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  • Author: Daniel F. Runde, Amasia Zargarian
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The United States currently maintains formal diplomatic relations with all but five United Nations member-states. In addition to these five countries, there are states—including Venezuela—with which U.S. relations continue to be strained. In most such relationships, cooperation across societies is challenging, hampered by seemingly insurmountable political differences between governments. When official cooperation at the higher levels of government proves infeasible, it is often in the interest of both countries to pursue alternative, more informal approaches, sometimes referred to as "Track II diplomacy." Such forms of diplomacy allow for exchanges of people and ideas to build confidence between the two sides. Ideally, the modest gains in trust from Track II diplomacy will translate into a broader opening for political rapprochement.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Cooperation, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Venezuela
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Creating an effective transition for the ANSF is only one of the major challenges that Afghanistan, the US, and Afghanistan's other allies face during 2014 2015 and beyond. The five other key challenges include: Going from an uncertain election to effective leadership and political cohesion and unity. Creating an effective and popular structure governance, with suitable reforms, from the local to central government, reducing corruption to acceptable levels, and making suitable progress in planning, budgeting, and budget execution. Coping with the coming major cuts in outside aid and military spending in Afghanistan, adapting to a largely self-financed economy, developing renewal world economic development plans, carrying out the reforms pledged at the Tokyo Conference, and reducing the many barriers to doing business. Establishing relations with Pakistan and other neighbors that will limit outside pressures and threats, and insurgent sanctuaries on Afghanistan's border. Persuading the US, other donors, NGCO, and nations will to provide advisors to furnish the needed aid effort through at least 2018, and probably well beyond.
  • Topic: Government, Politics, Governance
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Middle East
  • Author: Medin Hege
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The new trade theory, which emerged in the early 1980s, emphasised economies of scale and market failures as driving forces behind international trade. As opposed to the earlier theory, which mainly assumed perfect competition, the new trade theory provided a rationale for industrial policy. This article shows how industrial policy targeting specific firms or industries may be socially desirable within the new trade theory framework. Models from new economic geography and the more recent 'new' new trade theory with heterogeneous firms are also discussed. The main focus is put on models with pecuniary externalities.
  • Topic: Economics, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy, Politics
  • Author: Tiberius Barasa, Andvig Jens Chr
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The starting point of the paper is the spatial characteristics of slums when it seeks to explain why rulers tend to neglect the welfare of their dwellers: they don't have to. Their economies are fairly closed. While located close to the centers of power, their high population density implies that they cover small space and are easy to cordon off in case of danger. The ease of control from the outside allows rulers to spend less attention to the control of their complex inside. Particularly when a slum is based on shack architecture, the high degree of mutual monitoring among dwellers may cause sharp shifts in the control regime of crime. The emphasis on spatial configurations motivates the focus on one specific slum: Mathare Valley. Paths back to colonial rule are outlined. The paper is stylistically unkempt.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Rights, Human Welfare, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Leonard Seabrooke, Duncan Wigan
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: This working paper creates a theoretical framework to explain how Global Wealth Chains are created, maintained, and governed. We draw upon different strands of literature, including scholarship in international political economy and economic geography on Global Value Chains, literature on finance and law in institutional economics, and work from economic sociology on network dynamics within markets. This scholarship assists us in highlighting three variables in how Global Wealth Chains are articulated and change according to: (1) the complexity of transactions, (2) regulatory liability and (3) innovation capacities among suppliers of products used in wealth chains. We then differentiate five types of global value chain governance - market, modular, relational, captive, and hierarchy - which range from simple 'off shelf' products shielded from regulators by advantageous international tax laws to highly complex and flexible innovative financial products produced by large financial institutions and corporations. This paper highlights how Global Wealth Chains intersect with value chains and real economies, and provides three brief case studies on offshore shell companies, family property trusts, and global-scale corporate tax avoidance.
  • Topic: Economics, International Cooperation, Politics, Governance
  • Author: Ahmed Ali
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: Iraq's 2014 national elections are taking place at a difficult time. The country is at a crossroads, presented with the possibility of widely different futures. Deteriorating security conditions frame political thought in ways that harken back to Iraq's first national elections in 2005. The Iraqi state does not hold control of territory in some of Iraq's key political provinces, such as Anbar, Ninewa, and Diyala. The disenfranchisement of Iraq's Arab Sunnis; the rising threat of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS); and the activation of Ba'athist groups collectively discourage electoral participation.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Political Economy, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Ninewa, Anbar, Diyala
  • Author: Hanna Shelest
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: The pictures of Kyiv on fire in early 2014 have attracted attention of the world's media, with Molotov cocktails, barricades and injured journalists making headlines. This is in sharp contrast to the previous two months, when hundreds of thousands of people were coming every Sunday to the main square – Maidan Nezalezhnosti – in peaceful protest.
  • Topic: Security, Politics, Social Movement
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Asia
  • Author: Heidi Reisinger
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: On 27 January 2014, the NATO Defense College Research Division hosted its Russia Roundtable, where international experts from various research institutions meet senior practitioners from the International Staff and International Military Staff from NATO HQ.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, NATO, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Florence Gaub
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Geneva Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: In the wake of the Arab Spring, this Chaillot Paper examines the role played by the different national armies in the Arab world, and their long history of involvement in matters beyond the military realm. As this study shows, the Arab Spring has marked a watershed in how Arab military forces are perceived: one way or the other, they have once again become the political actors they were prior to the 1970s.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Politics, Military Affairs, Arab Countries
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: IEMed/EuroMeSCo
  • Abstract: On the occasion of the Annual Summit of the Strategic Studies Network (Bangkok, 23-25 February 2014), several EuroMeSCo researchers participated in the kick off meeting of the Working Group “The Arab Spring in Comparative Perspective”. This group, lead by the European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed) will involve over 20 EuroMeSCo researchers, who will work throughout the year with the aim of publishing a joint volume on comparative perspectives of the transitions in the Arab world. The Working Group is structured around two main blocks: “Internal changes in transition processes: What priorities?” and “External actors and regional integration”. It consists of a total of 6 working packages, each of them lead by two EuroMeSCo researchers. The topics to be explored are: State building processes and reforms, security sector reform, the role of religion in transitional processes, socio-economic reforms, the role of the European Union in supporting democratic transitions in the Southern Mediterranean and regional integration.
  • Topic: Security, Democratization, Politics, Religion, Economies
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arab Countries