common victims of Japanese colonialism. Most notably in 2015, Park’s participation in Beijing’s 70th anniversary celebrations of the end of World War II consolidated joint claims of what was called the best period in bilateral relations. This chapter assesses the impact of Chinese national identity on China-Republic of Korea (ROK) relations under the Xi and Park administrations since 2013. It examines Chinese constructions of national identity and their implications for the security, economic, and cultural dimensions of the Sino-South Korean relationship. Rather than promoting partnership, competing identities across these dimensions reinforce enduring differences over the region’s political, economic, and cultural order. These differences surfaced most saliently in 2016, following an initial period of engagement that corresponds with the downward trend in China-Japan relations since 2012. Managing them requires the very trust-building that both Beijing and Seoul have prioritized since 2013.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Korea
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: We are living in a world awash in data. Accelerated interconnectivity, driven by the proliferation of internet-connected devices, has led to an explosion of data—big data. A race is now underway to develop new technologies and implement innovative methods that can handle the volume, variety, velocity, and veracity of big data and apply it smartly to provide decisive advantage and help solve major challenges facing companies and governments.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Geneive Abdo
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Islam and Human Rights: Key Issues for Our Times is a collection of essays edited by Geneive Abdo and authored by Elie Abouaoun, Harith Hasan Al-Qarawee, Moataz El Fegiery, Mohammad Fadel, Omar Iharchane, Driss Maghraoui, Imad Salamey, and Asma T. Uddin. This publication is part of the Hariri Center’s Islamic Law and Human Rights in the Middle East initiative. By presenting the reader with a range of contemporary thinking on the most pressing issues facing Muslims today, including questions of democracy, free expression, human rights, gender and minority rights, and the notions of legitimate governance, this volume reflects new thinking on these issues.
  • Topic: International Relations, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Husain Haqqani, Arpana Pandey
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Hudson Institute
  • Abstract: arendra Modi led the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to power during the May 2014 elections, promising radical changes. The party’s electoral manifesto outlined numerous problems that threatened Indian society, while promising to protect social values and enact “urgent changes” in the economy, agriculture, energy, education, and governance.1 Observers from around the world hailed the BJP’s victory as a success, and believed that a pro-business government assuring fundamental changes would tap into India’s unfulfilled economic potential.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Melissa Conley Tyler, Antonia Mochan
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Australian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: When Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop and I launched the EU-Australia Leadership Forum – last September in Brussels – she made a passionate case for our friendship, and for a strong and united Europe. She remembered thousands of Australians who died fighting in our continent during the world wars, and the 70 years of peace that a united Europe has made possible for its member states. She celebrated economic prosperity inside Europe, and the European Union’s contribution to a global order based on rules, on cooperation, on sustainable development.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe, Australia
  • Author: Pawal Kowal, John S Micgiel
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for East European Studies, University of Warsaw
  • Abstract: “All we have left of the Soviet Union are jokes...” I’d like to ask you all somewhat perversely, besides jokes, is there any good memory left behind from this empire? Did the Soviet Union leave anything good behind? I mean the Soviet Union not as the Soviet Union itself, but also as the whole region, in other words the Warsaw Pact countries, as well as other communist countries and parties in the world. So, we see the empire as Alexei Salmin, the Russian political scientist, views it – as a concentrated orb: the Russian Federation, around it the USSR, then the Warsaw Pact, followed by other communist countries and finally the Comintern, and after its dissolution, parties cooperating with the Kremlin from all over the world. So, we see the entire empire, not just the Soviet Union, and the question is this – did it leave anything good behind? Surely every empire leaves something good behind
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Poland
  • Author: Denys Kutsenko
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for East European Studies, University of Warsaw
