Africa, Asia and the Americas

Searching for a new identity: South Korea’s middle power diplomacy

By Yul Sohn (16/12/2015) Policy Brief
Republic of Korea/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

South Korea is pursuing middle power diplomacy in an increasingly difficult regional context, marked by tensions between China and the US. The key factor shaping South Korea’s identity as a middle power is its relationship with its most important ally, the United States. Over the past decade, South Korea’s middle power diplomacy has evolved, as its focus shifted from regional to global issues. However, global engagement and regional focus cannot be an alternative in South Korea's foreign policy. The challenge for South Korea is to help shape a stable regional architecture while seeking a proactive role in multilateral frameworks.

Japan’s defense policy – A new ‘normal’?

By Luis Simón (09/09/2015) Commentary
Bryan Jones/Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

When it comes to security in the Asia-Pacific, China’s strategic rise is often the first thing that comes to mind. But Japan’s changing security role both in the region and internationally is also of great significance.

Modi’s Foreign Policy Mantra: geoeconomics, regional hegemony, global aspirations

By Gauri Khandekar (19/11/2014) Policy Brief
Narendra Modi/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Within just six months in power, Narendra Modi has managed to induce a dramatic overhaul of India's foreign policy and global profile. His foreign policy mantra is threefold: geostrategic consolidation in South Asia, attracting foreign direct investment, and aspiring to become a global power. Under Modi, India’s foreign policy calculus is changing: Japan, China, Russia and Australia are becoming more important while the US and European countries are losing ground.

Brazil: what to expect from the new ‘old’ government?

Senado Federal/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Dilma Rousseff has been re-elected as President of Brazil after a much disputed second round of elections, held on 26 October 2014. Winning almost 52 per cent of the vote, the incumbent Rousseff of the Workers Party (PT) defeated the social democratic PSDB candidate Aécio Neves, against a backdrop of economic stagnation and widespread discontent with the political system. Now the question is what might Rousseff’s new presidential term hold for Brazil? Her difficult victory shows that Brazilians know that there is an urgent need for a new period of domestic modernisation and more effective global diplomacy. If Rousseff fails to adopt new approaches, both Brazilians and Brazil’s emerging international role will suffer.

Modi and the EU

By Gauri Khandekar (11/06/2014) Commentary
Narendra Modi/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The recent election victory of the Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has proffered India a strong central government. While domestic issues will be the government’s overriding priority, there is already a noticeably clear focus on foreign affairs. So far, Modi’s foreign policy points towards a shift for India from being a near-pacifist power to an orthodox regional power, from a great nation to a great power. The EU-India relationship has been largely lacklustre for the past few years. There is a clear need for redoubled efforts by the EU to salvage its relations with India and re-launch the bilateral agenda.

Modi’s moment? India’s 2014 elections

By Gauri Khandekar (04/04/2014) Policy Brief
Narendra Modi/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From April 7 to May 12 2014, India will hold parliamentary elections.  With 815 million eligible voters, 930,000 polling stations nation-wide and 1,616 national and regional parties, this election is mainly about change – in leadership, in political discourse, and in general attitudes and aspirations.

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Dear Friends and Colleagues,

FRIDE ceased its think tank activities on 31st December 2015 for economic reasons. The Board of Trustees had to take this difficult decision since, despite many efforts to diversify its funding sources, FRIDE cannot sustain its think tank operations with a view to 2016 and beyond.

Established in 1999, FRIDE has made a major contribution to shape debate on Europe’s external activities in an increasingly challenging international environment. It has covered issues ranging from democracy and human rights to sustainable development, new approaches to multilateral cooperation and security affairs. FRIDE’s long-standing focus on the extended neighbourhood of the European Union proves today all the more relevant given widespread turbulence in the region. FRIDE’s emphasis on the importance of the values framing Europe’s external activities is central to current political debates in Europe and beyond. This shows the need for continued engagement in the pursuit of a common European foreign policy that is both effective and informed by the core values of European integration.

The Board wishes to thank Diego Hidalgo, FRIDE’s founder, for his tireless commitment and very generous support for many years. The Board also wishes to thank FRIDE’s dedicated staff, the members of the Board and the Advisory Committee for their contribution in making FRIDE one of the top foreign policy think tanks in Europe. We are very grateful to all those who have supported FRIDE’s work and projects over the years and we thank the many partners from all parts of the world who have worked with FRIDE on joint initiatives. We hope that FRIDE’s extensive input to the debate on Europe in the world will continue to inform thinking and action at a very critical time for Europe’s future.

The President of the Board

FRIDE cesó sus actividades como think tank el 31 de diciembre de 2015 por razones económicas. El Patronato tuvo que adoptar esta difícil decisión dado que, a pesar de los intensos esfuerzos realizados para diversificar sus fuentes de financiación, FRIDE no puede sostener sus operaciones como think tank a partir de 2016.

Establecido en 1999, FRIDE ha realizado una gran contribución al debate sobre las actividades exteriores de Europa en un ambiente internacional cada vez más complejo. Ha trabajado en temas que van desde la democracia y los derechos humanos al desarrollo sostenible, los nuevos enfoques en la cooperación multilateral y las cuestiones de seguridad. La atención prestada por FRIDE a la vecindad extendida de la Unión Europea durante mucho tiempo prueba ser hoy aún más relevante debido a la turbulencia que azota a la región. El énfasis de FRIDE en la importancia de los valores que enmarcan las actividades exteriores europeas es central en los debates en Europa y más allá. Esto muestra la necesidad de un compromiso continuo con la búsqueda de una política exterior europea común que sea eficaz y esté basada en los principios fundamentales de la integración europea.

El Patronato desea agradecer a Diego Hidalgo, fundador de FRIDE, por su incansable compromiso y muy generoso apoyo a lo largo de tantos años. También quiere expresar su gratitud a la dedicada plantilla, a los propios miembros del Patronato y del Comité Asesor por sus contribuciones para hacer de FRIDE uno de los principales think tanks de Europa en cuestiones de política exterior. Estamos muy agradecidos con todos aquellos que han apoyado el trabajo y los proyectos de FRIDE a través de los años y también damos las gracias a los numerosos socios de todas partes del mundo que han colaborado con FRIDE en iniciativas conjuntas. Esperamos que las extensas aportaciones de FRIDE al debate sobre Europa en el mundo continuará informando el pensamiento y la acción en un momento muy crítico para el futuro de Europa.

El Presidente del Patronato

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