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  • Author: Ben Tannenbaum
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on International Policy (CIP)
  • Abstract: Turkey’s military has historically played an outsized role in the country’s politics. Since assuming power in 2003, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) have worked to limit the military’s political influence, a process that has damaged Turkish civil society. The military overthrew the previous AKP government in 1997, and Erdoğan sought to avoid a similar fate. However, after the first decade of Erdoğan’s rule, political loyalties shifted. His chief ally against the military, Fethullah Gülen, became Erdoğan’s principal rival. The drama escalated in 2016 when Gülen allegedly cultivated a cohort of military officers in an attempted coup against Erdoğan. Since thwarting the coup, Erdoğan has successfully re-escalated his quest to constrain the military’s domestic political role. Nevertheless, despite this political feuding, Erdoğan and the Turkish military do hold some common interests on foreign policy. Their overlapping goals have provided some basis for cooperation between Erdoğan and his military. Erdoğan has scored political gains from his relationship with the military, instituting policies that have harmed Turkey’s economy and threatened its democracy.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Basel Ammane
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on International Policy (CIP)
  • Abstract: During the last NATO Summit in Brussels in July, the first since the onset of the Trump presidency, observers were carefully watching in anticipation of any indicators about the state of commitment by the US to the alliance. Trump’s antics, such as the insults he levelled at Germany, the impudent demands he made, and the thinly-veiled threat he issued unsurprisingly dominated media coverage. This served as a reminder that the alliance and its members need to work vigorously to safeguard US commitment given that this president’s preoccupation with prodding allies into increasing military spending, though echoed by previous administrations, is much more forceful and borders on the nakedly belligerent. To make matters worse, a skeptical view of alliances that sees them through a transactional prism and portrays them as burdens seems to be a consistent view that President Trump has held for years. This further demonstrates that the risk of a declining US commitment to the alliance is real. But a shaky commitment by a US president is hardly the only source of problems for today’s NATO.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Basel Ammane
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on International Policy (CIP)
  • Abstract: The recent attacks in Eastern Ghouta in which a swath of land housing a population of 400,000 was surrounded, shelled incessantly and later invaded have refocused the world’s attention on the events in Syria.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Kamil Frymark
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: Germany’s collaboration with Central European countries, and especially the Visegrad Group (V4) is often perceived through the prism of political differences that have arisen from divergent visions of the future EU migration policy and debates on the rule of law. Simultaneously, new opportunities to deepen the already existing cooperation may appear due to the turmoil in Germany’s domestic politics as well as the international environment..
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Amy J. Nelson
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: For decades or longer, policy-makers have sought to use arms control to reduce the uncertainty endemic to the international security environment. Because uncertainty is pervasive in these situations, however, practitioners themselves are naturally vulnerable to its effects. This paper seeks to help policy-makers optimize arms control outcomes by providing improved theory and best practices for goal-setting and strategy selection using the judicious application of decision theoretic concepts. The paper first lays out a suitable role for decision theory in the study and analysis of arms control, arguing that “uncertainty” is a more appropriate concept for description and analysis here than is “risk.” Prior approaches that rely on “risk” have tended to drive the search for arms control best practices, but “risk” requires the use of probability estimates that are frequently not available or not a good indicator of potential outcomes. Second, the paper argues that decision-makers are vulnerable to the effects of missing information and the uncertainty it causes in the run-up to and during arms control negotiations. Consequently, they are subject to biases and resort to the use of security-specific heuristics, including worst-case scenario thinking, limited-theater-of-war thinking, and low-dimension (or non-complex) thinking when setting goals and employing strategies for negotiating arms control agreements. The paper discusses the origins of this uncertainty and the strategies that states could employ as a result of these security-specific heuristics, arguing that they can best be grouped into two types—risk reduction versus uncertainty management. Finally, the paper makes recommendations for optimizing outcomes—for getting efficient negotiations that result in robust, durable agreements, capable of managing uncertainty about security, despite the effects of missing information.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Diplomacy, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Davin O'Regan
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: U.S. foreign policy increasingly embraces and seeks to empower civil society organizations in developing countries as a critical contributor to stability and security. This paper explores whether there are grounds for these claims, specifically whether variation in civil society can explain the onset of civil wars. It examines two common explanations for the conflict-preventative potential of civil society, namely its ability to increase social capital and citizens’ voice. Four hypotheses are tested by integrating new data on various attributes of civil society from the Varieties of Democracies Initiative into a common model of civil war onset. Little support is found for claims that civil society reduces the probability of civil war onset by improving social capital, but onset may be reduced when a strong advocacy and political orientation is present in civil society. In other words, there appears to be some grounds for U.S. policy claims that a stronger civil society can enhance citizens’ voice and reduce instability and conflict onset. This finding still raises many questions about the precise links between civil society and civil war onset, and introduces potential complications for how policymakers might address conflict onset through support for civil society.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Civil War, Democracy, Political stability
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Shady Abdelwhab
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Future for Advanced Research and Studies (FARAS)
  • Abstract: Intelligence studies is considered a sub-sub-level of international relations, falling under security or strategic studies. It is considered an example of realist policies in action, as intelligence is one of the activities that states undertake to protect and further their strategic interests as defined by a notion of national security. That is why most universities that deliver intelligence courses links intelligence with security in their title
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jonathan Pinckney
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC)
  • Abstract: Why do some nonviolent revolutions lead to successful democratization while others fail to consolidate democratic change? And what can activists do to push toward a victory over dictatorship that results in long-term political freedom? Several studies show that nonviolent revolutions are generally a more positive force for democratization than violent revolutions and top-down political transitions. However, some nonviolent revolutions, such as the Arab Spring revolution in Egypt, do not seem to fi t this pattern. This study takes on this puzzle and reveals that the answer lies in large part in the actions of civil society prior to and during transition. Democracy is most likely when activists can keep their social bases mobilized for positive political change while directing that mobilization toward building new political institutions.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democracy, Resistance, Nonviolence
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Dakshina G. De Silva, Soon-Cheul Lee, Robert P. McComb, Maurizio Zanardi
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP)
  • Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to examine whether or not there is a spillover effect of third countries’ regional trade agreements (RTAs) on their bilateral trade relationships. To identify the RTA spillover effects, we expand a gravity model into a third-country framework using a dataset of bilateral trade and RTAs for 62 country-pairs over the period 2002-2013. We construct a weighted third-countries’ RTA contiguity matrix as well as a spatially-weighted matrix to identify both the spillover and spatial effects of RTA on trade flows. The results show that the spillover effects of RTAs on trade are positive while the spatial effects of RTA are negative and imply that third parties’ RTAs have complementary effects on bilateral trade while the existence of neighbors in the RTA between the two trade partners reduces their bilateral trade. As a result, the proliferation of RTAs expand international trade through spillover effects as well as trade creation and trade diversion.
  • Topic: Bilateral Relations, Regional Integration, Economic Policy, Trade
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Nakgyoon Choi, Soonchan Park
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP)
  • Abstract: Previous studies that have identified the impacts of institutions or cultural traits on comparative advantage focused on goods trade, but not services trade. In contrast to the rapid increase in trade in services, empirical examina-tion on sources of comparative advantage in services trade remains limited. This paper attempts to fill this gap by investigating empirically the impacts of institution as well as social capital on comparative advantage in services trade. Services are exposed to relatively more pre-choice risks than goods, because it is difficult to obtain information on the quality of services before the con-sumer decides to purchase. In addition, trade in services involved in global value chains possibly takes on the risks of contract breach by other firms along the same value chains. As a result, the transaction risks for trade in ser-vices are higher than for trade in goods. Using the World Input Output Da-tabase, we estimate the importance of social capital for comparative ad-vantage in services. We find that countries with more social capital tend to specialize in the production of contract-intensive services. We also find that social capital rather than institution matters for comparative advantage in ser-vices.
  • Topic: Economic Policy, Institutions, Services, Trade, Social Capital
  • Political Geography: Global Focus