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Foreign Policy Centre

Ideas for a fairer world

Research: Global Security Challenges

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Africa
Energy and Environment
Iran
Middle East
South Asia
USA & Transatlantic Relations

The Global Security Challenges programme takes broad overview of the key security problems facing the international community. Its scope ranges from traditional defence and conflict issues to wider questions of competition for resources, climate change, migration, political and religious extremism.

Upcoming Events

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> Iran Human Rights Review: Where now for human rights in Iran?

IHRR

Date: TBC February 2017

Venue: TBC

Speakers:

  • Dr Ahmed Shahid, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran
  • Tahirih Danesh, Chief Editor, Iran Human Rights Review
  • Roya Kashefi-Ladjevardi, Head of Human Rights - Association des Chercheurs Iraniens
  • Further speakers tbc

Chair: TBC

This event will take place as Iran looks ahead to a Presidential election in May 2017, where even the challenging human rights situation under the Rouhani Presidency is at risk of deteriorating further under growing pressure from hardliners. It will explore the current culture of human rights in Iran and attempts by sections of the regime to position personal freedoms as threats to Iran's security. The seminar will focus on the themes of the three latest editions of the FPC's Iran Human Rights Review: the human rights impact of the economy as sanctions are slowly lifted; issues of women and human rights; and the upcoming edition on due process (due to launch in early 2017).

Please RSVP to events@fpc.org.uk providing your name and any affiliation.

Download IHRR event December 6th 2016 (210 kilobyte PDF)


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> Investing in women's economic resilience & social wellbeing: Rethinking the role of private sector development in Africa

Nestle logo

supported by Nestlé

Part of the 'Africa Rising? Building Africa's Productive Capacity for Inclusive Growth' series

This series of roundtable discussions - supported by Nestlé - are taking place at a time when global development priorities are being reshaped and redefined by the 17 recently adopted UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Change agreement (COP21). COP21 aims to keep the global temperature rise below 1.5°C (above pre-industrial levels) however, has yet to provide the commitments needed to achieve this aspiration. In addition, the UN Commission on the Status of Women will mark its 60th anniversary (CSW60) in 2016. Its priority focus will be women's empowerment and sustainable development. The level of global inequality and insecurity disproportionately affecting women and girls continues to be compounded by an unprecedented global economic crisis, on-going austerity and mounting uncertainty. These conditions present very real challenges for public spending dedicated to sustainable development. As such, understanding the development transformation role played by business and enterprise has become increasingly important.

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Articles

> US Elections 2016: Russia's Preferred Choice

By Samuel Rogers.

The victor of the US Presidential Elections in November 2016 will be either Hilary Clinton or Donald Trump. Both candidates have views that are inconsistent with each other regarding Russia and on the institutions that influence policy towards Russia. From a Russian perspective, there are advantages and disadvantages in relation to each potential outcome. It is therefore timely to consider to what extent each candidate may benefit Russia in terms of policy objectives. This article addresses the pros and cons for each candidate in this regard.

Full text >


> Chinese Expansion in Central Asia: Problems and Perspectives

By Dr Catherine Owen.

Over the past two decades, China has been slowly but substantially increasing its presence in Central Asia. Most recently, it has initiated the ambitious new project, the Silk Road Economic Belt, which aims to connect Chinese and European markets via Central Asia. Having surpassed Russia as Central Asia's largest trading partner in 2009, China has invested billions into the economically ailing region and is the largest creditor to Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.

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> FPC Briefing: Da'ish, the Ikhwan and Lessons from History

By Grant Helm, Dr Simon Mabon.

This FPC Briefing from Dr Simon Mabon and Grant Helm explores the historical antecedents of Da'ish and their complicated relationship with the rulers of Saudi Arabia.

Download FPC Briefing: Da'ish, the Ikhwan and Lessons from History (560 kilobyte PDF)


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Publications

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> No shelter: the harassment of activists abroad by intelligence services from the former Soviet Union

[Cover of No shelter: the harassment of activists abroad by intelligence services from the former Soviet Union]

Adam Hug (Ed.)

November 2016 Hard copy: £7.95, plus £1 p+p.

