How global value chains will evolve in the post-COVID-19 economy | East Asia Forum

COVID-19 will likely accelerate the move toward ‘peer value chains’ among countries with similar institutional arrangements. In addition to traditional production factors, the quality of domestic institutions may become an important determinant of a country’s comparative advantage. Nathan Nunn conceptualises ‘contract-intensive’ products, which have complex supply chains that involve multiple transactions at various stages of [...]

National Security Podcast: Great power competition with Ali Wyne – Policy Forum

In this episode of the National Security Podcast, Katherine Mansted speaks to Ali Wyne about why great powers compete, how China, Russia, and the United States are shaping the global system, and whether their behaviour is making the post-COVID-19 world more dangerous. Is competition between great powers destined to be fraught with the risk of [...]

How the geometry of ancient habitats may have influenced human brain evolution | Ars Technica

There's a pivotal scene in the 2012 film The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey when Gandalf, Bilbo Baggins, and a company of dwarves are chased by orcs through a classic New Zealand landscape. For Northwestern University neuroscientist and engineer Malcolm MacIver, the scene is an excellent example of the kind of patchy landscape—dotted with trees, bushes, [...]

Armenian-Azerbaijani Border Clashes: The Russian Dimension and Beyond – Jamestown

Following the outbreak of deadly Armenian-Azerbaijani border clashes on July 12 (see EDM, July 14, 16, 20 [1][2]), Russia’s state energy giant Gazprom reported that its local natural gas pipelines in Armenia were damaged, due to the shelling (TASS, RBC, July 14). Furthermore, the Moscow-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) announced a meeting, at the [...]

A Field Guide to U.S.-India Trade Tensions | Council on Foreign Relations

Trade between the United States and India has grown steadily ever since India’s economy began to take off in the mid-1990s and its information technology sector shot to prominence in the early 2000s. From 1999 to 2018, trade in goods and services between the two countries surged from $16 billion to $142 billion. India is [...]

The Renewed Dependency on Mercenary Fighters – DER SPIEGEL

Increasingly, governments that are involved in military conflicts are turning not to their own countrymen, but are instead relying on foreigners who they pay as mercenaries. Countries like Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Russia and Iran are ignoring other countries' borders and sovereignty, sending hired guns into foreign countries because they don't like the regime [...]