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  • Author: Michael Johnson
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Corruption in the Philippines diverts, delays, and distorts economic development, undermines the quality and credibility of democracy, and reduces the quality of life. That is so not just because of its extent but also because it comes in particularly disruptive and intractable forms. Philippine corruption is an example of the Oligarch-and-Clan syndrome—one found in countries offering significant and expanding political and economic opportunities in a setting of very weak institutions, but a pattern shaped by historical, cultural, and geographical influences specific to the country. Oligarch-and-Clan corruption is particularly disruptive, in development terms. Because of institutional weaknesses and the power of corrupt oligarchs and their followings, it often faces ineffective opposition. More than other syndromes it is closely linked to violence, and sharply limits the state's ability to perform such basic functions as revenue collection, maintenance of institutional foundations for the economy, law enforcement, conflict resolution, and dealing with security threats.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Corruption, Democratization, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Israel, Philippines
  • Author: KUIK Cheng-Chwee
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Malaysia's China policy in the post-Cold War era – as an instance of a smaller state's strategy toward a proximate and rising great power – has been characterized by three patterns. First, there was a shift from hostility and guarded rapprochement during the Cold War to cordiality and maturing partnership in the post-Cold War era. Second, despite the overall positive development, Malaysia's China policy has remained, in essence, a hedging approach that is driven by both a pragmatic desire to maximize benefits from a closer relationship with the neighboring giant and a contingent calculation to guard against any long-term strategic risks in the uncertain regional environment. Third, such a two-pronged approach, which took shape since the 1990s under Mahathir Mohamad, has endured beyond the Mahathir era. Indeed, under his successors Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Najib Tun Razak, Malaysia has continued to pursue a policy of dualism vis-à-vis China. What explains the enduring continuity of the hedging approach in Malaysia's China policy? This paper adopts a neoclassical realist perspective, arguing that the continuity is attributed to both structural and domestic factors. Domestically, the changing bases of political legitimation in the multi-ethnic country, which highlight the increasing salience of economic performance and political inclusiveness as key sources of moral authority to the UMNO-led coalition government, have necessitated the succeeding leaders to continue pursuing a pragmatic policy aimed at ensuring a stable and productive relationship with China, not least to gain from the steadily growing bilateral trade and the giant's growing outward investment. Structurally, Malaysia's position as a smaller state has compelled it to be constantly vigilant about the uncertainty of state intentions and inter-great power relations, which in turn demands it adopts contingent measures to hedge against longer-term risks. It is such structural and domestic determinants that have fundamentally shaped the country's policy towards China in general and the South China Sea issue in particular, which characteristically bears the mark of a delicate dualism, i.e. an explicit preference for engaging China through bilateral and multilateral diplomacy, but one that is backed by a low-key practice of maintaining and strengthening its traditional military links with its Western security partners.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Cold War, Diplomacy, International Trade and Finance, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: China, Malaysia, Israel
  • Author: Christopher Freise
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S.Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: Much attention has been devoted to the Obama Administration's “Pacific Pivot” and the vocal reassertion of an upgraded security, economic, and diplomatic presence in East Asia by the United States. Commentators have ascribed various rationales to these efforts, including speculation that this is part of a “containment” strategy towards China, a reaction to the US presidential election cycle, or, more benignly, an effort to forestall concerns of American withdrawal from the region. These explanations have some elements of truth, but also fall short of fully describing or understanding the strategic rationale behind these moves.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Israel, Asia
  • Author: Khalil Shikaki
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: With no agreement on a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in sight, one-state dynamics are gaining momentum – a development that will be difficult to reverse or even contain. In the medium and long term, no one benefits from such a development. Indeed, all might lose: an ugly one-state dynamic has no happy ending, and such a solution is rejected by Palestinians and Israelis alike. Instead, the emerging one-state reality increases the potential for various kinds of conflicts and contradictory impulses. The international community too finds itself unprepared and perhaps unwilling to confront this emerging reality, but in doing so it imperils the prospects for peace in the region – the exact thing it seeks to promote.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Treaties and Agreements, Territorial Disputes
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Mariano Aguirre
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: The debate about the Iranian nuclear programme has heated up over recent months, with the danger that the situation could get out of control and violence may erupt. Currently, the main threatis an escalation of violence between Iran and the U.S. Strategically, an attack will further decrease U.S. legitimacy in a region already in turmoil and will isolate Israel even further. The consequencesof these processes are both serious and unpredictable.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East, Israel
  • Author: David Shim, Patrick Flamm
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: South Korea’s rising status in regional and global affairs has received much attention in recent years. But in academic, media and policy debates South Korea is usually regarded as a mere middle power that, due to its geopolitical situation, has only limited leeway in its foreign policy. Accordingly, it must constantly maneuver between its larger neighbors: China, Japan and Russia. However, this perspective neglects the fact that the same geopolitical constraint also applies to other states in the region. No country can easily project its power over others. We use the concept of “regional power” as a template to discuss South Korea’s rising stature in regional and global politics. We argue that Seoul seems quite capable of keeping up with other assumed regional powers. Hence, we not only provide a novel account of South Korea’s foreign policy options but also go beyond current approaches by asking about the (undetermined) possibilities for Seoul’s regional relations.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, Power Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Japan, China, Israel, South Korea
  • Author: Alessandro Riccardo Ungaro
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The new US strategic guidance released in January 2012 represents a hallmark of US President Barack Obama's foreign policy and forms integral part of the so-called “Pivot to Asia”. However, rather than a radical departure from the past, the strategic guidance represents an evolution and extension of US foreign policy towards the region, envisaging the reallocation of American military assets from Europe to the Asia-Pacific. The implementation of the guidance strategy is a long-term and complex process: several challenges, tensions and frictions between the US and regional actors may hamper the implementation of the policy and will require a delicate balancing act in which China will play a key role. On the European side, the US shift should be seen as an opportunity to review the European Security Strategy and elaborate its own strategy towards Asia.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, International Security
  • Political Geography: United States, China, America, Europe, Israel, Asia
  • Author: Alistair MacDonald, Gabriel Munuera Viñals
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Union Institute for Security Studies
  • Abstract: The confrontation between Muslim and Christian inhabitants of Western Mindanao, between the 'Moros' and the Philippine State, belongs to that category of 'forgotten conflicts' of which most international relations practitioners are often only vaguely aware. The conflict has historical roots that reach back centuries and has evolved with many twists and turns, culminating in an equally long and no less convoluted peace process. However, this conflict has important international ramifications and is one in which the international community is today actively involved, with facilitating and monitoring mechanisms involving states as well as non-state actors. In particular the European Union has been playing an increasingly important role, including in relation to diplomatic efforts aimed at finding a lasting solution to the conflict, based on its holistic approach to crises and interaction with European NGOs.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Islam, Religion
  • Political Geography: Europe, Israel, Philippines, Australia/Pacific
  • Author: Austin Long
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies
  • Abstract: The possibility of Israeli military action against the Iranian nuclear program has existed since at least 2002. However, beginning in the fall of 2011, Israeli rhetoric and international concerns about military action against Iran have reached unprecedented levels. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak began to proclaim that Iran was nearing a “zone of immunity” to Israeli attack and therefore Israel would have to act soon. In contrast, former heads of Israel's foreign and domestic intelligence services question the utility of such an attack.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Diplomacy, Islam, Nuclear Weapons, Sanctions, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Terence Roehrig
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: In March 2009, the South Korean National Assembly approved the first foreign deployment of South Korea's naval forces to join the U.S.-led Combined Task Force (CTF-151). The purpose of CTF-151 is to conduct antipiracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and off Somalia's east coast by the Horn of Africa. South Korea joined the navies of twentyfour other countries that participate in the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) through one of three combined task forces, CTF-150, CTF-151, and CTF-152, to help ensure maritime security in this region. The CMF is an international effort to conduct maritime security operations in the Gulf of Aden, the Arabian Sea, and the Indian Ocean.
  • Topic: Security, Maritime Commerce, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Africa, Israel, South Korea
  • Author: Joseph S. Nye, Richard L. Armitage
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: This report on the U.S.-Japan alliance comes at a time of drift in the relationship. As leaders in both the United States and Japan face a myriad of other challenges, the health and welfare of one of the world's most important alliances is endangered. Although the arduous efforts of Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell and his colleagues in both governments have largely kept the alliance stable, today's challenges and opportunities in the region and beyond demand more. Together, we face the re-rise of China and its attendant uncertainties, North Korea with its nuclear capabilities and hostile intentions, and the promise of Asia's dynamism. Elsewhere, there are the many challenges of a globalized world and an increasingly complex security environment. A stronger and more equal alliance is required to adequately address these and other great issues of the day.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, International Trade and Finance, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Israel, Asia, North Korea
  • Author: Georg Strüver
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: With China's emergence as a global economic and political power, it is commonly assumed that its leadership's influence in international politics has increased considerably. However, systematic studies of China's impact on the foreign policy behavior of other states are rare and generally limited to questions regarding economic capabilities and the use of coercive power. This paper seeks to contribute to the literature on China's global political rise by taking a broader perspective. Drawing on voting data from the UN General Assembly for the last two decades, it explores the plausibility of different explanations for foreign policy similarity: economic, diplomatic and military linkages; domestic institutional similarities; and parallel problem‐solving processes. The logistic regression analyses find that high similarity levels correlate with shared regime characteristics and comparable patterns of sociopolitical globalization. The results further indicate that foreign aid and arms trading seem to help buy support in global politics.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Development, Emerging Markets, Bilateral Relations, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: China, Israel
  • Author: KUIK Cheng-Chwee
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S.Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper adopts a neoclassical realist perspective to explain Malaysia's evolving policy towards the United States under Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak. It argues that to the extent that there is a “shift” in Malaysia's U.S. policy under the current leadership, the substance and symbolism in Najib's U.S. policy has been driven and limited by the needs of the ruling elite to strike a balance between a variety of structural imperatives and domestic considerations. Structurally, in the face of a fast rising China (with whom Malaysia has come to develop an increasingly productive relation in both economic and diplomatic domains, but with whom it has unresolved territorial issues), the leader of the smaller state is increasingly confronted with the geostrategic need to keep a more balanced relationship with all the major players. This is especially so with the United States, which, under the Obama administration's “pivot” to Asia policy, has demonstrated a renewed and enhanced commitment to engage countries in the Asia-Pacific, including Malaysia. This structural push, however, has been counteracted by the smaller state's desire of not wanting to be entrapped in any big power rivalry, and by its concern about the uncertainties of great power commitments. Domestically, there is a strong economic need to further enhance two-way trade and increase the flow of American capital and technology into Malaysia, deemed vital to Najib's Economic Transformation Program. Perhaps more importantly, there is also a political calculation by the governing elite to capitalize on the increasingly warm and close bilateral ties as a leverage to reduce – if not neutralize – Washington's support for the Anwar Ibrahim-led opposition and civil society movements, which have presented a growing challenge to the ruling BN coalition. This calculation, however, has been counteracted by UMNO's domestic concern of not wanting to appear too closely aligned with America, in order not to alienate the country's Muslim majority voters who have been critical of U.S. policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. These structural and domestic determinants together explain Malaysia's evolving policy toward the superpower under the current leadership.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Trade and Finance, Islam, Political Economy, Power Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Malaysia, Israel, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Anna Magnusson, Morten B. Pedersen
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: The UN Secretary-General's good offices on Myanmar, now in their twentieth year, have been one of the longest such diplomatic efforts in the history of the world organization. The mandate derives from the General Assembly, which since 1993 has been requesting “the assistance of the Secretary-General” in implementing its annual resolutions on the situation of human rights in Myanmar. Since a special rapporteur was already in place at that time, Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali defined his role as one of “good offices” rather than fact-finding, a decision that has remained unchallenged.1 An informal 1994 framework agreement with the Myanmar government listed three broad categories of subjects for dialogue: (1) return to democracy, including the 1990 election, the National Convention, and the situation of Aung San Suu Kyi and other political leaders; (2) reintegration of the ethnic minorities into the political life of Myanmar; and (3) human rights and humanitarian issues.Yet, in practice, three successive secretaries-general and their special envoys have focused on the first of these, a return to democracy—and in particular, on mediating between the military government and Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of the democratic opposition.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Human Rights, International Trade and Finance, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Israel, Southeast Asia, Myanmar
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: There they went again–or did they? The war between Israel and Hamas had all the hallmarks of a tragic movie watched several times too many: airstrikes pounding Gaza, leaving death and destruction in their wake; rockets launched aimlessly from the Strip, spreading terror on their path; Arab states expressing outrage at Israel's brute force; Western governments voicing understanding for its exercise of self-defence. The actors were faithful to the script: Egypt negotiated a ceasefire, the two protagonists claimed victory, civilians bore the losses.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Islam
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Arabia, Egypt
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies
  • Abstract: On 30–31 July 2012, a Policy Roundtable on Asian Non-Traditional Security was held at the Hotel Novotel Beijing Peace, China, with the aim of sharing the research findings of participating institutions. The Roundtable was organised by the Center for Regional Security Studies (CRSS), Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS); the Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS); the National Institute of International Strategy (NIIS), CASS; and the Center for Non-Traditional Security and Peaceful Development Studies (NTS-PD), Zhejiang University.
  • Topic: Security, Climate Change, Environment, Human Rights, Human Welfare, Political Economy, Natural Disasters, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Israel, Asia, Australia/Pacific
  • Author: Barry Naughton, Dieter Ernst
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: The paper examines the role of global technology sourcing, and its drivers and impacts in China's integrated circuit (IC) design industry. IC design is one of the priority targets of China's innovation policy, as codified especially in the ―Strategic Emerging Industries‖ initiative. At the same time, however, China's IC design industry is deeply integrated into the vertically disintegrated global semiconductor industry, through markets, investment and technology. The paper highlights a fundamental challenge for China's innovation strategy: How can China reconcile its primary objective of strengthening indigenous innovation with the benefits that it could reap from its deep integration into international trade and into global networks of production and innovation?
  • Topic: Economics, Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: China, Israel
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The pact signed on 15 October 2012 between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Philippine government is a breakthrough in many ways but is far from a final peace. As with earlier texts signed over years of negotiations, this one – the “framework agreement” – defers several tough questions and it is unclear how, if ever, they will be resolved. At stake is the creation of a genuinely autonomous region in Muslim-majority Mindanao for the various ethnic groups collectively known as the Bangsamoro, with more powers, more territory and more control over resources. The framework agreement envisions a new government for the troubled Muslim south that would raise its own revenues and have its own police and judiciary. It maps out a multi-step process to create this new entity by the time President Benigno Aquino III's term ends in 2016. The obstacles ahead are huge. Politics in Mindanao or Manila could get in the way, and it may be impossible to devolve sufficient power to the Bangsamoro government without running afoul of the constitution. The MILF is unlikely to surrender its arms until the process is complete.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Islam, Armed Struggle, Counterinsurgency, Sectarian violence
  • Political Geography: Israel, Philippines
  • Author: Frank Lin
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Global Political Trends Center
  • Abstract: The 2012 American presidential election features two candidates, incumbent President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney, with contrasting foreign policy visions for the United States, particularly with regards to the Middle East. How could these differences between the two candidates affect bilateral relations between the United States and Turkey, which—aside from Israel—is generally seen by the United States as its most stalwart ally in the Middle East? This paper will examine the recent history of bilateral relations between Turkey and the United States, from the George W. Bush administration to the Obama administration, as well as current issues surrounding relations between the two countries. It will also explore how the predicted policies of each candidate could impact the future course of bilateral relations between Turkey and the United States.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Islam, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: J. Bradford Jensen
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This paper argues that developing Asia is overlooking an opportunity for increased growth and development through trade in business services. Developing Asia would benefit from liberalizing services trade as it has benefited from liberalizing goods trade. This argument rests on these key findings: business services are important for growth, developing Asia is relatively under-endowed with business services, many business services are tradable, and developing Asia has relatively high barriers to services trade.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: Israel, Asia