Download No Shelter publication (2.23 megabyte PDF)

A new Foreign Policy Centre publication No shelter: the harassment of activists abroad by intelligence services from the former Soviet Union examines the experiences of activists and other people who have had to leave their former Soviet country of origin due to the risk of persecution at home, but who are unable to escape the pressures of their country's security services. It looks at both the legal and illegal means used by the security services to put pressure on exiles from Interpol Red Notices and formal extradition procedures, to surveillance, harassment, physical attacks, kidnapping and assassination. Though the publication looks at the issue across the post-Soviet region there is a particular focus on the activities of the security services from Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Russia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, and on both Turkey and Russia as places where exiles are most at risk. No Shelter examines regional security service cooperation and collusion in putting pressure on activists, alongside the influence of Western activities that have helped exacerbate the situation.

The publication contains contributions from: Nadejda Ataeva, Association for Human Rights in Central Asia; Civil Rights Defenders; Dr Mark Galeotti, Institute of International Relations-Prague; Arzu Geybulla; Giorgi Gogia, Human Rights Watch; Dr John Heathershaw, Eve Bishop and Rosa Brown, University of Exeter; Adam Hug (Ed.), Foreign Policy Centre; Dr Edward Lemon, Columbia University.


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> Sharing worst practice: How countries and institutions in the former Soviet Union help create legal tools of repression

[Cover of Sharing worst practice: How countries and institutions in the former Soviet Union help create legal tools of repression ]

Adam Hug (Ed.)

May 2016 Hard copy: £7.95, plus £1 p+p.

Download Sharing worst practice (1.45 megabyte PDF)

Sharing worst practice: How countries and institutions in the former Soviet Union help create legal tools of repression examines the ways in which authoritarian regimes learn from each other and collaborate to develop repressive practices. The publication looks at the role of regional structures in the development of repressive rules and norms of behaviour, as well as exploring the extent of bilateral influence, most notably from Russia. It examines the impact of these countries' shared Soviet heritage and the nature of their current governments in determining their desire to emulate practices from neighbouring countries that undermine human rights. The publication explores the development of copycat anti-NGO and anti-LGBTI legislation, alongside similar restrictions on freedom of assembly, media and internet use. The publication also looks at the role security concerns play in developing and excusing bad practice, exploring the sometimes negative role of Western countries as part of the 'War on Terror'.

The publication contains contributions by: Prof Thomas Ambrosio, North Dakota State University; Dr Michael Hamilton, University of East Anglia; Joanna Hoare and Maisy Weicherding, Amnesty International; Melissa Hooper, Human Rights First; Adam Hug (ed.), Foreign Policy Centre; Eka Iakobishvili; Kate Levine, EHRAC; Dr David Lewis, University of Exeter; Katie Morris, Article 19.

Further information >


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> Shelter from the storm?

[Cover of Shelter from the storm?]

Adam Hug (Ed.)

April 2014

Download Shelter from the storm? (1.82 megabyte PDF)

Shelter from the storm? The asylum, refuge and extradition situation facing activists from the former Soviet Union in the CIS and Europe looks at some of the key issues around asylum, extradition and the provision of refuge for human rights defenders, political and religious activists and other controversial figures from the former Soviet Union. It examines the extent to which Russia and other CIS countries abide by their obligations under European and international law when facing extradition requests from fellow signatories to the Minsk Convention. It also explores European asylum and immigration policies and how they impact on activists from the former Soviet Union.

Shelter from the Storm? contains contributions from: Felix Corley (Forum 18); Elisabeth Dyvik (ICORN The International Cities of Refuge Network); Julia Hall and Maisy Weicherding (Amnesty International); Adam Hug (ed., Foreign Policy Centre); Dr David Lewis (University of Exeter); Kris Pollett and Claire Rimmer Quaid (European Council on Refugees and Exiles – ECRE); Alex Tinsley (Fair Trials International); and Daria Trenina (MGIMO-University).


