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  • Author: Mikael Wigell, Mika Aaltola
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The idea of a ‘Middle East Helsinki Process’ has been raised as a potential collective security mechanism to help avoid major political regressions and violent spirals. The Helsinki Process, known for reducing tensions between the Soviet Union and the West in the 1970s, can provide some useful lessons, but the region will have to develop its own model by drawing on past experiences and the region-specific threat perceptions and political needs. Non-interference, sovereignty and the protection of religious rights could serve as useful starting principles for regional security-building in the Middle East. Drawing on the lessons learnt from the Helsinki Process, specific recommendations for a possible Middle East Process would be as follows: i) establish a regional initiative for building a security architecture in the Persian Gulf inspired by the Helsinki Process and its institutionalization; ii) establish a channel for Track 1, state-to-state-level consultations; iii) focus on the basic security guarantees that are common to the Persian Gulf states; and iv) maximize regional ownership, but with external facilitation.
  • Topic: Security, Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Katja Creutz
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The UN has achieved its aims with variable results. Thus far, the world has been spared another devastating world war, but the UN is now expected to address varied existential threats. Without real commitment to multilateralism on the part of major powers, the organization faces a grim future.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, United Nations, Multilateralism
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Sven Biscop
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: This will change everything. It is an understandable feeling. When people pass through an ordeal, they want to believe that when all is over there will be some compensation. Things may indeed change, but perhaps not as radically as may seem likely today in the midst of the crisis – and not all change will be for the better. What change could the corona crisis bring to international politics?
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Edwin M. Truman
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This paper evaluates international efforts to diagnose the global financial crisis and decide on appropriate responses, the treatments that were agreed and adopted, and the successes and failures as the crisis unfolded. International coordination of economic policies eventually contributed importantly to containing the crisis, but the authorities failed to agree on a diagnosis and the consequent need for joint action until the case was obvious. The policy actions that were adopted were powerful and effective, but they may have undermined prospects for coordinated responses to future crises.
  • Topic: Government, International Cooperation, Financial Crisis, Economy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The Centre for International Governance Innovation conducted consultations in the spring of 2019 with trade experts and stakeholders about options for modernizing the trade rules and strengthening the World Trade Organization (WTO). The consultations focused on the three themes of improving the WTO through monitoring of existing rules, strengthening and safeguarding the dispute settlement function, and modernizing the trade rules for the twenty-first century. This report synthesizes the results of the consultations.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, World Trade Organization, Modernization
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Idris Ademuyiwa, Pierre Siklos
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Recent events have the potential to reverse the positive macroeconomic performance of the global economy and trigger a slowdown in both global growth and international trade. In particular, the implications of ongoing trade disputes that have undermined trust in the existing multilateral cooperation system and the incentive for countries to align with ongoing global policy coordination efforts. A compelling case for a mutually beneficial resolution of these tensions can be made by emphasizing the interdependence of the Group of Twenty (G20) economies — the G20 being the premier repository of international cooperation in economic and political matters. This study also considers the state of trade globalization, with an emphasis on the performance of the G20. The emergence of geopolitical risks (GPRs), that is, events that heighten tensions between countries and therefore threaten global economic performance, is an attempt to quantify the potential economic impact of the nexus between politics and economics. In the presence of heightened political risks, negative economic effects become more likely. Nevertheless, there is no empirical evidence investigating the links between the real economy, trade, the state of the financial sector, commodity prices and GPRs. Moreover, there is no evidence on these links that has a sample of countries that make up the G20. This paper begins to fill this gap. Relying on descriptive and statistical evidence, the conclusion is drawn that GPRs represent a significant factor that threatens global economic growth and economic performance, in the G20 countries in particular. Ultimately, however, GPRs reflect other factors, including threats stemming from trade tensions and large swings in commodity prices.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Economic growth, Multilateralism
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia, South America, North America, Global Focus
  • Author: Monica Hernandez
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts University
  • Abstract: This research examines non-tariff measures (NTMs) and their use in impact assessments of free trade agreements (FTAs) based on computable general equilibrium models (CGE) as well as its implications. We show that projected gains related to FTAs tend to rely on removing ‘actionable’ NTMs and that, usually, impact assessments and empirical studies that provide this recommendation lack case-specific explanations behind actionability as well as of the channels and the way NTM elimination is supposed to improve welfare. We also find that the estimated economic gains from FTAs based on CGE models tend to be small and based on a high percentage of NTM elimination, which underestimates the social significance of these measures. Since NTMs comprise measures that target not only economic aspects but also social and environmental ones, indiscriminate NTM elimination suggests that small gains may come at a high cost.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Tax Systems, Free Trade, Non-Tariff Measures
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Isabella Banks
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Public International Law Policy Group
  • Abstract: Criminal liability in international law is unique from that of most national legal systems in that it extends to those physically distant from the crime. International law’s expanded notions of criminal liability and commission are what have made it possible for justice institutions – first the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal (IMT) in 1945 and now the International Criminal Court (ICC) – to hold high-level perpetrators who order, plan, coordinate, or facilitate mass atrocities from afar accountable for their actions. A question that international legal authorities have largely left unanswered is how this expanded notion of criminal liability might be applied in the age of global online networks and in particular, social media. There is mounting evidence that in addition to helping us stay connected and “bring the world closer together,” social media platforms are being used to proliferate ideas that result in real-world violence.
  • Topic: Crime, International Cooperation, Violence, International Criminal Court (ICC)
  • Political Geography: Myanmar, Global Focus
  • Author: Dimitar Bechev
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Foreign Policy Research Institute
  • Abstract: In the summer of 2018, Greece and Russian Federation went through one of the worst crises in their traditionally friendly relations. The falling out was triggered by allegations of Russian meddling in Greek domestic politics
  • Topic: International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Elena Chernenko, Oleg Demidov, Fyodor Lukyanov
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: nformation and communications technology (ICT) presents one of the most critical modern challenges to global security. Threat assessments predict that the next major international crisis could be due to a state or terrorist group weaponizing ICTs to devastate critical infrastructure or military logistics networks. The proliferation of asymmetric warfare (i.e., conflicts between nations or groups that have disparate military capabilities) has increased states’ use of ICTs, which necessitates the development of an international code of cyber conduct. There is an urgent need for cooperation among states to mitigate threats such as cybercrime, cyberattacks on critical infrastructure, electronic espionage, bulk data interception, and offensive operations intended to project power by the application of force in and through cyberspace. Emerging cyber threats could precipitate massive economic and societal damage, and international efforts need to be recalibrated to account for this new reality. A common misperception is that the principal cybersecurity threats demanding urgent international collaboration are massive, state sponsored attacks that target critical infrastructure such as power plants or electrical grids, causing massive devastation and human casualties. In fact, cyber threats are more diverse and complex, often targeting private enterprises and endangering the technical integrity of the digital world. The near-total digitalization of business models makes the global economy more vulnerable to cyberattacks, not only from states but also from criminal organizations and other nonstate actors.
  • Topic: Security, International Cooperation, Infrastructure, Cybersecurity
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jakkie Cilliers
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Development and Peace
  • Abstract: The United Nations Security Council lies at the heart of the global security architecture. It was established in 1945 to maintain international peace and security, but reform has been stuck for decades. Beyond a nuclear conflagration and the enduring challenge of interstate conflict, future global security challenges include the impact of climate change, the threat of pandemics, dirty bombs, nuclear terrorism and cybercrime. These risks are exacerbated by the rise of new nationalism in the West with countries such as the USA turning away from multilateralism, eschewing collaboration and accelerating change away from a global system hitherto dominated by the West. At a time of great power transitions, mul- tipolarity without sufficient multilateralism is a dan- gerous trend. Without comprehensive change that includes the end of permanent seats and the veto, the Council is fading into irrelevance. Such reform is possible, but requires a very different approach compared to efforts to find a compromise between different negotiating blocks in New York. Instead, detailed proposals should be agreed upon amongst like-minded states outside of the intergovernmental negotiating process and tabled in the General Assembly as a non-negotiable amendment to the Charter of the United Nations (UN). Even then only the threat from key countries to withdraw coopera- tion from the UN is likely to change things.
  • Topic: Security, International Cooperation, United Nations, Multilateralism, UN Security Council
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Samantha Custer, Elizabeth M King, Tamar Manuelyan Atinc, Lindsay Read, Kabir Sethi
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Today, 650 million children around the globe are at risk of being left behind as they fail to learn basic skills. Inequitable access to education is part of the problem, but even when children are in school, they may not be learning. In Uganda, for instance, barely half of grade 6 children read at a grade 2 level (Uwezo, 2016). In India, just one in four children enrolled in grade 5 can read a simple sentence or complete simple division problems (ASER Centre, 2017).
  • Topic: Education, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Alex Izurieta, Pierre Kohler, Juan Pizarro
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts University
  • Abstract: This paper assesses the effects of trade and investment agreements on income distribution and government policy. The critical process underpinning these effects is the rise of ‘financialization’. Global patterns of greater financialization and of worsening functional income distribution as well as tighter fiscal stances are identified in the data. Tests are conducted by combining financial statistics with databases of bilateral investment agreements and free trade agreements, as well as data generated by the UN Global Policy Model that encompasses several fiscal policy instruments. The empirical validation of these relationships brings to the fore the policy-oriented debate about the purported benefits of modern-era ‘comprehensive’ trade and investment agreements such as TTIP, TTP and CETA. The authors corroborate the findings of their respective earlier studies of these agreements and reiterate their call for caution. To preserve policy space and to avert increases of inequality, policy-makers should resist pressures to get their economies locked in such agreements and should look instead for sustainable forms of international policy coordination.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, United Nations, Investment, Trade
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Lise Johnson, Lisa Sachs, Brooke Güven, Jesse Coleman
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: This is a crucial moment in international investment policymaking. Two factors have converged, calling for a new direction. First, it has become increasingly difficult to justify investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS); even governments that had been among its strongest proponents are now changing course and have raised a range of fundamental, systemic and inter-related issues relating to ISDS. Second, policy makers and other stakeholders have a greater awareness of the need to design appropriate policies to maximize the contributions cross-border investment can make to sustainable development. Influenced by these factors, various reform efforts related to investment policy are underway at the national, regional, and international levels. These discussions about reform are likely to be slow, and outcomes uncertain. In the meantime, governments and their stakeholders remain tied to an outdated system that is widely acknowledged to be ill-suited for modern investment policy objectives, with increasingly concerning consequences. This policy paper explores two near-term options that governments engaged in reform discussions can pursue, alongside longer-term work on substantive and procedural reform. These options are: (1) a joint instrument on withdrawal of consent to arbitrate; and/or (2) a joint instrument on termination. The paper examines how both options could be implemented, and makes the case for putting a pause on ISDS to ensure that investment treaties and their dispute settlement mechanisms achieve their desired ends, produce legitimate decisions, and do not undermine international economic cooperation and sustainable development more broadly.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Regional Cooperation, Governance, Reform, Policy Implementation, Investment
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Transparency International
  • Abstract: Social audit is a powerful social accountability tool. It has led to the conviction of public officials for violating the right to information law in Guatemala, a 50 per cent reduction in the costs of public construction works in Peru, and cancelling an illegal education fee in Ghana. Social audit scrutinises public officials’ decisions and/or actions, looking for administrative or financial irregularities. It seeks to uncover discrepancies by comparing public documents, processes or services with how they should be. It can take many names and forms, ranging from social audits in Guatemala and anti-corruption brigades in Peru, to social auditing clubs in Ghana. This report extracts lessons from the social audits implemented by Acción Ciudadana in Guatemala, Proética in Peru and Ghana Integrity Initiative in Ghana. The report examines the social audit outcome reports and other records shared by the three Transparency International chapters, and includes an extensive review of the wider literature on social audits. Based on these experiences, the report outlines 20 key steps to implement an effective social audit.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Andreas Th. Muller
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: A core objective of the law of occupation has traditionally been that the occupying power should heed rule of law standards in the administration of the occupied territory. Less clear is whether it should also seek to inculcate rule of law standards into the local government. To be sure, the pertinent rules of the law of occupation provide for far-reaching competences of the occupying power. However, given the predominately negative, security-focused and conservationist nature of the occupier’s powers, its involvement in the “rule of law transfer” business should not be overrated. While it is true that two major post-1945 developments, i.e. international human rights law and the involvement of the UN Security Council, have contributed toward broadening, recalibrating, and dynamizing the applicable legal standards in situations of occupation, it is nonetheless crucial to resist the temptation to concede, in the name of promoting the rule of law, too much legislative leeway to the occupying power. Thus, the question whether, and to what extent, the law of occupation mandates the occupying power to engage in promoting the rule of law in the occupied territory, calls for a differentiated, and cautious, answer.
  • Topic: Security, International Cooperation, United Nations, Territorial Disputes
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Vandana Gyanchandani
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Trade and Economic Integration, The Graduate Institute (IHEID)
  • Abstract: Three methodologies are used to enforce labour and environmental commitments in the US and EU trade agreements: cooperative, sanctions and composite. In-depth analysis of the scope of commitments, level of protection, institutional framework as well as types of informal and formal dispute processes elucidates the pros and cons of such methodologies. Sanctions approach weakens cooperation by misjudging the complexity of domestic policy adjustments through transnational governance. Cooperative mechanism within the NAAEC's composite design emerges as the best approach: Submission on Enforcement Matters (SEM). As it provides for an independent secretariat supported by civil society group and factual records as a sunshine remedy to review citizen submissions. However, the process is constrained by political clout, lack of managerial capacity and legal dilemmas around informal lawmaking (IN-LAW) procedures.
  • Topic: Economics, Environment, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Labor Issues, Sustainable Development Goals, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Global Focus, European Union
  • Author: Anne-Laure Delatte, Sebastien Jean
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: This paper discusses what useful form international economic co-ordination might take, notwithstanding the tense climate witnessed in recent months. On international trade, we argue that aiming at wide-ranging negotiations or more-of-the-same trade liberalizations would be pointless under present circumstances. Priority should instead be given to preventing the doom loop of protectionism and retaliation, and to addressing the political concerns about globalization. On fiscal competition, we point to the risk of a potential race to the bottom despite the progress achieved thanks to the OECD BEPS initiative. We finally emphasize the need for coordinated policies on the demand side. Paper presented at the international conference on “Major Challenges for Global Macroeconomic Stability. The Role of the G7”, organized in Rome on 27-28 March 2017 by the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) with the support of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Bank of Italy.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Security
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: C. Fred Bergsten, Edwin M. Truman, Jeromin Zettelmeyer
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: This paper examines how G7 cooperation can be maintained in the Trump era. Its working assumption is that the US administration will remain open to international cooperation in principle and yet be constrained by Trump’s economic nationalism and specific campaign promises, such as reducing trade imbalances. The main finding is that useful areas for G7 macroeconomic, trade and financial cooperation continue to exist even after taking US constraints into account. At the same time, other G7 leaders need to be prepared to proceed on their own if attempts to convince the US administration that G7 economic cooperation is in the interests of all members fail. Paper presented at the international conference on “Major Challenges for Global Macroeconomic Stability. The Role of the G7”, organized in Rome on 27-28 March 2017 by the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) with the support of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Bank of Italy.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Malcolm D. Knight
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: This paper is premised on the fact that the most important macroeconomic policy issue confronting global leaders at this time is the need to restore, modernize and expand the international network of basic infrastructure that underpins global economic activity. This would help foster stronger long-term productivity growth and per capita output. This paper first outlines key policy elements that are needed within each country to design and implement a successful National Infrastructure Investment Programme (NIIP). It then describes how these NIIPs could be integrated into an Internationally Coordinated Infrastructure Investment Programme (iCIIP), and the complementary roles that the G7 and G20 summit leaders could play in carrying out this vast programme of infrastructure renewal and expansion. The G7, as a tightly knit group of advanced countries, can be instrumental in giving a clear impetus to key elements of the iCIIP strategy. The G20 instead is the appropriate body to set the course of modernization and expansion of a renewed, internationally-integrated network of basic productive infrastructure, and to guide the iCIIP as it is implemented over the next decade.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Cooperation, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus