Global Challenges

  • Modi and Jinping understand the importance of an economic relationship.

    Can Economics Overcome Years of Political Suspicion Between India and China?

    The relationship between China and India will be one of the most important of this century. Their ability to cooperate will be crucial on international issues ranging from climate change to multilateral trade negotiations. Yet for all of its future significance, the relationship remains shallow, unbalanced and stuck in the past. As Narendra Modi visits Beijing this week, there are signs of change but progress will likely be slow, piecemeal and pragmatic.

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  • The US is divided, and Brussels apprehensive, about a post-sanctions Iran.

    The Uneven Path to a Post-Sanctions Iran

    After decades of international isolation, Iran is eager to enter its post-sanction era, while Washington is divided about Iran’s future and Brussels remains apprehensive.

    Recently, Peter Wittig, German Ambassador to the US, said that alternatives to a deal to curb Iran’s nuclear program are “not very attractive.” He added that Germany and other nations are ready to move beyond sanctions, despite what the US Congress might do.

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  • Sanctions can be effective, just not recently.

    What Does One Do When Sanctions Do Not Work?

    Economic sanctions and divestment campaigns are attractive but often flawed tactics for accomplishing international political goals.

    The social stigma the campaigns create often fails to match the economic pain these campaigns inflict, making the costs of resisting them for governments like Russia, Syria and Iran tolerable in most cases.

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  • Japan's self-defense options dragged down by it's wartime history.

    Japan's Self-Defense Policies Hampered by History

    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) are negotiating with their coalition partner, Komeito, to introduce legislation recognising a limited exercise of collective self-defence. There is rising anxiety about Japan’s neighbours’ perception of this endeavor and what effect this will have on regional stability, given the Abe cabinet’s right-wing revisionist views of Japan’s history.

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  • Despite international efforts, there has been little progress with Pyongyang.

    The Intractable North Korean Nuclear Issue

    With the Six Party Talks — the main multilateral mechanism to negotiate North Korea’s denuclearisation — moribund since December 2008, the North Korean nuclear issue appears increasingly intractable. North Korea has proceeded with its nuclear program and enshrined its nuclear status in its constitution. And the United States and South Korea continue to see little utility in returning to formal negotiations unless North Korea first shows a credible commitment to dismantling its nuclear program.

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  • Pakistan is in a bit of a catch-22 over Yemen.

    How did Pakistan Get Here on Yemen?

    Saudi Arabia’s demand that Pakistan joins its coalition against the Houthi uprising in Yemen has put Islamabad in a catch-22 between joining the Saudi alliance and not antagonising its neighbour Iran. Joining the Saudi coalition would have long-term political, economic and security repercussions for Pakistan.

    Following a high-level Pakistani delegation to the kingdom, Pakistan’s parliament met on 6 April 2015 to debate the merits of joining the Saudi-led coalition against the uprising. The Saudis have asked Pakistan for aircrafts, naval vessels and ground troops.

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