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  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Pal-Think For Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Investment opportunities are rare in the Gaza Strip. So when Nabila Ghabin saw one last year, she pawned her car and jewelry and put $12,000 into a network of tunnels that brought in supplies smuggled from Egypt. She was one of about 4,000 Gazans who gave cash to middlemen and tunnel operators in 2008 as Israel blocked the overland passage of goods. Then Israeli warplanes bombed the tunnels before and during the Dec. 27 to Jan. 18 Gaza offensive and the investments collapsed. Now investors, who lost as much as $500 million, want their money back from Hamas, which runs Gaza. Hamas Economics Minister Ziad Zaza says about 200 people were taken into custody in connection with the tunnel investments; most have been released. Hamas is offering a partial repayment of 16.5 cents on the dollar using money recovered from Ihab al-Kurd, the biggest tunnel operator. The imbroglio over the 800 to 1,000 tunnels has deepened Hamas’s decline in public opinion in Gaza and highlights the Wild West nature of the underground economy that supports this jammed enclave of 1.4 million people
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Gaza
  • Author: Constantine A. Papadopoulos
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Relations Council of Turkey (UİK-IRCT)
  • Abstract: The central argument of this essay is that, in order to understand the reasons behind the Greek economy’s inability to recover sooner from its 8-year recession, analysis must focus on the institutional, political and cultural traits of the country rather than take a primarily “economistic” approach and simply blame “excessive austerity” and/or the euro. In fact, it will be argued that Greece’s positive performance under the euro (until government actions derailed the economy) is generally underappreciated, suggesting that if the country’s institutional weaknesses are addressed, the economy will grow. If they are not, the country’s long-term economic potential will almost certainly remain unfulfilled
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Greece
  • 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: Nicolas Papanastasopoulos
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Relations Council of Turkey (UİK-IRCT)
  • Abstract: The field of crisis management in public policy (both in its internal and external aspect) is currently facing a number of essential and important challenges with theoretical, institutional and political dimensions. This paper aims at deconstructing existing limitations by bringing together the necessary inter-disciplinary elements. The paper attempts to analyze Greek public policy and the government’s capacities to cope with a turbulent (geo)political environment. At the same time, an effort is made to analyze the way the Greek political personnel managed the debt crisis. In this context, the discussion combines both theoretical and empirical approaches.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Domestic politics
  • Political Geography: Greece
  • Author: Dimitris Keridis
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Relations Council of Turkey (UİK-IRCT)
  • Abstract: The migration and refugee crisis that erupted in 2015 landed recession riven Greece with a series of humanitarian, political, social, and financial as well as foreign policy and security challenges. Following a near disastrous open- borders policy steeped in leftist ideological parochialism, Athens aligned itself closely with Germany in support of the EU-Turkey deal that drastically reduced the human flows from Turkey into the EU and invited NATO naval forces to help monitor the implementation of the agreement. This paper is structured around two parts: the first part describes the immigration and refugee crisis itself, from a global, European and national-Greek perspective; the second part analyzes the risks to and policy responses of Greece and how they relate to the country’s overall geostrategic position, at a time when Europe is being redefined as it struggles to respond to a multitude of challenges
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: 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
  • Author: Kostas Ifantis
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Relations Council of Turkey (UİK-IRCT)
  • Abstract: The paper focuses on the impact of the crisis on the Greek public debate on, perception of, and strategy towards Turkey. The analysis is placed in the context of a strategic consensus that was ruptured during the crisis and the lack of bipartisanship on the country’s security preferences. Although Athens and Ankara have enjoyed an unusually long period of calm waters in the Aegean from 1999 to 2016, the last two years have produced the familiar aggressive rhetoric and mutual mistrust. With the bilateral issues intact, the traditional inertia on both sides can easily turn into heightened tensions with the risk of miscalculation given the proximity of military hardware being hardly insignificant. The paper also presents some of the findings of a research conducted by the two guest editors of this special issue on the Greek elites’ perceptions of Turkey in the midst of the crisis.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Greece
  • Author: Dimitrios Triantaphyllou
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Relations Council of Turkey (UİK-IRCT)
  • Abstract: This paper aims to explain how crisis-ridden Greece defines and defends its national interest. The constellation of the twin economic and migration crises coupled with the increasingly transactional nature of the global order have forced Greece’s hand in sticking to its guns with regard to its membership in both NATO and the European Union. While deterrence vis-à-vis Turkey remains a high priority, Greece has had to labour to regain its status and credibility within both aforementioned organizations by evolving away from its traditional policy of balancing between its membership obligations in NATO and the EU and its more nuanced approach to relations with Russia in contrast to many other countries. This has been done with the consensual adoption across the mainstream political spectrum of a policy of strategic realism which sees a distancing from the Euro-Atlantic context as an anathema, albeit the persistence of the reflex of exceptionalism and ethno-centrism. Its flank state status and the danger of further marginalization at a time of a changing Turkey have forced its hand while also presenting opportunities for the adoption of a renewed positive agenda with its neighbours.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Greece
  • Author: Kostas Ifantis, Dimitrios Triantaphyllou
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Relations Council of Turkey (UİK-IRCT)
  • Abstract: This is a collection of essays on Greece during a crisis that has already lasted more than eight years. A group of scholars discusses several aspects of the grand failure that is Greece since 2009. It is by no means a comprehensive treatise of what went so wrong and why a country that is still among the most developed and wealthy in the world cannot bounce back, reform itself, and deliver the public goods to its citizens. Although it is not explicit, a careful reading of the papers reveals an underlying theme. A populist wave finally swept Greece in early 2015 and nearly destroyed the old political guard. The post- Junta political, social and economic consensus that served as a bulwark for rapid democratization and modernization came under enormous pressure from extreme right and extreme left bullies. Civil War discourse and oratory was used to target political opponents and pseudo-revolutionary voluntarism was offered as the anti-European and anti-elite solution to the country’s misery. The justified rage became violent outbursts with the agents of populism barely hiding their satisfaction
  • Topic: 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: Mohammed Al-Misfer
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: Through a meditative and forward-looking vision, the book examines the relations of the GCC states from the council’s pre-establishment stage to its post-establishment phase. The book also looks at the different paths of cooperation and conflicts that have occurred in the intra-Gulf relations and their evolution during the last three decades of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty first. The book also explains the various local, regional and international factors that have influenced and continue to influence relations between the GCC countries both negatively and positively.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Global Security
  • Political Geography: Gulf Nations
  • Author: Mohammed Masbah
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: The unfulfilled promises of 2011 reversed citizens’ optimism, and hence pushed them to take to the street once again. While Moroccan authorities’ crackdown had intimidated protesters, boycotters learned the lessons and chose a different strategy.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Popular Revolt
  • Political Geography: Morocco
  • Author: Joseph Massad
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: Donald Trump’s “Deal of the century” is the final phase of the 1993 Oslo Accords, which formalized the final liquidation of the Palestinian anti-colonial national struggle for independence and liberation. The “Deal” is nothing more or less than the last step of the so-called “peace process.” In order to understand the aims of the “Deal,” we need to go back to the Oslo Accords, which anticipated this step and assiduously prepared the ground for it. Since the beginning of the so-called “peace process” inaugurated in Madrid in 1991, the PLO, through its unofficial negotiators, conceded Palestinian rights one by one, in a gradual process culminating in the official PLO signing of the Declaration of Principles in Washington D.C. on September 13, 1993.
