Publications

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In recent years, US economic and financial sanctions have become favored tools of US power. The centrality of the US financial system and the ubiquity of the US dollar in the global financial marketplace make sanctions a powerful tool to have on hand when confronting foreign policy challenges. The great danger is, however, that sanctions become a substitute for actual policy, rather than merely a tool of foreign policy. In “US Sanctions: Using a Coercive Economic and Financial Tool Effectively” authors David Mortlock and Brian O’Toole, who are both senior fellows at the Atlantic Council’s, explain what sanctions are and why they are used. The authors assess the Trump Administration’s use of sanctions and outline the conditions under which sanctions are most effective. Finally, Mortlock and O’Toole provide specific recommendations on what steps the US government must take to ensure sanctions remain a key component of the national security toolkit.

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Growing anxiety about China’s dominance of emerging markets spurred a rare bipartisan effort to pass the Better Utilization of Investments Leading to Development (BUILD) Act of 2018. The BUILD Act delivers a needed overhaul of US development finance capabilities and commercial diplomacy by subsuming the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and other development finance agencies into a single, streamlined entity: The United States International Development Finance Corporation (USDFC). The USDFC will provide policymakers with new tools for supporting US commercial diplomacy and promoting US corporate success in fast-growing foreign markets, including equity and grant making capabilities.

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On October 7, a few hours after the polls closed in Brazil and a runoff between the far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro and leftist Fernando Haddad was announced, capoeira master Moa do Katende was stabbed to death in a bar.

The murder received extensive attention because it was reported as an example of the increasing electoral violence in the country. The victim was a Worker’s Party (PT) supporter, while the suspect was an alleged Bolsonaro supporter.

Read the full analysis on Medium.
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In the issue brief "Europe's Southern Gas Corridor: The Italian (Dis)connection," Atlantic Council senior fellow John M. Roberts gives an update on where things stand in completing a crucial component of the Southern Gas Corridor, the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP). The pipeline - which will bring Shah Deniz gas from Azerbaijan to Greece, Albania, Italy and other Western European markets - is officially scheduled to open in 2020.

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Ahead of Brazil’s presidential election on October 7 vote, false narratives about electronic voting fraud have spiked and deepened mistrust as citizens head to the polls.

The narrative has been amplified by the far-right frontrunner Jair Bolsonaro, who claimed the voting system is rigged in favor of the leftist Worker’s Party (PT).

Read the full analysis on Medium.
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The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is experiencing a time of great transformation and as well as tumult. Atlantic Council Senior Fellow Dr. Karim Mezran and Dr. Arturo Varvelli of the Italian Institute for International Political Studies gathered experts to explore decentralization and political Islam in six MENA countries in “The Arc of Crisis in the MENA Region: Fragmentation, Decentralization, and Islamist Opposition.”

The report is divided into three parts. The first explores whether decentralization can positively contribute to more effective governance in fragmented environments across the region. The second examines the diverse manifestations of political Islam following the changes several countries experienced after the 2011 uprisings. The third addresses the issue of energy, including the challenges and opportunities it presents in the current political climate.

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International political dark money is a crucial, but little-understood, part of a toolkit of techniques that have been used, with accelerating intensity, to influence major liberal democracies and transition states over the last decade. Using three concrete case studies, this report outlines the active threat of dark money in the context of hostile powers’ subversion operations, explains how current legislation and enforcement mechanisms are inadequate, and proposes a “layered defense.”

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Uma análise das 20 notícias sobre corrupção que geraram mais engajamento nas redes sociais este ano mostra que fontes de baixa credibilidade conseguiram atrair mais engajamento do que veículos tradicionais.

Dentre as 20 notícias que atraíram mais interações no Facebook e no Twitter entre fevereiro e agosto deste ano, cinco não eram confiáveis: quatro eram inverídicas e uma foi publicada por um site que fazia parte de uma rede de desinformação. Além disso, uma foi criada por uma publicação de humor. Entre os quatro artigos mais populares, três estavam nestas categorias.

Read the full analysis on FGV.
Ahead of the September 30 nationwide referendum to determine the country’s name, Macedonia remains on high alert for disinformation from at home and abroad. The campaign on all sides of the referendum has included a substantial digital and online component.

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Ahead of Macedonia’s naming referendum on September 30, Nazi imagery and accusations have been inserted into the political dialogue online. Content spread by the mostly anonymous campaign to boycott the referendum falsely claimed the local politicians and foreign officials who support the referendum are also Nazi supporters or fascists.

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