What we’re reading: Brexit lessons, Chinese influence, America’s polarization

Welcome to ‘What we’re reading’ – our new reading list on Atlantic Community. We would like to use this space to share and highlight interesting, engaging, thought-provoking papers and podcasts on the state of transatlantic relations. Our recommendations will include European and US perspectives that will (hopefully) give you useful insights and a better understanding on the biggest challenges in international politics. We hope you will enjoy our selection. Feel free to suggest your favourite picks on twitter or facebook. And don’t forget, we are always open for contributions – so if you are interested in writing for us, do get in touch!

Brexit will arguably have a huge impact on the future of Europe and the EU. To understand the causes of Brexit and the nature of Brexit negotiations there are few better observers to turn to than the UK’s former representative to the EU, Sir Ivan Rogers. He gave a very insightful lecture at Liverpool University on “9 lessons in Brexit” – it is a great summary of the intricacies of Brexit by a former top British diplomat. Over the past couple of weeks Atlantic Community also published a series of essays on ‘European Security after Brexit’ looking beyond the debates about the Withdrawal Agreement and mapping out the potential of future cooperation between the EU and the UK.

GLOBSEC’s Generation Trends Central Europe: Mosaic of Perspectives is an insightful study that captures the complexity of Central European perceptions of geopolitics, EU and NATO membership. The analysis is based on data collected from public opinion polls in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. Our friends at GLOBSEC also organise a Young Leaders Forum in Bratislava. So, if you are a young professional under 35 and interested in security issues, you can still apply here.

Questions about the influence of China have resulted in broad policy debate on security in Europe and North America. The Czech Association for International Affairs (AMO) runs a very interesting project on Chinese influence in Eastern Europe, a region where China is slowly building up a robust diplomatic and economic network. On the topic of Chinese diplomacy we also recommend Tom Bayes’s article in our “Political Risk in North Africa” series in which he analyses China’s role in North Africa and discovers a rather similar pattern.

Here is an intriguing question: Does a Change of Government Influence Compliance with International Agreements? Johannes Blum and Niklas Potrafke at ces ifo wanted to find out and analysed the case of the “NATO Two Percent Target”. Click here to read the results.

How anti-Europeans plan to wreck Europe and what can be done to stop it. ECFR continues its series of scorecards with a special report on the upcoming 2019 European elections. ECFR’s research predicts that anti-European parties may win more than one-third of the seats in the next European Parliament, a sign of growing polarisation in Europe. The study also warns that this “would put at risk Europe’s capacity to defend its citizens from external threats at exactly the time when, given global turmoil, it needs to show more resolve, cooperation, and global leadership.”

But also across the Atlantic polarization is a problem. Or is it? More in Common launched a though-provoking project on “The hidden tribes in America” and it has some surprising results. While the opinion polling shows that there are strong divides in American society there is also a majority of Americans (the authors call them the “Exhausted Majority”) that are fed up by America’s polarization. Read the study here: https://hiddentribes.us

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