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  • Author: Mandavi Mehta
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The victory of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) incumbent Narendra Modi in the Gujarat state elections of 2002 has left the BJP riding a new high, while the Congress Party struggles to define itself in opposition. With upcoming assembly elections in eight of India's states, this year could be a defining one for both parties, as well as for the country. The larger question underlying the analysis of electoral politics is the future of Hindutva - a fundamentalist socio-political ideology that asserts a unifying Hindu culture for all Indians - and its implications for India's multi-religious population.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: South Asia, Gujarat
  • Author: Bulent Aliriza
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The four massive truck bombs which targeted two synagogues on November 15, and just five days later, the British Consulate and a British-based bank in Istanbul, claimed fifty five Turkish and foreign victims – including the British Consul General - and wounded hundreds more, while causing millions of dollars of material damage. Beyond their immediate impact, the terrorist attacks caused incalculable collateral damage to the sense of security of the Turkish people by undermining the prevailing domestic tranquility. At an even wider level, the terrorists responsible for the outrages, who demonstrated once again that they would not draw the line at killing fellow Moslems in the misguided pursuit of their goals, also dragged Turkey into the frontline of their war.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Baris Omali
  • Publication Date: 11-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: On October 7, the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA), dominated by the ruling Justice and Development Party (JDP) approved a resolution authorizing the government to send Turkish troops to Iraq. After the 358 to 183 vote, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan commented that Turkey had “come to the decision that it can't totally fulfill its duty as a neighbor in this big transformation process of Iraq with only political, humanitarian and economic support, without military contributions.” Although over 60 percent of the Turkish public were opposed to deployment, Erdogan committed his personal prestige and unchallenged authority over JDP parliamentarians to ensure a positive vote in contrast to the parliamentary reverse on March 1.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Seda Ciftci
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: As Ankara struggled through its typically hot summer, the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) was hard at work. The Justice and Development Party (JDP) government, which has 366 seats in the 550-member TGNA, pushed through major legislative packages tied to European Union (EU) requirements for eventual Turkish membership just before its two-month legislative break on August 1. Parallel to its efforts related to its declared primary objective of EU membership, the government also managed to successfully conclude the fifth IMF review, leading to the release of a $500 million tranche and the easing of the debt repayment schedule by the IMF, while endeavoring to repair the crucial relationship with the US.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Bulent Aliriza
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: It has been three months since the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) failed to muster the appropriate number of votes to allow the United States to open a northern front through Turkey against Iraq. In retrospect it is clear that the March 1 vote reflected the public opposition to the imminent conflict, the perceptible ambivalence of the powerful military establishment and its reluctance to provide an unambiguous recommendation - in particular at the National Security Council (NSC) meeting one day before the vote - and the attitude of President Ahmet Necdet Sezer. It also reflected the inability of the governing Justice and Development Party (JDP) to overcome its deep misgivings about the war to give a sufficiently clear lead.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Seda Ciftci
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Overshadowed by the surprising failure on March 1 of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) to permit the deployment of American forces to open a northern front through Turkey in the likely war with Iraq, and the resulting strains in the US-Turkish relationship, the Cyprus issue has also reached a diplomatic climax. On March 4-5, the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas, who has been under increasing pressure from United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, came to Ankara seeking support. Proclaiming himself satisfied with his talks with Turkish leaders, Denktas now heads into a crucial meeting at The Hague on March 10 with Annan and newly elected Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos. The governing Justice and Development Party (JDP), which has been promoting a settlement of the Cyprus problem, now faces the prospect of the collapse of the UN-sponsored efforts as well as additional complications in Turkey's relations with the European Union (EU). However, despite JDP Chairman Recep Tayyip Erdogan's complaints about the difficulties of dealing with the Iraq and Cyprus issues at the same time, he cannot avoid the urgent decisions that will redefine Turkish foreign policy.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: America, Turkey, Middle East, Cyprus
  • Author: Arthur Costa
  • Publication Date: 07-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In October, Brazil will hold general elections. Voters will choose a new president, governors for Brazil's 27 states, all federal representatives, all state representatives, and two-thirds of the Senate. With the exception of mayors and city counselors, all the public offices of the Brazilian political system will be up for contention. Along with economic issues, such as unemployment, economic growth, and degree of market openness, as in other elections in the region, the issue of law and order will dominate the presidential election campaign in the coming months.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America
  • Author: Frank Ching, Ron Arculli, Steve Tsang, Sunny Kai-sun Kwong
  • Publication Date: 09-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Since the Hong Kong Update's first issue was published in September 1997, the purpose of the bulletin has been to gauge accurately the continuing evolution of Hong Kong by presenting a broad spectrum of views on developments in the new Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). The Update has presented views from Washington, Hong Kong, and other areas of the world by inviting authors from both the U.S. Congress and Hong Kong SAR government; Washington and Hong Kong policy community; and U.S., Hong Kong, and international academics.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Economics, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Israel, Hong Kong
  • Author: Frank Ching, Sunny Kai-sun Kwong, Barry Mortimer, Byron Weng, James C. Hsiung
  • Publication Date: 03-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Last year was a momentous time for Hong Kong's new mini- constitution, the Basic Law. The history is too well known to detail here. In brief, the Court of Final Appeal (CFA) decided the right of abode cases (Ng Ka Ling and Chan Kam Nga). Later, the Hong Kong government sought and obtained a “clarification” of the judgment and the chief executive applied to the Standing Committee of the National Peoples Congress (NPC) for a further interpretation of the sections interpreted by the CFA (particularly Article 24(2)(3) of the Basic Law). The decision of the CFA stood, but for the future the Standing Committee provided the interpretation contended for by the Hong Kong government. (Should it be thought that the new interpretation was entirely arbitrary it accorded with the one earlier found to be the true interpretation by the Court of Appeal.) Many lawyers, commentators, politicians, and academics alleged that, in consequence, rule of law had been damaged and even that the independence of the judiciary had been diminished. Now that the dust has settled, the time has come to assess calmly the main issues that caused the controversy and see where we now stand.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Economics, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Israel, Hong Kong
  • Author: Frank Ching, Lee Kuan Yew, George Hui, Sunny Kai-Sun Kwong
  • Publication Date: 10-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: During my yearly visits to Hong Kong over the last thirty years, I was struck by the upbeat, can-do spirit of its people. However troublesome the situation, such as the noisy demonstrations of the imitators of the Red Guards in 1966 and 1967, or the economic downturn caused by the sudden quadrupling of oil prices in 1973, Hong Kong people were not dismayed or despondent. So when I spent a few days in Hong Kong at the beginning of June this year, I was surprised by its completely different mood. The people I met seemed frustrated at finding themselves in a situation where the solutions were not obvious. Much of the present malaise in Hong Kong arises from the problems of a transition that proved more difficult than expected. In part it was because of the five years of the last governor's policies, aggravated by the Asian financial crisis. Until the territory has come through this transition phase it is not possible to make any long-term forecasts on Hong Kong's future.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Economics, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Israel, Hong Kong