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  • Author: Rashad Hasanov
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Economic and Social Development (CESD)
  • Abstract: Following the recession and stagnation of the economy of Azerbaijan in 2015-2017, a growth of 1.4% was recorded in 2018. Economic growth has been mainly driven by the following factors. Favorable foreign economic environment for Azerbaijan from the context of oil prices: the initial forecast of the oil prices by the Azerbaijani government at the beginning of 2018 was 45 US dollars per barrel. Then, during the second half of the year, the forecast was adjusted to 55 US dollars per barrel. However, the actual price of one barrel of oil for the reporting period was above 71 US dollars (29% higher than forecasted)…
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Dan Breban
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Economic and Social Development (CESD)
  • Abstract: The current external macroeconomic conditions observed throughout the year of 2018, such as increasing rates by FED/ECB, exerts certain pressure on the economies of developing nations. Despite hovering well-over its predicted value for most of the year, the recent decline in the price of oil once again puts question marks for the future of the commodity. Considering all of the above mentioned facts in mind, dependence of 2019 state budget of Azerbaijan on oil, where 50.4% of revenues directly come from the oil sector further makes the country more vulnerable to oil price fluctuations. The largest hike is observed in the amount of revenues collected through the excise taxes while the biggest decline is in income taxes, reflecting the new amendments to the tax code. Expenditures of the state budget are going to be 7.3% higher in 2019, with the most significant boost observed in construction sector. This fact undermines the efficiency of the public funds, as the expenditures towards construction are more likely to become subject of mismanagement. When looking at the SOFAZ’s budget, a clear trend of increasingly allocating more and more funds to the state budget can be seen. As expected, new amendments were made to the fiscal rule in order to make it more flexible, however, the effectiveness of these changes are still unclear.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Victoria Bittner
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Economic and Social Development (CESD)
  • Abstract: The establishment of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) policy as a part of the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) sets new objectives for the deepening of cooperation between the EU and EaP countries, and the greater integration of the EaP based on shared norms, values and standards. Forming the eastern divide of the ENP, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia are considered official neighbors of the EU, although half of these countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia) do not lie on the immediate borders of the EU. However, these South Caucasian countries play an important transit role by connecting the EU with Central Asia and China. Hence, the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railroad, crossing Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey, establishes a significant link in the further development and integration of regional and global transit corridors stretching from China to Europe through Central Asia and the South Caucasus.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Seio Nakajima
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: The aim of this paper is to describe the recent transformation of the automobile industry from a manufacturing industry to include aspects of the service and creative industries. Firstly, it reviews the recent trend of the automobile industry as a service industry. Secondly, it discusses the automobile industry’s move toward the creative industries. It examines these two trends, mostly based on the next-generation automobile industry in Japan. Finally, it discusses the implications of the above transformation of the automobile industry on academic studies of the creative industries, and argues for what it calls a strong programme in creative industries studies. It also provides a provisional note on government policies in the era of the next-generation automobile industry.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Fukunari Kimura
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: Volume I consists of the integrative report and executive summary of ASEAN Vision 2040, and a briefer on new challenges and key priorities and strategies. ASEAN Vision 2040 has been drawn up in the context of ASEAN’s achievements, revealed aspirations, and expectations of the peoples of ASEAN for the near future, and the recent and expected global, regional, and technological developments. The volume presents the ASEAN Vision 2040 and highlights key areas of collective leadership and ASEAN centrality, harnessing the emerging Industry 4.0 to transform the ASEAN economies and enhance ASEAN resiliency and developmental sustainability, realising a seamless ASEAN, engendering greater inclusivity, and a deeper sense of community and belonging, and strengthening the ASEAN institutional ecosystem.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: As Israel's April elections draw near and Palestinians continue looking toward presidential and legislative votes of their own, it is the responsibility of pollsters to identify changes in public attitudes on both sides and in the wider Arab arena. To discuss what recent surveys can tell us about the Israeli-Palestinian political climate, the prospects for renewed momentum toward peace, and related issues, The Washington Institute is pleased to host a Policy Forum with three renowned pollsters, Nader Said, Tamar Hermann, and David Pollock.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Israel
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: On April 5, Women of Color Advancing Peace, Security and Conflict Transformation (WCAPS) and the Foreign Policy program at The Brookings Institution hosted a discussion on the implications of this complex political environment in which domestic and foreign policy decisions influence each other.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: On May 10, Brookings hosted the launch event for Senior Fellow Dan Byman's latest book, “Road Warriors: Foreign Fighters in the Armies of Jihad,” with discussion moderated by Peter Bergen, acclaimed journalist and vice president for Global Studies & Fellows at New America.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: China's Changing Role in the Middle East
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: China
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Please join the Atlantic Council’s Asia Security Initiative, housed within the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, for a public panel discussion on forward-looking recommendations for the future of US-China relations and US strategy towards China. How should the United States and its allies work together to respond to China’s ongoing rise? What are the advantages and limits of the current US approach? Ultimately, can the United States and China be both strategic competitors and, at least in some areas, strategic cooperators at the same time? The Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security works to develop sustainable, nonpartisan strategies to address the most important security challenges facing the United States and the world. The Center honors General Brent Scowcroft’s legacy of service and embodies his ethos of nonpartisan commitment to the cause of security, support for US leadership in cooperation with allies and partners, and dedication to the mentorship of the next generation of leaders.
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, America
  • Author: Gentiola Madhi
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: Gentiola Madhi authored, within the Think Visegrad Non-V4 Fellowship programme, an analysis on the state of the affairs of regional cooperation in the Western Balkans.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Michael B Greenwald
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Many view the Belt and Road Initiative as the most geoeconomically significant infrastructure project since the Marshall Plan. Promising alternative trade routes, abundant capital flows, and advanced infrastructure to the developing world, the program has scaled significantly since its inception in 2013.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Michael B Greenwald
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Saudi Vision 2030 — Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s bid to diversify his nation’s oil-dependent economy — is one of the most consequential development plans in modern history. So it was no surprise to see MbS, as he is known, grinning with Chinese leaders during his Asian investment trip last month. As Chinese officials raved about the “enormous potential” of the Saudi economy, Saudi officials praised the compatibility of Chinese and Saudi cultures, and MbS even defended China’s maltreatment of Muslim Uighurs
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Michael B Greenwald
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: We can envision the advent of a new economic revolution forming in the Shia crescent as a new, cohesive political force in the Middle East between Sunni Gulf Arabs and Israel by deepening rapprochement to counter Iran’s expansion. Alongside years of discreet contact and informal diplomatic backchannels between Gulf Countries and Israel, the future portends closer economic links between these power blocs. With the combination of Israeli technology and Gulf capital, there is no shortage of synergies eager to be developed, as Gulf States explore new visionary economic reforms looking beyond a dependence on oil revenues.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Israel
  • Author: Philippe Le Corre
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Kazakhstan is one of China’s direct neighbours, and a prominent one by size and border. As the Chinese proverb states, “a close neighbour is more valuable than a distant relative”,[1] hence the importance of Sino-Kazakh ties, especially at a time when Beijing tries to promote its “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI) across Eurasia. The country has a 1782.75 km-long border with China, and shares much history and people with the former Middle Kingdom. Although data is sparse, it is known that many Uyghurs –the main tribe of Xinjiang, China’s troubled autonomous region – live in Kazakhstan. There are also ethnic Kazakhs living on the Chinese side, in Xinjiang (many of them facing great political difficulties, if not persecutions).
