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  • Publication Date: 12-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The leading index increased 0.4 percent, the coincident index increased 0.2 percent, and the lagging index increased 0.5 percent in December. Taken together, the three composite indexes and their components show a healthy economy: The coincident indicators show that the economy continued to expand through the end of 1999. The leading indicators point to a continuation of the expansion during 2000. Cyclical imbalances and related economic instability problems should be monitored for future increases.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 11-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The leading index increased 0.3 percent, the coincident index increased 0.2 percent, and the lagging index increased 0.3 percent in November. Taken together, the three composite indexes and their components show a healthy economy: The coincident indicators point to GDP rising in the 4th quarter of 1999. The leading indicators point to a continuation of the expansion. Cyclical imbalances and related economic instability problems should be monitored for future increases.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 10-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The leading index held steady, the coincident index increased 0.6 percent, and the lagging index decreased 0.1 percent in October. Taken together, the three composite indexes and their components show a healthy economy: The coincident indicators point to GDP rising in the 4th quarter of 1999. The leading indicators have paused after strong growth early this year. Cyclical imbalances and related economic instability problems should be monitored for future increases.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 09-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The leading index decreased 0.1 percent, the coincident index decreased 0.2 percent, and the lagging index increased 0.4 percent in September. This report merits careful interpretation, but does not change general conclusions drawn from previous releases, which show the economy is in good health: The coincident indicators point to GDP rising in the 4th quarter of 1999. The leading indicators point to a continuation of the expansion through early 2000. Cyclical imbalances and related economic instability problems must be monitored for future increases.
  • Topic: Economics, Health
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 08-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The leading index decreased 0.1 percent, the coincident index increased 0.2 percent, and the lagging index increased 0.2 percent in August. Taken together, the three composite indexes and their components show a healthy economy: The coincident indicators point to GDP rising at a pace of 3.0 percent (annualized) in the 3rd quarter of 1999. The leading indicators point to a continuation of the expansion through early 2000. Cyclical imbalances and related economic instability problems do not seem to be a problem yet.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 07-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The leading index increased 0.3 percent, the coincident index increased 0.2 percent, and the lagging index increased 0.6 percent in July. Taken together, the three composite indexes and their components show a healthy economy: The coincident indicators point to economic activity rising in the 3rd quarter from the 1.8 percent (annualized) rise in GDP in the 2nd quarter. The leading indicators point to continuation of the expansion through early 2000. Cyclical imbalances and related economic instability problems show inconsistent patterns of growth.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 06-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The leading index increased 0.3 percent, the coincident index increased 0.4 percent, and the lagging index decreased 0.4 percent in June. Taken together, the three composite indexes and their components show a very healthy economy: The coincident indicators point to economic activity rising at a pace of 2.7 percent (annualized) in the 2nd quarter of 1999, compared to the advance estimate of GDP showing a 2.3 percent increase. The leading indicators point to continuation of the expansion through early 2000. Cyclical imbalances and related economic instability problems are almost nonexistent.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 05-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The leading index increased 0.3 percent, the coincident index increased 0.2 percent, and the lagging index held steady in May. Taken together, the three composite indexes and their components show a healthy economy: The coincident indicators point to GDP rising at a pace of over 2.5 percent (annualized) in the 2nd quarter of 1999. The leading indicators point to a continuation of the expansion through the remainder of 1999. There is little evidence of cyclical imbalances that would jeopardize the economy's stability.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 04-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The leading index decreased 0.1 percent, the coincident index increased 0.2 percent, and the lagging index increased 0.4 percent in April. Taken together, the three composite indexes and their components show a healthy economy: The coincident indicators point to activity continuing to rise at the start of the 2nd quarter of 1999, but at a pace that is much more modest than the 4.1 percent (annualized) rise in GDP in the 1st quarter. The leading indicators point to a continuation of the expansion through at least the 4th quarter of 1999. Evidence of cyclical imbalances from the lagging indicators—that might threaten the stability of the economy—is neither consistent nor convincing.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 03-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The leading index increased 0.1 percent, and both the coincident and lagging indexes increased 0.2 percent in March. Taken together, the three composite indexes and their components show a very healthy economy: The coincident indicators show aggregate economic activity growing at about a 3.25 percent annualized pace in the 1st quarter of 1999 (compared to a 4.5 percent increase in the advance estimate of GDP). The leading indicators point to a continuation of the expansion for at least six more months. Cyclical imbalances and related conditions are unlikely to jeopardize the economy's stability.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 02-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The leading index increased 0.2 percent, the coincident index increased 0.3 percent, and the lagging index increased 0.2 percent in February. Taken together, the three composite indexes and their components show a healthy economy: The coincident indicators point to GDP rising at a pace of about 3 percent (annualized) in the 1st quarter of 1999. The leading indicators show odds are high that the expansion will continue through at least late-1999. There is little evidence of cyclical imbalances that would jeopardize the economy's stability.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 01-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The leading index increased 0.5 percent, the coincident index increased 0.2 percent, and the lagging index increased 0.4 percent in January. Taken together, the three composite indexes and their components show generally healthy conditions: The coincident indicators show that, although industrial production fell slightly, the first quarter of 1999 started on a positive note. The leading indicators are almost unanimous in predicting continued growth through at least the middle of the year. Signs of cyclical imbalances and other factors that might jeopardize the economy's stability remain relatively subdued.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Tom Barry, Robert Weissman, Martha Honey
  • Publication Date: 08-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: Africa and the developing world are facing an HIV/AIDS crisis equated by the U.S. surgeon general to the plague that decimated Europe in the fourteenth century. Combinations of available pharmaceuticals-too expensive for nearly all of the infected people in the developing world-could enable many afflicted with HIV/AIDS to live relatively normal lives. Compulsory licensing and parallel importing policies could help developing country governments make essential medicines more affordable to their citizens.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Science and Technology, Third World
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Europe
  • Author: Tom Barry, Martha Honey
  • Publication Date: 05-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: The Foreign Policy In Focus project functions as a network of foreign policy experts. The following brief, written by one of the project's codirectors, benefits from the expert opinions about the Kosovo crisis from numerous experts and organizations that have contributed to the project's efforts to make the U.S. a more responsible global leader and partner. We see this policy brief as a living document that will be regularly updated and revised as this horrific manifestation of U.S. militarism and global irresponsibility evolves. The policy brief calls for the unconditional halt to this war of terror. Comments appreciated.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, NATO, Ethnic Conflict, Migration
  • Political Geography: United States, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Gerald M. Steinberg
  • Publication Date: 11-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Europe, both in terms of the individual states and collectively through the 15-member European Union, seeks to play an active role in the Middle East peace process. There are many reasons for this - substantive, political, and symbolic.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Security, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East
  • Author: Betsy Gidwitz
  • Publication Date: 09-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: In recent months, since shortly after the collapse of the Russian ruble in August 1998, an upsurge of antisemitism in Russia has generated a startling increase in emigration of Russian Jewry. Among Jews in Israel and many diaspora countries, concern has grown about the fate of those Jews remaining in Russia, the largest of the post-Soviet states.
  • Topic: Politics, Religion
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Gerald M. Steinberg
  • Publication Date: 07-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Prime Minister Ehud Barak will not get a period of grace or a post-election honeymoon. Immediately upon taking office, he faces a number of pressing issues. Many of these are domestic - including religious-secular relations and economic concerns.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Eliyahu Kanovsky
  • Publication Date: 05-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Blaming "the other guy" for current problems is a human frailty, but there are cases where there is substance to the allegation. I believe that the widespread criticism of Netanyahu's economic record lacks, at the very least, a sense of fairness and balance. On the economic front, the Netanyahu administration is faulted for the slow rate of economic growth since 1997, and, as a consequence, the rising rate of unemployment. The opposition contends that in 1996, Netanyahu inherited from the previous administration (Rabin-Peres) a thriving, prosperous, and stable economy, and then proceeded to "mess things up." What are the facts and figures? What is the larger picture?
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Aharon Lopez
  • Publication Date: 03-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: During the ceremony of the presentation of my credentials as the Ambassador of Israel to the Holy See on April 10, 1997, I told His Holiness that, actually, this was not my first connection with the Vatican. In fact, when I served as Ambassador of Israel to the Republic of Cyprus, in one of the ceremonies there, I was approached by the non-resident Ambassador of Outer Mongolia, who asked me whether I represented the Holy See in Cyprus. Of course I answered that I represented the State of Israel. Then, looking at my head, he remarked: "Oh, you are right, sir; now I can see the difference in the color!" Of course, he was referring to my skullcap.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, Religion
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Israel, Vatican city
  • Author: Robert O. Freedman
  • Publication Date: 03-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: During U.S. President Bill Clinton's second term in office, the U.S. "dual containment" policy toward Iran and Iraq, which he inherited from the Bush administration and then intensified during his first term, had come close to collapse.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Foreign Policy, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: George E. Gruen
  • Publication Date: 02-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: On June 10, 1998, Turkish police and Islamist students scuffled at Istanbul University after authorities refused to allow eleven women wearing Muslim headscarves to take final exams. The students attempted to force their way into the examination hall past police who were helping college authorities enforce a long-standing ban on Islamist attire in places of education, government ministries, and other public institutions. Istanbul University, like nearly all educational institutions in Turkey, receives public funding. Similar scuffles had occurred the previous day when police forcibly removed headscarves from some girls' heads, the pro-Islamist newspaper Zaman said. The paper printed photographs of what it said were female students who fainted in distress after their headscarves had been torn off.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Government, Human Rights, Islam, Religion
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Alan Dowty
  • Publication Date: 05-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame
  • Abstract: The 1999 Israeli elections confirm the emergence of a more centrist Israeli politics A “national unity government” emerging from the elections is a distinct possibility Though the peace process was not a major issue, the outcome will be a renewal of peace talks Deals on both the Palestinian and Syrian fronts may be closer to realization than is generally realized.
  • Topic: Government, Peace Studies, Elections
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Syria
  • Publication Date: 12-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: In its sixth year of expansion, the Dutch economy has continued to perform well, with strong real GDP growth and job creation. But some tensions have appeared, and inflation is close to the upper limit of price stability as defined by the European Central Bank. The outlook is broadly favourable as GDP growth is expected to slow only moderately: this would provide a welcome cooling-off of the economy. However, fiscal policy needs to remain particularly vigilant concerning the risk of overheating, and stand ready to tighten promptly, within the budgetary framework, if so needed. A major challenge facing the authorities is to deal with the important unfinished agenda in the structural area through speeding up the process of structural reform. The announced income tax reform is particularly necessary, not only to improve fiscal efficiency and equity, but also to redress incentives to work. This would enhance labour market policies aimed at increasing the outflow from social security schemes, and would boost the active labour force and potential output. Other necessary actions include reforming the health care system and introducing more market forces in public transport and some other former public utilities. Taking advantage of the favourable conjunctural situation, the authorities should move ahead forcefully along all these lines, thereby contributing to the continuation of strong job creation in an environment of sustainable economic growth.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Netherlands
  • Publication Date: 12-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: The economic crisis of 1998 has victimised a number of important areas of institutional development and increased social distress among much of the population. A responsible fiscal and monetary response to the crisis, bolstered by a strengthened current account, has helped to stabilise inflation and the exchange rate, although the low level of reserves, the demands of foreign debt service, and threats to the independence of the Central Bank speak for the continued fragility of the achieved level of stability. A restructuring of foreign debt is critical for consolidating trends in the fiscal sphere. While the quick onset of a recovery in GDP in the wake of the weaker rouble is encouraging, delays in structural reforms and low administered input prices raise concern about the quality