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  • Author: Jeremy Konyndyk
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The Government Reform and Reorganization Plan released earlier this year by the White House calls for substantial reform of US humanitarian institutions. The plan mandates that the State Department and USAID produce a “specific reorganization proposal” to “optimize” humanitarian assistance and “eliminate duplication of efforts and fragmentation of decision-making.” This policy note lays out guidance for how an ambitious but feasible optimization could be achieved. It is informed by two high-level private roundtables convened by the Center for Global Development to solicit expert input, as well as a desk review of documents, expert interviews, and the author’s own experiences serving in the humanitarian arms of both USAID and the State Department. While numerous experts contributed thoughts and feedback, the author takes sole responsibility for the views represented herein.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Susannah Hares
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: It’s tricky to evaluate government education policies. They’re not implemented in NGO-like laboratory conditions, and political motivation and public sector capacity constraints play as much of a role in their success or failure as policy design. Using the examples of three rigorous studies of three different education policies, this note aims to shed some light from the perspective of someone on the policy side on how, why, and when to evaluate government-led reforms. A government education policy is not an abstract theory that can easily be replicated in a different place. In each new context, it is effectively a brand-new programme and needs to be evaluated as that. None of the three examples presented was “new” as a policy: school inspections, school vouchers, and charter schools have all been tried and evaluated elsewhere. But the evaluations of these policies—when implemented in new contexts—illuminated a new set of challenges and lessons and generated a different set of results.
  • Topic: Education, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Josh Freed
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Third Way
  • Abstract: Third Way Senior Vice President for Clean Energy Josh Freed released the following statement on the United Steelworkers and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers drive to organize production and maintenance workers at Tesla’s solar factory in Buffalo, New York:
  • Topic: Climate Change, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Josh Freed
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Third Way
  • Abstract: I am not only the Vice President for Clean Energy at Third Way, a center left think tank based in Washington dedicated to getting the United States to zero carbon pollution by 2050. I am also a native of the DC area and almost twenty-year District resident. My father was born here, as were my children.
  • Topic: Climate Change, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ryan Fitzpatrick
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Third Way
  • Abstract: My name is Ryan Fitzpatrick, and I am a resident of Ward 5 in the District of Columbia and Deputy Director of Clean Energy for Third Way, a policy think tank here in DC. As we saw yesterday with the release of the new report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the world is facing an enormous challenge in the fight against climate change. We at Third Way believe that this demands urgent, aggressive action now to reduce and eliminate carbon pollution as cost-effectively, and from as many sectors of the economy, as possible
  • Topic: Climate Change, Globalization, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Gabe Horwitz
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Third Way
  • Abstract: The basic tenets of Unemployment Insurance (UI) have changed little since the program was enacted during the Great Depression. It was built as a bridge for workers between jobs in similar industries that required similar skills. You lose your job and a weekly check tides you over until you land a new one, usually doing the same type of work as before.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Employment
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Michael B Greenwald
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: In the post-9/11 era, Washington has waged innovative campaigns against terrorism finance, sanctions evasion, and money laundering. Leveraging America’s heavyweight status in the international financial system, the United States Treasury has isolated and bankrupted rogue regimes, global terrorists, and their enablers. As financial technology transforms global business, the traditional financial system faces new competition across a suite of offerings, ranging from brokerage services to peer to peer lending. In no area is this clearer than in mobile payments, where a global hegemon lies ready to exercise its weight, and it is not the United States
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs, Financial Markets
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Martin S. Feldstein
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The cost to US consumers and firms imposed by tariffs on Chinese imports is not large relative to the gain that would be achieved if the US succeeds in persuading China to stop illegally taking US firms’ technology. But the Trump administration should state that this is the goal, and that the tariffs will be removed when it is met.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Asia Society Policy Institute
  • Abstract: HISTORY TEACHES US THAT PICKING WHEN ONE AGE ENDS AND ANOTHER BEGINS is a tricky business. None of us has the powers of reflection, perception, or anticipation to identify when certain tipping points of historical significance are reached. And when we reach such conclusions, it’s usually with the full benefit of 20/20 hindsight, which for those of us working in the rarefied world of contemporary public policy is not particularly useful
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Don Rassler
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point
  • Abstract: The Islamic State is a group known for doing things a bit differently, for its capacity for innovation, and for its many ‘firsts.’ Two of those ‘firsts’ happened within months of each other. The first occurred in October 2016 when the group used a bomb-laden drone to kill, after the explosive hidden within the drone killed two Kurdish peshmerga soldiers who were investigating the device. Another ‘first’ happened in January 2017 when the Islamic State released a propaganda video that showed nearly a dozen examples of the group releasing munitions on its enemies from the air with a fair degree of accuracy via quadcopter drones it had modified. And it wasn’t long before the group’s bomb-drop capable drones would go on to kill, too.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jason Warner, Hilary Matfess
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point
  • Abstract: Since 2009, the Islamist group known as Boko Haram has ushered in a wave of violence across the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, at the intersection of Nigeria, Niger, Chad, and Cameroon. Among other tactics that it has employed during its reign of terror, the group has been noted for its use of suicide bombers. While the prevalence of suicide bombings has been duly recognized, little remains known about the broader arc of their existence and efficacy: What strategic and operational trends underlie Boko Haram’s use of suicide bombers, and how effective have they been at achieving their objectives? Just who are Boko Haram’s suicide bombers? Where are they deployed, what do they target, and how do different bomber demographics differ in their actions? More broadly, what does Boko Haram’s use of suicide bombers reveal about the past, present, and future of the terrorist group?
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Zeliha Eliaçık
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: To the contrary of its relatively “new” relations with the United States of America, Turkey’s relations with the West have been established and continued via Europe since the period of the Ottoman Empire.1 The military alliance and cooperation initiated between Turkey and Germany in the late 19th century have gained a human dimension in the frame of the “Turkish Labor Force Agreement” signed upon the settlement of Turkish workers in Germany in the 20th century. Bilateral relations have been maintained without interruption despite occasional fluctuations in the intensity of these relations. Recently, the two countries have maintained closer ties as they both are affected by the U.S. sanctions and “trade wars.”
  • Topic: International Relations, International Cooperation, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Germany, Global Focus
  • Author: Luis Simon
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Elcano Royal Institute
  • Abstract: Europeans and Japanese are often described as ‘natural’ partners. As liberal democracies, market economies and close allies of the US, they have similar world views and share many interests. They also have a long history of cooperation, whose foundations go back to Japan’s embracing of modernisation and industrialisation in the late 19th century along European lines
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: William Chislett
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Elcano Royal Institute
  • Abstract: Whichever way one looks at it, Spain has been profoundly transformed since the 1978 democratic Constitution that sealed the end of the 1939-75 dictatorship of General Francisco Franco, the victor of the three-year Civil War. Be it economically with, for example, the creation of significant number of multinationals or the world’s second-largest tourism industry in terms of visitors (81.8 million in 2017), politically with a vibrant democracy that ranks high in classifications, socially with the greatly improved status of women or in foreign policy –where Spain has reclaimed its place on the international stage–, the country bears no resemblance to what it was like 40 years ago. Over the period, per capita income at purchasing power parity increased fivefold and life expectancy at birth rose by almost 10 years. All the more remarkable is that the transition, guided by King Juan Carlos I, was achieved in the face of considerable adversity. It was not guaranteed from the outset to be successful: the Basque terrorist group ETA killed an average of 50 people a year in the first decade of democracy (and mounted assassination attempts in 1995 on both the King and the Prime Minister, José María Aznar), and Francoist officers staged a coup in 1981 in an attempt to turn back the clock. The economy, which was entering a period of recession, galloping inflation and rising unemployment, was also subjected to unprecedented competition after decades of protectionism. In the first three months of 1976 there were 17,731 cases of industrial action alone. Today’s problems, such as the very high jobless rate, particularly among young adults, acute income inequality, increased social exclusion, the illegal push for independence in Catalonia and corruption in the political class do not detract from the fact that Spain has enjoyed an unprecedented period of prosperity and stability over the past 40 years. Spain has achieved conditions that are similar –in some cases better– than in the rest of Western European nations, disproving the theory, still beloved in some quarters, of the country’s ‘exceptional nature’ or ‘anomaly’.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ian Anthony
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: International Centre for Defence and Security - ICSD
  • Abstract: On 11-12 July 2018, the heads of state and government of the North Atlantic Alliance met in Brussels. Political and public attention centred almost exclusively on the Allies’ defence expenditure, the issue of spending 2% of national GDPs on defence, and President Donald Trump’s criticism of Canada and European nations. The political agenda of the summit, however, and the range of decisions taken there, was much broader and much more substantial. It was the third summit in a row since 2014 that dealt with NATO’s far-reaching and long-term adaptation to the fundamentally changed security environment since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the illegal occupation of Crimea, as well as the emergence of the terrorist organisation ISIL/Daesh. The Wales summit of 2014 adopted the Readiness Action Plan (RAP) as an initial response to Russia’s aggressive posture.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jonatan Vseviov
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: International Centre for Defence and Security - ICSD
  • Abstract: Jonatan Vesviov is the Estonian Ambassador to the US. Before this he worked in the Estonian Ministry of Defence for 10 years. He served as Director of the Policy Planning Department, the ministry’s representative in the Washington embassy, acting and later substantive Undersecretary for Defence Planning, and for two and a half years, Permanent Secretary. This decade saw tumultuous developments in the international situation—the Russian offensive against Georgia, intervention in Syria, the occupation and annexation of the Crimea and ongoing Russian aggression against Ukraine in the east of the country. Reorganisation within NATO to respond to Russian behaviour, part of which was the deployment of allied forces to the eastern border of the Alliance, also occurred during this period.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: François Lhoumeau
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: The Centre for Security Studies
  • Abstract: The third round of the public opinion survey "The Citizens’ Opinion of the Police Force" was conducted in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia and Serbia. The questionnaire based on which the public opinion survey was conducted was devised by the regional network POINTPULSE to provide answers concerning the citizens’ opinion of the police. The questionnaire included six groups of questions
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Amar Bhattacharya, Homi Kharas, Mark Plant, Annalisa Prizzon
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: The new global agenda, with Agenda 2030 at its core, is ambitious, comprehensive, and universal. The three central goals now are to reignite growth, deliver on the sustainable development goals (SDGs), and meet the ambitions of the Paris climate agreement aimed at mitigating climate change and adapting to its effects. Achieving these goals will require a significant scaling up and reorientation of investments, especially for sustainable infrastructure and human development. Implementing this agenda is urgent, as the world is witnessing the largest wave of urban expansion in history and more infrastructure will come on stream over the next 15 years than the world’s existing stock. This is also the last opportunity to manage remaining significant demographic transitions.
  • Topic: International Affairs, International Development
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Constanze Stelzenmüller
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Year one of the Trump administration has been uniquely unnerving. Yet the trans-Atlantic security community has also been breathing a sigh of relief, because many of their worst expectations seem to have been averted: trade wars, an attack on North Korea, the end of NATO. The conventional wisdom in Washington, DC and many European capitals today is that—despite a president who continues to defy conventions—U.S.-European relations have largely normalized. As a result, most Europeans are attempting to ride out what they believe to be a temporary aberration of American politics with a mixture of hugging and hedging. There is certainly evidence for a normalization of U.S. foreign policy, not least in the president’s formal endorsement of NATO’s mutual defense clause, and the reinforcement of American contributions to reassurance and deterrence in Eastern Europe. There are also many signs that the past year has re-energized American civil society, belying determinist critics in Europe. But Trumpism needs to be recognized as a massive discontinuity. Trump is the first postwar American president to question the liberal order as such. In its purest form, the “America First” doctrine has implications for the EU and some of its member states (especially Germany) that should be of intense concern to Europeans. Europeans should worry even more, however, about its fundamentalist critique of globalization (which it refers to as globalism) as a quasiadversarial ideology. The globalization-globalism dichotomy, unlike all previous transAtlantic disagreements, is a dispute about the nature of the world we live in. And it is a wedge that could drive the United States and Europe apart. America could attempt (at immense cost to itself) to decouple from the liberal world order and the global economy. But for Europe to do so would be suicidal. This flips the existing logic of the trans-Atlantic alliance on its head: it is Europe now that has the greater—and for it, existential—interest in preserving an international order that safeguards peace and globalization
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Helene Maria Kyed, Finn Stepputat, Lars Erslev Andersen, Maya Mynster Christensen
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: By 2035 an estimated 60 per cent of the world’s population will live in cities. Due to the fast-growing rate of urbanisation, many future conflicts are expected to take place in urban terrains. Therefore defence and security organisations are becoming increasingly interested in understanding the trends and dynamics of cities. This report under the DIIS Defense and Security Projects contributes with a deepened understanding of the security challenges in four cities – Nairobi, Beirut, Hargeisa and Yangon – with a particular focus on mass migration and political authority.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Andre Barrinha
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: Cyberspace has become a major locus and focus of international relations. Most global powers have now streamlined cyber issues into their foreign policies, adopting cyber strategies, and appointing designated diplomats to pursue these strategic objectives. This article proposes to explore the concept of cyber-diplomacy, by analysing its evolution and linking it to the broader discussions of diplomacy as a fundamental institution of international society, as defined by the English School of International Relations. It argues that cyber-diplomacy is an emerging international practice that is attempting to construct a cyber-international society, bridging the national interests of states with world society dynamics – the predominant realm in which cyberspace has evolved in the last four decades.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Cybersecurity
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Pieter D. Wezeman
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: The volume of international transfers of major weapons in 2013–17 was 10 per cent higher than in 2008–12. This is a continuation of the upward trend that began in the early 2000s. The flow of arms to the Middle East and Asia and Oceania increased between 2008–12 and 2013–17, while there was a decrease in the flow to the Americas, Africa and Europe.
  • Topic: International Security
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Syed Mohammed Ali
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Passage of the eighteenth amendment to Pakistan’s constitution in 2010 was rightly hailed as a major accomplishment. Not only did it devolve significant powers from the central government to the provinces, it also mandated the formation of local governments to bring government closer to the people. It took half a decade for the provinces to set up local governments—and real decision-making authority and financial resources have been even slower to arrive. In this Special Report, Syed Mohammad Ali takes stock of Pakistan’s devolution process and why its success is critical to the long-term prospects of democracy and the cultivation of new generations of democratic leaders.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: A historic peace accord ended the 50-year armed conflict between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in 2016. Following the terms of the agreement, in 2017, more than 10,000 FARC combatants surrendered over 8,000 weapons and consolidated into 26 encampments, transitioning to civilian life. Implementing the accord — which means cementing the agreement into national legislation and ensuring its provisions reach all corners of the country equitably — remains difficult.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Imtiaz Ali
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Pakistan’s government has recently approved mainstreaming of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in an effort to bring the FATA region within the legal and governance structures of the rest of Pakistan and place it on a footing of parity. The mainstreaming should aid the FATA people economically and reduce militancy in the region, which would contribute greatly to Pakistan’s peace and security. Despite government approval and repeated assurances by the country’s top leadership that changes in the FATA governance system is a must and the status quo must end, the process has been stalled, as there are differences in opinion on the future status of FATA. Still, many tribesmen are hopeful the government will go ahead with the approved plan of mainstreaming FATA and their agony will end.
  • Topic: International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Erik Lundsgaarde
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Critical public attitudes toward economic globalization reflect a response to different facets of globalization and varied consequences of international market integration for individuals. The distribution of benefits and losses related to globalization provides a starting point for numerous studies of attitudes toward economic integration. Individuals perceive globalization’s benefits differently depending on their sector of employment or level of educational attainment, among other factors. In addition to these explanations, attention to the institutions and policies that influence how governments engage with globalization and manage its domestic consequences can also inform the analysis of why scepticism to economic integration varies across national settings.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Joseph Antos, Robert Moffit
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Medicare’s financial outlook has deteriorated in the past year, according to the latest annual report by the program’s trustees. The Medicare Hospital Insurance trust fund is projected to be depleted in 2026, three years earlier than estimated in last year’s report. That understates the policy challenge. Every year, the program relies more on general revenues to cover its costs. In total, Medicare will receive $324 billion in general revenues this year. That will more than double by 2026. Prompt action is needed to put Medicare on a sound financial footing.
  • Topic: International Organization
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Gary J. Schmitt
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was established to meet the security threat posed by the Soviet Union. Often overlooked, though, are the ways in which it has provided the material and behavioral grounds for the larger liberal order in Europe to emerge.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Frederick M. Hess, Lanae Erikson Hatalsky
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Only about half of students who begin college actually complete their degree, which makes it increasingly difficult and expensive to brush the college completion problem under the rug.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Bradford Wilcox, Wendy Wang, Ronald Mincy
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Over the last decade, much of the racial news and academic research on black men in America has been sobering, if not downright depressing. But negative news isn’t the only story about race or even about black males in the United States. In Black Men Making It in America, we report some good news:
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Race, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Nils-Sjard Schulz
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: After intense negotiations, the United Nations General Assembly has endorsed the reform of the United Nations Development System (UNDS). Most players in New York, including Secretary-General António Guterres and ambassadors to the United Nations, are optimistic that the UNDS will now take the multi-adjective route requested by the General Assembly (“more strategic, accountable, effective, transparent, collaborative, efficient, effective and result-oriented”).
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Oonagh Fitzgerald
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: At the December 2017 World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires, 118 WTO members joined forces to launch the Declaration on Trade and Women’s Economic Empowerment. The members undertook to work together to develop best practices on how to apply gender-based analysis to domestic economic policy and international trade policy to encourage female entrepreneurship and financial inclusion, remove barriers to women’s participation in trade, and develop useful gender statistics and research. The Centre for International Governance Innovation undertook this essay series to raise awareness about this initiative and contribute to increasing understanding of how the declaration might contribute to economic empowerment of women.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Data has been hailed by some as “the new oil,” an analogy that captures the excitement and high expectations surrounding the data-driven economy. The success of the world’s most valuable companies (Apple, Google, Facebook and Microsoft) is now underpinned by a sophisticated capacity to collect, organize, control and commercialize stores of data and intellectual property. Big data and its application in artificial intelligence, for example, promises to transform the way we live and work — and will generate considerable wealth in the process. But data’s transformative nature also raises important questions around how the benefits are shared, privacy, public security, openness and democracy, and the institutions that will govern the data revolution. The recent Cambridge Analytica scandal has exposed the vulnerability of democracies to data strategies deployed on platforms such as Facebook to influence the outcomes of the Brexit referendum and the 2016 US presidential race. Any national data strategy will have to address both the economic and non-economic dimensions of harnessing big data. Balances will have to be struck between numerous goals. The essays in this collection, first published online in spring 2018, by leading scholars and practitioners, are grouped into five blocks: the rationale of a data strategy; the role of a data strategy for Canadian industries; balancing privacy and commercial values; domestic policy for data governance; and international policy considerations. An epilogue concludes with some key questions to consider around data governance in the digital age.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Basic Data
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The World Refugee Council (WRC) was created to build on the momentum generated by UN meetings in New York in September 2016, which saw the unanimous adoption of the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, and to develop bold approaches to transform the current refugee system, focusing on the issues of accountability, responsibility sharing and governance, and finance. The WRC offers this interim report, and other discussion and research papers, to raise awareness of these issues and to stimulate ideas for reform that will transform lives.
  • Topic: International Organization, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Stephanie Maclellan, Christian Leuprecht
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: By virtue of the constitutional division of powers into federal and provincial jurisdictions, the governance of the provision of cyber security in Canada — and in comparable federal systems with constitutionally distinct levels of government, such as the United States and Australia — raises a host of policy-making challenges. This special report’s authors ponder the division of authority and responsibility — for cyber, in general, and cyber security, in particular — between public and private actors and different levels of government. Drawing on expertise and insights from business, law, policy and academia, they posit normative models of cyber security governance and gauge the advantages and disadvantages of different approaches. Their contributions illuminate some preliminary lessons for policy makers striving to improve governance outcomes across the cyber domain in Canada.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: After a period of stability, the transatlantic community is facing considerable challenges in maintaining European security. Russia’s efforts to destabilize Europe, terrorism, climate change, energy insecurity, migration, fracturing European identity, and the reemergence of nationalist populism challenge the ability of European institutions to perform their central functions. Different visions for Europe’s future and the lack of a shared threat perception add to these dilemmas.
  • Topic: International Security
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Dr. Kim Richard Nossal, Dr. Stéfanie von Hlatky, Prof. William G. Braun III
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: In the wake of two extended wars, Western militaries find themselves looking to the future while confronting amorphous nonstate threats and shrinking defense budgets. The 2015 Kingston Conference on International Security (KCIS) examined how robotics and autonomous systems that enhance soldier effectiveness may offer attractive investment opportunities for developing a more efficient force capable of operating effectively in the future environment. This monograph offers 3 chapters derived from the KCIS and explores the drivers influencing strategic choices associated with these technologies and offers preliminary policy recommendations geared to advance a comprehensive technology investment strategy. In addition, the publication offers insight into the ethical challenges and potential positive moral implications of using robots on the modern battlefield.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Mr. Jeffrey L. Caton
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: Over the last century, the domains of air, space, and cyberspace have joined the traditional warfighting domains of land and sea. While the doctrine for land operations is relatively mature, the doctrine for space and cyberspace continue to evolve, often in an unstructured manner. This monograph examines the relationships among these domains and how they apply to U.S. Army and joint warfighting. It concentrates on the central question: How are U.S. military operations in the newest domains of space and cyberspace being integrated with operations in the traditional domain of land? This inquiry is divided into three major sections:
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: COL Todd E Key, LTC Charles A. Carlton
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The USAWC Research Plan is one part of a research program cycle that incorporates three interrelated documents: the KSIL, the USAWC Annual Research Plan and the USAWC Annual Research Report. While the KSIL drives USAWC research, the Research Plan describes how directed resources will answer many of the questions posed in the KSIL. The Research Report serves as a compendium of research completed and a means to identify unanswered questions from the current KSIL, to assist in the next cycle’s KSIL formulation
  • Topic: International Security
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Mr. Frederick J. Gellert, Professor John F. Troxell, Dr. David Lai
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The challenge for the U.S. administration, and for policy experts writ large, is to build an effective strategy for a whole-of-government action in moving forward from the “Rebalance” in the direction of a free and open Indo-Pacific while avoiding the Thucydides Trap. This U.S. Army War College report provides analysis and policy recommendations on topics regarding the instruments of national power, regional affairs, and key Asia-Pacific countries. The key findings are rooted in the following overarching concepts:
  • Topic: International Security
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Rosella Cappella Zielinski
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University
  • Abstract: This report provides estimates for how the United States government has paid for its wars, from the War of 1812 through the current post-9/11 “Global War on Terror” (Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other Operations), and addresses the relationship between war finance and inequality. The findings suggest that government borrowing to pay for wars leads to greater social inequality in the aftermath of the war. This happens when wars are paid for via general public debt versus a war bond campaign, particularly when combined with indirect taxes (such as sales, value-added, excise, and customs taxes) or a tax cut. Conversely, wars financed via bond campaigns targeted to low- and middle-income populations and direct taxes (such as income, property, and corporate taxes) result in greater social equality.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Noah Kaufman
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on Global Energy Policy
  • Abstract: In July 2018 Representative Carlos Curbelo proposed legislation that would put a price on US carbon dioxide emissions (“Curbelo proposal”). A carbon price is widely viewed as a necessary part of a cost-effective national strategy to address the risks of climate change. This proposal is especially notable because Republicans, who currently control the US Senate, House of Representatives, and presidency, have not proposed national carbon pricing legislation in nearly a decade.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: David B. Sandalow
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on Global Energy Policy
  • Abstract: In 2017, China was the world’s leading emitter of heat-trapping gases by a wide margin. Its policies for limiting emissions will have a significant impact on the global climate for decades to come. From a historical perspective, China’s status as the world’s leading emitter is relatively recent. During most of the 19th and 20th centuries, Chinese emissions were modest. Then, in the early part of this century, as the Chinese economy boomed, Chinese emissions began to skyrocket, overtaking those from the United States around 2006. China’s cumulative emissions of carbon dioxide since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution are less than half those from the United States or Europe. (Carbon dioxide, the leading heat-trapping gas, stays in the atmosphere for many years once emitted.)
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Shashank Mohan, Peter Marsters, Whitney Herndon, John Larsen
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on Global Energy Policy
  • Abstract: A price on carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions has long been a preferred instrument among economists and other academics for addressing the threat of climate change.[1] The idea is simple: putting a price on carbon internalizes the societal costs caused by consumption of fossil fuels and other activities that emit GHGs. The concept sits firmly in the tradition of Pigouvian taxation, which has been applied to address other “externalities”—from the health system costs of tobacco and alcohol use to the environmental cost of substances that deplete Earth’s ozone layer. The concept of pricing carbon by way of a tax has been gaining traction among economists as an efficient, market-based strategy for reducing GHG emissions in the United States. More recently, the idea has garnered the attention of prominent Republicans and Democrats within and outside of Congress as well as advocates on the left and right poles of the national political spectrum.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Joseph Rosenberg, Eric Toder, Chenxi Lu
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on Global Energy Policy
  • Abstract: A federal carbon tax in the United States would reduce greenhouse gas emissions and generate significant new revenue for the federal government. In this study, part of the Carbon Tax Research Initiative led by Columbia University’s SIPA Center on Global Energy Policy (CGEP), the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center (TPC) estimates the effects of various potential carbon taxes on the tax burdens of US households across the income distribution.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jason Bordoff, Antoine Halff, Akos Losz
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on Global Energy Policy
  • Abstract: The last few years have offered a reminder, if any was needed, that oil markets are no stranger to volatility. From OPEC’s reported demise to OPEC’s resurgence, the rapid fall and rise again of US shale, and the ebb and flow of geopolitical risk, oil has been on a rocky ride. After industry leaders and experts declared that the days of cheap oil were over—“$100 per barrel is becoming the new $20,” explained one top oil CEO in 2014[1]—consensus shifted to a view that oil prices would remain “lower for longer”[2] before sharply rising again in the last few months. Each day brings yet another reminder of risks to oil prices, with oil markets tight, OPEC nations signaling they intend to continue supporting prices beyond $80 per barrel, President Trump canceling the Iran nuclear deal, Venezuelan production in freefall, and geopolitical risks rife from Syria to Libya and beyond.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Oil, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Mike Fulwood
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on Global Energy Policy
  • Abstract: Almost every LNG conference has on its agenda nowadays the topic of Asian LNG trading hubs. Governments, regulatory authorities, academics, and market participants are all presenting on how a hub might be developed in Asia. There have also been a number of reports published in the last few years on the development of hubs in Asia.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jason Bordoff, Akos Losz, Aaron Linn
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on Global Energy Policy
  • Abstract: On April 2, 2018, the EPA announced that planned fuel economy increases for cars and light trucks in model years 2022–2025 are too stringent and should be revised.[2] The EPA thus initiated a process to set new standards for 2022–2025, in partnership with the NHTSA. The standards were a central part of the Obama administration’s efforts to reduce US greenhouse gas emissions. The move to weaken the standards has been sharply criticized by many environmental groups, policymakers, and others. Supporters of the current standards argue that the standards would substantially reduce emissions at a modest cost. But the standards have been highly controversial, and the move has also received a great deal of praise from other groups. Supporters of weakening the standards—including those in the Trump administration—argue that the current standards would be excessively costly to consumers and automakers, while providing little or no benefit to the public. Many analyses have proclaimed that this announcement would have profound effects on consumers, oil consumption, oil imports, and greenhouse gas emissions. One think tank, for example, told the Financial Times that US oil consumption, which was nearly 20 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2017, would be 1.5 million bpd higher in 2025 if the 2022–2025 fuel economy standards were rolled back
  • Topic: Energy Policy, International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Tim Boersma, Casey Johnson
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on Global Energy Policy
  • Abstract: Over the preceding decade until November 2016, energy came to occupy a more central position in the United States’ foreign policy apparatus, and the term “energy diplomacy” became frequently used in policy circles and the media. The reasons for this are numerous, but a 2014 headline from the New York Times captures the essence: “Oil’s Comeback Gives U.S. Global Leverage.”[1] Indeed, the unleashing of massive amounts of US unconventional oil and gas transformed the country from a political and economic superpower that was relatively energy poor in relation to its consumption habits into an energy superpower in its own right. The US energy narrative shifted quickly from talk of scarcity and ever-increasing import dependence to one of abundance, in which the nation became a major global exporter. For US diplomats, this occasioned the rethinking of what role energy could play in advancing strategic interests abroad. In October 2012, then secretary of state Hillary Clinton gave a major address at Georgetown University on energy diplomacy in the 21st century, proposing that energy could be used to help solve territorial and maritime disputes, promote competition in Europe, get the Republic of Iraq back on its feet, bring peace in the South Sudan and Sudan conflict, and tackle energy poverty and climate change.[2] Secretary Clinton’s State Department stood up a Bureau of Energy Resources with dozens of diplomats devoted to these topics. At meetings abroad and in Washington, energy was literally on the agenda, assuming a more prominent role than at any time since the Carter administration.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Energy Policy, International Affairs, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: James Stock
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on Global Energy Policy
  • Abstract: The US Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was introduced in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and expanded in both scope and duration in the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007. The policy goals of the RFS program are threefold: - enhance energy security through additional domestic production of biofuels, - support rural economies by expanding the demand for agricultural products, and - expand the development and production of second-generation low–greenhouse gas transportation fuels. The RFS requires the blending of increasing quantities of biofuels into the US surface vehicle transportation fuel supply. These quantities are specified in the EISA but are subject to modification by the US EPA under certain conditions (“waiver authorities”). The EPA issues annual rules specifying the overall fractions of renewable fuels in the fuel supply. The fractional requirements are specified by fuel category: cellulosic, advanced biomass-based biodiesel, other advanced fuels, and total renewable fuels. Compliance with the blending standards is demonstrated by obligated parties (petroleum refiners and importers) retiring electronic certificates, called renewable identification numbers (RINs), when they sell petroleum fuel into the surface transportation fuel supply. RINs, which become available when a renewable fuel is blended into the fuel supply, are tradable and bankable (with limitations). Thus obligated parties have the choice of either producing RINs themselves through blending operations or purchasing RINs on the open market.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, International Affairs, Climate Finance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jason Bordoff, John Larsen
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on Global Energy Policy
  • Abstract: While there seem to be no immediate prospects for a national carbon tax in the United States, there is growing interest among some policymakers and thought leaders across the political spectrum. If and when a legislative opening emerges in the coming years, policymakers will need to grapple with a range of important design issues that will determine the effectiveness of a carbon tax in reducing carbon emissions.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, International Affairs, Climate Finance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Elizabeth Elliot-Meisel, P. Whitney Lackenbauer
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Captain Thomas Charles Pullen (1918-1990), also known as “Pullen of the Arctic,” became a noted authority on and explorer of the Arctic after he took command of the naval icebreaker HMCS Labrador in 1956. After his thirty years of active naval service, Pullen served as an advisor and consultant to government and industry on arctic marine operations for another twenty-four years, earning the reputation as North America’s foremost expert on Arctic navigation and icebreaking. This volume reproduces key diaries and reports on Arctic operations that Pullen wrote in various official capacities over his career. The first part documents his role as the commanding officer of the Labrador during operations in the Canadian Arctic in 1956 and 1957. The second part reproduces his observations as the Government of Canada’s official representative onboard the icebreaking tanker Manhattan during its two transits of the Northwest Passage.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jérôme Tubiana, Clotilde Warin, Gaffar Mohammud Saeneen
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Clingendael Netherlands Institute of International Relations
  • Abstract: This report studies the effects of EU migration policies and the externalisation of EU border control on Saharan migration routes and on practices in the border regions connecting Niger, Chad, Sudan and Libya. The report finds that, in response to the obstacles and opportunities that border externalisation policies present for migrants, migration routes diversify and move to other countries. Beyond the fact that migration is a transnational phenomenon not linked to one particular route or itinerary, this continuous moving of routes is made possible by cross-border Saharan trade and trafficking networks that have put in place the necessary logistics to facilitate migration and which often fall outside government control. Pushed by EU efforts to curtail migration, states such as Niger, Chad and Sudan have shored up border patrols and anti-smuggling operations in the border regions under study here. The report shows that this has been done in a manner that is often not conducive to stability in the region and which contributes to the ‘militia-isation’ – the growing power of militias whose presence undermines the state – of the countries at issue.
  • Topic: International Relations, Migration
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Josefin Graef, Scott Hamilton, Benjamin Martill, Elke Schwarz, Uta Staiger
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: LSE IDEAS
  • Abstract: Can the work of the great European philosophers help solve Europe's problems today? This report explores what we can learn from Heidegger, Arendt, and Anders about how to tackle populism, climate change, and technological change
  • Topic: Political Theory, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: James Kadtke, John Wharton
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS)
  • Abstract: Rapid globalization of science and technology (S&T) capacity presents a serious and long-term risk to the military and economic security of the United States. To maintain U.S. preeminence, our domestic science and technology enterprise requires a new paradigm to make it more agile, synchronized, and globally engaged. U.S. technological competitiveness depends not only on research but also on legal, economic, regulatory, ethical, moral, and social frameworks, and therefore requires the vision and cooperation of our political, corporate, and civil society leadership. Re-organizing our domestic S&T enterprise will be a complex task, but recommendations presented in this paper could be first steps on the path to maintaining our future technological security.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Philip Stockdale, Scott Aughenbaugh, Nickolas J. Boensch
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS)
  • Abstract: In support of the Air University “Fast Space” study, the National Defense University collaborated with Johns Hopkins University, eight think tanks, and subject matter experts to analyze the utility of ultra-low-cost access to space (ULCATS) for the U.S. military. Contributors identified disruptors that could achieve ULCATS and Fast Space as well as space architectures and capabilities that could reduce the cost of access to space. They also offered recommendations for legal, policy, regulatory, authority, and oversight adjustments that could facilitate reductions.
  • Topic: Defense Policy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Sexual Violence Research Initiative
  • Abstract: Every two years, the Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI) hosts the leading global event in the world on sexual and intimate partner violence – the SVRI Forum. The SVRI has noted an increase in the number of presentations on sexual violence in childhood since the Forum began in 2009. This increase is reflected in the number of initiatives underway globally looking at the connections between violence in childhood and later victimisation and perpetration.3 Whilst SVRI Forums and global programmes are helping to promote joint programming between the violence against children and violence against women fields, child and youth participation in research on sensitive topics remains a challenging issue for many academic researchers. Research presented at the SVRI Forum which includes young people beyond their role as research subjects is also limited, as is the number of young people aged 18-24 years old participating
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Human Welfare, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Fabio Rugge
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI)
  • Abstract: The year 2018 marks the thirtieth anniversary of the Morris worm, the first malware ever released in the Internet. Thirty years later, technological innovations have dramatically increased the importance of the Internet in virtually every economic, social and political endeavor, tremendously expanding the potential “surface” of cyber attacks. The cyber domain makes it possible to gather privileged information, disrupt industrial processes, create havoc by targeting, for instance, ICT supporting critical infrastructures, and to launch cyber-enabled information warfare campaigns against largely unaware foreign target audiences. Cyberspace, in sum, allows states to achieve strategic results with campaigns that fall below the threshold of the “use of force”, while offering an unprecedented level of plausible deniability, as the real perpetrator of a cyber attack is always difficult to identify with certainty. And yet, this is only the beginning: we are in the midst of a digital revolution. By 2025, with the development of the Internet of Things (IoT), the cyber domain will connect more than 75 billion devices, many of which will control key functions of our daily lives and most of our critical infrastructures.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Cybersecurity
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Joseph Massad
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera Center for Studies
  • Abstract: Donald Trump’s “Deal of the century” is the final phase of the 1993 Oslo Accords, which formalized the final liquidation of the Palestinian anti-colonial national struggle for independence and liberation. The “Deal” is nothing more or less than the last step of the so-called “peace process.” In order to understand the aims of the “Deal,” we need to go back to the Oslo Accords, which anticipated this step and assiduously prepared the ground for it. Since the beginning of the so-called “peace process” inaugurated in Madrid in 1991, the PLO, through its unofficial negotiators, conceded Palestinian rights one by one, in a gradual process culminating in the official PLO signing of the Declaration of Principles in Washington D.C. on September 13, 1993.
  • Topic: International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: James M. Dorsey
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera Center for Studies
  • Abstract: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan lands in Beijing on November 3, the latest head of government to seek a renegotiation of commercial terms and/or focus of projects related to China’s infrastructure and energy-driven Belt and Road initiative. He follows in the footsteps of his Malaysian counterpart, Mahathir Mohamad has suspended US$26 billion in Chinese-funded projects; while Myanmar is negotiating a significant scaling back of a Chinese-funded port project on the Bay of Bengal from one that would cost US$ 7.3 billion to a more modest development that would cost US$1.3 billion in a bid to avoid shouldering an unsustainable debt. China has also witnessed pushback and rising anti-Chinese sentiment in countries as far flung as Kazakhstan, Nepal, and Denmark
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jamal Khashoggi, Mohammed Cherkaoui
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera Center for Studies
  • Abstract: Saudi intellectual and journalist Jamal Khashoggi was among a diverse group of panelists at a joint international conference, hosted by Aljazeera Centre for Studies (AJCS) and Johns Hopkins University (JHU) in Washington June 12, 2018, to discuss the topic “Shaping a New Balance of Power in the Middle East: Regional Actors, Global Powers, and Middle East Strategy”. In the morning, participants in the first panel “Dynamics of Political Geography in the Middle East” and the second panel “Non-State Actors and Shadow Politics” gave rather deconstructive perspectives on several recent trends in the politics of the region. They probed into several modalities of what seems to be competitive strategies of various global and regional actors and non-state actors in the Gulf, the Middle East, and North Africa.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Mohammed Cherkaoui
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera Center for Studies
  • Abstract: North Africa and the Middle East are struggling with their present; let alone how to shape their future. The promise of the 2011 uprisings has turned into growing malaise and widespread deception by the poor performance of Islamist, secular, military, nationalist, and other brands of Arab governments. After seven years of high expectations, the Arab story of reform and democratization has become a daunting cliffhanger. The main question now is how we got here. Why there is so much concentration of conflict and violence in this strategic region located at the heart of the world with enormous natural and human resources. Why is there still dire shortage of democratic steps and civility in the Arab public discourse across the region? One good example in Saudi Arabia, Tweeter has served as the best weapon of mass stigmatization of Qatari officials and their allies. Another intriguing question; what prevents Arab societies from forging a smooth path to modernity, welfare, and democracy? Are there any real prospects of an Arab age of enlightenment to help address this difficult Arab pregnancy of democracy?
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Mohammed Cherkaoui
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera Center for Studies
  • Abstract: North Africa and the Middle East are struggling with their present; let alone how to shape their future. The promise of the 2011 uprisings has turned into growing malaise and widespread deception by the poor performance of Islamist, secular, military, nationalist, and other brands of Arab governments. After seven years of high expectations, the Arab story of reform and democratization has become a daunting cliffhanger. The main question now is how we got here. Why there is so much concentration of conflict and violence in this strategic region located at the heart of the world with enormous natural and human resources. Why is there still dire shortage of democratic steps and civility in the Arab public discourse across the region? One good example in Saudi Arabia, Tweeter has served as the best weapon of mass stigmatization of Qatari officials and their allies. Another intriguing question; what prevents Arab societies from forging a smooth path to modernity, welfare, and democracy? Are there any real prospects of an Arab age of enlightenment to help address this difficult Arab pregnancy of democracy?
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Koki Ishigohoka
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera Center for Studies
  • Abstract: President Donald Trump is considering holding a second summit with Chairman Kim Jong-un “sometime next year, sometime early next year [2019].” (1) The Trump-Kim relationship, which was clearly an attitude of mutual diversion at first, has now entered a new phase. Russia and China are providing major support to North Korea, with the aim of holding a five-way round of talks including South Korea and the United States. (2) Since heading his new government in 2012, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe appears to be cut out of the loop despite his ‘new level of pressure’.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Richard Schmalensee, Robert Stavins
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The U.S. Clean Air Act, passed in 1970 with strong bipartisan support, was the first environmental law to give the Federal government a serious regulatory role, established the architecture of the U.S. air pollution control system, and became a model for subsequent environmental laws in the United States and globally. We outline the Act’s key provisions, as well as the main changes Congress has made to it over time. We assess the evolution of air pollution control policy under the Clean Air Act, with particular attention to the types of policy instruments used. We provide a generic assessment of the major types of policy instruments, and we trace and assess the historical evolution of EPA’s policy instrument use, with particular focus on the increased use of market-based policy instruments, beginning in the 1970s and culminating in the 1990s. Over the past fifty years, air pollution regulation has gradually become much more complex, and over the past twenty years, policy debates have become increasingly partisan and polarized, to the point that it has become impossible to amend the Act or pass other legislation to address the new threat of climate change.
  • Topic: Climate Change, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Todd Schatzki, Robert Stavins
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Like many other states, Oregon has begun to pursue climate policies to attempt to fill the gap created by the lack of effective climate policy at the Federal level. After adopting a variety of policies to address climate change and other environmental impacts from energy use, Oregon is now contemplating the adoption of a greenhouse gas (GHG) cap-and-trade system. However, interactions between policies can have important consequences for environmental and economic outcomes. Thus, as Oregon considers taking this step, reconsidering the efficacy of its other current climate policies may better position the state to achieve long-run emission reductions at sustainable economic costs.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Nancy Birdsall
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Does governance matter for the long-run financing of the multilateral development banks? The structure of governance of the legacy MDBs (the World Bank and the four major regional development banks founded in the twentieth century) ideally should minimize any tradeoff between the confidence of creditor shareholding countries, on which an MDB’s own financing depends, and the sense of ownership, legitimacy, and trust of borrowing countries, on which the MDB’s effectiveness in supporting development in those borrowing countries depends. Among the five legacy MDBs, the African Development Bank stands out as the one where the governance arrangements, including the distribution of shares and votes between borrowers and nonborrowers, most favors borrowers. Indicators of the AfDB’s relative financial strength (a measure of creditworthiness based on sovereign members’ vote shares, and a measure of the capacity of each bank’s members to engage in collective action or cooperation in raising financing) indicate that its current governance is likely to make it less competitive than its sister MDBs in sustaining creditor (or “donor”) confidence in its operations over the long run, and thus in raising substantial capital and concessional resources. The governance problem is most obvious in the case of the African Development Bank’s African Development Fund, which today has only about 15 percent of the resources the World Bank has for Africa. The creditors of the AfDB have sufficient control to ensure the Bank’s financial soundness (and AAA rating), but a collective action constraint in pushing for reforms in the Bank’s operations. The paper concludes with ideas for long-run reform of governance at the African Development Bank, modeled more closely on the governance of the Inter-American Development Bank.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Nicolai Nielsen
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Council on International Policy (CIP)
  • Abstract: The admission of new countries into NATO and the European Union is not seen in the West as an active part of an encroachment of Russia. However, that is the view in Russia, as NATO and the EU are not only approaching but incorporating former Soviet republics and Warsaw Pact states. These regions, now consisting of the independent nation-states of Eastern Europe, is still regarded by Russia as being part of its sphere of influence. The Russian mindset is rooted in this essentially
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Basel Ammane
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Council on International Policy (CIP)
  • Abstract: While NATO skepticism is by no means a recent phenomenon, the whirlwind unleashed by US President Donald Trump’s blistering declarations and searing criticism of NATO has thrust the alliance into the spotlight in a way it has not been in recent memory.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Rajika Bhandari
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relations
  • Abstract: President Vladimir Putin is in India on a two-day state visit to India, his third trip to India during Prime Minister Modi’s term. A key agreement that has just been signed is the $5 billion deal for the S-400 air defence system. However, U.S. sanctions on Russia’s top defence manufacturers will be a hurdle in closing this agreement, making payments to Russia difficult and scaring away potential Indian partners, especially those with investments in the West. Gateway House looks at India’s options for successfully concluding this agreement without falling foul of American sanctions
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relations
  • Abstract: The United States and India must forge an indispensable democratic partnership that can serve as a pillar of peace, prosperity, and democracy around the world
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Sifra Lentin
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relations
  • Abstract: In light of our government's new understanding of the role that the sister cities relationship can play in envisioning urban projects in India, Gateway House's Mumbai History Fellow, Sifra Lentin, has readied a special report on the role and understanding of sister cities.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jason Walsh
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Third Way
  • Abstract: In recent years, the conversation on energy in the United States has shifted from a theme of scarcity to one of abundance. The surge in domestic production of oil and gas alone, which provides a significant advantage to the US economy, may also have drained some of the urgency and enthusiasm from efforts to improve energy efficiency while achieving economic growth targets, particularly in the industrial sector. Yet even in this age of abundance, smarter, cleaner, and more efficient energy use could still provide enormous benefits to American industry, workers, and the country as a whole. Greater national focus on improving industrial energy use could help to: • Increase Economic Competitiveness and Job Growth - US manufacturers are the cornerstone of our nation’s industrial sector and a vital source of good-paying jobs. By improving energy performance, we can help businesses reduce waste, create and sustain jobs, save money, and invest in long-term growth. • Achieve Climate Goals - The industrial sector is America’s biggest end-use emitter of greenhouse gases (GHGs). Unless we have a strategy to reduce these emissions, we have little chance of hitting our climate targets
  • Topic: International Relations, Climate Change, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Lindsey Walter, Ryan Fitzpatrick
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Third Way
  • Abstract: Climate advocates might have missed this one in the midst of election chaos. Just days after millions of Americans decided on candidates and ballot initiatives, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) made a pretty important decision of its own, choosing to release a report on nuclear energy that was likely to ruffle some feathers in the environmental community.
  • Topic: Climate Change, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: May Amoyaw
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Third Way
  • Abstract: A crisis of human capital today is keeping millions of Americans from the opportunity to earn a good life. Employers’ growing demand for skilled, well-paid workers is unmet, because—outside of the four-year college degree—postsecondary education is not sufficiently connected to the modern workplace. It is an industrial-era model failing to deliver in the digital age.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: David Witty
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: More than a decade ago, the United States created the elite Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service to conduct, coordinate, and lead CT efforts within the country. The CTS generally thrived in this role, even as Iraqis viewed the group with suspicion owing to its secretive operations, forbidding look, and avoidance of publicity. Beginning in 2014, though, the service experienced a dramatic boost in popularity after spearheading the ouster of Islamic State forces from Iraqi territories. In this respect, the CTS far outshone other elements within the Iraqi security architecture. But the anti-IS effort entailed a vastly expanded role for the CTS, straining its capabilities, producing high casualties, and raising questions about how the group should position itself in a future Iraq. In this new study, David M. Witty examines prospects for the Counter Terrorism Service in Iraq's post–Islamic State landscape. Despite the group's impressive performance in recent campaigns, he argues that it should return to its CT focus and that Washington can help drive this by conditioning future aid on these terms. The high cost of not doing so could include stunting the healthy growth of other Iraqi security entities.
  • Topic: Terrorism, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Transparency International
  • Abstract: This guide is a curated list of internationally accepted policies and practical approaches to tackling corruption. It provides examples that are useful not only in developing OGP commitments but also during their implementation. It is written for government officials and national civil society .
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Transparency International
  • Abstract: Just like a luxury good, European Union (EU) citizenship and residency rights can be bought. There are many buyers, and there is no shortage of suppliers, which explains why investment migration is a growing, multibillion-euro industry. The rules of the game in this diverse market are shaped, on the one hand, by government officials who have effectively demonstrated their preference for quick gains over longer-term impacts, and, on the other hand, by profit-driven private sector players. However, the selling of passports and permits is not without risks. The response from the EU has been limited thus far, and Member States have been making use of their wide discretionary powers when it comes to issues of citizenship and residency.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Transparency International
  • Abstract: Freedom of information is not only a human right, but also an essential tool to engage and empower citizens to demand accountability from governments and fight corruption. Globally, around 120 countries have a right to information act. This indicates that the majority of countries consider it important to spell out in detail how this right is exercised and to set obligations for public authorities to promote, protect and implement it in practice. Right to information has for years been identified as a key area of work for Transparency International chapters in the Asia Pacific region. Chapters have played and continue to play a crucial role in advocating for right to information laws that are in line with international standards, fully applied in practice, and used by citizens to hold government accountable. This regional report serves as a reference document, providing a broad overview of why right to information matters, where it stands in a range of countries in the region and what our key recommendations are. This is Transparency International’s first report for the Asia Pacific region on right to information. In this report, we look into the right to information laws and practice in 11 countries in the Asia Pacific region: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Vanuatu and Vietnam
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Flavia Carbonari
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Abstract: For over a decade now, the Americas have had the highest rates of lethal violence in the world, making violent crime part of the daily life of millions of citizens across the region. In 2017, 47 of the 50 most violent cities in the world were located in the Western Hemisphere. Reducing crime and violence in urban centers has become a top priority for citizens and governments of the United States and Latin American countries alike. Rather than attempting to tackle these challenges on their own, cities across the Americas should learn from one another, exchange experiences and best practices that work, and understand the contexts in which certain strategies are effective.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: Through their joint initiative on Human Rights and Election Standards, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and The Carter Center have worked to bring the human rights and election communities closer and to foster stronger links and communication between them. This Plan of Action aims to advance human rights related to genuine democratic elections by charting a course of practical steps toward our shared goals. The draft plan was developed based on the recommendations formulated through consultations that took place between 2015 and 2017. Going forward, organizations and individuals may agree on an ad-hoc basis to disseminating and acting upon the recommendations in this Plan of Action. The OHCHR and The Carter Center acknowledge the many individuals and organizations that contributed to the Human Rights and Election Standards consultations
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: On the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we are pleased to share some of the work we are most proud of from July 2017-June 2018 — work that we believe has contributed to advancing effective multilateral action to prevent crises and build peace, justice, and inclusion.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Arthur Paige
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: In 2012, recognizing that the United Nations (UN) system was at a crossroads with respect to its fragmented, sometimes duplicative, and often competitive efforts on rule of law assistance in post-conflict countries, the Secretary-General took steps to incentivize cooperation and collaboration across a highly siloed structure. The Global Focal Point for Police, Justice, and Corrections Areas in the Rule of Law in Post-Conflict and Other Crisis Situations (the GFP) was thus born.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Marcelo Lopez de Aragon
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Council on International Policy (CIP)
  • Abstract: Since April 18, 2018, Nicaragua has been stricken by civil unrest initially triggered by the government’s lack of response to wildfires in an environmentally protected reserve. Compounding matters, the government introduced unilateral reforms, which were subsequently withdrawn, to the country’s social security system that would have increased contributions and lowered benefits. Unaccustomed to protests, the government, headed by authoritarian President Daniel Ortega, reacted violently. What began as a relatively small and peaceful protest by university students, was met with brutal force by the police and paramilitary groups using live ammunition fired at civilians. To date, the total body count numbers in the hundreds, with over a thousand injured and hundreds arbitrarily imprisoned. Undaunted, thousands of Nicaraguans have maintained daily protests, demanding the end of the government’s violent attacks. More importantly, their demands have now expanded to also include a complete overhaul of the country’s governmental institutions as they are widely seen as having been manipulated by President Ortega. Undemocratic reforms such as re-writing of the Constitution to allow for his third term in office, the elimination of term limits, and allowing his wife as his Vice-President are core to the protestors’ concerns, which escalated from modest protests around wildfires and changes to social security. These pent up grievances have the protesters demanding the resignation of Ortega and his wife, Rosario Murillo, in power for over 11 years, to be followed by early elections.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Popular Revolt
  • Political Geography: Nicaragua, Global Focus
  • Author: Piotr Buras, Josef Janning
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: European Council On Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Berlin and Warsaw have very different ideas about how to respond to the challenge Trump’s presidency poses to Europe. While Germany emphasises the need to strengthen Europe’s resilience and unity, the Polish response has been to embrae the opportunities of the new political reality and enhance its bilateral partnership with the US. These differing approaches may aggravate the crisis in the Polish-German bilateral relationship and negatively affect the European Union’s defence integration and arms control policies. Warsaw should use NATO as the framework for discussions on strengthening the American military presence in Poland. Germany should be open to a strategic debate on the issue and no longer hide behind concerns about the NATO-Russia Founding Act (which Russia has abrogated). Instead of talking about “European sovereignty”, Poland and Germany should join other member states in clearly defining the vulnerabilities that the EU as a whole must address, including those resulting from US policy.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jackson Ewing
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Asia Society Policy Institute
  • Abstract: ACROSS ALL ERAS AND IN ALL PLACES, POLICYMAKERS MAKE DECISIONS on incomplete information. It is fundamental to public leadership—particularly at the highest levels—that decisions taken reflect some personal judgment of the existing evidence and arguments at hand. Uncertainty of outcome and the risk of unintended consequences are ever-present
  • Topic: International Affairs, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Samantha Custer
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Asia Society Policy Institute
  • Abstract: This paper aims to increase the understanding of scholars, practitioners, and observers of Chinese public diplomacy regarding which tools Beijing deploys, with whom, and with what effects. To this end, AidData—a research lab at William & Mary—in collaboration with the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI) and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), collected both qualitative and quantitative data on Chinese public diplomacy activities in the EAP region from 2000 through 2016
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Dapo Oyewole, Andrew Quinn, Holly Kear
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: What is development? What does it look like? Development means different things to different people and in an increasingly polarized world, voices from the Global South are urgently needed to provide a balance of perspectives, lest we hear mostly one side of a multifaceted story. The Aspen New Voices Fellows writing in this anthology all agree that fundamentally, development is about dignity. Dignity of people. Dignity of planet. Dignity of life. The stories in this collection reflect this quest for dignity and share engaging insights and moving stories from diverse countries in Africa, South Asia, and the Middle East. The authors challenge us, inspire us and force us to open our eyes to the many ways we can truly see and foster ‘development as dignity.’
  • Topic: International Affairs, International Development
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Samantha Sultoon
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Economic sanctions have become a policy tool-of-choice for the US government. Yet sanctions and their potential pitfalls are often misunderstood. The Economic Sanctions Initiative (ESI) seeks to build a better understanding of the role sanctions can and cannot play in advancing policy objectives and of the impact of sanctions on the private sector, which bears many of the implementation costs.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Geoffrey Kemp, Luke Hagberg
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for the National Interest
  • Abstract: The historically severe drought in Syria from 2006-2011 led to the migration of rural communities to already overburdened urban centers, which concurrent with the state’s mismanagement of freshwater resources, helped foment the social unrest and the uprisings against President Bashar al-Assad. The ongoing conflict has had repercussions around the globe with refugees fleeing to, and having an unmistakable political impact upon, neighboring states and Europe. The war in Yemen was rooted in the Arab Spring, but while the attempts to overthrow President Ali Abdullah Saleh were eventually successful, the political transition was not. The overextraction of Yemen’s groundwater led to an unprecedented water crisis that has been exacerbated by the civil war. Terrorist cells, militant insurgencies, and foreign interventions have undermined efforts to reform the Yemeni government and address this humanitarian catastrophe.
  • Topic: International Security, International Affairs, Water
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Paul Saunders
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for the National Interest
  • Abstract: 2012 was a year of political transitions in East Asia, with important elections in Japan and South Korea, a major Communist Party Congress in China to select a new leadership team, and a consolidation process underway in North Korea following the death of Kim Jong-il in late 2011. It was also of course a year of political campaigns in the United States that concluded with President Barack Obama’s re-election. And finally, perhaps due to these many simultaneous transitions, 2012 was a year of hope and anxiety; uncertainty about the future drove questions and speculation, intensifying the contest between possibility and destiny that underlies so many discussions of whether and how our choices can shape the world in which we live.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Amira Jadoon
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point
  • Abstract: In the years following its official formation in January 2015, the Islamic State Khorasan (ISK) has conducted some of the most devastating attacks in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, persisting in the face of U.S. airstrikes, Pakistani military operations, and clashes with the Afghan Taliban. But what exactly is ISK? What are the broader contours of ISK’s lethality, targets, and tactics in Afghanistan and Pakistan? More broadly, what explains ISK’s demonstrated ability to survive and thrive in the AfPak region, and what do its operational trends and alliances collectively tell us about its future trajectory?
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Daniel Milton
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point
  • Abstract: Over the past five years, there has been a significant amount of discussion on the propaganda created and disseminated by the Islamic State. This discourse, which mainly relies on what the group creates for external publication, has been unable to answer questions regarding the structure, policies, and management of the group’s media arm. This Combating Terrorism Center report draws on 13 internal documents that discuss the Islamic State’s media organization in great detail. These documents, obtained by the Department of Defense from Afghanistan, provide an insightful look at how the Islamic State managed its media network. More specifically, this report utilizes these documents to (1) demonstrate that Amaq News Agency is an official node of the Islamic State’s media organization, (2) show the level of detail and direction given to the creation of a wide range of products, (3) illustrate the way the Islamic State’s Diwan of Central Media used policies and programs to centralize control over the propaganda production process, and (4) outline the importance the media organization placed on information security.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Daniel Milton
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point
  • Abstract: Since the summer of 2014, the Islamic State has experienced successes and setbacks on the battlefield. That pattern has also been evident in its production of propaganda. In October 2016, the Combating Terrorism Center published a major report that examined the Islamic State’s production of official visual propaganda, such as still-images photo reports as well as the more familiar videos showing both the group’s brutality as well as its efforts to govern. This update to that major report, which relies on a dataset of over 13,000 propaganda releases, seeks to highlight the setbacks the group has faced as its production of propaganda has continued to rise and fall. As shown through the data in this report, in July 2018, the group’s production of official visual propaganda fell to its lowest level since January 2015. Focusing only on the decline of the group’s production of propaganda, however, obscures other developments that portend the possibility of the group’s resurgence in Iraq and Syria, as well as the expansion of its efforts around the world. In examining these trends, this report finds a group that is struggling to produce propaganda as it used to do only a short time ago, but one that retains the capacity to resurge in an effort to recapture the headlines.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jacob Zenn
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point
  • Abstract: In a conflict that has no easy answers and no solutions in sight, Boko Haram is already and will remain one of Africa’s enduring insurgencies. In order to better understand Boko Haram now and in the future, this report, edited by Jacob Zenn, challenges some key misconceptions about the insurgency and provides new analyses and insights based on many exclusive primary source materials and datasets. To provide these unique insights, several authors with on-the-ground experience contribute to six areas that are increasingly important but under-researched about Boko Haram and Islamic State in West Africa
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jason Warner, Ellen Chapin
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point
  • Abstract: Al-Shabaab, an Islamist terrorist group that has been plaguing Somalia since 2006, was named the most deadly terror group in Africa in 2017 by the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED). One tactic that al-Shabaab uses in its reign of terror is suicide bombing. Despite recognition of the seriousness of the threat that al-Shabaab’s suicide bombers pose, very little is known about how, when, and why al-Shabaab elects to employ the tactic of suicide bombings. This report answers these questions.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: K N Vaidyanathan, Akshay Mathur
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relations
  • Abstract: The cross-border flow of payments, remittances, aid and investments is integral for globalisation. Ensuring transparency in such cross-border financial transactions is critical for the stability of the global financial system. A key goal for policy-makers has been the necessity to identify beneficial ownership in multi-country financial transactions to protect against money laundering, terrorist financing and tax evasion, which have besieged developed and developing countries alike. Existing global efforts on tracing Beneficial Ownership are insufficient since verification is limited to self-disclosures and by national regulations. What is needed is a global framework to enable data exchange, cross-referencing, tracing and analysis of data on crossborder financial transactions.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Mexican Council on Foreign Relations (COMEXI)
  • Abstract: The Mexican Council on Foreign Relations (COMEXI), through its Energy Work Group, presents an analysis and a set of recommendations to guarantee the continuity of the Energy Reform, implemented in 2013. The Energy Work Group (GTE in Spanish) is a COMEXI-driven initiative that emerged in response to the need of addressing the challenges the energy sector has brought about for Mexico in the last years; it seeks to seize the chance to turn the country into a driver of development for all Mexicans. To this end, several experts, key players and leaders of energy companies in our country have joined forces to compile the best international practices in the field to have a positive impact on the strengthening of the energy market. Throughout its existence, the GTE has issued several recommendations concerning the instrumentation, implementation and effective date of the Energy Reform. These recommendations can be consulted on COMEXI’s official website. Also, many of them have been encompassed in the laws passed for the energy-market opening in Mexico. Hence, in this new release, we wish to contribute to guaranteeing the permanence of the Reform in the light of the unforeseeable circumstances we are currently undergoing, from the political ups and downs in Mexico to the renegotiation and future of NAFTA. This proposal summarizes some of the different alternatives Mexico could adopt to achieve this objective. Furthermore, it compares success stories in other regions of the world to shed light on the ups and downs of other country’s experiences and traces clear routes towards implementation. GTE will continue combining forces to contribute to the sector’s development and to consolid
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Mexico, Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Mexican Council on Foreign Relations (COMEXI)
  • Abstract: La ciberseguridad es un tema que aparece cada día con mayor frecuencia en nuestros medios y permea una amplia gama de campos. Los ciberataques que enfrentamos cada vez con mayor frecuencia pueden afectar desde la integridad de infraestructura crítica como los sistemas bancarios del país; a la incidencia de robos de identidades personales y otros delitos; y hasta contribuir a la cada vez más tenue credibilidad de datos e información general que compromete nuestra capacidad de discernir objetivamente en momentos en que tomamos decisiones importantes. Es un tema que afecta, incluso, a la seguridad emocional de los niños en un entorno social que se ha trasladado a lo digital. En resumen, afecta de alguna forma a todos los sectores sociales
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Mexico, Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Mexican Council on Foreign Relations (COMEXI)
  • Abstract: El Centro de Estudios China-México (CECHIMEX) de la Facultad de Economía de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México tiene como objeto mejorar y profundizar el conocimiento de la socioeconomía china, enfatizando en las relaciones bilaterales de largo plazo entre ambos países. Actualmente no existe en México una institución de grandes dimensiones que se oriente específicamente al estudio de los temas relativos a China con el enfoque bilateral. La Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México es una institución privilegiada al respecto por el alto nivel científico de su comunidad y la diversidad de ciencias y campos de conocimiento que la integran. Así, y si bien el CECHIMEX enfatiza aspectos económicos, cuenta con la plena apertura y el mayor interés de incorporar desde sus inicios temas analizados por otras áreas y en otras facultades, tales como agricultura, filosofía, historia, arquitectura, ingeniería, lenguas, relaciones internacionales, ciencias políticas, entre muchas otras. En el portal del CECHIMEX se puede consultar los análisis e información generada.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus