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Foreign affairs

Mobilizing the Private Sector in Peace and Reconciliation

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Mobilizing the Private Sector in Peace and Reconciliation
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Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, March 27, 2020
Abstract in English: 
The annual cost of conflict is a trillion dollars, according to calculations by the Institute of Economics and Peace 2017. Clearly wars pose various challenges to business operations and profitability, whilst elusive political stability makes investors hesitant. It is therefore not surprising that private sector actors are increasingly intentional in trying to make a contribution to immediate and long-term peace. Private sector activity in support of peace has met with mixed success, which yields lessons about the potential for business to play a role in peace processes. As international organizations and governments test and improve models for collaboration with the private sector, these lessons are useful in deciding what we can do better together. The following report, authored by a team of researchers from the Graduate Institute Geneva tackles this question: Based on previous involvements of the private sector in peacebuilding, which of its activities can contribute positively to peacebuilding and what lessons can be applied to future interventions?
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87
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What if... ? - 14 futures for 2024

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Publication date: 
Friday, January 24, 2020
Abstract in English: 
According to a famous science fiction film, the future is what you make of it. This Chaillot Paper takes this quote from Back to the Future to heart, proposing 14 different portraits of the future for the year 2024.
These are not ‘Grey Swans’ we want to avoid – on the contrary, they are ‘White Reindeers’, positive developments we can make come true. The scenarios do not just depict a desirable future, but include pathways and concrete recommendations on how to get there. The scenarios outlined here therefore amount to more than strategic foresight since they are highly operational; in addition, they describe futures that are just beginning in 2024, but which will have wide-ranging positive repercussions in the decades beyond that date.
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93
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Munich Security Report 2020 - Westlessness

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Publication date: 
Friday, February 14, 2020
Abstract in English: 
The Munich Security Report 2020 provides an overview of major security policy challenges and features insightful data and analyses across selected geographic and thematic spotlights. In addition to its role as a trusted companion and conversation starter for the Munich Security Conference, the report series has also become a go-to resource for security professionals and the interested public around the world. The previous report was downloaded tens of thousands of times and received widespread coverage in German and international media.
The Munich Security Report 2020 analyzes current security policy developments in China, Europe, Russia and the United States, and furthermore examines regional dynamics in the Mediterranean, the Middle East and South Asia. In addition, it provides insights into the issues of space and climate security, as well as into the threats arising from new technologies and increasingly transnational right-wing extremism.
The Munich Security Report features a number of exclusive and unpublished materials. For the preparation of the report, the Munich Security Conference Foundation collaborated with renowned partner institutions, including the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED), The Brookings Institution, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, International Crisis Group, The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS), McKinsey & Company, Pew Research Center, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), and the Zentrum für Osteuropa- und international Studien (ZOiS).
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102
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Global risks 2035 update: Decline or new renaissance?

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Global risks 2035 update: Decline or new renaissance?
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Publication date: 
Wednesday, October 30, 2019
Abstract in English: 
In the best case, we forecast a world headed toward multipolarity with limited multilateralism. At worst, we projected a multipolarity that devolved into another Cold War bipolarity—with China, Russia, and their partners pitted against the United States, Europe, Japan, and other allies. In that scenario, war seemed inevitable. The fracturing of the post-Cold War global system would be accompanied by internal fraying caused by technological advances. No one was spared. Robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), 3D printing, and automation were already upending both skilled and unskilled occupations in the developed world. As the cost of robots came down and automation and 3D printing spread, still-struggling emerging markets could no longer rely on lower labor costs, as China did to fuel its rise. This is a far cry from the earlier notion that globalization and technological change would “lift all boats.” Under any scenario, many of the poorest of the developing countries will face stiffer, potentially existential, challenges linked to climate change, poor governance, higher incidences of civil conflict, and overpopulation. Climate change will impact everyone in the coming decades, but the poorest areas—sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia—will be hit hardest by increasing temperatures and rising sea levels.
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88
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The MENA Region: A Great Power Competition

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The MENA Region: A Great Power Competition
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Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, October 7, 2019
Abstract in English: 
The MENA Region: A Great Power Competition volume deals with competition among regional and external players for the redistribution of power and international status in the Middle East and North Africa, focusing on Russia’s renewed role and the implications for US interests. Over the last few years, a crisis of legitimacy has beset the liberal international order. In the context of global reassessment, the configuration of regional orders has come into question, illustrated by the current collapse in the Middle East. The idea of a ‘Russian resurgence’ in the Middle East set against a perceived American withdrawal has captured the attention of policymakers and scholars alike, warranting further examination. This volume gathers analysis on the policy choices pursued by Washington and Moscow in the MENA region and develops case studies of the two powers’ policies in the countries beset by major crises. The volume was compiled and edited by Arturo Varvelli, Karim Mezran, and Emily Burchfield and features analysis from Andrey Chuprygin, Abbas Kadhim, Mark N. Katz, Andrey Kortunov, Scott Lasensky, Chiara Lovotti, Vera Michlin-Shapir, Nicola Pedde, Omer Taspinar, Gonul Tol, and William Wechsler.
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Operationalizing Nuclear Disarmament Verification

