Recent Publications

John Hemmings
Ramon Pacheco Pardo
Tat Yan Kong

The KF-VUB Korea Chair, Henry Jackson Society and London Asia Pacific Centre for Social Science launched a new report yesterday on “Negotiating the peace: Diplomacy on the Korean Peninsula”, co-authored by Dr Ramon Pacheco Pardo, Dr John Hemmings and Dr Tat Yan Kong. It presents the outcome of a two-panel round table that was hosted by the School of Oriental and African Studies, Kings College London and the Henry Jackson Society earlier this year. As both Koreas meet for a third time next week and North Korea and the USA discuss to continue to meet bilaterally in an attempt to resolve the nuclear issue, it is important to understand what every member of the Six-Party Talks – the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea), the USA, the Republic of Korea (South Korea), China, Japan and Russia – wants to gain from the negotiations and their negotiating strategies.
 This new country-by-country analysis assesses each player’s negotiating aims and objectives and, in this way, reveals where opportunities and challenges might lie in the process of North Korean peace-bargaining. It identifies that the Libya Model won’t work and any process will involve step-by-step disarmament for sanctions relief. If incentives are right, North Korea could be willing to swap nukes for cash. A peace regime and substantial economic support will probably come near the end of the process. Thus, full-scale economic development will have to wait for sanctions-relief to be close to completion.

The report is now available for download.

Ramon Pacheco Pardo

The EU has an important role to play in the management of the threat posed by North Korea. Indeed, Brussels already has a policy of ‘critical engagement’ towards Pyongyang which combines diplomatic and economic carrots with a number of sticks. This policy, however, is in need of an update to attend to two recent developments on the Korean Peninsula: North Korea’s status as a de facto nuclear power and the flurry of engagement and diplomacy involving North Korea—including top-level meetings with the US, South Korea and China.

In this context, the EU should support its partners, South Korea and the US, as they launch a process that could lead to sustainable engagement with North Korea, denuclearisation, and, as a result, a more stable Korean Peninsula. Working with its partners, Europe should creatively use its power of engagement and cooperation to change behaviour. This will enhance the position of the EU as a constructive actor in Asian affairs, support efforts by the US and South Korea to engage North Korea and, ultimately, offer a better opportunity for the EU to achieve its goals.

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Trisha Meyer
Ólöf Söebech
Jamal Shahin

When does use of an energy monitor lead to a sustainable lifestyle? This paper presents the preliminary results of a local politically-endorsed smart energy project with 136 households in Brussels, Belgium. The aim of the project is to help citizens reduce their electricity consumption at home through use of an energy monitor, knowledge exchange and gamification (engagement) techniques.

September 2018
Koert Debeuf

War is coming. In Tribalization Koert Debeuf depicts war as an inevitable outcome should the current decreasing of democracy and globalization continue. To describe this worldwide process towards more authoritarian nationalism and fundamentalism The author coins the term tribalization to describe this worldwide process, towards a more authoritarian nationalism and fundamentalism, and reminds his readership of the highly similar 1930s. The election of Donald Trump as president of the United States, the dangerous politics of world leaders like Vladimir Putin, and terrorism are but a few exponents of the worldwide tribalization process that is currently fuelling geopolitics. 

Leaving traditional explanations aside, Debeuf explains the continuous historical interaction between globalization and tribalization not merely as a economic or political phenomenon. Tribalization is collective psychology, it interrupts globalization when communities react to collective trauma by returning to their mythical, tribal past. Debeuf’s insights are based on history and psychology but also on his personal experience during the Arab Revolution, and during his previous political functions, both as an advisor to the former Belgian Prime Minister and as European Union official.

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Yamide Dagnet
Nathan Cogswell
Eliza Northrop
Niklas Höhne
Joe Thwaites
Cynthia Elliott
Neil Bird
Amy Kirbyshire
Sebastian Oberthür
Marcelo Rocha
Kelly Levin
Pedro Barata

The world’s governments are working toward a December 2018 deadline to adopt the foundational elements of the implementing guidelines to operationalize the 2015 Paris Agreement. This paper seeks to support negotiators by addressing the significant challenges and gaps that remain to achieving clear, robust, and cohesive guidelines. It provides both an overarching vision and practical suggestions for implementing the guidelines during every phase of the Paris Agreement’s implementation—planning, implementing, and reviewing. For each element of the Agreement that requires guidance—ranging from common timeframes and cooperative processes to communicating and reviewing national or collective progress—the authors identify core requirements alongside suggestions for crafting effective guidelines. 

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Begoña Sánchez

Europe and the world face a moment of transformation. The global financial crisis wiped out years of economic and social progress, exposed structural weaknesses in world economies and emphasised the importance of the real economies and strong industries. Modernisation and digitalisation of the industrial base together with the promotion of a competitive framework for industry through research, technology and innovation are drivers for recovery. Innovation, and particularly open innovation, is a key factor of global competitiveness. 

The European Commission (EC) addresses international cooperation policy in a wider framework and adapts to the evolving needs of partner countries at different stages of development (EC, 2018a). Latin America and the Caribbean countries’ (LAC) and the European Union’s (EU) cooperation on science, technology and innovation has a long history based on cultural roots and common concerns.They share a strategic bi-regional partnership, which was launched in 1999 and stepped up significantly in recent years. The two regions co-operate closely at international level across a broad range of issues and maintain an intensive political dialogue at all levels. EU-LAC relationships are moving from a traditional cooperation model towards a learning model, where sharing experiences and learning from innovations appear to be decisive (OECD, 2014). 

This paper focuses on the challenges that innovation nowadays poses to international relations and diplomacy. It is based on the evidence gained by the research team from participation in several EU-LAC projects, especially the ELAN Network project coordinated by TECNALIA, the INNOVACT project as well as other projects and activities.

Laura Westerveen
Ilke Adam

‘Mainstreaming’ has recently been considered as a possible new strategy for advancing immigrant integration in Europe. However, policy documents and current academic literature have hardly conceptualized what we label as ‘ethnic equality mainstreaming’. In this article, we lean on the widely available research on gender mainstreaming, to provide such a conceptualization of ethnic equality mainstreaming. Once conceptualized, we verify whether there is indeed a trend towards mainstreaming in Western Europe's old immigration countries. Our results show that there is no straightforward trend towards ethnic equality mainstreaming in these countries. However, the indicators that served to detect the existence of ethnic equality mainstreaming allowed us to uncover a new double and paradoxical trend in immigrant integration policies. This ‘new style’ immigrant integration policy can be depicted as follows: increasing ‘colourblindization’, in combination with ‘ethnic monitoring’. In other words, states increasingly monitor the impact of ‘doing nothing’.

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Sebastian Oberthür
Gauri Khandekar
Tomas Wyns

Much mitigation-related governance activity is evident in a range of sectoral systems, and regarding particular governance functions. However, there is a tendency for this activity to relate to the easiest functions to address, such as ‘learning and knowledge building’, or to take place in somewhat limited ‘niches’. Across all sectoral systems examined, the gap between identified governance needs and what is currently supplied is most serious in terms of the critical function of setting rules to facilitate collective action. A lack of ‘guidance and signal’ is also evident, particularly in the finance, extractive industries, energy-intensive industries, and buildings sectoral systems.

Of the sectoral systems examined, the power sector appears the most advanced in covering the main international governance functions required of it. Nevertheless, it still falls short in achieving critical governance functions necessary for sufficient decarbonisation. Significantly, while the signal is strong and clear for the phase-in of renewable energy, it is either vague or absent when it comes to the phase-out of fossil fuel-generated electricity. The same lack of signal that certain high-carbon activities need actively to be phased out is also evident in financial, fossil-fuel extractive industry and transport-related sectors.

More effective mitigation action will need greater co-ordination or orchestration effort, sometimes led by the UNFCCC, but also from the bodies such as the G20, as well as existing (or potentially new) sector-level institutions. The EU needs to re-consider what it means to provide climate leadership in an increasingly ‘polycentric’ governance landscape.

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Leo Van Hove

Using primary, individual-level survey data for Ghana, Apiors and Suzuki find, among other things, that mobile money use is not dependent on financial status and that mobile money users save more. This note argues that both conclusions have validity issues.

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Zane Šime

More than 25 years of multilateral dialogue and cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region has been supported and overseen by the Council of the Baltic Sea States. These developments offer a multitude of insights in the implicit science diplomacy activities, which are presented in greater detail in order to offer new ideas in the on-going work of honing the overall science diplomacy understanding in the EU setting. Likewise, various EU facilitated science, research and innovation cooperation strands are highlighted as potential avenues for exploring implicit science diplomacy practices adopted by EU or its funded authorities. Examples captured in this concise mapping exercise are presented to support comprehensive reflections on the existing set of practices characterising EU science diplomacy. Last but not least, some of the earlier lessons learnt, assessments and recommendations are brought into the spotlight in view of further reflections on the EU Science Diplomacy Strategy.