FIIA’s Publications, December 2012

FinlandFinnish Journal of Foreign Affairs

The latest issue of the Finnish Journal of Foreign Affairs (Ulkopolitiikka-lehti), published in early December, focused on the nature of money and the future of the current monetary system. In profile interview, the journal discussed the role of the European Central Bank with Sirkka Hämäläinen, a former member of the executive board. The journal also examined cyber warfare and rising anti-Semitism among young French muslims.

Starting with the latest issue, a full electronic version of the journal is published at Lehtiluukku.

FIIA Reports 33-34

Harri Mikkola, Jukka Anteroinen & Ville Lauttamäki, Uhka vai mahdollisuus? Suomi ja Euroopan puolustus- ja turvallisuusmarkkinoiden muutos

Tanja Tamminen (ed.), Strengthening the EU’s peace mediation capacities: Leveraging for peace through new ideas and thinking

FIIA Briefing Papers 116-119

Teemu Sinkkonen, Georgian Dream or Nightmare? Transition of power poses great challenges for Georgia and its foreign relations

Abstract: The victory of the Georgian Dream Coalition (GDC) over the United National Movement (UNM) has brought pluralism into Georgian policymaking. Until the power shifts from the President to the Prime Minister in 2013, the country will be led by an awkward dual power. New leadership offers great opportunities for Georgia. It can improve its democratic system and economic growth and establish a dialogue with Russia and the breakaway districts of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. This would alleviate the frozen conflict and tense security dilemma on the boundary lines. If the transition of power does not go well, there will be prolonged power struggles that  could cripple the policymaking and cast Georgia back to pre-Saakashvili times. Saakashvili’s UNM is still a very significant player in Georgian politics and it is important for the GDC and the UNM to find a way to cooperate. In order to smooth the fragile transition period, Georgia needs special support and attention.

Erik Jones, Bringing Stability to Europe: Why Europe needs a banking union

Abstract: The European sovereign debt crisis is the result of capital flows across the single market. The danger that such capital flows could unleash market speculation was known from the start; indeed, the single currency was created to remove the threat of exchange rate instability. The problem is that the architects of the single currency did not consider the impact of capital market integration on the banking sector or on the relationship between banks and national governments. Once markets lost confidence in the security of their cross-border investments, investors began to pull back their capital and the internal market for financial services started to disintegrate. The creation of a banking union is part of the solution. However, the euro area also needs a common ‘risk-free’ asset to use as a safe haven in times of crisis.

Sean Roberts, Russia’s pressure politics: The Kremlin’s uncompromising approach to opponents threatens political stability

Abstract: If Russia is to follow an evolutionary path to democracy, then the regime must be ready to draw the so-called ‘non-systemic’ opposition into political processes. This gradualist formula for democratic change is also the formula for political stability. A number of liberalising reforms conducted by the regime in response to widespread protests following the December 2011 State Duma election gave grounds for optimism that this process is now underway. However, any hopes that these events would kick-start democratic reforms were short-lived. Rather than draw in opponents, the regime has sought to isolate them, using a combination of reform, non-reform, dividing tactics and repression. But the results have not been positive. The non-systemic opposition is under increasing pressure, having seen its options all but reduced to more protesting. It is also showing signs of radicalisation. At the same time, the Kremlin’s uncompromising approach is undermining regime stability. The pressure is building in the Russian political system. The combination of repression and radicalisation could easily see political stagnation degenerate into instability and the EU should take this new dynamic into account in its future policy planning.

Charly Salonius-Pasternak & Jarno Limnéll, Transatlantic cybersecurity: The only winning move is to play with others

Abstract: Cybersecurity concerns everyone, and is everyone’s responsibility. It is a genuine example of a society-wide security issue. The United States is ahead of Europe in discussing and integrating (military) cybersecurity into its foreign and security policies. For the US, the biggest challenges at the moment are: updating legal frameworks, creating cyber rules of engagement for the military, building cyber deterrence and clarifying the cybersecurity roles and responsibilities of government and private sector actors. Cooperation at national and international levels is integral to improving cybersecurity.This includes updating international and domestic legal frameworks to ensure that state actions are accountable, and to protect citizens from wanton strikes at critical infrastructure. Governments must hold private sector partners accountable, and through partnerships ensure that societal cybersecurity is not overshadowed by private interests – public-private partnerships have a crucial role to play in this.

FIIA Working Papers

Keegan Elmer, Battle Lines in the Chinese Blogosphere: Keyword control as a tactic in managing mass incidents

Abstract: This paper explores the role of keyword control, in other words the blocking and unblocking of search keywords, on Sina’s popular microblog platform during media campaigns over politically sensitive issues in China. The author examines media campaigns in Chinese newspapers, television, microblogs and other media forms during two separate large-scale protests in December of 2011 in Guangdong province, one in the village of Wukan and the other in the town of Haimen. This paper uses these case studies to examine which acts of keyword control might be part of a set of coordinated directives in a broader media campaign over a particular politically sensitive issue. Observations based on these case studies suggest that changes in keyword control on microblogs might be the earliest detectable sign of shifts in the government’s position in their response to politically sensitive issues.

Finnish Foreign Policy Paper 2

Unto Vesa, Finland in the United Nations: Consistent and credible constructivism

Abstract: Finland’s record in the UN is one of continuity and consistency. Many features that characterized its approach more than fifty years ago are still visible in its profile today. This is self-evident to some extent, of course, because Finland has been and will continue to be a small state. The emphasis on international law and the UN Charter naturally follow on from this. It is obvious that the space for successful small state activism is more favourable in a relaxed international situation than at times of tension. In this sense the opportunities for Finland to act constructively in the United Nations have also improved since the Cold War and the country’s accession to the European Union. Credibility is one of Finland’s strongest assets in the United Nations and in the international community as a whole. Finland has no hidden agenda or special interests in the United Nations, but endeavours to serve the interests of the whole international community – now and in the future with concrete, feasible and pragmatic contributions.Finland did not win a seat in the Security Council for 2013-2014, but it will continue to work in the same way and for the same goals in the United Nations as it has done in the past and as it would have done in the Security Council.

FIIA Comments

Kristi Raik, Estonia strives to be at the core of the EU: The decision to participate in the preparation¬ of a financial transaction tax reflects a shift in Estonia’s EU policy

Abstract: In recent years, the EU policies of Estonia and Finland have evolved in opposite directions. While Finland has experienced a rise in Euroscepticism, Estonia has become an increasingly strong supporter of deepening European integration.

Mikael Mattlin, Jyrki Kallio, Charly Salonius-Pasternak, Mikael Wigell & Antto Vihma, Haussa ulkopoliittinen identiteetti: Luoko Suomi itse oman linjansa vai syntyykö linja muiden tahdosta?

Teemu Sinkkonen, Is Catalonia looking for the exit? Separatist rhetoric is side-tracking the real ¬problems and adding to uncertainty in Spain and in the EU

Abstract: Increased support for Catalan separatism is raising fears of a domino effect in Spain and the EU, since a possible secession would set a precedent for how to form a new state in the present day, and how to disengage from the EU and the monetary union.

Marikki Stocchetti, The polarized post-2015 development puzzle: The poorest still fall behind

Abstract: 2015 will mark a moment of truth for the international community as the era of the Millennium Development agenda (2000-2015) comes to an end. The polarization of world poverty into “fragile” and “strong” states poses a puzzle that requires rethinking at both global and national levels.