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  • Author: Nancy Birdsall
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics International Affairs Journal
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: Thomas Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century is a tour de force—a compelling and accessible read that presents an eloquent and convincing warning about the future of capitalism.* Capitalism, Piketty argues, suffers from an inherent tendency to generate an explosive spiral of increasing inequality of wealth and income. This inegalitarian dynamic of capitalism is not due to textbook failures of capitalist markets (for example, natural monopolies) or failures of economic institutions (such as the failure to regulate these monopolies), but to the way capitalism fundamentally works. Unless the spiral is controlled by far more progressive taxation than is now the norm, the political fallout could undermine the viability of the successful “social state” (p. 471) in the advanced economies, putting the democratic state itself at risk.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom, France
  • Author: Ondrej Ditrych
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The crisis in Ukraine has turned the tables of the post-Cold War relationship between the United States and Russia. The ongoing transformation can result in a number of outcomes, which can be conceived in terms of scenarios of normalisation, escalation and 'cold peace' - the latter two scenarios being much more probable than the first. NATO ought to shore up its defences in Central and Eastern Europe while Washington and its allies engage in a comprehensive political strategy of 'new containment'. This means combining political and economic stabilisation of the transatlantic area with credible offers of benefits to partners in the East and pragmatic relations with Russia which are neither instrumentalised (as was the case with the 'reset') nor naïvely conceived as a 'partnership'.
  • Topic: International Relations, NATO, Cold War, Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Washington, Ukraine
  • Author: Xinyuan Dai
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: A growing sense among academics and policymakers alike is that the dominant issues of the twenty-first century will be decided in Asia-Pacific. But, the open question is how will these issues be decided: Who defines the rules of the game in the region and how? To address these questions, this paper studies the regulatory competition that is unfolding in the region. In particular, it examines the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), with its potential to redraw the political-economic geography in Asia. Why is such a significantly path-breaking institution possible? This paper builds on the scholarship of international political economy and especially the literature on international institutions. It argues that this potential of the TPP crucially depends on the institutional environment in East Asia. A state of institutional anarchy enables the TPP to take hold in Asia. Important policy implications follow regarding the strategic use of international institutions.
  • Topic: Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: East Asia
  • Author: Ruti Teitel
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Does international law have an answer to the question: 'what is a fair international society'? In her insightful book, Emmanuelle Tourne-Jouannet interrogates in a systematic fashion diverse areas of international law that touch upon or address, directly or indirectly, fairness, equity, or redistribution: from the law of development to minority rights to international economic law. By taking positive law as the point of departure for an inquiry about global justice, Tourme- Jouannet departs, in a refreshing way, from attempts to extrapolate from mainstream legal theory an abstract conception of global justice. '[W]hat is to be addressed here are not contemporary theories of justice and the philosophical questions that the topic raises .... [I]t is the aim to address them here from a different angle: from within legal practice, as it were .... I have opted for an approach based on existing legal practice, with a view to conceptualizing and questioning it' (at 3). For Tourme-Jouannet, the question about the fairness of international legal practice leads to a number of other legal-historical questions regarding the contemporary evolution of international law. The project is 'simply to begin by identifying the principles and legal practices relating to development and recognition' ( ibid. ). In her view, adopting a historical perspective, these practices – notwithstanding their differences – reflect a joint concern with achieving global justice over the years.
  • Topic: Economics, International Law
  • Author: Stéphanie Dagron
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Lawrence O. Gostin's new book begins with the sentence '[t]his is a unique moment to offer a systematic account of global health law' and he is right. The book under review is published at a time when the most influential international institutions are emphasizing the necessity for multilateral cooperation in the field of public health. For example, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) addresses this point in its current deliberations on the post-2015 Millennium Development Goals Agenda. Contemporary globalization has irrevocably made borders porous to capital, services, goods, and persons. Global social, economic, and political changes, such as increasing industrialization, urbanization, environmental degradation, migration, drug trafficking, and the marketing strategies of transnational corporations (e.g., in the food, pharmaceutical, and tobacco industries) have a significant impact on health. This impact is transnational and intersectoral: global health hazards go beyond the control of individual nation states and extend beyond the restricted field of health care.
  • Topic: Economics, Health, Migration, United Nations, Food, Law
  • Author: Weiying Zhang
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: History and casual observations suggest that ideas and leadership are the two most important forces in all institutional changes. However, they have been absent or downplayed in conventional economic analysis of institutional changes. Conventional economics has exclusively focused on the notion of “interest” in explaining almost everything, from consumers' choices to public choices to institutional changes. IN particular, institutional changes have been modeled as a game of interests between different groups (such as the ruling and the ruled), with the assumption that there is a well-defined mapping from interests into outcomes.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Randall G. Holcombe
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Political capitalism is an economic and political system in which the economic and political elite cooperate for their mutual benefit. The economic elite influence the government's economic policies to use regulation, government spending, and the design of the tax system to maintain their elite status in the economy. The political elite are then supported by the economic elite which helps the political elite maintain their status; an exchange relationship that benefits both the political and economic elite.
  • Topic: Economics, War
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Ryan H. Murphy
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Contemporary economic policy debates are dominated by concerns regarding the rise in inequality (Stiglitz 2012, Piketty 2014). Primarily, this has led to a focus in re-invigorating redistribution. For instance, Robert Shiller (2014) has recently argued for indexing top marginal tax rates to inequality and using the revenues to fund transfer payments. Secondarily, there are the longstanding objections to “neoliberalism” in general, which has encouraged globalization and the liberalization of markets. To the extent that liberal reforms have improved economic institutions, might today's inequality subsequently derail them?
  • Topic: Economics, Markets
  • Author: Edmund S. Phelps
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: In his most recent tome, Edmund Phelps, the 2006 Nobel Laureate in Economic Science, addresses a topic crucial to successful national capitalist systems: the dynamics of the innovation process. Phelps develops his thesis around three main themes: In part one, he explains the development of the modern economies as they form the core of early—19th century societies in the West; in part two, he explores the lure of socialism and corporatism as competing systems to modern capitalism; and, in part three, he reviews post-1960s evidence of decline in dynamism in Western capitalist countries.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Rebecca U. Thorpe
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: In The American Warfare State, Reecca Thrope attempts to answer what she calls “the fundamental puzzle” of American politics: “Why a nation founded on a severe distrust of standing armies and centralized power developed and maintained the most powerful military in history.”
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: America