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Past Events

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> No shelter: the harassment of activists abroad by intelligence services from the former Soviet Union

Date: Tuesday November 22nd 2016

Time: 6.00pm-7.30pm

Venue: Thatcher Room, Portcullis House, Houses of Parliament, Westminster, London

Speakers:

  • Chris Bryant MP
  • Dr John Heathershaw, Associate Professor in International Relations, University of Exeter
  • Adam Hug, Policy Director, Foreign Policy Centre
  • Further speakers tbc

Chair: Rt Hon. Fiona Mactaggart MP, Member of the Intelligence and Security Committee

This seminar will examine the experiences of a wide range of civil society activists, opposition politicians, religious leaders and others who have had to leave their former Soviet country of origin due to the risk of persecution at home, but who are unable to escape the pressures of their country's security services, even in exile. It will discuss the experiences of activists being monitored, followed, harassed, attacked, kidnapped or killed across the former Soviet Union and beyond.

The seminar will analyse CIS security service cooperation, when the intelligence service of the country where an activist is seeking shelter either formally collaborates with or turns a blind eye to the activities of the intelligence services of the activist's home country in tracking, harassing, attacking or kidnapping them. There will be a particular focus on the activities of the security services of Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, against whom there are strong allegations of involvement in a number of murders, attacks, kidnappings and threats against activists and opponents outside their borders. It will also look at the countries where activists in exile seem to be most at risk of harassment, noting in particular the situations in Russia and Turkey.

The No Shelter seminar will also explore issues around the monitoring of activists' emails, phone calls and other forms of communication by intelligence services and the practical challenges human rights defenders and others face in keeping their information secure from prying eyes.

The seminar may also look at the role played by Western companies in exporting technology and consultancy services that help develop the surveillance systems of authoritarian regimes, or that can be used for torture and ill-treatment. It may also explore the extent to which Western intelligence cooperates with intelligence agencies from the former Soviet Union involved in such practices.

Please RSVP to events@fpc.org.uk providing your name and any affiliation.

Download No Shelter Seminar flyer (360 kilobyte PDF)


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> The Foreign Policy Centre at the 2015 Conservative Party Conference

Tuesday 6 October - Manchester

The Foreign Policy Centre is hosting a fringe event at this year's Conservative Party Conference in Manchester. Please click below to download the flyer. The event is free and open to all, however Conference accreditation WILL be required to gain access to the venue which is located inside the secure zone.

Download FPC fringe at the 2015 Conservative Party Conference (210 kilobyte PDF)


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> Trouble in the Neighbourhood? The future of the EU's Eastern Partnership- London second seminar

Date: Tuesday 3rd March 2015

Time: 6.00pm-7.30pm

Venue: Committee Room 16, House of Commons, Westminster

Speakers:

  • Mike Gapes MP, Member of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee (Labour)
  • Laura Sandys MP (Conservative)
  • Baroness Falkner, Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs Spokesperson
  • Dr Andrew Wilson, Reader in Ukrainian Studies, UCL School of Slavonic & East European Studies and Senior Policy Fellow, ECFR
  • Dr Kevork Oskanian, Research Fellow, University of Birmingham and FPC Research Associate

Chair: Mary Dejevsky, Chief Editorial Writer and Columnist, The Independent

This second London seminar as part of the Trouble in the Neighbourhood? The future of the EU's Eastern Partnership project, in partnership with the European Commission Representation in the UK, will take stock of recent developments in the EU's relationship with the countries in its eastern neighbourhood: Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Belarus and Ukraine. The issue of the EU's role in the region and the influence of the Russian-led alternative the Eurasian Economic Union have been at the heart of a major geo-political upheaval. The decision by Ukraine's then President Yanukovych to reject Eastern Partnership under pressure from Russia in the summer of 2013 lit the spark for the dramatic subsequent events in that country, while Armenia made a similar switch under Russian pressure ahead of the key November 2013 Vilnius summit. This seminar will look at the key planks of the EU's approach to the region including the offers of Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreements, visa reform, funding for reform projects and political engagement.

Free copies of the Trouble in the Neighbourhood? The future of the EU's Eastern Partnership publication will be available.

The event is free and open to all. Please RSVP to events@fpc.org.uk

Download Trouble in the Neighbourhood? London second seminar flyer (430 kilobyte PDF)


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