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This Week at ISN
10 – 14 June 2013

Our Weekly Editorial Roundup
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//   South America: Issues in Focus
Following last week's context-setting discussion on South America's changing dynamics, this week we specifically look at how Brazil might boost its geopolitical influence; the economic and political challenges confronting Venezuela and Argentina; the current status of Colombia's peace negotiations with the FARC; and the region's possible political trajectory. 

The Geopolitics of Brazil: An Emergent Power's Struggle with Geography
10 June 2013

Inadequate resources and institutional capacity have limited Brazil's geopolitical influence in South America, or so argue our partners at Stratfor. They also believe, however, that Brasilia can reverse these shortcomings by better protecting its coastline and selectively expanding into its vast interior and Rio de la Plata region. » More

Venezuela's Uncertain Political Transition
11 June 2013

The death of Hugo Chávez has created a dangerous power vacuum in Venezuela. We rely on the work done by three of our partners to identify the actual nature of this vacuum and some of the steps different actors might take to prevent further instability in a post-Chávez society.  » More

Argentina's Economy
12 June 2013

Over a decade after Argentina's sovereign default in 2001, there are worrisome signs that its economy may be sliding back into crisis. Former Argentine Minister of Economy Domingo Cavallo profiles Argentina's economic status, which he describes as a "ticking time-bomb.  » More

Colombia-Farc Peace Talks: A Status Update
13 June 2013

A recent agreement on rural land reform might suggest that talks between Bogota and the FARC are making progress, but Antonio Sampaio isn't so sure. He argues that conflict over land ownership is a real possibility and that some local FARC leaders remain as committed as ever to their decades-old struggle. » More

Latin America 2060
14 June 2013

What social, economic and political factors are likely to shape Latin America over the next 50 years? To answer this question, we present "Latin America 2060: Consolidation or Crisis?" which is produced by the Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future » More

//   Security Watch
Italy's Political Crisis
10 June 2013

Italy's most recent elections left the impression that it is a politically divided and seemingly ungovernable country. That may seem like a familiar tale, argues Roberto Mastroianni, but the election results actually reflect a 20-year transformation in Italian politics and a new capacity to export instability. » More

Afghans Nervous as Nawaz Sharif Returns
11 June 2013

Nawaz Sharif's third term as Pakistan's Prime Minister is likely to cast a dark shadow over Afghanistan's efforts to rebuild itself, or so write Hafizullah Gardesh and Mina Habbib. To many Afghans, his campaign promise to no longer support counterterrorism operations confirms that he is a 'long-term enemy. » More

Armenia Looks West, Tries To Loosen Moscow's Grip
12 June 2013

Will Armenia sign up to the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement with the European Union this coming November? Robert Coalson believes it will and that it marks yet another attempt by Yerevan to rebalance its ties with Russia. » More

Moscow Open for Dialogue on European Security Issues
13 June 2013

The recent European Security Conference in Moscow confirmed that Russia and NATO remain poles apart on ballistic missile defenses and conventional forces. But it's not all bad news, notes Richard Weitz. Both sides still see counterterrorism as an ideal way to promote deeper Russia-NATO cooperation. » More

Going Dark: Guatemala's Quiet Attack on Human Rights
14 June 2013

The decision to annul former President Efrain Rios Montt's conviction for genocide angered many Guatemalans. Jordan Katz believes that to ensure justice the international community must pressure Guatemala's courts to uphold the original conviction. » More

//   Blog
Mediation Perspectives: Peace Mediation Quo Vadis?
10 June 2013

Peace mediation presents its practitioners with a fluid set of ever-changing problems. A first and necessary step to stay abreast of them, argues the CSS' Simon Mason, is for mediators to make a full and frank appraisal of the current issues and dilemmas that they face. » More

Myths, Falsehoods and Misrepresentations About Iran
11 June 2013

Western media and policymakers are wrong about Iran's nuclear program, or so argue Peter Oborne and David Morrison. Not only has Tehran not developed nuclear weapons, since 2007 the US intelligence community hasn't believed in the existence of such a program. So why the misconceptions?  » More

The TTIP – an Ambitious Step Forward but Not an "Economic NATO"
12 June 2013

Davide Tentori doubts that US-EU negotiations later this year will result in the creation of the biggest free trade zone in the world. Nevertheless, he remains convinced that a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership would be a geopolitical powerhouse, if not quite an 'Economic NATO'. » More

Gary LaFree: Public Policy and (Myths About) Terrorism
13 June 2013

In the latest ISN-CSS roundtable event, Gary LaFree used data from the Global Terrorism Database to dispel a number of public policy "myths" about terrorism. As William Rooke points out, however, the picture of terrorism generated from the raw data may not necessarily be the whole story. » More

Missile Defence and the Arctic
14 June 2013

Adding ballistic missile defenses in the Arctic would probably not affect the day-to-day security dynamics of the region. However, it would be naïve to think that they wouldn't irritate the likes of Russia, the United States and China, writes Ernie Regehr, and therefore taint their broader security concerns. » More

//   Video
Inside the Issues Episode 3: "Brazil as an Emerging Power"
In this video, Kathryn Hochstetler, who is CIGI's Chair of Governance in the Americas, discusses Brazil's status as an emerging power, to include its growing presence across Latin America and the world. » More

OPEC's Declining Influence
In this video, Stratfor analyst Adriano Bosoni examines the debilitating challenges now facing OPEC. They include significant internal divisions, increased US oil production and more. » More

Alejandro Toledo: Latin America in the World Economy
In this video, Peru's former President Alejandro Toledo contemplates the contributions that Latin America might make to the global economy through 2050. » More

Coming Up
Next week, our editorial focus considers some of the factors shaping Northeast Asia's increasing geopolitical significance.

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