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  • Author: Frank Murray
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: News breaks that a developing nation\'s budget seems to contain statistical anomalies, with large funds reported missing or unaccounted for. The government\'s official position is inconsistent, and high-ranking officials are suspected of corruption. The international community takes notice but lacks the mechanisms required for corrective justice. The country and its people limp towards progress. Even if this is a story all too familiar in the back pages of the Wall Street Journal it is still a phenomenon that has received too little academic attention. Draining Development? seeks to fill this void by representing a significant collection of analytic papers on illicit financial flows. Commissioned by the World Bank at the request of the Norwegian government and edited by Peter Reuter, the book compiles new empirical and conceptual insights on the composition of illicit monetary flows, the processes that generate them, the sustaining and facilitating role played by tax havens, and the effectiveness of attempts made at prevention and recovery. Substantively, papers in the book cover government corruption, tax evasion and havens, cross border profit sharing, money laundering, human trafficking, transfer price manipulation, and antimoney laundering regulatory schemes. While books that rely on academic compilations can often feel disjointed, here the editor does a tremendous job of presenting the material in ways that allow consistent themes to develop in the reader\'s mind. Taken in its totality, Draining Development? echoes a consistent, persuasive argument: the phenomenon of illicit capital flows is impeding developing and transitional nations and, consequently, the welfare of their people. Furthermore, the international community has yet to successfully deploy the organization and interlocking tools necessary to fully combat the causes and effects of such illicit flows. But which area poses a greater problem, the flows themselves or the social and political structures that created them? Which areas should laws and policies primarily target? The editor suggests a research path to clarify these complex questions. In doing so, Draining Development? serves as the cornerstone of much needed attention and discourse on this subject.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Sara Hagemann
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The ongoing negotiation of the EU's multi-annual budget is heavily constrained by how the decision process takes place. Governments focus on narrowly defined national interests, rather than on securing a better budget for Europe. While the budget is small in size, it could be used as a powerful political tool for much needed economic growth policies on a larger scale.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, Government, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Sean Roberts
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: If Russia is to follow an evolutionary path to democracy, then the regime must be ready to draw the so-called 'non-systemic' opposition into political processes. This gradualist formula for democratic change is also the formula for political stability. A number of liberalising reforms conducted by the regime in response to widespread protests following the December 2011 State Duma election gave grounds for optimism that this process is now underway. However, any hopes that these events would kick-start democratic reforms were short-lived. Rather than draw in opponents, the regime has sought to isolate them, using a combination of reform, non-reform, dividing tactics and repression. But the results have not been positive. The non-systemic opposition is under increasing pressure, having seen its options all but reduced to more protesting. It is also showing signs of radicalisation. At the same time, the Kremlin's uncompromising approach is undermining regime stability. The pressure is building in the Russian political system. The combination of repression and radicalisation could easily see political stagnation degenerate into instability and the EU should take this new dynamic into account in its future policy planning.
  • Topic: Security, Corruption, Democratization, Government, Political Economy, Authoritarianism
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe
  • Author: Charly Salonius-Pasternak, Jarno limnéll
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Cybersecurity concerns everyone, and is everyone's responsibility. It is a genuine example of a society-wide security issue. The United States is ahead of Europe in discussing and integrating (military) cybersecurity into its foreign and security policies. For the US, the biggest challenges at the moment are: updating legal frameworks, creating cyber rules of engagement for the military, building cyber deterrence and clarifying the cybersecurity roles and responsibilities of government and private sector actors. Cooperation at national and international levels is integral to improving cybersecurity. This includes updating international and domestic legal frameworks to ensure that state actions are accountable, and to protect citizens from wanton strikes at critical infrastructure. Governments must hold private sector partners accountable, and through partnerships ensure that societal cybersecurity is not overshadowed by private interests – public-private partnerships have a crucial role to play in this.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Science and Technology, Terrorism, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Emilian Kavalski
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Central European University Political Science Journal
  • Institution: Central European University
  • Abstract: The problems associated with climate change and their unintended consequences have challenged the capacities for comprehension. At the same time, the issues provoked by environmental degradation tend to evince the fickleness of established models for their management. Equally significantly, the dynamics associated with climate change have come to indicate the pervasive uncertainty of the post-Cold War climate of international interactions and the unpredictability of the emerging global patterns. While not new in themselves, the cumulative effects of intensifying environmental threats have drawn the attention of international relations theory to the complex challenges posed by climate change.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Europe, Romania
