Journal of Liberty and International Affairs 2023-03-25T11:51:41+01:00 Goran Ilik Open Journal Systems <p><span class="text14_333"><span class="blue16"><em>Journal of Liberty and International Affairs </em>is a triannual (3 regular issues per year), international, open-access, and peer-reviewed journal published by the<em> Institute for Research and European Studies. </em>The journal also encourages the publication of occasional Special Issues. The journal aims to provide an active international forum for analysis, research, and debate in a broad range of fields. <em>Journal of Liberty and International Affairs</em> welcomes submissions from political sciences, international relations, international law, and related fields. The journal embraces multi- and interdisciplinary scholarship and comparative approaches. </span></span><strong>The journal is <a href="">indexed</a> in SCOPUS, EBSCO, DOAJ, CEEOL, SSOAR, ERIHPLUS, HeinOnline, ANVUR, Columbia International Affairs Online, ProQuest, UGC-CARE List Group II, etc.</strong></p> <hr /> <p>ISSN: <span class="grey121">1857-9760</span> (online)</p> <p><strong>Submit Paper by Email: </strong><strong><br /></strong></p> <p><a href=""><strong>Author Guidelines</strong></a></p> <hr /> PUBLIC EXPENDITURE ON EDUCATION AND ECONOMIC GROWTH: EVIDENCE FROM NORTH MACEDONIA 2023-03-08T10:28:57+01:00 Katerina Shapkova Kocevska <p><em>In this paper, we studied the impact of public education expenditure on GDP per capita in North Macedonia from 1991 to 2020. The main questions we examined were: 1) What is the relationship between public education expenditure and GDP per capita in the country in the short run?; 2) Does a long-term relationship between the aforementioned variables exist?; and 3) What are the policy implications? This research was based on the Auto-Regressive Distributed Lag (ARDL) model, originally developed by Pesaran et al. (2001). The empirical estimations produced interesting findings. In the short run, the relationship between public spending on education and GDP per capita in North Macedonia was negative and statistically significant. The long-term relationship between the variables remained negative but statistically insignificant. These results were robust and consistent with results from earlier empirical studies. The results suggested that government expenditures on education did not contribute to economic growth in North Macedonia in the analyzed period, ceteris paribus. From a public policy standpoint, we concluded that intervention in the education system's financing is necessary to facilitate the transformation of education expenditures into productive human capital and enhance the nation's economic development. </em></p> 2023-03-25T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2023 RETHINKING STRATEGIC AUTONOMY IN TIMES OF NEXT GENERATION EU: NEW DIGITAL AGENDA 2023-03-08T12:26:43+01:00 Miguel Angel Benedicto Solsona Marcin Roman Czubala Ostapiuk <p><em>The digital transformation of the global economy and society has accelerated after the Covid-19 pandemic. The European Union (EU), compared to China and the United States, is losing its capacity for innovation and control over data and fundamental raw materials and could even lose ground in the regulatory power it has in the digital realm. This paper pays special attention to the situation and progress toward a new European policy to achieve digital strategic autonomy. It also briefly outlines the Recovery Plan for Europe as a possible incentive for its promotion. Both descriptive and analytical methods were employed to gather the data from secondary sources and provide reliable research results. The major findings of this article are that strategic autonomy is an imperative requirement for sustaining and encouraging European integration, forcing the EU to advance faster toward developing critical digital technologies. There is also an urgent need to secure critical parts of supply chains and data protection, intellectual property, and defense against disinformation. Finally, the European Union must improve its resilience to face new crises and lead the digitalization of its economy. </em></p> 2023-03-25T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2023 WHAT DOES “BIG DATA” TELL? A NETWORK ANALYSIS APPROACH TO THE JUSTICE AND DEVELOPMENT PARTY’S ROLE PERFORMANCE IN THE MIDDLE EAST BETWEEN 2015 AND 2020 2023-03-08T12:32:07+01:00 Hikmet Menguaslan Sadullah Celik <p><em>In this paper, we exploited big data (The Global Database Events, Language and Tone - GDELT) by utilizing network analysis to elaborate on the Justice and Development Party’s (JDP) Middle East (ME) policy for 2015 and 2020 - our conceptual framework built on the role theory. We identified two dynamics - the positioning of the “Transatlantic” link in Turkish Foreign Policy’s (TFP) orientation and the shape and politics of the JDP elites’ conception of activism - based on which we developed two hypotheses to conceptualize the JDP’s role performance for the period: 1) There was a mismatch between national role conceptions and systemic role prescriptions for Turkey in the period of analysis; 2) This mismatch led the appeal of partnership with non-Western actors to rise. We utilized network analysis by exploiting the GDELT big data set to test our hypotheses empirically. The empirical findings proved the validity of our conceptual arguments. </em></p> <p><em> </em></p> 2023-03-25T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2023 FACTORING THE SMART POWER IN THE INDIA-EUROPEAN UNION ENGAGEMENTS: A SCOPING REVIEW 2023-03-08T12:42:43+01:00 Nippun Gupta Bawa Singh Aslam Khan Jaspal Kaur <p><em>Power is a critical factor in several types of diplomacy. India-EU relations are a classic case of how changing geopolitics prompted diplomatic acumen. This scoping review assesses the changing relations of both partners as a manifestation of Smart Power. The dynamic relations from normative-based to pragmatic and inclusive interests based are evaluated. Their value-based relations are put under international relations theories. Their changing factors of cooperation are used to justify their smart diplomacy, where contemporary relations are less likely to be affected by multilateral interests. To solidify claims of smart power in their relations, the recent TRIPS waiver schism illuminated health diplomacy between the two regions. This health diplomacy discourse promotes smart power diplomacy between India and the EU, where new avenues of cooperation emerge despite pandemic disagreements. The article explores how hybrid power is better than soft and hard power in silos by systematically searching and selecting the existing knowledge in the contemporary context. </em></p> 2023-03-25T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2023 ELECTORAL BONDS: A PERIL TO DEMOCRACY AND TRANSPARENT ELECTIONS IN INDIA 2023-03-08T14:41:22+01:00 D. Ananda <p><em>A democracy is built on free and fair elections. India is one of the world's most populous democratic countries. In 2018, the Indian government launched a new electoral bonds scheme to fund elections. Electoral bonds influence election funding and make it easier for corporate entities to conceal political donations by concealing the bond’s buyer and beneficiary details. The new electoral bonds scheme lures companies and facilitates money laundering. The present article critically evaluates the electoral bonds scheme by analyzing the various acts and statutes. However, the Indian judiciary evaded its role as guardian of the constitution and final interpreter of the constitution by not deciding the cases pending in court. The scheme provides an unfair advantage to the ruling party. Anonymity and secrecy harm accountability in a democracy. The new election funding scheme undermines transparency and fair elections. This new election funding scheme has exacerbated the situation in Indian democracy. This new mechanism of election funding keeps voters in the dark about whether the governing party favors corporate donations. </em></p> 2023-03-25T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2023 IMPROVING WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT THROUGH DEVOLUTION IN KENYA: THE CASE OF NAIROBI AND KAKAMEGA COUNTIES 2023-03-08T14:45:13+01:00 Sylvester Chisika Chunho Yeom <p><em>This study aimed to investigate the progress of women's empowerment through employment opportunities in Nairobi and Kakamega Counties in Kenya between 2013 and 2017. Despite the increasing policies that aim to mainstream social equity and equality, there is still a significant gap between policy commitments and practices. The study evaluated whether the implementation of devolved governance in the two counties has improved women's empowerment. The study's framework included an in-depth review of policy documents, official records, and reports from official websites to understand women's economic empowerment status in Nairobi and Kakamega. The study analyzed qualitative and quantitative data from County Integrated Development Plans and other secondary sources. Specifically, it examined compliance with the 30% gender rule, requiring women to hold at least 30% of all elective and appointive positions. The study found that Nairobi commands the largest share of formal sector wage employment in Kenya, and women's access to employment opportunities remains slightly lower than men in both counties. Despite implementing the 30% gender rule, the study revealed the need for more comprehensive policies that promote gender equality and women's economic empowerment in both Nairobi and Kakamega. </em></p> 2023-03-25T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2023 INDIA@75: ASSESSING INDIA’S USE OF SOFT POWER AS A FOREIGN POLICY INSTRUMENT 2023-03-08T14:49:20+01:00 Mohammad Reyaz <p><em>The term soft power has become a catch-all-phrase for public and cultural diplomacy since Joseph Nye introduced it in 1990. India has had several historical and cultural advantages regarding its influence in foreign countries. While India and Indians enjoyed goodwill in most countries, the sudden interests in India among the policymakers, businesses, and politicians were mainly after the 1992 economic liberalization that had opened the Indian markets to foreign investments. Besides the nation-branding exercises globally, New Delhi employed soft power instruments in countries it deemed to have more significant interests, from traditional allies like Bhutan and Afghanistan to the countries in the West in the last three decades. Nevertheless, how successful has India been in exploiting its cultural linkages and using its soft power in its branding? This question becomes pertinent as, in recent years, India has often received negative press coverage in international media, and on several freedom/democratic indices, its rankings have gone down. As India celebrates 75 years of independence as Azadi ka Mahotsav (a grand celebration of independence), this paper assesses the scope of its soft power as a foreign policy instrument, points out its shortcomings, and recommends the possibilities. </em></p> 2023-03-25T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2023 EFFECT OF CORRUPTION ON FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT INFLOWS IN COUNTRIES OF THE WESTERN BALKANS 2023-03-08T14:52:06+01:00 Artan Hajdini Lum Collaku Safet Merovci <p><em>The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of corruption on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the Western Balkans countries, including Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, and Albania. Secondary data from The World Bank, Transparency International, and International Monetary Fund databases were utilized to complete this study for 2012-2020. The built model of multiple linear regression included four independent variables, namely: Corruption Perception Index (CPI), Western Balkan Corruption Ranking (WBCR), Exchange Rate (EXG), and Inflation Rate (INFL), as well as FDI as a dependent variable, and data effects were analyzed through the SPPS scientific research software program. The results found that if CPI and WBCR were to increase by one unit, FDI would decrease by 0.088, namely 0.624, while if EXG and INFL were to increase by one unit, FDI would increase by 0.165, namely 0.236. In order to fight corruption and potentially attract more foreign direct investment, the governments of these countries should work to harmonize their anti-corruption laws with those of the European Union. In order to prevent the negative consequences of FDI inflows, they should also maintain a balanced rate of inflation, which entails stabilizing exchange rate fluctuations. </em></p> 2023-03-25T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2023 POLICY OF RAISING THE CAPACITY OF LOCAL SELF-GOVERNMENTS FOR MANAGEMENT OF EMERGENCIES 2023-03-08T16:22:21+01:00 Samed Karovic Aleksandra Rankov Sinisa Domazet Jelena Jesic <p><em>Local self-governments (LSGs) cannot effectively manage emergencies. To overcome this problem, it is necessary to find action policies that would facilitate the increase of capacities of LSGs in such situations. The starting point for defining the policy was collecting data on the current abilities and capacities of LSGs in AP Vojvodina. The research covered 40% of the total number of LSGs and more than 64% of the population in the AP of Vojvodina. A combined open-ended survey questionnaire was constructed for data collection. The data was collected in field conditions through online procedures, direct sending of written surveys, and direct discussion of project implementation leaders. The statistical analysis of data identified that the legal aspect of LSGs and emergencies was not harmonized with other institutional documents at the level of LSGs. Most LSGs had serious difficulties in managing emergencies, especially civil protection. The platform is envisaged to facilitate raising the prevention capacity of LSGs by integrating all relevant information to provide early warnings and indications for implementing corresponding organizational, technical, and economic measures to deal with emergencies. </em></p> 2023-03-25T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2023 THE ROLE OF REGIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS INSTITUTIONS IN TIMES OF ARMED CONFLICTS IN AFRICA 2023-03-08T16:28:19+01:00 Ufuoma Veronica Awhefeada <p><em>Armed conflict is a perennial problem that has plagued Africa for decades, resulting in flagrant human rights abuse. The central problem this paper seeks to address is identifying the laws establishing institutions and agencies for protecting human rights in Africa and examining how well-adapted these institutions are to protect human rights in times of armed conflict in Africa. This research employs the doctrinal research method, which entails an examination of the relevant primary sources of the law as laid down in the statutes and treaties and interpreted by the courts as well as secondary source materials, including journal articles, reports, and other relevant sources materials. It is contended that though human rights institutions were not established with the goal of interventions in times of armed conflict to protect human rights, they can be adapted to meet this challenge to stem the tide of gross human rights violations during armed conflicts. The paper concludes by recommending the expansion in the practice of the mandate of these human rights institutions to accommodate mechanisms for the protection of human rights in times of armed conflicts. </em></p> 2023-03-25T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2023 HUMANITARIAN DIPLOMACY STRATEGY FOR SYRIAN REFUGEES AND ITS EFFECT ON JORDAN’S FOREIGN POLICY 2023-03-08T16:32:06+01:00 Emad Ayasreh <p><em>This research examined the effect of Jordan’s humanitarian diplomacy strategy for Syrian refugees on its foreign policy and attempted to determine whether the strategy is financially sustainable. Humanitarian diplomacy is persuading decision-makers and leaders worldwide to act at all times and in all circumstances in the best interest of vulnerable populations by completely respecting fundamental humanitarian principles. Jordan has allowed many Syrian refugees to cross over and settle in Jordan. This study used a qualitative systematic literature review and quantitative data from the UNHCR to determine the effect of the strategy on Jordan’s foreign policy and whether the strategy could be sustained. The findings showed that Jordan’s stature in terms of its foreign policy has grown, leading to bilateral agreements and participation in international negotiations. However, its humanitarian strategy may not be sustainable with the current level of funding. The funding from foreign countries and international organizations has been insufficient to support the growing number of Syrian refugees in Jordan. The literature on this topic is limited, and comprehensive quantitative research is recommended to determine the future effect of the strategy on health care and education for Syrian refugees in Jordan. </em></p> 2023-03-25T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2023 MILITARY SANCTIONS: THE WAR ON TERROR AND THE CASE OF UZBEKISTAN 2023-03-08T16:34:47+01:00 Jonathan Honig <p><em>States frequently find themselves disbursing or receiving military aid, cooperation, and access to military products. Using foreign policy options like "military sanctions" (the suspension of military projects, aid, cooperation, and access) is a desirable, widely publicized way for one state to express its discontent to another while presumably influencing desired policy changes in the client state. However, the small amount of evidence on military sanctions indicates that they are ineffective, short-lived, and may even be counterproductive. This analysis attempted to elucidate this subject by advancing a theory stating that states will impose military sanctions in response to domestic audience pressures shortly after high-profile examples of undesirable behavior by client states. However, military sanctions will be eased as time progresses and public attention has waned. This analysis qualitatively examined Uzbekistan and its relationship with the US, finding support for this theory. It concluded that following high-profile incidents and periods of undesirable behavior by an aid-recipient state, military sanctions would likely be employed by the state providing the military aid and programs. Further, military sanctions are eased or scrapped as time moves from public incidents and attention involving human rights abuses. </em></p> 2023-03-25T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2023 THE IMPACT OF PUNISHMENT, BUDGET SPENDING, AND SOCIAL STIGMATIZATION ON FISCAL EVASION: THE CASE OF KOSOVO 2023-03-08T16:37:46+01:00 Mentor Gashi Ramadan Beqiri <p><em>The purpose of this paper was to identify several factors that have an impact on tax evasion. Tax evasion is considered a problem for many different countries in the world, simultaneously attracting the curiosity of researchers. The study employed a convenience sampling technique and collected 221 questionnaires in Kosovo. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistical analysis, linear regression and are reflected in the matrix table of correlation coefficients. In this research, the statistical significance results appear the size of punishment, perception of spending of budget, and social stigma that has effected tax evasion. In this way, as lower the punishment for evaders effected non-encourage citizens to notify the tax evasion. Perception of non-spent properly of budget effected non-encourage citizens to notify the tax evasion. Also, when the lower was a social stigma for the evaders, it increased their willingness to tax evasion. </em></p> 2023-03-25T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2023 PROCESS TRACING AND PROFESSIONALIZATION OF POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS 2023-03-08T16:42:12+01:00 Pratyush Paras Sarma <p><em>Recent years have witnessed a significant inner transformation among political parties in both developed and developing democracies of the world. Different factors, such as changes in the structure of the media environment owing to the technological boom in the last two decades and changes in voting behavior, led to the transformation of the political parties in different democracies worldwide. Therefore, studying the patterns of this transformation has become an integral part of the current political science research. Early studies have demonstrated the indexes based on professionalization. However, limited studies have tried to examine the process of transformation relating to professionalization and are almost missing from the studies based on non-western democracies like India. Therefore, against this backdrop, this study tries to expand the literature by providing a theoretical framework consisting of causal mechanisms which would explain the process of professionalization of campaigns with special reference to Indian elections through the theory testing method of process tracing. The framework has been provided in a series of causal mechanisms to answer how the considered individual variables react when they come in contact. This paper concludes by justifying the conceptual framework of professionalization. </em></p> 2023-03-25T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2023 EXAMINATION OF DECISION-MAKING STRUCTURES’ PERCEPTIONS OF COMPONENTS ON THE INFLUENCES OF SME SUCCESS 2023-03-08T17:14:26+01:00 Muhamet Spahiu Esat Durguti <p><em>Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have succeeded in being the main and dynamic pillar of national and international economies. Education and work experience is essential in increasing SMEs’ efficiency and competitiveness. The changing business environment has created fierce competitiveness among SMEs, requiring active interaction between managers/owners and stakeholders. As a result, this study aims to explore the influence of education, experience, using a business plan, and barriers on the success of small and medium-sized businesses. This research employed an online questionnaire for scientific research. Through ordered logistic modeling, we observed 336 answers from businesses using the qualitative approach. The study’s findings reveal that education and work experience have a statistically favorable influence on the performance of SMEs, whereas barriers have a substantial adverse influence. Findings on barriers are noteworthy in the context of this study since the governing institutions throughout the pandemic and later situations experimented with the measures adopted. The study also benefits SMEs and legislation authorities in understanding the critical concerns that are perceived as barriers to the growth and expansion of SMEs, resulting in the creation of even more sophisticated infrastructures to support sustainable development. </em></p> 2023-03-25T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2023 FACTORS IN CONSTRUCTING INDONESIA’S PERSPECTIVES ON THE INDO-PACIFIC 2023-03-08T17:20:30+01:00 Mohd. Agoes Aufiya <p><em>The term “Indo-Pacific” became increasingly significant and was accepted by several countries, including Indonesia. The government welcomed the term as part of its foreign policy projection, which developed its unique perspective or interpretation, including inclusivity, a rule based on international law, and ASEAN’s centrality and cooperation for regional growth. This study would answer the question of how the concept of Indo-Pacific will be interpreted within Indonesia's unique context compared to other countries. Thus, this research aimed to describe several key factors in constructing the Indonesian perspective on the Indo-Pacific concept, particularly under President Jokowi’s leadership. This research applied qualitative with library methods from the primary and secondary data sources. This paper argued six factors that constructed Indonesia’s perspective on Indo-Pacific: maritime historical legacy; the “Bebas-Aktif” principle; ASEAN values; geographical position; and democratic values. The research concluded that Indonesia is one of the major countries that consistently championed the term “Indo-Pacific” within the regional and international spheres, with a “moderate” status in terms of its foreign policy implementation, which is mainly characterized by inclusivity and cooperation in the economy by constructively engaging all countries. </em></p> 2023-03-25T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2023 ASSESSING THE SCOPE OF LEGAL IMMUNITY IN MODERN LEGAL SCIENCE: THE NEED FOR QUESTIONING UNDER UKRAINIAN LAW 2023-03-08T17:23:34+01:00 Valerii Sokurenko Oleksandr Morhunov Serhii Ablamskyi <p><em>Everyone is born equal and expects to be treated similarly before the law in cases involving criminal activity and other obligations. It is problematic to have some people immune to legal consequences because they enjoyed special treatment in the eyes of the legislation meant to protect them. The issue we must bring up is crucial, as there is always the need to conduct a thorough investigation into the commission of crimes to secure justice. However, the tendency is that as far as immunity is on the individual concerned, this would frustrate the prosecution process. In this vein, it was proposed that this study investigate how immunity relates to today’s state of the law. We will look at an analytical approach to determine if immunity’s status has changed due to the rise of modern legal science. The paper overviews the legal framework adopted in Ukraine concerning immunity given to certain public servants.</em></p> 2023-03-25T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2023 GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE GOVERNANCE: A RETHINKING 2023-03-08T17:29:26+01:00 Baidya Nath Mukherjee Meera Mathew <p><em>The decades of increased Green House Gas (GHG) emissions have increased global average temperature to 1.1 degrees over pre-industrial levels. In order to hold the global average temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius and, if possible, 1.5 degree Celsius, the governments signed various treaties. However, countries’ collective agreements to reduce their emissions were never kept. This study outlines why the method of mitigating global climate change has failed. The main problem was the inability to enforce goals and timelines. Ideas for even tighter emission limits will be ineffective unless they solve the enforcement gap. Trade restrictions are one method, but they introduce significant complications, particularly when used to enforce economy-wide carbon reduction agreements. The applied methodology is qualitative. This study proposes a novel strategy to unpack the climate challenge, targeting various gasses and industries with various instruments. It also illustrates how failing to address the climate problem fundamentally would generate incentives for various solutions, offering new problems for climate change governance. </em></p> 2023-03-25T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2023 THE EU AS A GLOBAL ACTOR IN SUSTAINABILITY POLICY: ANALYZING THE EU’S LIMITED BUT POTENTIAL INFLUENCE IN IRAQ AND SYRIA 2023-03-08T17:35:40+01:00 Paiman Ahmad Bosede Ngozi Adeleye Elena Tilovska-Kechedji <p><em>The role of the EU in sustainable development has been generally seen as influential so far. The EU has proven its commitment to promoting sustainability abroad, and the EU has embarked on a transition to a low-carbon society at home. The Middle East lags behind all regions regarding sustainability due to ravaging economic, security, and social challenges, particularly in Iraq and Syria. As the economic nature of the petro-states, the petroleum price influences the GDP and economic growth not only for Iraq and Syria but the majority of resource-based economies. This creates fragile economies that are less resistant to international financial crises. Moreover, petro-states have few economic characteristics, including; high capital intensity, centralization and control of revenues, and low demand for labor. At the same time, oil has special effects on domestic conditions like authoritarianism and the temptation for civil war. This study focuses on the role of the EU in sustainability policy towards Iraq and Syria. This study highlights how the European Green Deal (EGD) influences the path to sustainability in the Middle East, specifically in Iraq and Syria. In line with this, the analytical framework discusses the logic of social actions (consequentialism and appropriateness), which are at play in EU-Middle East relations. Thus, it contributes to the role of the EU as a leading actor in global sustainability governance, focusing on a region that has been largely neglected. </em></p> 2023-03-25T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2023 THE EXPLOSIVE UKRAINIAN MIGRATION DUE TO THE RUSSIAN ARMED CONFLICT IN 2022: THE CASE OF BULGARIA 2023-03-08T17:44:34+01:00 Rossen Koroutchev <p><em>In this work, we have studied the evolution of the Ukrainian refugee crisis in Europe during the first several months after the beginning of the armed conflict on 24 February 2022. We have also talked about the influx of Ukrainians into Bulgaria, where there has reportedly been the biggest wave of refugees in recorded history. By using official statistics and structured interviews with Ukrainian refugees in Bulgaria, we have analyzed the specific evolution of the immigrants, their profile, and the governmental policies for better integration of them into the labor market and within the society. Our key arguments are mainly related to the fact that such policies must be successful for most Ukrainian immigrants and refugees due to the similarities between Ukraine and Bulgaria regarding traditions, education, and historical ties. Our conclusion confirms these arguments but also mentions several problems related to the low wages, the limited childcare, and the heavy bureaucracy. </em></p> 2023-03-25T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2023 OPEN BALKAN INITIATIVE: A CONTESTED ISSUE IN THE EU MEMBERSHIP PERSPECTIVE 2023-03-08T17:48:17+01:00 Elton Tota Gjon Culaj <p><em>The Open Balkan is the latest regional initiative in the Western Balkans (WB), firstly named as Mini-Schengen and then changed to Open Balkan Initiative (OBI), which aims to increase the regional economic cooperation among the WBs by going beyond the mere objective of creating a Common Regional Market (CRM). This paper using an analytical approach, taking into account data and information, has identified and highlighted the openly declared objectives of the OBI while comparing it with the previous Berlin Process. Also, the paper has shown that the disputes among the WB countries most inherited from the unresolved issues of the past are still present and hinder the progress towards a common future and EU membership perspective. The reactions to the OBI proved that even the creation of mere economic cooperation is hardly achieved in the case of other existing unresolved issues of the past and continues to remain open. This paper has highlighted the existence of mistrust among the WBs, the importance of increasing regional cooperation, and the role that the EU should inevitably play. The paper has concluded that to achieve the targets defined in the OBI, the WBs should enhance regional cooperation and overcome the challenges they have been facing. </em></p> 2023-03-25T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2023 REGULATING FAKE NEWS IN TRANSNATIONAL JURISDICTION: A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF BRAZIL AND ARGENTINA 2023-03-08T17:51:56+01:00 Prabhpreet Singh Driton Kuqi Vijaylaxmi Sharma <p><em>Many oppressive governments have passed cyber laws, cracking down on free speech, and used less traditional tactics to restrict people’s capacity to speak freely and in public. This is particularly true in nations where the government regulates media and information flow due to closed information systems. Laws regulating fake news clash with citizens’ free speech and expression rights. The paper gives an overview of the hurdles in regulating transnational cases of fake news. In cases of cross-border jurisdiction, it becomes vital to examine International legal standards, such as international agreements and international institutions governing fake news. In this paper, we look at two case studies, one from Argentina and one from Brazil, to see how these countries have dealt with the issue of fake news in cases involving transnational jurisdictions. The paper concludes with the observation that various governments employ a variety of approaches and policies in order to combat fake news. </em></p> 2023-03-25T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2023 US-CHINA RIVALRY IN SOUTHEAST ASIA REGION: A STUDY ON THE SOUTH CHINA SEA CASE 2023-03-08T17:57:49+01:00 Hung Vo Binh Nguyen Hiep Tran Thao Bui <p><em>Southeast Asia is one of the places where fierce rivalry is taking place between the two leading powers in the world today - the US and China. The US-China rivalry in this region takes place in key fields, from politics - diplomacy, economy, security - defense to “soft power”, the most prominent of which is the South China Sea issue. This article analyzes the strategic importance of the South China Sea in the policy of the US and China, the competition between the US and China in Southeast Asia in general, and the South China Sea in particular. To achieve this goal, the authors use research methods in international relations to analyze the main issues of the study. In addition to reviewing previous scholarly research and reviews, the authors use a comparative approach to assess the interactions between theory and data. The authors believe the data is important for accurately assessing the strategic competition between the US and China in Southeast Asia and the South China Sea. The rise of China in the early years of the XXI century strongly influenced the adjustment of the US policy in Southeast Asia and the powerful US-China rivalry in this region and the South China Sea. This rivalry is becoming increasingly complicated, and geopolitical conflicts between major powers are possible in the following years. </em></p> 2023-03-25T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2023 STRUCTURAL AND NON-STRUCTURAL OBSTACLES IN THE PROCESS OF RECOGNITION OF INDEPENDENCE OF KOSOVO: 2008-2021 2023-03-08T18:05:06+01:00 Dorajet Imeri Abdula Azizi <p><em>The process of recognition of Kosovo has continuously declined since the Declaration of Independence until 2021, the period covered in this paper. This process is characterized by external structural obstacles, as well as internal non-structural ones. Applying the content analysis method and semi-structured interviews, the paper emphasized that the main structural obstacle was the inability to accept the Ahtisaari Plan from the UN as a compromise choice. On the other hand, the non-recognition of the state of Kosovo by Serbia (supported by Russia) resulted in the division of the states into two large groups: “pro” and “contra” recognition. Meanwhile, due to these extreme divisions, a third group of states sees the recognition of Kosovo as an opportunity to solve the previous obstacles. Thus, Serbia has established clear schemes to hinder the development of the process, first by sending the case of Kosovo to the ICJ and later by presenting the Kosovo-Serbia negotiation as status negotiations. Meanwhile, the internal political instability in Kosovo and the wrong political approach towards potentially recognizing states are evident as non-structural obstacles in achieving new recognition. </em></p> 2023-03-25T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2023 THE INFLUENCE OF THE DECOMMUNIZATION POLICY ON THE FORMATION OF UKRAINIAN NATIONAL IDENTITY 2023-03-08T18:08:59+01:00 Oleh Poshedin Kateryna Kashchuk <p><em>The article examined the impact of the decommunization policy in Ukraine on national identity formation. The objectives of the article were to determine the main reasons and consequences of decommunization in Ukraine. A historical approach to determine the causes of decommunization and justify its necessity is applied in the article. Sociological studies and expert opinions on decommunization are analyzed. Based on synthesis, analogy, and abstraction methods, the elaborated material is summarised, and the article’s conclusions are formulated. As a result, the conclusion has been drawn that decommunization could not contribute to the formation of national identity in Ukraine. The outcomes of decommunization had a positive effect only in combination with other efforts (educational process, dialogue with society, language policy). However, given Ukraine’s regional characteristics, it took time to unite the population around a shared historical memory, common symbols, and traditions. The policy of decommunization primarily contributed to the strengthening of regional identity. Moreover, improving the material well-being of Ukrainians and creating favorable conditions for living and working in Ukraine will unite the residents of all regions of Ukraine. These actions will significantly enhance the effect of decommunization in forming national identity. </em></p> 2023-03-25T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2023 JAPANESE-RUSSIAN-UKRAINIAN GEOPOLITICAL TRIANGLE: MUTUAL INFLUENCES OF THE PARTIES 2023-03-08T18:14:15+01:00 Nataliia Khoma Maiia Nikolaieva <p><em>The study revealed mutual influences within the conditional triangle “Japan-Russia-Ukraine” that have consequences for the security situation on a global scale. It clarifies how security and territorial integrity (of Ukraine and Japan) affected the content and nature of Japanese-Ukrainian, Japanese-Russian, and Ukrainian-Russian relations. The study aimed to determine how the positions of any two states from the modeled conditional triangle concerning a third state influence the content and nature of their relations. The research methodology is based on institutional analysis, with the help of which the decisions and positions of the state institutions of Japan, Russia, and Ukraine, as well as their consequences for security at the regional and global levels, are studied. It is proved that the Ukrainian issue affects the content and nature of Japanese-Russian relations with upward dynamics throughout the entire period of the Russian aggression against Ukraine (2014-2023). The analysis of the processes in the triangle “Japan-Russia-Ukraine” demonstrated that the security of Europe and Asia might no longer be separated as autonomous processes. </em></p> <p><em> </em></p> 2023-03-25T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2023 RULES-BASED INTERNATIONAL ORDER AND US INDO-PACIFIC STRATEGY: WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR CHINA’S BRI? 2023-03-08T18:18:08+01:00 M Jashim Uddin Raymond Kwun-Sun Lau <p><em>The third decade of the 21st century has witnessed more tensions, instabilities, and new alliances in the Indo-Pacific/Asia-Pacific region due to intensifying rivalry and strategic competition between the US Indo-Pacific Strategy (IPS) and China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), two grand strategies of the US and China respectively. This article aims to assess the Rules-Based International Order (RBIO) and comprehend Biden’s IPS, particularly exploring how the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) may impact China’s BRI. This paper argues that RBIO is debatable and not universal. It is also argued that while the IPEF unveiled by President Biden represents a strategically important step forward, a long-term US genuine commitment to its implementation to counter China’s BRI is essential. The methodology of this research is primarily based on secondary literature and official documents. This study concludes that although China is reluctant to pay too much attention to the US IPEF in its official statements, China is concerned about this economic initiative. The paper also concludes that because of the intense US-China rivalry, new alliances will emerge in the region leading to a new cold war or new world order. </em></p> 2023-03-25T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Cover Page and Table of Contents 2023-03-08T18:24:43+01:00 Journal of Liberty and International Affairs <p><em>Journal of Liberty and International Affairs</em> is a triannual (3 issues per year), international, open-access, and peer-reviewed journal published by the <em>Institute for Research and European Studies</em>. It welcomes submissions from political sciences, international relations, international law, and related fields. The journal embraces multi- and interdisciplinary scholarship and comparative approaches. The journal is <a href="">indexed</a> in SCOPUS, EBSCO, DOAJ, CEEOL, SSOAR, ERIHPLUS, HeinOnline, ANVUR, Columbia International Affairs Online, ProQuest, UGC-CARE List Group II, etc.</p> 2023-03-25T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2023