Economics and Business Articles

How Latin America Can Maximize its Shale Gas Potential

By Eric Farnsworth
, , Briefing

Thanks to technological advances, shale gas is revolutionizing the world’s energy landscape. The size of reserves within the Western Hemisphere in particular provides the region with an enviable opportunity for leadership in global shale gas. But Latin America still has work to do to maximize its energy potential. The natural resources clearly exist; fully developing shale remains a matter of political will. more

World Citizen

Brazil Plane Crash Spawns Two-Woman Presidential Race

By Frida Ghitis
, , Column

The life story of Brazil’s Marina Silva is so unlikely that she explains key moments by divine intervention. Among the most dramatic and potentially life-changing of all unlikely turns came last week, when a private plane in which she was supposed to be traveling crashed, killing Socialist Party presidential candidate Eduardo Campos and suddenly turning her into a formidable contender for the presidency of Brazil. more

Global Insider

The Costs and Benefits of Trade Agreement Disputes

By The Editors
, , Trend Lines

Last month, Germany voiced concerns over the inclusion of an Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) in the free trade agreement between the European Union and Canada. In an email interview, Timothy Josling, senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University, discussed the settlements and their role in international trade agreements. more

Jokowi's Test: Managing Indonesia's Old Guard—and Civil Society's Hopes

By Sue Gunawardena-Vaughn
, , Briefing

With their central role in his successful campaign, Indonesian civil society groups’ expectations run high that Joko Widodo’s presidency will be marked by transparency, accountability, rule of law and respect for human rights. But it remains to be seen if Jokowi can deliver on all that, given Indonesia’s notoriously fractious politics, decentralized Kafkaesque bureaucracy and messy political infrastructure. more

Global Insider

South Korea’s Economic Growth Holds Steady

By The Editors
, , Trend Lines

Last month South Korea unveiled a $40 billion economic stimulus package designed to boost a lagging growth rate. In an email interview, Dwight Perkins, professor emeritus of political economy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, discussed the state of South Korea’s economy. more

The Realist Prism

Time for the U.S. to Make Hard Choices on Russia, Middle East

By Nikolas Gvosdev
, , Column

It is the misfortune of the Obama administration to preside over the unraveling of several long-term U.S. strategies in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. The tactics used by previous administrations to delay making hard choices in the hope that problems would resolve themselves without Washington being required to make sacrifices are no longer available, as the crises in both regions make abundantly clear. more

Ukraine Crisis Torpedoes Russia-Japan Rapprochement

By Richard Weitz
, , Briefing

One of the major sticking points to improved Japan-Russia relations has long been the two sides’ territorial dispute over the Southern Kurils. Now the two countries have an opportunity to change matters. For the first time in decades, both have leaders who could negotiate a territorial compromise and then sell it domestically. But the Ukraine crisis has put an end to earlier hopes for a resolution. more

EU Strives to Overcome Its North-South, East-West Divides

By Maria Savel
, , Trend Lines

The current debate in the EU over how to respond to the Ukraine crisis highlights the political and ideological divisions between Eastern and Western Europe. Meanwhile, the economic division between Northern and Southern Europe stemming from the eurozone crisis are as strong as ever. The EU is taking steps to overcome these divisions and create a more united union, but lasting solutions are hard to come by. more

Global Insider

Mexico Making an Effort to Expand Ties in Middle East

By The Editors
, , Trend Lines

Mexican Foreign Minister Jose Antonio Meade visited Jordan last month to discuss expanding diplomatic ties. In an email interview, Alejandra Galindo Marines, professor of social sciences at the University of Monterrey, discussed Mexico’s relations with the Middle East. more

Nagorno-Karabakh’s Summer of Violence

By Laurence Broers
, , Feature

This year, while Europe commemorated 100 years since the beginning of World War I, a long-forgotten conflict on the edge of the continent rumbled on. Armenia and Azerbaijan have been locked in a contest for control over Nagorno-Karabakh for more than 25 years. Following a particularly dismal stretch of the peace process over the past two years, tensions have come to a head in a summer of violence along the front line. Yet while front-line casualties have dominated the headlines, the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has also become a formidable weapon for both Armenia and Azerbaijan to securitize politics, exclude opposition and explain away the absence of domestic reforms. more

BRICS Bank Will Bolster, Not Challenge, Global Financial System

By Daniel McDowell
, , Briefing

The BRICS countries recently unveiled a new development bank that includes a $100 billion fund known as the Contingent Reserve Arrangement, designed to provide short-term support to BRICS members, similar to the International Monetary Fund. Despite suggestions that the CRA is another sign that the BRICS and the West are headed for confrontation, the new institution might leave all sides better off. more

After Successful Visit, Modi Must Deliver on India-Nepal Relations

By Anuradha Sharma
, , Briefing

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Nepal earlier this week ushered in a new chapter in relations between the two neighbors. Modi charmed the Himalayan nation with a rousing address in the Constituent Assembly—the first by a foreign leader—and announced a soft loan of $1 billion. But Modi must now try to regain the trust of the Nepalese, who hold a strong view that “India promises, China delivers.” more

Global Insider

East Africa Exchange Aims to Provide Farmers’ With Better Market Access

By The Editors
, , Trend Lines

Leaders from Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda officially launched the East Africa Exchange early last month. In an email interview, Jendayi Frazer, managing partner of the East Africa Exchange and director of the Center for International Policy and Innovation at Carnegie Mellon University, discussed the East Africa Exchange’s role in improving farmers’ market access. more

For Jokowi, Maintaining Indonesia’s Role Abroad Depends on Domestic Reform

By Prashanth Parameswaran
, , Briefing

Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s victory in Indonesia’s presidential election is nothing short of historic. He is the first-ever president from outside the Jakarta elite, chosen by Indonesians to clean up the country’s politics and institute fundamental change. But his ability to deliver remains to be seen. He will face a host of challenges in trying to balance reforms at home and maintaining an active role abroad. more

EU Carving Out Its Role in Asia: An Interview With Dr. Javier Solana

By Maria Savel
, , Trend Lines

World Politics Review’s Maria Savel had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Javier Solana regarding the European Union’s relations with China, ASEAN and Asia as a whole. Dr. Solana is president of the ESADE Center for Global Economy and Geopolitics and previously served as the European Union high representative for the common foreign and security policy, NATO secretary-general and Spanish foreign minister. The following is a condensed version of their conversation. more

New Agenda Reflects Growing Energy Role for Lusophone Bloc

By Francisco Galamas
, , Briefing

Last week, the 10th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries, held in East Timor, accepted a new member: Equatorial Guinea, the third-largest oil exporter in sub-Saharan Africa. With Equatorial Guinea, the CPLP is collectively now the fourth-largest oil exporter in the world, demonstrating its shifting focus from political and cultural issues to economic ones. more

In Need of Investment, Peru Rolls Back Environmental Standards

By Paul Shortell
, , Briefing

President Ollanta Humala recently unveiled reforms intended to stabilize Peru’s slowing economy and shore up investor confidence. Controversially, the new laws will roll back pollution standards and fast-track environmental licensing for new energy and mining projects. Such deregulation threatens to reverse positive environmental protections and will not alleviate broader challenges facing Peru’s economy. more

The Realist Prism

On Iran and Russia, Obama Gambling for More Time

By Nikolas Gvosdev
, , Column

Though it is axiomatic that almost any foreign policy action taken by President Barack Obama will be reflexively criticized by the Republican opposition, in recent months congressional Democrats have been more willing to publicly voice critiques of the president’s performance. But Obama appears to be willing to swallow his pride and suffer domestic political attacks if it buys him time and maneuvering room.

more

Japan Deepens Ties With Central Asia, but Still Trails Russia, China

By J. Berkshire Miller
, , Briefing

Last week, Japan’s Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida met with his Central Asian counterparts in Bishkek as part of the fifth Central Asia Plus Japan Dialogue. Initiated in 2004, the dialogue has served as the foundation for recent ties between Tokyo and Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. This year’s meeting focused on economic cooperation and potential security collaboration. more

Global Insights

Putin’s South American Trip Hides Russia’s Strategic Weaknesses

By Richard Weitz
, , Column

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to South America this month garnered considerable attention. In the U.S., some saw the trip as a tit-for-tat display of influence in Washington’s strategic backyard. However, it is best to keep Moscow’s machinations in perspective. Russia is presenting a number of challenges to important U.S. global interests, but its activities in South America are not among them. more

Global Insider

Argentina Looking to Cement Its Role as Nuclear Power

By The Editors
, , Trend Lines

Argentina signed a nuclear energy deal with Russia last week, the latest step in Argentina’s push to expand its nuclear industry. Irma Arguello, chair of the NPSGlobal Foundation, discussed Argentina’s nuclear energy policy in an email interview. more