  • Author: Dan Norton
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Eleven years ago, toward the end of my undergraduate years as a philosophy major at the University of Virginia, I was feeling dissatisfied with my knowledge of history. I had taken several history courses but wanted more. Because my immediate interest was ancient Greece, I decided to try a friend's recommendation, The Life of Greece by Will Durant. Finding the book at the library, I was surprised to see that it was but one volume in a massive series called The Story of Civilization—eleven substantial volumes spanning two feet of shelving.1 Although I wanted to learn more about history, I wasn't sure I wanted to learn that much. It turned out that I did. Reading those volumes—sometimes poring over large portions of them multiple times—would be one of the most enlightening and enjoyable experiences of my life. First published between 1935 and 1975, The Story of Civilization is a work of great and enduring value. Exceptional for its masterful prose as well as its size and scope, the Story is a powerful combination of style and substance. An author of rare literary talents, Durant (1885–1981) won a wide readership through his ability to make history intriguing, lively, and dramatic. His volumes, intended for the general reader and each designed to be readable apart from the others, have sold millions of copies. Some even became best sellers, and the tenth volume, Rousseau and Revolution, won a Pulitzer Prize. Individual volumes have been translated into more than twenty languages.2 Having earned a doctorate in philosophy in 1917 from Columbia University, Durant first won fame and phenomenal success with The Story of Philosophy (1926). This book sold two million copies in a few years and has sold three million copies to date; eighty-five years later, the book is still in print and has been translated into nineteen languages.3 Durant followed this book with another best seller, The Mansions of Philosophy (1929).4 His earnings from these and other books, as well as from articles and public lectures, helped free his time for writing The Story of Civilization, which would be his magnum opus. His wife, Ariel Durant (1898–1981), assisted him throughout his writing of the Story, her assistance increasing to the point that, beginning with the seventh volume, she received credit as coauthor.5 The Story of Civilization begins with Our Oriental Heritage, a volume on Egypt and Asiatic civilizations. The remaining ten volumes tell the story of Western civilization (with a substantial treatment of Islamic civilization in one of the volumes6). Durant's original intention was to tell the story of the West up to the present, but, despite working on the Story for more than four decades, he was unable to do so: “[A]s the story came closer to our own times and interests it presented an ever greater number of personalities and events still vitally influential today; and these demanded no mere lifeless chronicle, but a humanizing visualization which in turn demanded space” (vol. 7, p. vii). The increasing space he gave to each period of European history resulted in his having to end the Story with the downfall of Napoleon in 1815; moreover, he had to omit the history of the Americas entirely. He was ninety when the Story's last volume was published and had carried it as far as he could. In each volume Durant takes a comprehensive approach, covering, for each nation and in each period of its history, all the major aspects of civilization: politics, economics, philosophy, religion, literature, art, and science.7 He called his approach the “integral” or “synthetic” method, and regarded it as an original contribution to historiography.8 Elaborating on the origin of his method, he writes: I had expounded the idea in 1917 in a paper . . . “On the Writing of History.” . . . Its thesis: whereas economic life, politics, religion, morals and manners, science, philosophy, literature, and art had all moved contemporaneously, and in mutual influence, in each epoch of each civilization, historians had recorded each aspect in almost complete separation from the rest. . . . So I cried, “Hold, enough!” to what I later termed “shredded history,” and called for an “integral history” in which all the phases of human activity would be presented in one complex narrative, in one developing, moving, picture. I did not, of course, propose a cloture on lineal and vertical history (tracing the course of one element in civilization), nor on brochure history (reporting original research on some limited subject or event), but I thought that these had been overdone, and that the education of mankind required a new type of historian—not quite like Gibbon, or Macaulay, or Ranke, who had given nearly all their attention to politics, religion, and war, but rather like Voltaire, who, in his Siècle de Louis XIV and his Essai sur les moeurs, had occasionally left the court, the church, and the camp to consider and record morals, literature, philosophy, and art.9 Durant's integral history does not only occasionally consider these latter areas (which he calls “cultural history” or “the history of the mind,”)10 it emphasizes them. “While recognizing the importance of government and statesmanship, we have given the political history of each period and state as the oft-told background, rather than the substance or essence of the tale; our chief interest was in the history of the mind” (vol. 10, p. vii). (Nevertheless, the Story contains ample and excellent material on politics.) The Story is by far the most massive and thorough treatment of Western civilization by a single author (or team of two) that I have been able to find. Large teams of historians have collaborated to produce similarly large, or even larger, works. But such works, writes a respected historian, “while they gain substantially in authoritative character, are seriously lacking in correlation and are not written from a . . . harmonious point of view.”11 Harmony is indeed one of the cardinal virtues of Durant's work; readers find therein a beautifully integrated tale of man's past, a veritable symphony of history. For this reason and others—notably, Durant's grand, philosophical overviews and scintillating style—I believe that many, and perhaps most, readers will find no better place to turn for a large treatment of Western civilization than The Story of Civilization. . . .
  • Topic: Government, History
  • Political Geography: America, Europe
  • Author: Gavin Weins
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Alliances have, and likely always will have, a common feature of international diplomacy for a number of reasons. First, the primary objective of any government is defence and states will attempt to heighten security through international agreements. Second, military and economic power is unevenly distributed among states and weaker powers will unavoidably gravitate toward stronger powers in search of increased protection and commercial benefits. Third, an alliance can occasionally be the most effective means of tying the hands of a rival. Despite the variety of objectives that encourage the formation of alliances and the numerous forms that international agreements can assume, Marco Cesa argues that international relations theory has consistently recognized the existence of only one type of alliance: those agreements between states that are designed to confront an aggressive and dangerous “common enemy.” Above all, this viewpoint has one-dimensionally characterized alliances as unions of separate forces, policy-coordination organizations, or as takers of joint action against some third party. The “internal” dimensions of alliances, or the complex negotiations between allies, have consequently been overshadowed by the “external” dimensions, or the measures implemented by the allies to confront the threatening power. Nevertheless, states are almost always involved in ambiguous and clandestine diplomatic manoeuvres against not only enemies, but allies as well. Through an examination of this “darker side” of alliances, Cesa attempts to highlight the shortcomings of traditional international relations theory and, at the same time, offer an alternative framework for the examination of inter-ally relations.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Clara Marina O'Donnell
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The formation of a coalition government by the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, combined with the need for important cuts to Britain's armed forces has raised significant uncertainties about Britain's attitude to defence cooperation within the European Union. Since taking office the coalition, while grappling with the implications of Britain's fiscal challenges, has shown an unprecedented interest in strengthening bilateral defence collaborations with certain European partners, not least France. However, budgetary constraints have not induced stronger support for defence cooperation at the EU level. On the contrary, under the new government, Britain has accelerated its withdrawal from the EU's Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). This article assesses the approach of the coalition to the CSDP. It argues that, from the perspective of British interests, the need for EU defence cooperation has increased over the last decade and that the UK's further withdrawal from EU efforts is having a negative impact. The coalition is undermining a framework which has demonstrated the ability to improve, albeit modestly, the military capabilities of other European countries. In addition, by sidelining the EU at a time when the UK is forced to resort more extensively to cost-saving synergies in developing and maintaining its own armed forces, David Cameron's government is depriving itself of the use of potentially helpful EU agencies and initiatives—which the UK itself helped set up. Against the background of deteriorating European military capabilities and shifts in US priorities, the article considers what drove Britain to support EU defence cooperation over a decade ago and how those pressures have since strengthened. It traces Britain's increasing neglect of the CSDP across the same period, the underlying reasons for this, and how the coalition's current stance of disengagement is damaging Britain's interests.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Britain, Europe, France
  • Author: Petros C. Mavroidis, Juan A. Marchetti
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: The Uruguay Round services negotiations saw the light of day amidst pressures from lobbies in developed countries, unilateral retaliatory actions, and ideological struggle in the developing world. The final outcome, the GATS, certainly characterized by a complex structure and awkward drafting here and there, is not optimal but is an important first step towards the liberalization of trade in services. This article traces the GATS negotiating history, from its very beginning in the late 1970s, paying particular attention to the main forces that brought the services dossier to the multilateral trading system (governments, industries, and academics), and the interaction between developed and developing countries before and during the Uruguay Round. We will follow the actions, positions, and negotiating stances of four trading partners – Brazil, the European Union, India, and the United States – that were key in the development of the GATS. Finally, we will, indicatively at least, try to attribute a 'paternity' (or, rather, a 'maternity') to some key features and provisions of the agreement.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, India, Brazil
  • Author: Joachim Burbiel
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Security Sector Management
  • Institution: Centre for Security Sector Management
  • Abstract: The aim of this paper is to provide a comprehensive overview of issues, trends and changes in British military research and development, with an emphasis on the time of the last Labour government (1997 to 2010). The analysis is focussed on doctrinal documents issued by government institutions. Tensions in British defence matters are highlighted by documenting responses to these documents from parliamentary bodies and a wider public
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe