The future of multilateralism and strategic partnerships (Elena Lazarou)

The current European Commission has set the defence and reform of multilateralism as one of its key priorities. In this ideas paper from the EU Parliament’s Research Service, Elena Lazarou tackles the question of how to achieve the EU’s objective in an environment where coronavirus has exacerbated the struggle to uphold multilateralism in a climate of growing nationalism, protectionism and rising great power competition.

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After the ice: the Arctic and European security (Paul Taylor)

Friends of Europe have released a comprehensive study on Arctic defence cooperation. The report examines the strategic and political context surrounding Arctic security and defence focusing on the changing Arctic environment – the resurgence of great power competition worldwide against a backdrop of accelerating global warming which is melting the polar ice cap at a record pace.

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Debunking the myth of ‘Debt-trap Diplomacy’: how recipient countries shape China’s Belt and Road Initiative (Chatham House)

Critics of the BRI accuse China of pursuing a policy of ‘debt-trap diplomacy’: luring poor, developing countries into agreeing unsustainable loans to pursue infrastructure projects so that, when they experience financial difficulty, Beijing can seize the asset, thereby extending its strategic or military reach. This paper from the UK’s Chatham House demonstrates that the evidence for such views is limited.

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No longer a middle power: Australia’s strategy in the 21st century (Andrew Carr)

Published in September 2019 by the French Institute of International Relations, this article by the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre’s Andrew Carr has increased relevance given Australia’s recent 2020 Defence Strategic Update and the ramping up of its critical comments on China. Andrew Carr punctures the pretensions that infuse Australia’s formal strategic and defence policy documents and found in a lot of political statements. He paints a realistic and sobering picture of the relative decline in military and economic influence facing Australia.

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The weaponisation of the US financial system (Jacque Delors Centre)

Author: Edward Knudsen | Jacque Delors Centre | 4 June 2020 In order to fulfil its ambition to become a credible geopolitical player and to defend its interests and values abroad, it is critical for the EU to be able to withstand extraterritorial sanctions Edward Knudsen argues that European economic autonomy depends on displacing the US from the central role in international finance and recommends a strategy for strengthening the euro as an international currency.

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Welcome back to Kissinger’s world (Michael Hirsh)

An impressive article by Michael Hirsh, which manages to be: a review of Barry Gewen’s “incisive new intellectual history of Kissinger and his times”, The Inevitability of Tragedy; an insightful enumeration of some key social, economic and strategic challenges the world currently faces; and a useful commentary on the US-China rivalry and the accompanying geostrategic shifts.

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Lessons from a global crisis: coronavirus, the international order and the future of the EU (Pol Morillas)

By Pol Morillas | The coronavirus crisis may turn out to be a bump in the road for recent international dynamics. After a period of hibernation in the major global economies, perhaps life will return to normal, the storm weathered thanks to stimulus plans, and the world will once again be flat and hyperconnected. Alternatively, coronavirus may be a turning point in the era of globalisation.

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Anticipating a new US Foreign Policy (FES, Lauren Schwartz)

Lauren Schwartz from the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung considers what US foreign policy might look like under a Democrat president – after Trump, and after coronavirus. The paper canvasses “30 years of ambivalent foreign policy” – from 1989 through to 2020, and a Trump administration prepared to signal its willingness and ability to adopt a more competitive approach towards its rivals, militarily, economically and diplomatically. A new American foreign policy should expand its reach beyond the

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Cultures of expertise and politics of behavioral science: A conversation with Erik Angner (Cambridge)

An interview Professor Erik Angner of Stockholm University as part of the Humanities and Social Change Centre at the University of Cambridge‘s series on expertise and COVID-19. Erik Angner is a philosopher and an economist writing on behavioral economics, economists as experts, measurement of happiness and wellbeing, Hayek, and the nature of preferences among other topics. Recently he has commented on the need for epistemic humility and the uniqueness of the Swedish response to the pandemic. The interview with Anna Alexandrova

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Strategic rivalry between United States and China: causes, trajectories, and implications (SWP)

An insightful paper that seeks a strategy for Europe ‘to escape the bipolar logic that demands it choose between the American and Chinese economic/technological spheres’. The recommendations for Europe should resonate equally in Australia – a country already caught up in the global competition for influence, and likely to be subject to ‘increased pressure from Washington on its allies to take a clear position on the sharpening US-China conflict and clearly side with the United States’.

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The Return: Russia and the Security Landscape of Northeast Asia (IFRI)

In recent months, China – and the potential for conflict in Northeast Asia – has been prominent in discussion amongst Australian strategists. However, the complexity of strategic relationships in the region is often overlooked in this debate. In a policy paper published 31 March 2020, Bobo Lo, Associate Research Fellow with the Russia/NIS Center at the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI), reminds us that Northeast Asia has emerged as a critical theater of Russian

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EU Parliament Think Tank: The Economy and the Coronavirus

This paper provides a summary of the recent Standard & Poor’s (S&P) economic forecast for the euro area (assessing the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak); some recent analyses of the macroeconomic effects of the coronavirus; and some policy recommendations made in the public domain to mitigate these negative effects. The S&P summary On Thursday, 26 March, the credit-rating agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) published an economic forecast for the euro area and the UK, assessing

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Jamie Shea: The coronavirus – what could be the strategic implications?

Nearly a quarter of our way through the 21st century we have been fortunately spared thus far the devastating wars that blighted the previous century. Yet we have nonetheless experienced an almost uninterrupted flow of systemic shocks that have put Western democracies and the cohesion of our societies under massive stress… The coronavirus crisis is different and its consequences may well prove more long-lasting… Already some strategic implications are becoming clearer. First is a retreat back

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Clingendael: The relevance of the Maritime Silk Road for the Netherlands

Chinese investments in European seaports – part of the Maritime Silk Road (MSR) component of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) – have increased rapidly in recent years – triggering a debate in Europe on the significance of, and how to deal with, growing Chinese influence in European ports. This report discusses two main questions: What is the relevance of Chinese involvement in European ports for China’s political influence in the European Union? What are the long-term implications for the Netherlands of the Maritime Silk Road, in particular in regard to Chinese involvement in European ports?

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Institut Montaigne: Space – will Europe awaken?

Institut Montaigne continues its study of risks and opportunities for Europe in relation to space affairs. This February 2020 policy paper takes stock of recent trends and issues in the space sector. It analyses Europe’s current position in New Space, highlighting the potential and limits of the space policy pursued by the European Union in recent years and makes five public policy proposals aimed at making Europe a real space power.

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SIEPS: Compatible Interests? The EU and China’s Belt and Road Initiative

China’s economic development and global impact are tilting the economic, political and military balances that have shaped the world since the end of the cold war. One step in China’s global outlook is the comprehensive infrastructure project Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), opening a clear set of crossroads for the EU. Has the EU payed enough attention to the geopolitics? Should the EU focus more on European interests, and not only on norms and values?

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Friends of Europe: Transatlantic defence cooperation in the Trump era

An element of strategic divergence means the US and Europe are currently “not quite watching the same movie on the two sides of the Atlantic”, but there is hope that transatlantic defence industrial cooperation can function better if trade-offs are accepted and we have a shared view of the value of working together as allies says the author of Friends of Europe’s latest report on peace, security and defence.

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