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  • Author: Fan Lulu
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Taobao is the leading Chinese online shopping and e-commerce website, founded by the Alibaba Group. In 2018, there were 3,202 "Taobao villages" in 24 provinces, municipalities, and autonomous regions of China. Taobao merchants sell clothing and other consumer items, mostly obtained from small local factories. Most Taobao manufacturing firms operate informally and do not necessarily adhere to basic labor and safety standards. The current lack of governance raises challenges for trade unions and government entities tasked with ensuring the rights and welfare of workers. If the negative aspects related to lack of oversight can be addressed, however, Taobao villages could provide a promising development model for rural and remote areas, not only in China but also in other countries of Asia.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Rebecca Strating
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Over the past five years, Australia has expressed concern over China’s island building, militarization of land features, and excessive maritime claims in the South China Sea (SCS). Australia shares similar interests with the United States in upholding the maritime rules-based order, yet there are important divergences that reflect differing perspectives on geostrategic competition in the Indo-Pacific. While bipartisan support for the U.S. alliance remains strong, the importance of protecting trade relations with China has also shaped Canberra’s response to the SCS disputes.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: N Janardhan
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Following five years of periodic controversies and criticism – some factual, others contrived – President Xi Jinping used the Belt and Road (BRI) Forum in April to set the agenda for the next five years of his hallmark project. At the forum’s second edition, meant to promote a “stronger partnership network,” the Chinese leader pledged to “clean up,” stressed “zero tolerance” to corruption, and emphasized readiness to adopt “internationally acceptable” standards in the bidding process of BRI projects in the future. This language indicates Beijing’s openness to constructive criticism and willingness to objectively tweak some inherent weaknesses in the strategy and implementation mechanisms for the BRI during the 2013-2018 period. It also sets the stage for the start of “BRI 2.0,” where the stress is likely to be on the qualitative, rather than just quantitative, attributes. The following are some analytical pointers on how BRI 2.0 is likely to be different from version 1.0, especially keeping in mind what Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi referred to as a “high-quality” shift from “big freehand” to “fine brushwork” in planning BRI’s future projects
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ranjan K. Panda
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: India-China relations witnessed a new wave of optimism for a progressive and engaging partnership following the Wuhan Summit, the informal 2018 meeting between Narendra Modi and Xi Jinping. Key to this has been continuous exchange of political and official visits from both sides. However, these exchanges might not be sufficient to remove uncertainty and suspicion from their relations. As long as China’s relationship with the United States remains adversarial, China will embrace India—without guaranteeing that it will not adopt a confrontational posture in the future. Their shifting relations, though suggesting an official longing for an upward trajectory, are based on a compromised context. External circumstances have pushed them to rapprochement, but could also drive them apart. Whether India and China will sustain this rapprochement is difficult to foresee.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Raymond Yamamoto
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) proposed by President Xi Jinping in 2013 is among the most ambitious global visions promoted by one country. The general goal of BRI is the provision of economic infrastructure worth at least $1 trillion to improve the land and sea routes between Asia, Africa, and Europe. In order to attract additional international investments to finance the initiative, China even created a multilateral bank – the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) — in 2015. However, China’s ambitious BRI strategy has met considerable criticism from politicians and policy-makers, journalists, analysts, and scholars. These criticisms include accusations of pursuing debt-trap diplomacy to gain concessions from countries participating in BRI. The decision of Sri Lanka in 2018 to lease Hambantota port to China in order to reduce its BRI debt burden is often cited as a prime example. Together with growing Chinese military strength and assertiveness in the South and East China Seas, BRI is being framed as an instrument deployed by China to build up its global dominance.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: China
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: European Union Institute for Security Studies
  • Abstract: Since 2016, the European Union has developed a number of new initiatives on security and defence. In particular, the introduction of Permanent Structured Cooperation and the European Defence Fund have been designed to allow the EU to become a more autonomous actor with regard to crisis management, capacity building and protecting Europe and its citizens. Yet the development of these new initiatives raises questions about their overall coherence and the role of parliamentary scrutiny. It is necessary to analyse the role of the European Parliament and national parliaments in relation to the scrutiny of the European Defence Fund. There is a need for recommendations on how parliamentary scrutiny can be enhanced at the EU level in the area of security and defence
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Sabina Kajnc
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: European Union Institute for Security Studies
  • Abstract: According to the 2016 EU Global Strategy, a credible accession process grounded in strict and fair conditionality is essential to foster resilience in the Western Balkans.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Muhammad Shoaib Malik
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Global Social Sciences Review (GSSR)
  • Abstract: This article will examine the idea of new states/provinces in India. How India created 16 new states on ethno-lingual, and other lines and accommodate the ethnic groups. The case study of India is focussing on the different factors; including constitutional setup and role of different political parties of India in making of the new state. The following three basic questions investigate the paper’s perspective. First; what has been the basis of demands for the creation of new states in India? Second; what are the main hurdles in the reorganization of state and what urged the redemarcation of states in India? Third; what has been the stance of political Parties about the creation of new states in Indian state?
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ayub Muhammad Jajja
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Global Social Sciences Review (GSSR)
  • Abstract: The present study means to investigate Hamlet in the light of a postmodernist-deconstructive theoretical framework. The play seems to reinforce the overarching dominant patriarchal meta-narrative, with supposed unitary voice and unified identities. The current reading means to show that the play is a metaphor of postmodernism with pluralistic subjectivities, and multiple alternative micronarrative voices. It manifests the postmodernist notion of subjective, personal and local truth, against the idea of universal truth and reality. Its major features are self-difference, undecidability, and uncertainty. The regimes of truth in the form of dominant ideology are challenged, deconstructed and undermined, creating a zone of the postmodern condition of reality and truth as the effect of power and rhetoric. The postmodern condition does not push for the replacement of one totality with another. It creates a third space of pluralism, where all the voices are disjoined in a zone of the difference without hierarchy.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Shaheen Akhtar, Muhammad Faisal Malik
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Global Social Sciences Review (GSSR)
  • Abstract: The present investigation was conducted aimed to investigate the relationship of proactive personality and careerism. The said relationship was not tested in isolation: rather it has been tested with the inclusion of career self-efficacy as a mediator and two moderators (openness to experience, extroversion). It was basically an attempt to build/ analyze the relationship of proactive personality with careerism which was not fully captured in the previous literature. In addition, the current study conducted a comparative analysis for male and female to identify the proactive behaviors in handling their careers. The population for the current study was selected from different private FMCG related firms. The analysis revealed that proactive personality has a significant relationship with careerism. Female respondents report lower proactive behavior than male. Overall the results supported three hypotheses and the one related to moderation was rejected.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Lubna Umar, Umaima Kamran
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Global Social Sciences Review (GSSR)
  • Abstract: Journey Metaphors are among the most pervasive source domains used both in daily life and in political discourse as they follow a clearcut source-path-goal schema where the direction is a fundamental element. The crossdomain mapping between source and target domains is a means of gaining insight into the cognitive activity of the speaker. Metaphors of the journey are widely used in the political discourse generated by Imran Khan with special emphasis upon direction. Metaphorical expressions identified from speeches of Imran in both English and Urdu language have been analyzed using the Critical Metaphor Analysis approach given by Charteris-Black (2005) where linguistic metaphors have been interpreted semantically, pragmatically and in cognition to generate conceptual metaphors. Khan’s obsession with direction activates the PAKISTAN IS OFF TRACK conceptual metaphor necessitating a journey of change under his leadership. He highlights the failures of others to evoke images of a destructive past from which freedom becomes essential
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Adnan Ahmad
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Global Social Sciences Review (GSSR)
  • Abstract: This study reviews growth strategies and their effect on the efficiency and productivity of the microfinance sector of Pakistan. The sector needs to have an adopted intensive growth strategy instead of extensive strategies of wide expansion in terms of physical infrastructure and human resources, which have increased the financial sustainability risks for the credit constrain institutions. The six-dimensional model of outreach used in this study also shows that the sector does not achieve the targets set forth for these micro finance institutes with respect to its active borrowers’ outreach. The sector has mainly focused on the big cities and urban areas whereas the poverty levels are higher in rural areas. The government has also shown its interest by launching two different types of loan schemes. Among the three different types of institution, the microfinance banks dominate the sector
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Dur E Shawar
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Global Social Sciences Review (GSSR)
  • Abstract: Gender and development approaches gained attention during the 1990s; since then government and nongovernmental organizations have adopted these approaches for gender and political empowerment in Pakistan. This paper analyzes the contribution of NGOs towards gender and political empowerment in Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. This study explored how NGO interventions created opportunities for gender and political empowerment. This study presents an analysis of NGO policies and practices for gender and political empowerment in the research area. Qualitative research methods including semi-structured interviews and participant observations were used to conduct this study. The study revealed that NGOs created spaces for political awareness and participation of men and women community members, councilors and policymakers. This study argues that NGO interventions can create opportunities and effectively contribute to gender and political empowerment goals if contextually planned and implemented in the research area
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: International Crisis Group
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Middle Eastern states are accelerating their competition for allies, influence and physical presence in the Red Sea corridor, including in the Horn of Africa. Rival Gulf powers in particular are jockeying to set the terms of a new regional power balance and benefit from future economic growth.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: International Crisis Group
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: In the bruising contest for power in Venezuela, the armed forces’ loyalties will be a decisive battleground. The high command continues to offer frequent vocal support for President Nicolás Maduro’s government. The opposition, led by Juan Guaidó, who has asserted a claim to the interim presidency backed by the U.S. and numerous Latin American states, has sought since January to fracture that support so as to force Maduro from office and stage fresh elections. This plan has succeeded in exposing the depths of discontent in the military’s rank and file but not in its primary goal. Maduro remains in place, despite a tremendous economic contraction, escalating U.S. sanctions and regional diplomatic isolation
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: International Crisis Group
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The past eight years of uprisings and war have redrawn Yemen’s political map almost entirely. UN-led attempts first to prevent and then to end the country’s bloody civil war have failed, often because they lag behind the rapidly changing facts on the ground. The latest political rupture came in August 2019, when the secessionist Southern Transitional Council (STC), a self-styled government-in-waiting led by Aydrous al-Zubaidi, seized the southern port city of Aden, the country’s interim capital, from the internationally recognised government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. As of this writing, the situation is in flux: the government is mounting an offensive in hopes of retaking Aden; both sides are preparing for renewed battle; and their respective external allies appear to be stepping in.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: International Crisis Group
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The rockets that fell close to U.S. assets in Iraq in mid-June and the explosions that struck the assets of Iraqi paramilitary groups with ties to Iran in July and August are ominous signals. They are clear warnings of how badly escalation between the U.S. and Iran could destabilise Iraq and the region as a whole. Even short of hostilities, Washington’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Tehran could wind up placing as much stress – and inflicting as much harm – on its nominal ally Iraq as it does on its enemy Iran. For Iraq, the timing hardly could be worse. It is still recovering from the havoc wreaked by the Islamic State (ISIS) and the costly battle to defeat the jihadists; its institutions and security forces remain brittle; and its government, elected a little over a year ago, hangs on to a slim, precarious parliamentary majority. Washington and Tehran should keep Baghdad out of their confrontation: the costs to both of renewed instability in Iraq would exceed any benefits to either. Attempts to compel the Iraqi government to choose sides would likely fail and lead to chaos instead.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Brazilian Center for International Relations (CEBRI)
  • Abstract: On November 30, 2017, the Brazilian Center for International Relations (CEBRI), in partnership with the Consulate of Japan in Rio de Janeiro, hosted a fruitful debate with Dr. Yorizumi Watanabe, Professor at Keio University in Japan. Among other topics, the Professor emphasized Japan’s strategy of negotiating bilateral Economic Partnership Agreements with countries in Asia and beyond, complementing its liberalization commitments under the World Trade Organization (WTO).
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Amar Bhattacharya, Homi Kharas, Mark Plant, Annalisa Prizzon
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: The new global agenda, with Agenda 2030 at its core, is ambitious, comprehensive, and universal. The three central goals now are to reignite growth, deliver on the sustainable development goals (SDGs), and meet the ambitions of the Paris climate agreement aimed at mitigating climate change and adapting to its effects. Achieving these goals will require a significant scaling up and reorientation of investments, especially for sustainable infrastructure and human development. Implementing this agenda is urgent, as the world is witnessing the largest wave of urban expansion in history and more infrastructure will come on stream over the next 15 years than the world’s existing stock. This is also the last opportunity to manage remaining significant demographic transitions.
  • Topic: International Affairs, International Development
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: John Page
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Economists have long regarded structural change—the movement of workers from lower to higher productivity employment—as essential to growth in low-income countries. Yet, until recently, Africa’s economic structure had changed very little, worrying both policymakers and analysts. The African Union, the African Development Bank, and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa have all voiced concern with Africa’s slow pace of structural change. Earlier this year, The Economist noted, “Africa’s development model puzzles economists.”
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • 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: Adam Looney, Constantine Yannelis
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: We examine the distribution of student loan balances and repayment rates in the United States using administrative student loan data. We show that increases in credit limits and expansions in credit availability resulted in rising borrowing amounts, and that the share of borrowers holding very large balances has surged. For instance, the share of borrowers leaving school with more than $50,000 of federal student debt increased from 2 percent in 1992 to 17 percent in 2014. Consequently, a small share of borrowers now owes the majority of loan dollars in the United States. Although these large-balance borrowers have historically strong labor market outcomes and low rates of default, repayment rates have slowed significantly between 1990 and 2014 reflecting, in part, changes in the characteristics of students, the schools they attended, and the rising amounts borrowed. A decomposition analysis indicates that changes in the types of institutions attended, student demographics, default rates, and increased participation of alternative repayment plans and forbearance largely explain the decrease in student loan repayment.
  • Topic: Education, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Helene Maria Kyed, Finn Stepputat, Lars Erslev Andersen, Maya Mynster Christensen
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: By 2035 an estimated 60 per cent of the world’s population will live in cities. Due to the fast-growing rate of urbanisation, many future conflicts are expected to take place in urban terrains. Therefore defence and security organisations are becoming increasingly interested in understanding the trends and dynamics of cities. This report under the DIIS Defense and Security Projects contributes with a deepened understanding of the security challenges in four cities – Nairobi, Beirut, Hargeisa and Yangon – with a particular focus on mass migration and political authority.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Alexander Mattelaer
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: The Belgian defence budget for 2018 increases by a factor of 4.7 in commitment credits. Not only does this allow for offsetting the significant investment shortfalls of the previous years, it also provides a window of opportunity for regenerating the Belgian armed forces with a view to meeting future challenges. This Security Policy Brief makes the case that the longawaited modernisation of the major weapon systems needs to go hand in hand with a significant recruitment effort to address the critical human resources situation the Ministry of Defence finds itself in. Yet adding up personnel and equipment, the 25,000-strong force structure outlined in the Strategic Vision still risks being insufficient for meeting future requirements as they emerge in both the national and the international context (NATO/EU). As such, defence planners will need to engage with the question how best to redevelop the force structure from this minimum baseline in function of how the strategic environment evolves. For strengthening Belgium’s national security and diplomatic position in the twenty-first century the present window of opportunity is not to be missed.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Belgium
  • Author: Marc Otte
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: The Middle East is once again going through a period of war and upheaval, including mass murder of civilians, state failure, transnational terrorism, sectarian wars, physical and societal destruction, massive arms purchases, use of nonconventional weapons (notably chemical) and a permanent risk of proliferation of WMD. These developments are a threat to the region, but also to the rest of the world and to Europe in particular. The current turmoil should not be underestimated for its potential to trigger an even bigger hot war that could involve other players, if only because of miscalculations by some of the parties involved.
  • Topic: International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Sven Biscop
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: The 100th Egmont Paper deals with an issue that, unfortunately, provides little cause for celebration: the impact of Brexit on European diplomacy and defence. Unless, as Sven Biscop argues, a new “special relationship” can be established between Britain and the EU, both London and Brussels will
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs, Brexit
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Andre Barrinha
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: Cyberspace has become a major locus and focus of international relations. Most global powers have now streamlined cyber issues into their foreign policies, adopting cyber strategies, and appointing designated diplomats to pursue these strategic objectives. This article proposes to explore the concept of cyber-diplomacy, by analysing its evolution and linking it to the broader discussions of diplomacy as a fundamental institution of international society, as defined by the English School of International Relations. It argues that cyber-diplomacy is an emerging international practice that is attempting to construct a cyber-international society, bridging the national interests of states with world society dynamics – the predominant realm in which cyberspace has evolved in the last four decades.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Cybersecurity
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Margriet Drent
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Clingendael Netherlands Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: Every year is special and challenging when it comes to European integration. The highlights of 2017 were a number of high-level strategy papers and speeches such as the European Commission White Paper on the Future of Europe, the State of the Union Address by Commission President Juncker, French President Macron’s Initiative for Europe, and the Future of Europe report by President of the European Parliament Tajani. These papers and speeches all pave the way for the discussions on improving and deepening the European Union in the months towards the European elections in spring 2019. The upcoming EP elections will be different from earlier elections as the current discussions aim to offer political choices to ensure the elections are content-based.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Europe Union
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Global Political Trends Center
  • Abstract: Recent years have seen many regions of Africa involved in war and internal or external conflict, from the seven or so countries directly involved in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to the Libyan crisis and the war in Sudan/South Sudan and the various other civil wars. According to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), there were 6.9 million new Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) caused by conflict and violence in 2016. Sub-Saharan Africa overtook the Middle East as the region most affected with almost one million new displacements in the Democratic Republic of Congo as a result of violent clashes in the provinces of North Kivu, South Kivu and Kasai.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • 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: Nimrod Goren
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Mitvim: The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies
  • Abstract: Special report on Dynamics and potential for cooperation in eastern Mediterranean
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Michael Harari, Ofer Zalzberg, Nimrod Goren, Gil Murciano
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Mitvim: The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies
  • Abstract: After an Iranian drone entered Israeli airspace 10 February 2018, Israel responded by striking Iranian and Syrian targets in southern Syria. Anti-aircraft fire led to the downing of an Israeli F-16 warplane. This was the first direct confrontation between Israel and Iran in Syria, and it has prompted concern over further military escalation along the Israeli-Syrian border. In order to prevent such an escalation, Israel cannot rely only on security means. It should also make effective use of diplomacy: to identify clear and feasible policy goals regarding Syria, to foster alliances with countries that can help advance these goals, and to mobilize these countries into constructive action. This document includes experts’ perspectives on Israeli interests at stake, and diplomatic channels that can be promoted with Russia, the US, Turkey, and Germany in order to prevent further escalation. It is based on a policy workshop convened by the Mitvim Institute on 15 February 2018
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Israel
  • Author: Pieter D. Wezeman
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: The volume of international transfers of major weapons in 2013–17 was 10 per cent higher than in 2008–12. This is a continuation of the upward trend that began in the early 2000s. The flow of arms to the Middle East and Asia and Oceania increased between 2008–12 and 2013–17, while there was a decrease in the flow to the Americas, Africa and Europe.
  • Topic: International Security
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Frank Aum
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The surprise visit to Beijing by North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un could offer both Kim and Chinese President Xi Jinping stronger hands for upcoming discussions with the United States, says USIP analyst Frank Aum. As news of the meeting broke, Aum, who previously advised the U.S. Defense Department on Korea issues, discussed its implications
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: North Korea
  • Author: Syed Mohammed Ali
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Passage of the eighteenth amendment to Pakistan’s constitution in 2010 was rightly hailed as a major accomplishment. Not only did it devolve significant powers from the central government to the provinces, it also mandated the formation of local governments to bring government closer to the people. It took half a decade for the provinces to set up local governments—and real decision-making authority and financial resources have been even slower to arrive. In this Special Report, Syed Mohammad Ali takes stock of Pakistan’s devolution process and why its success is critical to the long-term prospects of democracy and the cultivation of new generations of democratic leaders.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: A historic peace accord ended the 50-year armed conflict between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in 2016. Following the terms of the agreement, in 2017, more than 10,000 FARC combatants surrendered over 8,000 weapons and consolidated into 26 encampments, transitioning to civilian life. Implementing the accord — which means cementing the agreement into national legislation and ensuring its provisions reach all corners of the country equitably — remains difficult.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Imtiaz Ali
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Pakistan’s government has recently approved mainstreaming of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in an effort to bring the FATA region within the legal and governance structures of the rest of Pakistan and place it on a footing of parity. The mainstreaming should aid the FATA people economically and reduce militancy in the region, which would contribute greatly to Pakistan’s peace and security. Despite government approval and repeated assurances by the country’s top leadership that changes in the FATA governance system is a must and the status quo must end, the process has been stalled, as there are differences in opinion on the future status of FATA. Still, many tribesmen are hopeful the government will go ahead with the approved plan of mainstreaming FATA and their agony will end.
  • Topic: International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Bartosz Bieliszczuk, Aleksandra Gawlikowska-Fyk
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Polish Institute of International Affairs together with the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs present the report Nordic-Baltic Security in Times of Uncertainty: The Defense-Energy Nexus. The report shows that energy and defence in the Nordic-Baltic region are closely interrelated. During the Cold War, the energy cooperation of Western European countries with the USSR was seen as an element of strengthening the status quo and reducing the risk of conflict. In the new strategic situation, when Russia is interested in regaining the status of regional and global power, there is a real threat that Kremlin will use Europe's dependence on Russian gas to divide NATO and the EU. The Russian military advantage in the region, the ability to block access to Alliance forces and the ability to influence its members through energy blackmail may encourage Russia to test NATO's credibility, increasing the risk of conflict in the region. NATO's ability to deter Russia creates a natural platform of cooperation for Norway and Poland. Both states should also be interested in reducing the Alliance's dependence on Russian energy resources.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Nordic Nations
  • Author: Patryk Kugiel
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: On 15 August 2017, India celebrated the 70th anniversary of independence. In that time, it has changed from a newly post-colonial, underdeveloped, and famine-suffering state to one of the largest economies in the world and an emerging power. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s accession in 2014 marked a new stage in the reforms and transformation of the country to release its potential and accelerate development. As the latest large economy to open to more foreign investment and international cooperation, India offers huge business opportunities. This report introduces the reforms and programmes implemented in India that indicate opportunities for Polish companies interested in this market. Prepared as a guidebook, the report also formulates recommendations for businesses and the Polish administration to strengthen cooperation with India (available only in Polish).
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Poland
  • Author: Sergiy Gerasymchuk
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Slovak Foreign Policy Association
  • Abstract: Although the issue of hybrid war with its instruments and phases is well elaborated in the academic literature,the Russian invasion of Ukraine and illegal annexation of Crimea has introduced certain new aspects of hybrid and non-linear warfare to the international political and academic agenda. The author attempts to synthesze the existing definitions of hybrid warfare in the Western literature with the new generation warfare involving the Russian/Soviet concepts of deep operations, active measures and reflexive control, and non–linear war. By analyzing the so called Gerasimov Doctrine,the phases and sections of Russian hybrid warfare in Ukraine, and political developments in the Republic of Moldova, the author comes to the conclusion that the current situation in the Republic of Moldova can be characterized as the preparatory phase of a hybrid war that may shift into attack and stabilization phases in the following year when parliamentary elections are held in Moldova. In addition, the author argues that – despite a lack of certain key prerequisites for Russian hybrid war in Visegrad countries (such as a Russian ethnic population)– the V4 still faces the risk of a growing Russian influence, and that V4 countries can still be targeted by Russian non-linear warfare within the vulnerable spheres indicated. The author would like to express his gratitude to Alexander Duleba, Pavol Demeš, Juraj Marušiak, Kálmán Petőcz, and the SFPA team, for their consultations and advice
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Erik Lundsgaarde
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Critical public attitudes toward economic globalization reflect a response to different facets of globalization and varied consequences of international market integration for individuals. The distribution of benefits and losses related to globalization provides a starting point for numerous studies of attitudes toward economic integration. Individuals perceive globalization’s benefits differently depending on their sector of employment or level of educational attainment, among other factors. In addition to these explanations, attention to the institutions and policies that influence how governments engage with globalization and manage its domestic consequences can also inform the analysis of why scepticism to economic integration varies across national settings.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Rasmus Alenius Boserup, Luis Martinez
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: In this new DIIS report senior researcher at DIIS, Rasmus Alenius Boserup and Research Director at Sciences Po, Luis Martinez, analyse how European policy-makers have recently come to perceive the Sahel as a threat to Europe’s own security and stability. Marking the end of the Sahel-Maghreb Research Platform – a research project funded by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and hosted by DIIS in collaboration with Voluntas Advisory – the report draws on input and analysis provided by an international team of experts and scholars associated to the project.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Joseph Antos, Robert Moffit
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Medicare’s financial outlook has deteriorated in the past year, according to the latest annual report by the program’s trustees. The Medicare Hospital Insurance trust fund is projected to be depleted in 2026, three years earlier than estimated in last year’s report. That understates the policy challenge. Every year, the program relies more on general revenues to cover its costs. In total, Medicare will receive $324 billion in general revenues this year. That will more than double by 2026. Prompt action is needed to put Medicare on a sound financial footing.
  • Topic: International Organization
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Danielle Pletka
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: In connection with an assessment of AEI’s work on the Middle East over the past two decades, I drafted the following survey. The arc of our scholarship in this critical region is fascinating and illuminates the continuity and evolution of the challenges the United States faces in the Middle East. What is ultimately clear is that in the region both the challenge of destructive ideas and the fostering of better ones will shape outcomes.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Andrew Saultz
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: A majority of teacher dismissal cases in Atlanta from 2011 to 2017 were related to issues of professionalism, including not showing up for work, not following a directive from a supervisor, or not completing tasks (i.e., grading).
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Gary J. Schmitt
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was established to meet the security threat posed by the Soviet Union. Often overlooked, though, are the ways in which it has provided the material and behavioral grounds for the larger liberal order in Europe to emerge.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Frederick M. Hess, Lanae Erikson Hatalsky
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Only about half of students who begin college actually complete their degree, which makes it increasingly difficult and expensive to brush the college completion problem under the rug.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Bradford Wilcox, Wendy Wang, Ronald Mincy
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Over the last decade, much of the racial news and academic research on black men in America has been sobering, if not downright depressing. But negative news isn’t the only story about race or even about black males in the United States. In Black Men Making It in America, we report some good news:
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Race, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus