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  • Author: Julia Grauvogel, Hana Attia
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Research on sanctions has hitherto focused on their implementation and effectiveness, whereas the termination of such measures has received only little attention. The traditional model, which looks at sanctions and their removal in terms of rational, interstate bargaining, focuses on how cost–benefit calculations affect the duration and termination of such measures. Yet, this research insufficiently captures the back and forth between easing sanctions, stagnation, and renewed intensification. It also fails to account for the multifaceted social relations between senders, targets, and third actors that shape these termination processes, as well as for the signalling dimension of ending sanctions – not least because existing datasets tend to operationalise sanctions as a single event. To help fill these gaps, the paper proposes a process-oriented and relational understanding that also recognises how sanctions termination conveys the message of ending the visible disapproval of the target, which may be heavily contested. Case studies on Zimbabwe and Iran illustrate how such an approach sheds light on the different logics of action that shape processes of sanctions termination, and thereby contributes to a more holistic understanding of sanctions in general.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: Africa, Iran, Middle East, Zimbabwe
  • Author: Nils Lukacs
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Ten years ago, President Barack Obama’s unprecedented address to the Muslim world from Cairo was hailed as a landmark in US–Middle Eastern relations and described by contemporary observers as a historical break in US foreign policy in the region. Yet it soon became clear that the president’s vision for a “new beginning based on mutual interest and mutual respect” would face many practical constraints. Analysing the thematic and rhetorical development of Obama’s speeches during the formative period between summer 2008 and 2009, as well as the public and academic perception of and reaction to these moments, the paper examines the underlying interests and motivations for the president’s foreign policy approach in the Middle East. It argues that despite the low priority given to foreign policy issues during the economic crisis occurring at the time, the key pillars of Obama’s ambitious vision for the Middle East were rooted in pronounced US interests as well as the president’s personal convictions, rather than opportunistic calculations. It thus counters retrospective post-2011 criticism which argues that Obama’s words were never meant to be put into practice. The study contributes to the establishment of a solid empirical and conceptual base for further research on the United States’ foreign policy in the Middle East under the Obama administration.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Gordon Mathews
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This article begins by asking how African traders learn to adjust to the foreign world of Guangzhou, China, and suggests that African logistics agents and middlemen serve as cultural brokers for these traders. After defining “cultural broker” and discussing why these brokers are not usually Chinese, it explores this role as played by ten logistics agents/middlemen from Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. As logistics agents, these people help their customers in practically adjusting to Chinese life, and as middlemen they serve to grease the wheels of commerce be- tween African customers and Chinese suppliers. This is despite their own ambivalent views of China as a place to live. They play an essen- tial role in enabling harmonious relations between Africans and Chi- nese in Guangzhou, even though they see themselves not as cultural brokers but simply as businessmen.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Culture, Business , Commerce
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Asia
  • Author: Nicole Hirt
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This article examines the impact of UN‐imposed sanctions on the stability of the Eritrean regime, using diaspora behavior as an explanatory variable of crucial importance. It explores the transnational nature of Eritrean society, which is characterized by long‐distance nationalism, and examines the history and structure of the Eritrean diaspora as well as its transformation since the political crisis of 2001. The paper argues that the government and its supporters among the diaspora, as well as regime opponents, have all instrumentalized the sanctions for their own specific purposes. While the former use the sanctions to create a “rally around the flag” effect and for fundraising purposes, the latter campaign against the 2 percent diaspora tax levied by the government because it may be used for illicit purposes in breach of the sanctions regime. However, due to the opposition\'s disunity and failure to organize joint campaigns, its efforts have so far failed to decisively contribute to the demise of Eritrea\'s crumbling rebel regime. Meanwhile financial flows to both the government\'s coffers and to private individuals continue to play a stabilizing role. Nevertheless, unsuccessful domestic policies, the mass exodus resulting from the militarization of the entire society and an isolationist foreign policy are all contributing to the growing weakness of the regime, and with it the State of Eritrea.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, Diaspora, Insurgency, Fragile/Failed State, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa, United Nations, Eritrea
  • Author: Lucy Corkin
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: It has long been recognised that the actors involved in crafting and implementing China's foreign policy are not always in agreement. This paper argues that the prioritisation of commercial outreach over purely political objectives in Africa has led to a shift in influence from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) to the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM). To that end, the paper examines the rising prominence of China Exim Bank's concessional loans as a foreign policy instrument in Africa along with the process through which they are negotiated and implemented. Using the case of Angola, this paper shows how despite formal institutional equality, the MOFCOM is playing a far more influential role than the MFA is in defining the direction of China's foreign policy toward Africa.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa, China
  • Author: Daniel Flemes
  • Publication Date: 08-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: How can weaker states influence stronger ones? This article offers a case study of one recent exercise in coalition building among Southern middle powers, the 'India, Brazil, South Africa (IBSA) Dialogue Forum'. The analysis outlines five major points: first, it argues that the three emerging players can be defined as middle powers in order to frame their foreign policy behavior and options at the global level. Second, soft balancing is a suitable concept to explain IBSA's strategy in global institutions. Third, institutional foreign policy instruments are of pivotal significance in IBSA's soft balancing strategy. Fourth, the potential gains of IBSA's sector cooperation, particularly in trade, are limited due to a lack of complementarity of the three economies. And fifth, IBSA's perspectives and impact on the international system will depend on four variables: IBSA's ability to focus on distinct areas of cooperation, the consolidation of its common strategy of soft balancing, the institutionalization of IBSA, and its enlargement in order to obtain more weight in global bargains.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa, India, Asia, South Africa, Brazil, South America
  • Author: Daniel Flemes
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Regional powers can be distinguished by four pivotal criteria: claim to leadership, power resources, employment of foreign policy instruments, and acceptance of leadership. Applying these indicators to the South African case, the analysis demonstrates the crucial significance of institutional foreign policy instruments. But although the South African government is ready to pay the costs of co-operative hegemony (such as capacity building for regional institutions and peacekeeping), the regional acceptance of South Africa's leadership is constrained by its historical legacy. Additionally, Pretoria's foreign policy is based on ideational resources such as its reputation as an advocate of democracy and human rights and the legitimacy derived from its paradigmatic behaviour as a 'good global citizen'. However, the Mbeki presidency is more successful in converting these resources into discursive instruments of interest-assertion in global, rather than in regional bargains. In effect the regional power's reformist South-oriented multilateralism is challenging some of the guiding principles of the current international system.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa