Publications

Ahead of Macedonia’s naming referendum on September 30, the boycott proponents attempted to both use and disparage similar nationalist sentiment in the United States.

A failed referendum would complicate the country’s integration into the Euro-Atlantic community for the foreseeable future. Namely, Greece is adamant the country’s name has to change to lift their veto on Macedonia’s NATO and European Union membership. The agreed name containing the word “North” is a compromise reached between the two countries on June 17, 2018 (so called Prespa Agreement).

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For several years, Turkey has been hosting the world’s largest refugee population. This report, “Toward Long-Term Solidarity with Syrian Refugees? Turkey’s Policy Response and Challenges,” takes a comprehensive look at the policies, actors and issues that have characterized Turkey’s approach to Syrian refugees since 2011. In this age of mass refugee flows, Turkey distinguishes itself from other countries for demonstrating both financial and organizational capacities, as well as a strong political will to welcome refugees. Open door, camps and temporary protection have been at the core of Turkey’s approach. But an uninterrupted inflow of refugees, as well as a complicated foreign and domestic political environment, has put some limitations on Turkey’s welcome. And Turkey’s praised policy put in place in 2014-2015 has been slowly dismantled over time (with the sidelining of camps, the closing of the border, the limitation on freedom of movement for Syrians, early returns, possible push backs, etc.), and a new sense of direction now needs to be put in place.

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In an era of increasing technological, cultural and geo-political change, the rise of disinformation undermines the institutions that nations rely on to function and creates risks across society. At the heart of the challenge is the battle of truth and trust. In this report, “Whose Truth: Sovereignty, Disinformation and Winning the Battle of Trust, John Watts draws upon a rich discussion on the threat that disinformation poses to state’s sovereignty by a diverse group of experts as part of a US Special Operations Command program. The paper explores the themes and key takeaways of a discourse that explored the causes and impacts of the current complex information environment, its implications for state sovereignty, the range of threats it poses and how a natural maturation of the changed environment can be accelerated by groups at every layer of society.

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Amid a deep political crisis, Brazil will elect a new president, new state governors, and a new Congress in two rounds of voting — the first on October 7 and the second on October 28. The stakes are high, and misinformation or disinformation have the potential to influence the electoral process. Any accusations of large-scale falsehood could cast into question the legitimacy of the process, or the results.

Read the full analysis on Medium.

English | Macedonian | Albanian

September 17, 2018

To the Citizens of Macedonia:

From the day of your nation's independence, the United States of America has been your steadfast friend. The American people have admired your peaceful emergence from the ashes of Yugoslavia. We have respected your courage in upholding democratic values and free institutions. And we have supported your aspirations to achieve prosperity and security in a Europe that is whole, free, and at peace.

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With our modern-day reliance on digital technology, software and system vulnerabilities have become increasingly hard to avoid. Thoroughly eliminating all these vulnerabilities can be a challenge, but through a coordinated vulnerability disclosure (CVD) program, governments and private companies can mitigate them with the help of independent security researchers. When instituted and followed, a CVD program allows companies to manage the process of disclosure and handling of vulnerabilities in a controlled fashion by working with security researchers to coordinate a set of common terms and a timeline.

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In a new report, Three Pipelines and the Three Seas: BRUA, TAP, the IAP and Gasification in Southeast Europe, Global Energy Center Fellow John Roberts takes a comprehensive look at the state of gas infrastructure and interconnections throughout southeast Europe.

Integration in the region, which includes countries that were formerly members of the Warsaw Pact, is crucially important not just for economic development and the further integration of the European gas market, but also as a bulwark against reliance on Russian gas supplies. Interconnection offers options and liquidity—crucial for competition and energy security.

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The Republic of Moldova, a sliver of land bordering the European Union (EU) and NATO’s eastern edge, finds itself at a critical crossroads twenty-seven years after gaining independence from the Soviet Union. Eager to forge closer ties with Brussels and Washington, the government has made concerted efforts to bring the country closer in line with the West’s expectations and conditions required for a strong ally and partner. Genuine progress has been made over the past couple of years and the country has achieved financial and economic stability with the support of its development partners; it has reached over 4 percent economic growth, lowered inflation, fixed huge problems in the banking sector, and replaced Russia with the EU as its main trading partner.

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On Sunday, August 26, Colombians went to the polls again, this time to vote in a “popular consultation” on a series of seven initiatives intended to counter corruption. A significant share of the campaigning involved spreading misinformation — or countering it.

The consultation asked Colombians to vote on seven initiatives intended to crack down on Colombia’s endemic corruption. If approved, they would have strengthened punishment for convicted corrupt officials, improved the transparency of public offices and public contracts, imposed a maximum of three four-year periods for holding seats in public corporations — Congress, department assemblies (something like state legislatures in the United States), and city councils — and lowered the salary of Congress members and other high-ranking public officials.

The consultation was backed by both the president and the opposition, requiring a high turnout and a high vote to be approved, but failed to achieve the former. Disinformation aimed at suppressing the vote likely had a serious impact on the outcome.

Read the full analysis on Medium.
Macedonia will hold a naming referendum on September 30, which will decide by ballot an initiative to rename the country the Republic of North Macedonia. The issue does raise the question of what is in a name, but it could also resolve a long dispute between Macedonia and Greece, which has kept Macedonia from ascending into the European Union and NATO.

Leading up to the approaching referendum date, an online campaign called #Бојкотира (translates to #boycott) is steadily growing on Twitter and Facebook. The aim of this far-right campaign is boycotting the referendum.

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