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International Politics

Australia Launches AUKUS Pact: A Masterclass in Diplomacy or a Diplomatic Disaster?

On 15th September, political leaders from Australia, the UK and the US announced their intentions to set up a trilateral security partnership. The deal, known as AUKUS, represents a commitment to combating China’s growing ambitions in the Indo-Pacific. As part of the agreement, Australia will build a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines in co-operation with the UK and US after scrapping a $90 billion-dollar submarine contract with France. AUKUS represents a revival of historical relations across the Anglosphere and a simultaneous deterioration of relations between members of AUKUS and the EU.   

 

International Southeast Asia

Transnational Transparency: Southeast Asian Think Tanks Collaborate for Belt and Road Accountability

The Belt and Road Initiative’s (BRI) development throughout Southeast Asia is expected to contribute significantly to the economic and infrastructural development of the region. However, a perceived lack of transparency in China’s initiative compounds existing fears around rising debt and sovereignty over projects. Several Southeast Asian and Pacific think tanks have collaborated on a BRI monitor, aiming at evaluating levels of transparency and holding projects accountable. If successful, this could minimise issues of governance and implementation associated with the BRI to the benefit of recipient countries. Whether this success extends to other social and political issues associated with the initiative is unclear.

Finance International

Opinion: It’s High Time to Break the Bailout Doom Loop

Monetary easing and bailout expectations are embedded in post-2008 central banking, often justified on the grounds of systemic stability or public expectations. The truth is that on top of nurturing moral hazard, the Fed put impedes innovation and productive investment. 

China Finance International

The EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investments (CAI): a piece of the puzzle.

On 30 December 2020, the EU and China announced that they had reached an Agreement in Principle on investments. The text is the result of lengthy negotiations, which started in January 2014. The EU-China CAI was met with fierce criticism from political commentators, who believe the treaty is a “strategic victory” for China and may potentially damage transatlantic relations. However, as usual with international affairs, matters are not always as simple as portrayed and deserve thorough consideration.

Insights International Politics Under The Radar

The Power of Values: An Interview With an Obama Foreign Policy Speechwriter

GRI’s co-founder Basim Al-Ahmadi sat down via Zoom with Terence Szuplat, one of President Obama’s longest serving speechwriters.

Debate Corner International

Will the link between climate change and conflict be recognised?

Although scientists, politicians and academics differ as to whether climate change directly causes armed conflict, humanitarian organisations like the International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent believe the role climate change plays in violent strife can no longer be ignored. Communities have been torn apart by ethnic tensions exacerbated by drought-induced resource scarcity, and if world leaders fail to address the devastating effects of climate change, peacekeeping efforts in unstable territories could suffer.

Environment International

The role of cities in climate governance

Cohesive populations, proximity to their citizens, and data capabilities offer cities a pivotal role in climate action alongside national and international actors. If clear goals are set, local circumstances accounted for, and other governance partners effectively collaborated with, cities could lead in the fight against climate change.

International Security

The Risks of Criminal Activity in Times of COVID-19 Vaccine Nationalism

The slow and unequal distribution of COVID-19 vaccines has not only hampered the global economic recovery from the pandemic. In lower and middle-income countries, the scarcity of vaccine supply has opened up opportunities for organized criminal groups to orchestrate lucrative activities thus endangering the health of vulnerable populations and undermining public trust in state institutions. As the tendency of slow vaccine rollouts is set to continue, the security situation in developing countries is likely to deteriorate.

Covid-19 International Technology and infrastructure

Covid-19: Cyberattacks on the Healthcare System

The digitalization of the healthcare system brings more challenges than anticipated. One of those challenges are cyberattacks, which have been classified as low priority threats. Now during a worldwide pandemic, the healthcare system has never been so necessary. However, it has also made the healthcare sector more vulnerable, which has attracted cyberattacks in growing numbers. Awareness is needed to attract investments and take actions into creating a more resilient digitalized healthcare sector.

International Southeast Asia

Russia and the Myanmar Coup: An Opportunity for Increased Arms Exports

Whereas most countries have condemned the coup in Myanmar, Russia is openly advocating for enhancing military technological cooperation with the military regime. In doing so, Russia seems to see the new military rule as an opportunity to increase its influence in Myanmar whilst boosting its arms exports. This may be a classic example of Moscow’s limited bilateral engagement, seeking financial gain and increased influence whilst preserving their strategic autonomy.