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  • Author: Cesar Jaramillo
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Twenty years after the UN Security Council first adopted the resolution on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict—and 70 years after the Geneva Conventions—the international community has yet to adequately respond to and prevent some of the most injurious manifestations of armed conflict to date. With civilians bearing the brunt of contemporary warfare, the development of robust new standards that protect the lives and livelihoods of noncombatants must become both a policy priority and a humanitarian imperative.
  • Topic: Treaties and Agreements, Weapons , Conflict, Multilateralism, Urban, Norms
  • Political Geography: United Nations, Vienna, Global
  • Author: Barry Zellen
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: With Greenland making front page news, the world’s attention is turned to the Arctic. And yet, this region has been the focus of increasingly consequential geopolitical competition for centuries, whether for furs, whales, fish stocks, gold, oil, strategic-military corridors, or (particularly as the ice has retreated) maritime trade routes. In recent years, China has articulated an invigorated vision of Arctic engagement as part of its Polar Silk Road strategy—a component of its broader Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). In its 2018 white paper on Arctic policy, China described itself as a “near-Arctic” state, a definition that has proven controversial and that, earlier this year, was publicly rejected by U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo at an Arctic Council (AC) ministerial: “Beijing claims to be a ‘Near-Arctic State,’ yet the shortest distance between China and the Arctic is 900 miles. There are only Arctic States and Non-Arctic States. No third category exists, and claiming otherwise entitles China to exactly nothing.” Such a visible diplomatic smackdown in a forum better known for its consensus governance and multilateral approach to Arctic issues generated headlines (and some indignation) worldwide. But Pompeo is right—China cannot reasonably be considered a “near-Arctic” state, owing to its lack of geographical, climatic, and cultural attributes of the Arctic. What kind of seat at which tables a state receives is determined, to a significant degree, by its claims to have a say in the region (combined with its capacity to persuade other states of the merits of its claims), so Beijing’s assertion of near-Arctic statehood weighs on the balance of power and diplomacy in the Arctic region.
  • Topic: Power Politics, Natural Resources, Geopolitics, Trade
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, Arctic
  • Author: Monica Arruda De Almeida
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Brazil’s income inequality is among the world’s worst. The country’s unemployment rate is currently 13 percent, compared to 4.6 percent in 2012, and the number of Brazilians in poverty or extreme poverty is now close to 30 percent, a far cry from 2014 when that number was less than 10 percent of the population. Brazil has one of the highest tax rates in Latin America—with tax revenue equal to 33 percent of GDP, against the regional average of 20 percent—but it is also notorious for its poor performance with respect to the ease of paying taxes and opening a business: the country ranks 184 and 140, respectively, out of 190 countries in the World Bank’s 2019 Doing Business Report. It is surprising, therefore, that Jair Bolsonaro, a conservative politician from the Social Liberal Party (PSL), was elected to the country’s highest office without meaningfully addressing his administration’s plans to solve the nation’s social injustices and other economic issues. Instead, Bolsonaro campaigned mostly on strengthening public security and fighting corruption, the two areas on which the former army captain built his reputation during his almost thirty years as a congressman. During the campaign, Bolsonaro recruited Paulo Guedes, a Chicago School-trained economist to be his Minister of the Economy. Guedes was tasked with building a “dream team” of experts that would design a plan to further liberalize the economy and turn Brazil into a much friendlier place to conduct business.
  • Topic: Corruption, Government, Poverty, Economy, Social Policy, Economic Inequality
  • Political Geography: Brazil, South America
  • Author: Shannon Dick
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In 2013, the United States began a secret operation to train and equip opposition forces fighting against the Assad regime in Syria. Through the CIA, the United States facilitated the transfer of an estimated $1 billion in arms, ammunition, and training to Syrian rebel groups in hopes of influencing a negotiated end to the war. But these were not the only weapons flowing throughout Syria — Syrian government stockpiles served as a key source of armaments, and countries from around the region funneled arms into the country to support a variety of actors. In this way, the story of weapons in Syria reads as a cautionary tale about the unintended and lasting consequences of arms transfers, especially to countries in conflict.
  • Topic: Intelligence, Weapons , Arms Trade, Syrian War
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Syria, North America, United States of America
  • 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