Cities are gaining importance and influence worldwide. They sustain the global economy, set cultural trends, produce greenhouse gas emissions and consume energy; they attract migration flows and foster new political waves. While cities were supposed to be declining back in the 1980s, the globalized economy has established them as crucial world hubs leading billions of people on every continent, both at the top and the bottom of the social ladder, to move to cities. Today, global cities cry out for a more prominent role. But why and to what extent do they matter?
The MED Report 2019 Weathering the Storm. Charting New Courses in the Mediterranean provides analyses, policy recommendations, and new approaches to critical issues facing the enlarged Mediterranean region today. Structured along four thematic sections – shared security, shared prosperity, migration, culture and civil society – the Report focuses on a selection of key topics, highlighting both challenges and developments stemming from a region that is undergoing profound transformations.
In February 2018, anticipating the US withdrawal from the JCPOA, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declared a policy of “preferring East over West”, thus paving the way for deeper cooperation with Asian powers such as China, Russia, and India.
In recent decades, militias and sub-national armed groups have played a decisive role in politics and security in the MENA region. Their prominence with local and outside actors in areas where state institutions have collapsed presents multiple policy challenges. Armed groups have access to substantial resources and in some cases enjoy considerable local legitimacy. That makes them formidable but also resilient forces.
This report published by ISPI and the Brookings Institution analyzes the challenges to international order posed by the ongoing race for technological superiority. From artificial intelligence and quantum computing to hypersonic weapons and new forms of cyber and electronic warfare, advances in technology have threatened to make the international security environment more unpredictable and volatile – yet the international community remains unprepared to assess and manage that risk.
The internet offers tremendous opportunities for violent extremists across the ideological spectrum and at a global level. In addition to propaganda, digital technologies have transformed the dynamics of radical mobilisation, recruitment and participation. Even though the jihadist threat has seemingly declined in the West, the danger exists of the internet being an environment where radical messages can survive and even prosper.
Political leadership can be a crucial ingredient for the development of sub-Saharan Africa. The region has been going through important transformations, with both political landscapes and economic trajectories becoming increasingly diverse. The changes underway include the role of leadership and its broader impact. This volume argues that, on the whole, African leaders and the way they reach power generally do contribute to shaping their countries’ progresses and achievements.
The MENA Region: A Great Power Competition volume deals with competition among regional and external players for the redistribution of power and international status in the Middle East and North Africa, with a focus on Russia’s renewed role and the implications for US interests. Over the last few years, a crisis of legitimacy has beset the liberal international order. In this context, the configuration of regional orders has come into question, as in the extreme case of the current collapse in the Middle East.
Over the last eight years the Syrian conflict has developed into one of the worst humanitarian tragedies of modern times. More than half a million victims, 5 million refugees abroad and 6 million internally displaced: the figures only capture part of Syria’s catastrophe. In addition, there is the less quantifiable damage to the country’s social fabric.