and sustainability of this growth. The restructuring and regulation of the commercial banking sector continues to pose major challenges to the Central Bank and the Russian government. Throughout a decade of transition, problems in demonetisation and fiscal federalist relations, the particular focus of this Survey, have been important underlying structural obstacles to economic reform. Although some institutional reforms have provided a foundation for a market economy, delays in addressing these and other fundamental problems have impeded efficiency and increased the comparative vulnerability of the Russian economy to external shocks. The future stability and growth of the Russian economy will require the continuation of responsible macroeconomic policies, but depends first and foremost on progress in structural reform, including tax reform, effective institutions of bankruptcy, competition, more decisive and comprehensive measures to combat the process of demonetisation, defend the rule of law, and realise fundamental reform in fiscal federalist relations.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Publication Date: 12-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: The euro came into being under mixed auspices. On the one hand, convergence efforts in the run-up to monetary union, particularly in the fiscal area, had helped bring inflation and interest rates down to historically low levels. On the other hand, growth, which had only just started to recover in earnest after several disappointing years, was slowing down in the wake of a series of emerging market crises. The macroeconomic policy mix prevailing in 1999 combined monetary easing and modest fiscal consolidation. It contributed to sustain domestic demand, limiting the extent of the deceleration. With a brightening external environment, growth picked up vigorously in the second half of the year. In hindsight, the new regime's début is commendable, especially when recalling the gloomy predictions of some sceptics and taking into account that this first year has been a period of learning-by-doing for all agents. Major challenges lie ahead, however, both as regards long-run fiscal sustainability in the face of population ageing and as regards market structures. The policy tradeoffs facing European policymakers are harsher in some important ways than those confronting their counterparts across the Atlantic, because of deeply ingrained labour and product market rigidities. Those are being addressed in various ways, and tangible progress is being made. Nonetheless, reform efforts should be stepped up to raise economic performance significantly above the record of the 1990s.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Date: 12-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Globalisation has become a key force of change in all OECD countries. It is making our economies more open, bringing new opportunities, new markets and new wealth. But it also demands more rapid adjustment to change. The accomplishment of strategic restructuring is often required, so that workers are not displaced or excluded from the labour market and so that no localities are left to lag behind or decline. In the new economic environment, policy-makers must help build dynamic and flexible regions and cities. They must assist the transition from individual closed local economic systems to a new, open global system. To do this, it is important to “think globally and act locally”.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Globalization, Government
  • Publication Date: 12-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: The new government has set itself the ambitious tasks of lowering unemployment, modernising the economy and the social system, and securing the long term viability of the budget and the health and pension systems. Ecological goals have been given equal prominence in order to ensure the environmental sustainability of economic development. In some fields there has been progress. However, the fiscal package needs to be fully implemented to put public finances on a sustainable path and to create a tax regime that is more business friendly. These policies should be underpinned by structural reforms that strengthen future growth prospects. Such policies can benefit both macroeconomic performance and future fiscal outcomes. While short-term growth prospects are already improving, unemployment remains a major problem. With respect to its strategy for reducing unemployment, the government is seeking to obtain consensus, inter-alia on an employmentfriendly wage policy, via round-table talks with the social partners. It is important that a consistent set of policy instruments emerge that establish clear links between policies and ultimate policy goals. For Germany to attain the employment, growth and environmental aims commensurate with its key position in the European economy, requires not only favourable macroeconomic conditions, including aggregate wage developments, but a policy emphasis which more effectively enhances labour-market flexibility, as well as structural reforms that strengthen individual initiative, economic choice and the role of competition. Since structural and macroeconomic policies tend to have synergies which make them mutually reinforcing, achieving a more flexible and dynamic use of resources will help to assure progress towards the country's social, budgetary, environmental and economic goals.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • Publication Date: 12-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: The Icelandic economy has expanded rapidly over the past five years, bringing output to well above its potential. Clear signs of overheating have emerged, with unemployment below 2 per cent, inflation picking up and a large current external deficit. These developments are projected to continue, raising the risks of a wage-price spiral and financial instability. To guard against such risks, a significant tightening of monetary policy is required, with less priority attached to the exchange rate as a target for policy. This should be complemented by a medium-term fiscal discipline aiming at achieving a structural budget surplus. Such a course would help cope with long-term care spending that will rise with ageing. On the other hand, except for government employees, pensions should not constitute a burden for public finances, as, for the main, they will be provided by the private sector. To enhance future growth prospects, it will be important to maintain and extend the fishing quota regime in the face of legal threats and to increase competitive forces, especially in the telecommunications industry.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Iceland
  • Publication Date: 10-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: The collapse of communism in Central and Eastern Europe and the subsequent disintegration of the Soviet Union brought the region's serious environmental problems to the attention of the international community. Although the countries in this vast area of the world are remarkably diverse, central economic planning had created a common pattern of environmental problems. Notable among these problems were levels of industrial pollution that, in many places, threatened human health; widespread land and water degradation (particularly in the former Soviet Union); and the persistent neglect of nuclear safety and nuclear waste management.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Environment
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Soviet Union
  • Publication Date: 10-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Never before have so many countries at such different levels of development been involved in so much activity aimed at progressively rolling back obstacles to freer trade and investment. Yet, paradoxically, at no time during the post-war period has the prospect of further liberalisation generated so much public anxiety, not least within those countries that built much of their prosperity on a liberal trade and investment order.
  • Topic: Economics, Environment, Government, International Trade and Finance, Sovereignty
  • Publication Date: 07-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: The goal of a large number of criminal acts is to generate a profit for the individual or group that carries out the act. Money laundering is the processing of these criminal proceeds to disguise their illegal origin. This process is of critical importance, as it enables the criminal to enjoy these profits without jeopardising their source.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Publication Date: 06-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Twice a year, in June and December, the OECD publishes its Economic Outlook (EO), which contains projections for a number of key economic variables over a two to two and a half-year horizon.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: David Weiner
  • Publication Date: 11-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Overseas Development Council
  • Abstract: The debate over trade and labor standards is one of the most divisive in relations between industrial and developing countries. Concern about the impact of trade on workers is undermining support for trade liberalization worldwide.
  • Topic: Environment, International Organization, International Trade and Finance, World Trade Organization
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Kevin M. Morrison
  • Publication Date: 09-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Overseas Development Council
  • Abstract: Kevin M. Morrison September 1999 Overseas Development Council The debate over debt relief has reached a critical phase. The pressing need to reduce the crushing debt of the highly indebted poorest countries (HIPCs) is no longer in doubt, due to the efforts of advocates in developing and developed countries. At the Cologne G7 Summit in June, the leaders of the richest countries decided to speed up and enlarge their previous debt relief initiative. Now the issue is: How are donors going to pay the bill? The G7 is exploring various means to finance the expanded initiative, and they hope to announce the plan this month during the annual meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF).But there is concern that, when all is said and done, financing the initiative will cut down other resources for developing countries. Key development assistance programs might be reduced, as might developing countries' earnings from gold exports if the IMF sells some of its gold reserves to finance the relief and the price of gold drops. The point of debt relief is, as the leaders said in Cologne, "to provide a greater focus on poverty reduction by releasing resources for investment in health, education, and social needs." Thus, to provide debt relief and then reduce other resources for development makes little sense.
  • Topic: Environment, International Organization, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: J. Brian Atwood
  • Publication Date: 06-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Overseas Development Council
  • Abstract: Let me begin by thanking John Sewell and ODC for sponsoring this forum. ODC has contributed so much to development thinking over the years. I could not think of a more appropriate venue for my last message to the development community as AID Administrator. One year ago, I decided it was time to bring my tenure to a close. About that time Sandy Berger asked me if I would agree to serve as Ambassador to Brazil. That decision was obviously a mistake. I lost control over my own timetable. I would probably still be waiting for a hearing if I had not withdrawn my nomination. Timetables are important when you are trying to bring closure to both a government career and a term of office. When I leave government on July 9, I will complete six years, two months and four days as AID Administrator. That is not a record, by the way, it just feels that way ! While it is natural to want to achieve a neat closure to this experience, I have concluded that there will always be unfinished business. That is what I want to talk to you about today.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Globalization, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Catherine Gwin
  • Publication Date: 06-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Overseas Development Council
  • Abstract: Catherine Gwin June 1999 Overseas Development Council Fifteen years after the end of the Cold War, a new development cooperation paradigm is emerging. Spurred by global economic and political change, development cooperation is undergoing a fundamental redesign on three levels: 1) rationale and purpose, 2) strategy, and 3) provision of assistance.
  • Topic: Development, Globalization, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: David Weiner
  • Publication Date: 05-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Overseas Development Council
  • Abstract: U.S. trade leadership has suffered from a contentious policy debate that has left President Clinton without new fast-track trade negotiating authority since 1994. Disagreement over the impact of commerce with developing countries on jobs and the environment is at the heart of the trade quarrel, but that quarrel misreads what is happening in developing economies and what is achievable in negotiations with them.
  • Topic: Environment, International Organization, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Stuart Eizenstat
  • Publication Date: 04-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Overseas Development Council
  • Abstract: The Overseas Development Council was prescient in calling for an international dialogue on globalization last year. It is a particularly important time for a dialogue on the relationship between globalization and development, given new concerns raised by the global financial crisis.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, Globalization, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Gary P. Sampson
  • Publication Date: 02-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Overseas Development Council
  • Abstract: Environmentalists and trade advocates have clashed frequently in recent years. Environmentalists argue that international trade rules restrict the legitimate use of trade measures to enforce environmental standards internationally and undermine environmental standards at home. Trade officials argue that trade measures are not the appropriate tools to dal with environmental problems, no is the World Trade Organization (WTO) the appropriate institution. They contend that environmentalists need to put their own house in order rather than resort to trade measures to achieve their objectives.
  • Topic: Environment, International Organization, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: Oxford Analytica
  • Publication Date: 12-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: Croatia is preparing for two elections—parliamentary polls on January 3 and, following the recent death of President Franjo Tudjman, a presidential contest on January 24. Thus, the population has an opportunity to choose real change, and to set Croatia firmly on the path of economic transformation and European integration, after a period of stilted political and economic development, marked by cronyism, under Tudjman. However, this scenario is by no means certain.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Oxford Analytica
  • Publication Date: 12-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: It was exactly 18 years ago this week that former Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin rushed from his hospital room, where he was being treated for a broken hip, descended on a surprised Knesset, and, within a few hours, forced through a bill imposing Israeli sovereignty on the Golan Heights. This same sense of urgency now animates Prime Minister Ehud Barak in his attempts to negotiate a peace agreement with Syria that will, perforce, require the abrogation of Begin's initiative.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Palestine
  • Author: Oxford Analytica
  • Publication Date: 12-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: European defence cooperation will be a key issue at this week's European Council (EC) summit. It looks likely that ministers will agree that Europe should move towards an autonomous military capability independent of NATO. However, significant problems remain before these plans can be realised in operational terms.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, NATO
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Oxford Analytica
  • Publication Date: 12-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: The quarter-point increase in the fed funds rate announced at the November 16 Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting was accompanied by the adoption of a neutral directive for the inter-meeting period, in place of the bias towards tightening in force since early October. The directive indicates that the Fed intends the rise to be the last of this year. However, the OECD, in its recent Economic Outlook, predicted that another one percentage point increase in the fed funds rate will be needed to restore demand and supply to equilibrium. While the economy will probably not slow sufficiently of its own accord, the incentives to defer action into 2000 mean that rates are likely to remain as they are during 1999, though probably associated with an announced bias towards tightening.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Oxford Analytica
  • Publication Date: 11-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) Council will meet on November 27 to deliberate the political understanding reached between First Minister-elect David Trimble and the Sinn Fein leadership. Trimble will probably achieve the level of support necessary for devolution to occur in Northern Ireland, by a narrow margin. However, significant political difficulties, remain to be addressed in the months following devolution. The medium-term prospects for the peace process will primarily depend on the IRA's approach to implementing its commitment to decommission.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Oxford Analytica
  • Publication Date: 11-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: Despite Hanoi's repeated assertions of its commitment to reform, the gap between the government's stated policies and what happens on the ground remains as wide as ever. The root of this problem is the diffusion of power throughout the multiple layers of government and bureaucracy. There are no quick-fix solutions which will centralise political power. A combination of continued global economic integration and exposure to outside ideas, allied with the government's own initiatives in areas such as administrative reform, provide the most likely route to strengthening the central administration's power.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Soviet Union, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Oxford Analytica
  • Publication Date: 10-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: Compromise and accommodation are the watchwords of the new Indonesian government. During the past two weeks, the top legislative and executive positions have been distributed to the leaders of four of the country's five major political parties. The new cabinet, announced on October 26, continues this trend. Active and retired members of the military hold six seats, giving them a larger representation than any single political party. Not only President Abdurrahman Wahid, but all of Indonesia's political leaders, are hoping that by sharing power, rather than struggling for supremacy, conflict can be minimised and some measure of reform achieved. However, it is likely that governmental splits will emerge in the medium term.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Southeast Asia
  • Author: Oxford Analytica
  • Publication Date: 10-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: Russia's military operations in the North Caucasus have, so far, received broad domestic support and enhanced the popularity of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. This stands in contrast to the 1994-96 conflict. The difference can be explained by the successful characterisation of the enemy as terrorists combined with the low level of conscript casualties. Moscow politicians have united broadly behind the military strategy, with opposition limited to extreme reformist groups. Two key consequences emerge from this situation. Firstly, Putin's political future is tied to the continued success of the campaign. Secondly, the nationalist fervour sparked by the conflict has reduced international investor confidence and led to domestic calls for increased defence spending.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, International Trade and Finance, Nationalism, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Caucasus
  • Author: Oxford Analytica
  • Publication Date: 10-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: Pessimism surrounding the Japanese economy has lessened as, against most expectations, recovery continues to take hold. Analysts who predicted further contraction in Japan's GDP during fiscal 1999 have altered to a more optimistic outlook. The reason for this turnaround is a general change in perception of the recession. Rather than the downturn being part of a decade-long stagnation persisting since the collapse of the bubble economy in 1991, the recession was in fact of more recent origin and, therefore, of a less intractable nature than commonly supposed.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Japan, East Asia
  • Author: Oxford Analytica
  • Publication Date: 10-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: Daily demonstrations calling for Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic to resign have, over recent weeks, been poorly attended. In part this reflects the opposition parties' failure to resolve their differences. This has led to growing scepticism in the West about the Serbian people's ability to bring about political change. In these circumstances, the international community may alter its policy towards the country. However, greater efforts to support the democratic opposition could prove counter-productive in the short-to-medium term due to anti-Western sentiment in the aftermath of the NATO air campaign. In the longer term the West will need to reconsider its policy towards the Balkans if it wants to play a constructive role in regional democratisation.
  • Topic: International Relations, NATO, Democratization, Politics
  • Political Geography: Mongolia, Eastern Europe, Serbia, Balkans
  • Publication Date: 11-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: The outright victory of the Alliance candidate, Fernando de la Rua, on the first round of voting in the presidential elections on October 24, reflects the desire for a change of political style. De la Rua's approach to government will be less personalist and more consensual than that of the outgoing president, Carlos Menem. While economic policy is unlikely to change in any fundamental way, the new government will be under pressure to root out corruption. It will be the first time since the return to civilian rule in 1983 that a government lacks a majority in either chamber of Congress, which may strengthen democratic institutions.
  • Topic: Corruption, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Argentina