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  • Author: Richard Fontaine
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: In June 2008, the Center for a New American Security published a compendium of essays to grapple with the central questions of American grand strategy.1 The volume compiled the views of leading senior strategists from across the political spectrum and from both academia and the policy community. Four years later, CNAS embarked on a similar venture, presenting the views of four more expert thinkers
  • Topic: International Affairs, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: James M Dorsey
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Begin-Sadat Centre for Strategic Studies (BESA)
  • Abstract: When Pope Francis I visited Egypt in 2017 to stimulate interfaith dialogue he walked into a religious and geopolitical minefield at the heart of which was Al-Azhar, one of the world’s oldest and foremost seats of Islamic learning. The pope’s visit took on added significance with Al-Azhar standing accused of promoting the kind of ultra-conservative Sunni Muslim Islam that potentially creates an environment conducive to breeding extremism.
  • Topic: Islam, Politics, Religion, Violent Extremism, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Middle East, North Africa, Egypt
  • Author: Colin Robertson
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: On Friday, June 28, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hosts the leaders of the 19 major economic nations and the European Union in Osaka, Japan. As G20 finance ministers noted after their meeting earlier this month “growth remains low and risks remain tilted to the downside. Most importantly, trade and geopolitical tensions have intensified.” Created in the wake of the 2007-2008 “Great Recession”, the G20 is economic multilateralism at work, an insurance policy to prevent globalization going off the rails. This 14th G20 summit is the culmination of a year-long series of ministerial meetings, hosted throughout Japan. G20 leaders are a diverse group – liberal democrats, authoritarians and autocrats. While the plenary sessions are the point of the meeting, attention will be on the interactions between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Can they start to undo their trade war or will tariffs continue to escalate? While the focus is geo-economics, the geopolitics are always present. After abandoning the nuclear deal with Iran, the Trump administration has re-imposed sanctions and tensions have risen with recent actions, attributed to Iran, against container ships and a U.S. drone. China continues to muscle into the South China Sea. HMCS Regina and MV Asterix recently transited the Straits of Taiwan and sailed into these international waters. Russia still occupies parts of Ukraine. Ukraine now has a new president and parliamentary elections are underway. Canada hosts the third Ukraine Reform Conference this July in Toronto. There is little discernible progress in the U.S.’s negotiations with North Korea over its nuclear and missile capacity. Canadian ships and aircraft are part of the international sanction efforts on North Korea. Conflict continues in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Central Africa and famine ravages parts of Africa. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reports there are over 70 million displaced persons. Among them are 25.9 million refugees, over half of whom are under the age of 18. With millions of stateless people not just in the Middle East and Africa, but in Asia and Latin America, it is estimated that one person is forcibly displaced every two seconds. Canada resettled more refugees than the United States in 2018, the first time the U.S. did not lead the world on this measure in decades. Human rights are also part of the backdrop. China has said it will not permit any discussion of the Hong Kong situation because it is China’s “internal affair”. According to the UN Special Rapporteur, there is “credible evidence” that Prince Mohammad bin Salman, a participant at the G20, is liable for the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Saudi Arabia is to host next year’s G20, but does this not give de facto impunity to MBS?
  • Topic: G20, Geopolitics, Multilateralism, Trade, Primer
  • Political Geography: Japan, Canada, North America
  • Author: Colin Robertson
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: On Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th of August, the leaders of the major western democracies will meet in their 45th summit. They will discuss global geopolitical and socioeconomic issues in Biarritz, a seaside resort in Basque country on the Atlantic coast, made famous in the 19th century as the summer playground of Europe’s elite. As the host, French President Emmanuel Macron is focusing on inequality: be it income, gender, education, healthcare or access to drinking water. But can M. Macron bring his fellow leaders into consensus given their diverging perspectives on diverse issues including gender, work, climate, energy, protectionism, populism and extremism? What will be the chemistry between the disparate leaders, including the new member of the group, Boris Johnson? And how will these heads of state manage Donald Trump? Will there be a communiqué? As Justin Trudeau will ruefully recall, the US president upended last year’s Charlevoix summit revoking the US agreement to the communiqué while en route to meet Kim Jong-Un in Singapore. There will be various measures of success in Biarritz, but it will be important for leaders to say something and do something on Hong Kong. Keeping the spotlight on this international city will be important to restrain China from rash action. As the principal guardians of international covenants, the G7 leaders have an obligation to Hong Kong. It will also be important for the leaders to make some sort of statement on trade measures. If we are moving into an economic decoupling with China, then it will be vital that the G7 hangs together. A recession will only incite more populism and aggravate the inequalities that are the focus at Biarritz.
