Recent Publications

Trisha Meyer

Abstract:

This study examines the consequences of the increasingly prevalent use of artificial intelligence (AI) disinformation initiatives upon freedom of expression, pluralism and the functioning of a democratic polity.
The study examines the trade-offs in using automated technology to limit the spread of disinformation online. It presents options (from self-regulatory to legislative) to regulate automated content recognition (ACR) technologies in this context. Special attention is paid to the opportunities for the European Union as a whole to take the lead in setting the framework for designing these technologies in a way that enhances accountability and transparency and respects free speech. The present project reviews some of the key academic and policy ideas on technology and disinformation and highlights their relevance to European policy.
Chapter 1 introduces the background to the study and presents the definitions used. Chapter 2 scopes the policy boundaries of disinformation from economic, societal and technological perspectives, focusing on the media context, behavioural economics and technological regulation. Chapter 3 maps and evaluates existing regulatory and technological responses to disinformation. In Chapter 4, policy options are presented, paying particular attention to interactions between technological solutions, freedom of expression and media pluralism.

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April 2019
annual report
Leo Van Hove

Abstract

We investigate the impact of the 2005–2007 cross-border bank takeovers in Ukraine – a country with poor institutional quality – on the performance of the target banks. Because acquirers targeted mainly larger, less-capitalised banks, we control for selection bias by combining propensity score matching and a difference-in-difference methodology. We find that the cost efficiency of the acquired banks improved after takeover (because of a decreased reliance on deposits), but that neither their profitability nor their loan market shares increased. Overall, our findings tally only piecemeal with the existing multi-country studies for transition economies. This argues in favour of additional single-country research.

KEYWORDS: Cross-border takeovers, bank performance, weak institutions, selection bias

Ahunov, M., Van Hove, L. and M. Jegers, The impact of cross-border acquisitions on target banks’ performance in an institutionally poor environment: Ukraine’s takeover wave, Post-Communist Economies, Vol. 31, Nr. 3, 396-417

https://doi.org/10.1080/14631377.2018.1537739

Jana Gheuens

Gheuens, J.; Nagabhatla, N.; Perera, E.D.P. Disaster-Risk, Water Security Challenges and Strategies in Small Island Developing States (SIDS). Water 2019, 11, 637.​

 

Abstract

Small island developing states (SIDS) are typically characterized by being environmentally and socio-economically vulnerable to disasters and climate change. Additionally, they often have limited resources for freshwater provisioning services. This article presents an assessment of disaster risk and water security-related challenges in SIDS focusing on three major dimensions: (a) how disaster risks are perceived and addressed in the SIDS context using a case study method, (b) analyzing the current status of water security in these regions using an indicator-based approach and (c) assessing gaps and needs in institutions and policies that can facilitate sustainable development goals (SDGs) and targets, adaptation and resilience building in SIDS. In this regard, information on all SIDS is collected to be able to distinguish trends in and between SIDS based on amongst others geographical location and characteristics. This synthesis noted two key observations: first, that in SIDS, the number of disasters is increasing at a higher rate than the global average, and that the frequency and intensity of the disasters will likely increase because of climate change. These combined factors will impact SIDS on the societal level and on environmental levels, reducing their adaptive capacity, resources, and resilience. Second, most SIDS are already water-scarce with low groundwater volumes. Because of increasing demand (e.g., population growth and tourism) and decreasing supply (e.g., pollution and changes in precipitation patterns) freshwater resources are becoming increasingly limited, often suffering from the spillover effects of competing and conflicting uses. Threatened ecosystems and limited economic resources further influence the adaptive capacities of communities in SIDS. In this light, key solutions to address disaster-risk and water security-related challenges can be found by sharing best practices and lessons learned—from examples of good governance, integrated policies, improved community-resilience, and capacity-building. Added to their fragile situation, SIDS struggle to find enough funding to put their development plans, programs, and policies into action. 

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Keywords: climate change; disaster risk; policy; sustainable development goals (SDGs); small island developing states (SIDS); water security

Elie Perot

A recurring debate in international politics centres on the distinction between peace and war. In recent years, this debate has resurfaced as a result of several developments, such as the Ukraine crisis and Chinese maritime activities in the South China Sea, which seem to blur the distinction. The Cold War confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union made it clear that international relations could not be seen only through the lens of clearly separable cycles of peace and war. But the growing attention to the post-Cold War phenomenon of ‘hybrid warfare’ suggests that the line between peace and war simply cannot be drawn. This means that what constitutes war is destined to remain a contentious political matter. Yet it may be salutary that the contemporary strategic impulse to exploit this indeterminacy comes from the persistent fear of a general war, as it did during the Cold War. How this fear will evolve is key to envisioning the future of world politics and, in particular, its central uncertainty: whether the United States and China will go to war.

 

Elie Perot (2019) The Blurring of War and Peace, Survival, 61:2, 101-110, DOI: 10.1080/00396338.2019.1589089

Elie Perot

Law and politics are the two constituent parts of a collective defence architecture. In Europe, such an architecture currently rests on a series of legal commitments: NATO’s mutual defence clause (Art.5 of the North Atlantic Treaty), but also the EU mutual assistance clause (Art.42.7 TEU) and the EU solidarity clause (Art.222 TFEU). Many asymmetries exist, however, between those legal clauses: they are often overlapping but not always identical with respect to their respective conditions of activation, territorial scopes, binding strengths, and modalities of implementation. Because of those legal asymmetries as well as prevailing political realities, there are many obstacles in fact to a clear-cut division of labour within Europe’s collective defence architecture between NATO and the EU. In Europe, collective defence should thus not be apprehended as a uniform task but rather as the art of balancing multiple legal and political constrains, come what may.

KEYWORDS: NATO Article 5, EU mutual assistance clause, EU solidarity clause, collective defence, law and politics

Elie Perot (2019) The art of commitments: NATO, the EU, and the interplay between law and politics within Europe’s collective defence architecture,European Security, 28:1, 40-65, DOI: 10.1080/09662839.2019.1587746

Elie Perot

On 22 January 2019, Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel signed a new treaty on “Franco-German cooperation and integration” in Aachen. Complementing the 1963 Elysée Treaty which symbolized the reconciliation between Germany and France in the post-war period, the Aachen Treaty aims to further strengthen the ties between the two countries in the domains of economy, culture, administration, environment, diplomacy and defence. Although the Treaty has been criticised for its lack of ambition, a closer reading of its text reveals some hidden gems, including its mutual defence clause. What does this new clause mean for the Franco-German tandem and for collective defence in Europe?

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Dohee Jeong

This policy brief gives a brief statistical survey of the immigration situation in South Korea and looks at the legal status of foreigners in the country. It examines the question of whether, as is commonly assumed, immigrants are responsible for the increase in criminal offences.

March 2019
other

The project European Leadership in Cultural, Science and Innovation Diplomacy (EL-CSID) was conducted between February 2016 and February 2019, in the context of the H2020 programme on Europe as a Global Actor. This final report identifies the research undertaken, its research outcomes and policy recommendations.

The final report is presented at the Final EL-CSID Conference on 27 February 2019, Brussels.

Florian Trauner
Ariadna Ripoll Servent