The International Spectator, Vol. 56, No. 1, March 2021

Open access: Europe’s Defence of the Iran Nuclear Deal: Less than a Success, More than a Failure Leggi
Open access: Seeking a Responsible Arms Trade to Reduce Human Suffering in Yemen Leggi
Free: Trade and Global Value Chains at the Time of Covid-19 Leggi

Numero: 
56/1
Data pubblicazione: 
21/02/2021

Rethinking Arms Control

Just GRIT and Bear It: A Cold War Approach to Future US-Russia Arms Control
Sarah Bidgood
Even at the height of the Cold War, Washington and Moscow found ways to cooperate on nuclear issues. But what brought the two rivals to the negotiating table in the first place? History points to Graduated Reciprocation in Tension-reduction (GRIT), an approach employed by President John F. Kennedy and, later, George H. W. Bush to cut through enemy images and move arms control forward. Today, GRIT could offer a path out of the US-Russia security dilemma towards renewed nuclear engagement. GRIT’s emphasis on self-restraint aligns with cuts to military budgets that will follow from the pandemic. Its use of unilateral, reciprocal steps, meanwhile, could open doors to asymmetric and multilateral arms control modalities.
Keywords: nuclear weapons; arms control; US-Russia relations; GRIT; Cold War
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In Search of the ‘Human Element’: International Debates on Regulating Autonomous Weapons Systems
Daniele Amoroso and Guglielmo Tamburrini
The ‘weaponisation’ of artificial intelligence and robotics, especially their convergence in autonomous weapons systems (AWS), is a matter of international concern. Debates on AWS have revolved around (i) the identification of hallmarks of AWS with respect to other weapons; (ii) what it is that makes AWS destructive force especially troublesome from a normative standpoint; and (iii) steps the international community can take to allay these concerns. Of particular concern is the need to preserve the ‘human element’ in the use of force. A differentiated approach to this latter issue, which is also principled and prudential, may pave the way to a legally binding instrument to regulate AWS by establishing meaningful human control over all weapons systems.
Keywords: autonomous weapons systems; Convention on Conventional Weapons; meaningful human control; international humanitarian law; human dignity
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The Case for Cyber ‘Disarmament’ in the European Union
Eugenio Benincasa
The European Union (EU) is becoming increasingly dependent on cyberspace, exposing itself to new security risks. While the EU should seek to limit the proliferation of cyber weapons, the prospect of creating a cyber non-proliferation regime on the blueprint of previous arms control treaties presents several difficulties. By contrast, unilateral cyber ‘disarmament’ through government vulnerability disclosure processes would limit the proliferation of dangerous cyber weapons more effectively and increase deterrence. Few EU member states have taken active steps to establish such processes and little information is available about how they handle the knowledge of vulnerabilities in their possession.
Keywords: cybersecurity; arms control; disarmament; deterrence; European Union
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Europe’s Defence of the Iran Nuclear Deal: Less than a Success, More than a Failure
Riccardo Alcaro
For Europe, the Iran nuclear deal is a bittersweet story. Between 2003 and 2015, the Europeans played an important role in facilitating US-Iran nuclear diplomacy and eventually the agreement itself. After former US President Trump decided to exit the deal and revert to maximum economic pressure in 2018, the Europeans tried to recreate room for US-Iran engagement. While unsuccessful, they have nonetheless managed to remain relevant for both sides. The prospect of normalised economic relations with Europe has provided Iran with an incentive not to pursue nuclear weapons. As for the US, the nuclear deal – which still exists formally thanks to Europe – is the only framework available for re-engaging Iran in nuclear diplomacy, a prospect the new administration of Joe Biden has pledged to consider. Dismissing Europe’s efforts as ineffectual is therefore inaccurate since, in defending the nuclear deal, the Europeans have preserved a diplomatic bridge for US-Iranian re-engagement.
Keywords: EU foreign and security policy; EU-Iran relations; Iran’s nuclear programme; transatlantic relations; nuclear non-proliferation
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Seeking a Responsible Arms Trade to Reduce Human Suffering in Yemen
Giovanna Maletta
The war in Yemen has shown inconsistencies in European Union (EU) member states’ arms export control practices: specifically, how they have applied international humanitarian law standards in their arms transfer decisions towards members of the Saudi-led coalition involved in the conflict. While such discrepancies are not new, the ratification of the Arms Trade Treaty by all EU member states, including the United Kingdom (UK) at the time, has provided another framework for bringing these controversies into the spotlight. It has also provided non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in the UK and France with further legal grounds to challenge the legality of these governments’ arms exports to Saudi Arabia and to seek their compliance with their obligations in the field of arms trade. These actions are noteworthy in terms of the information they provide on states’ arms export risk assessment procedures, on how to interpret and implement applicable legislation, and their possible impact on other countries’ decision-making in the same domain.
Keywords: arms exports; Arms Trade Treaty; European Union; international humanitarian law; Yemen
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Articles

Trade and Global Value Chains at the Time of Covid-19
Anna Maria Pinna and Luca Lodi
The pandemic we are experiencing is, despite its temporary nature, likely to leave a permanent sign on the global trade system. Measures to contain contagion have revealed the greater vulnerability of firms operating in global value chains (GVCs) and especially those located in first-hit countries. The risk is that production reshuffling made possible by automation will increase, and that nations will see incentives for changing the distribution of manufacturing around the globe. Furthermore, Covid-led trade restrictions may trigger a new wave of protectionism, impacting disproportionately on those countries without the manufacturing capacity to provide their populations with medical products.
Keywords: globalisation; global value chains; Covid-19; protectionism
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Geography, Climate Change, National Security: The Case of the Evolving US Arctic Strategy
Agata Lavorio
The US is showing ever greater attention to the Arctic as a result of the geopolitical incentives and constraints deriving from climate change – an abrupt change in physical geography. According to major defence documents, the effects of climate change on US national security have intensified in the last few years, threatening even homeland defence. The very fact that the consequences of climate change have been taken into consideration by the Trump administration’s national security planning despite the President’s controversial position on global warming constitutes remarkable proof of the persistent importance of geography for national security.
Keywords: United States; Arctic; climate change; geopolitics
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Opposition Parties in the European Parliament: The Cases of Syriza, Podemos and the Five Star Movement
Eugenio Salvati
The different crises which have affected the European Union (EU) since 2008, have triggered a major politicisation of European integration. This dynamic makes it of utmost importance to understand how parties act within the European Parliament (EP), in order to gauge whether it is possible to identify a parliamentary opposition which is Eurocritical but not Eurosceptic. For this purpose, three parties are considered: Syriza (Synaspismos Rizospastikis Aristeras, Coalition of the Radical Left), Podemos (We Can) and the Movimento Cinque Stelle (Five Star Movement). These parties’ positions on the EU are either unclear and/or critical, but also hard to classify as hostile to European integration. The empirical analysis highlights a significant degree of commonality in the voting behaviour of these parties and a high level of disagreement with the Eurosceptic bloc, thus pointing to a more complex political confrontation in the EP structured around: pro-EU/majority parties, Eurocritical/‘loyal’ opposition parties and Eurosceptic/anti-system parties.
Keywords: Euroscepticism; legislative studies; party politics; European Parliament; European integration
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Book Reviews

The United Nations at 75: An Institutional Appraisal
Giuseppe Zaccaria
Review of: UN reform : 75 years of challenge and change, by Stephen Browne, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2019
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Forty Years of China’s Economy: A Historical Perspective
Paola Pasquali
Review of: To get rich is glorious : challenges facing China’s economic reform and opening at forty, edited by Jacques deLisle and Avery Goldstein, Brookings Institution Press, 2019
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Contiene

20/02/2021
The International Spectator, Vol. 56, No. 1, March 2021, p. 1-19
20/02/2021
The International Spectator, Vol. 56, No. 1, March 2021, p. 39-54
20/02/2021
The International Spectator, Vol. 56, No. 1, March 2021, p. 55-72
20/02/2021
The International Spectator, Vol. 56, No. 1, March 2021, p. 73-91
20/02/2021
The International Spectator, Vol. 56, No. 1, March 2021, p. 92-110
20/02/2021
The International Spectator, Vol. 56, No. 1, March 2021, p. 111-125
20/02/2021
The International Spectator, Vol. 56, No. 1, March 2021, p. 126-142
20/02/2021
The International Spectator, Vol. 56, No. 1, March 2021, p. 143-145
20/02/2021
The International Spectator, Vol. 56, No. 1, March 2021, p. 146-148

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