Council of Councils is an initiative of the Council on Foreign Relations Explore CFR

Member Publications

The West, Multipolarity and the Challenge of Global Governance

Author: Riccardo Alcaro, Italian Institute of International Affairs

Contrary to expectations, the hierarchical structure of Western power has consolidated since the end of the Cold War, with the United States at the center and European countries revolving around it, part genuinely, part fatalistically, as followers.

Reimagining Multistakeholderism: Challenges for Internet Governance

Authors: Samir Saran and William Poff-Webster, Observer Research Foundation

Concerns remain in the developing world about whether the ICANN/IANA transition will create a truly plural process. Three challenges 'multistakeholderism' must address from the perspective of the developing world are access, equity and sovereignty.

East Asian Security and South Korea's Middle Power Diplomacy

Author: Chaesung Chun, East Asia Institute

In addressing security matters in the Northeast Asian region, the role of South Korea's middle power diplomacy as a networking power is crucial in defining the nature of the North Korea problem.

Nuclear Safety in Southeast Asia: Lessons from the Nuclear Pioneers

Author: Julius Cesar Imperial Trajano, R. Rajaratnam School of International Studies

Southeast Asian states interested in acquiring nuclear energy may take lessons from the cumulative experience of 31 nuclear-powered states gained over the past 60 years, including evolving international frameworks on safety regulation, human resources.

An 'India Exception' and India-US Partnership on Climate Change

Authors: Samir Saran, Observer Research Foundation and Bruce Jones, Brookings Institution

An 'India exception' in global climate talks is the only realistic pathway to a global climate deal, which could also be a key tool in cementing stronger ties between India and the US, two critical actors in the evolving international order.

China's "Nine-dash Line" Claim: US Misunderstands

Authors: Ye Qiang and Jiang Zongqiang, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies

The U.S. Department of State's paper on China's maritime claims in the South China Sea was published on December 5, 2014, has confused China's "dash-line" claim.

G20 and Global Governance: Can it Do Better?

Stephen Grenville, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies

The G20 convened in Brisbane on 15-16 November 2014 for yet another summit. In the aftermath of the recent global financial crisis, this paper considers whether the G20 still has relevance.

The 10th Japan-China joint opinion poll analysis report

The Genron NPO

During July and August this year, The Genron NPO and China Daily conducted joint opinion polls targeting the citizens of Japan and China. This is the 10th annual opinion poll; these polls have been jointly conducted since 2005.

Defibrillating the Vertikal? Putin and Russian Grand Strategy

Andrew Monaghan, Chatham House

This paper explores the question of whether there is a Russian ‘grand strategy’, with a focus on strategy as the creation of power, and examines the link between Russian leadership’s consistent but increasingly obvious commitment to strategic planning.

Asia Pacific Economic Leadership: Shifting from the U.S. to China?

Yang Razali Kassim, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies

A hectic week of high-level diplomacy in Beijing saw China asserting its weight and snatching the region’s economic leadership from traditional leader, the United States. The implications were not missed as ASEAN leaders met soon after in Myanmar.

Income Inequality: New Worry Over Impact of Quantitative Easing

J. Soedradjad Djiwandono, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies

While the policy of easy money known as quantitative easing (QE) has saved the US financial sector from collapse, it has also been criticised for causing various problems. Yet QE could worsen the worrisome global trend of increasing income inequality.

Reframing the Climate Debate

Vivan Sharan and Rei Tang, Observer Research Foundation

Vivan Sharan and Rei Tang argue that seeking a uniform response to climate change will hinder universal action.

Views from Africa : Addressing Vulnerability and Promoting Security

Judy Smith-Höhn, Programme Manager, South African Institute of International Affairs

This paper examines the African Union’s response to dealing with crisis situations, considers how this continental approach is reflected in positions taken by RECs, and how national interests impact ability of the RECs to address instability and security.

China’s Approach to International Climate Policy Change Begins at Home

Susanne Dröge and Gudrun Wacker, German Institute for International and Security Affairs

China’s international climate change involvement depends on three things: momentum from the United States, international commitment to addressing the interests of developing countries, and readiness of the EU to push important issues internationally

Human Rights and Sustainability in Free Trade Agreements

Evita Schmieg, German Institute for International and Security Affairs

Evita Schmieg argues that Free trade agreements should be designed to ensure that positive effects are felt quickly and should include provisions for dealing with negative effects, citing the EU Economic Partnership Agreement with Cariforum as a model.

A Blueprint for a Sovereign Debt Forum

Richard Gitlin and Brett House, Center for International Governance Innovation

The paper outlines a proposal for a nonstatutory, non-profit, membership-based Sovereign Debt Forum that would provide an independent standing body to research and preserve institutional memory on best practice in sovereign debt restructuring.

The South China Sea Disputes: Formula for a Paradigm Shift - A Rejoinder

Robert C Beckman and Clive H Schofield, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies

Robert Beckman and Clive Schofield discuss Professor Raul Pedrozo’s critique of proposals for China to bring its maritime claims into conformity with international law and UNCLOS, which he sees as “problematic” and “counterproductive.”

Internet Governance - The Key Questions for India

Samir Saran, Observer Research Foundation

If not addressed and managed, a divisive debate on the control and management of the digital global commons, could not only undermine the huge gains that have accrued from interconnectedness, but might become a basis for conflict, says expert Samir Saran.

The Global Terrorist Threat: Set to Grow in 2014

Rohan Gunaratna, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies

Rohan Gunaratna, head of RSIS's Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research discusses how, after the 2014 withdrawal from Afghanistan, "the Taliban-led terrorist sanctuary is likely to be revived to threaten stability and security worldwide."

Energy Security: Southeast Asia Revives Nuclear Power Plans

Barry Desker, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies

Barry Desker, dean of RSIS, discusses how "Southeast Asian states are moving to push ahead with nuclear power plants in an about-turn from the focus on safety risk in the search for energy security."

Global Governance As a Challenge

Nikita Maslennikov, Institute of Contemporary Development

Nikita Maslennikov from the Institute of Contemporary Development (INSOR) considers the emerging risks challenging global governance mechanisms in the 21st century.