Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 1769

Search results for: regional cooperation

1769 Development of Regional Cooperation to Sustainable Implementation of Customary Refugee Solutions in International Arena

Authors: Md. Reduanul Haque

Abstract:

In recent time, more and more refugees are emerging in the international arena than the times ever that has come into the notice of world scholars. The prevailing customary solutions such as voluntary repatriation, local integration, and resettlement of refugee problem have been reflected unsustainable one for the lack of regional cooperation. In the international arena, the protraction of refugee problems is seen, and refugees are suffering due to the outrageous process of customary refugee solutions. If the regional cooperation can be developed, then the suffering of the refugees can be mitigated by the contribution of neighboring country and international and regional organizations. Data collected from the various secondary sources have been used throughout the research. It has been discussing in the refugee academia for a long time to develop regional cooperation mechanisms to ensure the sustainability of this solution and to make the environment of the country of origin for suitable voluntary repatriation as well as a durable solution. It is mainly qualitative research based on primary and secondary data will be studied on library-based project. Data collected by such methodology on this study indicates to make a bridge between the gaps of the cooperation mechanism and to make a more regional approach to share the burden and to strengthen the customary refugee solution. Hence, the importance of questing for a regional mechanism is to ensure the responsible countries to be more responsible towards refugees, their human rights, and durable solution under the mandate of the UNHCR. To implement effectively all the customary durable solutions, country to country or regional organization to organization based regional cooperation can be developed where the countries and regional organizations will work together to draw a sustainable solution to this problem in international context.

Keywords: refugee, regional cooperation, sustainable implementation, customary solutions, international arena

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1768 Research on the Evaluation of Enterprise-University-Research Cooperation Ability in Hubei Province

Authors: Dongfang Qiu, Yilin Lu

Abstract:

The measurement of enterprise-university-research cooperative efficiency has important meanings in improving the cooperative efficiency, strengthening the effective integration of regional resource, enhancing the ability of regional innovation and promoting the development of regional economy. The paper constructs the DEA method and DEA-Malmquist productivity index method to research the cooperation efficiency of Hubei by making comparisons with other provinces in China. The study found out the index of technology efficiency is 0.52 and the enterprise-university- research cooperative efficiency is Non-DEA efficient. To realize the DEA efficiency of Hubei province, the amount of 1652.596 R&D employees and 638.368 R&D employees’ full time equivalence should be reduced or 137.89 billion yuan of new products’ sales income be increased. Finally, it puts forward policy recommendations on existing problems to strengthen the standings of the cooperation, realize the effective application of the research results, and improve the level of management of enterprise-university-research cooperation efficiency.

Keywords: cooperation ability, DEA method, enterprise-university-research cooperation, Malmquist efficiency index

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1767 The Influence of Knowledge Transfer on Outputs of Innovative Process: Case Study of Czech Regions

Authors: J. Stejskal, P. Hajek

Abstract:

The goal of this article is the analysis of knowledge transfer at the regional level of the Czech Republic. We show how goals of enterprises´ innovative activities are related to the rate of cooperation with different actors within regional innovative systems as well as in other world regions. The results show that the most important partners of enterprises are their suppliers and clients in most Czech regions. The cooperation rate of enterprises correlates significantly mainly with enterprises´ efforts to enter new markets and reduce labour costs per unit output. The meaning of this cooperation decreases with the increase of partner’s distance. Regarding the type of a cooperating partner, cooperation within an enterprise had to do with the increase of market share and decrease of labour costs. On the other hand, cooperation with clients had to do with efforts to replace outdated products or processes or enter new markets. We can pay less attention to the cooperation with government authorities and organizations. The reasons for marginalization of this cooperation should be submitted to further detailed investigation.

Keywords: knowledge, transfer, innovative process, Czech republic, region

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1766 Advancing Energy Security Through Regional Cooperation in Southern Africa: An Assessment of the Challenges and Opportunities

Authors: Loide Sambo

Abstract:

Achieving energy security has, in the past few decades, become one of the main goals in the security agenda of every country around the world. For Southern African Countries (SAC) the aim is not different, yet these countries face a particular challenge in the pursuit of their energy security. More than just secure enough energy sources to fuel their industrial and societal needs, SAC have as well to ensure that they trade their rich energy resources to the global market in a way that promotes and safeguards their economic development objectives. Considering the relevance of this issue to the SAC, the present paper explores the possibility of these countries to achieve energy security through regional cooperation, under the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) platform. It discusses the challenges and opportunities for advancing energy security in this region through cooperation. After analyzing the data through the documentary analysis method, it was found that regional cooperation among SAC to improve energy security is not effective since cooperation in the region is still very susceptible to a plethora of challenges, such as political instability, lack of development of infrastructure and expertise, lack of good governance, lack of sense of cohesiveness, and most important lack of political commitment. It was also found that significant commitment on regional cooperation had been centered on the electricity sub-sector due to the region’s huge electricity deficit. Thus less commitment is dedicated to the development and policy harmonization of the other sub-sectors such as the one of natural gas and oil, for instance. Hence, it is recommended that the leadership of the SAC is fully committed to cooperate and harmonize the policies, the strategic plans, as well as the infrastructure concerning to all the natural energy resources and its respective sub-sectors. This would provide the SAC significant leverage to negotiate for the energy market access, ensuring that the region’s energy commodities are traded, while the countries themselves retain enough energy to sustain their economic growth and development, improving, therefore, their energy security.

Keywords: regional cooperation, energy security, economic development, political commitment

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1765 Smart Security Concept in the East Mediterranean: Anti Asymmetrical Area Denial (A3D)

Authors: Serkan Tezgel

Abstract:

The two qualities of the sea, as a medium of transportation and as a resource, necessitate maritime security for economic stability and good order at sea. The borderless nature of the sea makes it one of the best platforms to contribute to regional peace and international order. For this reason, the establishment of maritime security in East Mediterranean will enhance the security-peace-democracy triangle in the region. This paper proposes the application of the Smart Security Concept in the East Mediterranean. Smart Security aims to secure critical infrastructure, such as hydrocarbon platforms, against asymmetrical threats. The concept is based on Anti Asymmetrical Area Denial (A3D) which necessitates limiting freedom of action of maritime terrorists and piracy by founding safe and secure maritime areas through sea lines of communication using short range capabilities. Smart Security is a regional maritime cooperation concept for the narrow seas. Cooperation and interoperability are essential attributes of this regional security concept. Therefore, multinational excellence centers such as Multinational Maritime Security Center of Excellence-Aksaz in Turkey, which will determine necessary capabilities and plan/coordinate workshops, training and exercises, are bound to be the principal characteristic of Smart Security concept and similar regional concepts. Smart Security, a crucial enabler of energy and regional security, can provide an enduring approach for operating in the challenging environment of narrow seas and for countering asymmetrical threats.

Keywords: security, cooperation, asymmetrical, area denial

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1764 ASEAN Our Eyes: A Strategic Information Exchange Platform on Counter-Terrorism

Authors: Nila Febri Wilujeng, Helda Risman

Abstract:

Enjoying stable security within its region for the last 50 years, ASEAN nowadays contends with the global context emerging dynamically, which brings about multidimensional challenges and threats such as terrorism, radicalism, armed rebellion, hijacking, and other non-traditional threats. Dealing with these circumstances, ASEAN member states tighten its capacity by enhancing regional cooperation and strategic information exchange among ASEAN member states so-called ASEAN Our Eyes. This initiative adopted for the sake of forestalling any possible threat posed by violent extremism, radicalization, and terrorism through timely strategic information exchange among ASEAN member states. By using qualitative method, this paper will utilize regional security complex and international cooperation theories in analyzing the process to examine ASEAN Our Eyes based on its terms of reference. As a result, it portrays that ASEAN Our Eyes is able to undermine the gaps in the realm of strategic information exchange in monitoring the movement of violent extremism, radicalism, foreign terrorist fighters, and crime-terror nexus. However, it remains premature as a strategic measure to encounter those threats in the years to come.

Keywords: regional cooperation, counter-terrorism, ASEAN our eyes, strategic information exchange

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1763 A Comparative Study of Environmental, Social and Economic Cross-Border Cooperation in Post-Conflict Environments: The Israel-Jordan Border

Authors: Tamar Arieli

Abstract:

Cross-border cooperation has long been hailed as a means for stabilizing and normalizing relations between former enemies. Cooperation in problem-solving and realizing of local interests in post-conflict environments can indeed serve as a basis for developing dialogue and meaningful relations between neighbors across borders. Hence the potential for formerly sealed borders to serve as a basis for generating local and national perceptions of interdependence and as a buffer against the resume of conflict. Central questions which arise for policy-makers and third parties are how to facilitate cross-border cooperation and which areas of cooperation best serve to normalize post-conflict border regions. The Israel-Jordan border functions as a post-conflict border, in that it is a peaceful border since the 1994 Israel-Jordan peace treaty yet cross-border relations are defined but the highly securitized nature of the border region and the ongoing Arab-Israel regional conflict. This case study is based on long term qualitative research carried out in the border regions of both Israel and Jordan, which mapped and analyzed cross-border in a wide range of activities – social interactions sponsored by peace-facilitating NGOs, government sponsored agricultural cooperation, municipal initiated emergency planning in cross-border continuous urban settings, private cross-border business ventures and various environmental cooperative initiatives. These cooperative initiatives are evaluated through multiple interviews carried out with initiators and partners in cross-border cooperation as well as analysis of documentation, funding and media. These cooperative interactions are compared based on levels of cross-border local and official awareness and involvement as well as sustainability over time. This research identifies environmental cooperation as the most sustainable area of cross- border cooperation and as most conducive to generating perceptions of regional interdependence. This is a variation to the ‘New Middle East’ vision of business-based cooperation leading to conflict amelioration and regional stability. Environmental cooperation serving the public good rather than personal profit enjoys social legitimization even in the face of widespread anti-normalization sentiments common in the post-conflict environment. This insight is examined in light of philosophical and social aspects of the natural environment and its social perceptions. This research has theoretical implications for better understanding dynamics of cooperation and conflict, as well as practical ramifications for practitioners in border region policy and management.

Keywords: borders, cooperation, post-conflict, security

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1762 Strategy of Balancing in Russian Energy Diplomacy toward Middle East

Authors: Davood Karimipour

Abstract:

Since long ago, Russia has been one of the most influential actors in regional equations in South West Asia. The geographic affinity of its vital interests with Western Asia has caused Moscow to have a high sensitivity to the balance of power in the Middle East, as its role in the Syrian crisis clearly demonstrated the importance. In recent years, Moscow has tried to use the energy diplomacy tool in maintaining the balance of power between the major powers in the region. The paper, based on the qualitative case study method, investigates how Russia’s energy diplomacy plays a role in the balance of regional forces in the Middle East, studying the country’s conduct towards Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Israel. The hypothesis presented that Russia, using energy tools, is trying to push the regional powers toward cooperation in order to increase the influence in the region, increase power in global markets, and controlling the US to restore power balance in the region. Its cooperation in the Iranian gas industry, the country’s relations with Saudis in the framework of OPEC, cooperation with the Turkish Kurds and the presence in the Israeli gas industry are an example of these Russian energy diplomacy initiatives in West Asia, which is the common point of the Moscow approach to South West Asia.

Keywords: Russia, balance of power, energy diplomacy, Middle East

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1761 Indicators of Regional Development, Case Study: Bucharest-Ilfov Region

Authors: Dan Cristian Popescu

Abstract:

The new territorial identities and global dynamics have determined a change of policies of economics, social and cultural development from a vertical to a horizontal approach, which is based on cooperation networks between institutional actors, economic operators or civil society representatives. The European integration has not only generated a different patterns of competitiveness, economic growth, concentration of attractive potential, but also disparities among regions of this country, or even in the countryside within a region. To a better understanding of the dynamics of regional development and the impact of this concept on Romania, I chose as a case study the region Bucharest-Ilfov which is analyzed on the basis of predetermined indicators and of the impact of European programs.

Keywords: regional competition, regional development, rural, urban

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1760 Partner Selection for Horizontal Logistic Cooperation

Authors: Mario Winkelhaus, Franz Vallée

Abstract:

Many companies see horizontal cooperation as a promising possibility to increase their efficiency in outbound logistics. The selection of suitable partners has particular importance in the formation of horizontal cooperation. Up until now, literature mainly focused on general applicable methods for the identification of cooperation partners without a closer examination of the specific area where the cooperation takes place. Thus, specific criteria as a basis for the partner selection in the field of logistics cooperation are missing. To close this scientific gap, an explorative research approach is used to answer the open question of the article. To collect the needed criteria, a qualitative experiment with 20 participants from 16 companies was done. Within this workshop, general criteria, as well as sector-specific requirements, have been identified which were integrated in a partner selection model.

Keywords: horizontal cooperation, logistics cooperation partnering criteria, partner selection

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1759 Keys of Success in Regional Entrepreneurial Media Collaboration Linked With a New Concept of Citizenship

Authors: Rianne Voet

Abstract:

This paper uses a literature review to search for keys of success for entrepreneurial regional media collaborations in the Netherlands and elsewhere. It specifies keys on general aspects: a digital-first strategy, innovation, a particular journalistic mission and a new role for the public. It outlines keys in practicalities: competencies, revenue model, legal structure, communication structure and organization structure. The paper elaborates on a new public function and a new concept of citizenship which, according to several authors in the literature, are required in order to be successful. Finally, it offers a model of keys for success in regional entrepreneurial media collaboration.

Keywords: media collaboration, factors of success, keys of success, regional media cooperation

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1758 Exploring Dynamics of Regional Creative Economy

Authors: Ari Lindeman, Melina Maunula, Jani Kiviranta, Ronja Pölkki

Abstract:

The aim of this paper is to build a vision of the utilization of creative industry competences in industrial and services firms connected to Kymenlaakso region, Finland, smart specialization focus areas. Research indicates that creativity and the use of creative industry’s inputs can enhance innovation and competitiveness. Currently creative methods and services are underutilized in regional businesses and the added value they provide is not well grasped. Methodologically, the research adopts a qualitative exploratory approach. Data is collected in multiple ways including a survey, focus groups, and interviews. Theoretically, the paper contributes to the discussion about the use creative industry competences in regional development, and argues for building regional creative economy ecosystems in close co-operation with regional strategies and traditional industries rather than as treating regional creative industry ecosystem initiatives separate from them. The practical contribution of the paper is the creative vision for the use of regional authorities in updating smart specialization strategy as well as boosting industrial and creative & cultural sectors’ competitiveness. The paper also illustrates a research-based model of vision building.

Keywords: business, cooperation, creative economy, regional development, vision

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1757 Opportunities and Optimization of the Our Eyes Initiative as the Strategy for Counter-Terrorism in ASEAN

Authors: Chastiti Mediafira Wulolo, Tri Legionosuko, Suhirwan, Yusuf

Abstract:

Terrorism and radicalization have become a common threat to every nation in this world. As a part of the asymmetric warfare threat, terrorism and radicalization need a complex strategy as the problem solver. One such way is by collaborating with the international community. The Our Eyes Initiative (OEI), for example, is a cooperation pact in the field of intelligence information exchanges related to terrorism and radicalization initiated by the Indonesian Ministry of Defence. The pact has been signed by Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam, Thailand, and Singapore. This cooperation mostly engages military acts as a central role, but it still requires the involvement of various parties such as the police, intelligence agencies and other government institutions. This paper will use a qualitative content analysis method to address the opportunity and enhance the optimization of OEI. As the result, it will explain how OEI takes the opportunities as the strategy for counter-terrorism by building it up as the regional cooperation, building the legitimacy of government and creating the legal framework of the information sharing system.

Keywords: our eyes initiative, terrorism, counter-terrorism, ASEAN, cooperation, strategy

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1756 Optimization of Our Eyes Cooperation as the Counter-Terrorism Strategy in Association of South East Asian Nations

Authors: Chastiti Mediafira Wulolo

Abstract:

Our Eyes is a cooperation pact in the field of intelligence information exchanges initiated by the Indonesian Ministry of Defense, which has been signed by Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam, Thailand, and Singapore. This cooperation mostly engages the military acts as a central role, but this pact still requires the involvement of various parties such as police and other linear institution. This paper will use a qualitative content analysis method by doing some deep analyzing the pattern of cooperation itself. As the implementation of translantic counter-terrorism cooperation, this research will address how the role of Our Eyes can be optimized as a form of government’s response towards the contemporary threat in the Dynamics of Strategic Environmental Security in the Asia Pacific Region. Optimizing the role of this cooperation will also acquire from the previous counter-terrorism cooperation in ASEAN region, so it expects that Our Eyes collaboration can be the most effective cooperation in overcoming terrorism issues in ASEAN, eventually in Asia Pacific.

Keywords: our eyes, Defense Ministry of Indonesia, ASEAN, counter-terrorism

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1755 The Regionalism Paradox in the Fight against Human Trafficking: Indonesia and the Limits of Regional Cooperation in ASEAN

Authors: Nur Iman Subono, Meidi Kosandi

Abstract:

This paper examines the role of regional cooperation in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in the fight against human trafficking for Indonesia. Many among scholars suggest that regional cooperation is necessary for combating human trafficking for its transnational and organized character as a crime against humanity. ASEAN members have been collectively active in responding transnational security issues with series of talks and collaboration agreement since early 2000s. Lately in 2015, ASEAN agreed on ASEAN Convention against Trafficking in Persons, particularly Women and Children (ACTIP) that requires each member to collaborate in information sharing and providing effective safeguard and protection of victims. Yet, the frequency of human trafficking crime occurrence remains high and tend to increase in Indonesian in 2017-2018. The objective of this paper is to examine the effectiveness and success of ACTIP implementation in the fight against human trafficking in Indonesia. Based on two years of research (2017-2018) in three provinces with the largest number of victims in Indonesia, this paper shows the tendency of persisting crime despite the implementation of regional and national anti-trafficking policies. The research was conducted by archive study, literature study, discourse analysis, and depth interviews with local government officials, police, prosecutors, victims, and traffickers. This paper argues that the relative success of ASEAN in establishing convention at the high-level meetings has not been followed with the success in its implementation in the society. Three main factors have contributed to the ineffectiveness of the agreements, i.e. (1) ASEAN institutional arrangement as a collection of sovereign states instead of supranational organization with binding authority; (2) the lack of commitment of ASEAN sovereign member-states to the agreements; and (3) the complexity and variety of the nature of the crime in each member-state. In effect, these factors have contributed to generating the regionalism paradox in ASEAN where states tend to revert to national policies instead of seeking regional collective solution.

Keywords: human trafficking, transnational security, regionalism, anti trafficking policy

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1754 Heilong-Amur River: From Disputed Border to Brigde of Cooperation

Authors: Wan Wang, Xing Li

Abstract:

With the international river playing an increasingly important role in international relations, the border river between China and Russia has attracted more attention. During the history of Sino-Russian relations, Heilong-Amur River used to be a disputed border. The Sino-Russian transboundary water cooperation regarding the Heilong-Amur River started in 1950s and has obtained rapid improvement. In the 21st century, this cooperation has made substantial progress, which is worthy of a further study. However, this cooperation is facing with obstacles in aspects of economy, policy, implementation and mutual understandings. Under this circumstance, from the perspective of China, it is of necessity to realize these problems and take appropriate measures to promote the cooperation. The current Sino-Russian relations is conducive to transboundary water resources cooperation regarding the Heilong-Amur River and some measures adopted by China are already ongoing.

Keywords: China, cooperation, Heilong-Amur River, Russia

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1753 Military Role of Russia beyond Its National Boundary

Authors: Nipuli Gajanayake

Abstract:

The Russian military role beyond its national frontier has become a debatable hot topic in the international political arena. It’s advanced, and strategic responses in combating regional and international security problems have always been a factor to debate and criticize. Under such critical circumstances, Russia is attentive to play its military role according to the provisions of the Military Doctrine of the Russian Federation. Most importantly, the legal basis of the doctrine has also consisted with the generally recognized principles and norms of international law. Therefore, Russian international military assistances are pledged to accomplish international peace and security. The expansion of Russian military participation in the United Nations Peacekeeping operations, and military- political, and technical cooperation have largely evident the great effort of Russia in maintaining and restoring international peace and security. Moreover, the conflict management diplomacy and the development of dialogue with nation states to confront military risks and threats can also identify as a part of preserving international peace and security. In addition, Russia strives to strengthen the system of collective security with regional and international organizations through the legal framework of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). Maintaining cooperative ties with the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) have highlighted the Russian deliberation on maintaining regional peace and security. Nevertheless, the extension of cordial relations with nation states and providing of military assistances during tensions and conflicts on their territories can also underscore as Russians commitments on maintaining international peace and security. Observing and recognizing the disparity between the West portrayed terms like ‘illegal Russian interventions’ and the comprehensive reality behind the ‘Russian military assistances’ are important to understand. However, a lopsided vision or a perspective towards the Russian international military role would not present a clear understanding about its valued and also dedicated hard work on maintaining international peace and security.

Keywords: collective security, diplomacy, international military role of Russia, international peace and security

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1752 Research on the Function Optimization of China-Hungary Economic and Trade Cooperation Zone

Authors: Wenjuan Lu

Abstract:

China and Hungary have risen from a friendly and comprehensive cooperative relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership in recent years, and the economic and trade relations between the two countries have developed smoothly. As an important country along the ‘Belt and Road’, Hungary and China have strong economic complementarities and have unique advantages in carrying China's industrial transfer and economic transformation and development. The construction of the China-Hungary Economic and Trade Cooperation Zone, which was initiated by the ‘Sino-Hungarian Borsod Industrial Zone’ and the ‘Hungarian Central European Trade and Logistics Cooperation Park’ has promoted infrastructure construction, optimized production capacity, promoted industrial restructuring, and formed brand and agglomeration effects. Enhancing the influence of Chinese companies in the European market has also promoted economic development in Hungary and even in Central and Eastern Europe. However, as the China-Hungary Economic and Trade Cooperation Zone is still in its infancy, there are still shortcomings such as small scale, single function, and no prominent platform. In the future, based on the needs of China's cooperation with ‘17+1’ and China-Hungary cooperation, on the basis of appropriately expanding the scale of economic and trade cooperation zones and appropriately increasing the number of economic and trade cooperation zones, it is better to focus on optimizing and adjusting its functions and highlighting different economic and trade cooperation. The differentiated function of the trade zones strengthens the multi-faceted cooperation of economic and trade cooperation zones and highlights its role as a platform for cooperation in information, capital, and services.

