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Global Memos

These briefs are a feature of the Council of Councils initiative, gathering opinions from global experts on major international developments. For older versions, visit the Global Roundups archive.

Europe Is at the Core of France’s Foreign Policy

Apr 21, 2017

It remains difficult to predict who will be the eventual winner of France’s upcoming presidential elections, but two of the four candidates that could emerge victorious support policies far outside the traditional French and European consensus. Their extreme positions may lead to the end of French membership in both the EU and the NATO, and consequently unravel the postwar effort to bind the European continent. 

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Global Cyber Governance in 2017: Information Integrity

Apr 4, 2017

While the protection of data is at the center of cybersecurity, privacy, and internet functioning, most of us are end users of the information that data comprises. Approaches to cyber governance need to give more prominence to the concept of information integrity in addition to the current emphasis on data security. Safeguarding a trustworthy internet and building confidence in the integrity of information is a critical part of a strong cybersecurity regime because there is a growing risk that political and personal decisions are based on inadequate or false information in cyberspace.

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Refreshing Global Trade Governance

Jan 19, 2017

For the past two years, global trade volumes have plateaued. But the importance of trade as an engine for global prosperity and welfare, and as the embodiment of an integrated, peaceful world has not diminished. In the face of changed circumstances—growing public skepticism of globalization and free trade, and volatile domestic politics—the case for open exchange must be made and not simply assumed. It should also be backed by credible, workable arrangements that reflect reality.

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Steering a World in Disarray: Ten Summits to Watch in 2017

Jan 1, 2017

After a tumultuous 2016, the world holds its breath for what the coming year may bring. Angry populism is on the march. Great power relations are tense. The Middle East has imploded. Meanwhile, President-Elect Donald J. Trump proposes to upend U.S. foreign policy in areas from trade to climate, alliances to nonproliferation, terrorism to human rights. In a world in disarray, can multilateralism deliver? Ten major summits during 2017 will help provide an answer. Here’s what to look for at each summit.

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Can Multilateral Efforts Save Threatened Wildlife?

Sep 19, 2016

Dozens of wildlife species are endangered, pushed ever closer to extinction by habitat loss and illegal trade. Unfortunately, limiting trade in wild animals and plants can be a contentious process that depends as much on politics as on science. Romy Chevallier and Ross Harvey of SAIIA explain how the debate over elephant conservation elucidates this difficulty and helps demonstrate both how the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora could function better and what could be done to reconcile conflicting positions. 

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For NATO and Russia, a Wary Dialogue

Aug 2, 2016

Igor Yurgens of Russia’s Institute for Contemporary Development explains the domestic forces shaping Russia’s stance towards NATO, and, bearing these domestic considerations in mind, maps out a path for a détente between the two. 

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Brexit's Consequences For the UK—and the EU

Jun 1, 2016

Steven Blockmans and Michael Emerson of the Centre for European Policy Studies assess consequences of a British exit and concludes that a "Brexit" could have serious ramifications for not just the United Kingdom, but also the European Union as a whole. 

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