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This Week at ISN
17 – 21 June 2013

Our Weekly Editorial Roundup

» Editorial Plan | Security Watch | Blog | Video

//   Northeast Asia: Future Tense
A quick look at the news might convince you that balance-of-power politics will continue to dominate Northeast Asia's geopolitical and security landscape for a long time to come. But is that really the case? Do the states in the region remain mired in mutual antipathy or are they becoming increasingly amenable to the idea of regional cooperation, if not outright integration? In trying to grapple with these questions, we focus on three topics this week – the contemporary security landscape of Northeast Asia; the formal and informal attempts being made by different actors to stimulate regional cooperation; and the negative impact rising nationalism might have on these attempts. 

The Evolving Military Balance in the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia
17 June 2013

Northeast Asia continues to play host to a number of long-standing disputes that leave the door open for new conflict. Our colleagues at the CSIS analyze the military dynamics and strategies that are set to shape the security posture of this region for the foreseeable future. » More

China, Japan, South Korea Trilateral Cooperation: Implications for Northeast Asian Politics and Order
18 June 2013

Despite historical animosities and well-documented territorial disputes, trilateral cooperation between Northeast Asia's dominant states is gaining momentum. The cooperation, Andrew Yeo argues, will complement existing US bilateral ties rather than challenge them.  » More

The Geopolitics of Free Trade in Northeast Asia
19 June 2013

The Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) is set to define free trade across the Asia-Pacific region. But will the entire region benefit from the Agreement? Yves Tiberghien thinks not. In this podcast he outlines how alternative agreements reflect the real geopolitical and security dynamics of Northeast Asia.  » More

East Asian States, the Arctic Council and International Relations in the Arctic
20 June 2013

While interest in the potential of the Arctic region grows, it's unclear whether Northeast Asian states are willing to complement each others' aims and objectives there. James Manicom and Whitney Lackenbauer examine their respective policies and levels of engagement with the Arctic Council.  » More

Nationalism and Northeast Asia
21 June 2013

Rising nationalism in Northeast Asia threatens to disrupt economic relations and could ultimately lead to armed conflict. Our partners at Yale Global Online consider what this worrying trend might mean for regional security and future political integration.  » More

//   Security Watch
Trading Off Sovereignty: The Outcome of Belarus's Integration with Russia in the Security and Defence Field
17 June 2013

Belarus has relied upon Russia for economic assistance and security guarantees since the breakup of the Soviet Union. The trade-off, argues Anaïs Marin, is that close but fractious ties with Moscow brings the country's sovereignty into question.  » More

Morsi's Un-Revolutionary Foreign Policy
18 June 2013

The international community braced itself for major changes in Egypt's foreign policy after the Muslim Brotherhood assumed power. The reality, writes Ahmed Morsy, is that the new government has made only minor adjustments to the policy and generally maintained Egypt's existing bilateral relationships.  » More

Niger's Growing Jihadist Problem
19 June 2013

Our partners at Stratfor warn that Jihadist activity is on the rise in Niger. They attribute this worrying trend to intensive counterterrorism operations across West Africa and to the Nigerien military's involvement in northern Mali.  » More

In Search of a Solution in Thailand's 'Deep South'
20 June 2013

Thailand has spent billions of dollars over the past decade to quell a supposedly Muslim-led insurgency in its southern provinces. But here's the problem, writes Murray Hunter – Bangkok may have overlooked that the conflict is really about preserving a distinctly Malaysian identity and way of life. » More

Serbia Using Head, Not Heart, in New Kosovo Agreement
21 June 2013

Frank Lopapa believes that the recently-signed agreement between Kosovo and Serbia offers Belgrade a true opportunity to end its political isolation. All the government has to do now is convince Serbian nationalists that a negotiated peace and EU membership take precedence over continued claims on Kosovo.  » More

//   Blog
New UN Development Agenda Gives Peace a Chance
17 June 2013

A United Nations High-Level Panel recently stated that peace should become a cornerstone of the post-2015 development agenda. Robert Muggah is encouraged by this declaration, especially because it offers the opportunity to correct a major flaw in the current Millennium Development Goals.  » More

China and Russia: Common Themes in Counter-Terrorism
18 June 2013

Are there any similarities between China's and Russia's counterterrorism policies? Robert Potter thinks so, especially when it comes to how they persist in framing unrest in Xinjiang and Chechnya within the context of a 'Global War on Terror'.  » More

AU and Pan-Africanism: Beyond Rhetoric
19 June 2013

This year is the 50th anniversary of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU). Emmanuel Kisiangani wonders if those celebrating it will transcend the cynicism and idealism that usually accompanies debates on pan-Africanism. In his view, it's time to take specific steps in order to make pan-Africanism a reality.  » More

Border of Syria, Israel, Lebanon, Shows Signs of War
20 June 2013

Recent clashes over a border town on the Golan Heights demonstrate that the Syrian civil war is gradually drawing in Damascus' neighbors. Asher Kaufman explains why the Israel-Lebanon-Syria tri-border region is now the most vulnerable one to the war's spillover effects.  » More

AU-ICC Relations Under the Spotlight Again
21 June 2013

While the African Union and International Criminal Court share a commitment to promoting peace and dispensing justice, there is little agreement on how they should accomplish these goals together. To jump start the process, Uyo Salifu argues that the AU should transform its verbal support for the ICC into practical action.  » More

// Video
Inside the Issues 2.24 - China's Role in Global Governance
In this video, Hongying Wang, who is a visiting Associate Professor at the University of Waterloo, argues that despite its size and strategic importance in the world, China is an "under-participant" in global governance. Its desire to maintain a relatively low profile, she says, is attributable to the skepticism of other established powers and the present regime's domestic insecurities. » More

Vietnam's Bailout Politics
In this video, Stratfor East Asia Analyst Matt Gertken examines Vietnam's recent attempts to restructure its economy and the internal rivalries it has unleashed, both of which pose serious challenges to this single-party state.  » More

How is China Responding to America's Asian Military Presence?
In this video, Columbia University's Andrew Nathan describes how China is using stealth submarines and other military technologies to counter America's large military presence in Asia.  » More

Coming Up
Next week, we profile several issues that are set to shape the political and security dynamics of Northeast Asia over the coming years.

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