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Foreign Policy Centre

Ideas for a fairer world

Global Security Challenges


> FPC Briefing – The Coming Storm: US-China Relations Under Trump

By Dr Chris Ogden .

FPC Senior Associate Dr Chris Ogden sets out some of the political and strategic challenges facing US-China relations ahead of the coming Trump Presidency.

According to Dr Ogden both during and after the 2016 US presidential elections, China featured significantly in the campaign of eventual victor Donald Trump. In the President-elect's eyes Beijing is Washington's most dangerous strategic competitor that threatens the US's ability to control and lead the world. Following on from his victory, Trump has continued to directly condemn China, and has in many ways accelerated his attacks on Beijing. In doing so, the new American leader appears to be at best questioning, and at worst shattering, several of the key understandings that were thought to have underpinned US-China relations, which serves to suggest that the world's two largest economies are entering a stormy period.

Download FPC Briefing –The Coming Storm: US-China Relations and Trump (390 kilobyte PDF)

> Reflections on the situation in eastern Ukraine-a 2017 perspective

By Craig Oliphant.

There are perhaps two key myths about Ukraine that need to be challenged and pushed back on:

1. Firstly, that 2013 saw a sudden turn by Ukraine towards the EU, and marked a departure from what came before. Kyiv was focused under different presidents on its EU aspirations. The catalyst for Maidan in November 2013 was the decision by President Yanukovich (under pressure) to opt not to sign the Association Agreement.

2. The second myth is that Donbas was the "powerhouse of Ukraine's economy. In fact, that role fell to Kyiv and Dnipro. Donbas had increasingly become the rustbelt of Ukraine.

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> FPC Briefing: Why Burma's political transition should be viewed with caution

By John Harley Breen.

John Harley Breen examines the challenges Burma/Myanmar faces as it attempts to transition to a more open political structure after decades of military and colonial domination. It looks at the history of military rule and the economic and political power structures that this embedded. The paper looks at relationship between the state and minority groups across the country and challenges around the emerging peace process.

Download FPC Briefing: Burma's political transition (400 kilobyte PDF)

> 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.

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> 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)

> FPC Briefing: Saudi Arabia – US Relations and the Failure of Riyadh's Securitization Project

By Dr Simon Mabon.

Following the signing of the nuclear deal between the P5+1 and Iran in late 2015, relations between Saudi Arabia and the United States have become increasingly fractious. Since then, with questions about the release of a number of classified pages of the 9/11 commission report, along with increasing concerns at the kingdom's human rights record, the relationship between Riyadh and Washington is at the lowest point in decades. This briefing by Dr Simon Mabon offers an explanation for the deterioration of the relationship between the two.

Download FPC Briefing Saudi Arabia – US Relations (550 kilobyte PDF)

> Russian Pragmatism: making the right choices in 2016

By Samuel Rogers.

For the remainder of the second half of the second decade of the twenty-first century, Russia has an unprecedented number of internal and external issues (addressed below), which have combined to reach a critical point, not seen since the end of communism and the collapse of the Soviet Union a quarter of a century ago. Taking these concerns together, they have the potential for increased internal upheaval in the form of a repeat of the street protests in 2011, high levels of capital flight (though this risk receded slightly in late 2015) and further deterioration in relations with 'partners' such as the US and European states are genuinely realistic. The list of problems that Russia faces is long and has increased, especially since the onset of the Ukraine Crisis and the annexation of Crimea in February 2014. The issues can be divided into two categories: internal and external.

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> Oman – The Quiet Diplomat

By James Denselow.

In a Middle East increasingly defined by the fires of war it takes a lot of work to keep out of the headlines. The Sultanate of Oman doesn't have the record breaking tall buildings of its Gulf neighbours and has ensured that the worsening violence in Yemen has not spilled over across its borders. Instead, away from the international focus that tends to follow events in Syria, Israel-Palestine and Iraq, Oman is working the levers of quiet diplomacy behind the scenes.

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> FPC Briefing: Extradition- Time to remove the nationality bar

By Andrew Southam.

In this FPC Briefing Research Associate Andrew Southam examines the nationality protection used by a number of countries to prohibit the extradition of alleged criminals to face trial. This contrasts with the practice of a number of countries including the US and UK that do not refuse to return their own citizens to face trial, provided due process has been followed and proper safeguards are in place. This briefing sets out the situation and calls for steps towards removing the nationality bar from extradition practices. Southam argues that such a bar is against the modern trend to streamline extradition procedures, is an unnecessary protection given other safeguards, and is contrary to wider international initiatives to combat crime. The briefing makes suggestions about how this can be achieved and explores the benefits and disadvantages of alternatives, including local prosecutions.

Download FPC Briefing: Extradition-Time to remove the nationality bar (440 kilobyte PDF)

> FPC Briefing: How Do International Economic Sanctions (Not) Work?

By Dr Lee Jones.

In this new FPC Briefing Dr Lee Jones argues that instead of simply asking whether sanctions work, the international community should first ask: 'how are they supposed to effect the change we seek, and do they actually "work" this way in practice?' This research looks into how 'economic pain' translates – or fails to translate – into 'political gain' in target states. The starting point for Jones is that political outcomes in target states are predominantly determined by struggles between ruling and opposition coalitions of social and political forces. Sanctions 'work' by manipulating the political economy of targets, with consequences for the composition of forces contesting state power, plus their resources, alliances and strategies. Where sanctions can compel ruling and opposition coalitions to adopt strategic responses that meet the goals of those imposing sanctions, they may be 'successful'. However, this is generally possible only where opposition groups are already powerful and well organised. In contexts where oppositions are weak and fragmented, sanctions tend to entrench their exclusion from power, even if they also manage to weaken ruling coalitions. Since this is often the case in states where sanctions are used, sanctions are often ineffective. The briefing gives some suggestions for policymakers that include the need for careful planning, including plausibly specifying the mechanisms by which they expect sanctions to operate. If the mechanisms cannot be identified, Dr Jones argues sanctions should not be imposed.

Download FPC Briefing: International Economic Sanctions (400 kilobyte PDF)

> FPC Briefing: Preventing Violence Against Women: The Case of Iraq

By Ludovica Di Giorgi, Dr Simon Mabon.

In this FPC Briefing Research Associate Dr Simon Mabon and Ludovicia Di Giorgi examine the deteriorating situation regarding violence against women in Iraq, in areas both under Government and ISIS control.

Download the article (390 kilobyte PDF)

> FPC Briefing: The Moral and the Strategic-The UK's Response to the Syrian Crisis

By Dr Simon Mabon.

In recent days there has been a great deal of debate surrounding the humanitarian imperatives for aiding refugees from the Middle East. This new briefing by Dr Simon Mabon builds upon these arguments to suggest that there are also strategic reasons for helping with the crisis that could contribute to the response to ISIS.

Download FPC Briefing: The Moral and the Strategic-the UK and Syria (550 kilobyte PDF)

> FPC Briefing: Russia's changing role in Central Asia - the post-Ukraine context, and implications

By Craig Oliphant.

FPC Senior Research Associate Craig Oliphant examines the strategic, economic and political challenges Russia faces dealing with the states of Central Asia. He explores the impact of the Ukraine crisis on the relationship between Russia and Central Asia and examines the growing influence of China in the region and what it means for Moscow's long-term role.

Download FPC Briefing: Russia's changing role in Central Asia (550 kilobyte PDF)

> FPC Briefing: Separating historical fact from political fiction-reconsidering Japan's militaristic past

By Dr Matthew Funaiole.

In this new FPC Briefing Dr Matthew Funaiole takes the upcoming 70th anniversary of the Pacific War (World War II) as an opportunity to assess the controversy in Japan about its international posture. Prime Minister Abe has in recent months repeatedly struck the nationalist war drum, leaving leaders in Beijing and Seoul increasingly worried about a resurgent Japan. While Abe's vision for Japan does circumvent the pacifist aspects of the Japanese constitution, greater understanding into Japan's imperial past is needed before evaluating Abe's policies. This briefing explores Japan's complicated relationship with the West to better understand the origins of Japanese imperialism and the lasting impact of Japan's pacifist constitution.

Download the article (520 kilobyte PDF)

> FPC Briefing: Governing Non-Traditional Security Threats by Transforming States- Trends and Challenges

By Dr Shahar Hameiri, Dr Lee Jones.

In this new Foreign Policy Centre Briefing, Dr Shahar Hameiri and Dr Lee Jones examine international community responses to 'non-traditional' security threats (NTS) – transboundary issues such as pandemic diseases, transnational crime, drug smuggling and people trafficking. They argue that the primary focus of the security response involves attempts to change the behaviour of individual states' domestic institutions and networking them across borders with their counterparts and international agencies. While this approach is seen as a way of avoiding international political conflict, Hameiri and Jones argue that the outcomes of these apparently technocratic interventions are shaped by domestic political struggles in target states. To attain better outcomes, the international community needs to be more aware of the domestic political impact of their interventions and build supportive coalitions with powerful domestic groups.

Download FPC Briefing: Governing Non-Traditional Security Threats (700 kilobyte PDF)

> FPC Briefing: Daesh, Geopolitics and the Resurgence of Pan Arabism?

By Dr Simon Mabon.

FPC Research Associate Dr Simon Mabon and his colleague Lucia Ardovini analyse the response of key regional actors in the Middle East to the rising threat of daesh (ISIS/ISIL), looking at differing Iranian, Saudi and Egyptian approaches.

Download FPC Briefing: Daesh, Geopolitics and Pan Arabism (490 kilobyte PDF)

> Should the United States attempt to reform Islam?

By Dr. Gregorio Bettiza.

Should American foreign policymakers attempt to reform major world religions? This may sound like a hubristic, at best, if not a potentially dangerous and misguided idea, at worse. Yet, this is what the United States has, in essence, been attempting to do with Islam and Muslims since 9/11. Since that tragic September morning in 2001, many policy analysts in the United States came to understand the attacks and the ensuing War on Terror as part of an ongoing struggle for the future direction of Islam and the hearts and minds of Muslims. In the process, a wide range of domestic and foreign policy initiatives have emerged over the past decades designed to intervene in theological debates within Islam and encourage Muslims to 'speak out' against terrorism, while also seeking to defuse clash of civilizations narratives and promote a positive image of America in the so-called Muslim world.

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> The EU's approach to Azerbaijan: short-term gain, long-term pain

By Rebecca Vincent.

Over the past year, the Azerbaijani authorities have engaged in their worst human rights crackdown yet, working more aggressively than ever before to silence critical groups and individuals. By the end of 2014, there were reports of nearly 100 political prisoners in Azerbaijan, including many of the country's most prominent journalists and human rights defenders. The most active local human rights NGOs were shut down, and several international organisations were effectively driven out of the country. Authorities raided and then shut down the Baku office of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, one of the few remaining independent media outlets in the country.

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> Lima calling, but UN climate summit leaves massive workload for 2015

By Stephen Minas.

After the deadlock between national delegations to this year's United Nations climate change summit had been broken at half past one on Sunday morning, the president of the conference, Peruvian minister Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, made a request: that the resulting document be known as the 'Lima Call for Climate Action'.

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> The challenge of health and healthcare for Africa

By Dr Titilola Banjoko.

In many countries, the health indices and healthcare services can make or break those running for elections. This does not seem to be the case in Africa. According to facts compiled by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for Africa - Atlas of Health Statistics 2011, the life expectancy across the continent stands at 53. This expectancy rate is low compared to other global regions where the average is 68. In addition, 71% of communicable diseases are transmitted in Africa compared to a global average of 39.7%.

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> Britons have already said no to citizens travelling abroad to fight, no matter what the cause

By Prof Thomas J. Scotto, Dr Jason Reifler, Prof Paul Whiteley, Prof Harold Clarke.

In this article, four senior UK and US academics use data gathered in a May 2014 survey they commissioned that focused on British foreign policy attitudes. The researchers asked UK respondents how the British Government should deal with UK nationals travelling abroad to fight against al-Assad in Syria, in Ukraine, and against Boko Haram in Nigeria. They found that pluralities of respondents in all three situations favour stripping such individuals of UK citizenship, and less than 20% of those surveyed believe the Government should allow its citizens to fight in any of these emerging conflicts. They argue that Home Secretary Theresa May would have public support behind her if, as planned, new measures are brought forth to crack down on UK citizens fighting for foreign armies or groups.

Download Britons have already said no to citizens fighting abroad (440 kilobyte PDF)

> FPC Briefing: Seven geo-political challenges facing China

By Dr Matthew Funaiole.

This FPC Briefing by Matthew Funaiole examines seven of the key current geopolitical challenges currently facing China. Issues covered include the ambiguous regional order, the disputed Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands, the North Korean nuclear weapons program, cross strait relations with Taiwan, energy reserves in the South China Sea, domestic separatist movements in Xinjiang and Tibet, and the challenges of energy security and climate change.

Download FPC Briefing: Seven geo-political challenges facing China (900 kilobyte PDF)

> FPC Briefing: IS, Regional Security and the End of Sykes-Picot

By Dr Stephen Royle, Dr Simon Mabon.

In this briefing paper Dr Simon Mabon and Dr Stephen Royle examine the rise of the so-called 'Islamic State' or IS group in Syria and Iraq. They explore roots of sovereignty in the region and possible approaches for regional actors and the international community to take in combating the threat posed by IS.

Download IS, Regional Security and the End of Sykes-Picot (340 kilobyte PDF)

> Why Pakistan is the key to Britain's South Asian renaissance

By Jack Goodman.

Pakistan receives more British aid than any other country. The Department for International Development (DfID) estimates that Pakistan will receive £350million annually by 2015. But a relationship underpinned by development aid for security has changed.

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> FPC Briefing: Above all, a Prime Minister for Palestinian Unity?

By Dr Stephen Royle.

Dr Stephen Royle, who has been a consultant to the outgoing Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, gives his views on the progress made over the last year under Hamdallah's leadership.

Download FPC Briefing: Above all, a Prime Minister for Unity? (340 kilobyte PDF)

> FPC Briefing: Climate change cooperation within the Global South: Finance, policy and institutions

By Stephen Minas.

FPC Research Associate Stephen Minas analyses the growing and dynamic area of climate change cooperation in the Global South. His briefing looks at the role of the BRICS and a growing range of other regional groupings that are sharing policy best practice, creating innovative finance arrangements and developing new institutions to tackle the challenges of climate change.

Download FPC Briefing: Climate change cooperation in the Global South (440 kilobyte PDF)

> Syria's Forever War

By James Denselow.

Last month saw the third anniversary of the conflict in Syria that is traced back to children in Daraa writing graffiti on walls. In the same month Rwanda marked the 20th anniversary of its genocide, although now unlike then we can't say that we didn't know what was happening. This year also marks the 100 year anniversary of the start of World War One and the advent of 'total war' that in Syria is something more akin to 'total civil war'. The third anniversary of this bloody denouement of 'the Arab Spring' is a moment of reflection towards a crisis in which there is far more availability of information over what is happening than there is of argument about how to stop it. The phrase 'never again' has been lost to the screams of the over 10,000 children who have died to date. The fact that the UN has stopped counting the dead only compounds attempts to fully realise the scale, depth and ongoing impact of the crisis.

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> FPC Briefing: Carpe Diem- India's 2014 General Elections and the BJP-led NDA

By Dr Chris Ogden .

FPC Senior Research Associate Dr Chris Ogden analyses what a possible victory for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the upcoming April/May 2014 Indian Parliamentary elections would mean for India. He examines the implications of a new BJP- led coalition (or outright majority) on India's domestic and foreign policy, building on the experience of its past coalition from 1998-2004.

Download FPC Briefing: Carpe Diem- India's 2014 Elections and the BJP (510 kilobyte PDF)

> An Association Agreement with a state that may soon cease to exist?

By Richard Howitt MEP.

Two weeks ago European leaders threatened 'three step' sanctions if Russian forces were not withdrawn from Ukraine, first stopping negotiations with Russia on bilateral matters, then imposing travel bans and asset freezes on named individuals and finally taking economic sanctions.

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> Balancing Ukraine

By Dr Kevork Oskanian.

A mere three months ago, Vladimir Putin probably thought he had scored one of his presidency's greatest coups, when he coerced or persuaded – depending on your perspective - Ukraine's Viktor Yanukovych into abandoning the long-expected initialling of his country's Association Agreement with the EU. Yanukovich's U-turn had, to some extent, been presaged by an earlier about-face – under very similar circumstances – of far smaller Armenia's Sargsyan. And for a while, it appeared that Kiev would sooner or later follow several other former Soviet Republics into the Russian president's latest geopolitical project of choice: the Eurasian Economic Union. The Kremlin probably did expect such a move to invite trouble for someone who, despite an occasionally fraught relationship, had long been seen as "Moscow's man in Kiev". But it probably did not anticipate the ferocity of the wave of indignation that followed, much less foresee Yanukovych's fall, a few months later, as a result.