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Djavad Salehi-Isfahani
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The Islamic Republic of Iran marks its 40th anniversary this week. But, with the country beset by a severe economic crisis, the question on everyone’s lips –within Iran and the diaspora alike – seems to be whether the Islamic Revolution has actually improved Iranians’ lives.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Martin S. Feldstein
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Earlier this month, the Federal Reserve’s policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee voted unanimously to increase the short-term interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point, taking it from 2.25% to 2.5%. This was the fourth increase in 12 months, a sequence that had been projected a year ago, and the FOMC members also indicated that there would be two more quarter-point increases in 2019. The announcement soon met with widespread disapproval.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Financial Markets
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Muhammad Ferdaus Momand
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Centre for European Security Studies
  • Abstract: Afghanistan was/is a conservative country. Some of the Afghan kings and rulers started to open a chapter of relations with the outside world by bringing modern tools and technologies to the country. Foreign and strange arts for that time like photography were not really welcomed by the conservative and strongly religious people of the country. People used to think that if you take a photo, you become “Kafir”, which means “infidel” because photography and taking pictures are not allowed in Islam and as mentioned above, the majority of the people were conservative Muslims
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan
  • Author: Julia Hamann
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP)
  • Abstract: More fragmented than ever, Europe is at a crossroads, making the 2019 European Parliament election an immensely political event. Stakes are high for Emmanuel Macron, Matteo Salvini and Viktor Orbán, all of whom could shake up the balance of power in the EP. Macron has lost much of his initial vigor, and the disruptive potential of Salvini and Orbán is significant. If played well, their combined power could send shock waves across all European institutions
  • Topic: Elections, Democracy, Europe Union
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Julia Hamann, Sara Jakob
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP)
  • Abstract: For many young people in France, President Macron’s reforms failed to alleviate their social anxieties. Unemployment remains high, employment conditions precarious, and what started as a protest against new fuel taxes quickly spilled over to other reform areas including social policy. Macron will need to gain the youngsters’ trust ahead of the European Parliament election – not least because its outcome will decisively shape his domestic credibility, and consequently, his political fate
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Teodore Stan
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: As the North Atlantic Alliance (NATO) foreign ministers gather this week in Washington to mark the 70th anniversary of the most successful military alliance in history, trouble is brewing over Brexit and the rise of populism in the western front and the challenges brought by autocratic leaders on its eastern front. Democratic backsliding, particularly in Turkey, Poland, and Hungary, has painted a bleak picture for the shared values-centered rationale of the alliance. Not unlike its troubled neighbors, Romania also presents its own frailty with regards to the challenged independence of its justice system and its defanged prosecution of high-level corruption.
  • Topic: International Organization, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Romania
  • Author: Chris Dougherty
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: The 2018 National Defense Strategy (NDS) shifted the Department of Defense (DoD) away from a strategy focused on counterterrorism and deterring regional threats like Iran toward competing with, deterring, and, if necessary, defeating Chinese and Russian aggression. DoD is portraying the President’s Budget Request for Fiscal Year 2020, which is the first such request submitted since the release of the NDS, as a down payment on the long-term investments required to develop a future force that can execute this strategy. Given the price tag of $750 billion, Congress and the American people should, in the words of Ronald Reagan, trust DoD, but verify that this is money well spent on advancing the priorities of the NDS
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Centre for European Security Studies
  • Abstract: In 2012 CESS conducted a range of activities in Turkey in the framework of the “Good Governance of the Security Sector in Turkey” programme: In March we organised a conference and a follow-up training course in Ankara on Financial Accountability and Budgetary Transparency of the Security Sector. During these events we discussed the main procedures in reviewing defence budgets and particular attention was dedicated to the role of the Court of Accounts. It became clear during the proceedings of both events that despite the fact that changes have been made for the better in Turkey with regard to financial oversight of the security sector, most of these changes unfortunately are only made on paper and are still not put into practice. The auditing process clearly lacks key mechanisms that would make the military more accountable. Therefore the Court of Accounts still has no real leverage over the military in terms of auditing defence spending.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Antonio Marquina
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Unidad de investigación sobre seguridad y cooperación (UNISCI)
  • Abstract: Entrevista en IBERCAMPUS sobre el libro La política exterior de Estados Unidos
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Will Greaves
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: In October 2018, LNG Canada – a C$40 billion joint venture supported by some of the largest multinational corporations in the world, including Shell, Petronas, PetroChina, Mitsubishi and the Korean Gas Corporation – was approved by its investors, and a new chapter in Canadian political economy began. The project consists of a coastal liquefied natural gas terminal at Kitimat, British Columbia, which is fed by a 670-kilometre pipeline from the shale gas-producing region in the province’s northeast interior. It is the largest private-sector and natural resource investment in Canadian history, in a country where resource extraction still contributes more than 17 per cent of GDP. Moreover, LNG Canada is the cornerstone of the B.C. NDP government’s economic policy, promising to provide 10,000 jobs during construction and up to 950 permanent jobs once the project is fully operational. It will also create $5 billion in additional provincial GDP per year and $23 billion in new revenues over the project’s life, while spurring the growth of a new natural resource industry.1 Predicted economic benefits in the rest of Canada will total $2 billion per year and approximately $500 million in new federal revenues. These benefits will be in addition to an increase in the value of all Canadian liquefied natural gas exports of between $519 million and $5.8 billion per year, depending on market prices.2 Thus, it is not surprising that the federal government is also strongly supportive, and that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was seated next to B.C. Premier John Horgan when the agreement was signed.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Post Colonialism, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Canada
  • Author: Masahito Ambashi
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: The Vientiane–Hanoi Expressway (VHE) has been one of the most anticipated transportation projects between Lao PDR and Viet Nam. This report (1) explores the potentiality of the corridor between Hanoi and Vientiane as designated by the Greater Mekong Subregion Economic Development Program; (2) illustrates impacts on economies and industries of Lao PDR and surrounding countries of the VHE; (3) sets out industrial development strategies for Lao PDR, Viet Nam, and Thailand that take maximum advantage of the VHE; and (4) suggests appropriate financial mechanisms to construct the VHE. Thus, this report focuses on how Lao PDR and neighbouring countries can benefit from the expressway by strengthening relevant industries and forming a Bangkok–Vientiane–Hanoi industrial corridor from the perspective of global value chains and production networks developed in the Mekong region
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Koichi Iwabuchi
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: This paper critically considers the operation and objective of Japan’s ‘creative industry’ policy and suggests how to redesign it to align it with recent attention to cultural diversity. But the paper’s scope goes beyond business and extends to defining ‘creativity’ as a means to enhance civic dialogue, sympathy, and inclusion, to imagine a better society. The ‘creative industry’ can include independent and non-profit cultural projects that promote diversity by involving artists, museums, non-governmental and non-profit organisations, public service corporations, local communities, volunteers, and researchers. Such a redesign is compatible with the creative industry policy’s aim to advance social inclusion and democratisation by promoting grassroots creativity.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ponciano Intal
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: The volume consists of papers on critical elements for an integrated and connected Seamless ASEAN Economic Community up to 2040. The critical elements include seamless trade facilitation, managing nontariff measures, strategies on standards and conformance, engendering skills mobility and development, service sector development and open investment environment, competition and intellectual property policy, seamless logistics and connectivity, data flows and electronic payments in the digital economy, capital market deepening, and good regulatory practice.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Fukunari Kimura
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Center for Economic and Social Development (CESD)
  • Abstract: The papers in Volume III delve into the theme of transforming and deepening the ASEAN Community. The main focus is on the digital and fourth industrial revolution as well as on innovation as both offer opportunities and challenges for ASEAN Member States for economic transformation and enhanced resiliency and sustainability. The volume also emphasises the drive towards greater inclusivity, leaving no one behind, and greater people centredness and engagement to deepen the sense of belongingness in the ASEAN Community.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Simon Tay
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: The papers in Volume II discuss the imperative of collective leadership and ASEAN centrality in light of the greater uncertainty in the global trading system and on regional security which have been underpinning ASEAN’s outward oriented strategy and development. It is suggested that ASEAN’s major Dialogue Partners in East Asia and the United States as well as ASEAN itself can be important contributors to strengthening collective leadership in East Asia and to enhancing ASEAN Centrality. The last paper in the volume presents ideas on how to strengthen ASEAN’s institutional ecosystem, which is important for ASEAN to be able to assert ASEAN centrality in an increasingly uncertain and changing regional environment.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Dionisius Narjoko
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: Trade and investment liberalization has been one of the key features of economic policy in many developing countries since the 1990s. Research on this subject has consistently produced more evidence on the benefits of globalization; theoretical studies give more attention to what happens within an industry when trade and liberalization occur, while empirical studies confirm the positive impact of trade liberalization. This paper reviews some recent studies on the subject of firms in a globalized economy to enable us to understand more about how firms respond to globalization or changes in trade and investment liberalization. The paper focuses on presenting or explaining the underlying mechanisms through which the effects are realized. The studies summarized in this paper generally confirm the positive impact of trade liberalization on productivity or the spectrum of measures reflecting productivity, such as product quality, firm size, or skill intensity. The positive impact goes through various channels, including competition and industry dynamics, exporting and innovation decisions, and production or investment decisions.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Fukunari Kimura
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: If groundbreaking technological developments in fuel cell vehicles, hydrogen power generation, and hydrogen supply were to be achieved, costs are expected to go down, resulting in the further benefits of an expansion of the hydrogen market and learning effects. Aggressive and environmentally friendly policies will certainly help to expedite the arrival of hydrogen as an important part in the transition to clean energy.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: ERIA and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) hosted a meeting between the heads and the Parliamentary Leagues for both organisations on 16 April 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. ERIA’s President Prof Hidetoshi Nishimura provided a brief overview of ERIA’s recent collaboration with OECD, which was the revised ASEAN SME Policy Index 2018. In addition, he requested further support from several Japanese ministries, namely the Cabinet Office; Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry; Ministry of the Environment; Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare; and Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. Read more.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Mario Esteban
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Elcano Royal Institute
  • Abstract: This working paper is the result of a process of collective reflection in which many academics and diplomats –with whom I have had extraordinarily fruitful conversations in Brussels, Madrid, Pyongyang and Seoul– have participated. The contributions of those who responded to the policy Delphi that we launched in the spring of 2018, and of the participants in the seminar that we organised at the Brussels office of the Elcano Royal Institute on 5 October 2018, were especially valuable. I would therefore like to explicitly thank Alexander Zhebin, Axel Berkofsky, Bartosz Wisniewski, Charles Powell, Eric Ballbach, Félix Arteaga, Françoise Nicolas, Hideshi Tokuchi, Hiro Akutsu, John Nilsson-Wright, Kim Songyong, Lee Dongmin, Liu Qing, Luis Simón, Michael Paul, Mikael Weissman, Niklas Swanström, Ramón Pacheco, Shin Beomchul and Tariq Rauf for their contributions. I would also like to acknowledge the work of Elisa Lledó in organising the seminar and of Virginia Crespi de Valldaura in helping to prepare this paper.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Andrew Duff
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: European Policy Centre
  • Abstract: The UK has wasted precious time in the Brexit process. A no deal outcome has become the legal and political default. The new prime minister cannot avoid returning to Mrs May’s deal if he is to avoid no deal. Andrew Duff argues for changes to be made not only to the Political Declaration but also to the Withdrawal Agreement itself. One amendment is needed to buy time: the transition period should be made extendable until the final association agreement enters into force. Such a revision will not breach anyone’s red lines, will obviate the need for the Irish backstop, reassure businesses and citizens, and enable an orderly exit. Duff also argues that the British should pay far more attention to the joint governance of the Withdrawal Agreement. The idea that the UK will become a vassal of the EU is nonsense: in fact, the British will be able to wield influence after Brexit if the new prime minister adopts a positive attitude.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Elena DeLozier
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: By benefiting from questionable wartime revenue streams and outright corruption, both the Houthi rebels and the U.S.-supported Hadi government are inhibiting a transition to peace. The latest UN Panel of Experts report on Yemen raises new red flags about potential threats to near-term conflict resolution and stabilization. In addition to questioning the cohesiveness of government and rebel forces, it anecdotally details the rise of a robust, mafia-like war economy that creates disincentives for peace on both sides. The panel’s conclusions include a new, particularly damning assessment of Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi’s government and its local affiliates, while also reiterating extant concerns about the Saudi-led coalition and the Houthi rebels.
  • Topic: Civil War, International Security
  • Political Geography: Yemen
  • Author: Joseph Braude
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: A new opportunity has emerged to roll back generations of antisemitic and rejectionist messaging in Arab media, mosques, and schools. It stems from the convergence of interests between Israel and Arab powers, a youthful Arab grassroots trend in favor of a “peace between peoples,” and new Israeli and American Jewish capacities to engage Arab public discussions from the outside in. But prospects for change remain severely constrained: In addition to the effects of the Israeli-Palestinian stalemate, the legacy of antisemitic brainwashing endures in many Arab institutions and draws further energy from Iranian and jihadist information operations. Meanwhile, proponents of a positive shift lack coordination, planning, and adequate support. In Reclamation: A Cultural Policy for Arab-Israeli Partnership, Joseph Braude documents the opportunity as well as the obstacles, and then proposes a strategy to accelerate progress. He explains how to engage Arab allies in a coordinated communications reform effort, support independent Arab champions of civil relations with Israel and Jews, expand the “outside-in” capacities, and degrade Iranian and jihadist channels of indoctrination within the region.
  • Topic: International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Craig Kafura
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Abstract: The federal government remains in a partial shutdown, the longest in US history, as President Trump and Democrats in Congress are deadlocked over funding for expanding the border wall with Mexico. A just-completed Chicago Council Survey shows that both sides have the backing of their public constituencies, but the President’s insistence on this topic has not boosted support for the expansion among the general public. Overall more Americans now oppose expanding the US-Mexico border wall since last asked in 2016.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: The extraordinary criticism that Saudi Arabia is under holds the potential for the US Congress enacting legislation against OPEC. Anti-trust legislation would have turbulent impact on the global energy market in that such pressure could lead members withdrawing from OPEC.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: Since 2017, the decline of social capital in Morocco represents a tree that hides a forest. We are now at an interlocking point of two negative trends in this decline: one is political vertical, and the other is societal horizontal.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Morocco
  • Author: Anna Jacobs
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: Morocco’s migration policy reflects of the interconnectedness of foreign policy priorities, desired reform and the reality of domestic politics. Morocco has positioned itself as a counterterrorism and migration ally for Europe; while leaning toward the African Union, and African markets.
  • Topic: International Relations, Migration, International Affairs, Global Security
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Fatima Al-Smadi
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: The sanctions affect Iran in many ways, not only in economic terms. This paper examines the impact of sanctions on Iran’s domestic and foreign policy.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Gabriel Cederberg, Jordan D'Amato
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: American democracy is under attack. From the daily news to our social media feeds, nation-state competitors target the United States and its citizens, seeking to fuel division and chaos at home while undermining our interests abroad and our will to defend them. It is critical that policymakers and citizens understand these threats and how to counter them. This playbook seeks to ensure that U.S. citizens, not foreign actors, determine the future of U.S. democracy.
  • Topic: Global Focus
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development sets peace, justice and strong institutions as goals for the international community to work toward, along with participatory decision-making at all levels and equal representation and participation of women in public affairs (Goals 5.5 and 16.7).1 The Human Rights Council stressed “the critical importance of equal and effective participation in political and public affairs for democracy, the rule of law, social inclusion, economic development and advancing gender equality, and for the realization of all human rights and fundamental freedoms.” 2 As part of their broad mandate to protect and promote human rights, national human rights institutions (NHRIs) have a key role to play in protecting and promoting the right to participate in public affairs.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: Election observation is the process by which parties, candidates, citizen groups or independent organizations deploy observers to witness the electoral process. Different types of observers have very different goals for watching an election. While observers from political parties seek to ensure that election administration does not disadvantage their campaigns, nonpartisan observers focus on checking compliance with election administration regulations. Credible nonpartisan observers are interested in promoting integrity, transparency, and efficiency in the electoral process and have no stake in the political outcome.During contentious or highly competitive elections, impartial observation can provide an important avenue for reliable feedback about which aspects of an election went well and what parts could improve
  • Topic: International Affairs, Democracy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Burak Akçapar
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation, New York University
  • Abstract: Since the launch of the Mediation for Peace initiative by Turkey and Finland in 2010, there has been an upsurge of activity at the United Nations (UN) and several regional organizations to promote mediation as a conflict resolution method. The UN General Assembly, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) have set out to develop mediation norms, procedures, and capacities. The assets and motivations of international actors, including foremost nation states, to provide mediation services as part of their foreign policy have been widely studied. However, the actual role played by specific leading nations in the promotion of mediation at international forums lacks a framework of analysis. This essay aims to fill this gap by employing the concept of “policy entrepreneurship” to explain the role of individual actors in transforming the politics, norms, and capacities that pertain to mediation. In this regard, the article discusses Turkey’s activities in the field of mediation and their transformative outcomes in a bid to test the proposed framework. It concludes that as the only country that co-chairs the friends of mediation groups simultaneously in the UN, the OSCE and the OIC, the distinguishing contribution of Turkey as a policy entrepreneur lies in its efforts to feed and shape the normative basis and capacities of international peace mediation efforts.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Sarah Cliffe
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation, New York University
  • Abstract: UN Secretary-General António Guterres was appointed in 2016 on an explicit reform platform. In 2017, we published commentaries on his reform proposals. Now that those reforms that have been approved are moving into implementation, we publish this simple guide to what has been achieved and the potential potholes still ahead.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Riva Kantowitz
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation, New York University
  • Abstract: This article, continuing CIC's work of exploring innovative finance for sustaining peace, examines important related conversations in the humanitarian and peacebuilding sectors, and efforts and tools in finance that could be utilized for sustaining peace. It also examines potential gamechangers such as blockchain and artificial intelligence—technologies and methods that have the potential to radically shift the way in which these tools are employed.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Kinga Szálkai
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Security and Defense Studies (BHKK)
  • Abstract: Since the beginning of the 1990s, political Islam is perceived as a revitalized force of modernity and as a counter-hegemonistic force. The issue, in the form of the worrisome emergence of radical Islamism, has also been present in the context of Central Asia. Around the turn of the 21st century, mainly due to 9/11, there was a boom in research dealing with this perceived problem. Uzbekistan was heavily concerned, as it is one of the three Central Asian countries, where the radical Islamist opposition has been significant. Moreover, the proximity to the war- and chaos-ridden Afghanistan also raised awareness towards the Islamist movements in the region
  • Topic: International Affairs, Political Theory
  • Political Geography: Uzbekistan
  • Author: Elvir Mammadov
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Security and Defense Studies (BHKK)
  • Abstract: Iran's international standing is currently under slow, but significant change due to the recently signed nuclear deal with the global powers group of "P5+1". The South Caucasus region will be one of the primary influenced regions by such a sharp turn in the history of Iran. Turning back to the recent history of Iran's foreign policy towards the South Caucasus, it can be seen that Tehran has found itself in unpleasant situation and unprepared to build up effective ties with the countries because of certain objective reasons. Emerged regional conflicts suddenly after the collapse of the Soviet Union between Azerbaijan and Armenia, and in Georgia with its two breakaway territories caused more difficulties for Iran's foreign policy towards the region. The targets put in the beginning for integration into the region has ended up with a defensive and limited position for Iran in the South Caucasus.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Iran