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  • Author: Masanori Akiyama, Ryozo Nagai
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: As Japan faces rapid aging, a declining birthrate, widening income disparity, expanding fiscal debt, and remarkable hikes in health care costs, the sustainability of its health care system is at stake. Despite the need to allocate limited medical resources optimally, Japan lacks a common platform for sharing medical data, ideally over the Internet. The potential benefits of health information technology, or health IT, are not well known among patients, practitioners, or policymakers. Electronic patient records are not available from one hospital to another and are isolated from the Internet due to privacy concerns. Clinical practitioners have no remote access to patients' information when away from a particular hospital or clinic. Unique medical data, stored individually in each hospital or clinic, is vulnerable to accidents and natural disasters. The Tohoku disaster demonstrated the absence of a reliable backup for health data, the challenge of data management during an emergency, and the dangers of prescribing drugs with insufficient access to medical records.
  • Topic: Demographics, Health, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: Japan, Israel
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The conflicting mandates and lack of coordination among Chinese government agencies, many of which strive to increase their power and budget, have stoked tensions in the South China Sea. Repeated proposals to establish a more centralised mechanism have foundered while the only agency with a coordinating mandate, the foreign ministry, does not have the authority or resources to manage other actors. The Chinese navy\'s use of maritime tensions to justify its modernisation, and nationalist sentiment around territorial claims, further compound the problem. But more immediate conflict risks lie in the growing number of law enforcement and paramilitary vessels playing an increasing role in disputed territories without a clear legal framework. They have been involved in most of the recent incidents, including the prolonged standoff between China and the Philippines in April 2012 in Scarborough Reef. Any future solution to the South China Sea disputes will require a consistent policy from China executed uniformly throughout the different levels of government along with the authority to enforce it.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Markets, Maritime Commerce
  • Political Geography: China, Israel
  • Author: Desmond Ball
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S.Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper recounts the East Asian experience with the construction of Defence-related architecture to date. It recalls some earlier history of the ARF, viz: the adoption of a Concept Paper, containing a large menu of possible confidence building measures and other proposals for security cooperation, including numerous Defence-related measures, in 1995. It also describes in some detail the recent history of the ASEAN-led forums for Defence dialogue and cooperation which contributes to the identification and elucidation of at least some of the principal elements of a 'Southeast Asian Defence Model' which frames the agenda for prospective cooperation. The paper discusses recent developments in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and European Union (EU), and argues that the purposes, structures, operational modalities and achievements of these organisations are not central to any consideration of East Asian security architecture. On the other hand, their recent experiences in important areas such as peace-keeping, missile defence and cyber security warrant serious reflection. The paper offers some proposals concerning half a dozen areas for substantive future consultation and cooperation by the constituent mechanisms of the Defence component of the East Asian security architecture. They involve a composition of the unremitting security challenges requiring regional resolution and the principal elements of a Southeast Asian Defence Model, as manifested in the record of achievements to date. Construction of the Defence part of the architecture sufficiently robust to effectively address the regional security challenges will require both reform of the Defence pieces into a more integrated, coherent and efficient structure and also disposal of some of the more! dysfunctional aspects of the Southeast Asian Defence Model.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, NATO
  • Political Geography: Europe, Israel, East Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Does anybody still believe in the Middle East Peace Process? Nineteen years after Oslo and thirteen years after a final settlement was supposed to be reached, prospects for a two-state solution are as dim as ever. The international community mechanically goes through the motions, with as little energy as conviction. The parties most directly concerned, the Israeli and Palestinian people, appear long ago to have lost hope. Substantive gaps are wide, and it has become a challenge to get the sides in the same room. The bad news is the U.S. presidential campaign, Arab Spring, Israel's focus on Iran and European financial woes portend a peacemaking hiatus. The good news is such a hiatus is badly needed. The expected diplomatic lull is a chance to reconsider basic pillars of the process – not to discard the two-state solution, for no other option can possibly attract mutual assent; nor to give up on negotiations, for no outcome will be imposed from outside. But to incorporate new issues and constituencies; rethink Palestinian strategy to alter the balance of power; and put in place a more effective international architecture.
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Iran, Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Politics in the Sulu archipelago could be an unforeseen stumbling block for a negotiated peace with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in the southern Philippines. So far the presumed spoilers have been Christian settlers, conservative nationalists, and recalcitrant members of the other insurgency in the Muslim south, the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF). The islands off the coast of Mindanao have been all but forgotten. But the provincial governors of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, although Muslim, are wary of any agreement that would allow the MILF, dominated by ethnically distinct groups from Central Mindanao, to extend its sway and jeopardise the patronage system they enjoy with Manila. The challenge for the government of President Benigno Aquino III is to find a way to offer more meaningful autonomy to the MILF and overcome differences between the MILF and MNLF without alienating powerful clan leaders from the Sulu archipelago with a capacity to make trouble.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Islam, Peace Studies, Treaties and Agreements, Armed Struggle, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: Israel, Philippines
  • Author: Zhang Hongzhou
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S.Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: While China has achieved extraordinary economic success in the past decades, its economic structural risks have increased significantly as well. As Chinese top leaders have repeatedly emphasized, economic restructuring is a critical task facing China's economy. To restructure China's economy, the country needs to find a new engine for growth to replace the export and investment led growth model, address social inequality and protect the environment. The key approaches identified by the Chinese government include urbanization, upgrading the manufacturing sector and developing strategic industries. However, through in-depth analysis, this paper finds that the effectiveness of these measures remains in question as they fail to target at all the root causes of China's economic problems.
  • Topic: Economics, Environment, Globalization, Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance, Social Stratification
  • Political Geography: China, Israel
  • Author: Jyrki Kallio
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: As China's hard power is growing, the Party-state is keen to construct a new narrative which legitimizes China's position as a world leader also from the soft power perspective. It has even been suggested that a Chinese international relations theory or model will inevitably emerge as a consequence of China's growing role on the world stage on the one hand and the rise of traditional values in China on the other.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Power Politics, Culture
  • Political Geography: China, Israel
  • Author: Aileen S. P. Baviera
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S.Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper sets out to explore the role of domestic politics in the shaping and implementing of Philippine foreign policy and its relations with China. It examines how domestic politics have driven Philippine foreign policy behaviour towards China; whether the Philippine Government has successfully managed the domestic drivers in promoting the state's interests in its relations with China, and whether there are major constraints that have prevented the attainment of more desirable outcomes in the bilateral ties. It looks at three cases: the Philippines-China joint marine seismic undertaking in the South China Sea; China's participation in the national broadband network project and a railway project; and Philippine reactions to China's execution of three Filipino drug mules.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, Bilateral Relations, Narcotics Trafficking
  • Political Geography: China, Israel, Philippines
  • Author: Aries A. Arugay
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies
  • Abstract: The militaries of developing countries have often gone beyond the mission of external defence, to perform unconventional roles ranging from disaster relief and economic management to law enforcement and internal security. This paper focuses on development missions carried out by the armed forces of the Philippines and Thailand in and out of conflict zones, and provides an analysis of the causes behind the re-emergence of such missions in recent years. Based on a comparison of the two countries' experience, this paper argues that the military's renewed involvement in development work stems from two factors: their significant role in political succession; and the increasing salience of concepts linking security and development, in particular, the notion of non-traditional security. The effectiveness of such projects could, however, be hampered by the lack of a clear, well-implemented national development framework and by systemic weaknesses in security sector governance. This paper thus argues that, in order to address the various non-traditional security threats in the two countries, security sector reform would have to be implemented and civilian oversight over security institutions improved.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Governance
  • Political Geography: Israel, Asia, Philippines, Thailand
  • Author: Stephan Haggard, Marcus Noland
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: A central hope of engagement with North Korea is that increased cross-border exchange will encourage the strengthening of institutions, and eventually, a moderation of the country's foreign policy. An unprecedented survey of Chinese enterprises operating in North Korea reveals that trade is largely dominated by state entities on the North Korean side, although we cannot rule out de facto privatization of exchange. Little trust is evident beyond the relationships among Chinese and North Korean state-owned enterprises. Formal networks and dispute settlement mechanisms are weak and do not appear to have consequences for relational contracting. Rather, firms rely on personal ties for identifying counterparties and resolving disputes. The weakness of formal institutions implies that the growth in exchange does not conform with the expectations of the engagement model and may prove self-limiting. The results also cast doubt that integration between China and North Korea, at least as it is currently proceeding, will foster reform and opening.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: China, Israel, North Korea
  • Author: Stephan Haggard, Marcus Noland
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Economic integration between North and South Korea occurs through three modalities: traditional arm's-length trade and investment, processing on commission (POC) trade, and operations within the Kaesong Industrial Complex (KIC). In order, these three modalities are characterized by decreasing exposure of South Korean firms to North Korean policy and infrastructure. Through a survey of 200 South Korean firms operating in North Korea we find that these modalities of exchange matter greatly in terms of implied risk. For example, firms operating in the KIC are able to transact on significantly looser financial terms than those outside it. We find that direct and indirect South Korean public policy interventions influence these different modalities of exchange and thus impact entry, profitability, and sustainability of South Korean business activities in the North. In effect, the South Korean government has substituted relatively strong South Korean institutions for the relatively weak Northern ones in the KIC, thus socializing risk. As a result, the level and type of cross-border integration observed in the survey is very much a product of South Korean public policy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Trade and Finance, Bilateral Relations, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Israel, Korea
  • Author: Andrea Dessì
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: While spared from internal turmoil, Israel and the Palestinian Territories have nonetheless been affected by the region's political transformation brought about by the Arab Spring. Reflecting what can be described as Israel's “bunker” mentality, the Israeli government has characterized the Arab revolutionary wave as a security challenge, notably given its concern about the rise of Islamist forces. Prime Minister Netanyahu has capitalized on this sense of insecurity to justify his government's lack of significant action when it comes to the peace process. On the Palestinian side, both Hamas and Fatah have lost long-standing regional backers in Egypt and Syria and have had to contend with their increasingly shaky popular legitimacy. This has spurred renewed efforts for reconciliation, which however have so far produced no significant results. Against this backdrop, the chances for a resumption of serious Israeli-Palestinian peace talks appear increasingly dim. An effort by the international community is needed to break the current deadlock and establish an atmosphere more conducive for talks. In this context, the EU carries special responsibility as the only external actor that still enjoys some credibility as a balanced mediator between the sides.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Treaties and Agreements, Territorial Disputes
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia, Syria, Egypt
  • Author: Leila Stockmarr
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Changing with rapid speed, the current political geography of the occupied Palestinian territory has de facto come to undermine a two-state solution and is turning the official aim and end point of international negotiations at best into a naïve mirage for policymakers and at worst into a façade for a very different political game playing out in the occupied territory of the West Bank and Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem: that of Israel's ongoing territorial expansion into Palestinian land. The study shows how the settlement policies inside what are internationally-recognised Palestinian territories are not merely undermining the realisation of the two-state solution: the territorial claims put forward and pursued in practice and their anchoring in strategies of legitimisation reach far beyond international legal standards. This reveals a very different political narrative embedded at the core of the conflict from that projected by those images often appearing in the mainstream media and policy circles: a narrative of an ongoing struggle over land detached from any 'Peace Process' measures.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Treaties and Agreements, Territorial Disputes
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Erik Beukel
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The divided Korean peninsula is a flashpoint in the regional security complex in East Asia. The central issue is the threat posed by North Korea and how to meet it. After a review of North Korea as an international actor and of two important incidents in 2010 (the sinking of the South Korean naval ship Cheonan and North Korea's shelling of the South Korean coastal island of Yeonpyeong), the rationality underlying the country's military efforts is considered. South Korea's Nordpolitik is reviewed and the rise and decline of its sunshine policy and the role of its alliance with the United States is described. Two non-Korean great powers, China and the United States, are important actors in the region, and their relations with North Korea, goals and priorities, and implementation strategies are outlined. The report concludes with reflections on the potential for changing the present security complex, which is marked by a fear of war, into a restrained security regime, based on agreed and observed rules of conduct.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Foreign Policy, Cold War, Communism, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Israel, East Asia, Korea, Island
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Transitions often present risks to authoritarian regimes, but the succession in North Korea has apparently passed with few problems. With no opposition from the military and China's clear support, there are no signs to suggest that Kim Jŏng-ŭn, the young leader who replaced his father, Kim Jong-il, following his death in December 2011, is anything but in charge in his own right. Far from creating a regency of older family members or generals, the North Korean system has maintained its focus on a single leader and projected an image of stability and unity as it celebrates the centenary of the birth of its founder, Kim Il-sung. While that image appears to be accurate, there is nothing to suggest that the new leader is or will become inclined to take measures that would either improve the lot of the country's citizens or reduce the regional frictions that Pyongyang is at the centre of.
  • Topic: Security, Cold War, Nuclear Weapons, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Israel, North Korea
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The South China Sea dispute between China and some of its South East Asian neighbours – Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei – has reached an impasse. Increasingly assertive positions among claimants have pushed regional tensions to new heights. Driven by potential hydrocarbon reserves and declining fish stocks, Vietnam and the Philippines in particular are taking a more confrontational posture with China. All claimants are expanding their military and law enforcement capabilities, while growing nationalism at home is empowering hardliners pushing for a tougher stance on territorial claims. In addition, claimants are pursuing divergent resolution mechanisms; Beijing insists on resolving the disputes bilaterally, while Vietnam and the Philippines are actively engaging the U.S. and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). To counter diminishing prospects of resolution of the conflicts, the countries should strengthen efforts to promote joint development of hydrocarbon and fish resources and adopt a binding code of conduct for all parties to the dispute.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Maritime Commerce, Natural Resources, Food
  • Political Geography: China, Malaysia, Israel, Vietnam, Southeast Asia, Brunei
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: The rise and decline of great cities past was largely based on their ability to draw the ambitious and the restless from other places. China's cities are on the rise. Their growth has been fuelled both by the large-scale internal migration of those seeking better lives and by government initiatives encouraging the expansion of urban areas. The government hopes that the swelling urban populace will spend more in a more highly concentrated retail environment, thereby helping to rebalance the Chinese economy towards private consumption.
  • Topic: Communism, Demographics, Development, Economics, Migration, Urbanization
  • Political Geography: China, Israel
  • Author: Siegfried S. Hecker
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International Security and Cooperation
  • Abstract: I thank Kyungnam University and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for inviting me to present my views on the situation in North Korea. My area of expertise is in the nuclear arena and that is primarily what I will address in my paper. However, it is not possible to solve the nuclear crisis without addressing the underlying fundamental political issues, so I will offer my views, as a non-expert in this area, at the outset.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Israel, North Korea
  • Author: Richard Jackson, Neil Howe, Tobias Peter
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: As the world's societies age, governments and businesses are trying to look ahead and anticipate the needs of tomorrow's growing elderly populations. Nowhere is this more difficult to do than in emerging East Asia.
  • Topic: Demographics, Economics, Health
  • Political Geography: Israel, East Asia
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Nicholas S. Yarosh
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The US and China face a critical need to improve their understanding of how each nation is developing its military power and how to avoid forms of military competition that could lead to rising tension or conflict between the two states.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Israel