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> FPC Briefing: Constructing Sectarianisms and Conflict in the Middle East

By Dr Simon Mabon.

Dr Simon Mabon explores the geo-political competition between Saudi Arabia and Iran, looking at how this struggle impacts on local sectarian tensions in Syria, Iraq, Bahrain and Lebanon.

Download FPC Briefing: Constructing Sectarianisms (450 kilobyte PDF)

> FPC Briefing: The path to inclusivity and stability in Kosovo

By Gilberto Algar-Faria.

Gilberto Algar-Faria explores the current situation in Northern Kosovo where ethnic Serbs feel excluded from the state. He examines some of the available options to encourage stability and integration.

Download FPC Briefing: The path to inclusivity & stability in Kosovo (360 kilobyte PDF)

> China sticks to 'red line' in global climate talks while pursuing green transition at home

By Stephen Minas.

The recently concluded Warsaw climate talks - the latest annual conference of parties to the UN climate change convention - were in several respects unusual. The meeting was held in Warsaw's National Stadium, prompting an inevitable flurry of football clichés from participants and reporters (with diplomatic 'own goals', activists brandishing red cards and the talks predictably running into 'extra time'). The Polish government enraged environmental NGOs by simultaneously hosting an 'International Coal and Climate Summit' with the World Coal Association. And as the conference neared its conclusion, the Polish government announced that the conference's president, Marcin Korolec, would be sacked from his position as Poland's environment minister ('I'll be able to fully concentrate on the process of climate negotiations', Korolec gamely assured delegates).

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> Kant versus Machiavelli in Russia's Near Abroad.

By Dr Kevork Oskanian.

And so, the much-awaited Vilnius summit has ended in a whimper. Of the four states that were initially scheduled to initial their Association Agreements with the European Union last week, only two – Moldova and Georgia - have actually taken their crucial step towards the West. Both Armenia, and, more significantly, Eastern economic heavyweight Ukraine had, over the past few months, fallen by the wayside in quite unexpected U-turns, each of which had followed a familiar pattern: both countries' Heads of State headed to Moscow for unscheduled talks, during which they underwent sudden conversions to Putin's rival project, the Eurasian Union. Despite of strenuous denials, most observers reasonably assume these abrupt changes in the long-standing foreign policy objectives of both states to be the result of pressures exerted by the Kremlin.

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> FPC Briefing: Sri Lanka's (geo)political quandary – Government, NPC and international community

By Gilberto Algar-Faria.

As final preparations for the 23rd Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) on 15th-17th November 2013 in Colombo, Sri Lanka, this FPC Briefing by Gilberto Algar-Faria examines the challenges Sri Lanka faces dealing with the aftermath of its civil war and recent attempts to facilitate regional autonomy through the Northern Provincial Council (NPC). It explores the tensions faced by the international community in balancing the need for reconciliation and calls for action on human rights issues.

Download FPC Briefing: Sri Lanka's (geo)political quandary (350 kilobyte PDF)

> FPC Briefing: Understanding the conditions necessary for fruitful negotiations in Afghanistan

By Gilberto Algar-Faria.

In this FPC briefing Gilberto Algar-Faria examines what conditions might lead to effective peace negotiations in Afghanistan. He explores the motivations of different stakeholders, examines the role of 'spoilers' and looks at comparisons with the resolution of other armed conflicts.

Download Understanding the conditions for negotiations in Afghanistan (390 kilobyte PDF)

> Putin's Caucasus Surprise: A Portent of Worse to Come?

By Dr Kevork Oskanian.

The European Union's eastward expansion and its soft-power influence on the states of the former Soviet Union has been a major feature of the continent's political environment since the fall of the Iron Curtain. The conditionalities of the Copenhagen criteria have arguably led to the accelerated democratisation of new members from the Baltics to Bulgaria; further to the East, the European Neighbourhood Policy's regional incarnation, the Eastern Partnership, has also provided the more 'problematic' states of the former Soviet Union with incentives to modernize and democratise. The promise of Association Agreements including membership of a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) with by far the world's largest economic bloc seemed to open the way towards diversification and greater prosperity, in what was - and still is - seen as a positive-sum game in both Brussels and the relevant former Soviet capitals.

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> FPC Briefing: What differences will the Fourth Package of Reforms make for Turkey in international judicial co-operation

By Andrew Southam.

FPC Research Associate Andrew Southam examines the recent record of Turkey in relation to international judicial cooperation. He looks at the development of domestic legislation and practices and how they impact on working with other nations on issues including extradition, terrorism and money laundering.

Download Turkey and international judicial co-operation (310 kilobyte PDF)

> FPC Briefing: Assessing Russia's role in Central Asia

By Craig Oliphant.

FPC Senior Research Associate Craig Oliphant assesses the key strategic policies, challenges and opportunities for Russia in relation to Central Asia. It explores the development of Russian led regional institutions and Russia's continuing role as the leading security actor in the region, while assessing the impact of China's increasing economic engagement in Central Asia.

Download FPC Briefing: Assessing Russia's role in Central Asia (380 kilobyte PDF)

> FPC Briefing: The vote was not British isolationism. It was about the legitimacy of international action.

By Prof Jason Ralph.

In this FPC Briefing our Senior Research Associate Prof. Jason Ralph sets out his analysis of the recent House Commons vote against UK participation in Syria. He argues that Labour's insistence that UN processes should play a crucial role in formulating the international response helps UK foreign policy move on from the problems of Iraq.

Download FPC Briefing: The vote was not British isolationism. (360 kilobyte PDF)

> FPC Briefing: Two-state solution still indispensable and achievable

By Dr Toby Greene.

Even whilst the US engages in intensive efforts to revive final status negotiations, lack of progress in recent years and apparent gaps between Israeli and Palestinian leaders are causing some to claim that the window is closing on a two state solution. In this briefing Dr Toby Greene makes the case that there is no alternative one state 'solution' to the Israeli Palestinian conflict, and that whilst adverse trends are making a two-state agreement harder to achieve, none of these are fatal to it. Although scepticism abounds, the briefing points out that majorities on both sides still favour in principle a two-state solution, and looks at ways in which third parties can support the process.

Download FPC Briefing: Two-state solution still indispensable (400 kilobyte PDF)

> FPC Briefing: Putin's Eurasian Union- from pre-electoral sideshow to quest for empire?

By Dr Kevork Oskanian.

In this FPC Briefing Dr Kevork Oskanian examines President Putin's proposed Eurasian Union, looking both at Russia's objectives and how the project is viewed in the countries across the former Soviet Union. It looks at how such a proposal competes with the EU's Eastern Partnership and creates potential problems for WTO membership.

Download FPC Briefing: Putin's Eurasian Union- sideshow to empire? (450 kilobyte PDF)

> FPC Briefing: BASIC positions-Major emerging economies in the UN climate change negotiations

By Stephen Minas.

FPC Research Associate Stephen Minas examines the positions taken by the so-called BASIC group (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) of emerging economies in UN global climate change negotiations. The report explores their priorities and the relationships with both developing and developed countries, looking at their cooperation so far and what challenges lie ahead.

Download FPC Briefing: BASIC positions (250 kilobyte PDF)

> A Prime Minister for Peace and the Unity of Palestine?

By Stephen Royle.

On Sunday June 2nd Professor Rami Hamdallah was tasked by President Mahmoud Abbas to form a new Palestinian government. Amongst the myriad of newspaper reports that emerged the following day were accusations that this relatively unknown figure was a non-entity, lacks political experience or was simply a scholar. However, the dismissive nature of these comments not only proved a distinct lack of knowledge regarding the environment in which Hamdallah has honed his leadership qualities, but they also misunderstood the nature of the appointment. This piece will therefore provide a more detailed political narrative regarding Hamdallah's experience while addressing the potential role that the new PM will undertake and the many challenges that will confront him in the coming months. In doing so, reasons will be presented as to why it is important for the international community to confirm their support, particularly at this current juncture when unity talks between the domestic parties, peace negotiations with Israel and financial difficulties enhanced by a burgeoning debt, pose considerable stresses to an already unstable situation.

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> From Mountain People to Partner?

By James Denselow.

Speaking at a recent Chatham House event former US Secretary of State Madeline Albright was asked her predictions for the Middle East. Ignoring the continued flux of both the Arab Spring the bloody civil war in Syria Albright responded that the modern relationship between Turkey and the Kurds is evidence of how "things you think will never change – change".

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> FPC Briefing: North Korea wants peace, and it should be given peace

By Gilberto Algar-Faria.

Gilberto Algar-Faria from SPAIS at the University of Bristol explores North Korea's nuclear and military posture and suggests that the US and wider international community should consider a change of approach towards the country.

Download FPC Briefing: North Korea wants peace (370 kilobyte PDF)

> FPC Briefing: The Middle Eastern 'Great Game'

By Dr Simon Mabon.

In this FPC Briefing Dr Simon Mabon explores the rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran that has manifested itself in proxy competition in Iraq, Lebanon, Bahrain and Syria. It suggests that while sectarian issues shape the rivalry it is important to consider other factors, namely a legacy of Arab – Persian tensions and geopolitical considerations to fully understand the nature of the rivalry and how this fuels across the Middle East.

Download FPC Briefing: The Middle Eastern 'Great Game' (440 kilobyte PDF)

> FPC Briefing: Time to reappraise the sanctions/diplomacy imbalance?

By Tom Blass.

FPC Research Associate Tom Blass analyses the use of international sanctions and their humanitarian and political impact, examining if their current application is appropriate.

Download FPC Briefing: Time to reappraise sanctions? (340 kilobyte PDF)

> FPC Briefing: High Stakes Gambit- Regional Positions on the North Korea Nuclear Crisis

By Dr Chris Ogden .

As North Korea continues to flout international pressure, FPC Research Associate Dr Chris Ogden analyses the positions of the major regional powers – the US, Japan, China and Russia – on the current crisis.

Download FPC Briefing: High Stakes Gambit (520 kilobyte PDF)

> Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan: Between Russia and the West

By Dr Kevork Oskanian.

Since their independence, the three South Caucasian states have come to adopt widely divergent strategic responses to the complex structural realities underlying their region's security landscape. Following the 2003 Rose Revolution, Georgia became unequivocally pro-Western: the goals of EU and NATO integration were firmly inscribed in two National Security Concepts, adopted in 2006 and 2011, which were recently confirmed in a rare bi-partisan parliamentary resolution uniting the otherwise fractious supporters of President Saakashvili and Prime Minister Ivanishvili. Over the past ten years, Armenia's pro-Russian orientation has, if anything, deepened, with Moscow gaining control of Yerevan's strategic industries and extending its basing rights till 2044; the Sargsyan regime has nevertheless maintained some elements of a 'complementary' foreign policy, most importantly an active engagement with the European Union, and, to a lesser extent, NATO. Azerbaijan's oil reserves, meanwhile, have allowed it to continue what it calls a 'multi-vectoral' approach, combining positive relations with Western states (mostly in the field of energy) with generally friendly interactions with Moscow.

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> FPC Conversation Piece: Labour's Next Foreign Policy. A Response.

By David Clark, Prof Jason Ralph, David Clark.

In this double-headed paper Jason Ralph examines the principles that might inform the kind of foreign policy that might be expected from a Labour government led by Ed Miliband. Ralph focuses on a Fabian Society paper, Labour's Next Foreign Policy by David Clark, to discuss the historical and theoretical context of Miliband's approach and to provide a framework for a wider discussion about Labour foreign policy. David Clark then provides a response to Ralph's analysis in this new format Foreign Policy Conversation Piece briefing paper. It aims to prompt further debate and reflection on the challenges and opportunities facing centre-left foreign policy makers.

Download FPC Conversation Piece: Labour's Next Foreign Policy (420 kilobyte PDF)

> FPC Briefing: Turkey's Pivotal Role in Energy Supply

By Zeynep Dereli.

In this briefing Zeynep Dereli sets out some of the key challenges facing Turkey as it looks to expand its role as a regional energy hub, including the complex relationship with the Kurdish Regional Government in northern Iraq and access to Caspian gas.

Download FPC Briefing: Turkey's Pivotal Role in Energy Supply (340 kilobyte PDF)

> FPC Briefing: The European Union and the Nobel Peace Prize: A Criteria-Based Assessment

By Jan Gaspers.

Jan Gaspers sets out an evaluation of the EU's Nobel Peace Prize win against the three key judging criteria the Nobel Committee are required to use. He argues that the EU meets these criteria more than most recent most recent recipients and looks to possible future developments.

Download FPC Briefing: The European Union and the Nobel Peace Prize (370 kilobyte PDF)

> Syria: End of Year Report Card

By James Denselow.

Earlier this week the Telegraph's Chief Foreign Correspondent surmised that "the disaster in Syria is getting steadily worse, and no one has any idea what to do about it". I would agree with the first part of his argument but would suggest that the internal dynamics in the country don't reflect a stalemate absent of ideas, but rather the continued erosion of the regime's sovereignty over the country.

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> FPC Briefing: China and India's Common Challenges En Route to Great Power

By Dr Chris Ogden .

FPC Research Associate Chris Ogden sets out some the major challenges China and India face as they develop great power status. He discusses the history both of the two countries and others who have achieved global dominance, examining how China and India's past experiences may shape their future behaviour.

Download FPC Briefing: China and India's Common Challenges (480 kilobyte PDF)

> FPC Briefing: Resource Curse and Peace Building- A Tale of Two Sudans

By Martha Molfetas.

In this FPC Briefing Martha Molfetas gives a detailed analysis of the current and historical tensions between Sudan and South Sudan, exploring the role of resources and the needs for long-term development and peace-building.

Download Resource Curse and Peace Building- A Tale of Two Sudans (590 kilobyte PDF)

> FPC Briefing: Bahrain – between Geopolitical and Humanitarian Concerns

By Dr Simon Mabon.

FPC Research Associate Dr Simon Mabon gives the background to the political unrest and human rights abuses that took place in Bahrain around the Arab Spring. The briefing sets out the geo-political competition between Saudi Arabia and Iran that forms the backdrop to recent events and critiques the UK government's relations with Bahrain.

Download Bahrain – between Geopolitical and Humanitarian Concerns (310 kilobyte PDF)

> FPC Briefing: Turkey's Juggling Act

By Firdevs Robinson.

FPC Senior Research Associate Firdevs Robinson gives her analysis of the difficulties Turkey is facing with Syrian instability and deteriorating relations with the EU.

Download FPC Briefing: Turkey's Juggling Act (230 kilobyte PDF)

> The EU and Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resolution

By Ulvi Pepinova.

Nagorno-Karabakh, a holy land, a historical heritage claimed by Azerbaijan and Armenia, two former Soviet republics who gained independence in 1991, has encountered a lengthy tug of war rather than a celebration of a peaceful coexistence. On going peace-making efforts for almost two decades under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group remain fruitless and scepticism over the performance of the geopolitical actors prevails.

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> FPC Briefing: Saudi Arabia, 'New Media' and UK Relations with the Kingdom

By Dr Simon Mabon.

Dr Simon Mabon from Lancaster University sets out the ways in which Saudi Arabia is using new anti-terrorism legislation to restrict freedom of speech and online activity. The briefing examines changing Saudi social attitudes to women's political participation, calls for greater accountability from the regime and the UK-Saudi economic and political relationship that has a chilling effect on London's willingness to speak out against Saudi human rights abuses.

Download FPC Briefing: Saudi Arabia, 'New Media' and UK Relations (590 kilobyte PDF)

> FPC Briefing: The Battle for Semdinli–An Analysis of Turkey's Latest Violence

By Alexander Jackson, Alexander Jackson.

FPC Research Associate Alex Jackson provides a detailed analysis of the recent conflict between the Turkish Government and the PKK, exploring the key dynamics behind recent events. Jackson's research is supported by a comprehensive database of recent attacks, casualties and other important information.

Download the article (530 kilobyte PDF)

> Turkey's Syria Conundrum

By Firdevs Robinson.

Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu must be secretly dreaming of a world where past statements would vanish into thin air.

He had told Parliament in April that 'a new Middle East was emerging and Turkey would continue to be the master, the leader and the servant of this new Middle East' .

Barely four months later, on August the 20th with the number of Syrian refugees on its soil approaching one hundred thousand people, Mr Davutoglu declared that Syria is no longer a national or regional problem. He said 'It now poses a security risk to neighboring countries and the United Nations should intervene in accordance with its mission' .

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> Urbicide in Syria

By Deen Sharp, Deen Sharp.

Control of urban space is key to the survival of the state and its institutions. It is in urban space, in the Middle East, where the final acts of authoritarian leaders have been played out, for example, in Baghdad, Tripoli, Cairo and Sana'a. In Syria the suicide bombing that killed Dawoud Rajha the Minister of Defence and the brother-in-law of Assad, the deputy head of the armed forces Assef Shawkat, along with the entrance into the city of lightly armed opposition fighters in the Damascene districts of Midan and Qaboon, mark the final spatial shift of the Syrian conflict to Damascus, the seat of power.

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> FPC Briefing: Cyprus: One step forward, two steps back

By Firdevs Robinson.

FPC Senior Research Associate Firdevs Robinson gives a detailed and wide ranging account of the current challenges facing the long-running attempts to resolve the division and separation of Cyprus. She argues that unrecognised Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) is loosing hope that meaningful progress will be made in the near future and that as the Republic of Cyprus (Greek Cyprus) moves towards holding the EU Presidency, Brussels is no longer seen by the TRNC as a positive actor. She also draws attention to the growing rifts between the TRNC and Turkey on cultural and political lines, while exploring the current phase of tensions between Greek Cyprus and Turkey.

Download FPC Briefing: Cyprus: One step forward, two steps back (330 kilobyte PDF)

> Turkey at the London Conference on Somalia

By Firdevs Robinson.

On 23rd February 2012, a major conference in London thrust Somalia back into the international spotlight.

For the past 21 years, Somalia has been one of the world's worst failed states with chronic famine, violence and piracy. The country has been without a functioning government for decades. Since 2006, parts of the country have been controlled by the militant Islamist group Al-Shabab, which pledged its allegiance to al-Qaeda in 2010. The European Union-backed military force, known as ANISOM, managed to push Al Shabab out of Mogadishu in recent months, considerably weakening the radical group but the al-Qaida sponsored al-Shabab militia still controls vast areas of Somalia. The largely ineffective Transitional Federal Government's mandate is coming to an end in August 2012 and the next six-months are seen as a critical period for Somalia. In fact, recovering from the regional crisis of various kinds, the whole of Horn of Africa will be facing a challenging year.

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> FPC Briefing: How do we create a future for the two-state solution?

By Toby Greene, Alan Johnson.

As part of the FPC's new Israel and Palestine after the Arab Spring essay series Dr Toby Green and Prof Alan Johnson from BICOM (Alan is also a longstanding FPC Senior Research Associate) give us their take on the current state of the conflict. They argue that attempts to reach a two state solution are at a crisis and Palestinian refusal to enter negotiations without pre-conditions was a key problem. They argue that the US had made a policy error in insisting on a full-settlement freeze from which it later climbed down and that the Palestinian decision to go unilaterally to the UN was an error. They argue regional change put pressure on the Fatah and Hamas to form a unity deal and the regime changes in neighbours have removed important alliances. They argue that the international community needs to work with the political reality on the ground, focus on bottom-up not top-down initiatives, set realistic expectations and look for incremental steps forward.

Download FPC Briefing: How do we create a future for two-states (430 kilobyte PDF)

> FPC Briefing: Israel, Palestine, and the "Urgency of Now"

By John Lyndon.

As part of the FPC's new Israel and Palestine after the Arab Spring essay series John Lyndon, Executive director of OneVoice Europe (a peace building NGO operating with communities in both Israel and Palestine) gives us his take on the state of the conflict. He argues that the Arab Spring risks the rise of new governments more hostile to Israel but that shifts to the right in Israeli policy have been 'insular' and 'troubling'. He argues that the last year has seen Israel and the international community disempower the moderate Palestinian leadership, through continued settlement building and the rejection of the statehood option, while the prisoner transfer agreement following the Shalit release strengthened Hamas. He believes support for the two state solution and hope for negotiations are at an all-time low but calls for an active response from civil-society.

Download FPC Briefing: Israel, Palestine, and the "Urgency of Now" (290 kilobyte PDF)

> FPC Briefing: Weathering the crazy seasons- Turkish foreign policy in the era of political climate change

By Dr Marc Herzog.

FPC Research Associate Marc Herzog explores the development of Turkey's Foreign Policy and its response to the Arab Spring, setting out the challenges faced and those still to come.

Download FPC Briefing: Weathering the crazy seasons (310 kilobyte PDF)

> Should Britain be spearheading a campaign to reform the UN?

By Adam Hug. Source: Politics First Magazine

As the coalition government (at least in its Conservative majority) on balance appears to show a greater preference than its predecessor for bilateral rather than multilateral approaches to international engagement, it is perhaps time for a brief re-appraisal of Britain's approach and objectives at the largest multilateral grouping of them all, the UN.

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> Lessons for Libya from Iraq and Afghanistan

By Gerard Russell. Source:

As Libya approaches a new dawn we must appreciate that some things will go wrong, but there is an advisory role for foreign powers to fulfil.

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> FPC Briefing: Where next for EU-US judicial co-operation?

By Andrew Southam.

FPC research associate Andrew Southam explores some of the key issues in US-EU judicial co-operation.

Download FPC Briefing: Where next for EU-US judicial co-operation? (330 kilobyte PDF)

> Alex Bigham: Test of strength as Hague finds his feet on the global stage

By Alex Bigham, Alex Bigham. Source: Yorkshire Post

From Nick Clegg to Ed Miliband, via David Davis and Ed Balls, Yorkshire's MPs could never be accused of being shrinking violets. But the Foreign Secretary and Richmond MP, William Hague, could do with a period of time out of the spotlight.

From the infamous pictures in a baseball cap, via his dealings with Lord Ashcroft, to the rumours about his private life, he has often struggled to manage his own image. Which perhaps makes it the more surprising that he has proven to be such an effective political survivor.

His time as Foreign Secretary has not been without controversy. Questions over Hague's authority have focussed on how the Government handled the initial period of the uprising in Libya.

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> FPC Briefing: Do we need to rethink UK-US extradition arrangements?

By Andrew Southam.

New FPC Research Associate Andrew Southam gives us his take on the controversial 2003 UK-US extradition treaty, whether criticism is valid and what can be done to improve the situation.

Download FPC Briefing: Do we need to rethink UK-US extradition (390 kilobyte PDF)

> FPC Briefing- Abyei: Beyond expediency, towards sustainable peace

By Tim Flatman.

Tim Flatman gives his take on the challenging situation in Sudan's Abyei region and makes the case for more robust US and UK engagement.

Download Abyei: Beyond expediency, towards sustainable peace (230 kilobyte PDF)

> FPC Briefing: UK-Russia Relations- a Bad Case of Mutual Misunderstanding (s)

By Dr Andrew Monaghan.

FPC Senior Research Associate Andrew Monaghan gives his take on the historical and political challenges to be overcome by both the UK and Russia in order to improve their relationship.

Download UK-Russia Relations: a Bad Case of Mutual Misunderstandings (330 kilobyte PDF)

> FPC Briefing: Crossing the river – China in the international climate change negotiations

By Stephen Minas.

New FPC Research Associate Stephen Minas analyses the China's evolving approach to climate change negotiations from Copenhagen to Cancun and beyond.

Download FPC Briefing: Crossing the river – China and Climate Change (360 kilobyte PDF)

> Kazakhstan at a Crossroads: Kazakhstan and the world

By Dr Feng Zhang, Adam Hug.

This third paper in the Kazakhstan at a Crossroads series explores some of Kazakhstan's international relationships with the EU, Russia and China.

Download Kazakhstan at a Crossroads: Kazakhstan and the world (360 kilobyte PDF)

> FPC Briefing: The costs of believing you are not in the Game- Kyrgyzstan

By Hema Kotecha.

This FPC Briefing by Hema Kotecha explores some of the major challenges facing the Otunbaeva-led interim government and the international community in Kyrgyzstan after the April uprising and June's ethnic violence.

Download FPC Briefing: The costs of believing you are not in the Game (260 kilobyte PDF)

> The 300th British soldier and the UK's Afghan strategy

By Ella Rolfe, Ella Rolfe.

The death of the 300th British soldier in Afghanistan is, as David Cameron pointed out, no more or less tragic than the 299 who have died before him since 2001. It does, however, come at an interesting domestic political juncture for Britain's new government.

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> The silent crisis: Global water scarcity reshaping future foreign policy

By Dr David Tickner, Head of Freshwater Programmes, WWF-UK, Josephine Osikena.

Understandably, the world has become increasingly preoccupied with risk and insecurity. The uncertainties produced by global challenges such as financial crises, economic slowdowns, health pandemics, the international narcotics trade, terrorism and conflict and indeed the impact of climate change are just a few pressing examples causing concern. However, the earth's environmental resources are increasingly under enormous strain and nowhere is this stress more apparent than in the case of the earth's finite supplies of freshwater.

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> FPC Briefing: Towards an Arms Trade Treaty

By Luke Bailey.

In this new FPC Briefing, Luke Bailey explains that more than 740,000 people are killed as a result of armed violence every year. Many others are assaulted, forcibly displaced or otherwise left with lasting psychological and physical injuries. Through these and other consequences, armed violence generates an estimated 'global cost of insecurity' of US$400bn per annum. Supporters of an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) seek to reduce the burden of armed violence through negotiating a global, legally binding instrument to regulate the trade in conventional arms.

Download Towards an Arms Trade Treaty by Luke Bailey (300 kilobyte PDF)

> FPC Briefing: Toward a Grander Turkish Energy Strategy

By Zeynep Dereli.

New Senior Research Associate Zeynep Dereli gives her take on how Turkey needs to reformulate its approach to energy to create an outward looking strategy where energy policy and foreign policy work together towards common economic and political goals.

Download FPC Briefing: Toward a Grander Turkish Energy Strategy (320 kilobyte PDF)

> FPC Briefing: Terroracracy

By Wahied Wahdat-Hagh, Tahirih Danesh.

FPC Senior Research Associate Tahirih Danesh and Wahied Wahdat-Hagh, Senior Fellow at European Foundation for Democracy have produced a hard hitting and challenging briefing that explores the way in which the Iran regime's revolutionary character defines the way it operates both within and beyond its borders.

Download FPC Briefing: Terroracracy (220 kilobyte PDF)

> Where now for Afghan 'democracy'?

By Anna Owen.

A version of this article first appeared in Progress:

Democracy has failed in Afghanistan. That statement can't make easy reading for Barack Obama, Gordon Brown or indeed anyone that believes in democracy. But has democracy failed irreparably and irreversibly in Afghanistan, or was it simply always the wrong solution? What are the reasons for the current political situation? And what are the implications of this for Afghanistan itself, for the region and for the international military, political and civilian strategies that are currently being pursued there?

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> Pakistan's government plays second fiddle to the army

By Ella Rolfe, Ella Rolfe.

Recent curbs on civil liberties are attempts to grasp slipping control over population

While Pakistan may seem to be descending into a pitched battle between state and Taliban, the current power relations are much more nuanced than this. To be sure, the Pakistani authorities are engaged in a large military operation against the Taliban in the country's north-western tribal areas; but there is a power struggle within the Pakistani polity as well. And the army, not the civilian government, is firmly in charge of efforts against militancy.

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> Turkey, Syria's new best friend

Source: Guardian Comment is Free

To view original article visit Comment is Free

Just over a decade ago, Turkey's army gathered on its southern border in anticipation of a war with Syria that was narrowly avoided. Just over a fortnight ago, the two neighbours signed accords allowing for visa-free passage between the two states. Syria's president, Bashar al-Assad, now describes Turkey as Syria's best friend, while Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey's prime minister, publicly calls Syrians his brothers.

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> Can Syria end the Arab cold war?

By Chris Phillips. Source: Guardian Comment is Free

The gradual return of international diplomats to Damascus signals a thaw in Syria's intractable feud with Saudi Arabia

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> Can Syria be internationally rehabilitated without negotiations with Israel?

Source: The Majalla

Until very recently, the political climate regarding Syria's relationships with Israel, US and the West improved considerably, and an agreement on the Golan Heights issue seemed likely. However, elections in Israel changed the whole rationale, and the main question now seems to be whether the West-Syria rapproachement is possible, without negotiations and the improvement of relations with Israel.

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> Will Netanyahu negotiate with Syria?

By Chris Phillips.

The recent meeting between Obama and Netanyahu focused on the several issues that shape the relationship between the US and Israel in the Middle East. One issue in particular, the peace talks between Israel and Syria, was left out of the press conference that followed the meeting between the two leaders, leaving plenty of space for speculation regarding the future of the talks.

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> The end of Asia's longest war

By Niall Ahern, Niall Ahern.

After 26 years and with over 70,000 deaths, the war between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam has ended. Footage of Velupillai Prabhakaran, the Tiger's dead leader across news channels and the internet has initiated street parties across the capital Colombo as some citizens, who have previously only known war, ponder the prospect of peace at last. In President Rajapaksa's victory speech to Parliament, he declared: 'Today we have been able to liberate the entire country from the clutches of terrorism. We have been able to defeat one of the most heinous terrorist groups in the world.' What President Rajapaksa says is true. The Tigers have been carrying out attacks over land and sea since the war began in 1983. In more recent years, suicide bombings have become a notorious feature of the Tigers' strategy. Over the course of the war, they successfully set up and ran a separate administration in the north and east of the island which we only got some glimpse of when the army liberated Kilinochchi earlier this year.

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> Why Syria's bridge to Iran won't be on the table in any bargaining with the West.

By Chris Phillips. Source:

After four years of isolation, Syria is back from the cold. Visitors from the US Congress and Western-aligned Arab states have all recently arrived in Damascus echoing President Obama's sentiment of engagement with the Ba'ath regime. Despite uncertainty surrounding the peace intentions of the new Israeli government, many in Washington hope Tel Aviv will soon resume peace talks with a seemingly compliant Damascus. By dangling the occupied Golan Heights as reward, it has been argued that President Bashar al-Asad can somehow be 'flipped' from his long-standing alliance with Iran, leading to a Sadat-esq realignment with the West. Yet such an assessment misunderstands the nature of the Iran-Syria relationship. With or without a peace with Israel, Damascus has no interest in forsaking Tehran.

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> Lebanon beyond sectarianism

By Chris Phillips. Source: The Guardian Comment is Free

As the battle lines are drawn for the Lebanese elections in June, reports suggest the surprising kingmakers could be Lebanon's Armenians. This small community of barely 150,000 look set to abandon its traditional neutrality and back the Hezbollah-led opposition. While this appears to be yet another example of the complex interconfessional horse trading that has characterised Lebanese politics for years, it could be a sign that the state is finally taking slow steps away from its long-standing sectarianism.

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> Pakhtunkhwa

By Ella Rolfe, Ella Rolfe.

What are the ways in which a group can be made stateless? Is expulsion from the state only physical, geographical or legal; or can it be effected through more metaphorical means? A recent example from Pakistan illustrates the diverse ways in which statelessness can be approached, and the many stages along the road to total abandonment by the state.

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> Back to Basics - Deterrence and the IDF

By Christopher Jenkins.

An FPC 'Fresh Insights' paper

Download Back to Basics - Deterrence and the IDF (280 kilobyte PDF)

> When the dust settles in Gaza

By Adam Hug.

With an aerial bombardment, Israeli troops on the streets of Gaza, a humanitarian crisis and frustrated diplomats, the parallels between the current crisis and the events of summer 2006 are pretty clear. That history has repeated itself with added ferocity and loss of life is testament to the diplomatic and political failure to which Israel, the Palestinians, the US, EU and neighbouring states have all been party. The bitter cycle of rocket attacks and economic blockade set against a backdrop of warring factions and glacial progress towards a final status agreement gives little credit all round.

The pressure from within the Israeli Government for mission creep to achieve the complete obliteration of Hamas appears to be subsiding as Egyptian and French diplomacy begins to make some progress, the scale of the humanitarian crisis and its global political impact becomes clearer to the Israelis and the task of finding suitable Hamas targets becomes progressively more difficult. As hopes of a possible resolution begin to flicker into view, thoughts are turning to what must be done to prevent this happening again.

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> Hutton and Afghanistan: To surge or not to surge?

By Anna Owen.

John Hutton chose Remembrance Day to deliver his maiden speech(1) as Defence Secretary, and as the subject, a conflict described only just over a year ago as Britain's 'forgotten war'(2): the conflict in Afghanistan. In an address titled 'Afghanistan – Worth the Sacrifice,' Mr Hutton asserted that the war may yet become the 'defining conflict of this century.'

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> ESDP – now or never?

By Dick Leonard. Source: The European Voice

It is ten years since the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) was launched, at an Anglo-French 'summit' at St. Malo, and there is now precious little to be shown for it. The French presidency of the EU is acutely aware of the failure of the policy, and is actively preparing a new European Security Strategy which will be presented for adoption at the December meeting of the European Council.

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> About the Iraq Commission

In 2007 the Foreign Policy Centre, in conjunction with Channel 4, set up an independent, cross-party Commission tasked with producing a blueprint for Britain's future involvement in Iraq.


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> Realism has beaten idealism

By Alex Bigham, Alex Bigham. Source: The Guardian Comment is Free

A new order is taking shape in the Middle East with Iran and Syria at its centre, but will human rights and democracy be the losers?

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> France's Military Politics

By Richard Gowan. Source: The Globalist

26 June 2006

The run up to the 2007 elections in France are bound to be a bitter, hard-fought contest. Though France has no need for a mass conscription army, Richard Gowan writes that the military may become a central campaign issue. In fact, socialist candidate Ségolène Royal is recommending one in an effort to give the government a new option in dealing with civil unrest among its rebellious youth.

Whenever French youth take to the streets, as in March this year, it is not long before Anglo-Saxon commentators are citing "the legacy of 1789" and "the spirit of 1968."

These dates, they imply, demonstrate the anarchic underpinnings of France's politics. But recent Parisian political debate has echoed another tradition stretching back to the 18th century: the idea of the French citizen not as a revolutionary — but as a soldier.

Those who believe Europe has lost its taste for the armed forces may be surprised to see the run-up to next year's French presidential election take a distinctly martial turn.

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> Where to take the nuclear family

By Alex Bigham, Alex Bigham. Source: The Spectator

24th June 2006

Is there another Iran? One where people care about things other than turning yellowcake into uranium hexafluoride gas? One where the fashion accessories are not just nuclear worker's face masks or chadors? One where the price of watermelons is more keenly debated than the scale of the Holocaust?

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> Going face to face

By Alex Bigham, Alex Bigham. Source: The Guardian Comment is Free

In the hall of mirrors, Iran may quietly be welcoming Washington's offer of talks.

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> Corporation of London welcomes the FPC's Energy Security Programme

On September 15 2005, Stuart Fraser of the Corporation of London gave a welcoming address at the launch of the FPC's Energy Security Programme.

He commented:

Tonight, with the launch of Re-engineering the Home Front, I believe we are taking the first steps in the construction of an atlas which will show us the way to a secure and prosperous future.

Download the article (40 kilobyte PDF)

> Kofi Annan and the Real Need for UN Reform

By Greg Austin, Ken Berry. Source: 31 March 2005, The Globalist

Is the United Nations in any shape to face current global security challenges? Or has the gap between the West and the rest become too wide to realistically reflect the demands of a changing international order? Greg Austin and Ken Berry argue that the UN's High Level Panel on Reform falls far short of the full-scale reformation really needed.

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has had his High Level Panel on UN Reform. And Jeff Sachs has issued his report on accelerating progress towards achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.

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> Can Europe Build a Nato for Africa

By Richard Gowan. Source: The Globalist, 14 January 2005

Africa's ongoing crisis — from the genocide in Darfur to civil conflicts in other countries — continues to defy easy solutions. Richard Gowan of the Foreign Policy Centre argues that the EU should partner with the African Union to provide security and stability. He outlines how an organization modeled on the role NATO played during the Cold War could get the job done for Africa.

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> What the EU should do for Kosovo

By Dick Leonard. Source: European Voice, 13 January 2005

Last month, the EU quietly took over from NATO responsibility for maintaining law and order in Bosnia-Herzogovina. Should it now prepare also to replace NATO's K-For in Kosovo, or even – as German Christian Democratic MEP Doris Pack recently suggested – assume a protectorate for the territory in place of UNMIK (the United Nations Interim Administration in Kosovo)?

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> Book Review: The Beauty Queen's Guide To World Peace

By Rob Blackhurst. Source: Middle Eastern Review

Rob Blackhurst reviews Dan Plesch's latest book.

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> Getting to terms with Serbia-Montenegro

By Dick Leonard. Source: European Voice, 14 October 2004

On Monday (11 October), EU foreign ministers, meeting in Luxembourg, reached a series of decisions which could breathe new life into the largely dormant relationship between the European Union and Serbia-Montenegro. This followed last week's visit to Belgrade by External Relations Commissioner Chris Patten and High Representative Javier Solana, and closely followed their recommendations.

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> An Open Letter to the Heads of State and Government

Source: The Moscow Times, 30 September 2004

As citizens of the Euro-Atlantic community of democracies, we wish to express our sympathy and solidarity with the people of the Russian Federation in their struggle against terrorism. The mass murderers who seized School No. 1 in Beslan committed a heinous act of terrorism for which there can be no rationale or excuse. While other mass murderers have killed children and unarmed civilians, the calculated targeting of so many innocent children at school is an unprecedented act of barbarism that violates the values and norms of our community and which all civilized nations must condemn.

At the same time, we are deeply concerned that these tragic events are being used to further undermine democracy in Russia.

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> Russia's Newly Found "Soft Power"

By Fiona Hill. Source: The Globalist, 26th August 2004

Russia is back on the global strategic and economic map. For starters, it has regained the prominence in global energy markets it enjoyed in the 1970s and 1980s, when the Soviet Union - not Saudi Arabia — was the preeminent world oil producer. But Russia now has a "new soft power" role that extends far beyond its energy resources.

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> Book Review: Suits and Uniforms: Turkish Foreign Policy since the Cold War, Philip Robins

By Ceren Coskun.

Suits and Uniforms: Turkish Foreign Policy since the Cold War, Philip Robins

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> Darfur: Here's how to stop the killing

By Dr Greg Austin, Ben Koppelman. Source: The Globe and Mail, 30th July 2004

The Sudanese government and Arab militias will only respond to direct threats and payoffs.

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> A More Effective Way to Reconstruct Afghanistan

By Dr Greg Austin.

Why Is Hamid Karzai, the leader of strife torn Afghanistan, taking time to go to Tashkent in Uzbekistan this week?

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Download the article (140 kilobyte PDF)

> Managing Migration: a Southern perspective

By Phoebe Griffith. Source: March 2004, The Foreign Policy Centre

One of the earliest announcements of the Bush camp's re-election campaign was the introduction of a temporary worker scheme. Although questions about the reality of the promise started to emerge soon after, at the time this transparent attempt to win over the Latino vote was declared a landmark victory for US business and migration activists. But judging from the beam on the face of his Mexican counterpart, President Vicente Fox, Mexico's government seems to have emerged as the biggest winner.

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> The EU has its own nation-building problems

By Richard Gowan. Source: Monday April 19 2004

Richard Gowan argues that Europe has nation-building shortcomings of its own.

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> Can There be a New Compact Between Diplomats and Aid Agencies?

By Richard Gowen, Phoebe Griffith. Source: Tuesday 13th April 2004

There is a widely held belief among development practitioners that foreign policy makers are out to get them 'in the national interest', argue Richard Gowan and Phoebe Griffith.

The main reason for this is that the political function of aid is deeply resented by aid practitioners. In the ultimate analysis, development is inevitably political: it shapes the capacity and accountability of governments and helps to define the place of recipient and donor states in the international system. This does not mean that we should further politicise aid. It does, however, imply that there is need for a fuller dialogue between the development and foreign policy communities.

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> Kosovo is a test of European will

By Richard Gowan. Source: Monday 29 March 2004

Richard Gowan argues that European drift has contributed towards ethnic strife

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> Terrorism: What Are The Real Risks?

By Rob Blackhurst. Source: March 22 2004

The message from politicians has been simple. For Ken Livingstone it would be "miraculous" if "some terrorists didn't get through" while for the Prime Minister and the Head of the Metropolitan police it's a question of "when not if". Their plea for us to be "alert but not alarmed" is difficult to internalise when the scenarios range from a lone suicide bomber, through a Madrid style attack, to an unconventional chemical, biological or nuclear attack. "Prepare for every eventuality" is a cliché that has ratcheted the nation into a febrile state. But won't help you survive an attack. In amidst this maelstrom of fear, there is what Donald Rumsfeld might call "known knowns".

Download the article (70 kilobyte PDF)

> Spain is not Europe's 9-11

By Mark Leonard.

Four major European countries joined the United States as allies in the Iraq conflict. Now one has been punished in the most brutal fashion, and instead of rallying around the commander in chief as Americans did after 9-11 the Spanish people turned against their leader. As Prime Minister elect Zapatero talks about recalling troops from Iraq, the Bush Administration will be wondering how the tragedy in Madrid will play out with the remaining three. Is this a uniquely Spanish phenomenon – or should they worry about Blair, Berlusconi and Miller too?

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> 'Iraq: one year on'

By Andrew Tyrie MP, John Lloyd.

On 11 March 2004 the Foreign Policy Centre brought together John Lloyd and Conservative MP Andrew Tyrie to take part in a seminar on the Iraq War, one year after they had written contrasting pamphlets on the subject. Transcripts are available below.

> Iraqis don't need more propaganda

By Mark Leonard, Rouzbeh Pirouz. Source: International Herald Tribune, 6 Feb 2004

Last May the Iraqi people celebrated the end of Saddam Hussein's stranglehold over what they saw and heard through the media. However,Washington's controlling attitude to broadcasting in the region has left many Iraqis feeling that US commitments to free speech are more rhetoric than reality.

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> Remarks to the Foreign Policy Centre Event; Transatlantic Storms

By Jeff McAllister, London Bureau Chief for Time.

Jeff McAllister suggests that 'tepid non-unilateralism' is likley to be adopted by the US administrtaion in dealing with the the UN, Middle East and North Korea

Download the article (10 kilobyte PDF)

> Liberal Intervention: The Empire's new clothes?

A public roundtable on Empire chaired by Michael Portillo with Mark Leonard, Phillip Bobbitt, Robert Cooper, Lindsay Hilsum, Michael Gove and Naomon Muna

Download the article (80 kilobyte PDF)


By Michael Lind, Baroness Williams, Robert Harvey, Phillip Bobbitt.

Read the transcript of the Prospect/Foreign Policy Centre Event "After the War"

Download the article (50 kilobyte PDF)

> The Healer

By Robert Kagan. Source: Guardian, 3 March 2003

Robert Kagan, Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for Peace, writes that the ideas expressed by Robert Cooper in the FPC-published 'The Postmodern State and World Order' provide the intellectual framework for understanding transatlantic foreign policy differences- and how Tony Blair can resolve them.

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> Propaganda will not Sway the Arab street

By Mark Leonard, Conrad Smewing. Source: Financial Times, 27 M arch 2003

Following the launch of their British Council-commissioned report 'Public Diplomay and the Middle East'- and against a background of conflict in Iraq- Leonard and Smewing argue that radical policy reform is needed to change Britain's standing in the Arab World.

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> Winning the peace

By Mark Leonard. Source: Observer, 2 March 2003

Western governments will not overcome Middle East hostility unless they are ready to change their policies and tackle fears that Islamophobia is rife in the west

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> Travel Advice Launch Event Speech

By Rachel Briggs.

This is a copy of the speech delivered by Risk and Security Manager Rachel Briggs at the recent launch of the policy report on FCO Travel Advice. Other speakers included Austrailian High Commissioner H.E Michael L'Estrange, James Watt of the FCO Consular Section and Manny Fontenla-Novoa of Thomas Cook.

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> The Unlikely Counter Terrorists

By Rachel Briggs.

This article appeared in Security Monitor, the journal published by the Homeland Security and Resilience Programme at RUSI.

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> The Unlikely Counter-Terrorists - Launch Event Findings

The Unlikely Counter-Terrorists argues that business involvement in counter-terrorism policies and activities is vital to the success of the UK's response. See below for the key findings from the launch event

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> Could the left back an Iraq war?

By Mark Leonard. Source: Observer, 11 August 2002

Caricatures of the left as pacifist are false. But President Bush is making the wrong case for war if he wants to win over his critics, argues a leading foreign policy analyst.

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> Velvet fist in the iron glove

By Mark Leonard. Source: Observer, 16 June 2002

In the latest of his monthly online commentaries for Observer Worldview, Mark Leonard examines the Bush administration's efforts to change the way the United States communicates with foreign publics. This may cut against the grain of American foreign policy, but it offers important lessons for Europe's own efforts to win friends and influence people.

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> Living together after 11 September and the rise of the Right

By Mark Leonard, Director of The Foreign Policy Centre. Source: Introduction to Reclaiming Britishness

Mark Leonard outlines how a modern, inclusive, outward-looking notion of Britishness can be used as a guide to policy in this introduction to Reclaiming Britishness.

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> It could happen to you

By Rachel Briggs. Source: Observer, 25 August 2002

With more Britons getting into trouble abroad, the Foreign Office should rethink the way it gets advice to travellers, argues Rachel Briggs the author of Travel Advice

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> Immigrants Get Older Too

By Andrew Geddes.

Immigration is not a magic solution to an ageing population, argues.

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> Across the Barricades

By Mike Edwards.

Consultation rather than crowd control is the way for global institutions to deal with civil society.

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> Launch of "From War to Work: Drug Treatment, Social Inclusion and Enterprise"

By Rowena Young.

Read the event report from the launch of "From War to Work," held at the Design Council on Monday 20th May 2002.

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> McNamara's Ghosts

By Mark Leonard, Rob Blackhurst. Source: The Foreign Policy Centre

Mark Leonard and Rob Blackhurst meet former US Defence Secretary Robert McNamara.

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> The Post Modern State

By Robert Cooper. Source: Re-Ordering the World

Robert Cooper's chapter from the recent Foreign Policy Centre publication Re-Ordering the World: The long-term implications of September 11th has caused quite a stir with its call for "a new kind of imperialism". Read the full article here and judge for yourself.

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> Address by Lord Cairns, Director of CDC

By Lord Cairns.

Given at the Foreign Policy Centre's Managing Migration conference at Canada House on Tuesday 15th January

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> Address by the Home Secretary, David Blunkett MP

By Rt Hon David Blunkett MP.

Given at the Foreign Policy Centre Managing Migration Conference on Tuesday 15th January at Canada House

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> Address by Ram Gidoomal

By Ram Gidoomal.

Given at the Foreign Policy Centre Managing Migration Conference on Tuesday 15th January, Canada House

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> The Kidnapping Business

By Rachel Briggs. Source: Guild of Security Controllers Newsletter

The following article appeared in the November edition of the Guild of Security Controllers Newsletter.

It is the first article in a series of four looking at different elements of kidnapping: the trends, how companies can reduce their risks, what companies should do when a kidnapping happens and what companies should do once a case is resolved.

Copies of the report The Kidnapping Business by Rachel Briggs can be ordered using the order form on this site. For more information about the report, see 'Publications' and more articles in this section below.

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> Companies: Tackling the Risk of Kidnapping

By Rachel Briggs. Source: Guild of Security Controllers Newsletter

The following article appears in the Spring edition of the Guild of Security Controllers' newsletter.

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> Speech by the Rt Hon Douglas Alexander, Secretary of State for E-Commerce and Competitiveness

By Rt Hon Douglas Alexander MP.

Speech Delivered at The Foreign Policy Centre Fringe Event, Labour Party Conference 2001

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> Security through Democratisation

By Tonino Picula, Croatian Foreign Minister.

In June 2001, the Croatian Foreign Minister, Tonino Picula, spoke at a breakfast roundtable at The Foreign Policy Centre on achieving security through democratisation in South-East Europe. Please click below to read a copy of his speech.

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> Lessons from the East

By Rowena Young. Source: Global Thinking

Rowena Young argues that we must learn from Asia if our drug policies are to stand a chance of success.

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> The Kidnapping Business

By Rachel Briggs. Source: The Foreign Policy Centre publication

This report, published by The Foreign Policy Centre outlines the problem of economic kidnapping and sets out a new framework for policy makers in tackling the crime.

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> The Kidnapping Business - Launch event speech

By Rachel Briggs.

The following text is the speech delivered by Rachel Briggs, report author, at the event to mark the launch of the report.

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> The Drugs Wars Don't Work

By Rachel Briggs. Source: The Foreign Policy Centre

Holy Wars Against Drugs are doomed to failure, says Rachel Briggs

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