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  • 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: Gordon S. Bardos
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Warsaw East European Review (WEER)
  • Institution: Centre for East European Studies, University of Warsaw
  • Abstract: The decline in the number of Balkan jihad volunteers setting off for the Islamic State over the past couple of years should not lull observers into the belief that the threat posed by the militant Islamist movement in southeastern Europe has declined as well. In fact, the collapse of the Caliphate might increase the threat in the Balkans; as Bajro Ikanović, a Bosnian extremist warned, “your intelligence agencies made a mistake thinking that they would be rid of us, however, the problem for them will be the return of individuals trained for war.” Ikanović himself will not be carrying out this threat, however, because he was killed in Syria, but no doubt many of his comrades feel the same way.
  • Topic: Terrorism, Islamic State
  • Political Geography: Europe, Bosnia, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Plamen Pantev
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Security and International Studies (ISIS)
  • Abstract: 70 years ago Bulgaria and the Peope’s Republic of China (PRC) established diplomatic relations. As a small country we are proud to be among the first that recognized the new great state and to have a record of long and constructive relations throughout this period. Despite the differences in the socio-political systems the bilateral relations of our countries are at its peak. The PRC is a key partner of both Bulgaria and the European Union (EU), to which my country belongs. I am personally grateful to the organizers of the high-level symposium for this first visit of mine to understand the sagacity of a Chinese proverb, I paraphraze, it is better to see something once than read about it one hundred times. China proved – and this is a lesson for all, that direct copying of experience and models of development of other countries may lead to nowhere. A methodological lesson in statecraft given by China from the end of the 70s of the last century till nowdays is that thinking big and whole while recognizing the truth in the facts of life, opening to the rest of the world and persistently reforming in a strategically chosen direction is the right way to success. The ability to take the best from the experience and wisdom of the past, sincerely seeking to share the achievements of mankind is a Chinese accomplishment that deserves to be studied by present and future politicians, including in my part of the world.
  • Topic: Development, Diplomacy, International Cooperation, European Union
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Bulgaria
  • Author: Lindsay Gorman
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMFUS)
  • Abstract: pal story of 1989 in Europe is a story about technology – of radio and information crossing the East-West divide to bring down the Berlin Wall. Indeed, the post-communist narrative became that more connectivity and more connection meant more freedom and more democracy. It was on the wave of this narrative that the Internet became the world’s ultimate connector.1 It has brought globalization and international commerce in an unprecedented and unimaginable way, given activists a platform and a megaphone, and made information about democratic governance available to anyone with a router. Or almost anyone.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Science and Technology, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Jan Techau
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMFUS)
  • Abstract: As party systems across Europe adjust to changed popular demand at rapid speed, the European Union struggles to find its bearings in this whirlwind of political transformation. Euroscepticism has won a few big victories across Europe, and loose talk about the EU falling apart or being beyond repair is rife.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Laura Rosenberger
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMFUS)
  • Abstract: Thirty years after the fall of the Berlin wall, democracies again face a struggle against authoritarianism. This is not the ideological battle of the Cold War, but it is a confrontation between systems of government.
  • Topic: Democratization, International Affairs, Authoritarianism
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Oleksandr Okhrimenko, Stanislav Voloshchenko
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Hiperboreea
  • Institution: Balkan History Association
  • Abstract: The Gavril Uric’s Psalter, created in 1437, remains one of the important manuscripts from the Neamț Monastery and South Slavic Cyrillic heritage. Involving the late medieval religious source into research, especially then it is a common text as Psalter, inspires to see this codex as the material object that was used by several generations. The system how the scribe organized the page, how he solved the mistakes, how he decorated the text is the way of interacts with his readers; behind the sacred text he put eyes of God, shown by his calligraphy. The Psalter of 1437 became a memorial of the scribe Gavril Uric, Leon the monk, and other people, who signed the codex with their names at different times. Until the 19th century, this Psalter remained the physical mediator between the person and God. From the end of the 19th century, the book was an object for scientific research and closed to the public. Nowadays, the digital version gives a new breath for the Psalter and new opportunity to revise our perception and the way in which we study medieval manuscripts.
  • Topic: Religion, Science and Technology, Medieval History
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Saliha Metinsoy
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Global Political Economy, University of Sussex
  • Abstract: Why does the International Monetary Fund (IMF) assign more stringent labor conditions in some cases and not others? This paper argues that the Fund’s bureaucratic organizational culture and neoliberal economic beliefs dictate its interpretation of international economics and predict the stringency of labor conditions in its programs. Particularly, the Fund staff envisage that lower unit labor costs would indirectly increase competitiveness, boost exports, and contribute to the balance of payments in fixed exchange rate regimes, where currency depreciation is not possible. To this end, the Fund assigns more stringent labor conditions in fixed regimes compared to floating ones. To test this theory, the paper uses a mixed method. It firstly demonstrates the association between exchange rate regimes and the stringency of labor conditions in Fund programs in a global sample. It then complements this analysis by showing particular organizational habits and beliefs at work in two cases, namely in Latvia and Hungary in 2008 under their respective IMF programs. Furthermore, the paper shows that distribution of income away from labor groups (i.e. lowered wages) is in fact by design in IMF programs in an attempt to increase competitiveness in fixed regimes.
  • Topic: Economics, International Monetary Fund, International Development, Neoliberalism
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe, Hungary, Latvia
  • Author: Christopher Datta
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: To win the Cold War, President Ronald Reagan did something for which he is never credited: he dramatically increased the budget of the United States Information Agency, the public diplomacy arm of our struggle against communism. Senegal, in September of 1999, was about to hold a presidential election. Because of USIA's long history of promoting journalism in Senegal, the embassy decided to work in partnership with the local Print, Radio and Television Journalists Federation to hold a series of workshops on the role of journalists in covering elections. USIA was uniquely organized to promote democratic development through the long term support of human rights organizations, journalism, programs that helped build the rule of law, educational programs that encouraged the acceptance of diversity in society and, perhaps most importantly, through partnering with and supporting local opinion leaders to help them promote democratic values that stand in opposition to ideologies hostile to the West.
  • Topic: Cold War, Diplomacy, Human Rights, Elections, Democracy, Rule of Law, Ideology, Networks, Journalism
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Russia, United States, Europe, Iran, Soviet Union, West Africa, Syria, Senegal
  • Author: Keith C. Smith
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: President Boris Yeltsin’s imperial views on the “near abroad,” and President Vladimir Putin’s regarding Russia’s alleged “sphere of influence” has left Russia considerably weaker than it would have been otherwise, and the world much more endangered.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Cold War, Diplomacy, Economics, Politics, Armed Forces, Reform, Gas
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Soviet Union, Germany, Estonia, Latvia, United States of America, Baltic States