Recent Publications

Annamarie Bindenagel Šehović

Since the International Sanitary Regulations were adopted in 1851, the twin issues of international and global and health security have been on the international diplomatic agenda. States and increasingly non-state-actors (NSAs) have engaged with one another through traditional as well as newer forms of diplomacy in order to stem the tide of various initially infectious diseases, from cholera to HIV and AIDS to non-communicable diseases (NCDs). This diplomacy wrought the International Health Regulations (IHRs) of 1969, updated in 2005 (2007), as well as the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.  A Framework Convention for Global Health, focusing on universal health coverage (UHC) is being negotiated. At this juncture, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and, among others, the U.S. National Security Council, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the German Foreign Office (AA), have also raised the profile of and established health security desks, further propelling health to the heights of the diplomatic agenda.

Newly, or newly re-emerging diseases present the latest health security challenges to be addressed by health diplomacy. The urgency of responding to these challenges is increasing as population movements and (always) fluid borders raise the attendant questions of how to secure the health of both mobile and sedentary populations. Movement implies both transfer and exchange, not only of people, but also of knowledge. This Policy Paper first traces such transfer to identify whether it is one-way or multi-directional. Second, it bases its results on primary-source findings from recent fieldwork in South Africa, drawing on policy, culture, science and industry transfers and / or exchange. Third and finally, and with a view towards both the independent role of the EU and its place within the G20, the Paper articulates a number of proposals to enhance knowledge exchange in the service of international health diplomacy for global health security.

Sibel Aydogan
Leo Van Hove

This paper examines the usage of internet banking by individuals, and does so from the perspective of technology acceptance theories. Previous studies have shown that both perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use are important drivers of the adoption of internet banking. Only a few studies examine the drivers of internet banking usage. We have primary data on the self reported behaviour of 725 respondents in Flanders, and by means of ordered logit regressions we analyse what factors determine whether someone is a nonuser, a ‘regular’ user, or an ‘intensive’ user of internet banking. Our findings confirm that perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use are also crucial determinants of internet banking usage. In addition, we find that perceived credibility of the internet banking application as well as several socio demographic variables – age, occupation, relational status, and income – have an impact.

Determinants of internet banking usage: survey evidence for Belgium. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/318788976_Determinants_of_internet_banking_usage_survey_evidence_for_Belgium 

Nicolas Rüffin
Ulrich Schreiterer
  • Both practitioners and scholars tend to regard Science and Technology Agreements (STA) to be important, prominent, and highly effective tools for science diplomacy (SD). Yet it is far from clear whether they form an integral part of strategic approaches toward SD or mostly remain rather erratic ad-hoc agreements with more probably vague or even insignificant roles. Since we know but little about the development of STA over time, it is very difficult to get data and a valid picture on what is going on there at all and what impact STA might have.
  • Based on a working definition of STA, we conducted a quantitative study to map the STA that six countries (DK, FR, DE, CH, UK, U.S.) and the European Union have signed between 1961 and 2016. In addition, through a range of expert interviews, we tried to capture practitioners’ views on the role and workings of STA in the realms of international science policy and SD in particular.
  • What we see is a large increase in the number of concluded STA over time. While some of the countries in our sample made extensive use of STA, others were more hesitant or even reluctant to do so. Still, we witness a strong integration of G20-states in a network of bilateral STA. To illustrate the highly diverse uses and importance of STA, we present four cases of negotiations that point to their limited strategic use. From our expert interviews, we could differentiate between four types of views or opinions with regard to the uses of STA.
  • If we view STA in their respective political context, some apparently erratic provisions turn into meaningful strategic instruments. Overall, STA may carry different meanings to different stakeholders engaged in the negotiations; this is why they always serve as boundary objects.
  • For future research, it would be worthwhile to look into the interconnections, or interplays, between STA and other tools of SD on the one hand and contextual variables like geopolitical shifts and organisational backgrounds that shape negotiations and appraisal of STA on the other.
Ellen Van Droogenbroeck
Leo Van Hove

This paper first analyses how socio-demographic characteristics impact the adoption of online grocery shopping and, in a second step, relies on the Motivation-Opportunity-Ability (MOA) model to explore what these socio-demographics actually capture and how they are linked with consumer motivations. We exploit a survey among 468 customers of Belgian supermarket chain Colruyt. Our logistic regression shows that while variables at the personal level do affect adoption of the online channel, consumers’ motivations to adopt in fact lie on the household level. In particular, in our analysis the effect of age disappears or becomes less strong when it is combined with household characteristics. An examination of our respondents’ self-reported motivations confirms that age does not only capture a person’s ability to use the technology but also its usefulness for that person’s household, in that age is correlated with the presence of young children and the working situation in the household.

You can access the publication here.

Gauri Khandekar
Bart Goens

As tensions between China and Japan increase, including over the disputed islands in the East China Sea, Japan has adopted under Prime Minister Abe a new security posture. This involves, internally, adapting Japan’s constitutional position on defence and, externally, building stronger international relationships in the Asia-Pacific region and more widely. This book presents a comprehensive analysis of these developments. It shows how trust and co-operation with the United States, the only partner with which Japan has a formal alliance, is being rebuilt, discusses how other relationships, both on security and on wider issues, are being formed, in the region and with European countries and the EU, with the relationships with India and Australia being of particular importance, and concludes by assessing the likely impact on the region of Japan’s changing posture and new relationships.

Naciye Selin Senocak
Augusto Veloso Leão
Laura Westerveen
Ilke Adam

In June 2016, the European Commission launched the ‘EU Action Plan on Integration of third country nationals’. The Action Plan provides a common policy framework for integration policies in the Member States and aims to promote cooperation and policy coordination in the field of migrant integration. Due to the multilevel and cross-sectoral character of migrant integration, policy coordination is crucial to an effective policy strategy in this area of policymaking. In this policy brief, we take the one year anniversary of the Action Plan as an occasion to evaluate the role of the European Commission in European policy coordination on migrant integration. We discuss the relevant European tools for policy coordination that have been put into place over the last decade and recommend an evaluation of the effect of these tools on the policy responses and outcomes in the Member States. 

Fouad Nohra

As cultural diplomacy is usually grounded in a set of values that state or non-state actors are expected to share, we opted for a preliminary study of the cross perception of fundamental European values as they are perceived on the Arab side, with a limited scope and a selected theoretical object that is the model of European political models and especially the European liberal democracy as perceived by the Arab intellectuals. 

The choice is motivated by a serious concern about the superficial statements which is often displayed by the past studies on public opinion, in order to know whether they approve or reject the European political model of democracy or whether the value promotion of European union can reach the other side of the Mediterranean Sea. 

How can we discard the simplistic mass media statements on the Islamic reluctance to democracy and human rights etc., and the simplistic model of Clash of Civilizations carried out in the nineteen nineties, if we do not get back to the origin of the European-Arab interaction process1? 

By getting back to the nineteenth century, a period when the Arab world had its intellectual “renaissance” (al-Nahda), we would be able to identify the deep roots of the Arab perception of European modern values, focusing on one of them in particular, “liberal democracy”. 

This is the first step in a presentation whose aim is to analyse the track of the Arab perception of the European political modernity, through the lenses of the Arab intellectual elite. 

This theoretical paper, based on compilations and literature analysis seems to be a first step enabling us to understand two phenomena: 

• the perception, by the Arab public opinion of the European values related to democracy and human rights 

• its perception of the way the European union is promoting them and developing its own public diplomacy. 

Naciye Selin Senocak

The principal purpose of this theoretical analysis is to identify the different assumptions between Europe and Turkey regarding the axiological perspective which distinguishes the value judgments used as an instrument of persuasion by each culture. For decades, Turkey’s accession process within the EU is a highly controversial issue which has been an intensive process, brimmed with ups and downs. Due to its geopolitical position and cultural identity, as a Muslim secular state, Turkey is a cultural bridge between the West and Muslim countries, making it particularly important in cultural diplomacy for EU foreign policy. Nevertheless, the cultural misunderstanding, the misinterpreted perceptions, the axiological nihilism between Turkey and the EU seems to be the sources of tension for Turkey’s accession. The recent official declaration by both sides, which is dialectic rather than a consensus, has also deteriorated the diplomatic ties established between them, while also underlining the weaknesses of cultural diplomacy. 

Riccardo Trobbiani

On the 23rd of May 2017, the Council of the European Union adopted conclusions on Culture in the European Union's external relations, by welcoming the Joint Communication Towards an EU strategy for international cultural relations  presented by the European Commission in June 2016. 

This EL-CSID Policy brief argues that, if the EU wants to define a real strategy for its external cultural action, it needs to provide a clearer definition of what ‘culture’ it is promoting (and how), and of what ‘complementarity’ with Member States means. First, EU Cultural Diplomacy should build upon EU’s experience in intercultural dialogue and capacity building rather than try to showcase European culture as a Soft Power tool. Consequently, cooperation with Member States and their cultural institutes should be sought on intercultural dialogue and capacity building, by jointly using MS’ networks, resources and connection with local actors to build locally-tailored strategies in co-ownership with target countries. Finally, the EU should identify specific financial means supporting cultural capacity building and intercultural dialogue, both in its own external relations as well as in its enhanced cooperation with Member States and their cultural institutes.