Global Outlook

Curated expert opinion on intractable contemporary issues

India’s Growing Democratic Deficit

By Ramesh Thakur  |  25 March, 2021

In the Economist Intelligence Unit’s annual Democracy Index published in early February, the world’s top five democracies are Norway, Iceland, Sweden, New Zealand and Canada. North Korea sits triumphantly at the bottom. India is classified as one of the world’s 52 ‘flawed democracies’. Its score dropped from 7.92 in 2014 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power to 6.61 last year, and its global ranking slipped from 27th to 53rd among 167 countries surveyed in 2020.

On the Way to an Arms Race and a New Cold War?

By Herbert Wulf  |  19 March, 2021

Exactly one year ago, on 23 March at the beginning of the pandemic, UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, called for a global cease fire. He said: “Now is the time for a collective new push for peace and reconciliation. And so I appeal for a stepped-up international effort — led by the Security Council — to achieve a global ceasefire by the end of this year ... The world needs a global ceasefire to stop all ‘hot’ conflicts. At the same time, we must do everything to avoid a new Cold War.” His urgent appeal has gone unheard.

The UN Security Council at a Turning Point: Securitisation or Climatisation?

By Cesare M. Scartozzi  |  13 March, 2021

On February 23, the UN Security Council (UNSC) held a high-level open debate on the topic of climate and security. The meeting, convened by the Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom, was the latest in a series of open debates and Arria-formula sessions set to define the role of the Council in addressing threats to international security posed by climate change. Despite a decade-long discussion, the UNSC is still divided on a series of conceptual and procedural issues that, as it will be shown in this article, prevent it from defining its role in relation to climate change.

Setting New Priorities: The EU Shifts from Civil Peace and Development Projects to Military Policies

By Herbert Wulf  |  09 March, 2021

The EU’s foreign and security policy is plagued by unclear concepts, contradictory interests and fierce controversies between its member states. At the moment, priorities are set for a stronger military and defence role. The EU as a “power of peace”, a term popular ten years ago, has been pushed aside and geopolitical ambitions moved into the foreground.

China, Kiribati, Fiji, and a Village on Vanua Levu: A Textbook Example of the Multi-Scalar Effects of Climate Change

By Paulo Baleinakorodawa  |  06 March, 2021

At the end of February, the government of the Pacific island nation of Kiribati announced that it planned to collaborate with China in developing Natovatu land bought by the Kiribati government in 2014 on the Fijian island of Vanua Levu. In the light of increasing attempts by the People’s Republic of China to expand its influence in Pacific Island Countries, this announcement was met with some concern on the international stage. It was interpreted in the context of the growing geostrategic power rivalry in the region.

You Can’t Bomb the Virus! Warming to a New Security for the Common Good

By Denise Garcia  |  03 March, 2021

Countries spend vital funds to stockpile expensive weapon systems at the cost of making actual necessary investments to protect their populations. National security calculations presuppose that power and status equate with costly weapons accumulation. However, none of the challenges that pose existential dangers to nations in the 21st century can be tackled with weapons, or solved by one country acting alone, or even fought with military means.

The views and opinions expressed in Global Outlook are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Toda Peace Institute.