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Asia Pacific Natural resources and energy

The Challenges facing Japanese Nuclear Energy Policy

As climate change becomes an increasingly pressing issue, governments worldwide have stepped up efforts towards decarbonisation. Japan aims to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 26% from 2013 levels by 2030. Leveraging nuclear energy could help Japan meet this goal, a fact understood by the administration of Prime Minister Kishida Fumio. However, the government faces an uphill battle in the shadow of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Environment Latin America Natural resources and energy

Can Climate Action Save Castillo’s Faltering Peruvian Presidency?

On 21 September, President Pedro Castillo announced that Peru would declare a climate emergency and fulfill its environmental commitments. Since then, Castillo has survived congressional efforts to impeach him but the implications of his diminished authority for delivering on climate change, are less clear.

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.

Europe

Celtic Tiger’s Hunt for Territory

Since partition in 1921, the Irish border has economically, politically, and culturally divided the island. Despite this, cross-border relationships have formed and evolved. Governments have a strong hand in promoting or denouncing said evolution, with development funds and projects historically being the most effective and visible means. However, as Brexit disrupts the status quo, private funds are gaining influence over the cross-border relationship. This article will analyze the implications of economic fluctuations on Northern Ireland’s political stability and the subsequent ramifications for British politics.

Natural resources and energy South and Central Asia

Renewable Energy and Central Asia’s Electricity Issues

Central Asia has been experiencing frequent power outages during the pandemic, causing unrest and demonstrations across multiple provinces in the region. While Central Asian governments are cooperating with international development actors such as the World Bank and USAID, private companies are still reluctant to invest in the renewable energy market due to expected low returns on investment. Meanwhile, failure to act quickly in renewable energy adoption can be disastrous for Central Asian governments as the region’s water resources are depleting and power outage-caused protests are growing. 

Security

Drones, Disinformation and Proxies: What the Middle East’s ‘Forever Wars’ tell us about the Future of Conflict

Ten years after the Arab Spring, the shockwaves from the surge of democratic protests across the Middle East continue to reverberate throughout the region in the form of smouldering multidimensional proxy conflicts in Syria, Libya and Yemen. Great and regional powers’ increasing employment of drones, disinformation and local proxies are exacerbating broader global trends associated with hyper-globalisation, emerging technologies and societal fragmentation. Collectively, these trends fuel the multidimensional geopolitical contest being played out across the Middle East; an ominous harbinger of the murky shadow wars representing the new face of conflict in the twenty-first century. 

Insights Leadership Series Politics

Reflections on a life of public service: An Interview with Lord Heseltine

GRI sat down with the Rt Hon Lord Heseltine, former Conservative deputy prime minister and defense secretary of the United Kingdom, to discuss his political philosophy, private sector experience and proudest achievements in public service.

Europe Security

Risk Factors for Svalbard Conflict between Russia and Norway

The unique provisions of the Treaty of Svalbard, NATO ambiguity on the status of Svalbard, and mounting geopolitical tensions between Russia and Norway signify a realistic probability of outright violation of Norwegian sovereignty over Svalbard in the medium to long-term.

China Covid-19

Omicron and the Olympics: How long can China’s “Zero-Covid” policy last?

The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics are particularly important for China and for its leader, President Xi Jinping. The spectacular 2008 Summer Olympics were seen as China’s “coming out party,” a vibrant showcase for the successes of three decades of “reform and opening” and the country’s newfound national confidence and wealth. In a similar fashion, the 2022 Olympic games represent an opportunity for President Xi to demonstrate his successes in office. Perhaps chief among his accomplishments is the highly effective domestic management of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Olympics and the Omicron variant of Covid-19 pose a major source of risk to this success.

North America Politics Security

The Geopolitical Dynamics of Extraterritorial Detention

The Biden administration is undertaking a formal assessment of Cuba’s Guantanamo Bay military prison. Former President George W. Bush created the detention center in 2002 to hold foreign terrorist suspects in the aftermath of 9/11. President Biden wants to shut down the prison by the conclusion of his first term in 2024, resurrecting an Obama-era objective that was never realized.