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  • Author: Richard Barrett
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Soufan Group
  • Abstract: Over 12,000 fighters from at least 81 countries have joined the civil war in Syria, and the numbers continue to grow. Around 2,500 are from Western countries, including most members of the European Union, the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. There are also several hundred from Russia. But the great majority are from the Arab World. Most are fighting with rebel groups, and increasingly with the most extreme among them; but many are also fighting with the Government, or with ethnic or faith communities that are trying to protect themselves from both sides. A lot are young, often teenagers, and a fair percentage of those arriving from non-Muslim majority countries are converts to Islam. These and others who share their faith commonly express their motivation as a religious obligation to protect fellow Muslims from attack. This sense of duty is captured by their loose use of the word 'jihad'.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, International Security
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Middle East, Canada, Arabia, Australia, Syria, New Zealand
  • Author: Karl-Heinz Kamp
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: Moscow's aggression against Ukraine has truly been a “game changer” for the Atlantic Alliance. Its implications for NATO's further evolution can hardly be over-estimated and after the likely shoot-down of a Malaysian civil aircraft over Ukrainian territory, controlled by pro-Russian rebels, the situation is even more unpredictable. Even if the catastrophe has put heavy political pressure on President Putin to reduce Russian involvement in Ukraine, Moscow is still not likely to revert the annexation of the Crimean peninsula. As a result, the crisis will dominate the international security debate for a long time to come. Thus, signs of resolve directed at Russia, measures to reassure the NATO members in Eastern Europe and indications of further cooperation with Ukraine will rank very high on the agenda of the NATO summit in Wales in September 2014. With the draw-down of the operation in Afghanistan, some Allies tend to see NATO's future role as primarily to preserve the territorial integrity of its member states. Hence, they argue in favour of a “back to basics” approach with an Alliance concentrated on its defence mission, according to Article 5 of the Washington Treaty.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism, International Security
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Malaysia, Ukraine, Asia, Moscow
  • Author: Michael Ruhle
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: The crisis in Ukraine, which culminated in Russia's annexation of the Crimea, marks a new low in NATO-Russia relations. While this relationship had been deteriorating for quite some time, Moscow's role in the Ukraine crisis revealed a geopolitical agenda that caught many observers by surprise. In the course of just a few weeks Russia clearly emerged as a revisionist power, behaving in a manner reminiscent of the "predatory nation-states from the 19th century" and changing borders by force in order to deny a neighbouring country the choice to determine its own alignments.
  • Topic: Security, Political Violence, Defense Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Asia, Moscow
  • Author: Roger McDermott, Brooke Smith-Windsor, Heidi Reisinger
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: Russia's behaviour in the Ukrainian crisis has been described by some as giving rise to “the most dangerous situation in East-West relations since the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968.” For one, NATO's recently retired Supreme Allied Commander has called for immediate action in response. This could include, for example, bringing the NATO Response Force – a sea, air, land, special forces capability – to a higher state of alert, and sailing NATO maritime forces into the Black Sea.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, NATO
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Asia
  • Author: Hanna Shelest
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: The pictures of Kyiv on fire in early 2014 have attracted attention of the world's media, with Molotov cocktails, barricades and injured journalists making headlines. This is in sharp contrast to the previous two months, when hundreds of thousands of people were coming every Sunday to the main square – Maidan Nezalezhnosti – in peaceful protest.
  • Topic: Security, Politics, Social Movement
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Asia
  • Author: Heidi Reisinger
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: On 27 January 2014, the NATO Defense College Research Division hosted its Russia Roundtable, where international experts from various research institutions meet senior practitioners from the International Staff and International Military Staff from NATO HQ.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, NATO, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Andrew Monaghan, Keir Giles
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: When U.S. President Barack Obama cancelled a scheduled September 2013 summit meeting with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, “lack of progress on issues such as missile defense” was cited as the primary justification. Despite widespread and well founded assumption that the real trigger for the cancellation was the Russian decision to offer temporary asylum to Edward Snowden, the citing of missile defense was indicative. The comment marked one of the periodic plateaus of mutual frustration between the United States and Russia over U.S. attitudes to missile defense capability, stemming from a continued failure to achieve meaningful dialogue over U.S. plans and Russian fears.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe
  • Author: Nadia Helmy
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: In the past three decades, Chinese Iranian and Middle East Studies have become more and more systematic, which is reflected not only in the great volume of publication, but also in the varied research methodologies and the increase in Iranian and Middle East academic journals. The development of Chinese Middle East studies have accelerated in particular after Arab Spring revolutions and the political changes in the Middle East (2000- 2013). Research institutes evolved from state-controlled propaganda offices into multi-dimensional academic and non-academic entities, including universities, research institutes, military institutions, government offices, overseas embassies and mass media. At the same time, publications evolved from providing an introduction and overview of Iran and Middle Eastern states to in-depth studies of Middle East politics and economics in three stages: beginnings (1949- 1978), growth (1979- 1999), and dealing with energy, religion, culture, society and security. The Middle East-related research programs' funding provided by provincial, ministerial and national authorities have increased and the quality of research has greatly improved. And finally, China has established, as well as joined, various academic institutions and NGOs, such as the Chinese Middle East Studies Association (CMESA), the Asian Middle East Studies Association (AMESA) and the Arabic Literature Studies Association (ALSA). However, Chinese Middle East Studies remain underdeveloped, both in comparison with China's American, European, and Japanese studies at home, and with Middle East studies in the West.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy, Government, Politics, Religion, Culture, Authoritarianism
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, America, Europe, Iran, Middle East, Arabia
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Panorama Stay up-to-date with the latest trends and events from around the hemisphere with AQ's Panorama. Each issue, AQ packs its bags and offers readers travel tips on a new Americas destination. In this issue: Mexico is Still Waiting for “Los Bitles” World Games, Cali American Sabor 10 Things to Do: Ponce, Puerto Rico Heart-Stopping U.S. Food Festivals From the Think Tanks.
  • Topic: Security, Governance
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Latin America, Mexico
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Prost, Brazil! Grab a stein-full of caipirinha and stroll down to Ipanema beach in your lederhosen—it's Germany-Brazil Year in Brazil. The yearlong festival, aimed at deepening German-Brazilian relations, kicked off in May with the opening of the German-Brazilian Economic Forum in São Paulo. “Brazil is one of the most successful new centers of power in the world,” says Guido Westerwelle, Germany's foreign minister. “We want to intensify cooperation with Brazil, not only economically but also culturally.” It's no surprise that Brazil, the sixth-largest economy in the world, has caught the attention of Europe's financial powerhouse. Brazil is Germany's most important trading partner in Latin America, accounting for $14.2 billion in imports in 2012. With some 1,600 German companies in Brazil providing 250,000 jobs and 17 percent of industrial GDP, it's an economic relationship that clearly has mutual benefits.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Environment
  • Political Geography: United States, New York, Europe, Brazil, Germany, Mexico
  • Author: Albrecht Schnabel, Marc Krupanski
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: The end of the Cold War more than two decades ago created new international realities, along with hopes and expectations for greater peace and stability worldwide. Part of that peace dividend was expected to be the result of a decrease in defense spending, with direct consequences for the size and functions of nations' armed forces. As a result, in parts of the world that benefited from increased security, the changing security challenges and interpretations of what should be considered suitable tasks and roles of armed forces have led to "profound . shifts in their core roles . (which are) . increasingly challenging long-held assumptions about what armed forces are for and how they should be structured and organized"
  • Topic: Security, Cold War
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Isabelle Ioannides
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The EU has increasingly intensified the link between its internal and external security concerns and needs, particularly in relation to its neighbours (the Western Balkans and the southern Mediterranean). This adaptation at legal, institutional, strategic and operational levels has sought to improve the coherence and effectiveness of EU external action. Yet, for the Union to tackle ongoing and new challenges in the immediate neighbourhood with today's financial and political constraints, it must be resourceful. The EU should make 'smart' use of its tools and capitalise on existing assets (reinforce the comprehensive approach, strengthen broad-based dialogue on security in the EU members states, and build relations of trust with third countries) to ensure that reforms in the immediate neighbourhood are sustainable, also for the benefit of long-term EU interests.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Europe, Balkans
  • Author: Mette Eilstrup-Sangiovanni
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Fifteen years ago, the European Union (EU) launched a Common European Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). Since then, the CSDP has been the focus of a growing body of political and scholarly evaluations. While most commentators have acknowledged shortfalls in European military capabilities, many remain cautiously optimistic about the CSDP's future. This article uses economic alliance theory to explain why EU member states have failed, so far, to create a potent common defence policy and to evaluate the policy's future prospects. It demonstrates, through theoretical, case study-based and statistical analysis, that CSDP is more prone to collective action problems than relevant institutional alternatives, and concludes that the best option for Europeans is to refocus attention fully on cooperation within a NATO framework.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Economics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Todd H. Hall, Jia Ian Chong
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: A century has passed since the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo set in motion a chain of events that would eventually convulse Europe in war. Possibly no conflict has been the focus of more scholarly attention. The questions of how and why European states came to abandon peaceful coexistence for four years of armed hostilities—ending tens of millions of lives and several imperial dynasties—have captivated historians and international relations scholars alike.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Middle East, East Asia
  • Author: Jack Snyder
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: One reason why Europe went to war in 1914 is that all of the continental great powers judged it a favorable moment for a fight, and all were pessimistic about postponing the fight until later. On its face, this explanation constitutes a paradox. Still, each power had a superficially plausible reason for thinking this was true.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, War
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Mark Purdon
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Relations and Development
  • Institution: Central and East European International Studies Association
  • Abstract: In this article, I present a neoclassical realist theory of climate change politics that challenges the idea that cooperation on climate change is compelled alone by shared norms and interests emanating from the international level and questions if instead material factors also play a significant constraining role. Relative-gains concerns incited by the international resource transfers implicit in climate change policy may compel some states to be prudent in their international climate change efforts and conserve resources domestically for future contingencies, including their own adaptation and resiliency. Neoclassical realism recognises such systemic constraints while also identifying international and domestic factors—a 'two-level game'—that explain variation in state sensitivity to relative gains. As a preliminary test of this theory, I compare the latest data on the magnitude, distribution and financial 'additionality' of climate funds and carbon markets. Climate funds are found to be more vulnerable to systemic forces identified by neoclassical realism because they are largely drawn from existing official development assistance budgets despite international commitments that funds are 'new and additional'. Carbon markets engage a relatively broader number of states and, contrary to moral hazard concerns, have been used to a greater degree by states reducing emissions domestically. While there are concerns about whether carbon credits represent genuine emission reductions, the effectiveness of climate funds is equally, if not more, dubious. I conclude that, while imperfect, carbon markets have too often been unfairly compared with an ideal climate finance mechanism that assumes few political constraints on international resource transfers for climate change.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, International Security, Political Theory, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Stefan Borg
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Relations and Development
  • Institution: Central and East European International Studies Association
  • Abstract: The European Union is often presented as an entity that has 'moved beyond' the model of organising political life along the way of the modern sovereign state. This paper questions this understanding by engaging a set of texts that could be understood as exemplary of the EU's official discourse of Europe: EU's failed Constitutional Treaty and Javier Solana's collected speeches. A paradox is herein identified: the values that are said to sustain Europe's identity and upon which Europe is founded are simultaneously presented as distinctly European and universal. It is suggested that Europe is being crafted in a pendular oscillation between particularising and universalising the values upon which Europe allegedly rests. By drawing on critical International Relations theory, the paper suggests that this very contradictory oscillation between particularising and universalising Europe's values to an important extent mirrors modern statecraft. One should therefore think twice before announcing the construction of the European Union as something qualitatively different from, or 'gentler' than, modern statecraft.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Political Theory, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Gunther Hellmann, Gabi Schlag, Benjamin Herborth, Christian Weber
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Relations and Development
  • Institution: Central and East European International Studies Association
  • Abstract: The primary objective of this article is to theorise transformations of Western order in a manner that does not presuppose a fixed understanding of 'the West' as a pre-constituted political space, ready-made and waiting for social scientific enquiry. We argue that the Copenhagen School's understanding of securitisation dynamics provides an adequate methodological starting point for such an endeavour. Rather than taking for granted the existence of a Western 'security community', we thus focus on the performative effects of a security semantics in which 'the West' figures as the threatened, yet notoriously vague referent object that has to be defended against alleged challenges. The empirical part of the article reconstructs such securitisation dynamics in three different fields: the implications of representing China's rise as a challenge to Western order, the effects of the transformation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) towards a global security actor, and the consequences of extraordinary renditions and practices of torture for the normative infrastructure of 'the West'. We conclude that Western securitisation dynamics can be understood as a discursive shift away from a legally enshrined culture of restraint and towards more assertive forms of self-authorisation.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Political Theory, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Syuzanna Vasilyan
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Relations and Development
  • Institution: Central and East European International Studies Association
  • Abstract: This article develops a new conceptual framework of 'moral power' by arguing that the 'civilian'/'normative' power Europe paradigms are insufficient for understanding the essence of the conflict resolution policy of the European Union (EU) in the South Caucasus. Analysing the conflicts of Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Nagorno-Karabakh, the study reveals that until the August 2008 war, the EU was an incoherent actor in terms of the interplay among its institutions and member-states. The EU's policy has been devoid of a long-term peace-focused strategy, making it inconsequential; as a result, the EU has merely dealt with, rather than managed, the conflicts. Its rhetoric has been inconsistent with practice. Often the EU has subordinated its values to material and power-related interests. Moreover, the EU has hardly been normatively stable in its approach to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Bypassing inclusiveness until the launch of the Geneva talks pertaining to the Abkhazian and South Ossetian conflicts, the EU has not enjoyed much legitimacy by the de facto states. Whereas the EU has largely failed to resolve the South Caucasian conflicts, it has achieved partial success by putting a halt to the 2008 hostilities between Russia and Georgia. Overall, having faltered as a 'civilian'/'normative' power it still has to fare as a 'moral power'.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Political Theory, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Georgia, South Caucasus, South Ossetia, Abkhazia
  • Author: Anca Pusca
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Relations and Development
  • Institution: Central and East European International Studies Association
  • Abstract: Remembering communism in Central and Eastern Europe is a tricky business, as memories are increasingly put on display through practices of museumisation, collective and personal biographies and official investigations. Everything — from former factories to architecture, monuments and statues, to secret service files and other material reminders — is carefully reshaped into politically convenient, or in some cases inconvenient, discourses.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Political Theory, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Europe