  • Abstract: The space of post-Soviet city centres used by protesters was especially analysed by Ukrainian and Russian scholars after the Orange Revolution, Euromaidan and Russian anti-election protests in 2011-2012. There were also works devoted to the Tahrir Square (Cairo, Egypt)1 and Taksim Square (Istanbul, Turkey)2, which appeared after Egyptian Revolution of 2011 and wave of demonstration and civil unrest in Instanbul in 2013. After protests in Russia and Ukraine city movements like coffee urbanism or hipster urbanism became more active and ideas of new urbanism spread with new strength.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security
  • Political Geography: Ukraine
  • Author: Matias Spektor
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Brazilian Center for International Relations (CEBRI)
  • Abstract: Throughout its 18 years of existence, the Brazilian Center for International Relations (CEBRI) has established itself as one of Brazil’s most important centers for critical reflection on international relations. As a result of Brazil’s accession on the international stage in recent decades, Brazil now enjoys a position of appropriate prominence within the global scenario. As one of the most important international relations think-tanks in the country, CEBRI has an important mission to fulfill, and to shed light on the main contemporary global issues in an independent, nonpartisan and pluralistic way.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Brazil
  • Author: Dr Jans Woischnik
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Brazilian Center for International Relations (CEBRI)
  • Abstract: In the last decade of the 20th century, when the Cold War came to an end, there was a growing understanding that International Law was consolidated as legitimation body for state actions. It was the beginning of a new peaceful world order, the world hoped that an old problem of geopolitics could finally be fully addressed by the International Law, a problem which the Athenian General Thucydides observed already more than 2000 years ago, according to which in the realm of the international, “the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must”. In this new world order right was supposed to finally come before might.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Maha Yahya
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Lebanon’s and Iraq’s political systems are based on sectarian and ethnic power-sharing. In summer 2015, both countries faced popular protests demanding better governance. These protests began over poor service provision but escalated into opposition to the countries’ overarching power-sharing systems. These demonstrations were framed as nonsectarian, civic responses to deteriorating conditions and corrupt leadership. While protestors raised hopes that change was possible, their curtailment by the sectarian leadership underlined the challenges of political transformation in divided societies.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Anouar Boukhars
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: More than six years after the revolution that ousted former president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, Tunisia’s border regions remain hotbeds of social discontent and agitation. Aggrieved youth increasingly express their anger through fiery protests, street violence, and in some cases violent extremism. In response to this ongoing social unrest and terrorism, the Tunisian government has developed hardline security policies, whose effects often exacerbate social tensions, political violence, and militancy. Breaking this vicious cycle requires Tunisia’s government to rethink its approach to the border regions.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Tunisia
  • Author: Sven Biscop
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: How will the great powers behave? That is what determines the future world order – or the absence of order. Could it be that China and the EU have found an alternative for the old-fashioned grand strategies that Russia and the US are again pursuing
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Bilal Bağış, Çağlar Yurtseven
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research (SAM)
  • Abstract: This paper aims to analyze potential future areas of greater cooperation between Turkey and the other OIC member economies. It then provides some specific policy recommendations. In particular, the paper aims to contribute to economic policymaking efforts in terms of the potential future areas of increased cooperation. Broadly speaking, the Muslim world has immense savings-holding accumulated over the past few decades. Human and physical capital potentials are extremely high. Yet, there are also huge economic disparities and extremely diverse demographic dynamics. This paper is built on the idea that a crucial strategy to boost economic development and social prosperity is an intense economic, financial and strategic integraton of the OIC members. In particular, countries with common historical, cultural and even religious backgrounds have much to gain from such specific collaboration efforts. In that line, this paper deals with opportunities and challenges regarding the strategic position of Turkey. It focuses on sectors in which Turkey has a comparative advantage within the OIC league. It further analyzes the reasons Turkey and the other OIC economies must cooperate and build stronger economic ties. The paper suggests that such a modern economic cooperation or a strategic union that is strengthened by historical, social and cultural roots is both inevitable and to the benefit of all parties.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Publication Date: 02-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: LSE IDEAS
  • Abstract: The future of the transatlantic relationship is rarely out of the headlines in Europe or North America. Despite the closeness, the relationship faces – as it has always done – new and familiar challenges.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Anna Kobierecka
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Polish Political Science Association (PPSA)
  • Abstract: The aim of the article is to examine whether Nordic area can be regarded as a homogenous and successfully cooperating region, which is providing one unified political front. Considering many similarities between Nordic states, as for example shared values (equality, women rights, common love of democracy, peace and welfare state), one could say that Nordic states constitute a single and unitary area. What is more, the linguistic, cultural and historical closeness of those states is a fact, but at the same time many differences can be pointed, especially considering their security and foreign policies. Those aspects seem to be the main obstacle in introducing full cooperation in the region. Nevertheless, it is worth noticing that current international developments and appearance of new threats to security are influencing the Nordic states which, as a result, are changing their attitudes towards security policy. Those factors could lead to introducing new dimensions of their cooperation
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Nordic Nations
  • Author: Marcelo Lopez de Aragon
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Council on International Policy (CIP)
  • Abstract: Founded in 1948, the Organization of American States (OAS) is billed as the premier political multilateral forum of the western hemisphere with 34 member states. At its core, the raison d’être of the OAS rests on the promotion and safeguarding of four pillars: democracy, human rights, security and development.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Steven Pifer
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: rms control has figured on the agenda between Washington and Moscow since the 1960s. Suc- cessive U.S. administrations since that of Richard Nixon have pursued negotiated arms control arrangements to limit and reduce the number of Soviet (and Russian) nuclear weapons, to enhance strategic stability, to increase transparency and predictability, to reduce the costs of U.S. nuclear forces, and to bolster America’s non-proliferation credentials. Negotiations on arms control have proceeded in times of both good and difficult relations. At times, progress on arms control has helped drive a more positive over- all relationship between Washington and Moscow. At other times, differences over arms control and related issues have contributed to a downward slide in rela- tions. The next president will take office in January 2017, when the overall U.S.-Russia relationship is at its lowest point since the end of the Cold War.
  • Topic: International Relations, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, International Security
  • Political Geography: Russia, America
  • Author: William Perry, Deep Cuts Commission
  • Publication Date: 06-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: This report contains a number of bold proposals on how to better manage relations between the West and Russia in order to avert worst-case scenarios. Specifying that cooperative solutions are pos- sible without giving up on the fundamental interests of each side, it warrants a close look by officials in both Moscow and Washington.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Cooperation, International Security, International Affairs, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Russia, America, Europe, Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Mitvim: The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies
  • Abstract: Due to developments in the international diplomatic arena, as well as the information revolution, foreign relations are no longer the sole purview of government officials. Increasingly, civil society organizations, businesses and private entrepreneurs are playing a pivotal role in international relations among states. Nevertheless, Israeli foreign policy is still considered the exclusive domain of experts. Indeed, significant sub-groups of the population – women, Palestinian citizens of Israel, ultra-Orthodox Jews, new immigrants and residents of the country's geographic periphery – do not participate meaningfully in the Israeli public debate concerning foreign affairs, let alone the corresponding decision- making process.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, International Cooperation, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Israel
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Mitvim: The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies
  • Abstract: Israelis see high importance in advancing cooperation with Egypt, while cooperation with the Palestinian Authority is of low priority. This is the main finding from a public opinion poll conducted for the Mitvim Institute on July 13, 2016 by the Rafi Smith Institute and in cooperation with the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung. It sampled 500 men and women, as a representative sample of the Israeli adult population (aged 18 and older, from both the Jewish and Arab sectors).
  • Topic: International Relations, International Cooperation, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Israel
  • Author: Ian Christoplos, Le Duc Ngoan, Thi Hoa Sen Le, Nguyen Thi Thanh Huong
  • Publication Date: 07-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Goals for climate change adaptation and disaster risk management are widely recog- nised as overlapping, but little is known about the dynamics of this interplay in the perspectives and practices of local authorities. An important aspect of this is how provincial, district and municipal level institutions comprehend and operationalise climate change adaptation frameworks against the backdrop of their past experience of responding to disasters. This is in turn related to how they provide services to risk prone populations. This research report describes how meso-level institutions in Việt Nam mediate between the different intentions and priorities embodied in national climate change and disaster risk management policies, and ongoing efforts of indivi- dual households and communities to adapt to environmental change and natural hazards. Research findings suggest that they are doing this in a context wherein past assumptions about the role of the state are being questioned, but where answers remain ambiguous. Findings emphasise the process of ‘bricolage’ that is underway, wherein different disaster risk and climate goals, rules and structures are combined. Some of these institutional changes involve innovation and others reflect path dependencies anchored in past societal roles.
  • Topic: International Relations, Climate Change, Disaster Relief, Environment
  • Political Geography: Vietnam
  • Author: J. Peter Pham
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Turmoil in traditional geopolitical hotspots—Europe, Russia, the Levant, and Asia—has distracted the United States from the numerous opportunities and challenges across the Atlantic in Africa. Over the last decade, Africa has celebrated economic growth and new levels of political and economic engagement with the United States. But the continent faces many challenges to its continued economic development, security, and governance. In this latest Atlantic Council Strategy Paper, Atlantic Council Vice President and Africa Center Director Dr. J. Peter Pham persuasively argues that the United States needs to modernize its relations with a changing Africa to best engage a new range of actors and circumstances.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, International Trade and Finance, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Africa, America
  • Author: Lindsey. W Ford
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Asia Society
  • Abstract: ON JANUARY 20, 2017, AMERICA’S FIRST “PACIFIC PRESIDENT” WILL DEPART OFFICE. Many Asian observers fear that America’s regional commitments will depart along with him. The election of Donald Trump raises more questions than answers for Asian leaders eager to under- stand the nature of U.S. engagement in the region in the future. There has been a remarkable history of consistency and bipartisanship in the U.S. approach to Asia over many decades. But this election has upended many assumptions about U.S. policy in ways that leave foreign policy experts, both in the United States and abroad, unsure of what to expect next. President-elect Trump has made clear that few things will be “business as usual” for the future. Several of his proposals, including withdrawing the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, and annulling U.S. ratification of the Paris Climate Agreement would reverberate across the region and mark a significant about-face in U.S. policy. Other proposals, less directly related to Asia, such as suspending immigration from certain Muslim nations, would also have implications for Asian countries with significant Muslim majorities or minorities.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Organization, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Dylan O'Driscoll
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Middle East Research Institute (MERI)
  • Abstract: The post-conflict planning following the 2003 invasion of Iraq was weak at best and as a result many elements were at play that led to the marginalisation and political disenfranchisement of the Sunni community. Consequently, radical entities, such as Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (IS), exploited local dynamics to take up a position within society in the Sunni areas of Iraq. It is important that the current fight against IS in Iraq avoids this pattern at all costs; if the liberation is devoid of long-term planning it will likely result in the resurfacing of a number of issues responsible for the rise of IS in Iraq in the first place. Lessons must be learnt from the mistakes of post-Saddam planning and these must not be repeated post-IS. There needs to be a multifaceted approach to the preparation for the liberation of Mosul that goes well beyond the military dimension.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, International Security
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Eran Lerman
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Begin-Sadat Centre for Strategic Studies (BESA)
  • Abstract: This study maps four Arab ideological camps and their interactions: The Iranian camp, Islamic State camp, Muslim Brotherhood camp, and the “counter camp” – which consists of the forces of stability, ranging from Saudi Arabia and most of the Gulf states to Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, and Morocco, as well as the Kurds and other non-Arab players. Israel shares the fears and goals of the latter camp, and is joined with it in countering Iran. The US administration’s courtship of Iran, as well as the hope held broadly in the West that the Muslim Brotherhood could play a constructive role, has done little to restore stability or restrain the rise of radicalism.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Alexandr Lagazzi
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: Regardless of its outcome, the Italian constitutional referendum will affect Italy’s position within the EU. Prime Minister Matteo Renzi proposes to simplify the legislative process by stripping the Senate of most its role in the law-making process whilst boosting the power of the executive branch. Voters will have the opportunity to decide whether to approve or decline these substantial constitutional changes on December 4, 2016, in the third constitutional referendum of the country’s history. The aim of this paper is to analyse the proposed bill and offer a prognosis of both the outcomes of the referendum in terms of Italy’s position within the EU before the 60th anniversary of the Rome Treaty in March 2017.
