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  • Author: Guillermo Cruces, Leonardo Gasparini
  • Publication Date: 05-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: Latin American countries have succeeded in reducing poverty and income inequality over the last decade thanks in part to both economic growth and deliberate social policy measures. This study provides an overview of the available evidence of the changes in income distribution that have occurred in Latin America over the past two decades and their causes. While some attribute the improvements in distribution to changes in the international economy and the positive trend in the Latin American countries' terms of trade, others highlight the influence of changes in public policy. Both of these two sets of factors may have played an important role and may have interacted with one another in various ways.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Ethan Wagner
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: The Money Laundry: Regulating Criminal Finance in the Global EconomyJ.C. Sharman(Ithaca: Cornell University Press), 224 pages.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Yasheng Huang
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: It is now a part of conventional wisdom that both China and India are emerging economic, political and even military powers in the 21st century. Terms such as “BRIC” and “Chindia,” and phrases such as “not China or India, but China and India” have entered popular discourse and policy discussions. Such terms imply a synergistic relationship between China and India—an implication that belies the tension that has characterized Sino-Indian relations for centuries. My view is less sanguine than many others' about the prospects of their relations. Relations between the two countries will be fraught with difficulties and will likely remain fragile. Conflict and competitiveness are deeply rooted in historical and structural causes, while forces for harmony are more contingent on political will, cultural understanding and careful policy management. There are several areas in which their relations can go wrong. At a fundamental level, the two countries are in an economically competitive, not a complementary, relationship with each other. Their economic and social endowments are similar (as compared with China/U.S. or India/U.S.). India and China offer very different lessons about economic policies and growth. This is not to suggest that the two countries are headed toward an inevitable collision, but to identify the urgency of carefully managing their relations and nurturing trust and goodwill on both sides.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, China, India
  • Author: Arvind Panagariya
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: In the Spring/Summer 1994 issue of the Journal, I published an article entitled “India: A New Tiger on the Block?” in which the concluding paragraph asked, “Will India accomplish in the next decade what China did in the previous one?” I stated that although it is overly optimistic to respond affirmatively, a 6 to 7 percent annual growth rate in India could not be ruled out. The world should not be surprised if, in a decade's time, it sees another tiger on the block.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Paul Fraioli
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: The objective of this paper is to examine how patterns of Indian and Chinese reporting on Myanmar reflect the political climates of each country. A sample of 94 articles from Indian sources and 106 articles from Xinhua News Agency (English) was examined using content-analysis techniques. There is a clear divergence in the topics covered by the Indian and Chinese media during the time period reviewed, 3 November to 17 November 2010, which was selected to coincide with Myanmar's first nationwide elections in twenty years as well as the release of political prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest. The Indian press provided more coverage of Suu Kyi's release and of Myanmar political affairs than the Chinese press, but neither India nor China covered Suu Kyi's activities in the days following her release. The Chinese press provided more coverage of economic affairs and the Myawaddy border crisis, which the Indian press ignored. Surprisingly, the press in nondemocratic China attentively chronicled and promoted Myanmar's elections while the press in democratic India had very little to say about them. This suggests that on these issues, the press focus on what they perceive to be in the national interest of their respective countries.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: China, India
  • Author: Aditi Malik, Maria Y. Wang
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: With the simultaneous rise of two titans in Asia, India and China, what are the features that mark their relations with one another? Furthermore, what can current relations tell us about future prospects for peace between the two nations? These are the fundamental questions with which Jonathan Holslag is concerned. He notes that these are not new questions but ones that have been the subject of continuous debate. He argues that this debate has broadly produced two camps: the first camp is focused on the “security relationship,” while the second analyzes the above questions from the perspective of the increased interdependence between the two nations. Holslag aims to situate his work by taking into account information from both camps.
  • Topic: Security, Economics
  • Political Geography: China, India, Asia
  • Author: Sven Behrendt
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: The rising prominence of sovereign wealth funds—investment funds that are owned or controlled by national governments—has stirred debate about their potential use as tools to pursue global political interests rather than economic or financial ends. Recent sanctions levied on the Libyan Investment Authority, formerly operated by the government of Muammar al-Qaddafi, underscore this question. This article argues that the governance, accountability and transparency arrangements of sovereign wealth funds reflect the quality of political institutions within the countries that own them. In contrast to funds based in democratic states, those managed by authoritarian governments are distinguished by a lack of public oversight and are instead tightly controlled by the prevailing political leadership. The link between political leadership and fund management in many authoritarian countries allows governments more flexibility in using financial assets to pursue immediate political agendas.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Libya
  • Author: Sean Turnell
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: Myanmar has been under military rule in various guises for nearly fifty years. The most durable and unyielding of the authoritarian regimes in Southeast Asia, Myanmar's military rulers have expertly exploited circumstances and methods that prolong their rule, even as they have failed to deliver genuine economic growth and development. Their methods include ruthlessly suppressing dissent, inciting ethnic divisions and fears of external threats and making implicit bargains with neighboring states and domestic elites over the spoils available to a rentier state. Myanmar's emergence in recent years as a significant regional supplier of natural gas has dramatically increased the country's distributable economic rents, thus exacerbating the country's political stasis. This article examines the ways in which Myanmar's military regime has maintained its rule through the exploitation of these methods, but with a particular focus on the impacts of the country's exploitable energy and resource wealth and its implications for Myanmar's economic development and political transition.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Southeast Asia, Myanmar
  • Author: B. R. Myers
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: Although North Korea's northern border remains easy to cross, and North Koreans are now well aware of the prosperity enjoyed south of the demilitarized zone, Kim Jong Il continues to rule over a stable and supportive population. Kim enjoys mass support due to his perceived success in strengthening the race and humiliating its enemies. Thanks in part to decades of skillful propaganda, North Koreans generally equate the race with their state, so that ethno-nationalism and state-loyalty are mutually enforcing. In this respect North Korea enjoys an important advantage over its rival, for in the Republic of Korea ethno-nationalism militates against support for a state that is perceived as having betrayed the race. South Koreans' “good race, bad state” attitude is reflected in widespread sympathy for the people of the North and in ambivalent feelings toward the United States and Japan, which are regarded as friends of the republic but enemies of the race. But North Korea cannot survive forever on the public perception of state legitimacy alone. The more it loses its economic distinctiveness vis-à-vis the rival state, the more the Kim regime must compensate with triumphs on the military and nuclear fronts. Another act of aggression against the Republic of Korea may well take place in the months ahead, not only to divert North Korean public attention from the failures of the consumer-oriented “Strong and Prosperous Country” campaign, but also to strengthen the appeasement-minded South Korean opposition in the run-up to the presidential election in 2012.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, North Korea
  • Author: Eusebio Mujal-León
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: The Cuban Revolution recently experienced a major transition of leadership as power shifted hands from Fidel Castro to his younger brother, Raúl. Eschewing the role of caretaker, Raúl embarked on an ambitious program aiming to streamline a cumbersome and inefficient state while reforming the economy in ways that will increase agricultural production, encourage self-employment and lead to sustainable economic growth. At the same time, Raúl Castro refashioned the ruling coalition and proposed major changes to the ruling Communist Party, including term limits, leadership rotation and the separation of party and state functions. This article analyzes the emergence of a new Cuban political elite, explores how power is distributed between its military and party wings and examines the major challenges this coalition must overcome if it is to successfully manage the transition from the Castro era and stabilize Cuban autocracy.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Cuba
  • Author: David M. Driesen, David Popp
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: Any serious effort to address global climate disruption will require effective technology transfer. Developing countries with growing emissions must somehow make emission reductions without curtailing the economic development needed to alleviate poverty. This must be done in order to permit global abatement on the scale required to avoid dangerous climate disruption. Given the limited financial and technical capabilities of developing countries, this task seems impossible without technology transfer. As policymakers continue to embrace and enhance technology transfer options, it is critical to understand the relationship between technology transfer and policy development in order to formulate more effective policies. Whether through market mechanisms, such as the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), or direct aid programs, such as the Green Climate Fund, we argue that technology transfer programs must support the elaboration of policies in developing countries by addressing three key issues: additionality, appropriate scale and the promotion of knowledge spillovers. We use these three principles to provide a framework for assessing the potential of both the CDM and direct financial aid to foster meaningful technology transfer, which we define as technology transfer that not only lowers the overall short-run costs of carbon reductions, but also enhances the capacity of these countries to address climate change more thoroughly in the future.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics
  • Author: Walter G. Park
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: This paper discusses the potential role of copyright laws in technological and economic development. Although it is more common to think of the patent system as a source of economic and technological development, copyright laws and regulations affect cultural industries such as art, films, music and literature. These industries comprise an important part of gross domestic product and are a source of employment and income opportunities. Copyright regimes also affect education and scientific research through their impacts on the diffusion of knowledge embodied in copyright media, such as print and Internet publications, software and databases, among others. The copyright system can thus have an important influence on human capital accumulation. This paper surveys some of the theoretical and empirical work to date, assesses the implications of the findings for developing economies and identifies some areas where further research is needed.
  • Topic: Economics, Education
  • Author: Nima Veiseh
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: This paper attempts to reconcile two models for sustainable economic growth in developing countries. I develop an empirical and theoretical case for how the geographic landscape of a country determines the ease with which it can assimilate foreign technologies and establish institutions favorable to economic growth. I explore the threshold between the seemingly conflicting geographic (Sachs at al.) and institutional (Acemoglu et al.) theories, and economic growth. I do this by developing a technologically determinant, intermediate bifurcation where growth shifts from being geographically to institutionally driven after enough technology has been assimilated. My analysis finds that the rate of technological assimilation is determined by the landscape of a country. As the technology level increases, income level converges toward the level of developed countries. After reaching a certain threshold, however, economic growth appears to shift from being geographically driven to institutionally driven.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Author: Gary D. Espinas
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: Ukraine faces a number of challenges, including a deep economic crisis and a tumultuous political system. These problems, however, only underscore the importance of continued U.S. engagement with Ukraine. The causes of European stability and prosperity are best served by a Ukraine that is democratic, secure in its borders, and integrated into European and Euro-Atlantic institutions. This has been the U.S. position since Ukraine's independence in 1991. In addition to its internal challenges, Ukraine faces an external challenge: Russia. Recent Russian actions suggest that Moscow still considers Ukraine to be within its sphere of influence. Furthermore, Russia's conflict with Georgia in August 2008 demonstrates that Moscow is willing to use a wide variety of tools, including military force, to establish and enforce its sphere of influence. Such attitudes threaten to return Europe to the destructive balance of power politics of its past, rather than promote a peace in the region based on the right of sovereign nations to determine their own future. Ukraine has made a choice to be a part of Europe by undertaking a number of reforms in order to become a truly independent and democratic country. In the interest of greater European stability and prosperity, and in recognition of Ukraine's positive engagement, the United States must continue its efforts to assist Ukraine on the path to democracy.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Ukraine, Moscow
  • Author: Nina Poussenkova
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: In any economy, oil and gas companies are tightly linked with the government. In petro-states such as Russia, they are so closely connected that they are sometimes indistinguishable. This symbiotic relationship is particularly strong in the global expansion of Russian energy corporations such as Gazprom, LUKOIL and Rosneft . which is guided by a tangled web of commercial and political motives.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Sergei Guriev, Ekaterina Zhuravskaya
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: By January 1992, the Soviet Union had dissolved and the new Russian government had liberalized prices for most goods and services, ushering in a new Russian economy. In 2010, this economy turned eighteen years old and has, in Russian terms, come of age. In this article, we assess the current state of the Russian economy and its long-term prospects. Where is the Russian economy today, and where is it heading?
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Korea
  • Author: David Szakonyi
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: In addition to being the largest country outside of the trading bloc, Russia has also recently achieved another undesirable distinction in the annals of the World Trade Organization (WTO): the longest candidacy bid at over sixteen years, surpassing China's previous record. Russian leaders have notably fluctuated in their desire for entry and their demands along the WTO accession journey, leading to serious uncertainty about where the entire process is headed. Rising interest in regional organizations such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Eurasian Economic Community may even herald the decline of the supremacy of Western institutions, at least among many states in Eurasia. Deciphering how post-Soviet states determine their policies in the international arena is a treacherous affair, but an important one for the economic order.
  • Topic: Economics, World Trade Organization
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Eurasia
  • Author: Nicholas Bayne
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: Economic diplomacy can be defined as the method by which states conduct their external economic relations. It embraces how they make decisions domestically, how they negotiate internationally and how the two processes interact. Economic diplomacy has been transformed in the last two decades with the end of the Cold War and the advance of globalization. Its subject matter has become much wider and more varied and it has penetrated more deeply into domestic politics—no longer being limited to measures imposed at the border. Internationally, it engages a far larger range of countries, including new rising powers like China, India and Brazil. Yet the relative power and resources of governments have been shrinking, so that they often seem to be trying to do more with less.
  • Topic: Cold War, Economics
  • Political Geography: China, India, Brazil
  • Author: Vivienne Bennett, Sonia Davila-Poblete, Maria Nieves Rico
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: Since the mid-1990s, worldwide focus on water scarcity has exploded. Attention has moved beyond the technical dimensions of water provision to the political and social contexts in which water management occurs. In many places, especially where water is scarce, control over water confers power. The political analysis of water is then an analysis of power relations. As social scientists have entered the water world, and more and more case studies are carried out in Latin America, Africa and Asia, another facet of the politics of water that has been brought to light is gender differentiation in water usage and water management. In our 2005 book, Opposing Currents: The Politics of Water and Gender in Latin America, we provided a framework for understanding the connection between water and gender and a review of the development of global water policy and gender policy since the early 1990s, using case studies from six Latin American countries to highlight the role of women in water management. We found that substantial change is still needed to overcome pernicious gender bias and imbalances that distort water management and lead to ineffective planning in the water sector.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Africa, Asia, Latin America