Research Monitor

Regional Dynamics in Africa: High Stakes for Development

13 Apr 2015

European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM); Authors: San Bilal and Jan Vanheukelom

Regional cooperation and integration have become key features of our globalised world. Such regional dynamics involve stakeholders who try to solve problems at a regional level that cannot be properly addressed at a national level. Many such problems affect poor peoples’ lives in areas such as mobility of people and goods, access to vital services in water and energy, security, environment, etc. This Discussion Paper explains the relevance of such regional cooperation and integration for problem solving in Africa. It does so by highlighting a few ongoing regional processes, and by unpacking some of the key actors and factors at work in such processes. 

The Brazilian Rise and the Elusive South American Balance

07 Apr 2015

German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA); Author: Luis Leandro Schenoni

The article addresses the main question related to South American unipolarity (1985–2014): Why have most countries in the region not implemented any consistent balancing or bandwagoning strategies vis-à-vis Brazil? Drawing on neoclassical realism, the article proposes that certain domestic variables – government instability, limited party-system institutionalization, and powerful presidents – have diverted the attention of political elites and foreign policy executives from the challenges generated by a rising Brazil. Crisp-set qualitative comparative analysis is used to test this hypothesis and other alternative explanations for the regional imbalance.

Fragile States: an Urgent Challenge for EU Foreign Policy

16 Mar 2015

Fundación para las Relaciones Internacionales y el Dialogo Exterior (FRIDE); Author: Clare Castillejo

Addressing the challenge of fragile states should be a central priority for European policy-makers. It is clear that fragile and conflict-affected states (FCAS) can threaten Europe’s own security and prosperity. Moreover, the global goods that the EU seeks to promote cannot be achieved while a significant proportion of the world’s states remain weak, conflict prone and unable to effectively manage their own affairs or participate in collective multilateral action. Finally, the EU’s own norms and policies commit it to assisting those populations most severely affected by poverty, conflict, and human rights violations, many of whom live in FCAS.

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