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  • Author: Anna Triandafyllidou, Angeliki Dimitriadi
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: EU migration and asylum policy is facing tough challenges at the southern borders of the Union as migration and asylum pressures rise, fuelled by political instability and poverty in several regions of Asia and Africa. Current European border control practices create three spaces of control: externalised borders, through readmission and return agreements which enrol third countries in border control; the EU borders themselves through the work of Frontex and the development of a whole arsenal of technology tools for controlling mobility to and from the EU; and the Schengen area, whose regulations tend to reinforce deterrence at the borders through the Smart Border System. As a result, the EU's balancing act between irregular migration control and protection of refugees and human life clearly tips towards the former, even if it pays lip service to the latter. More options for mobility across the Mediterranean and more cooperation for growth are essential ingredients of a sustainable migration management policy on the EU's southern borders. In addition asylum management could benefit from EU level humanitarian visas issued at countries of origin.
  • Topic: Development, Migration
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Asia, Cameroon
  • Author: Zhang Xiaotong
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The Chinese policy and academic communities have mixed views about the US-led TPP, either viewing it as a strategic attempt at encircling China, or as a positive spur for domestic reform and opening-up. Although the Chinese government adopted an open and flexible attitude towards the TPP, it has moved strategically by accelerating the negotiations of the RCEP and China-Korea FTA, as well as updating its FTA with ASEAN. A more interesting development is China's new initiatives for building two grand silk roads, one to Central Asia, leading on to Europe, and the other to Southeast Asia, leading on to the Indian Ocean. Both represent China's renewed confidence in finding its role in Asia.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Daniel S. Hamilton
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The United States is currently negotiating two massive regional economic agreements, one with 11 Asian and Pacific Rim countries and the other with the 28-member European Union. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) herald a substantial shift in US foreign economic policy as Washington turns its focus from the stalemated Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations and scattered bilateral trade agreements to 'mega-regional' trade diplomacy. As the only party to both negotiations, Washington seeks to leverage issues in one to advance its interests in the other, while reinvigorating US global leadership.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Washington, Asia
  • Author: Daniel Twining
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: China and the United States have just experienced political transitions that allow the leaders of both countries to focus on bilateral relations free from the pressures of domestic political campaigns. But the domestic politics of the bilateral relationship inside each country are, like the structural tensions between the established power and the rising challenger, intensifying, as Washington takes new steps to assert its primacy in Asia and Beijing works to edge America out of its neighbourhood. US-China relations are likely to be less stable and more prone to conflict over President Obama's second term, unless the two nations can arrive at a modus vivendi to keep the peace in Asia. The challenge is that such an entente likely requires the kind of political change in China its leaders seem determined to block for fear of the threat it would pose to their own legitimacy. The reverberations of a relationship that is conflict-prone, but in which conflict holds such downside risks for both countries, will be felt well beyond Asia.
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia
  • Author: Zhu Liqun
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: This rejoinder to Daniel Twining's article in the last issue (June 2013) of The International Spectator argues that both China and the United States recognise how important their relationship is for the world and the Asia-Pacific in particular. But the risk of tension on the security front has increased recently due to the US policy toward maritime disputes that has actually involved meddling between the parties involved, and its 'pivot' to Asia which targets China with more military engagement in the region. The China-US relationship has never been an easy one with the US certain of its primacy and China proud of its glorious past, which almost makes a conflictual power transition a self-fulfilling prophecy. Management of the relationship is the key for both countries to bring about more cooperation and to rein in competition. Co-evolution, a new type of relationship among major countries, is the only way out, in which the logic of interaction is 'live-and-let-live' rather than mors tua, vita mea.
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: Amitav Acharya
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Is comparative regionalism a field whose time has come? While the contemporary interest in comparing regions and regionalisms may be not completely new, it is different from older approaches. Our understanding of what makes regions has changed with social constructivist and critical theoretical approaches that have led to a less behavioural and more nuanced, complex, contested and fluid understanding of regions. Moreover, the globalisation phenomenon has deeply affected all social sciences and radically redefined the relative autonomy of regions. In keeping with the rapid growth and development of regionalism and institutions in the non-Western world, including in regions which were relatively late starters, such as Asia, there have emerged new ways of looking at regional cooperation, including claims about distinctive approaches and even 'models' that are not only different from those identified with the EU, but also supposedly more appropriate and thus 'workable' for non-Western regions than the EU straightjacket.
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: David Camroux
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Revolving around the concept of 'Community' or 'community', debate on an Asian region has ostensibly pitted those who proposed an entity limited to East Asia (China, Japan, South Korea and the ten countries of the Association of South East Asian Nations, ASEAN) against those who proposed a much wider region embracing India, North (and, perhaps, South) America, as well as Australasia. Previously these two conceptualisations possessed their eponymous translation in the East Asian Economic Caucus (reincarnated as ASEANĂ¾3) and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. However, with the creation in 2005 of the East Asian Summit to include India, Australia and New Zealand and, above all, its 2011 enlargement to include the United States and Russia, the contrast between the two conceptualisations of an Asian region has become confused. In order to explain this development, this article suggests that the language of 'region' or 'community' is a discursive smokescreen disguising changes in approaches to multilateralism. An examination of the East Asia Summit, contrasting it with another recent regional project, the Trans Pacific Partnership, suggests that the actors involved are seeking to ensure the primacy of individual nation states in intergovernmental multilateral relations.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: China, America, India, East Asia, Asia, Australia
  • Author: Lorenzo Fioramonti
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: In a changing world ridden with crises and characterized by a general redistribution of power, regional organizations need to reinvent themselves. Equally, the study of regionalism has to reject its traditional Eurocentrism to embrace new conceptual categories in order to describe more effectively the variety of regional processes across the world. Against this background, this article looks the European project and its current crisis before discussing other regional 'experiments' in Africa, Asia and Latin America, which rest on different principles but also manifest considerable shortcomings. The analysis points to need to look at regionalism with a critical eye, emphasizing the undeniably important achievements but also the hidden threats that a certain model of regional integration (for instance, the classical top-down elite-driven process adopted by the EU founding fathers) can pose to the sustainability of regional cohesion and the adaptability of this model to other areas of the world.
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Asia, Latin America
  • Author: Michael Yahuda
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Chinese maritime assertiveness since 2008 is a product of China's growing economic and military power combined with a centrally fostered nationalism. Although incidents with several maritime neighbours may not have all been initiated by China, the Chinese over-reacted. Matters were made worse by the opacity of Chinese decision-making processes and by problems of governance as shown by the multiplicity of Chinese authorities in charge of separate naval forces. The American 'pivot' to Asia provides neighbours with a hedge against an overbearing China. But they still need to cultivate relations with China on whom they were economically dependent.
  • Political Geography: China, America, Asia
  • Author: Vanessa Boas
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: As the title suggests, Friedman deals with contemporary human rights culture, which he believes to be a product of modernity. The author reasons that the rise of expressive individualism, which has paved the way for human rights consciousness, is unique to our times and to the developed world. Affluence has allowed the individual to flourish and has given rise to demands for basic rights as a kind of safety net against the perils of individualism. For the author, these trends can be observed all over the developed world, be it in the West or in Asia.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Asia