The CSS Blog Network

Melting Expectations

Iceberg, Alaska, photo: Creativity+ Timothy K Hamilton/flickr

Iceberg, Alaska, photo: Creativity+ Timothy K Hamilton/flickr

With the Copenhagen conference on climate change only two weeks away, it remains doubtful whether a legally binding agreement on climate change will emerge.  Here a run-down of the (mostly vague) pledges made by key greenhouse gas emitters in the wake of the conference:

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Where Is Turkey Going?

Prime Minister of Turkey Erdogan, courtesy of the United Nations/flickr

Prime Minister of Turkey Erdogan, courtesy of the United Nations/flickr

Political relations between Turkey and its neighbors have significantly changed. We can distinguish six major shifts in Turkish foreign policy within the last three months that could be considered historic:
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British Defense Policy at a Crossroads

CSS Analysis in Security Policy no 64

CSS Analysis in Security Policy no 64

Is British defense policy experiencing an East-of-Suez flashback?

In a new policy brief, CSS researcher Aleksandra Dier looks at whether Britain might have to scale back its global ambitions.

The current situation has been compared to 1968 when, largely as a result of lacking resources, Britain had to adopt a more modest international role.

According to her, the future of the country’s defense role depends on its relation to Europe:

“Strengthening its European commitment could help Britain to align its global ambitions with the resources it needs to project a credible international role.

Pursuing European ways to achieve global ends however remains a domestically disputed strategic option.

You can download the paper here.

Want to know more about British defense policy? Check out our publication holdings on the topic.

ISN Weekly Theme: French Foreign Policy

Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel, photo: Chesi- Fotos CC/flickr

Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel, photo: Chesi- Fotos CC/flickr

Nicolas Sarkozy, two years into his office as president, continues to chart a bold, if unfocused course in French foreign affairs. Although rhetoric has so far been stronger than action, Sarkozy has forged warmer ties with the US, assumed an active role in regional crisis management and pushed for further European integration. And with the Lisbon Treaty ratified Sarkozy seems to have gotten what he wanted on this crucial front.

Kiva Confusion

Photo: Jared and Corin/flickr

Photo: Jared and Corin/flickr

The New York Times published an article on Sunday that highlighted a blog post by David Roodman, a research fellow at the Center for Global Development, that questioned the transparency of Kiva, a ‘microfinancing matchmaker.’

Kiva promotes itself as a middleman between microlending organizations and microborrowers. The problem, according to Roodman, was that due to how the microborrowers were showcased on the site, some donors believed that they were giving money directly to microborrowers and not to microlending organizations.

He also suggested that Kiva does not (or did not, since they’ve changed the wording on their site) do a good job in explaining the money path.

Over at Foreign Policy’s blog, Passport, Annie Lowery gives a great summary of the confusion about Kiva and the publicity surrounding that confusion, so I won’t go into that.

Since the issue seems to focus on the wording on the site, which is Kiva’s calling card, then the critcism is probably warranted. But if you want to learn more about Kiva and what it does, check out this ISN Podcast with Kiva’s Fiona Ramsey from June.

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