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.
Involvement of international actors has been essential in resolving conflicts, rebuilding, and helping reconcile the Western Balkans in the last few decades. Throughout the 1990s, foreign intervention was meant to stop the bloodshed in the region after the dissolution of Yugoslavia, ending the wars in the region.
Over the last three years Europe and North America have been hit by an unprecedented wave of terrorist attacks perpetrated by individuals motivated by jihadist ideology. Who are the individuals who have carried out these attacks? Were they born and raised in the West? Or were they an “imported threat”, refugees and migrants? How did they radicalize? Were they well educated and integrated, or social outcasts? Did they act alone? What were their connections to the Islamic State?
The answers to these and other questions have large implications for our understanding of the threat facing us and, consequently, help us design sounder policy solutions built on empirical evidence. This study, the first of its kind, seeks to analyze the demographic profile, radicalization trajectories and connections to the Islamic State of all the individuals who have carried out attacks.
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.
Illicit drug trade is an integral part of the recent history in Afghanistan and Colombia. The past few decades have seen narcotics have severe social, political and economic impact in both countries. This paper outlines the development of the narcotics industries in each country and synthesizes the commonalities that have arisen from this shared phenomenon. It seeks to highlight lessons that Afghanistan and Colombia can learn from each other and concludes with recommendations on a way forward from the current impasse.
Reaching some sort of global order has been a recurring temptation for the governments of the world’s great powers. It is the nature of things, and this temptation grew even more when the end of the Cold War brought some to regret the “certainties” that came with the clear conflict between East and West.
Global summits have rarely played such an important role as in 2017. In times of political volatility and economic uncertainty summits provide a forum for heads of state to exchange views on eye level contributing to a stabilization of expectations and potentially restoration of international consent. The US under President Trump questions a number of previously defined international commitments, in particular the stance on anti-protectionism and on the mitigation of dangerous climate change.
While the details of the Trump Administration’s policy towards the Islamic Republic of Iran have yet to be unveiled, it is clear that the new administration has “put Iran on notice” and by doing so intends to increase pressure on Tehran for its aggressive regional policy. This policy shift signifies a return to the U.S.’ traditional approach of containment and moves away from President Obama’s eight-year effort of nuclear engagement and reintegration of Iran as a means of promoting domestic change in Tehran and altering America’s footprint in the Middle East.
Get ready folks for a new premiere of slapstick comedy between Korea and China featuring a new actor, Moon Jae-in, elected South Korea’s president on May 9. A Korean president’s slapstick comedy show is a never-ending story. We already watched a couple of episodes featuring former president Park Geun-hye. One was her attendance at China’s military parade in 2015, triggering questions about her diplomatic stance between Washington and Beijing.
Over the last ten years, the mantra of experts and scholars highlighted the uncertain future of Afghanistan. The situation on the ground shows an ambiguous mix of instability and tentative signs of progress. To this very day, any future scenario bears the mark of uncertainty. The dynamics of the last two years, after the massive international withdrawal due to the end of the NATO-ISAF mission, are bound to recur not just in the next months but also in the next few years.