  • Topic: Geopolitics, Inequality, Multilateralism, Trade, G7
  • Political Geography: Canada, France
  • Author: Cristina Carpinelli
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Polish Political Science Association (PPSA)
  • Abstract: The ethnic landscape in the Baltic States is dominated by one large ethnic minority: Russians. Lithuania is an exception as here the first biggest ethnic minority are Poles, followed by Russians. The Baltic States have also significant Slavic minorities, such as Belarusians and Ukrainians. There are many barriers for people from different ethnic groups to overcome because the Baltic societies are segregated according to ethnicity across a number of dimensions: language, work and geography. During the Soviet period there were separate language schools, a system that reinforced ethnic separation. Labor market was also split along ethnic lines and a large proportion of ethnic minorities lived spatially segregated from the majority group and was concentrated mostly in urban centers. The impact of communist heritage and the construction of the post-communist state order had a negative impact on the integration process of the Russian minorities in those countries. The ethnic Russians had been heavily marginalized as many of them had no citizenship at all. As a result, they had limited access to labor-market and less social protection. However, the accession of the Baltic States to the European Union (EU) has succeeded in significantly changing policies with respect for and protection of minorities in the three Baltic countries. In the last years the ethnic Russians have in fact been partially accommodated through the consistency of the citizenship laws with the European Union norms, which precisely require the protection of minorities and respect for them. The aim of the study described herein is to investigate the historic roots of ethnic segregation between the native Baltic population and the Russian minority and show how the entry of the Baltic States into the EU has facilitated the process of promoting minority rights, especially from the perspective of granting citizenship right to Russian (and Polish) ethnic persons living in those countries
  • Topic: Geopolitics, Citizenship
  • Political Geography: Baltic States
  • Author: Abdullah Metin Durmuş
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Polish Political Science Association (PPSA)
  • Abstract: This article is based on the idea that it is necessary to develop a quantitative method to calculate power of international actors, which will enable scholars to analyse international conflicts. The Global Potential Power Distribution Chart, which is calculated based on three main characteristics of international actors, namely population, territory and economic power, shows “potential power of states and international organisations”. It may be called “Durmuş Scale of Power (DSoP)”. The chart is a comprehensive indicator with considerable accuracy and 100 % objectivity. In this article, potential powers of international actors have been calculated for years 1987, 2004 and 2015, which gives a clear overview of the potential power distribution (balance of power) of the World regarding states and as well as international organisations. Potential military powers of some states and international organisation in year 2015 have also been calculated. This research proves by means of a contemporary approach applied and a quantitative method developed that, the World is multipolar since 2004, and China is, potentially, the most powerful state of the World since 2015. The method introduced in this article were sufficient enough to explain the effects of the enlargement of NATO and EU, EU after BREXIT, reform of the Security Council of the United Nations and instrumental enough to provide a peaceful understanding for the self-determination issue of Kosova. There are three conclusions to this research: 1) The method “Durmuş Scale of Power” is calculated is reliable because everybody with a scientific calculator or a computer can easily calculate potential power of a state provided that he or she has reliable data for territory, population and GDP. 2) “Global Potential Power Distribution Chart” is a comprehensive Chart which shows “balance of power” at a specific year. It enables us to compare power of states and international organisations in different years. 3) It is convenient to use “Durmuş Scale of Power” while analysing issues of international relations
  • Topic: International Affairs, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Aneta Dawidowicz
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Polish Political Science Association (PPSA)
  • Abstract: Views of the National Party (1928–1939) merit special attention, given both the Party’s prominent role in the political life of interwar Poland and the interesting combination of various elements derived from diverse ideological trends within the Party’s programme. The ideological legacy of the National Party reflected, to a large extent, the key constituents of the National Democracy’s political thought, such as nationalism, representation of all social classes, national integrity and the concept of the nation-state. The National Party underwent major evolution and was subject to internal divisions which makes the image of its political thought much more complex. Based on an analysis of the National Party’s political thought, several conclusions can be formulated. The National Party developed its own views regarding political systems. These were, to a large extent, determined by their own system of values based on the national idea. The National Party’s political system projections were mainly inspired by (1) the successes of the “new type” states; (2) pressure from totalitarian systems; and (3) the influence of the economic and spiritual crisis. The National Party leaders wanted to make the political system more efficient. Nonetheless, views in favor of directly imitating any foreign political systems could hardly be found in the Party’s political thought. The National Party’s ideologists and journalists invariably stated that there was no pre-defined political system, but its form had to be adjusted to the specificity and unique character of a given national body. Although inspiration was drawn from external political systems, the Party’s political thought did not lose its independence.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Marcin Kaczmarski
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Russia and China play dissimilar roles in global governance and define their interests in this sphere in divergent ways. While the two states agree on certain international principles and norms, their engagement with global governance differs significantly. These differences pose the most serious long-term obstacle to closer cooperation between Moscow and Beijing
  • Topic: International Affairs, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Russia, China
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University
  • Abstract: A July 2018 ISD report on “The New Arctic: Navigating the Realities, Possibilities, and Problems” explores the implications of the New Arctic, and the broader geopolitical repercussions of these changes. The Arctic region has become a New Global Common. Increasingly navigable seaways and new access to natural resources create both opportunities for greater collaboration between Arctic and non-Arctic nations, as well as potential flashpoints, environmental disasters, and threats to indigenous communities. The challenge is to mitigate all of these potential threats, and develop the policies, partnerships, and infrastructure to help guide Arctic diplomacy in the decades to come.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Diplomacy, Environment, Natural Resources, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Arctic, Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: Valeria Talbot
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI)
  • Abstract: Over the last few years, Turkey seems to have embraced the East again. Ankara’s closer relations with Eurasian countries go hand in hand with the international trend to move eastwards, towards the ever-growing and most dynamic region in the world. They are also the result of an increasing differentiation of Turkey’s foreign relations, driven by strategic, economic and energy interests. Stronger ties with the Eurasian countries, i.e. Russia and China, are also the litmus test for the ups and downs in relations with the Washington and Brussels. While Ankara still retains strong ties with the West, it is laying the groundwork to further widen its interests to the East. This report aims to analyse the multi-faceted aspects of Ankara’s Eurasian shift, highlighting domestic drivers of Turkey’s “Eurasianism”, the interests at stake, the areas of cooperation and competition, and last but not least the implications for the EU.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Turkey