Recent Publications

Jimmy Hendry Nzally

Africa is a continent which has longed suffered from exploitation, slavery, immersed poverty, and prejudice. European exploration and colonization contributed to the pedalling of a negative image, persisting even after the emergence of new independent African states. Moreover, in recent memory Africa has also been known as the host of several deadly diseases such as HIV & AIDS, Malaria and Ebola. This revisionism of the continent has made it look weak, dissolute and punitively staggering, despite the continent possessing some of the earliest and advance civilization such that of Timbuktu in Mali, beautiful landscape and wildlife and some of the earliest universities, notably University of Al Quarauiyine (859 AD), Al-Azhar University which was established around 970 AD. Now the COVID-19 pandemic has once again put a spotlight on the continent. Since the early days of the outbreak the world led by the World Health Organization (WHO) projected Africa could be hit the hardest. As reported by BBC in its usual grand style of pandemonium headline: “Coronavirus: Africa could be the next epicenter, WHO warns”, while France 24’s headline read: “Vulnerable continent: Africa and the coronavirus”. Instead of bringing to light some of the incredible stories of the African continent’s effort in containing the virus, the WHO and global media instead took interests in causing psychological fear, instead of promoting cooperation and solidarity with the embattled continent.

 

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Wolfgang Obergassel
Lukas Hermwille
Sebastian Oberthür
Abstract

While the COVID-19 pandemic has cast normal policy making including global climate policy into disarray, it also demonstrates that governments are able to take far-reaching action on short notice. How the global response to the Corona crisis is shaped will be a key determinant for the future of climate policy. This paper discusses how the UNFCCC process may help align economic recovery packages with the climate agenda. For this purpose, the paper draws on the concept of governance functions which international institutions may perform: International institutions may send guidance and signals, they may establish rules and standards, they may provide transparency and accountability, they may organise the provision of means of implementation, and they may promote collective learning. Reflecting on these functions, the paper finds that the UNFCCC process could promote green recovery in several ways. The paper proposes the following specific lines of action.

Key policy insights: 

Timing is a challenge as recovery packages are being developed now. To overcome this challenge, the UK presidency and other Parties should put green recovery onto the agenda of the Glasgow conference early and urge Parties to bring not only better NDCs, but also transformative green stimulus packages. This could incentivise governments to design recovery packages that are Paris-consistent as they would be on notice to deliver something respectable in Glasgow. It would also enable utilization of the preparatory process for the Glasgow conference for the promotion of green recovery. Interested Parties could also bring up the topic in other interconnected fora such as the G20.
The UNFCCC as a whole or a coalition of individual Parties could also lay out specific principles and criteria for green recovery. 
COP26 or another international institutions should also establish a process to review recovery packages and their implementation to support robustness and promote policy learning. 
Developed countries should confirm and renew their collective and individual climate finance commitments and commit to working toward an increased long-term finance objective in the context of greening recovery packages. The Glasgow conference could also give guidance to the GEF and GCF and other international institutions.

Vasileios Theodosopoulos

The importance of critical raw materials for Europe’s future key value chains is increasingly being recognised. This policy brief argues that, in order to achieve greater strategic autonomy and technological sovereignty, the EU needs to enhance its security of supply and mitigate its extensive dependences in this domain. Its current approach, devised more than a decade ago, faces considerable challenges and is out of step with today’s geopolitical environment and the Union’s evolved ambition. To address these issues, the EU needs to formulate a new strategy. In this endeavour, examining the recently revised US approach to critical minerals can yield valuable insights, which can be fruitfully adapted to European realities. An updated, geopolitically sensitive strategy on critical raw materials can also provide the EU with a blueprint for approaching security of supply issues more broadly, as well as for overcoming recent transatlantic tensions and cooperating with trusted partners on managing common challenges of strategic dependence.