Keywords: ‘One Belt, One Road’ Initiative, China-Hungary economic and trade cooperation zone, function optimization, Central and Eastern Europe

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1751 Changing the Dynamics of the Regional Water Security in the Mekong River Basin: An Explorative Study Understanding the Cooperation and Conflict from Critical Hydropolitical Perspective

Authors: Richard GrüNwald, Wenling Wang, Yan Feng

Abstract:

The presented paper explores the changing dynamics of regional water security in the Mekong River Basin and examines the contemporary water-related challenges from a critical hydropolitical perspective. By drawing on the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation and Conflict Database (LMCCD) recording more than 3000 water-related events within the basin in the last 30 years, we identified several trends changing the dynamics of the regional water security in the Mekong River Basin. Firstly, there is growing politicization of water that is no longer interpreted as abundant. While some scientists blame the rapid basin development, particularly in upstream countries, other researchers consider climate change and cumulative environmental impacts of various water projects as the main culprit for changing the water flow. Secondly, there is an increasing securitization of large-scale hydropower dams with questionable outcomes. Despite hydropower dams raise many controversies, many riparian states push the development at all cost. Such water security dilemma can be especially traced to Laos and Cambodia, which highly invest in the hydropower sector even at the expense of the local environment and good relations with neighbouring countries situated lower on the river. Thirdly, there is a lack of accountable transboundary water governance that will effectively face a looming water crisis. To date, most of the existing cooperation mechanisms are undermined by the geopolitical interests of foreign donors and increasing mistrust to scientific approaches dealing with water insecurity. Our findings are beneficial for the policy-makers and other water experts who want to grasp the broader hydropolitical context in the Mekong River Basin and better understand the new water security threats, including misinterpretation of the hydrological data and legitimization of the pro-development narratives.

Keywords: critical hydropolitics, mekong river, politicization of science, water governance, water security

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1750 Thailand’s Education Cooperation with Neighboring Countries: The Key Factors to Strengthen the “Soft Power” Relationship

Authors: Rungrot Trongsakul

Abstract:

This paper was aimed to study the model of education cooperation during Thailand and neighbor countries, especially the countries which the territory-cohesion border with Thailand used “Soft Power” to enhance the good relationship. This research employed qualitative method, analyzed and synthesized the content of cooperation projects, policies, laws, relevant theories, relevant research papers and documents and used SWOT analysis. The research findings revealed that Thailand’s education cooperation projects with neighbor countries had two characteristics: 1) education cooperation projects/programs were a part in economic cooperation projects, and 2) there were directly education cooperation projects. The suggested education cooperation model was based on the concept of “Soft Power”, thus the determination of action plans or projects as key factors of public and private organizations should be based on sincere participation among people, communities and relevant organizations of the neighbor countries. Adoption of education-cultural exchange, learning and sharing process is a key to strengthen good relationship of the countries’ cooperation. The roles of education in this included sharing and acceptance of culture and local wisdom, human resource development, knowledge management, integration and networking building could enhance relationship between agents of related organizations of Thailand and neighbors countries.

Keywords: education, soft-power, relationship, cooperation, Thailand neighboring countries

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1749 The Benefits of Regional Brand for Companies

Authors: H. Starzyczna, M. Stoklasa, K. Matusinska

Abstract:

This article deals with the benefits of regional brands for companies in the Czech Republic. Research was focused on finding out the expected and actual benefits of regional brands for companies. The data were obtained by questionnaire survey and analysed by IBM SPSS. Representative sample of 204 companies was created. The research analysis disclosed the expected benefits that the regional brand should bring to companies. But the actual benefits are much worse. The statistical testing of hypotheses revealed that the benefits depend on the region of origin, which surprised both us and the regional coordinators.

Keywords: Brand, regional brands, product protective branding programs, brand benefits

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1748 Examining the Possibility of Establishing Regional Environmental Governance in the Middle East

Authors: Somayeh Bahrami, Seyed Jalal Dehghani Firoozabadi

Abstract:

Environmental governance is an interdisciplinary concept in political ecology and environmental policy focusing on the necessity of embedding the environmental issues in all levels of decision-making and act of states. Similar to sustainable development the concept of environmental governance believes that economic and political life of societies and countries need to be considered as a subset of the environment. This concept has been accepted by North Countries, those that have done the most irreparable environmental damage since the Industrial Revolution. Although North Countries are more responsible for damage to the environment, considering the global fluidity logic of environmental challenges, such an impression doesn’t cause developing countries to disavow responsibility for regional and international cooperation to protect the environment. Establishing an environmental governance at all levels of local, national, regional and global is one of the most significant ways to improve sustainable development. Given to the various political and economic difficulties developing countries including the Middle East face, building environmental governance in these countries is difficult but feasible, as these difficulties have not impeded their mutual partnership for confronting joint environmental issues. However, the environmental issues wouldn’t be solved only by mutual partnership but by establishing environmental governance, establishing regional environmental institutions (an introduction to building Regional Environmental Governance) and delegation of some environmental authorities to the mentioned institutions. The research is aimed at examining necessities, opportunities, and barriers to establishing Regional Environmental Governance in the Middle East. Therefore, this research seeks to answer the question of whether establishing Regional Environmental Governance is possible in the Middle East and if so then why. This study used descriptive-analytical methods and the inferential methodology has been used to reach the goals. Data has been collected by using library and internet sources as well as news sources on the basis of objective-historical data.

Keywords: environmental democracy (ED), environmental governance (EG), middle east (ME), regional environmental governance (REG)

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1747 Evidence of Conditional and Unconditional Cooperation in a Public Goods Game: Experimental Evidence from Mali

Authors: Maria Laura Alzua, Maria Adelaida Lopera

Abstract:

This paper measures the relative importance of conditional cooperation and unconditional cooperation in a large public goods experiment conducted in Mali. We use expectations about total public goods provision to estimate a structural choice model with heterogeneous preferences. While unconditional cooperation can be captured by common preferences shared by all participants, conditional cooperation is much more heterogeneous and depends on unobserved individual factors. This structural model, in combination with two experimental treatments, suggests that leadership and group communication incentivize public goods provision through different channels. First, We find that participation of local leaders effectively changes individual choices through unconditional cooperation. A simulation exercise predicts that even in the most pessimistic scenario in which all participants expect zero public good provision, 60% would still choose to cooperate. Second, allowing participants to communicate fosters conditional cooperation. The simulations suggest that expectations are responsible for around 24% of the observed public good provision and that group communication does not necessarily ameliorate public good provision. In fact, communication may even worsen the outcome when expectations are low.

Keywords: conditional cooperation, discrete choice model, expectations, public goods game, random coefficients model

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1746 Using Cooperation Approaches at Different Levels of Artificial Bee Colony Method

Authors: Vahid Zeighami, Mohsen Ghsemi, Reza Akbari

Abstract:

In this work, a Multi-Level Artificial Bee Colony (called MLABC) is presented. In MLABC two species are used. The first species employs n colonies in which each of the them optimizes the complete solution vector. The cooperation between these colonies is carried out by exchanging information through a leader colony, which contains a set of elite bees. The second species uses a cooperative approach in which the complete solution vector is divided to k sub-vectors, and each of these sub-vectors is optimized by a a colony. The cooperation between these colonies is carried out by compiling sub-vectors into the complete solution vector. Finally, the cooperation between two species is obtained by exchanging information between them. The proposed algorithm is tested on a set of well known test functions. The results show that MLABC algorithms provide efficiency and robustness to solve numerical functions.

Keywords: artificial bee colony, cooperative, multilevel cooperation, vector

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1745 The Roles of ECOWAS Parliament on Regional Integration of the West African Sub-Region

Authors: Sani Shehu, Mohd Afandi Salleh

Abstract:

Parliament is a law making body which provided at national, state, province and territorial level playing a parliamentary role of representing people, law making, peace, and conflict resolution, ratifying and incorporating international convention into municipal law. Parliaments are created globally to give solid legitimacy to good governance under democratic system of government, and the representatives must be elected by the people, so the ECOWAS parliament is entitled to have this legitimacy, where members must be elected by adult people among the citizens of ECOWAS member states. This paper will discuss on the roles that ECOWAS parliament plays for the achievement of regional integration and economic goals of development and cooperation in the sub-region.

Keywords: ECOWAS parliament, composition, competence, power

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1744 Analysis of the Internationalisation of Spanish Enterprises in Colombia through Cooperation Agreements

Authors: Sandoval H. Leyla Angélica, Casani Fernando

Abstract:

The objective of this study is to analyse how enterprises in developed countries use cooperation agreements to expand into developing countries. Starting from the literature review, seven theoretical prepositions were derived. The qualitative methodology used includes case study, through interviews conducted with eight enterprises from Spain and Colombia. Results show that the cooperation agreements have provided a quick and solid connection that facilitates internationalization, bearing in mind aspects such as: strategic factors, partners, network, technology, experience, communication methods, social benefit and the connection between these aspects and allied enterprises.

Keywords: internationalisation, firms, cooperation agreement, case study, Spain, Colombia

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1743 US-India Strategic Bargaining and Power Balancing in South Asia

Authors: Anila Syed, Manzoor Ahmad

Abstract:

The relationship between United States and India has transformed from estrangement to wider engagement since 2004. With the convergence of interests and shared values both the US and India came close towards each other and evolved strategic partnership through civil nuclear cooperation. This paper analyze the cost and benefit of strategic partnership with India for US, the impact of India’s emergence as regional power on South Asian balance of power and its impact on Pak-US relationship. It also focuses on security structure of the region and challenges for the US to maintain strategic partnership with two rival states (India and Pakistan). The work also gives some recommendations for balancing power in the region in order to ensure durable peace not only between India and Pakistan but also in south Asia.

Keywords: US-India strategic partnership, civil-nuclear cooperation, balance of power, impacts on Pak-US relationship

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1742 Transformation of the Institutionality of International Cooperation in Ecuador from 2007 to 2017: 2017: A Case of State Identity Affirmation through Role Performance

Authors: Natalia Carolina Encalada Castillo

Abstract:

As part of an intended radical policy change compared to former administrations in Ecuador, the transformation of the institutionality of international cooperation during the period of President Rafael Correa was considered as a key element for the construction of the state of 'Good Living'. This intention led to several regulatory changes in the reception of cooperation for development, and even the departure of some foreign cooperation agencies. Moreover, Ecuador launched the initiative to become a donor of cooperation towards other developing countries through the ‘South-South Cooperation’ approach. All these changes were institutionalized through the Ecuadorian System of International Cooperation as a new framework to establish rules and policies that guarantee a sovereign management of foreign aid. Therefore, this research project has been guided by two questions: What were the factors that motivated the transformation of the institutionality of international cooperation in Ecuador from 2007 to 2017? and, what were the implications of this transformation in terms of the international role of the country? This paper seeks to answer these questions through Role Theory within a Constructivist meta-theoretical perspective, considering that in this case, changes at the institutional level in the field of cooperation, responded not only to material motivations but also to interests built on the basis of a specific state identity. The latter was only possible to affirm through specific roles such as ‘sovereign recipient of cooperation’ as well as ‘donor of international cooperation’. However, the performance of these roles was problematic as they were not easily accepted by the other actors in the international arena or in the domestic level. In terms of methodology, these dynamics are analyzed in a qualitative way mainly through interpretive analysis of the discourse of high-level decision-makers from Ecuador and other cooperation actors. Complementary to this, document-based research of relevant information as well as interviews have been conducted. Finally, it is concluded that even if material factors such as infrastructure needs, trade and investment interests, as well as reinforcement of state control and monitoring of cooperation flows, motivated the institutional transformation of international cooperation in Ecuador; the essential basis of these changes was the search for a new identity for the country to be projected in the international arena. This identity started to be built but continues to be unstable. Therefore, it is important to potentiate the achievements of the new international cooperation policies, and review their weaknesses, so that non-reimbursable cooperation funds received as well as ‘South-South cooperation’ actions, contribute effectively to national objectives.

Keywords: Ecuador, international cooperation, Role Theory, state identity

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1741 Illuminating Regional Identity: An Interdisciplinary Exploration in Saskatchewan

Authors: Anne Gibbons

Abstract:

Both inside and outside of academia, people have sought to understand the “sense of place” of various regions, many times over and for many different reasons. The concept of regional identity is highly complex and surrounded by considerable contention. There are multiple bodies of research on regional identity theory in many different disciplines and even across sub-disciplinary classifications. Each discipline takes a slightly different angle or perspective on regional identity, resulting in a fragmented body of work on this topic overall. There is a need to consolidate this body of increasingly fragmented theory through interdisciplinary integration. For the purpose of this study, the province of Saskatchewan will serve as an exemplar for exploring regional identity in a concrete context. Saskatchewan can be thought of as a ‘functional region,’ with clear boundaries and clear residency, from which regional identity can be studied. This thesis shares the outcomes of a qualitative study grounded in a series of group interviews with askatchewan residents, from which it is concluded that the use of interdisciplinary theory is an appropriate approach to the study of regional identity. Regional identity cannot be compartmentalized; it is a web of characteristics, attributes, and feelings that are inextricably linked. The thesis thus concludes by offering lessons learned about how we might better understand regional identity, as illuminated through both interdisciplinary theory and the lived experiences and imaginations of people living in the region of Saskatchewan.

Keywords: interdisciplinary, regional identity, Saskatchewan, tourism studies

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1740 Intended and Unintended Outcomes of Partnerships at the Local Level in Slovakia

Authors: Daniel Klimovský

Abstract:

Slovakia belongs to the most fragmented countries if one looks at its local government structure. The Slovak central governments implemented both broad devolution and fiscal decentralization some decades ago. However, neither territorial consolidation nor size categorization of local competences and powers has been implemented yet. Taking this fact into account, it is clear that the local governments are challenged not only by their citizens as customers but also by effectiveness as well as efficiency of delivered services. The paper is focused on behavior of the local governments in Slovakia and their approaches towards other local partners, including other local governments. Analysis of set of interviews shows that inter-municipal cooperation is the most common local partnership in Slovakia, but due to diversity of the local governments, this kind of cooperation leads to both intended and unintended outcomes. While in many cases the local governments are more efficient as well as effective in delivery of local services thanks to inter-municipal cooperation, there are many cases where inter-municipal cooperation fails, and it brings rather questionable or even negative outcomes.

Keywords: local governments, local partnerships, inter-municipal cooperation, delivery of local services

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