Editorial

For the past few months, we’ve given our Think Tank Report some time off. After a complete makeover, it now returns with a fresh new look and feel. We invite you to discover what international think tanks are working on today and to take a look at new studies on social and political issues from around the globe.

The Think Tank Report Team

1
Crystal ball with coronaviruses

A World
in Crisis

Coronaviren in einer Wahrsagerkugel

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a global public health crisis – with profound and long-term political and economic consequences as well as implications for the international order and stability. Governments of the Transatlantic community must address new challenges to international security.


2

A Question of Security
and Peace

Why climate change should be on the political agenda

Climate change is affecting peace and security around the world. Policymakers are thus increasingly concerned with climate-related security risks.


Chart on persons displaced by disasters and conflicts
3

Interview

Gerhard Conrad

Video of the Interview

Interview
Gerhard Conrad

4

Democracy
at Risk

On February 1, Myanmar’s process of democratisation was brought to a halt by the military coup against the government of Aung San Suu Kyi. The EU and its member states have supported the Southeast Asian country’s democratic development since 2012 and have backed Aung Sang Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy. The EU’s response to the coup will show whether it can adapt to the new challenges the region is facing. It ought to make use of its influence, argue Sophie Boisseau du Rocher and Felix Heiduk.


Democracy
at Risk

On February 1, Myanmar’s process of democratisation was brought to a halt by the military coup against the government of Aung San Suu Kyi. The EU and its member states have supported the Southeast Asian country’s democratic development since 2012 and have backed Aung Sang Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy. The EU’s response to the coup will show whether it can adapt to the new challenges the region is facing. It ought to make use of its influence, argue Sophie Boisseau du Rocher and Felix Heiduk.


5

Remarkable figures—
world military spending in 2020

  • 1,981 trillion US dollars, is the total amount of global military spending
  • 39 percent, is the US share of global military expenditure
  • 7th place, Germany’s spot among the top military spenders
  • 26 years, for this many years, China has been continously increasing its military spending
  • 12 NATO members, have met NATO’s 2 percent target
  • 4 percent, is the amount by which the EU’s military spending has increased
6

Teaching
Critical Thinking

Student standing in the shadow of a soldier

8,500 terrorist attacks in 2019 – even almost 20 years after the attacks of 11 September 2001, terrorism and extremism remain a global problem. While terrorist organisations such as al-Qaida and the Islamic State have been pushed back by expensive American counterterrorism operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan, efforts to counter violent extremism came late, remain fragmented and are based on a bottom-up approach. Time for a paradigm shift, argues Madiha Afzal.


7

Islamist Terrorism
in Austria

After the military victory over the so-called Islamic State in 2017, Islamist attacks in Europe were also on the decline. However, IS was never completely defeated and other terrorist organisations such as al-Qaeda remain active. This became painfully clear in autumn 2020 when four Islamist attacks took place in Germany, France and Austria within the span of only six weeks. In March 2021, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation launched the research series Islamist Terrorism in Europe: A range of experts will examine jihadism in Austria, UK, Germany, Belgium and France, analysing current activities of Islamist terrorists and assessing their threat to European citizens as well as the strategies of security agencies.


Number of Austrian jihadists in Syria and Iraq
8

Connecting
the World

Satellites transmitting signals above the Earth

A number of companies from the US and China are working on a global network of thousands of satellites in order to connect every corner of the world to the internet. The satellites will be stationed in low Earth orbit to enable fast data connections and the transmission of large amounts of data. For states like the United States and China, this would create far-reaching possibilities to extend their political influence. They would be able to control, at the level of global internet infrastructure, whether and under what conditions information is exchanged throughout the world.


Funkende Satelliten über Weltkugel
Kampagne Sicher ist unsicher

Find out more about
current challenges
to our security and
what they mean for
NATO, the EU, and the
German armed forces
in our KAS4Security guide
on Instagram.
Logo der Kampagne

Bibliography

Giegerich, Bastian, Fenella McGerty, and Peter Round. The geo-economics and geopolitics of COVID-19: Implications for European security. International Institute for Strategic Studies and Hanns Seidel Foundation, March 2021, www.iiss.org/blogs/research-paper/2021/03/covid-19-european-security.

(2) a) Mobjörk, Malin, Florian Krampe, and Kheira Tarif. Pathways of Climate Insecurity: Guidance for Policymakers. Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, November 2020, www.sipri.org/publications/2020/sipri-policy-briefs/pathways-climate-insecurity-guidance-policymakers.

b) mith, Elizabeth. Climate Change in Women, Peace and Security National Action Plans. Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, June 2020, www.sipri.org/publications/2020/sipri-insights-peace-and-security/climate-change-women-peace-and-security-national-action-plans.

c) Schaar, Johan. A Confluence of Crises: On Water, Climate and Security in the Middle East and North Africa. Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, July 2019, www.sipri.org/publications/2019/sipri-insights-peace-and-security/confluence-crises-water-climate-and-security-middle-east-and-north-africa.

(4) Boisseau du Rocher, Sophie, and Felix Heiduk. “Can Europe Make a Difference in Myanmar?” The Diplomat, 26 February 2021, thediplomat.com/2021/02/can-europe-make-a-difference-in-myanmar/.

(5) “World military spending rises to almost $2 trillion in 2020.” Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, 26 April 2021, www.sipri.org/media/press-release/2021/world-military-spending-rises-almost-2-trillion-2020.

(6) Afzal, Madiha. “A global effort to counter extremism through education.” Brookings, 25 January 2021, www.brookings.edu/research/a-global-effort-to-counter-extremism-through-education/.

(7) Steinberg, Guido. Jihadist Terrorism in Europe: Jihadism in Austria. Konrad Adenauer Foundation, March 2021, www.kas.de/en/single-title/-/content/jihadism-in-austria.

(8) Voelsen, Daniel. “Internet from Space: How New Satellite Connections Could Affect Global Internet Governance.” SWP Research Paper, no. 3, 2021, doi.org/10.18449/2021RP03..