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  • Author: Sören Scholvin
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Geopolitical research is frequently portrayed as a dead end. To some scholars it appears that in the 21st century geography is largely scenery, all but irrelevant to the most important issues of grand strategy. This working paper aims to revitalise geopolitics, reflecting both on the critique of the subject and the strengths that have characterised it for more than a century. It is argued that geographical conditions constitute a set of opportunities and constraints, a structure that is independent of agency. General patterns and long-term processes can be aptly explained by this structure but geopolitics is not a theory of state behaviour or foreign policy. Understanding specific phenomena that occur in international relations therefore requires taking into consideration non-geographical factors. Such a combination of geographical and non-geographical factors provides sound explanations, as several examples demonstrate: China’s projection of power into the Indian Ocean, South Africa’s approach to the political crisis in Zimbabwe in 2008, Iran’s maritime strategy and the poor integration of Colombia and South America. Given that geopolitics is about analysing international relations (or politics) for its geographical content, all those committed to geopolitics should concentrate on the three guiding questions: Do geographical conditions influence the observed outcome? If yes, do geographical conditions influence the observed outcome significantly? If yes, how, meaning in combination with which other factors do geographical conditions influence the observed outcome?
  • Topic: International Relations, Political Theory, Geopolitics, Political structure
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
  • Abstract: Climate change is expected to contribute to the movement of people through a variety of means. There is also significant concern climate change may influence violent conflict. But our understanding of these dynamics is evolving quickly and sometimes producing surprising results. There are considerable misconceptions about why people move, how many move, and what effects they have. In a discussion paper for USAID’s Office of Conflict Management and Mitigation, the Environmental Change and Security Program presents a guide to this controversial and consequential nexus of global trends. Building off a workshop held at the Wilson Center last year, we provide a background scan of relevant literature and an in-depth analysis of the high-profile cases of Darfur and Syria to discern policy-relevant lessons from the latest research.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Climate Change, International Organization, Migration, International Security
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Henry D. Sokolski
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Nonproliferation Policy Education Center
  • Abstract: Many of the materials, facilities, and technologies used to produce nuclear energy can be used to create nuclear weapons material. In nearly all stages in the production of peaceful nuclear energy, it is difficult to differentiate between peaceful activities and those useful to produce explosive materials for nuclear weap- ons. The purpose of this primer is to inform the reader about the basic steps of the nuclear fuel cycle and nuclear energy production, and to draw attention to those aspects of the fuel cycle that present the greatest nuclear weapons proliferation risks.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Henry D. Sokolski
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Nonproliferation Policy Education Center
  • Abstract: The Nonproliferation Policy Education Center (NPEC), a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, is a nonpartisan, educational organization founded in 1994 to promote a better understanding of strategic weapons proliferation issues. NPEC educates policymakers, journalists, and university professors about proliferation threats and possible new policies and measures to meet them.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Michael Brian Jenkins, John Lauder
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Nonproliferation Policy Education Center
  • Abstract: After the Cold War and nearly 70 years of waging war against communism, the United States and its key allies have adopted the war against terror as their new organizing principal. The king of terrorist threats, however, is nuclear terrorism. As Vice President Dick Cheney once argued, “if there is a one percent chance” of a terrorist developing a nuclear weapon, “we have to treat it as a certainty in terms of our response.”1
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons, Terrorism, International Security
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Henry D. Sokolski, Victor Gilinsky
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Nonproliferation Policy Education Center
  • Abstract: In this chapter, we try to step back from the day-to- day struggles in Washington, DC, over nuclear non- proliferation policy to ask what measures we would need to have in place to be reasonably confident that expanding nuclear power globally will not increase the number of nuclear weapons-armed states. We recognize that, since the start of the Atoms for Peace Program in the mid-1950s, the United States has sup- ported worldwide use of nuclear power. It also has op- posed the spread of nuclear weapons and supported measures to control the nuclear weapons proliferation risks inherent in spreading nuclear technology for civilian purposes. The principal administrative ele- ments of this nonproliferation effort are the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) and the associated in- spection activities of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), as well as various national and inter- national export controls.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Luke Patey, Michal Meidan
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The size and sophistication of Chinese foreign investment is on the rise. In 2014, inbound investment to China was outpaced by outbound investment for the first time. Chinese foreign investment has surpassed the $100 billion mark for the past three years, making China the third largest overseas investor. At the same time, beyond oil and gas, which dominated headlines over the past decade, Chinese state-owned enterprises and private corporations are making multi-billion dollar investments in construction, telecommunications, nuclear, and high-tech across the globe. What political and security implications do these new investment have for host government in North America and Europe? What is the view point of Beijing towards the growing reach of its corporations overseas? A new policy brief by Michal Meidan, research associate at Chatham House and Asia Analyst at Energy Aspects, and DIIS senior researcher Luke Patey explores these questions.
  • Topic: Globalization, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: China, Global Focus
  • Author: Denis Hadžović
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Centre For Security Studies
  • Abstract: After the end of the Cold War traditional peacekeeping has become more complex and multidimensional, including not only military but also civilian, political and humanitarian tasks.1 The concept of peacekeeping thus broadened into a concept of peacebuilding, which dates back to the post-World War II reconstruction of Europe and Japan. The term ‘peacebuilding’ entered the international lexicons in the early 1990s when the then United Nations Secretary General Boutros- Boutros Ghali defined it in his 1992 Agen- da for Peace as “...Action to identify and support structures which will tend to strengthen and solidify peace in order to avoid a relapse into conflict“.
  • Topic: Peace Studies, International Security, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Andreja Bogdanovski, Uros Zivkovic
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belgrade Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: The existence of a police component in UN peace operations is not a novelty. It goes back half a century ago and was first introduced in the Congo in the 1960’s. Embedding police components in UN missions became more extensive at the end of the 90’s. Over the years, with the change of the context of conflicts (from interstate to intrastate) peace support operations have evolved and are now very much shaped to reflect political and security developments on the ground. International policing efforts are an extremely important factor in establishing and maintaining international security today. Although military peace support operations and national military contributions are predominant, not all security problems can have a military solution. Regardless of the security context, police functions and mechanisms are extremely necessary for a successful peace support operation.
  • Topic: Security, United Nations, International Security, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Malcolm D. Knight
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The past 20 years have witnessed a profound change in the types of non-resident investors who provide funding to emerging market economies (EMEs) and the nancial instruments through which emerging market (EM) corporations borrow from abroad. Until the beginning of the new millennium, private capital ows to EMEs were mainly intermediated by large global banks, and EMEs were subjected to massive volatility in their external payments balances, exchange rates and domestic nancial systems. But since the early 2000s the role of bank- intermediated credit has declined, as the base of investors willing to take on exposure to EM corporate debt has become much larger and more diverse. These structural changes have encouraged a vast growth in ows of funds, not only from the mature economies to EMEs as a group, but also among EMEs themselves.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus