International

Back to homepage
Europe International Security

The United States’ War Against Russian Disinformation: Is the GEC Fit for Purpose?

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February has brought renewed focus to America’s ability to defend against the Kremlin’s separatist narratives that seek to stoke ethnolinguistic tensions amongst Russian-Speaking Ukrainians in the Donbas and Crimea.  The State Department’s Global Engagement Center (GEC), charged with leading the U.S.’ response to disinformation, is a fledgling six-year-old department with a shifting mission, unstable staffing and a limited budget. Despite significant headwinds, the Center’s modest efforts to counter disinformation through strategic partnerships with foreign governments and media outlets, as well as its sponsorship of emerging counter-disinformation (CPD) technologies continue to hold promise for the ongoing effort to counter Russian propaganda.

International Politics Security

The International Law of War and Russia’s ‘Special Military Operation’

Moscow has refused to call its actions in Ukraine a ‘war’, instead suggesting that it is simply conducting a ‘special military operation’. Such an unyielding position is inherently steeped in the international law of warfare. By refusing to issue an official Declaration of War against Kyiv, the Kremlin is cherry-picking jus ad bellum norms in order to paint its actions as a “[humanitarian] intervention by invitation”, feeding into its perception of Ukraine as an unviable state, whilst also seeking to avert a myriad of unfavourable domestic implications which would be triggered by a State of War.

Europe International Security

Opinion: UK-EU cooperation in the Balkans

While the focus of the West has been rightly on providing military and diplomatic support to Ukraine, NATO and the European Union cannot afford to take their eyes off the Western Balkans. It is crucial to see this moment of crisis as not only an attack on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, but as a wider Russian test of the durability of the postwar European security order. As EU and Western Balkan leaders hold their summit in June, the regional stabilisation process in southeastern Europe has never been more important. 

International Security

Sanctioning Russia’s science community: at what cost?

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Western states, such as the US, UK and Germany have engaged in intense discussions about how to sanction Putin’s Russia most effectively. In the name of the West’s isolation strategy, numerous sanctions have been imposed, including on Russia’s science sector. A closer look at Western sanctions against the Russian scientific community suggests that the West’s isolation strategy might entail unintended effects, such as undercutting any long-term hopes for a more liberal Russian society, rolling back years of scientific collaboration on climate change and eventually, pushing Russia further into a codependent relationship with China.

Environment International

The Role of International Organizations in Climate Governance

International organizations like the United Nations (UN), the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the World Economic Forum (WEF) are in many ways the leaders of global climate mitigation efforts. With their professional knowledge, monitoring functions, and facilitating capabilities for collaboration, international organizations should receive as much data as possible regarding the international execution of climate policies from state actors. In turn, they should use the findings to bridge existing gaps between countries in order to instigate a more efficient and globally coordinated effort to mitigate climate change.

Environment International Natural resources and energy

Geopolitical Impact of “The Hydrogen Factor”

Energy security has been at the center of the geopolitical conversation in recent weeks, as the invasion of Ukraine has shed a light once more on Europe’s dependency on Russian oil & gas. The incident has left leaders scrambling for alternative energy supply, manifesting in part through the unveiling of the EU’s plan to end their reliance on Russian gas. Hydrogen as an energy carrier is a core pillar of this plan, with the European Commission calling for a quadrupling of hydrogen use by 2030. 

Africa International Security

Africa’s Crime-Terror Nexus: Transnational Organised Crime, Illicit Economic Networks and Violent Extremism in the Sahel

Africa’s Sahel region lies at the epicentre of a sprawling jihadist insurgency straddling the ‘ungoverned spaces’ south of the Sahara. As U.S, French and African forces struggle to contain the violence spreading like wildfire across the Sahelian scrublands, one key dimension of instability which remains overlooked is the role of transnational organised crime and illicit economic networks in fuelling violent extremism across the region.

Environment International

Opinion: Climate Governance: A Blueprint for the Nation-State

National Governments’ enormous power should be translated into effective actions in climate governance. That includes both maximizing its own capabilities to mitigate climate change, and playing a central role in collaboration with other actors in the ecosystem of climate mitigation action.

Environment Insights International

Opinion: Environmental Crime: A Global Threat to Our Planet

Green crime has climbed the agenda of financial institutions, law enforcement, regulators and the technology sector following the COVID-19 pandemic and the increased presence of the climate crisis. The pandemic in particular shone a blinding light on the global wildlife trade and the impact its lack of regulation can have. Companies are increasingly focusing on markers of environmental related crime, however the pace remains slow and poses a threat to increased levels of sustainability fraud. 

International Politics

Sino-Czech Relations: Change on the Horizon

The success of the five-party coalition “Democratic Bloc” in the Czech parliamentary elections this year represents a new direction for the central European country. Disillusionment with BRI-related investments was one reason for this outcome. This development may be part of a broader trend across the region.