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  • Author: Michael Olufemi Sodipo
  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Northern Nigeria has been the locus of an upsurge in youth radicalization and virulent militant Islamist groups in Nigeria since 2009. Nigeria's ranking on the Global Terrorism Index rose from 16 th out of 158 countries in 2008 to 6 th (tied with Somalia) by the end of 2011. There were 168 officially recorded terrorist attacks in 2011 alone. Bombings across the northeast prompted President Goodluck Jonathan in May 2013 to declare a state of emergency in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe States. Many Nigerians have come to question whether the country is on the brink of a civil war.
  • Topic: Security, Political Violence, Economics, Islam, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria, Somalia, Yobe State, Borno State, Adamawa State
  • Author: Paul D. Williams
  • Publication Date: 07-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Violent conflict and the power of armed nonstate actors remain defining priorities in 21 st century Africa. Organized violence has killed millions and displaced many more, leaving them to run the gauntlet of violence, disease, and malnutrition. Such violence has also traumatized a generation of children and young adults, broken bonds of trust and authority structures among and across local communities, shattered education and healthcare systems, disrupted transportation routes and infrastructure, and done untold damage to the continent's ecology from its land and waterways to its flora and fauna. In financial terms, the direct and indirect cost of conflicts in Africa since 2000 has been estimated to be nearly $900 billion. The twin policy challenges are to promote conflict resolution processes and to identify who can stand up to armed nonstate actors when the host government's security forces prove inadequate.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Development, Peace Studies, Treaties and Agreements, Fragile/Failed State, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Sharon Squassoni
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Nuclear energy seemed set for revitalization until the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in 2011. The accident that melted the cores of three light water reactors raised questions about the costs and risks of nuclear energy in many countries. Some countries have cancelled procurement, others have shut down reactors, and still others have declared a shift away from a nuclear future.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Environment, Natural Disasters, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: China, South Asia, India, Asia, Korea
  • Publication Date: 02-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Human Rights First
  • Abstract: Successive administrations have recognized that preventing genocide and crimes against humanity is in the national interest of the United States. The Obama Administration put this rhetoric into action in 2011 by issuing Presidential Study Directive 10, which elevated mass atrocities prevention to a "core national security interest and a core moral responsibility of the United States" and ordered the creation of a standing atrocities prevention structure in the U.S. government. With far- reaching atrocities prevention efforts now underway in the U.S. government, Human Rights First offers an additional, innovative approach that broadens the scope of current atrocities prevention efforts and opens up new avenues for tackling this persistent and complex problem.
  • Topic: Security, Crime, Genocide, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Human Rights First
  • Abstract: The Obama Administration has dramatically escalated targeted killing by drones as a central feature of its counterterrorism response. Over the past two years, the administration has begun to reveal more about the targeted killing program, including in a leaked Department of Justice White paper on targeted killing and in public remarks by several senior officials. While this information is welcome, it does not fully address our concerns.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Islam, Science and Technology, Terrorism, War, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: United States, South Asia, Middle East
  • Author: Paulina Zamelek
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: December's European Council Summit for heads of state or government has been tasked to deliberate European defence industry issues based on proposals provided by the European Commission. A divergence of interests expressed by interlocutors representing Member States, national defence industries and European institutions could result in heated political debate. The ability to accommodate the interests of Central Eastern Europe and Poland in particular in this process is not yet certain, especially as the EU's ambitious plans for strengthening the European Defence Technological and Industrial Base (EDTIB) are discordant with the current level playing field across Europe.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Justyna Szczudlik- Tatar
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The destinations of China's new leaders' foreign trips show that the PRC's foreign policy domain remains its neighbourhood. China is trying in particular to enhance cooperation with its Central and Southeast Asia border states in what is called "new silk road" diplomacy. Behind this approach are mostly domestic rationales: a need to preserve stability on its borders and in the western part of China, secure export markets and energy supplies, develop inland transport routes as an alternative to unstable sea lines, and to narrow the development gap between the eastern and western parts of China. The PRC's "opening to the West" and reinvigoration of its Western Development Policy is a window of opportunity for Poland. The establishment in Gansu province of the Lanzhou New Area-the first state-level development zone in northwest China-could become a bridgehead for a Polish economic presence in this part of China, or even a springboard for Poland's "Go West China" strategy.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: China, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Kinga Brudzinska
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Similar to the situation before the Arab Awakening, state control of civil associations in Egypt remains intact. Correspondingly, foreign funding for NGOs is still a controversial, selective and sensitive topic. Despite the objections of civil society and the international community, a new draft law on NGOs presented in September 2013 will most likely maintain the idea of state oversight of civil society organisations. The European Union, and Poland itself, should constantly monitor the status of the new draft law and actively encourage the authorities to comply with international standards. Despite difficulties with delivering the aid, the EU should stick to its values while supporting Egypt's transition and continue to provide aid to local NGOs.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Non-Governmental Organization, Law
  • Political Geography: Europe, North Africa, Egypt
  • Author: Jodi Lieberman
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: With nearly all of the countries in Central and Eastern Europe considering construction of new nuclear plants, either to add to existing units or for the first time, it can be instructive to take stock of where they started following 1989, where they are now, and what lies ahead. Most of the countries benefited from nuclear safety-related assistance in the past. Through their membership in the EU and IAEA they also have access to the tools and institutional procedures that can be useful in assessing their nuclear programmes from a nuclear safety point of view. Poland, starting from scratch with a new nuclear build, may benefit from extensive external experience.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Maria Radziejowska
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In light of the current situation in Syria, and calls to hold to account those responsible for the atrocities allegedly committed during the conflict, a group of members of the American Congress suggested that the Security Council should create an ad hoc tribunal for Syria. A Blue Ribbon Panel of international criminal law experts presented a draft Statute for a Syrian Extraordinary Tribunal to Prosecute Atrocity Crimes, while some of the Security Council members suggested referring the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court. Issues pertaining to establishing justice and restoring the rule of law in Syria will certainly be on the agenda for future peace talks. The question of working out a transitional justice strategy for the country is inevitable. Whether such a strategy should include a judicial accountability mechanism will certainly be considered.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Human Rights, Law Enforcement, Law
  • Political Geography: Syria