30 Items

Ambassador Nicholas Burns gives remarks.

BTI Project / YouTube

Analysis & Opinions

How to Dismantle Democracy: Authoritarian Trends from A(merica) to Z(ambia)

| June 25, 2020

Authoritarian modes of governing have steadily increased over the past 10 years. A number of autocracies have intensified their repressive tactics, while several democracies – many of which were once classified as consolidated – have tampered with fundamental rights and the rule of law. Despite a few developments to the contrary, the Bertelsmann Transformation Index (BTI) 2020 highlights the ongoing decline of democracy around the globe.

The presentation of BTI results focused on the resembling patterns of dismantling democracy in (highly) defective democracies such as Hungary, Moldova, the Philippines, Serbia or Zambia and regimes in which this process has been so pronounced that they are now categorized as autocracies in the BTI, such as Bangladesh, Guatemala, Honduras, Kenya, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Turkey or Uganda. It looked at the typical sequence to an authoritarian deconstruction of democratic institutions from within, from the purposeful undermining of oversight institutions, attacking the media and civil society to manipulating the electoral system, in order to examine the resonance of these trends in the United States. The goal of the discussion is to identify the features and underlying causes of this erosion, and to suggest promising counter-strategies.

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Paper

The Case for Transatlantic Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific

| Dec. 18, 2019

The evolving strategic dynamics in the Indo-Pacific are of paramount importance for the future of the rules-based international order. While the United States is redirecting strategic focus to the region as part of its Free and Open Indo-Pacific strategy, Europe is also stepping up its role—leveraging a strong economic profile, long-standing bilateral ties, and active engagement in various regional multilateral forums. The European Union (EU) and its member states can make distinct contributions to an open, transparent, inclusive, and rules-based regional order, though not necessarily always in lockstep with Washington.

Multilateralism is Dead. Long Live Multilateralism !

Munich Security Conference, Körber-Stiftung

Analysis & Opinions - Munich Young Leaders

Micro-Multilateralism: Cities Saving UN Ideals

| Sep. 19, 2019

The UN Charter focuses on states as the central actors in the international system, defining as a multilateral action when three nation-states cooperate in a field of common interest. Today, nation-states are increasingly paralysed into inaction due to political divisions or great power rivalries. Hence, they are failing to effectively utilise collective action. Subnational entities are stepping into this vacuum to deliver on core functions embedded in the UN Charter, redefining effective collaboration on a transnational scale – what we call micro-multilateralism. Cities have emerged as particularly skilful champions of micro-multilateralism, even though their role as independent actors is not specifically addressed by the UN Charter. With 70 per cent of the world’s population projected to be urban by 2050, cities are now effectively tackling transnational issues once the prerogative of states.

Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi and President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping before the beginning of the BRICS Leaders' meeting.

Office of President of Russia/ Wikimedia

Analysis & Opinions - METRO U.N.

China vs. India

| June 12, 2019

India’s direct relationship with China is characterized by both growing cooperation and competition, indeed rivalry. Trade and investment have increased significantly with China that is now India’s main trading partner. Both countries cooperate in numerous groupings such as BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, though the latter can also be seen as an attempt to draw India closer into a Beijing dominated orbit.

Some Countries Believe Nicolás Maduro (left) is Still the President While Others are Backing Juan Guaidó (right)

Getty Images

Analysis & Opinions - METRO U.N.

Venezuela: Consequences

| Feb. 20, 2019

For years outside observers of Venezuela have followed the disastrous developments in the country under the leadership of Chavez and his successor Maduro with growing concern: the steep decline of the economy, growing violence and repression of human rights, the catastrophic living conditions of people without food or health care and the flight of 3 million Venezuelans into neighboring countries. The geopolitical implications of a growing influence of and indebtedness to China and Russia in addition to Cuba’s role in upholding the repressive regime created additional worries to Western governments. But reluctance to violate the principle of non-interference – always a particularly sensitive issue in Latin America – allowed the Venezuelan situation to deteriorate uninhibited over a long period.

Analysis & Opinions - The Conversation

Local Start-ups Hold the Key to Transforming Africa's Seed Industry

| September 2, 2015

"The seed industry in sub-Saharan Africa is informal in nature, with approximately 80% of farmers saving and replanting seeds from year to year. This gives them security of access. But improved varieties — including high-yielding and hybrid crops — will increase productivity and income. To get these seeds into the hands of farmers, a better marketing and distribution system is needed. Local small and medium-sized seed enterprises have a comparative advantage in reaching this underserved market due to their size and market reach."

Analysis & Opinions - Global Food For Thought

Biotechnology and Africa's Strategic Interests

| December 3, 2012

"Biotechnology offers Africa a wider range of economic opportunities than the Green Revolution did. It is already being used to improve food production and establish or revive cotton production. Its economic impact is therefore likely to go well beyond the farm sector to include industrial development."

A view of one of the displaced camp in Mogadishu, Somalia, Sep. 14, 2011. A massive aid operation is currently underway to help millions of Somalis affected by the fighting and a famine caused by severe drought.

AP Photo

Analysis & Opinions - The Daily Nation

Africa Must Wake Up to the Reality That Hunger is Now a National Security Issue

| August 14, 2012

"The tools available to India in the 1960s are not sufficient to address the challenges that African agriculture now faces. These include a rapidly-growing population, productivity loss due to ecological disruption, environmental decay, droughts, climate change, and conflict. Biotechnology offers additional tools that can help Africa address some of these challenges. It is another moment that calls for the kind of political courage that led to the adoption of the Green Revolution."