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  • Author: Abdullah Al-Arian
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Contemporary Arab Studies
  • Abstract: Prof. Abdullah Al-Arian discusses how Islamist movements have historically viewed diplomacy as important to their activist missions.
  • Topic: International Relations, Cold War, Diplomacy, Politics, History, Islamism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, North America, Egypt, United States of America
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: R2P Monitor is a bimonthly bulletin applying the atrocity prevention lens to populations at risk of mass atrocities around the world. Issue 49 looks at developments in Afghanistan, China, Myanmar (Burma), Syria, Yemen, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali and Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Iraq, Libya, Nigeria, South Sudan and Venezuela.
  • Topic: Genocide, Human Rights, Conflict, Responsibility to Protect (R2P), Atrocities
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, China, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Syria, Venezuela, Nigeria, Mali, Myanmar, South Sudan, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Burkina Faso
  • Author: Ulaş Bayraktar
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: This report has been produced in the framework of the Empowering Civil Society for a More Democratic Local Governance Project funded by the scope of Republic of Turkey and European Union supported Partnerships and Networks Grant Program. TESEV is the lead, Şişli Municipality and Association of Union of Citizen Assemblies are the co-applicants, and the Checks and Balances Network is the associate of the project. The transition from the classical management approach to the governance approach, in which private sector and non-governmental organisations take on roles in determining public policies, has been the dominant discourse of politics for more than a quarter century. Instead of a hierarchical and monolithic bureaucratic process, this approach envisions a management triangle that engages other stakeholders. However, these governance principles have not been fully put into practice in Turkey and those that have been implemented have not yielded the expected results. The present study aims to test these statements at the level of local governments and politics. Its purpose is also to open up a discussion based on the findings of interviews and roundtables conducted in ten cities in Turkey and of a comprehensive survey administered to a nationally representative sample of civil society organisations.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Non-Governmental Organization, Governance, Democracy, Urban
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Aditya Bhol, Shubhagato Dasgupta, Anindita Mukherjee
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: This report aims to explore the nuances of the prevalence of on-site sanitation systems in large and dense villages of India. Villages which have a population of 1000 persons or more and a density of greater than or equal to 400 persons per square kilometre were classified as large and dense villages in earlier research – Towards a New Research and Policy Paradigm: An Analysis of the Sanitation Situation in Large Dense Villages. Stimulated by the findings revealing a preferential pattern for selection of on-site sanitation systems in these settlements, a primary household survey was conducted in large and dense villages from five Indian states - Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. The survey also included qualitative components – stakeholder interviews and transect walks. In this study the survey data has been canvassed to explore the preference patterns of households and the factors guiding them in their decision making for the construction and maintenance of on-site sanitation systems. We find that these large and dense villages exhibit a higher preference for septic tanks over pits in all states except West Bengal where pits are preferred. A majority of households have reported their toilets were private constructions. Broad findings and trends emerging from the survey were discussed in details in the report – Sanitation in Large and Dense Villages of India: The Last Mile and Beyond. In this report we discuss targeted questions on the preference patterns for on-site containment systems that are manifested not only by the choices of building septic tanks or pits but also through the large variations in their design and sizes which are influenced by socio-economic, technical and behavioural factors. We also find specific trends in deviations from prescribed design and demand for desludging services by households which are influenced by internal factors such as their social status and economic well-being and by external factors such as availability of mechanised operators or continued reliance on manual cleaning and their costs which cumulatively constitute the supply side of sanitation services.
  • Topic: Government, Water, Infrastructure, Social Policy, Sanitation
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Dyan Mazurana, Anastasia Marshak
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Feinstein International Center, Tufts University
  • Abstract: The United Nations and its partner agencies have pledged to focus on the problem and eradication of early, child, and forced marriage. On November 12, 2018, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution on child, early, and forced marriage. As part of this resolution, the General Assembly highlighted the need for better data collection and disaggregation of that data for improved analysis and learning. This report is a comprehensive and user-friendly concept note for a database on child marriage in humanitarian settings, a first step in eradicating the problem. The report identifies the existing knowledge and data on child marriage in humanitarian settings, gaps in that evidence base, and provides recommendations for moving forward with the creation of a comprehensive database. The authors interviewed key stakeholders on child marriage across program, policy, and academia in combination with a comprehensive literature review. The report was commissioned and funded by Save the Children U.S.
  • Topic: Health, Human Rights, Humanitarian Aid, United Nations, Children, Basic Data, Humanitarian Intervention
  • Political Geography: Middle East, North Africa, Global Focus
  • Author: Daniel Maxwell, Peter Hailey
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Feinstein International Center, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Despite humanitarian information being more available than ever, confusion persists as to what the information means, how to analyze it and turn it into actionable evidence, and how to ensure that evidence-based actions are actually undertaken on a timely basis. The key points of confusion and issues include: The difference between current status information, projections of populations in need, and early warning of threats or hazards. The difference between “hard” numbers (implying things that have already happened and can be counted) versus probabilistic information (implying things that are likely, but not certain, to happen). Linkages, or the lack thereof, between information systems and policy or programmatic action to anticipate, mitigate, or respond to a shock or worsening situation. Despite the fact that conflict is the most common factor driving extreme humanitarian crises, conflict analysis is the weakest part of early warning and information systems. The information systems do not (or minimally) engage with the communities at risk of shocks or resulting humanitarian crises. This paper reviews these and a number of additional issues with contemporary humanitarian information and early warning systems. While the cases focus on the East Africa region, they have broader implications as well.
  • Topic: Disaster Relief, Humanitarian Aid, Food, Famine, Food Security, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Kenya, North Africa, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: World Politics Review
  • Abstract: In Nigeria, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Mali, Chad, Mozambique and Somalia
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Insurgency, Counterinsurgency, Violence, Peace
  • Political Geography: Mozambique, Nigeria, Somalia, Mali, Chad, Cameroon, Burkina Faso
  • Author: Heather Grabbe
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: This report is a rallying cry for Europeans to pull together and mobilize the EU’s assets to manage the three biggest changes of our times. Each section briefly diagnoses the consequences of climate change, aging populations, and digital revolutions and then explores the role the EU could play in supporting the inevitable transitions. The purpose is not to provide a detailed blueprint for each transition, but rather to launch a new kind of debate about the EU—a debate that does not revolve around how to tweak the current institutions but instead how to address a reordered set of priorities
  • Topic: International Affairs, Europe Union
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Ionut Popescu
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: FOR MOST OF THE POST–COLD WAR ERA, and some say even as far back as the dawn of the Cold War, America’s grand strategy has been portrayed as having had its theoretical underpinnings in a liberal internationalist understanding of world politics. Washington’s role in the world, the dominant narrative goes, was that of a security and economic guarantor of a “liberal world order.” 1 More often than not, this world order was grounded in a set of rules and institutions that helped advance America’s goals but also generally promoted international peace, stability, and prosperity. In G. John Ikenberry’s words, America was a “liberal Leviathan.”
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Christopher Wlezien
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: Much research posits a “disconnect” between the public and government. This work focuses primarily on the behavior of politicians and the mismatch between their policy actions and citizens’ preferences. Suzanne Mettler’s book concentrates instead on the public and the degree to which people accurately perceive and appreciate what government does. This book complements her earlier work Submerged State, which delineated how many government policies, such as tax expenditures, are not visible to many citizens, which distorts their views. The Government‐Citizen Disconnect, by contrast, examines how experience with government policies influences what people think.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Nora Parr
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: Conceptually linked, noncontiguous, and undeniably national, Ibrahim Nasrallah’s book series Al-milhat al-filastiniyya (The Palestine Comedies) breaks conceptual ground. Told across twelve volumes, the Comedies represents the long-called- for Palestinian national novel, though in unconventional form. The series uses diverse literary devices, including intertextuality and the archetype of the twin, to demonstrate how formal innovations can redirect assumptions about what constitutes not only a national novel, but also a nation. The series reimagines relationships between space, time, and people, giving narrative shape to a community so often imagined as fragments. Abandoning the retrospective prerequisite of bounded sovereign space and homogeneous, linear time, the Comedies imagines a “nation constellation.” A close examination of two novels within the series, A‛ras amna (2004) and Tifl al-mimhat (2000), shows how Palestinian relationships can be imagined outside existing national logics. It reads the constellation as an alternative nation form that can both encompass colonial frameworks and free the delimitation of Palestine from the dominance of power structures that only begin with the nation-state
  • Topic: International Affairs, Power Politics, Linguistics
  • Political Geography: Palestine
  • Author: Mandy Turner
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: Richard Falk’s quest to combine academic scholarship with political activism is witnessed throughout his lifework, but perhaps especially so during his tenure as United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, a position he held from 2008 to 2014. Falk is a vocal critic of Israel’s occupation and a staunch supporter of Palestinian self- determination, positions that have drawn strong condemnation from Israel and its supporters, but praise from Palestinians and their supporters. There is little doubt that Falk’s work has had a huge influence on public debate and activism pertaining to this issue, both within Israel-Palestine as well as globally. This article outlines Falk’s scholarship and activism regarding Palestine, analyzes the post of UN special rapporteur in general, reviews both criticism of and support for Falk’s work, and assesses Falk’s concept of the “citizen pilgrim.” It concludes by reflecting on what this reveals about the experience of praxis for politically engaged academics.
  • Topic: International Organization, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Palestine
  • Author: Victor Kattan
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: On 25 March 2019, U.S. president Donald Trump signed a proclamation recognizing the occupied Golan Heights as part of Israel. The Golan Heights proclamation, which endorses Israel’s annexation of the territory captured from Syria in the 1967 war, was issued two weeks before the Israeli general election in a photo-op with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House. Undermining internationally agreed-upon norms prohibiting states from recognizing the annexation of territory by force, the proclamation could have detrimental consequences for the international legal order, providing a precedent for other states to take steps to annex territory they claim is necessary for their defense.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs, Occupation
  • Political Geography: Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Shir Hever
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: German organizations are among the last Palestine solidarity groups in Europe to have embraced the call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), launched in 2005. Pro-Israel German groups have been quick to respond with aggressive rhetoric equating a BDS-favorable stance with Nazism. The vilification of the movement has had the unintended consequence of inserting BDS into German politics, both at federal and local levels. Select case studies show that the BDS debate in Germany has developed somewhat differently than in other European countries, and that religious discourse is significant in shaping attitudes to Israel and Palestine. While the Palestine solidarity movement tends to single out the “Anti-Germans”—a pro-Israel formation that grew out of the Left after the reunification of Germany—as the major culprit, it is in fact conservative Christian, mostly Evangelical, organizations that are largely responsible for discouraging BDS activism.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Israel
  • Author: Gabriel Cederberg, Jordan D'Amato
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: American democracy is under attack. From the daily news to our social media feeds, nation-state competitors target the United States and its citizens, seeking to fuel division and chaos at home while undermining our interests abroad and our will to defend them. It is critical that policymakers and citizens understand these threats and how to counter them. This playbook seeks to ensure that U.S. citizens, not foreign actors, determine the future of U.S. democracy.
  • Topic: Global Focus
  • 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
  • Author: Ayşe İrem Aycan Özer
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This analysis is about the change in Israel’s security understanding. Israel is a country located in the Middle East surrounded by Arab regimes which were historically hostile to its very existence in the region. The unification of the Arab countries against Israel and the lack of an ally in the region created a constant fear in Israel. When it started having better relations with Egypt, Jordan, and Turkey, Israel ended its isolation and found partners in its immediate geography. Even when relations between Turkey and Israel took a turn for the worse, Israel continued to have Egypt and Jordan on its side.
  • Topic: International Security
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: In 2018, Turkey encountered a complex security environment and endured a wide range of challenging situations ranging from cross-border counterterrorism operations to multidimensional conflicts involving various influential state actors. With this in mind, the SETA Security team compiled SETA Security Radar: Turkey’s Security Landscape in 2019 in line with the critical developments that took place in 2018. This work aims to provide a timely and accessible assessment of the challenges awaiting Turkey in 2019. Hence, SETA Security Radar: Turkey’s Security Landscape in 2019 pertains to the following topics: Turkey’s role in Syria, Turkey’s counterterrorism strategy, Turkey’s military activism, the Turkish defense agenda, Turkey and the Eastern Mediterranean, and Turkey’s bilateral relations with the United States and Russia. By creating awareness among policymakers and interested researchers, SETA Security Radar: Turkey’s Security Landscape in 2019 intends to achieve a common understanding of the security prospects awaiting Turkey in 2019.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Murat Yeşiltaş, Omar Özkızılcık
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Since the planned wide-scale military operation by the Assad regime in July 2018 against the different military factions, Idlib has been the center of the Syrian conflict. On January 1, 2019, renewed clashes between Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), the former Al-Nusra Front, and the Nureddin Zengi Movement brought Idlib again at the epicenter of the Syrian conflict. Now, HTS has become a dominant power in the region in terms of controlling territory, and has become capable of transforming Idlib. This paper aims to give a brief overview of the recent battle and the dynamics inside Idlib which led to the fighting between the Nureddin Zengi Movement and HTS. Furthermore, the dynamics which enabled HTS to win the battle will be analyzed. Based on the implications for the interfactional dynamics in Idlib, the Sochi agreement between Turkey and Russia has to be adjusted given that certain of its terms couldn’t be implemented on the ground. The paper also offers an array of possible scenarios of how Turkey and Russia might adjust the Sochi agreement in order to counter the violent extremist group in Idlib and prevent a humanitarian crisis
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Burak Akçapar
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: Since the launch of the Mediation for Peace initiative by Turkey and Finland in 2010, there has been an upsurge of activity at the United Nations (UN) and several regional organizations to promote mediation as a conflict resolution method. The UN General Assembly, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) have set out to develop mediation norms, procedures, and capacities. The assets and motivations of international actors, including foremost nation states, to provide mediation services as part of their foreign policy have been widely studied. However, the actual role played by specific leading nations in the promotion of mediation at international forums lacks a framework of analysis. This essay aims to fill this gap by employing the concept of “policy entrepreneurship” to explain the role of individual actors in transforming the politics, norms, and capacities that pertain to mediation. In this regard, the article discusses Turkey’s activities in the field of mediation and their transformative outcomes in a bid to test the proposed framework. It concludes that as the only country that co-chairs the friends of mediation groups simultaneously in the UN, the OSCE and the OIC, the distinguishing contribution of Turkey as a policy entrepreneur lies in its efforts to feed and shape the normative basis and capacities of international peace mediation efforts.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Sarah Cliffe
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: UN Secretary-General António Guterres was appointed in 2016 on an explicit reform platform. In 2017, we published commentaries on his reform proposals. Now that those reforms that have been approved are moving into implementation, we publish this simple guide to what has been achieved and the potential potholes still ahead.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Riva Kantowitz
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: This article, continuing CIC's work of exploring innovative finance for sustaining peace, examines important related conversations in the humanitarian and peacebuilding sectors, and efforts and tools in finance that could be utilized for sustaining peace. It also examines potential gamechangers such as blockchain and artificial intelligence—technologies and methods that have the potential to radically shift the way in which these tools are employed.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: Inequality and exclusion are among the most pressing political issues of our age. They are on the rise and the anger felt by citizens towards elites perceived to be out-of-touch constitutes a potent political force. Policy-makers and the public are clamoring for a set of policy options that can arrest and reverse this trend. The Pathfinders’ Grand Challenge on Inequality and Exclusion seeks to identify practical and politically viable solutions to meet the targets on equitable and inclusive societies in the Sustainable Development Goals. Our goal is for national governments, intergovernmental bodies, multilateral organizations, and civil society groups to increase commitments and adopt solutions for equality and inclusion.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Paige Arther
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: As the world faces a significant upward trend in conflict—including a tripling of civil wars since 2007 and conflict increasingly prevalent in middle-income countries—practitioners in peace and security have sought to expand their toolkits to take advantage of the revolution in information gathering, data analytics, ICTs, and machine learning. On March 20, 2019, participants from around the world showcased 25+ innovative, data-driven approaches that are transforming the methods and the effectiveness of those working on early warning, conflict prevention, peacebuilding, stabilization, and international security
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: This review is based on a framework of both recognition and redistribution: i.e. that tangible redistributive outcomes are important in social protection, but so is the sense of recognition, meaning that the recipients of social protection are treated as equals, without loss of dignity or humiliation; and that differences in identity and circumstances are taken into account. This framework captures and incorporates recent innovations in social protection that include key aspects of subjective well-being, including dignity and respect, empowerment and agency, identity and belonging; strengthens the horizontal solidarity within communities and vertical relationships with the state; and recognizes citizens should be accorded rights and a voice in program design and implementation.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Paul von Chamier
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: The dynamics of socio-economic inequality and technical solutions geared toward addressing it have been well identified. The inability of many societies to deploy those solutions nonetheless is of a political nature. The focus of the debate should therefore be to understand the political dynamics around the subject and to learn to navigate the interests of key stakeholders. Throughout modern history, countries would transition back and forth between progressive, income-neutral, and sometimes even regressive fiscal systems. In doing so, they responded to shifting global and domestic contexts. This policy paper demonstrates that the decision on the progressivity of a tax system and fiscal spending is at its core a political rather than an economic or a technical one.4 When there is enough political momentum to address economic inequality, appropriate policies are usually found
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Paige Arthur
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: The United Nations acknowledges that prevention is first and foremost a national priority. Indeed, governments routinely undertake efforts to reduce the risks of violent conflict, even when such actions are not formally called “prevention.” Bringing attention to nationally led efforts to reduce risks and build resilience can provide opportunities to create a positive narrative around prevention and to improve their effectiveness through an accompaniment and capacity-building approach. Such efforts also show how nationally led prevention can strengthen sovereignty, particularly as it both strengthens protective factors against violence and addresses risks.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Alex Evans
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: All over the world, countries at widely varying levels of development and with very different histories are grappling with a similar challenge: breakdown of common ground in politics. The exact contours of the problem vary from one country to another, and variously include falling trust, declining citizen engagement in politics, shrinking civic space, rising autocratization, or increasing political polarization in public attitudes or political party positioning. Yet across these areas, there are underlying themes – above all, the emergence of concerns about whether citizens and leaders share a sense of the common good, or have the capacity to reach compromises on complex issues.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jason Stearns
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: The Democratic Republic of the Congo held national presidential and legislative elections on December 30th 2018. The elections, which had been delayed by two years, were mired in controversy. The national electoral commission declared opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi the winner of the presidential poll. However, a leak from the same commission, whose results were extremely similar to those released by the Catholic Church’s observation mission, showed that Martin Fayulu, another opposition leader, clearly won the elections.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jeni Klugman
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: It is well known that gender inequality is bad for economic growth. Better gender equality is associated with gains in terms of income, economic growth, and national competitiveness. What is less widely recognized is that greater gender equality—in terms of labor force participation, wages, education, health, and assets—can work to close income gaps in society more broadly.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • 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: Elena DeLozier
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: By benefiting from questionable wartime revenue streams and outright corruption, both the Houthi rebels and the U.S.-supported Hadi government are inhibiting a transition to peace. The latest UN Panel of Experts report on Yemen raises new red flags about potential threats to near-term conflict resolution and stabilization. In addition to questioning the cohesiveness of government and rebel forces, it anecdotally details the rise of a robust, mafia-like war economy that creates disincentives for peace on both sides. The panel’s conclusions include a new, particularly damning assessment of Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi’s government and its local affiliates, while also reiterating extant concerns about the Saudi-led coalition and the Houthi rebels.
  • Topic: Civil War, International Security
  • Political Geography: Yemen
  • Author: Joseph Braude
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: A new opportunity has emerged to roll back generations of antisemitic and rejectionist messaging in Arab media, mosques, and schools. It stems from the convergence of interests between Israel and Arab powers, a youthful Arab grassroots trend in favor of a “peace between peoples,” and new Israeli and American Jewish capacities to engage Arab public discussions from the outside in. But prospects for change remain severely constrained: In addition to the effects of the Israeli-Palestinian stalemate, the legacy of antisemitic brainwashing endures in many Arab institutions and draws further energy from Iranian and jihadist information operations. Meanwhile, proponents of a positive shift lack coordination, planning, and adequate support. In Reclamation: A Cultural Policy for Arab-Israeli Partnership, Joseph Braude documents the opportunity as well as the obstacles, and then proposes a strategy to accelerate progress. He explains how to engage Arab allies in a coordinated communications reform effort, support independent Arab champions of civil relations with Israel and Jews, expand the “outside-in” capacities, and degrade Iranian and jihadist channels of indoctrination within the region.
  • Topic: International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development sets peace, justice and strong institutions as goals for the international community to work toward, along with participatory decision-making at all levels and equal representation and participation of women in public affairs (Goals 5.5 and 16.7).1 The Human Rights Council stressed “the critical importance of equal and effective participation in political and public affairs for democracy, the rule of law, social inclusion, economic development and advancing gender equality, and for the realization of all human rights and fundamental freedoms.” 2 As part of their broad mandate to protect and promote human rights, national human rights institutions (NHRIs) have a key role to play in protecting and promoting the right to participate in public affairs.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: Election observation is the process by which parties, candidates, citizen groups or independent organizations deploy observers to witness the electoral process. Different types of observers have very different goals for watching an election. While observers from political parties seek to ensure that election administration does not disadvantage their campaigns, nonpartisan observers focus on checking compliance with election administration regulations. Credible nonpartisan observers are interested in promoting integrity, transparency, and efficiency in the electoral process and have no stake in the political outcome.During contentious or highly competitive elections, impartial observation can provide an important avenue for reliable feedback about which aspects of an election went well and what parts could improve
  • Topic: International Affairs, Democracy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Laurent Gayer
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales
  • Abstract: The history of industrial capitalism and its modes of domination is intimately linked to that of violent entrepreneurs deploying their coercive resources at the service of workplace discipline, the extraction of surplus value and the securitization of the accumulation cycle. The relationship between capital and coercion is always fraught with tensions, though, and sustains new vulnerabilities among securityconsuming elites. The manufacturing economy of Karachi is a particularly fertile ground for studying this endogenous production of insecurity by security devices. The relations between Karachi’s factory owners and their guards have generated their own economy of suspicion. Various attempts to conjure this shaky domination have generated new uncertainties, calling for new methods of control to keep the guards themselves under watch.
  • Topic: Security, Political Violence, Corruption, Crime, Political Economy, Sociology, Urbanization, Material Culture, Political Science
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, South Asia, Asia
  • Author: Anne De Tinguy, Annie Daubenton, Olivier Ferrando, Sophie Hohmann, Jacques Lévesque, Nicolas Mazzuchi, Gaïdz Minassian, Thierry Pasquet, Tania Sollogoub, Julien Thorez
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales
  • Abstract: Regards sur l’Eurasie. L’année politique est une publication annuelle du Centre de recherches internationales de Sciences Po (CERI) dirigée par Anne de Tinguy. Elle propose des clefs de compréhension des événements et des phénomènes qui marquent de leur empreinte les évolutions d’une région, l’espace postsoviétique, en profonde mutation depuis l’effondrement de l’Union soviétique en 1991. Forte d’une approche transversale qui ne prétend nullement à l’exhaustivité, elle vise à identifier les grands facteurs explicatifs, les dynamiques régionales et les enjeux sous-jacents.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Corruption, Democratization, Economics, Health, International Security, Natural Resources, Conflict, Multilateralism, Europeanization, Political Science, Regional Integration
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Caucasus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan
  • Author: David Díaz Arias, Luisa Cajamarca, Maya Collombon, Olivier Dabène, Gaspard Estrada, Manuel Gárate, Marie-Laure Geoffray, Damien Larrouqué, Frédéric Louault, Maria Teresa Martínez, Anaís Medeiros Passos, Kevin Parthenay, Gustavo Pastor, Carlos A. Romero, Pierre Salama, Sebastián Urioste
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales
  • Abstract: Amérique latine - L’Année politique is a publication by CERI-Sciences Po’s Political Observatory of Latin America and the Caribbean (OPALC). The study extends the work presented on the Observatory’s website (www.sciencespo.fr/opalc) by offering tools for understanding a continent that is in the grip of deep transformations.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Civil Society, Corruption, Crime, Democratization, Nationalism, Political Economy, Religion, Governance, Peacekeeping, Economy, Political Science, Regional Integration, Memory, Transnational Actors
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Cuba, Latin America, Nicaragua, Caribbean, Venezuela, Mexico, Costa Rica, Chile, Peru, Paraguay, Bolivia
  • Author: Zena Grecni
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: A network of sustained assessment specialists created within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (NOAA RISA) program present five case studies of successful local responses to climate change that are supported by scientific information. Based in three regions—the U.S. Pacific Islands, the South Central United States, and the Rocky Mountain West—the case studies in this report feature local managers who are providing and applying climate information, with valuable outcomes, across a range of geographic scales and sectors. They include improving local climate-adaptation efforts in San Angelo, Texas, enhancing the resilience of iconic coastal ecosystems on Hawai‘i Island, managing water in the Colorado River Conservation District, increasing conservation resilience in the southern Great Plains, and using El Niño forecasts to plan for drought in the Pacific Islands. The case studies provide new insights, which are summarized as five practical lessons for anyone seeking to better integrate climate considerations into decision-making.
  • Topic: Environment, International Affairs, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Wenhong Chen
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data, and Cloud Computing (ABC) have generated unprecedented opportunities and challenges for economic competitiveness, national security, and law and order, as well as the future of work. ABC policies and practices have become contentious issues in U.S.-China bilateral relations. Pundits see a U.S.-China AI race and are already debating which country will win. Kaifu Lee, the CEO of Sinovation Ventures, believes that China will exceed the United States in AI in about five years. Others argue that China will never catch up. This essay focuses on two issues: the comparative ABC strengths of the United States and China in data and research and development (R&D); and the emerging ABC policies and practices in the two nations. Empirical analysis suggests that the United States and China lead in different areas. Compared to China’s top-down, whole-of-government, national- strategy approach, the U.S. ABC policy has been less articulated but is evolving.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Dhenghua Zhang
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: The current trade war between China and the United States has drawn global attention to competition in U.S.-China relations. Such competition should not, however, obscure areas of mutual interest where cooperation is possible. Based on U.S.-China trilateral pilot projects, trilateral cooperation creates opportunities for aid officials and practitioners from China and the United States to communicate, but it would be ambitious to expect the limited number of pilot projects to shape Chinese aid practices or improve Chinese aid performances in the short term. These pilot projects are small in scale, and the level of coordination between China and the United States should be strengthened further. More effort by both sides is needed if trilateral aid cooperation is to sustain and even thrive. In this context, trilateral aid cooperation has the potential to become a modality in the middle, promoting mutual understanding and facilitating coordination.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Dhenghua Zhang
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: On July 14, newly re-elected Indonesian incumbent President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo delivered a speech on his visions for the second term, set to kick off in October 2019. The president’s speech did not touch upon foreign policy, a subject many have claimed to be his weakness. Expectedly, Jokowi focused his speech on infrastructure and economy — which reflects the administration’s main concerns since he first assumed presidential office in 2014. This does not mean, however, that Indonesia under Jokowi has been neglecting foreign affairs.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Sujata Ashwarya
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Oil and gas trade is emerging as a new area of engagement between India and the United States against the backdrop of increasingly complementary interests. The emergence of the United States as the world’s top oil and gas producer in the last few years dovetails perfectly with India’s energy-deficient status and growing demand. With high rates of economic growth and over 17 percent of the world’s population, India’s energy consumption growth is largely fed by foreign imports of fossil fuels.
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • 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
  • Author: Jasper Linke
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: This SSR Backgrounder explains the concepts of urban safety and security and describes the various safety and security challenges that urban SSG is confronted with, ranging from road safety and property crime to urban warfare and environmental disasters. It outlines the different roles of the security sector at local and national levels in provision, management and oversight of safety and security in cities. The SSR Backgrounder then links good SSG to urban development and specifically sheds light on the contribution of good SSG to gender equality and disaster management in cities. This SSR Backgrounder answers the following questions: What is urban safety and security? What are the challenges for urban safety and security? Who are the security and justice providers in cities? How does good SSG contribute to more inclusive, safe and resilient cities? How does good SSG improve gender equality in cities? How does good SSG strengthen urban disaster management?
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Law Enforcement, Urbanization, Criminal Justice
  • Political Geography: Geneva, Global Focus
  • Author: Jasper Linke
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: This SSR Backgrounder explains how SSR features in peace processes and how it is linked to other aspects of security, justice and democratic governance. It highlights some of the main factors that influence the inclusion of SSR in peace processes, including the roles and strategies of mediators in shaping the negotiations. It also discusses what issues of SSR are typically not addressed in peace processes and some of the principal challenges of SSR negotiation and implementation. This SSR Backgrounder answers the following questions: Why is SSG central to peace processes? How can SSR feature in peace processes? What aspects of SSR are often neglected in peace processes? What other security arrangements in peace processes are relevant to SSR? What are the challenges of including SSR in peace processes?
  • Topic: Security, Peace Studies, Governance, Reform, Transitional Justice
  • Political Geography: Geneva, Global Focus
  • Author: Ronja Harder, Jasper Linke
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: Civil society engagement is part of a culture of participation that enhances the democratic nature of decision-making about security. The expertise and independent interests of civil society provide a counter-balance to government policy by providing policymakers with a wider range of perspectives, information and alternative ideas. However, civil society activism is not always democratic or representative of the population’s needs or interests and does not automatically lead to effective oversight. This SSR Backgrounder explains how civil society can improve the accountability and effectiveness of the security sector. This SSR Backgrounder answers the following questions: What is civil society? How can civil society improve SSG? How can working with civil society help state security and justice institutions? When does civil society make insecurity worse? What challenges does civil society face?
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Civil Society, Governance
  • Political Geography: Geneva, Global Focus
  • Author: Ronja Harder, Jasper Linke
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: This SSR Backgrounder is about applying the principles of good security sector governance (SSG) to policing through police reform. The police are the primary state security provider responsible for protecting people and property through public assistance, law enforcement, the maintenance of peaceful public order, and the identification and prevention of crime. The goal of police reform is to ensure that policing becomes more effective, more accountable and more responsive to the needs of all members of society within a framework of democratic security sector governance. This SSR Backgrounder answers the following questions: What is police reform? Why is police reform necessary? Is there a model for police reform? How are police reforms carried out? How is gender equality part of police reform?
  • Topic: Security, Gender Issues, Law Enforcement, Reform
  • Political Geography: Geneva, Global Focus
  • Author: Ronja Harder, Jasper Linke
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: Gendarmeries and constabulary-type police go by many names, but all combine characteristics of both the military and civilian police. Because of their unique skill sets, demand for such forces to face new threats to domestic and international security has increased everywhere. However, the mixed military–civilian characteristics of gendarmeries and constabulary-type police pose special challenges for democratic civilian control and the appropriate use of force, especially in domestic law enforcement. This SSR Backgrounder describes the roles and functions of gendarmeries and similar forces and explains how applying the principles of good SSG enables them to fulfil their legitimate mission of protecting both state and human security with respect for human rights and the rule of law. This SSR Backgrounder answers the following questions: What are gendarmeries and constabulary-type police? What roles can gendarmeries play in domestic security? How can gendarmeries contribute to international security? Are gendarmeries compatible with democratic security governance? What does SSR mean for gendarmeries?
  • Topic: Security, Human Rights, Law Enforcement, Military Affairs, Rule of Law
  • Political Geography: Geneva, Global Focus
  • Author: William McDermott
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: This SSR Backgrounder explains what ombuds institutions for the armed forces are, what they do and how they contribute to good governance of the security sector. These institutions provide oversight of the armed forces by receiving and investigating complaints, thereby improving the accountability, transparency, effectiveness and efficiency of the armed forces. They are an essential feature of democratic security sector governance that ensures respect for the rule of law and human rights. This SSR Backgrounder answers the following questions: What are ombuds institutions for the armed forces? What are the different types of ombuds institutions? How do ombuds institutions contribute to good SSG? How do ombuds institutions handle complaints? Why should complaints be encouraged? What kinds of investigations can ombuds institutions conduct? Are ombuds institutions part of the justice sector? How do ombuds institutions ensure the enforcement of their recommendations?
  • Topic: Security, Governance, Armed Forces, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Geneva, Global Focus
  • Author: Thammy Evans
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: This SSR Backgrounder is about applying the principles of good security sector governance (SSG) to defence through defence reform. The military is concerned with the defence of a state and its people. By increasing democratic oversight and control, defence reform ensures that military power is used according to the will and in defence of the population. Defence reform enables the military to fulfil its mandate more efficiently and effectively, in order to function flexibly in a dynamic security environment. This SSR Backgrounder answers the following questions: What is defence reform? Why reform defence? Who carries out defence reform? How does a defence reform process work? What links defence reform to good SSG and SSR? How to overcome barriers to defence reform?
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Governance, Reform
  • Political Geography: Geneva, Global Focus
  • Author: Michael Galant
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: The #MeToo movement started with a single tweet — now, it has produced an international treaty. One in three women have experienced physical or sexual violence in their lifetimes, while close to three in four report having been sexually harassed. Much of this violence occurs in the workplace, where power imbalances and economic pressures increase the risk of abuse. Yet 59 countries have no legislation specifically addressing workplace harassment.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Sebastien Feve, David Dews
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Fourth Freedom Forum
  • Abstract: This report contains a comparative evaluation of national strategies to prevent and counter violent extremism, to explore how they reflect recommendations and good practices outlined by the United Nations. Drawing upon a sample of 19 national strategies, the report analyzes the procedures and standards of policy planning that underpin the development of countries’ strategies. Using the guidelines of the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism’s “Reference Guide: Developing National and Regional Action Plans to Prevent Violent Extremism” as a common analytical framework, the report is organized around the six procedural components outlined therein as essential in developing inclusive, context-specific, and robust national strategies. Analyzing national strategies against this framework, the report explores whether the procedures and considerations that led to the development of countries’ national strategies meet this standard. Based on this comparative analysis, the report provides a number of recommendations related to each of the six procedural components analyzed. It is hoped that these recommendations will help guide countries as they develop new or optimize existing strategies in line with international norms and common standards of promising practice and in turn design more effective national strategies to prevent and counter violent extremism.
  • Topic: National Security, Terrorism, International Security, Violent Extremism, Counter-terrorism, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, United Kingdom, Canada, Finland, Norway, France, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, United Nations, Lebanon, Albania, Switzerland, Sweden, Nigeria, Somalia, Montenegro, Austria, Maldives, United States of America
  • Author: Carl Conetta, Lutz Unterseher
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Project on Defense Alternatives
  • Abstract: A selection of slides prepared for seminars held in Holland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Belarus in 1994. The seminars were organized and co-sponsored by the Study Group on Alternative Security Policy (SAS) and the Project on Defense Alternatives (PDA). Twenty-five years later the principles of Confidence-Building Defense remain relevant to the efforts of North and South Korea to construct a “peace regime” after many decades of enmity and military standoff.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Defense Policy, National Security, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: South Korea, North Korea, Hungary, Czech Republic, Holland, Belarus
  • Author: Vicki Valosik, Kristin Smith
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Contemporary Arab Studies
  • Abstract: For Kristin Smith, MAAS alum and Cultural Affairs Officer for the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, culture and diplomacy go hand-in-hand. “My job is really using culture and art to bring people closer together,” Smith told the Lebanese newspaper The Daily Star at a U.S. Embassy event celebrating the Lebanese writer Khalil Gibran. “It’s not just about deepening our ties and getting to know each other on a cultural level though. If we have these similarities in [the arts], then perhaps that will lead to future cooperation in other ways.” During her time in the MA in Arab Studies program, Smith—who holds a BA in Near Eastern Languages and Civilization from Harvard—pursued an academic concentration in Culture and Society, managed a yoga studio, and served as a Public Diplomacy Fellow at the U.S. Consulate General in Casablanca. Following graduation, she joined the Foreign Service, serving in Taiwan before beginning her current position in 2017. Her portfolio as Cultural Affairs Officer covers five primary issues: arts and culture, non-formal education, academic outreach, interfaith and minority outreach, and alumni programming.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Culture, Language, Arabic
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Lebanon, North America, Beirut, United States of America
  • Author: Isabel Roemer
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Contemporary Arab Studies
  • Abstract: A MAAS grad’s work at the intersection of diplomacy and cinematic arts is shaping American narratives and empowering storytellers around the globe. When people think about the tools of diplomatic engagement, narrative storytelling is not one that usually comes to mind. But for Rachel Gandin Mark, Program Director of the American Film Showcase (ASF)—the State Department’s film, television, and digital diplomacy program —the two go hand-in-hand. “I love thinking about how to incorporate entertainment, particularly story and character, into specific foreign policy strategies,” says Gandin Mark, who graduated from MAAS in 2003. “Some of our country’s biggest diplomatic challenges today stem from conflicting global narratives. Film and TV, when produced with authenticity and nuance, have the potential to complicate narratives and reveal a shared human experience.”
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Culture, Media, Film
  • Political Geography: Middle East, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Skylar Benedict
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Contemporary Arab Studies
  • Abstract: Examining the historic roots of Jordan’s water management policy. First, Jordan deals with natural water scarcity arising from the country’s arid semi-desert climate and seasonally fluctuating surface water sources. Second, Jordan currently depends on costly water projects such as the Disi Water Conveyance Project and the King Abdullah Canal to meet its municipal, agricultural, and industrial water needs. Third, the sudden influx of refugees fleeing the Syrian civil war has led to an increased strain on water resources. While realistic, this narrative’s exclusive focus on the present hardships obscures a much longer history of water management in Jordan—one characterized by successive political conflicts and increasingly centralized and unsustainable water extraction policies—that has equally contributed to the country’s current scarcity challenges.
  • Topic: Environment, Water, Refugees, Syrian War
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Syria, Jordan, United States of America
  • Author: Carol Graham
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Contemporary Arab Studies
  • Abstract: Carol Madison Graham (MAAS ’81) was the first MAAS graduate to enter the United States Foreign Service. She reflects on how the 1984 embassy bombing in Beirut inspired her current work to strengthen the Foreign Service for future generations.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Violence, Memoir
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Lebanon, North America, United States of America
  • Author: ONG Keng Yong
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Contemporary Arab Studies
  • Abstract: Ambassador ONG Keng Yong, who graduated from MAAS in 1983, remembers his time in Washington and sheds light on Singapore’s “price taker” approach to foreign policy.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Higher Education
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Asia, Arab Countries, Singapore, United States of America
  • Author: Aisha Al-Sarihi
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Contemporary Arab Studies
  • Abstract: Since the 2014 drop in oil prices, Gulf countries have begun to shift their attention toward renewables.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Oil, Natural Resources, Gas, Economy, Renewable Energy
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arab Countries, Gulf Nations
  • Author: Kaylee Steck, Mohammed Alhammami
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Contemporary Arab Studies
  • Abstract: Last fall, Congress enacted a law that indirectly led to 29 young Arab leaders losing their scholarships to U.S.-accredited universities and dealt another blow to educational and cultural exchange programming, a critical part of U.S. public diplomacy efforts.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Government, Law, Higher Education
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Palestine, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Kala Carruthers Azar
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Contemporary Arab Studies
  • Abstract: Alum Kala Carruthers Azar, who serves as Assistant Cultural Affairs Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Amman, writes about the important role of people-to-people exchanges to American soft power.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Culture, Soft Power
  • Political Geography: Middle East, North America, Jordan, United States of America
  • Author: Isabel Roemer
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Contemporary Arab Studies
  • Abstract: Her Excellency Hunaina Sultan Al Mughairy has served as the Ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman to the United States since 2005. In this role, she has applied her extensive expertise in business and diplomacy to advocate for free trade between the U.S. and Oman. As the first Arab woman appointed to serve as ambassador to the U.S., Her Excellency also strives to dispel misconceptions of Arab women. Prior to this position, Ambassador Al Mughairy worked for the Permanent Mission of the Sultanate of Oman to the United Nations, the Omani Ministry of Commerce and Industry, and the Omani Center for Investment Promotion and Export Development. She also serves on the CCAS Board of Advisors and as Chair of the Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center in Washington, D.C., an organization that focuses on building bridges between the American and Omani peoples.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation, Bilateral Relations, Peace
  • Political Geography: North America, Oman, United States of America, Gulf Nations
  • Author: Uma Mencia
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Contemporary Arab Studies
  • Abstract: MAAS alum Uma Mencia shares how her career as an endurance horse racer has introduced her to new landscapes and peoples and given her a deeper connection with the natural world
  • Topic: Environment, Sports, Arabic
  • Political Geography: North America, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Gulf Nations
  • Author: Julie A. Eadeh
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Contemporary Arab Studies
  • Abstract: For MAAS alum Julie Eadeh, diplomacy is all about human relationships, whether building connections with local communities or helping Americans abroad in times of crisis.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, War, Hezbollah
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Lebanon, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Marwa Daoudy
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Contemporary Arab Studies
  • Abstract: Over the past few decades, a new narrative has emerged that seeks to link climate change with political and social unrest. This idea of a climate-conflict nexus is similar to the “water wars” scenario of the 1990s, in which the media and some scholars predicted that water scarcity would be the major driver of inter-state conflict in the twenty-first century. More recently, this climateconflict narrative has been applied to the Syrian case. According to this logic, climate change caused the 2006-2010 drought in Syria, the drought caused agricultural failure, agricultural failure caused poverty, and the resulting displacement and discontent culminated with the 2011 uprising. My forthcoming book, The Origins of the Syrian Conflict: Climate Change and Human Security (Cambridge University Press, spring 2020) questions this line of reasoning, arguing that government policies were at the heart of Syria’s vulnerabilities in the buildup to the uprising. Although global warming is real and international action is urgently needed, climate change was not what was at the forefront of the minds of Syrians in 2011. Instead, most people were focused on a moral ideal: the end of repression and injustice.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Climate Change, Environment, Water, Food Security, Inequality, Syrian War, Revolution
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Sima Aldardari
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Contemporary Arab Studies
  • Abstract: This summer I had a teaching opportunity like never before. I designed and taught a course in Lebanon on international development as part of an independent study with Prof. Fida Adely. The two-and-a-half-week course aimed to offer youth in Lebanon the base knowledge necessary for understanding a wider scope of development approaches and theories and the opportunity to engage with development professionals. The local organization Chams Network provided space and marketing for the class.
  • Topic: Development, Education, Water
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Lebanon, Syria
  • Author: Vicki Valosik
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Contemporary Arab Studies
  • Abstract: A certificate program at the School of Foreign Service offers theoretical knowledge and practical training for aspiring diplomats. According to Ambassador Barbara Bodine, Director of Georgetown’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy (ISD), the skills needed by today’s aspiring diplomats haven’t changed significantly since the days when she was preparing for her own long and successful diplomatic career. “On one level, they will need the skills diplomats have always needed: the ability to understand and shape policy, to work comfortably globally, to be able to analyze a large amount of information, and—critically important—the ability to write,” she says. “At the same time,” adds Bodine, who served as Ambassador to Yemen from 1997 to 2001, “twenty-first century diplomats also need to be able to manage large amounts of data and comfortably move from a known issue, a comfortzone issue, to something new. They need to be able to extrapolate from past experience to a new experience without rigid templates.”
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Government, Higher Education
  • Political Geography: United States of America, North America
  • Author: Diogo Bercito
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Contemporary Arab Studies
  • Abstract: MAAS alum Samer Judeh built Jordan’s first windfarm and catalyzed the country’s renewable energy industry.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Natural Resources, Renewable Energy
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arab Countries, Egypt, Jordan
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: R2P Monitor is a bimonthly bulletin applying the atrocity prevention lens to populations at risk of mass atrocities around the world. Issue 48 looks at developments in Afghanistan, China, Myanmar (Burma), Syria, Yemen, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali and Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Libya, South Sudan and Venezuela.
  • Topic: Genocide, Human Rights, International Law, Conflict, Responsibility to Protect (R2P), Atrocities
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, China, Libya, Yemen, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Syria, Venezuela, Burundi, Mali, Myanmar, South Sudan, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Burkina Faso
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: The 42nd regular session of the Human Rights Council (HRC) was held in Geneva between 9 and 27 September 2019. As the primary international human rights body, the HRC has the capacity to prevent and respond to mass atrocity crimes, as systematic violations and abuses of human rights can be an indicator of potential genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity or ethnic cleansing. The summary below highlights major outcomes from the 42nd session as they relate to the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) populations from such crimes. As part of the session, the Netherlands delivered a statement on behalf of 53 members of the Group of Friends of R2P.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Transitional Justice, Responsibility to Protect (R2P), Atrocities, UN Human Rights Council (HRC)
  • Political Geography: Sudan, Yemen, Democratic Republic of the Congo, United Nations, Syria, Somalia, Burundi, Bolivia, Myanmar, Central African Republic
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: R2P Monitor is a bimonthly bulletin applying the atrocity prevention lens to populations at risk of mass atrocities around the world. Issue 47 looks at developments in Afghanistan, Myanmar (Burma), Syria, Yemen, Cameroon, Mali and Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, China, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Libya, Nigeria and Venezuela.
  • Topic: Human Rights, United Nations, Responsibility to Protect (R2P), Atrocities
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, China, Libya, Yemen, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Syria, Venezuela, Nigeria, Burundi, Mali, Myanmar, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Burkina Faso
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: The 41st regular session of the Human Rights Council (HRC) was held in Geneva between 24 June and 12 July 2019. As the primary international human rights body, the Human Rights Council has the capacity to prevent and respond to mass atrocity crimes, as systematic violations and abuses of human rights can be potential indicators of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity or ethnic cleansing. The summary below highlights major outcomes and relevant dialogues from the 41st session as they relate to the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) populations from such crimes. As part of the session, the Netherlands and Rwanda delivered two statements on behalf of members of the Group of Friends of R2P.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Law, Responsibility to Protect (R2P), Atrocities, UN Human Rights Council (HRC)
  • Political Geography: Philippines, Democratic Republic of the Congo, United Nations, Syria, Netherlands, Rwanda, Eritrea
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: R2P Monitor is a bimonthly bulletin applying the Responsibility to Protect lens to populations at risk of mass atrocities around the world. Issue 46 looks at developments in Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Myanmar (Burma), Syria, Yemen, Cameroon, Mali and Burkina Faso, Sudan, Central African Republic, Libya, Nigeria, South Sudan and Venezuela.
  • Topic: Genocide, Human Rights, International Law, United Nations, Ethnic Cleansing, Responsibility to Protect (R2P), Atrocities
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Syria, Venezuela, Nigeria, Mali, Myanmar, South Sudan, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Burkina Faso
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: The eleventh report of the UN Secretary-General on the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) emphasizes the important role of prevention. The report takes stock of a range of measures that individual states and the international community can undertake while upholding their preventive responsibilities based upon best practices since the adoption of R2P at the 2005 UN World Summit. While acknowledging a growing number of contemporary atrocity situations around the world, the Secretary-General cautions that “there is a growing gap between our words of commitment and the experience of protecting vulnerable populations.” The report offers a number of practical policy suggestions based upon experiences of the last decade and serves as a call to action for member states and international institutions.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Law, Responsibility to Protect (R2P), Atrocities
  • Political Geography: United Nations, Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: Today, 7 June 2019, the United Nations General Assembly elected Estonia, Niger, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Tunisia and Viet Nam to the UN Security Council for the period of 2020-2021. With their election, 6 of the 15 members of the Council in 2020 will be “Friends of the Responsibility to Protect” – having appointed an R2P Focal Point and/or joined the Group of Friends of R2P in New York and Geneva.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Human Rights, Sovereignty, Responsibility to Protect (R2P), UN Security Council, Atrocities
  • Political Geography: Vietnam, Estonia, United Nations, Tunisia, Niger, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: R2P Monitor is a bimonthly bulletin applying the Responsibility to Protect lens to populations at risk of mass atrocities around the world. Issue 45 looks at developments in Afghanistan, Myanmar (Burma), Syria, Yemen, Cameroon, Nigeria, Burundi, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Mali, South Sudan and Venezuela.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Human Rights, Responsibility to Protect (R2P), Atrocities
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Israel, Yemen, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Palestine, Syria, Venezuela, Nigeria, Burundi, Mali, Myanmar, South Sudan, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: The 40th regular session of the Human Rights Council (HRC) was held in Geneva between 25 February and 22 March 2019. As the primary international human rights body, the Human Rights Council has the capacity to prevent and respond to mass atrocity crimes, as systematic violations and abuses of human rights can be potential indicators of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity or ethnic cleansing. The summary below highlights major outcomes and relevant dialogues from the 40th session as they relate to the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) populations from such crimes. As part of the session, the Netherlands delivered a statement on behalf of members of the Group of Friends of R2P.
  • Topic: International Law, State Violence, Responsibility to Protect (R2P), Atrocities, UN Human Rights Council (HRC)
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, North Korea, Palestine, United Nations, Nicaragua, Syria, Myanmar, South Sudan, Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: R2P Monitor is a bimonthly bulletin applying the Responsibility to Protect lens to populations at risk of mass atrocities around the world. Issue 44 looks at developments in Afghanistan, Myanmar (Burma), Syria, Yemen, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Nigeria, South Sudan, Sudan and Venezuela.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Law, Responsibility to Protect (R2P), Atrocities
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Sudan, Israel, Yemen, Palestine, Syria, Venezuela, Nigeria, Myanmar, South Sudan, Cameroon, Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: Today, 15 March, marks eight years of deadly conflict in Syria. Since 2011 half a million people have been killed, 11.9 million have been displaced from their homes and 13 million remain in dire need of humanitarian assistance. As the conflict enters its ninth year and the prevailing media narrative is that the civil war is coming to an end, civilians in Syria still face the threat of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Humanitarian Aid, International Law, Syrian War, Justice, Responsibility to Protect (R2P), Atrocities
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Syria
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: R2P Monitor is a bimonthly bulletin applying the Responsibility to Protect lens to populations at risk of mass atrocities around the world. Issue 43 looks at developments in Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Myanmar (Burma), Syria, Yemen, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Nicaragua, Nigeria, South Sudan and Venezuela.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Law, Responsibility to Protect (R2P), Atrocities
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Sudan, Israel, Yemen, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Palestine, Nicaragua, Syria, Nigeria, Burundi, Myanmar, South Sudan, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Global Focus
  • Author: Wolfgang Schroeder
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: As a young, single-seat fighter pilot based in Germany in the Royal Air Force of the early 1980s, I enjoyed a degree of certainty about my role in life. The world was, to all intents and purposes, a bi-polar place. We knew exactly from where our threat emanated and, indeed, had comprehensive standing plans for dealing with it. In the event of an attack by the Warsaw Pact on NATO’s eastern flank, we had pre-designated areas in which we would interdict any enemy military force heading westwards. We had pre-planned missions for systematically taking down all elements of Soviet air power — be it through suppression of enemy air defense sensors and surfaceto-air systems or denial of his airfields’ operating surfaces. In the event that the conflict escalated too rapidly, or went too far, we even had plans to resort to the ultimate sanction of the pre-planned and graduated employment of tactical nuclear weapons. Our plans, and our skills, were tested on a frequent and regular basis. It was no rare experience to be woken by a siren in the middle of the night to be called to duty. Our response time was measured, as was the ability to demonstrate our preparedness to brief our wartime missions, arm our aircraft, and prove our abilities to be airborne within the allocated time period. The results of these exercises—known as NATO Tactical Evaluations (TacEvals)—were equally rigorous in the Land and Maritime domains. Their results were widely shared within Alliance circles. Achieving a “one” for a TacEval result was every commanding officer’s goal
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Peter Engelke, David Michel
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Himalayan Asia is a shorthand term referring to the Asian countries that depend on river water from the high mountain ranges of the Tibetan Plateau. As the rivers produced by the Himalayas and other mountain ranges on the Plateau are under increasingly serious pressure, water insecurity threatens much of the continent’s peace and security. Himalayan Asia’s transboundary water dynamics threaten to erode interstate cooperation, including among the continent’s major powers, risk worsening geopolitical competition, and heighten the odds of domestic and interstate conflict. Yet there are viable pathways for avoiding such outcomes, the most important of which treat water as a shared resource to be managed cooperatively.
  • Topic: Peace Studies, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Max Hess
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Foreign Policy Research Institute
  • Abstract: This report illustrates how the Russian Federation’s sovereign debt, particularly foreign currency bonds, have become an arena for interstate competition in the aftermath of Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea. Sanctions, both real and threatened, on Russia’s government, state-owned enterprises
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: William Spiegelberger
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Foreign Policy Research Institute
  • Abstract: Are U.S. sanctions on Russia working? Does Russia use its energy resources as a tool to coerce European countries? Any assessment of Russian foreign policy and the Kremlin’s relations with the United States depends on a clear-eyed understanding of Russian political economy. FPRI’s Eurasia Program features credible, expert analysis on key themes in Russian political economy. The Russia Political Economy Project will publish papers and host events in Washington, New York, and other cities on the subject. The Project also includes FPRI’S BMB Russia which provides a daily round-up of the major news items related to Russian politics and economics
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: David Mihalyi, Patrick Heller
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Natural Resource Governance Institute
  • Abstract: National oil companies (NOCs) produce the majority of the world’s oil and gas, pumping out an estimated 85 million barrels of oil equivalent per day. Within their home countries, NOCs influence the degree to which billions of people benefit (or suffer) from their countries’ hydrocarbon assets. Many of these companies manage multi-billion-dollar portfolios of public assets, execute complex projects across their territories and at sea, employ citizens in the tens or hundreds of thousands, and perform a range of public services from providing energy to building infrastructure. Despite their importance, NOCs are poorly understood thanks to weak and uneven reporting, sparse research, and an absence of publicly available comparative data.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Natural Resource Governance Institute
  • Abstract: This report explores common resource governance successes and challenges in sub-Saharan Africa, taking advantage of the rich dataset and wealth of evidence documentation provided by the Resource Governance Index. While the authors detect common trends across the region, there is also great diversity between and within countries. It also documents examples of good practices from which officials in other countries can learn. The authors conclude with the suggestion that policymakers, parliamentarians, civil society, media and regional institutions focus more on narrowing the implementation gap, which will help to restore trust between government, communities and investors and thus strengthen sustainable management of natural resources. Creating space for public debate, strengthening capacity of public institutions and oversight actors, addressing lack of political will and learning from past legal reforms are possible solutions to address the implementation gap.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Daniel M. Kliman
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: Since its launch in 2013, what China calls “One Belt, One Road” has emerged as the cornerstone of Beijing’s economic statecraft. Under the umbrella of the Belt and Road, Beijing seeks to promote a more connected world brought together by a web of Chinese-funded physical and digital infrastructure. The infrastructure needs in Asia and beyond are significant, but the Belt and Road is more than just an economic initiative; it is a central tool for advancing China’s geopolitical ambitions. Through the economic activities bundled under the Belt and Road, Beijing is pursuing a vision of the 21st century defined by great power spheres of influence, state-directed economic interactions, and creeping authoritarianism
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Richard Fontaine
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: In June 2008, the Center for a New American Security published a compendium of essays to grapple with the central questions of American grand strategy.1 The volume compiled the views of leading senior strategists from across the political spectrum and from both academia and the policy community. Four years later, CNAS embarked on a similar venture, presenting the views of four more expert thinkers
  • Topic: International Affairs, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Carrie Cordero
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: Congressional oversight is essential for providing accountability for the activities of the intelligence services.1 Effective oversight by the congressional intelligence committees – by an independent branch of government – is needed in order to monitor the adequacy of legal authorities, the lawfulness of activities carried out under those authorities, and the responsible application of public funds for intelligence activities. As elected representatives entrusted with providing an outside check on activities that are conducted out of the public eye, members of the committees serve a critical function in facilitating accountability, transparency, and confidence in intelligence activities conducted under law.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Paula J. Dobriansky
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: U.S. foreign policy officials have embraced economic sanctions as a tool of choice for American foreign policy. Decisionmakers have deployed sanctions against strategic adversaries and national security threats ranging from Russia to non-state actors such as terrorist groups, drug cartels, and businesspeople who engage in corrupt activities. The appeal to both policy leaders and key constituent groups of the potent economic impacts of sanctions in several recent high-profile cases, particularly those of Iran, Russia, North Korea, and Venezuela, combined with broad bipartisan support for aggressive use of U.S. sanctions, suggests that the United States will favor this policy tool and be an active practitioner in the years ahead
  • Topic: International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: John Klein
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: Recent U.S. space policy initiatives underscore the far-reaching benefits of commercial space activities. The White House revived the National Space Council to foster closer coordination, cooperation, and exchange of technology and information among the civil, national security, and commercial space sectors.1 National Space Policy Directive 2 seeks to promote economic growth by streamlining U.S. regulations on the commercial use of space.2 While the defense community generally appreciates the value of services and capabilities derived from the commercial space sector—including space launch, Earth observation, and satellite communications—it often overlooks one area of strategic importance: deterrence.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Affairs, Cybersecurity
  • Political Geography: Global Focus