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  • Author: Claudia Astarita
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Review of: China and India, Alka Acharya, Har-Anand Pub., 2008
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: China, India
  • Author: Nicu Popescu, Andrew Wilson
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The launch of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) marks the most significant change to the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) since it was launched in 2004. In the wake of the Georgia war in August 2008 and yet another gas crisis in January 2009, the EU clearly needs a more constructive policy towards Eastern Europe. But both the ENP and EaP are based on a contradiction. They offer only the remotest possibility of eventual accession to the EU, but are still based on "accession-light" assumptions, applying the conditionality model of the 1990s to weak states that are a long way from meeting the Copenhagen criteria. The priority in the eastern neighbourhood is not building potential members states but strengthening sovereignty, in the face of an increasingly assertive Russian neighbourhood policy. The game is playing the west off against Russia for geopolitical reward.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Georgia
  • Author: Roberto Menotti, Jason W. Davidson
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: American primacy continues to characterise the international system, despite trends toward a diffusion of power. The discussion is too often biased in favour of multipolarity due to imprecise or misleading definitions of US primacy. On the basis of a simple definition of what a "pole" is, combining GDP and defence expenditure, only the US can be considered a global pole. The current economic crisis is not changing this reality. Even considering perceptions, soft power, and the ability to translate power into influence, rising powers like China or an aggregate power like the EU have a long way to go before they can get on an equal footing with the United States.
  • Political Geography: United States, China, America
  • Author: Cesare Merlini
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: While a global recession of uncertain duration plagues the planet, the Atlantic countries are faced with an agenda of complicated, almost intractable international challenges. The surge of new protagonists on the world scene has been largely the result of a long period of relative stability and extraordinary economic growth thanks to the prevalence of Western paradigms. And yet they mark another step in the shrinking of the West's geostrategic relevance. Obama's America and half-integrated Europe should deal with this new multipolar world with a consistent and synergic approach, made up of a mix of traditional balance-of-power skills and systemic innovations. Over the past two decades, the US' solitary position at the apex of global power has made the analogy with imperial Rome common currency. While this is the wrong lesson to learn from classical history, the achievements and mistakes of ancient Greece and republican as well as imperial Rome may still help us, third millennium Europeans and Americans, sail through the stormy waters of today's planetary Mediterranean.
  • Political Geography: America, Europe
  • Author: Asle Toje
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Transatlantic relations are in flux: NATO's struggle for self preservation; the diminished importance of Europe in American geopolitics; the semi-failure of European foreign policy integration; and the absence of a grand bargain among Europe's leading powers. These four trends are making the current transatlantic order unsustainable. But if the international system becomes multipolar, will the "West" be one of the poles? These developments can be assessed by applying the "transatlantic bargain" as a conceptual lens through which to select and assess information. The result is that the dynamics of multipolarity could spell the end for the "transatlantic West".
  • Topic: NATO
  • Political Geography: America, Europe
  • Author: Sergio Fabbrini, Daniela Sicurelli
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Although foreign policy changes reflect transformations in the international system, they are also strongly conditioned by domestic factors. This is particularly true in the United States. Domestic factors have affected US decision-makers' interpretation of the international system and the role their country should play in it. That interpretation has gone through various phases, each characterised by a predominant paradigm or a struggle between competing paradigms. If the period between 11 September 2001 and the 2006 mid-term elections witnessed the uncontested success of unilateralism, after those mid-terms and the elections of 4 November 2008, the necessary domestic conditions for a new multilateral paradigm may have been created.
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Masahiko Asada
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Under the combined action of global warming and energy security requirements, the world is entering a nuclear renaissance. At the same time, there is growing concern that more and more countries will have access to sensitive nuclear technologies that could be used to develop nuclear weapons. Such concern is not unfounded. In fact, since around the turn of the century, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) has suffered fundamental challenges from several quarters. Most notable are North Korea's non-compliance with its Safeguards agreement and its withdrawal from the NPT, as well as Iran's non-compliance with its Safeguards agreement and its suspected nuclear weapons development.
  • Political Geography: Kiribati
  • Author: Eric Rosand
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The Bush administration's strong preference for seemingly more flexible initiatives, involving a select group of countries, and limiting the size of international bureaucracies, which has resulted in three US-driven multilateral initiatives to address the threat of WMD-terrorism - the Proliferation Security Initiative, the G-8 Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons of Mass Destruction, and United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540 and the committee and group of experts it established - has produced mixed results so far. Although it helped to ensure a more rapid initial response to WMD terrorism, such an approach has also impeded efforts to build and sustain global support to respond to that threat.
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Riccardo Alcaro
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT) is an innovative, multi-pronged action aimed at enhancing the domestic capacities of a state, as well as its ability to interconnect internationally and to deal with the risk of a terrorist attack involving nuclear or radioactive materials. The GICNT, a joint US-Russian initiative, has now evolved into an informal network of over 70 countries. It pursues it objective of boosting the protection, detection, prosecution and response capabilities of a state by fostering cooperation on three levels: between a government and its agencies; between government and the private sector; and between like-minded states. Given its comprehensive approach to the nuclear terrorism threat, the initiative has great potential. Nevertheless, structural flaws such as the absence of any evaluation mechanism and the exclusion of military-related nuclear materials and sites are likely to make its impact far less global than expected.
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States
  • Author: Giacomo Luciani
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Several Arab countries have recently manifested an interest in civilian nuclear energy. For some, like Egypt, this is the revival of an old interest, for others, notably the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), it represents a clear reversal of previously held positions. This interest has been interpreted as an implicit threat to move in the direction of acquiring a military nuclear capability, in case Iran develops a bomb. Instead, the article argues that interest in nuclear energy has strong economic motivations for all Arab countries, although the position of the GCC is quite different from that of North Africa and Levant countries, from the point of view of both the cogency of motivation and the ability to concretely and rapidly launch a civilian nuclear program.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Arabia, Egypt