Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump will play golf in Japan in November. That will take place when Japan’s old – and after Tokyo’s Lower House election of October 22 also new – Prime Minister Abe will host Trump on November 5-7 on the first leg of his Asia trip. Yet another occasion for Abe to demonstrate that he agrees on essentially “everything” with the short-tempered Trump, who continues to conduct domestic and foreign policies mainly over Twitter in the early hours of the day.
Understanding the current iteration of the two-decade long North Korean crisis is not easy. It is, for what of a better word, complicated. Furthermore, the fact is that it has finally imploded while Donald Trump is President. “Of all the presidents in all the world, why did you have to start a North Korean crisis with him...?” This is not an administration that lends itself to level analysis. And nor is the topic, for that matter.
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 ten years, the situation on the ground in Afghanistan has shown an ambiguous mix of instability and tentative signs of progress. To this very day, any future scenario bears the mark of uncertainty. How to assess the conflict and the political situation in Afghanistan? What are the broad choices for international and regional engagement? How to foster the reconciliation process with the Taliban?
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.
“Fragile - Handle with care”: this very well could be the imaginary bumper sticker for the topic of climate change when it arrives on the G7 table in Taormina. Usually, climate change issues do not lead to serious international frictions (even though they trigger harsh discussions during the annual climate talks under the UNFCCC umbrella), but this time is different. The suspense is high and the actors involved should use all diplomatic means available to bring about some results without losing face.
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.
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.
Tra il dire e il fare c’è di mezzo il mare, si dice. E se a dire è un politico, e per giunta in campagna elettorale, allora il mare diventa un oceano. In fondo, tutti i benpensanti condividono quest’asserzione perché l’esperienza dice che così accade, con buona pace di chi invece vota sperando che alle parole e alle promesse seguano fatti e adempimenti conseguenti.