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Posts Tagged ‘Foreign Affairs’

The Next Energy Revolution

Posted by hkarner - 24. Juli 2017

Date: 23-07-2017
Source: Foreign Affairs By David G. Victor and Kassia Yanosek

The Promise and Peril of High-Tech Innovation

The technology revolution has transformed one industry after another, from retail to manufacturing to transportation. Its most far-reaching effects, however, may be playing out in the unlikeliest of places: the traditional industries of oil, gas, and electricity.

Over the past decade, innovation has upended the energy industry. First came the shale revolution. Starting around 2005, companies began to unlock massive new supplies of natural gas, and then oil, from shale basins, thanks to two new technologies: horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing (or fracking). Engineers worked out how to drill shafts vertically and then turn their drills sideways to travel along a shale seam; they then blasted the shale with high-pressure water, sand, and chemicals to pry open the rock and allow the hydrocarbons to flow. These technologies have helped drive oil prices down from an all-time high of $145 per barrel in July 2008 to less than a third of that today, and supply has become much more responsive to market conditions, undercutting the ability of OPEC, a group of the world’s major oil-exporting nations, to influence global oil prices. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Globalism and Nationalism

Posted by hkarner - 12. Juli 2017

Date: 11-07-2017
Source: Foreign Affairs By Or Rosenboim

Why Interconnectedness Does Not Threaten Sovereignty

Speaking in Washington in April 2016, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump declared that “we will no longer surrender this country or its people to the false song of globalism.” Trump’s supporters on the American far right, such as the pseudonymous “Virgil,” who writes for the Breitbart website,similarly attack the “old globalist vision” as a “gospel,” a “new kind of religious faith” of “murky international enterprises” seeking to abolish national borders and undermine democracy.

These views caricature globalism as a liberal, capitalist, and anti-democratic alternative to nationalism. This understanding, however, is far from the historical meaning of the term. Indeed, as I explain in my book The Emergence of Globalism, the idea that globalism is fundamentally at odds with national sovereignty is a false and misleading narrative. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Brexit Vote, One Year Later

Posted by hkarner - 25. Juni 2017

An excellent analysis! (hfk)

Date: 23-06-2017
Source: Foreign Affairs By Stephen G. Gross

The Historical Roots of the Decision to Leave the EU

On June 23, 2016, citizens in the United Kingdom voted 52 to 48 percent to leave
the European Union, sending shockwaves around the world and raising concerns about a new type of populism on both sides of the Atlantic. The common explanation of Brexit presents it as a revolt by the losers of globalization. As the international movement of goods, capital, ideas, and people has intensified, this argument runs, the latter shaped the referendum results most profoundly. The intra-European flow of migrants from east to west, combined with the potential for an influx of refugees in 2015, convinced many British citizens that they stood on the losing end of a globalized, borderless Europe.

Although this story captures important dynamics, it misses crucial historical developments that influenced British leaders’ decision to hold the referendum, as well as its outcome. Four trends converged to lead the United Kingdom to split with the EU: a divergence between the United Kingdom and the continent about the meaning of the European project and the nature of sovereignty; a gradual estrangement of British political parties from the public; the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis; and Brussels’ lackluster management of the EU’s problems. These developments help explain why the message of Leave resonated and that of Remain proved counterproductive. They reveal, moreover, just how fragile and elite-driven the European project remains. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Why Globalization Stalled: And How to Restart It

Posted by hkarner - 15. Juni 2017

Date: 14-06-2017
Source: Foreign Affairs

For many decades after World War II, a broad range of countries shared a fundamental economic vision. They endorsed an increasingly open system for trade in goods and services, supported by international institutions; allowed capital, corporations, and, to a lesser extent, people to flow freely across borders; and encouraged the rapid spread of data and technology. As trade expanded, global living standards improved dramatically, and hundreds of millions of people escaped from poverty.

Today, every aspect of this globalized economy is under assault. A popular backlash against free trade and unrestricted cross-border movements of capital has picked up momentum. The ideal of freely flowing information has clashed with growing calls for privacy rights, the protection of intellectual property, and increased cybersecurity. Across the developed world, sentiments have turned strongly against immigration, especially as waves of Middle Eastern refugees have flooded Europe. And after several successful rounds of multilateral trade negotiations in the postwar years, new agreements have become much rarer: the World Trade Organization (WTO) has not completed a single full round of successful negotiations since its creation in 1995. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Next Energy Revolution

Posted by hkarner - 13. Juni 2017

Date: 13-06-2017
Source: Foreign Affairs By David G. Victor, Kassia Yanosek

The Promise and Peril of High-Tech Innovation

The technology revolution has transformed one industry after another, from retail to manufacturing to transportation. Its most far-reaching effects, however, may be playing out in the unlikeliest of places: the traditional industries of oil, gas, and electricity.

Over the past decade, innovation has upended the energy industry. First came the shale revolution. Starting around 2005, companies began to unlock massive new supplies of natural gas, and then oil, from shale basins, thanks to two new technologies: horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing (or fracking). Engineers worked out how to drill shafts vertically and then turn their drills sideways to travel along a shale seam; they then blasted the shale with high-pressure water, sand, and chemicals to pry open the rock and allow the hydrocarbons to flow. These technologies have helped drive oil prices down from an all-time high of $145 per barrel in July 2008 to less than a third of that today, and supply has become much more responsive to market conditions, undercutting the ability of OPEC, a group of the world’s major oil-exporting nations, to influence global oil prices. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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May’s Bad Bet

Posted by hkarner - 11. Juni 2017

Date: 10-06-2017
Source: Foreign Affairs By Matthias Matthijs

What Losing the Conservative Party Majority Will Cost Britain

British Prime Minister Theresa May, who promised to be a “bloody difficult woman” during her country’s upcoming divorce negotiations with the European Union, has been ruthlessly reminded that British voters can be bloody difficult as well. Her gambit to call an early general election in the hope of increasing the Conservative Party’s flimsy 17-seat majority in the House of Commons backfired badly on June 8, resulting in a hung Parliament and an uncertain political future for the country.

Although the ruling Tories managed to increase their popular vote share by more than five percent from the last general election in 2015, earning 42.4 percent of the vote, they lost a good number of seats to Labour, which saw a bump of 9.5 percent from 2015, securing it a total of 40 percent. This translated into 318 seats for the Conservatives (a net loss of 12)—and a loss of the party’s overall majority of 330—compared to 261 seats for Labour (a net gain of 29). The biggest loser of the night was the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), which was all but decimated, as its voters flocked en masse to both Labour and Conservatives. The Scottish National Party, which lost 21 of its 56 Westminster seats, also saw its vote share in Scotland plummet dramatically—from 50 to 36.9 percent. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The New Thorn In Russia’s Side

Posted by hkarner - 7. Juni 2017

Date: 07-06-2017
Source: Foreign Affairs

Why Moscow Doesn’t Want Montenegro Joining NATO
By Robbie Gramer

For the first time in six years, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization announced that it would expand its membership, inviting Montenegro to join the alliance. Only 16 years ago, NATO was bombing the small western Balkan nation as part of its intervention in Kosovo.

With a standing military of only 2,000, Montenegro’s membership will have little impact on the alliance’s military strength. But the move has profound political consequences. It illustrates the progress that the western Balkans, and Montenegro in particular, have made since the bloody and traumatizing wars of the 1990s. To receive the invitation, Montenegro had to undertake a series of political, legal, and military reforms under the auspices of NATO’s Membership Action Plan, a program that offers assistance and support for countries seeking to join the alliance.

That a newly independent country could reach these standards in such a short time frame speaks to the enduring and powerful draw of the Euro-Atlantic community. In that sense, this remarkable success story comes at an opportune time—it is a bright spot in Europe’s otherwise dark political terrain of internal strain, the refugee crisis, and the war in Ukraine. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Why Does Germany Have Boring Politics?

Posted by hkarner - 19. Mai 2017

I guess the author must live on another planet. He has not heard of the outcome in NRW last Sunday! (hfk)

Date: 18-05-2017
Source: Foreign Affairs

Good Institutions Thwart Radicalism

Proponents of liberal democracy breathed a sigh of relief on May 7, when political newcomer Emmanuel Macron roundly defeated right-wing nationalist Marine Le Pen in the French presidential election. But this election, although critical for the future of the European Union, was far from being this year’s only electoral barometer in Europe: British Prime Minister Theresa May has called for a snap general election on June 8, France selects a new legislature on June 11 and 18, and Germany elects a new parliament—which could result in a new chancellor—on September 24.

For two reasons, Germany’s upcoming federal elections should provide more drama than usual. The first is the recent rise of the country’s first federally viable right-wing party since World War II—the anti-Muslim, nationalist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party. The second is the Social Democrat (SPD) Martin Schulz, who represents the first legitimate challenge to Angela Merkel’s chancellorship in over a decade. In other respects, though, the German elections promise to be the least exciting electoral contest in Europe this year. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Why It Was About Much More Than Just Defeating Populism

Posted by hkarner - 9. Mai 2017

Date: 08-05-2017

Source: www.foreignaffairs.com

Subject: Macron’s Win in Context

By Jonathan Fenby

Emmanuel Macron, the political maverick and former French economy minister, defeated Marine Le Pen of the far-right National Front with around 65 percent of the vote on Sunday. In doing so, he became the youngest ever president of France and the first with no previous experience as an elected official. His victory, as astounding as it was for an outsider candidate with only a fledgling political party, En Marche! (or Onward!), cannot merely be explained by the French population’s frustrations with globalization and terrorism. The reason lies deeper in France’s past than that; in fact, the story begins with the string of failed presidencies that the country has had to endure since the passing of the early epoch of the Fifth Republic, founded by Charles de Gaulle in 1958. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Liberal Order Is Rigged: Fix It Now or Watch It Wither

Posted by hkarner - 24. April 2017

Date: 23-04-2017
Source: Foreign Affairs

Prior to 2016, debates about the global order mostly revolved around its structure and the question of whether the United States should actively lead it or should retrench, pulling back from its alliances and other commitments. But during the past year or two, it became clear that those debates had missed a key point: today’s crucial foreign policy challenges arise less from problems between countries than from domestic politics within them. That is one lesson of the sudden and surprising return of populism to Western countries, a trend that found its most powerful expression last year in the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the EU, or Brexit, and the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president.

It can be hard to pin down the meaning of “populism,” but its crucial identifying mark is the belief that each country has an authentic “people” who are held back by the collusion of foreign forces and self-serving elites at home. A populist leader claims to represent the people and seeks to weaken or destroy institutions such as legislatures, judiciaries, and the press and to cast off external restraints in defense of national sovereignty. Populism comes in a range of ideological flavors. Left-wing populists want to “soak the rich” in the name of equality; right-wing populists want to remove constraints on wealth in the name of growth. Populism is therefore defined not by a particular view of economic distribution but by a faith in strong leaders and a dislike of limits on sovereignty and of powerful institutions. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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