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  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: On May 7–9, 2017, the Council on Foreign Relations hosted the sixth annual conference of the Council of Councils. The conference was made possible by the generous support of the Robina Foundation for CFR’s International Institutions and Global Governance program. The views described here are those of workshop participants only and are not CFR or Robina Foundation positions. The Council on Foreign Relations takes no institutional positions on policy issues and has no affiliation with the U.S. government. In addition, the suggested policy prescriptions are the views of individual participants and do not necessarily represent a consensus of the attending members.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Elizabeth Wilson
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC)
  • Abstract: International human rights came into existence bottom-up, from the e orts of ordinary people to ally with each other in solidarity and demand their rights through civil resistance campaigns in support of democracy, an end to slavery and child labor, women’s rights, labor rights, and tenant rights, among other rights. Yet international law recognizes only states as the ultimate source of law. This monograph develops a novel, people-powered or “demos-centric” approach to international human rights law that acknowledges the role in lawmaking of average human beings, seeing them as both the source of rights and the most e ective means of overcoming the central weakness of international law—namely, its inability to ensure that states and governments comply with the human rights obligations they supposedly undertake. Taking account of nonviolent movements and their impact on the formation and implementation of international human rights law recognizes the human agency of the supposed bene ciaries of human rights law: common people.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Kenneth Gwilliam
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: common criticism of urban transport strategies is that they are unduly concerned with mobility or the ability to move rather than accessibility in which a desired journey purpose can be satisfied. It is often further argued that a consequence of this focus on mobility, particularly motorized mobility, is that transport is not affordable to the poor, and that this exclusion justified the use of subsidies to remedy the situation. A key element of “Moving to Access” is thus concerned with increasing the affordability of transport for the poor. The objective of this paper is to explore the relationships between mobility, accessibility, affordability and transport prices and subsidies in more detail with a view to better reconciling the economic efficiency of the urban transport systems with the welfare of the poor.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Development
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Gilbert Rozman
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Korean Economic Institute (KEI)
  • Abstract: Of five alternative approaches to addressing the North Korean threat to stability in East Asia and beyond, this section is concerned with the possibility of just one—a diplomatic approach via Three-Way Talks among China, South Korea, and the United States. We single out this approach as the golden mean for reconciling the conflicting interests among the parties best positioned to reshape the calculus of Pyongyang. It represents the path to compromise. Among the alternatives, there is the Chinese appeal for a dual-track approach through Six-Party Talks, aimed at a peace treaty on terms attractive to North Korea and greatly transformative to the security architecture in Northeast Asia. This could hardly be called a compromise, since Seoul and Washington regard this as a win for Pyongyang and evidence that Beijing actually has been siding with Pyongyang. Another alternative is Strategic Patience, which is a misnomer for the policy of the Obama administration, but, in any case, refers mainly to reliance on increased deterrence as pressure is ratcheted up. In fact, Obama was seeking a pathway to three-way talks, giving China time to shift in that direction bolstered by new sanctions, while in 2016 also moving closer to a fourth approach: Unilateral Sanctions targeted at the Chinese firms assisting North Korea. A fifth option is Alliance Triangularity to force change in Pyongyang.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Cooperation, International Security
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Gilbert Rozman
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Korean Economic Institute (KEI)
  • Abstract: While the other parts of this book bring China fully into the coverage—diplomacy, national identities, and sanctions—here we narrow the focus on U.S.-ROK relations with an eye to the current uncertainty about the future of the KORUS FTA, the five-year old bilateral trade agreement. Donald Trump has assumed the presidency critical of trade imbalances in goods, including assertions about the negative impact of the FTA with South Korea. It appears that the U.S. side will insist on renegotiating the agreement. In order to assess what this could mean, we take a close look at what the impact of KORUS has been and at how the debate in Washington has been unfolding under Trump’s watch. The three chapters were written in the early spring of 2017; so they could capture only the initial impact of Trump at a time when South Korean leadership was paralyzed between impeachment and the election of a new president without any serious bilateral engagement over economic issues. Yet, as tensions over economics are expected to rise, our objective is to inform the discussion with relevant economic background and with awareness of what Trump has been saying and how it may shape the political debate.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: America, Korea
  • Author: James M. Boughton
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Economic con ict between nation-states has been a major concern throughout the past century and will continue to threaten progress for the foreseeable future. The language evolves, but the issues persist. The “beggar-thy-neighbour” policies and “competitive devaluations” that aggravated the Great Depression of the 1930s have become the “currency wars” of the twenty- rst century. De ning the problem, however, is easy compared with the task of solving it. A central recurring question is whether policy makers can — and should — cooperate and try to coordinate their policies in an effort to alleviate con icts and improve outcomes.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Political Economy, International Development
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Kirill Rogov
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The recent 2016 Duma elections were planned by the Kremlin to attest to the fact that the period of troubled political development – which began during the previous 2011 Duma elections – is over. Further, the elections served to test Putin’s consolidated authoritarianism on the eve of the forthcoming presidential elections in 2018. While successful in terms of preserving full control over the new Duma, the election results nevertheless demonstrated that the patriotic enthusiasm evoked by the annexation of Crimea has largely been exhausted. The pressure on the opposition, new electoral rules and reliance on regions with so-called “administrative voting” secured a victory for the party of power, but in urban regions the turnout was very low and voting for the Kremlin’s party did not differ much from 2011 patterns. Although the direct effect of the economic crisis on people’s political attitudes is still moderate, the continued long-term stagnation in the Russian economy that started even before the fall in energy prices remains the major challenge for regime stability. Ambiguous election results force the Kremlin to seek new instruments of political consolidation. The Kremlin’s most probable strategy may be to combine toughening authoritarian institutions with maintaining high tension in the international arena in order to prolong the ‘rally around the flag’ effect domestically, by attempting or promising “authoritarian modernization” to gain support in urban regions. As the presidential election date approaches, both Putin’s foreign and economic policies could become even riskier than they have been to date.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Political Economy, International Affairs, Elections, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Maybritt Jill Alpes, Ninna Nyberg Sørensen
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The current European Agenda on Migration aims at reducing the arrival of asylum seekers and irregular migrants. For this purpose, various mechanisms of ‘effective and humane return’ are introduced. But can deportation ever be humane and what would be required? VU postdoc researcher Maibritt Jill Alpes and DIIS senior researcher Ninna Nyberg Sørensen take a closer look at international cooperation on migration and the risks migrants and rejected asylum seekers may face upon a forced return. They argue that international cooperation on migration has criminalized departure and consequently contributed to put forcible retuned people at risk not only of economic and psychosocial harm, but also of monetary extraction, arbitrary detention and criminal persecution in the hands of state agents. They argue that more emphasis must be put on different post-deportation risks and measures to avoid them in order to guarantee the safety of border apprehended and returned persons.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Cooperation, Immigration, Refugee Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Yan Vaslavsky
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Rethinking Russia
  • Abstract: Vladimir Putin delivered his Annual Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly at St. George’s Hall of the Great Kremlin Palace on December 1. The state-of-the- nation address is regarded as a major speech over a 12-month period. It usually recounts the progress and outlines national priorities and the development agenda for the near future. This format is not unique1, but it tends to command attention of the general public at home and abroad as well as of parliamentarians to whom, judging by its very name, it is addressed.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Cooperation, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia, Global Focus
  • Author: Dylan O’Driscoll, Dave van Zoonen
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Middle East Research Institute (MERI)
  • Abstract: This paper lays out three administrative options for the post-Islamic State governance of Nineveh and analyses the benefits and drawbacks related to each option. Despite minorities and international lobbying groups tied to the minorities favouring separate minority provinces, this paper argues against the formation of a Nineveh Plain province. A separate province would prevent efforts for reconciliation, is likely to induce new conflicts, and will ultimately not benefit minorities in the ways proponents of the plan claim. Similarly, the paper highlights that although decentralisation to the province through Law 21 could address a number of important issues, it would leave minorities in Nineveh too vulnerable to being marginalised and politically dominated by Sunnis. The main argument, and thus recommendation, of the paper is that the best available option for all components of Nineveh is the creation of a Nineveh federal region with entrenched power sharing and decentralisation within the region. This will provide the components of Nineveh with a political arena in which to address and overcome differences, while protecting minorities as well as Sunnis from being marginalised. Moreover, the creation of a region for Nineveh will have a stabilising effect on the wider Iraqi political system.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Middle East