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International Relations Security Development CSS Blog

Strategic Trends 2021: New Power Configurations and Regional Security

Strategic Trends 2021 offers a concise analysis of major developments in world affairs, with a focus on international security. It features chapters on China-​Russia relations and transatlantic security, Franco-​German-British security cooperation after Brexit, Turkey’s power projection in the Middle East and beyond, Europe and major-​power shifts in the Middle East, and Japanese and South Korean perspectives on changing power configurations in Asia.

To the publication

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Conflict Politics CSS Blog

Southeast Asia in the Area of Tension

This week’s featured graphic maps Southeast Asia in the area of tension. For more on China-US rivalry in Southeast Asia, read Linda Maduz and Simon Stocker’s CSS Analyses in Security Policy here.

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International Relations CSS Blog

Strategic Trends 2020: Kriegsgefahr zwischen China und USA?

Am Donnerstag, 30. April 2020, führte das Center for Security Studies (CSS) der ETH Zürich das zweite CSS Brown Bag Webinar durch. Michael Haas und Niklas Masuhr präsentieren ihr Kapitel “US-China Relations and the Spectre of Great Power War”  aus der kürzlich erschienen CSS Jahrespublikation Strategic Trends 2020. Im Vordergrund stand dabei die Frage, wie wahrscheinlich eine kriegerische Auseinandersetzung zwischen den USA und China heute ist.

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Security Technology CSS Blog

A Politically Neutral Hub for AI Research

Image courtesy of Geralt/Pixabay

This article was originally published by the ETH Zukunftsblog on 24 May 2019. 

The growing politicisation of AI harbours risks. Sophie-Charlotte Fischer and Andreas Wenger propose a hub for AI research in Switzerland committed to the responsible development of the new technologies.

The surge of progress in Artificial Intelligence (AI) over the last few years has been driven primarily by economic market forces and the manifold commercial applications. Large global technology companies, particularly in the US and China, lead the field in AI. Yet this concentration of AI resources in a few private corporations is increasingly undercutting the competitiveness of public research institutions and smaller companies. Such oligopolistic market dynamics threaten to exacerbate existing economic and social inequalities.

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International Relations Government Foreign policy

Filling the Global Leadership Vacuum

United States Capitol, courtesy of Architect of the Capitol /Wikimedia Commons

SEOUL – Has the world entered a new era of chaos? America’s vacillating policy toward Syria certainly suggests so. Indeed, the bitter legacy of the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, followed by the 2008 financial crisis, has made the United States not only reluctant to use its military might, even when “red lines” are crossed, but also seemingly unwilling to bear any serious burden to maintain its global leadership position. But, if America is no longer willing to lead, who will take its place?

China’s leaders have demonstrated their lack of interest in active global leadership by openly rejecting calls to become a “responsible stakeholder” in the international political and economic systems. Meanwhile, though Russia may wish to maintain the illusion that it is a global power, it lately seems interested primarily in thwarting America whenever possible – even when doing so is not in its own long-term interests. And Europe faces too many internal problems to assume any significant leadership role in global affairs.

Unsurprisingly, this dearth of leadership has seriously undermined the effectiveness of international institutions, exemplified by the United Nations Security Council’s ineffectual response to the Syria crisis and the failure of the current round of World Trade Organization (WTO) trade negotiations. This situation resembles the 1930’s – a decade when, as the economic historian Charles P. Kindleberger argued, a leadership vacuum led to the under-production of global public goods, deepening the Great Depression.