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:
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:
Is British defense policy experiencing an East-of-Suez flashback?
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.
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.
- This week ISN Podcasts discusses French foreign policy with Anand Menon from Chatham House. He reminds us that French policy, although uncharacteristically bold under Sarkozy, has not changed as much as Sarkozy promised. Moreover, it is not clear how France will deal with a dominant Germany in the European context.
- In our Publications section, a Center for Transatlantic Relations paper examines France’s role in a globalized economy.
- In Policy Briefs an S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies commentary on the burqa controversy and a Center for European Policy Studies brief on the Union for the Mediterranean proposal.
- In our Links Library, a Foreign Policy article on Sarkozy’s decision to reintegrate France into NATO command structures.
- And finally, in our IR Directory check out the French Institute of International Relations (Ifri).
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.