Georgios Terzis
Dariusz Kloza
Elżbieta Kużelewska
Daniel Trottier

“This book is motivated, to a large extent, by some recent troubling developments in public discourse, namely the developments in information, misinformation and disinformation practices. From the beginning of history, various and diverse means or channels of communication have been used to inform, misinform (unintentionally) and disinform (deliberately). However, in recent decades, the emergence and development of new information and communications technologies (ICT), combined with the ever-increasing digitalisation and globalisation of almost every aspect of modern life, among others, have opened up new and uncharted avenues to that end. This book therefore focuses on disinformation practices occurring with the help of digital media as these practices bring to the fore profound negative ramifications for the functioning of a democratic polity. “

– from the Introduction by the editors

“It would be pleasant to think that democracies will always wake up to their threats – internal and external – and heal themselves in good time before it is too late. [...] Yet, it is not too late to find public policy solutions which can restore information technologies to their original role of facilitators of democracy rather than their undertakers. But the timeframe is closing and we need these solutions sooner rather than later.

This is why the present volume of expert analyses bringing together many academics arrives at just the right time. It aspires to deepen our understanding of the dangers of fake news and disinformation, but also charts well informed and realistic ways ahead. To my mind, it is certainly one of the most comprehensive and useful studies of this topic to date and I recommend it to the general reader as much as to the policy-maker as a reliable guide and mentor.”

– from the Foreword by Prof. Dr. Jamie Shea, Vesalius College, Brussels

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Karen Stoffelen
Mohammad Salman

This article explores the assessment of foreign academic certificates in Flanders between January 2014 and February 2019. It examines data NARIC (National Academic and Professional Recognition and Information Centre) Flanders gathered on its applicants, their applications, and its subsequent decisions. As professional recognitions, providing access to regularised professions in Flanders, are given by the designated authorities in their field, it would go beyond the scope of this article.

In the descriptive result part, graphs illustrate the distribution of several characteristics of the applicants, their applications, and the decisions. In the explanatory result part, logistic regression analyses explore the influence of these characteristics on the decision of NARIC Flanders. The goal of this article is twofold. On the one hand, it aims to contribute to the scarce literature on the procedures for the recognition of foreign certificates in Flanders; on the other hand, it aims to contribute to the public debate on the integration of migrants in the labour market.

Stoffelen, Karen., and SALMAN, Mohammad (2020), "Determinants of the Recognition of Foreign Certificates in Flanders", Refugee Survey Quarterly, Vol. 39, No, (2): pp 207–243.

Marco Giuli

Giuli, Marco (2020), "Bringing Paris into the EU’s Energy Infrastructure Policy: What Future for Gas?", IAI Commentary, 20:47, June 2020 https://www.iai.it/it/pubblicazioni/bringing-paris-eus-energy-infrastructure-policy-what-future-gas 

Dean Vucinic
Fabiana Rodrigues Leta
Sheeja Janardhanan

This volume presents several multidisciplinary approaches to the visual representation of data acquired from experiments. As an expansion of these approaches, it is also possible to include data examination generated by mathematical-physical modeling. Imaging Systems encompass any subject related to digital images, from fundamental requirements for a correct image acquisition to computational algorithms that make it possible to obtain relevant information for image analysis.
In this context, the book presents selected contributions of a special session at the Conference on Advanced Computational Engineering and Experimenting (ACE-X) 2016. 

 

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Wolfgang Obergassel
Lukas Hermwille
Sebastian Oberthür

In their new discussion paper, Wolfgang Obergassel and Lukas Hermwille from the Global Climate Governance Research Unit at the Wuppertal Institute and Sebastian Oberthür from the Institute for European Studies at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel discuss how international climate policy can contribute to a green recovery. 

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Sofie Hamdi
Mohammad Salman

In light of growing tensions in the Persian Gulf between Iran and Saudi Arabia, the search for a formula of security in the five small Gulf States—Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE)—has become a complex issue. The question that arises is how these small Gulf States can maintain security and stability in the prevailing scenario. As the weaknesses of the small Gulf States tends to polarize the region even more, it is argued that a hedging strategy can best capture the security dilemma that the small Gulf States are facing. This article examines how the five small Gulf States are facing the current security dilemma by following (or not) a hedging strategy. The results of a qualitative content analysis of news articles, official government's documents, and academic literature show that the Gulf States vary in warmth toward Iran or Saudi Arabia. Oman, and to a lesser extent Kuwait, seem to have good relations with both sides. Qatar currently enjoys relatively warm relations with Iran, while the UAE and Bahrain lean more toward the Saudi side.

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