  • Topic: International Relations, Political structure
  • Political Geography: Europe, Italy
  • Author: Tereza Novotná
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: Federica Mogherini, the EU’s foreign policy chief, has recently been praised for mediating the Iran nuclear deal. However, policy action (or inaction) should not be the only metric by which to judge Mogherini’s successes and failures. Any High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice- President of the European Commission (HRVP) is also responsible for the effective organization and management of the European External Action Service (EEAS) and its officials. The importance of this issue lies in the fact that it is the EEAS personnel who prepares HRVP’s foreign policy proposals and represents the EU in third countries.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Len Hoffman
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: East View Information Services
  • Abstract: Annual meeting of Russian federation ambassadors and permanent envoys
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: S. Karaganov
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: East View Information Services
  • Abstract: The Crisis between Russia and the West is associated with Crimea and Russia’s actions in Donbass and Ukraine; in fact, it has deeper roots while its long-term repercussions might prove to be much graver than expect- ed. a large-scale armed clash cannot be excluded even if this possibility is gradually reducing; we should be ready to political confrontation and contracted economic ties. Today, Europe is facing an even greater threat: a civilizational divorce with Russia.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe
  • Author: Armen Oganesyan
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: East View Information Services
  • Abstract: A part of the western world, Europe, however, has been very selective about alien cultures and civilizations; not a “melting pot” american style, it is paying dearly for this function imposed on it. The disagreements on the migration issues in the european corridors of power threaten the cohesion of the european Unity. Frau Merkel who demon- strated a no mean determination to meet a new wave of migrants with maximal openness and tolerance had already accepted the failure of mul- ticulturalism. This means that Berlin has no answer to the question about how to cope with the migrants who have arrived in thousands and mil- lions to europe to stay.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: On May 12, 2016, the United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, and the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment hosted a one-day workshop on international investment and the rights of indigenous peoples. This outcome document synthesizes the discussions that took place during the May 12 workshop. The workshop was part of a series of consultations undertaken to support the Special Rapporteur’s second thematic analysis on the impact of international investment agreements on the rights of indigenous peoples (available here). Held at the Ford Foundation in New York, the workshop brought together 53 academics, practitioners, indigenous representatives, and civil society representatives to explore strategies for strengthening the rights and interests of indigenous peoples in the context of international investment. The workshop provided an opportunity for participants to share their diverse perspectives, experiences, and insights regarding the intersection of international investment and human rights, and to discuss creative and pragmatic approaches to short and long-term reform of both the investment and human rights regimes, with the ultimate goal of ensuring that indigenous rights are respected, protected, and fulfilled.
  • Topic: International Relations, Human Rights, Post Colonialism
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 06-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Fundación Alternativas
  • Abstract: Informe en español. Versión pasapáginas aquí.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Ana Belén Sánchez
  • Publication Date: 05-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Fundación Alternativas
  • Abstract: Hace unos años propuse que entre los Informes que la Fundación Alternativas dedica a los grandes temas de nuestro país y de Europa –la Democracia, la Desigualdad, la Unión Europea, la Cultura– no podía faltar uno consagrado a la Sostenibilidad.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe