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  • 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 for 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: 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: Dr. R. Evan Ellis
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: In February 2015, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu traveled to Latin America to meet with leaders and defense officials in Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. Although the visit included Russian participation in a Venezuelan military exercise, the focus of the meetings in all three countries was on access to ports and airfields in the region in order to support Russian military operations in the vicinity of the United States.1 The discussions bore the most fruit in Nicaragua, where Minister Shoigu signed an agreement to facilitate Russian access to the ports of Corinto and Bluefields, as well as strengthening counter-drug cooperation and discussing weapons sales.2
  • Topic: International Relations, Defense Policy, Military Strategy, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia, Latin America, Venezuela, United States of America