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  • Author: Richard Youngs
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The relationship between the European Union (EU) and Asia is in flux. The EU intensified its economic ties to Asia and boosted its security cooperation in the region in 2011 and 2012. But new challenges, including the crises in Ukraine and the Middle East, have made it difficult to sustain this incipient momentum. There are a number of steps that EU and Asian governments can and should take to continue to strengthen their relations.
  • Topic: Security, Diplomacy, Economics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Marc Valeri
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The sultan of Oman traveled to Germany to receive medical care in July 2014. His prolonged stay since then has revived concerns across Omani society about the future of the country without the “father of the nation.” A taped, four-minute television address in early November by Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said—who looked emaciated and expressed regret that he was unable to return home for National Day celebrations later in the month—failed to silence rumors of cancer that have been circulating in the Gulf since he left the country. The anxiety about the health of the seventy-four-year-old ruler, who has no designated heir, came as the supposed “sleepy sultanate,” long thought to be a model of stability, was affected by the winds of protest blowing across the region. In 2011 and 2012, the sultanate of Oman experienced its widest popular protests since the 1970s and the end of the Dhofar war, in which the southern region rose up against Qaboos's father, who then ruled the country.
  • Topic: Islam, Oil, Governance, Popular Revolt
  • Political Geography: Arabia, Germany
  • Author: Heather Grabbe, Stefan Lehne
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The European Union's dwindling democratic legitimacy is an acute political challenge. Trust in EU institutions is declining even in countries where the union once had high levels of support. Populist parties are rising and turning against the EU. To restore its legitimacy, the EU needs to respond to public apathy and anger with emotional intelligence and to offer solutions that feel relevant to people outside the Brussels bubble.
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Foreign ministers have lost influence in recent decades, and prime ministers have emerged as the central foreign policy actors. Mirroring this development, the European Council, which convenes the European Union's (EU) heads of state and government, has become the top decisionmaker on EU foreign policy. But the European Council's approach to external affairs lacks coherence, continuity, and ambition. The Brussels leadership team that took over in late 2014 should significantly upgrade the European Council's role in this area and, through that body, energize the EU's other foreign policy institutions.
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Yezid Sayigh
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Police forces and security agencies genuinely accountable to democratically elected civilian authorities have not emerged in either Egypt or Tunisia four years after popular uprisings forced the countries' longtime leaders from power. Ministries of interior remain black boxes with opaque decisionmaking processes, governed by officer networks that have resisted meaningful reform, financial transparency, and political oversight. Until governments reform their security sectors, rather than appease them, the culture of police impunity will deepen and democratic transition will remain impossible in Egypt and at risk in Tunisia.
  • Political Geography: Egypt, Tunisia
  • Author: Frederic Wehrey, Ariel I. Ahram
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Since the eruption of the Arab Spring in 2011, centralized military power has broken down in North Africa, the Levant, and Yemen, and several weak Arab states have turned to local militias to help defend regimes. While these pro-government militias can play important security roles, they have limited military capacity and reliability. Transitioning militia fighters into national guard forces with formal ties to the national command structure can overcome some of these limitations, but the shift must be accompanied by a wider commitment to security sector reform and political power sharing.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Yemen, Arabia, North Africa
  • Author: Nikolay Kozhanov
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The intensity of Moscow's current contact with Tehran is unprecedented in Russia's post-Soviet history. Both the Russian and Iranian authorities are determined to create a solid foundation for bilateral dialogue, and their dedication to deepening ties is largely determined by their geopolitical interests. Yet despite the potential for improvement, there are serious obstacles that may hamper or even halt cooperation.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Iran, Moscow
  • Author: Ashraf El-Sherif
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Salafism has been one of the most dynamic movements in Egypt since 2011. Dealt a difficult hand when Hosni Mubarak was ousted from the presidency, Egyptian Salafists have skillfully navigated the transition. Their entry into the political marketplace marked a historic shift toward a new political Salafism and sheds light on whether an Islamist movement can integrate into pluralistic modern politics. The ouster of Mohamed Morsi by a popularly backed military coup in 2013, however, dealt a debilitating blow to the Islamist project—and left deep cleavages within the Salafist movement.
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Author: Anouar Boukhars
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: For Tunisia, 2014 was a year of historic milestones. But despite a new constitution and free elections that led to the peaceful transfer of power to the secular Nidaa Tounes party, the democratic consensus forged after the country's 2011 revolution remains fragile. The hard work of reconciling a deeply polarized society—one torn between Islamists and secularists, young and old, democrats and counterrevolutionaries, cosmopolitan coastal areas and the underdeveloped interior and south—still lies ahead.
  • Political Geography: Tunisia
  • Author: Dmitri V. Trenin
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The rupture between Russia and the West stemming from the 2014 crisis over Ukraine has wide-ranging geopolitical implications. Russia has reverted to its traditional position as a Eurasian power sitting between the East and the West, and it is tilting toward China in the face of political and economic pressure from the United States and Europe. This does not presage a new Sino-Russian bloc, but the epoch of post-communist Russia's integration with the West is over. In the new epoch, Russia will seek to expand and deepen its relations with non-Western nations, focusing on Asia. Western leaders need to take this shift seriously.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Europe
  • Author: Shana Marshall
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The Egyptian military has gained unprecedented power since overseeing the ouster of two Egyptian presidents, Hosni Mubarak in 2011 and Mohamed Morsi in 2013. With its major political rivals sidelined, more than $20 billion in Gulf aid, and widespread domestic support for General-Turned-President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the Egyptian Armed Forces (EAF) has restarted its defunct industrial operations, secured control over massive infrastructure projects, and inserted generals at virtually all levels of government. But political overreach and internal rivalries may prove obstacles to long-term EAF control.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Author: Ashraf El-Sherif
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Salafism has been one of the most dynamic movements in Egypt since 2011. Dealt a difficult hand when Hosni Mubarak was ousted from the presidency, Egyptian Salafists have skillfully navigated the transition. Their entry into the political marketplace marked a historic shift toward a new political Salafism and sheds light on whether an Islamist movement can integrate into pluralistic modern politics. The ouster of Mohamed Morsi by a popularly backed military coup in 2013, however, dealt a debilitating blow to the Islamist project—and left deep cleavages within the Salafist movement.
  • Topic: Islam, Politics
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Author: Thomas Carothers
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Western democratic powers are no longer the dominant external shapers of political transitions around the world. A new global marketplace of political change now exists, in which varied arrays of states, including numerous nondemocracies and non-Western democracies, are influencing transitional trajectories. Western policymakers and aid practitioners have been slow to come to grips with the realities and implications of this new situation.
  • Author: Kheder Khaddour
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Since the early days of the Syrian uprising in 2011, President Bashar al-Assad’s regime has made it a priority to keep state agencies running, allowing Assad to claim that the regime is the irreplaceable provider of essential services. Breaking the regime’s monopoly on these public services and enabling the moderate opposition to become an alternative source of them would weaken the regime and prevent the radical jihadist Islamic State from emerging to fill power vacuums across the country.
  • Topic: Civil War, Democratization, Islam, Governance, Sectarian violence, Authoritarianism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Lina Khatib
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The self-proclaimed Islamic State is a hybrid jihadist group with a declared goal of establishing a “lasting and expanding” caliphate. Its strategy for survival and growth blends military, political, social, and economic components. Yet the U.S.-led international intervention against it has largely been limited to air strikes. The gaps in the international coalition’s approach as well as deep sectarian divisions in Iraq and the shifting strategies of the Syrian regime and its allies are allowing the Islamic State to continue to exist and expand.
  • Topic: Civil War, Islam, Terrorism, Insurgency, Sectarian violence
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries, Syria
  • Author: Milan Vaishnav
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) historic victory in India’s 2014 general election prompted declarations of a watershed in the behavior of the Indian voter. Upon closer inspection, the reality is more nuanced. On some parameters, such as voting based on economic and ethnic considerations, there were indeed discernible changes. However, the empirical evidence suggests these shifts were well under way before 2014. In other areas—namely, support for regional parties, dynastic politicians, and candidates associated with criminal activity—contemporary voters demonstrated much greater continuity with the past.
  • Topic: Democratization, Demographics, Ethnic Conflict, Political Economy, Governance
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Yezid Sayigh
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Already-weak states in Libya and Yemen crumbled as struggles for control over their security sectors became central to transitional politics after the popular uprisings of 2011. Instead of being reformed and upgraded to enhance the fragile legitimacy of interim governments, the security sectors collapsed by 2014. Libya and Yemen are now caught in a vicious circle: rebuilding effective central states and cohesive national identities requires a new consensus on the purpose and governance of security sectors, but reaching this agreement depends on resolving the deep political divisions and social fractures that led to civil war in both countries.
  • Topic: Security, Fragile/Failed State, Governance, Sectarian violence, Popular Revolt
  • Political Geography: Middle East, North Africa
  • Author: Alexei Arbatov
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Beginning with the signing of the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in 1963, an international arms control regime has limited existing nuclear arsenals and prevented further proliferation of nuclear weapons. But that entire system could soon unravel. Nearly all negotiations on nuclear arms reduction and nonproliferation have come to a stop, while existing treaty structures are eroding due to political and military-technological developments and may collapse in the near future. These strategic and technical problems can be resolved if politicians are willing to work them out, and if experts approach them creatively.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Nuclear Weapons, Science and Technology, Treaties and Agreements, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Author: Wang Tao
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Petroleum coke (petcoke), a by-product of petroleum refining that is high in contaminants, has quietly emerged in China as an inexpensive, but very dirty, alternative to coal. A significant share of the petcoke used in China is imported from the United States, where it is generally considered waste. The Chinese government is committed to reducing coal consumption for environmental reasons, but petcoke is not yet well-known to the country’s policymakers. Still, its use and resulting emissions must be addressed if efforts to reduce air pollution and climate change are to be effective.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Industrial Policy, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: China, East Asia
  • Author: Andrei Kolesnikov
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Following the annexation of Crimea in March 2014, the Russian public has embraced an increasingly conservative and nationalistic ideology. Any repudiation of this ideology, let alone the transformation of the country as a whole, will only happen if demand for change from the bottom coincides with a desire for modernization from the top. The new social contract demands that the Russian people surrender their freedom in return for Crimea and a sense of national pride. It seizes on changes that have already occurred in the minds of many Russians. The new ideology is based on a deliberate recycling of archaic forms of mass consciousness, a phenomenon that can be termed the sanctification of unfreedom. Confined to a besieged fortress, surrounded by external enemies, and faced with a domestic fifth column, the people of Russia have begun to experience Stockholm syndrome and have thrown their support behind the commander of the fortress, President Vladimir Putin. They have adopted his logic and even defended his interests, believing that they are members of his team. Freedom of expression has been significantly curtailed through a system of bans and strict forms of punishment, including criminal prosecution, which have both didactic and deterrent components. Pressure on democratic media outlets has also increased drastically. Ideology in Russia is a mass product that is easy to absorb; it is legitimized by constant references to the past, glorious traditions, and occasionally fictional historical events.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Nationalism, Political Economy, Governance, Authoritarianism
  • Political Geography: Russia