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  • Author: Lorenzo Fioramonti, Patrick Kimunguyi
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Europe has been the privileged economic and political partner of Africa, but more recently China has increased its foothold in Africa through important financial investments and trade agreements. Against this backdrop, the empirical research conducted in 2007-08 in Kenya and South Africa as part of a pioneering international project investigates the perceptions of public opinion, political leaders, civil society activists and media operators. While confirming their continent's traditional proximity to Europe, African citizens are increasingly interested in China and its impact on Africa's development. Europe is criticised for not having been able to dismiss the traditionally 'patronising' attitude towards Africa. While African civil society leaders and media operators describe China as an opportunity for Africa to break free of its historical dependence on European markets, other opinion leaders warn against too much enthusiasm for the Asian giant. There is a suspicion that the Chinese strategy might, in the long run, turn into a new form of economic patronage.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Economics
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa, China, Europe, Asia, South Africa
  • Author: Shamil Midkhatovich Yenikeyeff
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The geographic proximity of Central Asia to Russia, China, the Caucasus and the Caspian region, as well as to the Middle East, makes this oil and gas-producing region a crucial and ever-developing player in regional and global energy markets. The method by which Central Asian producers choose to develop their hydrocarbon resources and export infrastructure will have significant implications for the plans for diversification of oil and gas supplies of Europe, China and India, as well as for Russia's energy exports to Europe. It is still too early to tell whether the economic and political incentives are strong enough to promote cooperation between the various actors or whether the energy interests of these key external powers are so diverse as to clash in Central Asia.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, Central Asia, Asia
  • Author: Robert Ayson
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: From Australia's perspective, and in spite of the global economic crisis, an increasingly strong China will remain the dominant theme in Asia's evolving distribution of power. Australia has benefited from the prosperity which is the foundation of China's rise. But it continues to value the reassurance that a strong United States can bring to Asia. This favourable status quo seems superior to the alternatives: a cooperative Asian community which may be more aspirational than practicable; an Asian concert which requires an unlikely sharing of leadership between the great powers; or a coalition of Asian democracies which could be especially divisive. But as this comfortable status quo is strained, Australia may need to consider geopolitical options which until now have appeared fanciful and risky.
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia, Australia
  • Author: David Kerr
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Russia did not join the West, nor did it join the East. Russia's commitment to its strategic autonomy and independent foreign and security policy requires the preservation of a 'middle continent' that bridges and transcends Europe and Asia. Russia pursues a restorationist strategy for Eurasia but faces a three-way struggle: for its own autonomy as a great power; for resistance to absorption within the US-centred system of common strategic space; and for management of the dynamics between the emergent powers through negotiation between strategic partnerships and regionalisms. This article examines these dilemmas in relation to Eastern Eurasia, and in particular the Sino-Russian relationship.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eurasia, Asia
  • Author: Richard A. Bitzinger
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Many countries in the Asia-Pacific, enabled by rising defence budgets and aggressive marketing by major arms-producing states, have since the middle of the 1990s greatly expanded their war fighting capacities beyond the mere modernisation of their armed forces. While such purchases are intended to aid deterrence and defence, they may have the unintended consequences of undermining regional security and stability by contributing to arms races or arms competitions leading to a classical 'security dilemma'. Considering that the Asia-Pacific is still a region of considerable potential conflict, the logic of such arms purchases can be called into question.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Jan Zielonka
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: In order to make it more effective as an actor on the international scene, the European Union is being urged to reverse its foreign policy priorities. EU enlargement policy has fallen out of grace and many want to see Europe acquire a "normal" foreign policy with a global rather than merely regional reach, significant military means and centralised governance. Management of various conflicts in Africa and Asia is also in vogue. Such a policy shift will define the nature of Europe's actorness. It is argued that, with all its defects, the EU performs quite well as a civilian regional power and efforts to transform it into a traditional military power with a global reach could make things worse rather than better.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Asia