  • Topic: International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: James M. Dorsey
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan lands in Beijing on November 3, the latest head of government to seek a renegotiation of commercial terms and/or focus of projects related to China’s infrastructure and energy-driven Belt and Road initiative. He follows in the footsteps of his Malaysian counterpart, Mahathir Mohamad has suspended US$26 billion in Chinese-funded projects; while Myanmar is negotiating a significant scaling back of a Chinese-funded port project on the Bay of Bengal from one that would cost US$ 7.3 billion to a more modest development that would cost US$1.3 billion in a bid to avoid shouldering an unsustainable debt. China has also witnessed pushback and rising anti-Chinese sentiment in countries as far flung as Kazakhstan, Nepal, and Denmark
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jamal Khashoggi, Mohammed Cherkaoui
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: Saudi intellectual and journalist Jamal Khashoggi was among a diverse group of panelists at a joint international conference, hosted by Aljazeera Centre for Studies (AJCS) and Johns Hopkins University (JHU) in Washington June 12, 2018, to discuss the topic “Shaping a New Balance of Power in the Middle East: Regional Actors, Global Powers, and Middle East Strategy”. In the morning, participants in the first panel “Dynamics of Political Geography in the Middle East” and the second panel “Non-State Actors and Shadow Politics” gave rather deconstructive perspectives on several recent trends in the politics of the region. They probed into several modalities of what seems to be competitive strategies of various global and regional actors and non-state actors in the Gulf, the Middle East, and North Africa.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Mohammed Cherkaoui
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: North Africa and the Middle East are struggling with their present; let alone how to shape their future. The promise of the 2011 uprisings has turned into growing malaise and widespread deception by the poor performance of Islamist, secular, military, nationalist, and other brands of Arab governments. After seven years of high expectations, the Arab story of reform and democratization has become a daunting cliffhanger. The main question now is how we got here. Why there is so much concentration of conflict and violence in this strategic region located at the heart of the world with enormous natural and human resources. Why is there still dire shortage of democratic steps and civility in the Arab public discourse across the region? One good example in Saudi Arabia, Tweeter has served as the best weapon of mass stigmatization of Qatari officials and their allies. Another intriguing question; what prevents Arab societies from forging a smooth path to modernity, welfare, and democracy? Are there any real prospects of an Arab age of enlightenment to help address this difficult Arab pregnancy of democracy?
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Mohammed Cherkaoui
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: North Africa and the Middle East are struggling with their present; let alone how to shape their future. The promise of the 2011 uprisings has turned into growing malaise and widespread deception by the poor performance of Islamist, secular, military, nationalist, and other brands of Arab governments. After seven years of high expectations, the Arab story of reform and democratization has become a daunting cliffhanger. The main question now is how we got here. Why there is so much concentration of conflict and violence in this strategic region located at the heart of the world with enormous natural and human resources. Why is there still dire shortage of democratic steps and civility in the Arab public discourse across the region? One good example in Saudi Arabia, Tweeter has served as the best weapon of mass stigmatization of Qatari officials and their allies. Another intriguing question; what prevents Arab societies from forging a smooth path to modernity, welfare, and democracy? Are there any real prospects of an Arab age of enlightenment to help address this difficult Arab pregnancy of democracy?
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Koki Ishigohoka
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: President Donald Trump is considering holding a second summit with Chairman Kim Jong-un “sometime next year, sometime early next year [2019].” (1) The Trump-Kim relationship, which was clearly an attitude of mutual diversion at first, has now entered a new phase. Russia and China are providing major support to North Korea, with the aim of holding a five-way round of talks including South Korea and the United States. (2) Since heading his new government in 2012, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe appears to be cut out of the loop despite his ‘new level of pressure’.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Richard Schmalensee, Robert Stavins
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The U.S. Clean Air Act, passed in 1970 with strong bipartisan support, was the first environmental law to give the Federal government a serious regulatory role, established the architecture of the U.S. air pollution control system, and became a model for subsequent environmental laws in the United States and globally. We outline the Act’s key provisions, as well as the main changes Congress has made to it over time. We assess the evolution of air pollution control policy under the Clean Air Act, with particular attention to the types of policy instruments used. We provide a generic assessment of the major types of policy instruments, and we trace and assess the historical evolution of EPA’s policy instrument use, with particular focus on the increased use of market-based policy instruments, beginning in the 1970s and culminating in the 1990s. Over the past fifty years, air pollution regulation has gradually become much more complex, and over the past twenty years, policy debates have become increasingly partisan and polarized, to the point that it has become impossible to amend the Act or pass other legislation to address the new threat of climate change.
  • Topic: Climate Change, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Todd Schatzki, Robert Stavins
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Like many other states, Oregon has begun to pursue climate policies to attempt to fill the gap created by the lack of effective climate policy at the Federal level. After adopting a variety of policies to address climate change and other environmental impacts from energy use, Oregon is now contemplating the adoption of a greenhouse gas (GHG) cap-and-trade system. However, interactions between policies can have important consequences for environmental and economic outcomes. Thus, as Oregon considers taking this step, reconsidering the efficacy of its other current climate policies may better position the state to achieve long-run emission reductions at sustainable economic costs.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Nancy Birdsall
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Does governance matter for the long-run financing of the multilateral development banks? The structure of governance of the legacy MDBs (the World Bank and the four major regional development banks founded in the twentieth century) ideally should minimize any tradeoff between the confidence of creditor shareholding countries, on which an MDB’s own financing depends, and the sense of ownership, legitimacy, and trust of borrowing countries, on which the MDB’s effectiveness in supporting development in those borrowing countries depends. Among the five legacy MDBs, the African Development Bank stands out as the one where the governance arrangements, including the distribution of shares and votes between borrowers and nonborrowers, most favors borrowers. Indicators of the AfDB’s relative financial strength (a measure of creditworthiness based on sovereign members’ vote shares, and a measure of the capacity of each bank’s members to engage in collective action or cooperation in raising financing) indicate that its current governance is likely to make it less competitive than its sister MDBs in sustaining creditor (or “donor”) confidence in its operations over the long run, and thus in raising substantial capital and concessional resources. The governance problem is most obvious in the case of the African Development Bank’s African Development Fund, which today has only about 15 percent of the resources the World Bank has for Africa. The creditors of the AfDB have sufficient control to ensure the Bank’s financial soundness (and AAA rating), but a collective action constraint in pushing for reforms in the Bank’s operations. The paper concludes with ideas for long-run reform of governance at the African Development Bank, modeled more closely on the governance of the Inter-American Development Bank.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Nicolai Nielsen
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Council on International Policy (CIP)
  • Abstract: The admission of new countries into NATO and the European Union is not seen in the West as an active part of an encroachment of Russia. However, that is the view in Russia, as NATO and the EU are not only approaching but incorporating former Soviet republics and Warsaw Pact states. These regions, now consisting of the independent nation-states of Eastern Europe, is still regarded by Russia as being part of its sphere of influence. The Russian mindset is rooted in this essentially
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Basel Ammane
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Council on International Policy (CIP)
  • Abstract: While NATO skepticism is by no means a recent phenomenon, the whirlwind unleashed by US President Donald Trump’s blistering declarations and searing criticism of NATO has thrust the alliance into the spotlight in a way it has not been in recent memory.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Rajika Bhandari
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • 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 Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relation
  • Abstract: The United States and India must forge an indispensable democratic partnership that can serve as a pillar of peace, prosperity, and democracy around the world
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Sifra Lentin
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relation
  • Abstract: In light of our government's new understanding of the role that the sister cities relationship can play in envisioning urban projects in India, Gateway House's Mumbai History Fellow, Sifra Lentin, has readied a special report on the role and understanding of sister cities.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • 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: Lindsey Walter, Ryan Fitzpatrick
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Third Way
  • Abstract: Climate advocates might have missed this one in the midst of election chaos. Just days after millions of Americans decided on candidates and ballot initiatives, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) made a pretty important decision of its own, choosing to release a report on nuclear energy that was likely to ruffle some feathers in the environmental community.
  • Topic: Climate Change, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: May Amoyaw
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Third Way
  • Abstract: A crisis of human capital today is keeping millions of Americans from the opportunity to earn a good life. Employers’ growing demand for skilled, well-paid workers is unmet, because—outside of the four-year college degree—postsecondary education is not sufficiently connected to the modern workplace. It is an industrial-era model failing to deliver in the digital age.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: David Witty
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: More than a decade ago, the United States created the elite Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service to conduct, coordinate, and lead CT efforts within the country. The CTS generally thrived in this role, even as Iraqis viewed the group with suspicion owing to its secretive operations, forbidding look, and avoidance of publicity. Beginning in 2014, though, the service experienced a dramatic boost in popularity after spearheading the ouster of Islamic State forces from Iraqi territories. In this respect, the CTS far outshone other elements within the Iraqi security architecture. But the anti-IS effort entailed a vastly expanded role for the CTS, straining its capabilities, producing high casualties, and raising questions about how the group should position itself in a future Iraq. In this new study, David M. Witty examines prospects for the Counter Terrorism Service in Iraq's post–Islamic State landscape. Despite the group's impressive performance in recent campaigns, he argues that it should return to its CT focus and that Washington can help drive this by conditioning future aid on these terms. The high cost of not doing so could include stunting the healthy growth of other Iraqi security entities.
  • Topic: Terrorism, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Transparency International
  • Abstract: This guide is a curated list of internationally accepted policies and practical approaches to tackling corruption. It provides examples that are useful not only in developing OGP commitments but also during their implementation. It is written for government officials and national civil society .
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Transparency International
  • Abstract: Just like a luxury good, European Union (EU) citizenship and residency rights can be bought. There are many buyers, and there is no shortage of suppliers, which explains why investment migration is a growing, multibillion-euro industry. The rules of the game in this diverse market are shaped, on the one hand, by government officials who have effectively demonstrated their preference for quick gains over longer-term impacts, and, on the other hand, by profit-driven private sector players. However, the selling of passports and permits is not without risks. The response from the EU has been limited thus far, and Member States have been making use of their wide discretionary powers when it comes to issues of citizenship and residency.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Transparency International
  • Abstract: Freedom of information is not only a human right, but also an essential tool to engage and empower citizens to demand accountability from governments and fight corruption. Globally, around 120 countries have a right to information act. This indicates that the majority of countries consider it important to spell out in detail how this right is exercised and to set obligations for public authorities to promote, protect and implement it in practice. Right to information has for years been identified as a key area of work for Transparency International chapters in the Asia Pacific region. Chapters have played and continue to play a crucial role in advocating for right to information laws that are in line with international standards, fully applied in practice, and used by citizens to hold government accountable. This regional report serves as a reference document, providing a broad overview of why right to information matters, where it stands in a range of countries in the region and what our key recommendations are. This is Transparency International’s first report for the Asia Pacific region on right to information. In this report, we look into the right to information laws and practice in 11 countries in the Asia Pacific region: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Vanuatu and Vietnam
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jalel Harchaoui
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: In March 2011, Algeria opposed the Arab League’s request for a Western military intervention against the Qaddafi regime in Libya. The anarchy and arms proliferation that resulted from the ensuing war were a shock to Algeria’s own national security. This Briefing Paper explores the underpinnings of Algeria’s foreign policy, and how it has evolved with respect to the ongoing crises in Libya, and offers insight into future prospects. The Paper notes that Algerian foreign policy has engaged with a wide variety of Libyan actors from 2011 to the present, playing a key role in international efforts to form an effective government. At the same time, Algeria has moved beyond its strict policy of ‘no boots on the ground’ to a more flexible stance on direct intervention. At its core, however, Algeria remains committed to compromise and dialogue with all parties, a stance that sometimes puts it at odds with the West.
  • Topic: International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Libya
  • Author: Flavia Carbonari
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Abstract: For over a decade now, the Americas have had the highest rates of lethal violence in the world, making violent crime part of the daily life of millions of citizens across the region. In 2017, 47 of the 50 most violent cities in the world were located in the Western Hemisphere. Reducing crime and violence in urban centers has become a top priority for citizens and governments of the United States and Latin American countries alike. Rather than attempting to tackle these challenges on their own, cities across the Americas should learn from one another, exchange experiences and best practices that work, and understand the contexts in which certain strategies are effective.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: Through their joint initiative on Human Rights and Election Standards, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and The Carter Center have worked to bring the human rights and election communities closer and to foster stronger links and communication between them. This Plan of Action aims to advance human rights related to genuine democratic elections by charting a course of practical steps toward our shared goals. The draft plan was developed based on the recommendations formulated through consultations that took place between 2015 and 2017. Going forward, organizations and individuals may agree on an ad-hoc basis to disseminating and acting upon the recommendations in this Plan of Action. The OHCHR and The Carter Center acknowledge the many individuals and organizations that contributed to the Human Rights and Election Standards consultations
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: This report provides the findings of consultative forums conducted from May through August 2018 with youth and women in eight counties of Kenya on the factors that hinder and promote their political participation.1 The report offers recommendations to support their increased participation in the political sphere.2 In conducting the consultative forums, The Carter Center partnered with Kenyan organizations that work to promote the rights of these special-interest groups. For the youth forums, the partners were the Youth Agenda, Siasa Place, and the National Youth Bunge Association. Partners for the women’s forums were Community Advocacy and Awareness Trust (CRAWN), the Center for Rights Education and Awareness (CREAW), and the Federation of Women Lawyers Kenya (FIDA)
  • Topic: Gender Issues, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Kenya
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation, New York University
  • Abstract: On the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we are pleased to share some of the work we are most proud of from July 2017-June 2018 — work that we believe has contributed to advancing effective multilateral action to prevent crises and build peace, justice, and inclusion.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Arthur Paige
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation, New York University
  • Abstract: In 2012, recognizing that the United Nations (UN) system was at a crossroads with respect to its fragmented, sometimes duplicative, and often competitive efforts on rule of law assistance in post-conflict countries, the Secretary-General took steps to incentivize cooperation and collaboration across a highly siloed structure. The Global Focal Point for Police, Justice, and Corrections Areas in the Rule of Law in Post-Conflict and Other Crisis Situations (the GFP) was thus born.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Marcelo Lopez de Aragon
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Council on International Policy (CIP)
  • Abstract: Since April 18, 2018, Nicaragua has been stricken by civil unrest initially triggered by the government’s lack of response to wildfires in an environmentally protected reserve. Compounding matters, the government introduced unilateral reforms, which were subsequently withdrawn, to the country’s social security system that would have increased contributions and lowered benefits. Unaccustomed to protests, the government, headed by authoritarian President Daniel Ortega, reacted violently. What began as a relatively small and peaceful protest by university students, was met with brutal force by the police and paramilitary groups using live ammunition fired at civilians. To date, the total body count numbers in the hundreds, with over a thousand injured and hundreds arbitrarily imprisoned. Undaunted, thousands of Nicaraguans have maintained daily protests, demanding the end of the government’s violent attacks. More importantly, their demands have now expanded to also include a complete overhaul of the country’s governmental institutions as they are widely seen as having been manipulated by President Ortega. Undemocratic reforms such as re-writing of the Constitution to allow for his third term in office, the elimination of term limits, and allowing his wife as his Vice-President are core to the protestors’ concerns, which escalated from modest protests around wildfires and changes to social security. These pent up grievances have the protesters demanding the resignation of Ortega and his wife, Rosario Murillo, in power for over 11 years, to be followed by early elections.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Popular Revolt
  • Political Geography: Nicaragua, Global Focus
  • Author: Piotr Buras, Josef Janning
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: European Council On Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Berlin and Warsaw have very different ideas about how to respond to the challenge Trump’s presidency poses to Europe. While Germany emphasises the need to strengthen Europe’s resilience and unity, the Polish response has been to embrae the opportunities of the new political reality and enhance its bilateral partnership with the US. These differing approaches may aggravate the crisis in the Polish-German bilateral relationship and negatively affect the European Union’s defence integration and arms control policies. Warsaw should use NATO as the framework for discussions on strengthening the American military presence in Poland. Germany should be open to a strategic debate on the issue and no longer hide behind concerns about the NATO-Russia Founding Act (which Russia has abrogated). Instead of talking about “European sovereignty”, Poland and Germany should join other member states in clearly defining the vulnerabilities that the EU as a whole must address, including those resulting from US policy.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Plamen Pantev
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institute for Security and International Studies (ISIS)
  • Abstract: A shorter version of this Research Study was presented at the International Conference: “Bulgaria. Ten Years After Its Integration in the EU and the Upcoming Presidency of the EU Council 2018”, convened on 21-22 November 2017 in Berlin, Germany, and organised by the Southeast Europe Association, Germany, The German Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations, and Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung. The activity of Bulgaria and the EU during the Presidency of Sofia in the first half of 2018 proved the consistency of the assessments in the presented paper a year earlier. New developments and facts confirmed the growing complexity of the global strategic situation, the rising need of the Union to keep its unity in the intensifying competition of the global centers of power, the necessity of clear definition of the strategic autonomy of the EU. The slogan of the Bulgarian Presidency – “United We Stand”, vividly illustrated the correct Bulgaria’s perception of the evolving international political environment
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Wendy Cutler, Hyemin Lee
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Asia Society Policy Institute
  • Abstract: For nearly 70 years, the United StatesRepublic of Korea (hereafter, Korea) alliance has remained strong, built mainly on shared strategic and national security interests. While the North Korean nuclear threat has long dominated political discussions and media headlines, today the economic pillar of the relationship is no less important. Economic engagement and cooperation have been strengthened since the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) went into effect in 2012, which in turn helped solidify the overall bilateral relationship.
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: America, Korea
  • Author: Jackson Ewing
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Asia Society Policy Institute
  • Abstract: ACROSS ALL ERAS AND IN ALL PLACES, POLICYMAKERS MAKE DECISIONS on incomplete information. It is fundamental to public leadership—particularly at the highest levels—that decisions taken reflect some personal judgment of the existing evidence and arguments at hand. Uncertainty of outcome and the risk of unintended consequences are ever-present
  • Topic: International Affairs, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Samantha Custer
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Asia Society Policy Institute
  • Abstract: This paper aims to increase the understanding of scholars, practitioners, and observers of Chinese public diplomacy regarding which tools Beijing deploys, with whom, and with what effects. To this end, AidData—a research lab at William & Mary—in collaboration with the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI) and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), collected both qualitative and quantitative data on Chinese public diplomacy activities in the EAP region from 2000 through 2016
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Dapo Oyewole, Andrew Quinn, Holly Kear
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: What is development? What does it look like? Development means different things to different people and in an increasingly polarized world, voices from the Global South are urgently needed to provide a balance of perspectives, lest we hear mostly one side of a multifaceted story. The Aspen New Voices Fellows writing in this anthology all agree that fundamentally, development is about dignity. Dignity of people. Dignity of planet. Dignity of life. The stories in this collection reflect this quest for dignity and share engaging insights and moving stories from diverse countries in Africa, South Asia, and the Middle East. The authors challenge us, inspire us and force us to open our eyes to the many ways we can truly see and foster ‘development as dignity.’
  • Topic: International Affairs, International Development
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Samantha Sultoon
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Economic sanctions have become a policy tool-of-choice for the US government. Yet sanctions and their potential pitfalls are often misunderstood. The Economic Sanctions Initiative (ESI) seeks to build a better understanding of the role sanctions can and cannot play in advancing policy objectives and of the impact of sanctions on the private sector, which bears many of the implementation costs.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Bojan Elek, Sasa Djordjevic
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Belgrade Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: Six out of ten citizens trust the police (61%), which positions this Serbian institution at the world average: between 60 and 90 percent. At the same time, seven out of ten citizens believe that police officers are corrupt (69%), while three quarters are convinced that their interests are subordinated to those of politics (72%).
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Serbia
  • Author: Geoffrey Kemp, Luke Hagberg
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Nixon Center
  • Abstract: The historically severe drought in Syria from 2006-2011 led to the migration of rural communities to already overburdened urban centers, which concurrent with the state’s mismanagement of freshwater resources, helped foment the social unrest and the uprisings against President Bashar al-Assad. The ongoing conflict has had repercussions around the globe with refugees fleeing to, and having an unmistakable political impact upon, neighboring states and Europe. The war in Yemen was rooted in the Arab Spring, but while the attempts to overthrow President Ali Abdullah Saleh were eventually successful, the political transition was not. The overextraction of Yemen’s groundwater led to an unprecedented water crisis that has been exacerbated by the civil war. Terrorist cells, militant insurgencies, and foreign interventions have undermined efforts to reform the Yemeni government and address this humanitarian catastrophe.
  • Topic: International Security, International Affairs, Water
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Geoffrey Kemp
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Nixon Center
  • Abstract: America’s Middle East policy must adapt to a changing region. The lack of an overarching theory of vital U.S. interests in the Middle East and of a strategy narrowly tailored to defending them has rendered U.S. policy reactive and largely incoherent. To the extent that it has coherence, it is driven by a strategy of primacy—by a complex of ideas in which active, armed American management of the region is essential for stability, in which states do not have a strong tendency to seek balance against threats, and in which increasing U.S. involvement will generally increase stability—and do so at costs acceptable to the United States. This strategy has undergirded costly choices like striking Libya, invading and occupying Iraq, putting American boots on the ground in Syria, and supporting unsavory partners against their internal opponents. This strategy faces building headwinds: public frustration, a growing national debt, and better-armed foes. Primacy comes at a growing opportunity cost: power tied up in the Middle East is unavailable to address a rising China or a more active Russia. And this strategy seems out of step with the region’s rapidly shifting strategic alignments. The time is ripe to go back to the basics, prioritizing the threats that require U.S. action in relation to the other international crises that affect vital U.S. interests, especially in East Asia and Europe
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Middle East