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  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Mexican Council on Foreign Relations (COMEXI)
  • Abstract: The Mexican Council on Foreign Relations (COMEXI), through its Energy Work Group, presents an analysis and a set of recommendations to guarantee the continuity of the Energy Reform, implemented in 2013. The Energy Work Group (GTE in Spanish) is a COMEXI-driven initiative that emerged in response to the need of addressing the challenges the energy sector has brought about for Mexico in the last years; it seeks to seize the chance to turn the country into a driver of development for all Mexicans. To this end, several experts, key players and leaders of energy companies in our country have joined forces to compile the best international practices in the field to have a positive impact on the strengthening of the energy market. Throughout its existence, the GTE has issued several recommendations concerning the instrumentation, implementation and effective date of the Energy Reform. These recommendations can be consulted on COMEXI’s official website. Also, many of them have been encompassed in the laws passed for the energy-market opening in Mexico. Hence, in this new release, we wish to contribute to guaranteeing the permanence of the Reform in the light of the unforeseeable circumstances we are currently undergoing, from the political ups and downs in Mexico to the renegotiation and future of NAFTA. This proposal summarizes some of the different alternatives Mexico could adopt to achieve this objective. Furthermore, it compares success stories in other regions of the world to shed light on the ups and downs of other country’s experiences and traces clear routes towards implementation. GTE will continue combining forces to contribute to the sector’s development and to consolid
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Mexico, Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Mexican Council on Foreign Relations (COMEXI)
  • Abstract: La ciberseguridad es un tema que aparece cada día con mayor frecuencia en nuestros medios y permea una amplia gama de campos. Los ciberataques que enfrentamos cada vez con mayor frecuencia pueden afectar desde la integridad de infraestructura crítica como los sistemas bancarios del país; a la incidencia de robos de identidades personales y otros delitos; y hasta contribuir a la cada vez más tenue credibilidad de datos e información general que compromete nuestra capacidad de discernir objetivamente en momentos en que tomamos decisiones importantes. Es un tema que afecta, incluso, a la seguridad emocional de los niños en un entorno social que se ha trasladado a lo digital. En resumen, afecta de alguna forma a todos los sectores sociales
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Mexico, Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Mexican Council on Foreign Relations (COMEXI)
  • Abstract: El Centro de Estudios China-México (CECHIMEX) de la Facultad de Economía de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México tiene como objeto mejorar y profundizar el conocimiento de la socioeconomía china, enfatizando en las relaciones bilaterales de largo plazo entre ambos países. Actualmente no existe en México una institución de grandes dimensiones que se oriente específicamente al estudio de los temas relativos a China con el enfoque bilateral. La Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México es una institución privilegiada al respecto por el alto nivel científico de su comunidad y la diversidad de ciencias y campos de conocimiento que la integran. Así, y si bien el CECHIMEX enfatiza aspectos económicos, cuenta con la plena apertura y el mayor interés de incorporar desde sus inicios temas analizados por otras áreas y en otras facultades, tales como agricultura, filosofía, historia, arquitectura, ingeniería, lenguas, relaciones internacionales, ciencias políticas, entre muchas otras. En el portal del CECHIMEX se puede consultar los análisis e información generada.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Hassan Hassan
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Middle East Institute (MEI)
  • Abstract: The collapse of ISIS’s caliphate and its subsequent flight from much of its former territory has been a triumph for the anti-ISIS coalition in Iraq and Syria. However, for ISIS, expulsion from former urban strongholds is the end of one chapter and the beginning of another: the group has since rolled out a well-developed strategy to assure its future resurgence. This paper examines ISIS’s actions, publications, and communications to determine its insurgency strategies and long-term organizational outlook, emphasizing sources that have been largely overlooked by forces fighting the group. By analyzing the strategies ISIS uses and has used in its previous incarnations, this paper argues that insurgent groups like ISIS will continue to operate within the ungoverned space along the Syria-Iraq border, and that if left unchecked, the group is likely to re-emerge
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Global Focus
  • Author: Itamar Radai
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies
  • Abstract: “On the deck of the Titanic,” thus sailed the members of the Joint List of Arab parties on the eve of the 2015 Knesset (parliamentary) elections, according to senior journalist Wadea Awawdy.[1] Four years later, in light of the results of the 2019 elections, it seems that this prophecy has almost materialized, even though the ships have narrowly escaped the iceberg, at least for the time being. The Hadash-Taʿal list attained 193,293 votes, equivalent to six seats in the Knesset, while Raʿam-Balad barely crossed the electoral threshold of 3.25 percent with 143,863 votes, giving them four seats. Arab voters’ turnout declined to a historic low of about 50 percent, as opposed to the overall turnout of around 68 percent.[2] The sharp drop in Arab voter turnout led to Arab parties’ political representation declining from 13 seats in 2015 to 10. Israeli Hebrew-language media coverage explained this change in terms of Arab alienation and marginalization. However, the mainstream Hebrew media outlets tend to neglect the coverage of Arab politics, including the election campaigns,[3] hence ignoring at large an important internal factor: the collapse of the Joint List on the eve of the 2019 elections, and its implications. This article will focus on the rise and dramatic fall of the Joint List, and its repercussions.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs, Elections
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Tsolmon Baatarzorig, Nyambaatar Batbayar, Ragchaasuren Galindev
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Natural Resource Governance Institute
  • Abstract: In 2017, Mongolia received an extensive bailout package from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) under its Extended Fund Facility (EFF). Since taking the IMF loan, Mongolia has had good economic luck. A record high year of coal production combined with a surge in commodity prices has left the country with a budget revenue windfall. This has allowed gross domestic product (GDP) to grow by 5.3 percent, which was higher than the forecasted 3 percent. Mongolia has reduced its fiscal deficit and public debt is declining. The country’s credit rating has improved and it has managed to repay two large foreign currency-denominated bonds. The government has also recently created a Fiscal Stability Council to improve budget oversight.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Mongolia, Global Focus
  • Author: Thomas Scurfield
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Natural Resource Governance Institute
  • Abstract: There is growing discussion within Uganda about the need to increase the public benefits from the country’s mining sector. The government has declared its intention to enact a new fiscal regime for the sector. This has coincided with growing optimism that the country will resume large-scale mining after decades of only artisanal and small-scale activity. However, for Uganda’s potential to be realized, significant investment in exploration and development is necessary. This brief is a response to a request by the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development to review the prevailing fiscal regime and inform the government’s approach to revising it. The design of the fiscal regime will likely have a significant effect on the ability of the country to attract the investment it needs. A critical element will be the regime’s stability. Frequent changes could reduce investors’ confidence that they will make a sufficient return on their investments, and thus deter investment. To reduce pressure from companies, the government or other stakeholders for future changes, Uganda will need to impose a tax burden that is neither too high nor too low.
  • Topic: Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Uganda
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Natural Resource Governance Institute
  • Abstract: Despite the critical relevance of natural resources to millions of peoples’ lives, most citizens of resource-rich countries have limited knowledge about how resources are governed. To address this knowledge gap, the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) developed two online training tools aimed at generating critical awareness and building technical knowledge about core resource governance issues. The first tool is a massive open online course (MOOC), “Natural Resources for Sustainable Development: The Fundamentals of Oil, Gas and Mining Governance.” The second is an online simulation called “Petronia,” named for an imaginary oil-rich country.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Murat Yeşiltaş, Omar Özkızılcık
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: On December 19, 2018, U.S. officials stated that the Pentagon has an order to move troops out of Syria as quickly as possible, and began to inform partners in northeastern Syria of their plans to begin an immediate pullback of American forces from the region where they have been trying to wrap up the campaign against the Daesh. Shortly after the Washington Journal report, President Trump wrote on Twitter, “We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency.” In a statement, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed, “We have started returning United States troops home as we transition to the next phase of this campaign.” She pointed out that “[t]hese victories over ISIS in Syria do not signal the end of the Global Coalition or its campaign.” Additionally, U.S. officials told Reuters that all U.S. State Department personnel are being evacuated from Syria within 24 hours and U.S. troops will pull out of Syria in a time frame of between 60 to 100 days. This development came after Turkey’s military decisiveness to clear its border of the terrorist threat, Turkey’s airstrikes against PKK positions on the Sinjar and Karajak Mountains in Iraq, and the phone call between President Erdogan and Trump. The decision by Trump will be a turning point in the Syrian conflict, but how this development will reshape Turkish-American bilateral..
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Syria
  • Author: Murat Yeşiltaş
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: DAESH was one of Turkey’s significant security threats and the terrorist group was able to conduct several major terrorist attacks on Turkish soil; however, DAESH terrorism was halted by Turkish counterterrorism efforts which culminated in cross-border military engagements. This paper analyzes the factors behind this success in order to draw conclusions that explain why previous terrorist attacks took place, and to offer proposals that can further enhance Turkey’s national security policy in a post-DAESH environment. The study argues that specific developments such as the territorial decline of DAESH, the removal of the terrorist group from the borders, enhancements in intelligence and operation fields, and counterterrorism experience ensured the prevention of more terrorist attacks by DAESH terrorists. Consequently, this study proposes that in a post-DAESH setting, Turkey’s national security should be shaped by certain requirements including intelligence superiority, high-level readiness, awareness, and external military activism. Furthermore, it is important that Turkey meticulously examines from the perspective of de-radicalization the possible risks that could unfold from the thousands of DAESH militants detained and currently incarcerated within its borders.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus