Reports

  • China’s Belt and Road: a Game Changer?

    Mercoledì, 10 Maggio, 2017

    Officially announced by president Xi Jinping in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has since become the centrepiece of China’s economic diplomacy. 
    It is a commitment to ease bottlenecks to Eurasian trade by improving and building networks of connectivity across Central and Western Asia, where the BRI aims to act as a bond for the projects of regional cooperation and integration already in progress in Southern Asia.
    But it also reaches out to the Middle East as well as East and North Africa, a truly strategic area where the Belt joins the Road. Europe, the end-point of the New Silk Roads, both by land and by sea, is the ultimate geographic destination and political partner in the Belt and Road Initiative. 
    This report, edited by Alessia Amighini, provides an in-depth analysis of the BRI, its logic, rationale and implications for international economic and political relations.

    But it also reaches out to the Middle East as well as East and North Africa, a truly strategic area where the Belt joins the Road. Europe, the end-point of the New Silk Roads, both by land and by sea, is the ultimate geographic destination and political partner in the Belt and Road Initiative.
    This report provides an in-depth analysis of the BRI, its logic, rationale and implications for international economic and political relations.

  • The Age of Uncertainty. Global Scenarios and Italy

    Giovedì, 9 Marzo, 2017

    Last year’s events further exacerbated and focused global attention on the same uncertainties already weighing on the past decade: from Brexit, and the ensuing uncertainty about the future of the UK-EU relations, to the ever-growing success of populist and nationalist movements across Europe; from the unnerving paralysis of the international community on the war in Syria to the new wave of terrorist attacks in Europe; from renewed political and economic crises in pivot countries such as Brazil, South Africa, Egypt and Turkey to Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential elections, which may turn out to be a new and momentous source of uncertainty, also casting doubts on the remaining resilience of multilateral cooperation.

    The 2017 ISPI report aims to analyze how such uncertainties are spreading from last year’s events, but also to try to fathom deeper trends. The first part of the Report will focus on the overall development of the international scenario, both from a political and an economic standpoint. The second part will shift the spotlight to Italy, where global uncertainties overlap with deep internal uncertainties and vulnerabilities.

     

  • Latin America at a Crossroads

    Mercoledì, 1 Febbraio, 2017

    Latin America is at a crossroads. The “golden age” inaugurated with the turn of the new millennium seems a faint memory. Economies that had grown at a steady pace are now slowing down, while some are in freefall. Politically, the “pink tide” of populist movements is now ebbing. From Brazil to Venezuela, from Argentina to Bolivia, left-leaning leaders across the region seem to have lost their bond with the people. Their promises of an equitable society through an apparently never-ending redistribution of wealth crashed against the reality of shortsighted and unsustainable policies. Political and social turmoil are heralding an era of changes and – maybe – of new opportunities for Latin America. And this ‘great transformation’ is precisely what this volume is all about. Where is it leading to? Does it mark the beginning of a new age? Which lessons can be learnt from the past? Leading international scholars and experts scratch beneath the surface of Latin America’s current crisis to have a clearer glimpse of what the future holds and draw policy recommendations, especially for the EU. 

  • Beyond Trump. Populism on the Rise

    Martedì, 20 Dicembre, 2016

    Recent political events – from Trump’s election to the outcome of the Brexit Referendum - have somehow caught the world by surprise, and are contributing to a growing sense of concern or even alarm about the future of the Western world and, particularly, Western democracies as we know them.

    When looking at the political landscape in Europe, populism looks like an unprecedented game-changer. Populists parties are in power in Poland and Hungary, they are in the coalition governments in Switzerland and Finland, top the polls in France and the Netherlands, and their support is at record highs in Sweden. Not to mention the recent rise of Alternative für Deutschland in Germany and the successful story of Syriza, Podemos and of the Five Stars Movement in Southern Europe.

    The volume explores the rise of populism in Europe and the US by analyzing its root causes and the rationale behind its success. It also draws some policy recommendations to tackle the populist challenge. 

  • Leaving the Storm Behind: Ideas for a New Mediterranean - MED Report

    Giovedì, 1 Dicembre, 2016

    The Mediterranean is not only an area of conflict and crisis, but also a space for momentous opportunities. Overcoming pessimism and developing a positive agenda for the region is the ultimate goal of Rome MED 2016, the conference organized from 1 to 3 December by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and ISPI. On this occasion, ISPI published the MED Report to build upon the four pillars of the conference (shared prosperity, shared security, migration, and culture & civil society) and provide a useful tool to stimulate debate during Rome MED and beyond.

    The Report is meant to launch new ideas to “leave the storm behind” and design a positive agenda for the future building on experts’ insights and policy suggestions. The volume is enriched by infographics and maps depicting the main regional trends. The goal of the Report is not to delve exhaustively into all the questions and the issues that concern the region and on which its future depends, but to provide in-depth insights and to formulate concrete proposals.

  • South Africa. The Need for Change

    Venerdì, 28 Ottobre, 2016

    Has the new South Africa – once an inspiring “rainbow nation” – failed the expectations it had generated? Is the country now in a crisis?

    Two decades after the end of the apartheid regime, Africa’s southernmost state faces multiple political, economic and social challenges.

    A lackluster growth performance is compounded by mounting corruption and political turbulence, as well as by the frustration of many ordinary citizens who expected much more rapid social and economic improvement.

    Labour strikes, student protests and anti-immigrant riots have all been on the rise. As a clear sign of increasing dissatisfaction, uncertainty and decline, the ruling African National Congress recently ran into its worst electoral result ever – if still only at local levels.

    Meanwhile, Jacob Zuma’s embattled presidency, marred by allegations of corruption and political cronyism, sent South Africa’s international image plummeting alongside the Rand, the national currency.

    This volume sheds light on the current difficulties and discusses future prospects. The “new” South Africa is a country in dire need for change.

  • Populism on the rise. Democracies under challenge?

    Lunedì, 17 Ottobre, 2016

    Donald Trump’s Republican presidential nomination and the Brexit have shocked and somehow caught by surprise the entire world. A growing sense of concern or even alarm is now spreading across Western countries and is putting traditional democratic processes to the test.

    In particular, when looking at the political landscape in Europe, populism may turn out to be an unprecedented game-changer. Populists parties came to power in Poland and Hungary, they are in coalition governments in Switzerland and Finland, top the polls in France and the Netherlands, and their support is at record highs in Sweden. Not to mention the recent rise of Alternative für Deutschland in Germany and the successful story of Syriza, Podemos and of the Five Stars Movement in southern Europe.

     

    This Report explores the rise of populism in Europe and the US by analyzing its root causes, the rationale behind its success, its impact on traditional political parties and, more broadly, on Western democracies. It also draws some policy recommendations to tackle this widespread challenge. 

  • Europe: No Migrant's Land?

    Giovedì, 4 Agosto, 2016

    The Mediterranean region has always been marked by intense migration flows. Over the last few years, political instability in Middle East and North Africa countries, coupled with longstanding demographic and economic trends, have caused a sudden upsurge of migrants reaching Europe’s shores. Despite scattered shows of solidarity, however, the European response has proven slow and fragmented.

    This volume offers a complete and encompassing analysis of the current state of play in terms of migration flows across the Mediterranean and policy responses by European transit and receiving countries. Attention is specifically devoted to ongoing debates about the management of mixed migration, the peculiar profile and needs of asylum seekers, migrants’ labour market access, and integration policies in Europe.

  • Putin's Russia: Really Back?

    Giovedì, 21 Luglio, 2016

    Attempts by Washington and Brussels to push Russia to the fringes of global politics because of the Ukrainian crisis seem to have failed. Thanks to its important role in mediating the Iranian nuclear agreement, and to its unexpected military intervention in Syria, Moscow proved once again to be a key player in international politics. However, Russia’s recovered assertiveness may represents a challenge to the uncertain leadership of the West. This report aims to gauging Russia’s current role in the light of recent developments on the international stage. The overall Russian foreign policy strategy is examined by taking into account its most important issues: Ukraine and the relationship with the West; the Middle East (intervention in Syria, and ongoing relations with Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia); the development of the Eurasian Economic Union; the Russian pivot towards Asia, and China in particular. The volume also analyzes if and to what extent Moscow can fulfill its ambitions in a context of falling oil prices and international sanctions.


  • Jihadist Hotbeds. Understanding Local Radicalization Processes

    Venerdì, 15 Luglio, 2016

    Arturo Varvelli

    Edited by

    Recent analyses reveal that the vast majority of jihadists come from or have some connections with specific areas or districts within different states. One can describe them as local/regional “hotbeds” of extremism. Molenbeek in Belgium, Gornje Maoče and Ošve in Bosnia-Hercegovina, Minneapolis in the US, Kasserine and Ben Guerdane in Tunisia, Sirte and Derna in Libya, Sinai in Egypt, Pankisi Valley and Dagestan in the Caucasus: each area has unique characteristics that lead to “exporting” fighters or creating new IS-controlled zones. Starting from the debate on the origin and nature of jihadist militancy that is dividing the most important scholars of Islam, this report outlines a broad spectrum of radicalization factors leading to the emergence of jihadists hotbeds, such as poverty, unemployment, lack of job prospects, juvenile delinquency, trafficking and smuggling, socio-political, economic and physical marginalization, the role of Salafist ideology as well as the influence of brotherhood networks. All these elements have been frequently highlighted as factors or triggers that could contribute to explaining dynamics of radicalization leading to active violent militancy under the ideals of jihadism. To get a better sense of both the differences and similarities amongst the various hotbeds, the report provides an overview of some of the largest contributors to Islamic extremists and foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq. 

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