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Global Challenges
Issue no. 1 | February 2017
South China Sea:
War on the Horizon?
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Articles for this issue
Global Challenges
Issue no. 1 | February 2017
South China Sea: War on the Horizon?

While the global balance of power, under the impetus of the steady rise of China, is shifting towards the Asia-Pacific, and because the future of US policy is uncertain after the election of Donald Trump, tensions in the South China Sea have once again become a major strategic concern. The South China Sea is witnessing a series of sovereignty disputes between littoral states defending rivalling claims to maritime rights and boundaries. Adding weight and urgency to the disputes are the significant natural resources found in the coveted archipelagos and sea beds as well as the rising national sentiments in many of the claimant states. The geostrategic dimension of these quarrels is largely transcending the region and the involvement of external powers such as the United States further complicates the equation. The recent legal victory of the Philippines over China can be seen as a supplementary cause for anxiety in a latent conflict that may at any time escalate into a regional or global confrontation. Henceforth the search for a negotiated solution becomes crucial as military budgets continue to soar in the region.

Articles for this issue

South China Sea:
War on the Horizon?
  • I
     
    Philippine and US marines take their positions during a beach assault exercise facing the South China sea in San Antonio town, Zambales province on 9 May 2014.

    Multiplying Hotbeds of Tension

  • 1
     
    Ships moored in Singapore harbor.

    Antagonisms in the South China Sea: The Regional Perspective

    Reading time: 5 min
  • 2
     
    Protesters hold anti-China placards and shout slogans during a rally in front of the building housing Chinese consular offices in Manila on 2 April  2014, amidst the Philippines at the weekend asking a UN tribunal to declare Beijing's claims over most of the strategically significant South China Sea illegal.

    A Sea at the Heart of Chinese National Interest

    Reading time: 5 min
  • 3
     
    On 1 May 1898, at Manila Bay in the Philippines, the US Asiatic Squadron destroyed the Spanish Pacific fleet in the first major battle of the Spanish-American War (April–August 1898).

    The US Pivot Strategy: A Change of Paradigm in the South China Sea?

    Reading time: 3 min
  • 4
     
    Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai in a meeting with Richard Nixon, President of the United States, in February 1972. The second from left was the interpreter Tang Wensheng.

    China and the United States: The Evolution of a Relationship

    Reading time: 6 min
  • 5
     
    Chinese dredging vessels are purportedly seen in the waters around Mischief Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.

    Legal Victory for the Philippines against China: A Case Study

    Reading time: 5 min
  • 6
     
    A Chinese Navy submarine attends an international fleet review to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army Navy.

    Arms Race in the South China Sea: What Threshold?

    Reading time: 5 min
  • O
     
    China unveils its new submarine fleet.

    Uncertainty in the South China Sea in the Wake of Trump’s Inauguration: The Risk of Escalating Rhetoric

Other Issues
Issue no. 9 | March 2021
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The Moving Fault Lines of Inequality
Global Challenges
Issue no. 9 | March 2021
The Moving Fault Lines of Inequality

While poverty has been diminishing in absolute terms and relative income has been growing on a global scale for over two centuries, inequality – as measured by instruments such as the Gini coefficient – has been increasing steadily since the early 1980s. With the financial crisis of 2007, the growing digitalisation of the economy and the current pandemic, global inequality has further worsened, seeing the fortunes of the superrich attaining unprecedented levels and revenue concentrating in the top percentiles of societies.

Concurrently to the aggravation of the social fracture, additional fault lines have been opening or hardening along logics of race, gender, ethnicity and religion. Identarian revendications and logics of difference and exclusion have come to complement, compete with or supersede more traditional struggles for equality in a postmodern and neoliberal context that has normalised inequality, homogenised societies and done away with earlier grand narratives and collective agendas. 

The consequences of inequality(ies) are dramatic, as reflected in the polarisation and fragmentation of societies, worsening health and mortality indicators, political tensions and violence, a decline in democracy, and mistrust in state institutions. The objective of the current issue of Global Challenges is therefore – by reverting to the analytical tools of social science – to reflect on the causes behind the multifaceted growth of inequality(ies), anticipate their noxious fallouts and explore potential remedies.

Issue no. 8 | November 2020
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The New Frontiers of Risk
Global Challenges
Issue no. 8 | November 2020
The New Frontiers of Risk

After the outbreak of COVID-19 – a virus constituting a genuinely worldwide risk – fear internationalised in just a few weeks. As the COVID crisis has profoundly shaken societies on a global scale it has contributed to a reconfiguration – perhaps a multiplication – of risks and their perceptions. While foremost constituting a biological hazard, the pandemic has large repercussions on other types of risks, ranging from long-term economic and digital disruption to psychological distress and political confrontation. The nature and frontiers of risks are thus moving as the multilateral system, the most adequate framework to deal with global risks, is ailing and current risk mitigation strategies are increasingly put to question. The six articles of the present Dossier explore these changing hierarchies of risk and the underpinning structural issues that endanger our existence.