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  • Author: Todd Rogers
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: Many states mandate districts or schools notify parents when students have missed multiple unexcused days of school. We report a randomized experiment (N = 131,312) evaluating the impact of sending parents truancy notifications modified to target behavioral barriers that can hinder effective parental engagement. Modified truancy notifications that used simplified language, emphasized parental efficacy, and highlighted the negative incremental effects of missing school reduced absences by 0.07 days compared to the standard, legalistic, and punitively-worded notification—an estimated 40% improvement. This work illustrates how behavioral insights and randomized experiments can be used to improve administrative communications in education.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jeppe Strandsbjerg
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: Our current system of international politics is built on a cartographic real- ity of space. Te legal attachment of sovereignty to territory requires a particular cartographic representation of space. By this I mean that our system of states— being territorially defned—implicitly requires a geography that is mapped in a way that is compatible with our notion of sovereignty. Te cartographic image of state territory enables us to maintain the idea of territorial integrity even when the reality on the ground corresponds very little with the fundamental principles of the UN Charter: Sovereignty (Article 2:1) and Territorial Integrity (Article 2:4).1 When UN operations map the Democratic Republic of Congo it is represented as an integrated territory, and Iraq and Syria maintain their coherent cartographic-territorial representation even when both countries have been divided in all but formal name. Although these are obvious examples of the territorial ideal disagreeing with the power relations on the ground, they actually capture a general logic where the territorial order represented by the map precedes the order on the ground.
  • Topic: International Relations, Geopolitics, International Relations Theory, Cartography
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jean Pascal Zanders
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Geneva Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: This Policy Forum issue analyses both progress made by and challenges facing the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC). It does so in order to explore under what conditions and to what extent these two conventions might help build a zone in the Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their delivery vehicles (DVs). Finally, the issue presents some options for the future and a major long-term initiative towards this ambitious goal.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Dimitris Tsarouhas
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Relations Council of Turkey (UİK-IRCT)
  • Abstract: This article focuses on the discursive frames used by policy entrepreneurs in Greece as they attempted to deal with the 2009 crisis and analyses the role played by discourse in handling the crisis’ consequences. Adopting a historical institutionalist framework, I argue that ineffective policy outcomes can be attributed to a path- dependent logic enshrined in the country’s political economy structures following the transition to democracy post-1974. Moreover, the reaction of policy entrepreneurs to the crisis was reinforced by their discursive logic of action, itself embedded in the state’s institutional matrix. Procrastination, a refusal to face an uncomfortable reality and politics as usual colours the response of Greek actors to the country’s biggest crisis in recent memory.
  • Topic: International Relations, Political Theory
  • Political Geography: Greece
  • Author: Malcolm D. Knight
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: This paper is premised on the fact that the most important macroeconomic policy issue confronting global leaders at this time is the need to restore, modernize and expand the international network of basic infrastructure that underpins global economic activity. This would help foster stronger long-term productivity growth and per capita output. This paper first outlines key policy elements that are needed within each country to design and implement a successful National Infrastructure Investment Programme (NIIP). It then describes how these NIIPs could be integrated into an Internationally Coordinated Infrastructure Investment Programme (iCIIP), and the complementary roles that the G7 and G20 summit leaders could play in carrying out this vast programme of infrastructure renewal and expansion. The G7, as a tightly knit group of advanced countries, can be instrumental in giving a clear impetus to key elements of the iCIIP strategy. The G20 instead is the appropriate body to set the course of modernization and expansion of a renewed, internationally-integrated network of basic productive infrastructure, and to guide the iCIIP as it is implemented over the next decade.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Cooperation, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Stephen Pickford, Paola Subacchi
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Most G7 countries are facing political and economic uncertainties, and long-standing structural problems.The short-term outlook is reasonably positive, but longer term prospects are more challenging. These challenges have underlying economic causes stretching back many years, fostered by low productivity growth, stagnating real incomes and living standards, rising inequality and technological change. G7 countries should address short-term weaknesses, reduce political and policy uncertainties, and tackle these longer-term problems as well. Acting together to address these challenges will be more effective: (1) short-term and medium-term measures to boost growth should focus on fiscal actions (including infrastructure spending), normalizing monetary policy, completing financial regulatory reforms, and structural policies; (2) tackling policy uncertainties requires international consensus on consistent policies, starting with greater certainty over the direction of trade policy and over the Brexit negotiations. Sending positive signals on trade cooperation will be difficult, but the G7 could make progress on some specific issues such as a code of practice against competitive exchange rate devaluations; (3) an agenda to emphasize fairness could include: fair trading arrangements, implications of financial regulation for fairness and agreement on international corporate taxation to ensure companies pay their fair share of taxes.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Mikhail Krutikhin
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Transatlantic Relations
  • Abstract: This paper is part of CTR's Working Paper Series: "Russia and the West: Reality Check." The nature and shape of the Russian oil and gas industry is not just Moscow’s concern. The ups and downs of Russia’s energy production and exports are factors that affect the global political environment. The influx of revenues from hydrocarbon sales determines the way the Kremlin behaves in the world arena, and the notorious unpredictability of the Russian political leadership becomes even more pronounced when oil prices show an appetite for instability.
  • Topic: International Relations, Energy Policy, International Trade and Finance, Oil, Natural Resources, Gas
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States of America, European Union
  • Author: Marcin Kaczmarski
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Transatlantic Relations
  • Abstract: This paper is part of CTR's Working Paper Series: "Russia and the West: Reality Check." U.S. domination in global politics provided a powerful incentive for the post-Cold War rapprochement between Russia and China. The worsening of Russia’s relations with the West since 2014 made Moscow even more willing to offer significant concessions to Beijing. However, closer Russian-Chinese cooperation predates the Russian-Western crisis over Ukraine and reaches back to the 2008-2009 global economic crisis. Even the growing power asymmetry has not dissuaded Moscow from deepening its cooperation with China. This challenged widespread Western expectations that Russia would be eager to cooperate with the West in order to compensate for China’s increasing advantage. Hence, a potential improvement of Russian-Western relations is highly unlikely to result in the weakening of Russian-Chinese ties
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Energy Policy, International Cooperation, Bilateral Relations, Trump, Alliance
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, United States of America
  • Author: Dzianis Melyantsou
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Transatlantic Relations
  • Abstract: This paper is part of CTR's Working Paper Series: "Eastern Voices: Europe's East Faces an Unsettled West." The new geopolitical environment formed after the annexation of Crimea and the war in the Donbas, together with emerging threats and challenges, are pressing both Belarus and the West to revise their policies in the region as well as their relations with each other. In this new context, Belarus is seeking a more balanced foreign policy and, at least towards the Ukrainian crisis, a more neutral stance.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, International Trade and Finance, War, Territorial Disputes, Foreign Aid, Sanctions, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Belarus, Crimea, United States of America, European Union
  • Author: Thomas de Waal
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Transatlantic Relations
  • Abstract: This paper is part of CTR's Working Paper Series: "Eastern Voices: Europe's East Faces an Unsettled West." Twenty five years after Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia became independent states, the South Caucasus remains a strategically sensitive region between Europe and Asia, Russia and the Middle East. It is still struggling with the legacy of the conflicts that broke out as the Soviet Union collapsed. Economic development lags behind its neighbors and unemployment and emigration are enduring problems.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Territorial Disputes, Foreign Aid, Conflict, Syrian War
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eastern Europe, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Syria, South Caucasus, United States of America
  • Author: Olexiy Haran, Petro Burkovskiy
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Transatlantic Relations
  • Abstract: This paper is part of CTR's Working Paper Series: "Eastern Voices: Europe's East Faces an Unsettled West." In this chapter, Haran and Burkovskiy begin with a general analysis of mutual perceptions from both sides, then proceed to identify key interests and concerns regarding the war in Donbas, and analyze whether the political aspects of the Minsk agreements can be implemented. They then suggest some recommendations on the way ahead. The authors argue that Putin’s success in attacking Ukraine, which is impossible to achieve without undermining unity among Western powers, could embolden him to exert his power and influence in wider Europe. Moreover, as U.S.-EU ties are likely to undergo some stress after elections on each side of the Atlantic in 2016 and 2017, Russia will to be tempted to take advantage of such turbulence by pressing forward with its goals in Ukraine and pushing the so-called “grey zone” of insecurity westward before a new equilibrium is found within the Euro-Atlantic area.
  • Topic: International Relations, NATO, Treaties and Agreements, Territorial Disputes, Grand Strategy, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine, Crimea, United States of America, European Union
  • Author: Hans Martin Sieg
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Transatlantic Relations
  • Abstract: This paper is part of CTR's Working Paper Series: "Eastern Voices: Europe's East Faces an Unsettled West." Since Moldova's November 2014 election, the country's image has changed drastically from the “success story” of the EU´s Eastern Partnership to that of a “captured state.” Moldova's politics continue to be defined by corruption and vested interests, which take advantage of weak state institutions and public administration, an ineffective judiciary and law enforcement agencies. This environment has enabled hostile takeovers of financial companies, often through concealed offshore operations, for criminal purposes, money-laundering schemes and a spectacular banking fraud, which was uncovered in autumn 2014. Low incomes have prompted hundreds of thousands of Moldovans to leave the country in search of a better life. Rivalries for political power, control over institutions, and economic assets have generated growing crises within different ruling coalitions, resulting in rapid changeover in governments, the break-up of major political parties and the formation of new parliamentary majorities with precarious democratic legitimacy. All of these factors have subjected Moldova to an unrelenting series of governmental, economic, financial and social crises since early 2015. The deeper causes of these crises can be traced to much earlier developments, however, and are deeply rooted in local structures.
  • Topic: International Relations, Corruption, Development, Economics, Reform, Elections, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Moldova, European Union
  • Author: Alexander Osipov, Hanna Vasilevich
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: This text discusses the structure and content of diversity policy in the so-called Transnistrian Moldovan Republic (TMR), an unrecognized state that broke away from Moldova during the collapse of the Soviet Union. The case of Transnistria is particularly useful as an example for analyzing the origins, structure, contents and effects of the post-Soviet ethno-cultural policy in a comparative perspective. Moreover, the model of Transnistrian state- and nation-building, since it is not explicitly based on privileging a core ethnicity, differs from nearly all countries and de facto states of the post-communist space. The working paper describes the TMR normative framework pertinent to the management of ethnic and linguistic diversity and analyzes the patterns of its implementation. The authors analyze the reasons why ethnic diversity has never been a challenge to the Transnistrian statehood and its stability while different ethnicities and languages are treated differently. The Transnistrian phenomenon is also considered from the perspective of the effectiveness and efficiency of post-Soviet diversity policies.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Soviet Union
  • Author: Dr Vincent Boulanin, Maaike Verbruggen
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: Article 36 of the 1977 Additional Protocol to the 1949 Geneva Conventions imposes a practical obligation on states to determine whether ‘in the study, development, acquisition or adoption of a new weapon, means or method of warfare’ its use would ‘in some or all circumstances be prohibited by international law’. This mechanism is often colloquially referred to as an ‘Article 36 review’.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Lisa Marie Dellmuth
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: Climate change poses a new class of security challenges that is confronting societies worldwide. Increased risk of famine, destroyed infrastructure, houses and shelter, and violent conflicts might all be consequences of climate change through gradual changes to ecosystems and extreme weather events. As a way to mitigate these challenges, states have delegated increased power to intergovernmental organizations (IGOs). This Fact Sheet summarizes the key findings of the first systematic review of research on IGOs and climate security, and the implications of existing studies for the theory and practice of global climate security governance.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: William Chislett
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Elcano Royal Institute
  • Abstract: Although some Spaniards joke that the country has got along fine with a caretaker government for 315 days, this year has been a lost one. There are some pressing issues that need to be tackled now that there is finally a functioning government. But the new Popular Party (PP) government no longer has an absolute majority. As a minority administration it will have to negotiate its laws and reforms in a deeply fragmented parliament, the result of the upending of the PP and the Socialist Party (PSOE) by two new parties, the far left Unidos Podemos (UP) and the centrist Ciudadanos (C’s). The government has a lot on its plate, including the following: (a) belatedly approving the budget for 2017 and meeting the EU’s threshold for the deficit (3% of GDP) in 2018 (a target imposed by Brussels that the PP persistently missed); (b) deciding what to do about the push for independence in Catalonia (the region’s government says it will hold a referendum on the issue in September 2017 regardless of whether the central government approves it or not); (c) cleaning up corruption in the political class; (d) making the judiciary more independent; (e) possibly deepening the labour market reforms in a bid to reduce the still very high unemployment rate (18.9%); (f) reforming an education system whose early school-leaving rate of 20% is close to double the EU average; (g) bolstering the ailing pension system hit by a sharp fall in the number of social security contributors and a rapidly ageing population; and (h) making its voice heard more in the post-Brexit debate.
  • Topic: International Relations, Brexit
  • Political Geography: Spain, European Union
  • Author: Milos Popovic, Sonja Stojanovic Gajic
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belgrade Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: The latest Belgrade Centre for Security Policy (BCSP) working study summarizes the key findings of a survey on relations towards major powers and their influence on Serbia and Serbia’s foreign policy. The research was conducted from 26 December 2016 until 14 January 2017 on reprezentative sample of 1,403 adult citizens of Serbia (excluding Kosovo).
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Serbia
  • Author: Alexandros Mallias
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP)
  • Abstract: Ambassador (retired) Alexandros Mallias analyses the perspectives for improving the relations between Greece and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia the day after the formation of a new Government in Skopje. Alexandros Mallias , who was first Head of Mission of Greece to Skopje ,1995-1999, suggests that the two governments should not raise high expectations .They should work to enhance and expand the Confidence Building Measures' Process and rather opti for a quiet diplomacy on the name issue He stresses that fYROM's 1991 Constitution is a bad one ,being the root cause of problems with its neighbors as well as of the endemic interethnic conflict.It was already amended 30(thirty) times within 15 years .He is of the opinion that there are still some extra miles to go.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Macedonia
  • Author: Andrea Teti, Pamela Abbott, Paolo Maggiolini, Valeria Talbot
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arab Transformations Project, University of Aberdeen
  • Abstract: Survey data from the ArabTrans 2014 survey contains a unique battery of questions pertaining to the perception of the European Union. This report builds on those questions to analyse perceptions of the EU, its development cooperation programmes, its promotion of democracy, the appropriateness of its response to the Arab Uprisings, and the perception of the EU as an international actor. Overall, the data suggests low levels of awareness and relatively negative opinions of the EU’s actions both in general and in the specific context of its response to the Arab Uprisings. However, respondents’ preferences also suggest avenues for policy development for the Union such that it might simultaneously achieve its interests and meet the demands of MENA populations. Throughout, the paper also takes note of specific patterns and conditions found in individual countries which present particular challenges for the EU.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Future for Advanced Research and Studies (FARAS)
  • Abstract: Ammar al-Hakim’s announcement on July 24, 2017 that he is stepping down as the leader of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI) came after generation- al con icts surfaced between a number of the Coun- cil’s senior gures, who had visited Tehran to demand that he should be pressured over his reliance on the youth. Moreover, al-Hakim himself rejected attempts by senior members of the council to assume govern- ment positions, and even sought to build unique rela- tions with Arab and Western countries by presenting himself as an acceptable moderate Shiite gure. The outgoing leader is preparing for the upcoming elec- tions to be held across Iraq.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Future for Advanced Research and Studies (FARAS)
  • Abstract: The escalating crisis between the United States and North Korea is of special importance for Iran. Firstly, the US Administration of President Donald Trump has designated both Iran and North Korea as an imminent threat to the national security of the United States. The approach builds on the administration of former president George W. Bush’s repeated labelling of Iran and North Korea, as well as Iraq, as key rogue states of the so-called axis of evil, who sponsor terrorism and seek to ac- quire weapons of mass destruction.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Panpan Yang, Bing Han
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute of World Economics and Politics
  • Abstract: Responsible research and innovation (RRI) represents a new evolving approach to governing research and innovation that takes into account potential impacts on the environment and society. Most published studies on RRI focus on the social benefits of research and innovation through examining RRI’s definitions and approaches for its implementation. In contrast, the present study addresses the influence of RRI on economic growth, and discusses the situations in which RRI will benefit economies. Our study finds that for its implementation to be successful, RRI needs to meet certain conditions, and that its implementation is not always beneficial to economic growth. To achieve a better result from RRI as part of an innovation policy, each country should balance the push and pull power of RRI to make sure that it becomes a building block rather than a stumbling block for innovation, economic growth and social welfare. To assure that RRI can be successfully implemented, China needs to strengthen and improve the participation mechanisms for stakeholders in major scientific and technological innovative activities.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Danielle Cohen
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Korea Economic Institute of America (KEI)
  • Abstract: China and ASEAN possess tremendous opportunities for economic cooperation, but also face significant security challenges, particularly regarding the South China Sea. In both domains, China’s national identity has greatly influenced the trajectory of the bilateral relationship. China’s ASEAN policy is characterized by a desire to recreate the Sinocentric structures of the tributary system, a belief in the historical legitimacy of China’s maritime and territorial claims, a vision of China as a global economic powerhouse, and a sense that China has already “peacefully risen” and can more actively assert itself to reap the rewards.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Amanda Paul
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Policy Centre
  • Abstract: On 28 June under the auspices of the UN, the leaders of the Greek and Turkish Cypriot Communities, Nicos Anastasiades and Mustafa Akinci, will meet in Crans-Montana, Switzerland, in a fresh effort to resolve the decades-old Cyprus problem following a recent five-month impasse in the talks. The three guarantor states, Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom will also participate. A solution would be a win-win for both communities as well as the broader region. It would not only enhance the Cypriot economy, including possible new energy projects, but also bring a new climate of security and stability to the Eastern Mediterranean. However, while progress has been made on many areas, significant differences remain on the issue of security and guarantees. Overcoming these differences will on both sides require political courage, creative thinking and a readiness to compromise and let go of maximalist goals. Yet, even if the two leaders clinch an agreement, selling it to their respective communities will be a significant challenge as Cypriots are far from prepared for the comprises that an agreement requires.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Cyprus
  • Author: Mathieu Pellerin
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institut français des relations internationales (IFRI)
  • Abstract: Recently, the successful organization of La Francophonie summit in November 2016 and the success of the Donors’ and Investors’ conference in December of the same year have ensured Madagascar’s return to the international scene. However, careful observation of the state of the country leads us to question if the crisis has continued in other forms. The economic difficulties, despite some glimmers of hope, and an increasingly vindictive opposition (in the National Assembly and elsewhere) are the most visible signs of it. The very identity of this opposition, largely built around the former transitional president, Andry Rajoelina’s, party shows that the political sequence that opened in 2009 is still not closed, and that it promises to be subject to a new crisis in the next presidential election in 2018. However, the most difficult legacy of the transition to deal with, as we demonstrated in 2014, is undoubtedly the ever more advancing pervasiveness of multi-faceted crime.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Madagascar
  • Author: Giovanna De Maio
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: This paper reflects on the crisis over Ukraine from the Russian point of view bearing in mind the deterioration of the relationship between Moscow and Kiev and the international retaliation against Russia’s aggression. What does Ukraine represent for Russia? Did the events in Maidan affect how Russia perceives Ukraine? These questions are addressed by analysing the discourse on Ukraine by the main stakeholders of Russian society: the political and economic elites, civil society, the mass media and academia, the general public and the Orthodox Church.
  • Topic: International Relations, Territorial Disputes
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine
  • Author: Vibeke Schou Tjalve
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Despite the general impression that the US president-elect Donald Trump has given us very little clue to predict his foreign policy doctrine, a guiding framework behind his scattered statements does exist. In this DIIS Policy Brief, Senior Researcher Vibeke Schou Tjalve takes a closer look at the surprisingly consistent philosophy of power and interest that Trump has aired during the past two decades. Trump is labelled a ‘nationalist’ and an ‘isolationist’. These are understandable labels, and yet: Trump is not your classical cultural-conservative nostalgic with deep veneration for old alliances or shared norms. His American nationalism does not linger on the memories of the New World European roots. Rather, it is founded on a deeply Darwinist conception of the world as a cutthroat competition, in which raw strength - not cultural characteristics – matters. As such, Trump will have no sentimentality for NATO or Europe, and he will view the world through largely value-neutral eyes. This leaves Europe with a defining set of questions, and to influence a Trump presidency, we should understand and appreciate this not-so-simple nationalism, Tjalve writes.
  • Topic: International Relations, Political Power Sharing
  • Political Geography: America, Europe
  • 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
  • Author: Toni Alaranta
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: After the re-run of the parliamentary election on 1 November 2015, it is certain that Turkey will again be ruled by the Justice and Development Party’s (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi, AKP) one-party government. Based on this premise, this study provides a future-oriented analysis in the form of three scenarios: 1) an authoritarian Islamist state; 2) a consolidated liberal democracy; and 3) the dissolution of the Turkish state. The study also identifies three major drivers: a) the AKP and the Islamic-conservative state project; b) regional instability; and c) the Kurdish question. Regarding scenario one, there are factors and processes present that decidedly increase the possibility of an authoritarian Islamist state in Turkey. On the other hand, the republican tradition of parliamentary democracy has at the same time proved to be remarkably resilient, suggesting that the course of events depicted in the positive scenario two still have a significant chance in the long run. Scenario three, the dissolution of the Turkish state, would create enormous instability in the EU’s immediate neighbourhood and exponentially increase unpredictable tendencies and conflicts. The internal and external forces that could produce such a dramatic outcome are still rather weak, but they do exist in an embryonic form. Thus, the republican modernization project attaching Turkey to the Western legacy of secular humanism should not be underestimated and may well prevail in the end. For the time being, however, it seems to be on the losing side as the political process is consolidating the Islamic-conservative version of Turkish nationalism. At the present moment this current is pointing to a concentration of power and a non-pluralist authoritarian regime whereby national identity is increasingly constructed in a form that conceptualizes political liberalism as an existential threat.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs, Political stability
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Jeffrey Bader
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Serious people understand that the manner in which the United States deals with China will be a critical, if not the critical, overseas chal- lenge for the United States in the 21st century. China will likely be the largest economy in the world within one or two decades; the second or third strongest military soon, if not already; and competitive with the United States and Europe in global economic, and perhaps political and cultural, influence in some regions. China is ruled by a Communist Par- ty resistant to political liberalization at home and wedded to nationalist rhetoric and behavior in dealing with its neighborhood, enhancing the chances for rivalry with the United States. For those students of history who see conflict as the likely outcome when ris- ing powers encounter dominant powers, these are precursors of a dark future. How should we deal with China? What policy framework best optimizes our interests, which are multiple and not always consistent with each oth- er? Americans are in the midst of an ongoing presidential campaign that, in a better world, would be asking and answering such questions, but this is not such a campaign.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, America
  • Author: Zora Popova, Inga Marken, Lavinia Bâdulescu
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: The current paper, developed in connection to an ECMI project implemented in Azerbaijan in 2014, explores the transferability of successful reconciliation and intercultural cohesion mechanisms from one region or a country to another. Analysing the positive example of Schleswig-Holstein and the conflict region of Nagorno-Karabakh, the paper aims at overcoming the specific context related issues and to look at the structural factors that need to be considered if a model is to be adapted to a historically, geographically, and culturally different case.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Vadim Poleshchuk
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: The Russian-speaking population of Estonia experienced serious problems on the labour market and in education in the years following the post-Soviet transition. The perception of inequality is typical among minority groups. Nowadays there are no significant disparities in terms of health conditions or access to the health care system for majority and minority groups; however, there are accumulated negative factors for the minority population, especially when we look closer at socially marginalised groups. In addition to their generally weaker socio-economic status, many Russophones face the problem of social exclusion, proven by higher rates of extreme poverty, incarceration, and homelessness, trafficking victimisation, drug abuse and HIV/AIDS. All these factors may have an adverse effect on the enjoyment by ethnic minorities of the right to health. Considering the demographic make-up of Estonia, a reduced use of the Russian language in the provision of health services has emerged as a new challenge to the national health care system.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Estonia
  • Author: Eric Mietz
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belgrade Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: In many ways, female recruits, both from the Western Balkans and other regions, are attracted to the Islamic State for the exact same reasons as men, highlights BCSP guest researcher Eric Mietz
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Balkans
  • Author: Andrea Teti
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arab Transformations Project, University of Aberdeen
  • Abstract: The EU claimed it would learn the lessons of the Arab Uprisings with a ‘qualitative step forward’ in its approach to development, democracy, and security. However, an examination of the conceptual structure of revised EU Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) suggests EU policy changed little, and that in later incarnations it displayed a retrenchment towards conventional notions of democracy, development, and security, prioritising the latter over the former two. The Union seems to have failed to re-examine its approach to democracy, development, and security, falling back on approaches to all three which have been tried – and have failed – in the past.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East
  • Author: Pamela Abbott, Andrea Teti
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arab Transformations Project, University of Aberdeen
  • Abstract: In order to understand why the Uprisings happened in the Arab World in 2010-11 and specifically to understand their origins in Egypt, it is necessary to combine a long term political economy trend analysis with an analysis of short term dynamics (della Porta 2015). This enables us to locate the Uprisings in a socio-economic, cultural and political context in Egypt and analyse the interaction between structure and agency (Beinin 2009; della Porta 2014). In doing so we take account of the three temporalities of capitalism: long term changes; mid-term moves between growth and crisis; and the short term dynamics of the immediate juncture. Specifically, the Uprisings can be located in a crisis of neo-liberalism, the growth of the precariat (Standing 2011), a breakdown of the social contract between the state and citizens, and a perception of growing inequalities and a decline in satisfaction with life (Therborn 2013; Subrabmanyam 2014; Verme et al 2014; World Bank 2015). While in the West the growth of the precariat – is a relatively recent phenomenon, in Egypt a large proportion of workers have always been employed in the informal sector, what happened in the 2000s was that an increasing number of the educated sons of the middle classes were forced into this type of employment. This occurred in the face of sluggish real economic growth, at least partly due to the demographic transition with a decline in decent jobs, (full-time, permanent formal sector) for the increasing number of educated young people coming onto the labour market (Hakimian 2013).
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: XIAO Yingying, YUAN Zhengqing
  • Publication Date: 07-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute of World Economics and Politics
  • Abstract: The internet history in Africa is short, but this new technology is spreading fast on the continent. Along with this, cybercrime in Africa is becoming increasingly rampant, while the relevant legal institutions and law enforcement capacity are lagging behind, with public and private cyber security awareness being relatively weak. In recent years, African countries start accelerating the design of institutional framework concerning cyber security governance. Besides e-transaction and cybercrime, personal data protection is also part of Africa’s cyber security governance, which is the result of the “impartment“ from Western developed countries and the active advocacy from NGOs. Whether at the national level, sub-regional organization level, the African Union level or NGO level, those Western developed countries and western-dominated international organizations have played a role in the institutional design of African cyber security governance, some of which referred to or even copied the original designs of the Western countries. This may lead to the African continent being “recolonized” in cyberspace, with no autonomous decision-making power in global cyber security governance. Besides, from design to implementation, African countries still have a long way to go, and whether the institutions based on the western experience are suitable for the culture and ideas of the African countries, remains to be tested with practice.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Africa, China
  • Author: Oh Yoon Ah
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP)
  • Abstract: This paper examines the determinants of China's development finance to developing countries with a focus on Asia from 2000 to 2012. It uses a recent version of China Aid Data, one of the most reliable and publicly available data sources that systematically collect and differentiate different types of China's official development financial flows. This paper differs from previous studies in two aspects that (1) it analyzes a wider range of developing countries, moving beyond earlier research largely limited to Africa; and (2) it examines regional variation in China's motives for development financing. The findings show that China's allocations decision for concessional development flows, or ODA, has mixed motives of humanitarian, commercial and strategic interests. It is noteworthy that China's ODA appears not to be in competition against, but rather in a complementary form to, established donors in this period. Yet substantial regional variation is observed, suggesting different regional dynamics are at work. On the other hand, it is found that China's allocations decision for less-concessional development financing largely follows commercial considerations. This paper also provides detailed discussion of the trends in China's development finance to Southeast Asia, which is an Asian region critical for China's economic and foreign policy interests. The paper ends with a discussion of the implications of possible shift in China's overseas development finance strategy since 2011.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Shyam Saran
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: In the next decade, how US-China relations unfold will shape the external environment for countries like India. How does China perceive the Trump presidency?
  • Topic: International Relations, Bilateral Relations, Economy, Trump
  • Political Geography: China, South Asia, India, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • 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: Volodymyr Dubovyk
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies
  • Abstract: Since the beginning of Euromaidan (Maidan II), Ukraine finds itself entangled in a deep crisis, which, while not necessarily existential, dramatically alters the country’s internal dynamics and international positioning vis-à-vis its neighbors and other significant regional and global players. To handle this crisis, Ukraine must find the right method of dealing with international players, especially the Russian Federation, the European Union and the United States of America. Ukraine should take certain actions against the new super-assertive and aggressive Russia. The European Union unquestionably has provided significant aid to Ukraine during these turbulent times. However, there remains great potential for cooperation, and questions linger regarding whether the EU is prepared to foot the bill for pulling Ukraine’s economy away from the brink indefinitely. Finally, the United States should by all means continue doing its good work in bringing attention to the situation in and around Ukraine in a variety of ways, including multilateral venues, unilateral initiatives, and bilateral frameworks. The fact that Ukraine is located in Europe does not make this crisis a mere European problem but a conflict with global repercussions.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Political Economy, International Security, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine, European Union
  • Author: Oleksandr Fisun
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies
  • Abstract: The Russian annexation of the Crimean peninsula represents a radical transformation of the system of international security on the European continent and in the wider context of the postwar “Yalta system” of interstate boundaries and their guarantees by major international players. The most important takeaway is that for the first time since World War II, one of the founders of the Yalta system of international boundaries has considered it within the realm of possibility to revisit its provisions by directly augmenting its own territory. This paper aims to analyze the outcomes of Russia’s annexation of Crimea, the features of the newly formed regional political regime in Crimea, the role of Crimea in contemporary Ukrainian politics, as well as to present scenarios for the development of the geopolitical situation surrounding the “Crimean issue” in the context of the possible actions that primary geopolitical players may take.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Organization, International Security, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine, Crimea
  • Author: Timothy Frye
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies
  • Abstract: What are public attitudes in Russia toward the war in Ukraine? Is this Putin’s war, or do his narrative on Ukraine and the policies he has followed toward that country resonate with Russian citizens? If the war has popular support, to what extent is this the case and why?
  • Topic: International Relations, War, Public Opinion
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine
  • Author: Thomas Graham, Rajan Menon, Jack Snyder
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies
  • Abstract: Amidst calls for containing an assertive Russia, politicians and pundits have been debating whether Ukraine should serve as a “buffer zone” between the Russian and Western spheres of influence. Based on a survey of the history of buffer zones in Ukraine and elsewhere, we argue that buffer strategies are most likely to succeed in promoting international stability when three mutually reinforcing conditions obtain. First, the buffer state has the material strength, defensible geography, and social cohesiveness necessary to resist penetration, annexation, or partition. Second, states that may contemplate using war as a means to annex or dominate the buffer zone anticipate high risks and costs. Buffers survive when flanking powers are relatively weak, satisfied, skeptical that “offense is the best defense,” and chary of commitments to reckless allies and clients. Third, whether the major powers have agreed, implicitly or explicitly, on rules to regulate their rivalry in the buffer region may also affect the likelihood of a collision. Based on these findings, we are doubtful that Ukraine can serve as a reliable buffer.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Organization, International Security, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine
  • Author: Olena Lennon
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies
  • Abstract: Ukraine’s future depends in part on whether a formula for re-integrating the breakaway Donbas “republics” into the Ukrainian state can be devised. Most treatments of this problem dwell on decentralization and consider the forms that might take in eastern Ukraine. Olena Lennon examines the prospects for reintegration from an original angle. What role, she asks, might higher educational institutions in the Donbas play in that process?
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, International Relations, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Ukraine
  • Author: Serhiy Leshchenko
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies
  • Abstract: Modern-day Ukraine faces myriad challenges; chief among them is corruption and its derivative, oligarchy. By and large, Russia’s aggression in Crimea and eastern Ukraine was enabled by oligarchy. For deoligarchization to occur, Ukraine must adopt a law regulating transparency in media ownership that would require oligarchs to disclose their holdings
  • Topic: International Relations, Corruption, Oligarchy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine
  • Author: Sergei Markedonov
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies
  • Abstract: Following a period of 22 years as a part of independent Ukraine, the Crimean peninsula entered into Russian custody in the form of two separate subjects of the Federation. This event constitutes a watershed in Russian domestic policy and relations between Russia and other countries and also poses a serious challenge to security throughout Europe. The Russian government would do well to forestall their emergence, not by exerting force, but rather by raising the quality of infrastructure and resolving other social problems. Thus the acquisition of Crimea, for Russia, is not the “end of history,” but the beginning of a complex process of integrating not merely the territory, but more importantly, the peninsula’s inhabitants.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine, Crimea
  • Author: Kimberly Marten
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies
  • Abstract: Kimberly Marten considers the role that freewheeling private militias have played, both in the war in eastern Ukraine and in Ukraine’s politics more generally. While militias supplemented the Ukrainian army’s firepower, especially in the early phase of the war, we know from the experience of other countries that autonomous armed groups can also challenge the authority of the state and undermine its efficacy. How might militias shape Ukraine political trajectory and shape its security?
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security, Non State Actors, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Ukraine, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Eugene Rumer
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies
  • Abstract: Eugene Rumer’s paper focuses on American foreign policy choices, notably the complexity of pursuing objectives, some of which cannot easily be reconciled: helping to consolidate democracy and promote economic reform in Ukraine, contributing to Ukraine’s stability, reassuring nervous NATO allies, and avoiding a confrontation with Russia. Given these goals, Rumer asks, what would constitute a sensible strategy, and how should it be pursued?
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: America, Ukraine
  • Author: Klaus Segbers
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies
  • Abstract: Many attempts have been made to interpret and explain the Russian annexation of Crimea and the ongoing conflict in Eastern Ukraine. These signal events can be approached from different theoretical angles. The purpose of this short piece is to critically question the usefulness and appropriateness of state‐centered approaches that have been, and are yet, dominant and popular – most likely because they are so easy to apply intuitively.
  • Topic: International Relations, Political Theory, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine, Crimea
  • Author: Iryna Solonenko
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies
  • Abstract: This paper discusses Ukraine’s choice between maintain relations with the EU and Russia, a choice that is not merely a foreign policy choice or a choice between two integration models. Rather, it represents a choice between two normative orders or two different value systems. If Ukraine succeeds in pursuing the European model and breaking away from its tradition of a “captured state,” Russian leverage in Ukraine will also diminish. Therefore, undertaking this transformation is of crucial – if not existential – importance for Ukraine. The very survival of Ukraine’s statehood will depend on it.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Political stability
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine