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  • 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: The Nixon Center
  • 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: The Nixon Center
  • 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