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Publication date: 
Monday, April 29, 2019
Abstract in English: 
This SIPRI Insights seeks to contribute to the operationalization of nuclear disarmament verification. It explores existing solutions to define a baseline for new arms control and disarmament verification regimes, and considers the requirements for verification under the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). Existing solutions might be sufficient to enable several near-term disarmament steps and to lay the foundations for a comprehensive nuclear disarmament verification regime supporting the TPNW. However, more technical work is needed to achieve all the preconditions for a nuclear weapon-free world, particularly on verifying the dismantlement of nuclear weapons. At the same time, a more favourable political context could reduce the extent to which technical challenges are perceived as obstacles to nuclear disarmament. Even in the absence of new disarmament treaties, the operationalization of disarmament verification can begin at a conceptual and discursive level, by adopting a more policy-oriented approach to disarmament verification.
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Trends in world military expenditure

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, April 29, 2019
Abstract in English: 
Total global military spending rose for the second consecutive year in 2018, to the highest level since 1988—the first year for which consistent global data is available. World spending is now 76 per cent higher than the post-cold war low in 1998.* World military spending in 2018 represented 2.1 per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP) or $239 per person. ‘In 2018 the USA and China accounted for half of the world’s military spending,’ says Dr Nan Tian, a researcher with the SIPRI Arms and Military Expenditure (AMEX) programme. ‘The higher level of world military expenditure in 2018 is mainly the result of significant increases in spending by these two countries.’
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12
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ESPAS Report 2019 : Global Trends to 2030

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, April 5, 2019
Abstract in English: 
For something as unknown as the future, it appears to have become surprisingly predictable. A Google search of ‘future 2030’ yields more than 97 million results, all more or less claiming similar things: that 2030 will see a more connected, yet fragmented world, with hazardous shifts in demography and energy, and dangerous changes in technology, environment, and politics.
The future, while overall negative, appears to be a rather certain place.
This illusion of definitiveness is created by two dynamics: first, the pessimistic tone that runs through the vast majority of foresight reports. This is a common feature when it comes to future thinking, with one study showing that all studies undertaken on the future over the last 70 years have one thing in common; pessimism. The reason for this is simple: although both optimism and pessimism are natural human dispositions, the latter is more prevalent by far. Humans are, genetically speaking, biased towards the negative – some studies even indicate that this is particularly the case for Europeans. Second, pessimism in foresight is encouraged by the grave air that surrounds it: in general, negative statements are given more attention than positive ones. That said, more pessimism in foresight does not equal greater accuracy, as one study shows.
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52
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Unexpected Developments in International Politics. Foresight Contributions 2018

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Publication date: 
Wednesday, September 5, 2018
Abstract in English: 
How might we have to imagine the Middle East if there were a political thaw between Iran and Saudi Arabia? Could Turkey leave NATO in the near future? What would happen if security-related EU databases were successfully hacked; if South Korea were to arm itself with nuclear weapons; or if an American woman were to head the United Nations? Of course, these situations, as explored in the SWP’s latest Foresight research paper, are only hypothetical. Why address them? Because unexpected events have abounded in international politics in recent years. Brexit; the election of Donald Trump as US President; and Russia’s annexation of Crimea are only the most striking examples. Science and politics should therefore ready themselves for likely future surprises. The Foresight research paper aims to assist with this. We cannot and do not want to predict the future. However, with the help of systematic foresight we can better prepare for unplanned situations. This means improving our view of conceivable – albeit unlikely – developments that would seriously impact on German and European foreign and security policy. It also includes reviewing previous expectations – as this research paper likewise tackles. What actually happened to the battery revolution that was supposed to secure our power supply? Did the negotiation process on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU unfold as experts had anticipated? Such reviews are instructive, and can be used to gain insights for the future.
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50
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Munich Security Report 2019: "The Great Puzzle: Who Will Pick Up the Pieces?"

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, February 15, 2019
Abstract in English: 
This year's report analyses the reshuffling of core pieces of the international order. Besides looking at major powers like the United States, China and Russia, the report also highlights actors of the "second row": liberal democracies such as France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada and Japan. In addition, the report assesses current security policy developments in selected regions such as in the Western Balkans, in the Sahel region and in the Middle East. It examines the global challenge to arms control against the background of the recently suspended INF Treaty and emerging technologies such as hypersonic weapons. Other global issues covered are the security policy implications of current developments in the areas of international trade, transnational organized crime and artificial intelligence.
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102
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