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The Future of the WTO after the Nairobi Ministerial Conference

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, March 8, 2016
Abstract in English: 
The WTO’s 10th ministerial conference took place shortly before Christmas 2015, the first to be held in Africa. Verdicts on its outcomes range from “the death of the Doha Round” to WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo’s praise for a “historic” package. A more measured assessment reveals a mixed picture. While a number of important decisions were reached in Nairobi, most of the controversial questions were not even on the agenda. And it is less clear than ever where the talks should go from here. A consistent and ongoing shared interest in the global public good of a strong world trade system should persuade the member-states to find constructive new approaches.
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8
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Munich Security Report 2015: Collapsing Order, Reluctant Guardians?

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Publication date: 
Monday, January 26, 2015
Abstract in English: 
this report described in the press release as "an annual digest on critical questions and important trends in the field of international security policy." The first section of the report focuses on the roles of international actors, Germany, United States, Europe, NATO, Russia, and emerging powers. The second section discusses three "hot spots"-- Ukraine, the Middle East, and Asia Pacific. The third section reviews major issues such as terrorism, energy security, and refugee crises, and the fourth section suggests additional reading and research materials.
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Munich Security Report 2016: Boundless Crises, Reckless Spoilers, Helpless Guardians

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, January 28, 2016
Abstract in English: 
This report compiles data, analyses and maps which illuminate major developments and critical challenges to international security. The MSR serves as a conversation starter for the 52nd Munich Security Conference (MSC) and as a background reading for MSC participants, but is also made available to security professionals and the interested public.

Among the key topics of this year’s edition are the crisis of the European security order, the war in Syria and the global activities of jihadist terrorist groups. Moreover, the report sheds light on the refugee crisis and the security implications of global climate and health policies.

The report was prepared in cooperation with numerous renowned partners, including Chatham House, the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), IHS Jane’s, UNHCR and the Mercator Institute for China Studies.
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80
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No End of History: A Chinese Alternative Concept of International Order?

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Publication date: 
Saturday, January 23, 2016
Abstract in English: 
There is no end of history. Francis Fukuyama’s famous claim has turned into quite the opposite. Today, liberal democracies and the Western concept of international order are being permanently challenged by an increase in political and economic crises, global and local dissent with established mechanisms of international affairs, and other political ideologies. These challenges increase the leverage of newly emerging actors such as China to push forward alternative ideas of international order.

Among all the different Chinese foreign policy initiatives announced by President Xi Jinping, China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative clearly stands out. It is by far the most comprehensive and visible Chinese initiative of the last three years. China’s OBOR initiative is regarded as a vision for building up a comprehensive cultural, economic, and political network that promotes connectivity and cooperation between countries, regions, and cities along the Silk Road. Furthermore, the OBOR initiative is flexible, inclusive, and open. OBOR has the potential to grow into an alternative idea showing how the common space of international politics could be organized in the future. Consequently, OBOR challenges the still dominating Western vision of the international system and could effectively transform the existing structure of the current international order.

For this reason, this study aims to conceptualize China’s OBOR initiative in a broader context. Instead of only focusing on specific mechanisms linked to OBOR, such as, for example, the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank, it develops an analytical approach that also highlights the various dimensions of China’s OBOR initiative.
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24
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Unexpected, Unforeseen, Unplanned Scenarios of International Foreign and Security Policy

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Publication date: 
Thursday, January 14, 2016
Abstract in English: 
SWP understands “foresight” as a scientifically based analysis of conceivable future situations and developments of international foreign and security policy. These are not forecasts, as we cannot of course predict what will occur. But we can draw attention to conceivable scenarios that – were they to come about – would be of great political relevance to Germany and the European Union.
Correspondingly, our Foresight contributions consider possible future events that we believe deserve greater political attention today. The start-ing point is that the described situations take political decision-makers by surprise. As such they present foreign policy and security challenges, regardless of the balance of crisis and opportunity they represent. Some involve putative developments in the near future for which the decisive political actors are presently inadequately prepared. Other contributions concern events much further in the future and discuss developments that would come as a great surprise seen from today’s political perspective.
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56
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First Steps towards a Multidimensional Autonomy Risk Assessment (MARA) in Weapons Systems

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Publication date: 
Saturday, December 5, 2015
Abstract in English: 
The purpose of – and the motivation be-hind – this study is to move the debate on autonomy in weapons systems ahead by introducing some more conceptual clarity and definitional rigor. To that end, we offer a new instrument for conducting a multidimensional autonomy risk assessment (MARA) in weapons systems. By quantifying and computing key descriptive characteristics (“vectors”) of systems to gauge their autonomous and military capabilities, the instrument can be used to generate a comprehensive overview over weapons systems deployed currently and in the near future. This way, it can assist policy-makers in coming to an informed decision on the possible establishment of a politically defined maximum of autonomy in weapons systems.
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Reviewing the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals and Partnerships

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, January 1, 2015
Abstract in English: 
In September 2015, the heads of state and government of the United Nations Member States are scheduled to decide on the Post-2015 agenda. This is to include not only a list of universal Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) but also a mechanism for monitoring and review. The High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) was launched in July 2013 to provide political leadership and guidance, and to work towards a global transformation to sustainable development. An important element of its work will be the review mechanism envisioned under the HLPF mandate, which is set to replace the Annual Ministerial Review (AMR) starting in 2016. What would the review mechanism have to look like to contribute to the implementation of sustainable development at all levels?

A review process builds on and goes beyond monitoring and data collection. In this framework, the governments are asked critical, analytical questions to determine the reasons for their successes and failures, and to recommend measures needed to further improve goal attainment in the future. The present study examines the debate taking place over the review process, highlights the positions of selected key actors, discusses criteria for designing a review, and applies these to analyze and assess existing review systems. Finally, it develops specific proposals for a universal, state-led, participatory, multi-level "Commit and Review" process that could serve as a central component of the follow-up process for the Post-2015 agenda and goals.
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37
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Expect the Unexpected: Ten Situations to Keep an Eye On

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Sunday, January 1, 2012
Abstract in English: 
The individual elements that come together to create the crises and problems politicians and policy-makers find themselves dealing with are generally already well-known. It is their interaction that is unpredictable, and therefore not plannable. Unplanned situations are increasingly becoming the norm, especially in the international context, as globalisation accelerates the speed of events and the number of actors exerting direct or indirect influence grows apace. Of course we cannot predict the exact situations in the foreign policy and security environment that German politicians will have to respond and adapt to. This study outlines possible future scenarios that are deserving of special attention because the situations they could create would present great challenges to Germany and Europe.
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49
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Delivering Tomorrow: Logistics 2050

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Abstract in English: 
This study starts with two essays laying the groundwork for the very idea of futures studies and future scenario forecasting. The first, by renowned futurist from the University of Hawaii, Professor James Allen Dator, introduces the discipline. In the second, respected futurist and business strategist Peter Schwartz describes the scenario planning context, process and application for business and policymakers.

This study aims to foster a dialogue about the future of logistics by describing a number of different scenarios, or pictures of the world, in 2050.
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184
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Shaping Globalization – Expanding Partnerships – Sharing Responsibility

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, November 1, 2012
Abstract in English: 
The world is becoming increasingly multipolar. States that were long thought of as developing or newly industrialized countries are now an influential force in shaping international policy in an interdependent world. They are economic motors and key regional players, active beyond their own regional boundaries. They also play an increasingly important role in international decision-making processes. They are confidently taking their place on the world stage, in international relations, and are assuming ever more responsibility for global issues. In our view they are more than just emerging economies. They are new players with a voice in the conduct of world affairs.
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68
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