Search

You searched for: Content Type Policy Brief Remove constraint Content Type: Policy Brief Publication Year within 10 Years Remove constraint Publication Year: within 10 Years
Number of results to display per page

Search Results

  • Author: Lorenzo Cotula
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Over the past 12 months, large-scale acquisitions of farmland in Africa, Latin America, Central Asia and Southeast Asia have made headlines in a flurry of media reports across the world. Lands that only a short time ago seemed of little outside interest are now being sought by international investors to the tune of hundreds of thousands of hectares.
  • Topic: Agriculture, International Trade and Finance, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Africa, Latin America
  • Author: Susan D. Franck
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: We know several things about foreign investment. First, foreign investment matters, reaching US$1.7 trillion in 2008. Second, we know that foreign investors have new international law rights to protect their economic interests. Third, we know that those rights are now being used.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Christian Bellak, Markus Leibrecht
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: A crucial challenge to all countries in the current economic crisis is to stimulate investment, including foreign direct investment (FDI). Countries striving to attract FDI often resort to two types of policies: improving infrastructure or lowering taxes, as a means of attracting new FDI, or keeping existing FDI. Indeed, recent empirical studies (e.g. Bénassy-Quéré et al. 2007; Bellak et al. 2009) confirmed that both lower taxes and improved infrastructure exert a considerable influence upon multinational enterprises' decision to invest in a particular country, when controlling for other important location factors (like market size, labor costs etc.).
  • Topic: Economics, Infrastructure, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Author: Ken Davies
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: In 2008 global FDI fell by around 20%, while outward FDI from China nearly doubled. This disparity is likely to continue in 2009 and 2010 as China invests even more overseas. What is driving this continuing surge in China's outward FDI?
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Foreign Direct Investment, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Gert Bruche
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: With some delay, the internationalization of business R is following the globalization of production. Starting on a small scale during the 1970s and 1980s, the emergence of globally distributed R networks of multinational enterprises (MNEs) accelerated rapidly in the 1990s. The “globalization of innovation” was facilitated and driven by a complex set of factors, including changes in trade and investment governance, improved intellectual property rights through TRIPS, the growing ease and falling cost of communicating and traveling around the globe, and the concomitant vertical industry specialization and unbundling of value chains. The growing and sustained level of cross-border M was one major direct driver, often having the effect that merged firms inherited multiple R sites in a number of countries.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: China, India, Asia
  • Author: Anne Van Aaken, Jürgen Kurtz
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Several developed countries have introduced emergency measures to mitigate the effects of the Global Financial Crisis, including Australia, Germany, Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Although the measures taken are still undergoing changes by the executive branch and are thus a “moving target”, our survey reveals early evidence of differentiation between foreign and domestic actors in the emergency plans adopted by this sample grouping. It is this differentiation that may give rise to liability as breaching guarantees against discrimination of foreign investors under international investment law.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, International Affairs, Foreign Direct Investment, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, Ireland
  • Author: Mark E. Plotkin, David N. Fagan
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: On December 22, 2008, new regulations setting forth the U.S. government's national security review process for foreign mergers and acquisitions of U.S. businesses became effective. They are the ultimate step in a lengthy effort to revise and strengthen the reviews undertaken by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS”).
  • Topic: Economics, National Security, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Toby Archer
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Stockholm Programme sets the agenda for the European Union's actions for the next five years in the area of Justice and Home Affairs (JHA). It is the next step towards the goal of making the EU into an Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (AFSJ). Justice and Home Affairs became the third pillar of the EU after the Maastricht Treaty came into force in 1993. Originally, it was firmly intergovernmental area of policy-making but some parts were transferred to the supranational first pillar when the treaty of Amsterdam came in to force 1999. In the same year the EU decided it need a focused plan for cooperation in this field for the next five years; and the Tampere Programme was produced. This was followed in 2004 by the Hague Programme that ends this year, and the Stockholm Programme will lay out the next five years of JHA cooperation. Producing the programme has been complicated due to both the sensitive nature of many of the issues covered and by doubt until recently over whether the Lisbon Treaty would be ratified. The ratification of Lisbon changes the power balance between the European Commission, Council and Parliament and this has ramifications for the JHA area. With the success of the EU single market and the end of border controls within the EU, to stop crime within the EU, to guarantee the rights of citizens who are moving between EU member states, and to manage people from third countries who are seeking to come into the EU, requires cooperation across the Union. The Stockholm Programme seeks to lay out what path this should take. Migration policy is an important and difficult part of the programme. How Europeanised dealing with irregular migrants and asylum seeker should be has been one of the politically difficult areas within the programme.
  • Topic: Security, Civil Society, Law
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Mari Luomi
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Saudi Arabia's interests vis-à-vis international climate policy are fundamentally tied to its ownership of the world's largest proven oil reserves and its political economy, which depends on oil revenues for stability and survival. The 'discrimination' against carbon dioxide and fossil fuels is a recurring theme that reflects the country's disapproval of any constraints on global oil consumption. The Saudi position has evolved around four pillars: preserving oil revenues, receiving compensation for the adverse impacts of climate change mitigation, avoiding commitments, and acquiring technology and capacity for adaptation. Saudi Arabia's influence in the negotiations stems from a long-term strategy of obstructionism, the ultimate aim of which is to prevent an agreement from emerging. The country's status as a developing country is increasingly contested due to its high GDP per capita, while its calls for compensation for losses in oil revenue are strongly criticised, but Saudi Arabia still faces major development challenges, economic diversification being the most pressing. Although Saudi Arabia's position towards adaptation requires adjusting, there are clear points of dialogue with the West, including technology transfer and capacity building.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Yury E. Fedorov
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In November 2009, the 'Law on Amendments to the “Law on Defence”' proposed by President Medvedev entered into force. It allows the Kremlin to dispatch troops outside Russia for four purposes: to counter armed attacks against Russian armed forces, other troops and bodies deployed beyond its borders; to counter or prevent an armed attack against another country if this country has requested Russia to do so; to protect Russian citizens abroad from an armed attack; and to combat piracy and guarantee the safety of shipping. The law is an attempt to close the gap between Moscow's strategic goals, primarily the establishment of its geopolitical dominance over the former Soviet republics, and Russia's legislation, which restricted its ability to deploy armed forces beyond national borders. In effect, the amended legislation enables the Kremlin to deploy its armed forces abroad in a wide range of situations, precisely because of a lack of clear criteria. The wording of 'Medvedev's amendments' sheds light on some plans and scenarios that may be taking shape in Moscow. It is not beyond the realms of possibility that Russia may plan to ignite large-scale disturbances and ethnic clashes in Sevastopol or in Latvia and Estonia, which may be used as a pretext for Russian military intervention. A Russo-Ukrainian conflict in Crimea would pose not so much a military as a political challenge for Europe and the West. Even though Ukraine does not belong to these organizations, if NATO and the EU failed to respond to Russian intervention in Crimea with strong political and economic measures, their strategic relevance would be seriously undermined. If NATO did not defend its member states in the Baltic, the strategic role of the Alliance would be reduced to zero. The aforementioned scenarios fall into the worst-case category, yet there are numerous precedents in Russia's history which demonstrate that worst-case scenarios can become reality. European dependence on Russian energy supplies and interest in Russia's support in resolving the Iranian nuclear problem and the conflict in Afghanistan, as well as the Obama administration's interest in Russia's partnership in nuclear issues, constrain Western ability to respond. However, the West could and should make it quite clear that new Russia's military interventions will result in the country's political ostracization. Furthermore, the West could propose and develop an internationally recognised mechanism regulating the most important aspects of humanitarian intervention. In particular, it should minimise the ability of individual states to make unilateral decisions to intervene militarily if the UN Security Council were unable to make firm decisions. Such mechanisms could be discussed and developed in the frameworks of the UN, the OSCE, the so-called Corfu process and similar international forums.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Law
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Jefferson Fox
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Over the last half-century, public policy has affected land-use practices across the borders linking China, Thailand, and Laos. Political and economic reforms have facilitated labor mobility and a shift in agricultural practices away from staple grains and toward a diverse array of cash crops, rubber being one of the foremost. China has promoted the conversion of forests to rubber agroforestry in southern Yunnan--profitable for farmers, but a concern in terms of biodiversity and long-term viability. In Thailand, the response is at the other end of the spectrum as the government's concerns about land-use practices and watershed management have led to policies that dramatically constrain land-use practices and limit tenure rights. In Laos the future is not yet clear. Government policies provide weak support for both private land ownership and protected areas. In a global environment where national policy has such a dramatic effect on land use and land cover, the factors behind land-use change merit close examination.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Migration, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, Thailand, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Mark Poffenberger, Kathryn Smith-Hanssen
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Loss of the world's forests contributes an estimated 17 percent to all global greenhouse gas emissions, creating both a major challenge and an opportunity for international climate change agreements. In response, global policymakers have proposed that new carbon agreements include rewards for reducing forest-based emissions, an initiative known as REDD–Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation. By creating financial incentives to reduce forest-sourced greenhouse gases, REDD projects could generate funding from developed countries to reduce deforestation in developing countries. In addition, some climate change specialists believe that REDD projects could benefit forest-dependent communities, whose participation is key to controlling the local forces that drive deforestation. Some communities are already learning about the new REDD carbon projects. As one villager from Cambodia explains, "We are going to sell our air to the people who are polluting in the city."
  • Topic: Agriculture, Climate Change, Environment
  • Political Geography: Cambodia
  • Author: Michelle Staggs Kelsall
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: In late 2008 the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) committed to creating a human rights body, which emerged as the Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (ICHR), the terms of reference (TOR) for which have since been adopted. Although the TOR for the commission currently outlines a primarily advisory rather than an enforcement role, the very existence of the ICHR has the potential to act as a trigger to further discussion on human rights issues in member states and open avenues for further action. To take maximum advantage of this opportunity to further the human rights agenda in ASEAN member states, it is essential that critical early decisions are made carefully so as to leave the most latitude for future action. While some observers are concerned that the ICHR lacks teeth, the fact that all ten ASEAN governments have agreed to implement a human rights commission is remarkable and is an essential first step toward ASEAN's stated goal of respecting and protecting human rights.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Human Welfare, International Organization, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Israel, Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: A. Terry Rambo
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Southeast Asia faces enormous challenges in managing its agricultural and environmental resources, from global warming to biodiversity loss. But chances for effectively addressing these issues may be hampered by the wide acceptance of four basic assumptions that guide the way we think about problems of managing agriculture and the environment. These assumptions form an interlinked system of thought that privileges the traditional and local over the modern and cosmopolitan. When taken to an extreme they lead to the view that traditional farmers are always right and that modern science is the cause, rather than a possible cure, of the serious environmental problems associated with agricultural development in Southeast Asia. Although when first proposed these assumptions were a radical alternative to the conventional thinking, in recent years they have themselves become the new conventional wisdom.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Environment
  • Political Geography: Southeast Asia
  • Author: Hazel Smith
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: The possibility that North Korean ships may be smuggling weapons of mass destruction is a matter of intense concern in the Asia Pacific region and beyond. The few reported incidents of North Korean ships involved in WMD transport are ambiguous; some ships have been engaged in legal weapons trade and some carried "dual-use" goods suitable for use in nonmilitary applications, like agriculture. Ownership of the North Korean merchant fleet is largely private and highly fragmented; most of its ships are small, old, and in poor repair, and are often subject to rigorous scrutiny in foreign ports. The inability of the government to effectively regulate the low-cost, substandard shipping industry creates the risk and incentives to smuggle goods, including WMD. Anti-proliferation efforts should abandon the divisive and unsuccessful Proliferation Security Initiative and concentrate on negotiating North Korea's entry into international arms control treaties, maintain stringent port controls, and negotiate technical assistance to reduce the vulnerability of the North Korean shipping industry.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Nuclear Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: North Korea
  • Author: Tone Faret, Eduardo Colindres
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: The political scene in Haiti will be dominated by elections in 2010. The challenge is significant for the international community, which plays a prominent role and has a notable presence in the country, and for national actors, especially the much disputed Provisional Election Council (CEP).
  • Topic: Democratization, Poverty, Governance
  • Political Geography: Caribbean, Haiti
  • Author: Michael Renner
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: Water issues play a crucial role in Central-South Asia, both in the quantity of water available and its quality. Access to clean drinking water is a major, though largely unmet, objective. While much of the region is experiencing water shortages, poor water management lies at the heart of many problems. Climate change — in the form of glacier melt, drought, rising temperatures, and changes to the monsoon cycle — will increasingly exacerbate water scarcity. Although the region's water challenges do not necessarily or inevitably lead to armed conflict, they increasingly threaten to undermine human security. Cooperation will be critical for the region to meet its water challenges in the years and decades ahead.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: South Asia, Central Asia, Asia
  • Author: Martha Brill Olcott
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: The absence of a functional government in Afghanistan has been creating economic and security challenges for the Central Asian states since their founding in 1991. Long frustrated by the international community's failure to end the Afghan civil war through negotiation, the 2001 September 11 attack created the expectation among these countries that the US would intervene successfully in Afghanistan, leading to an economic recovery that would advance the development of all the states in the region.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Economics
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Central Asia
  • Author: Marco Mezzera
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: This policy brief looks at the underlying causes of weak governance and poor interaction between Pakistan's institutions and its citizens. Factors are broadly organized in three dimensions: structural, including geopolitical position, historical backdrop and social structures; the distribution and exercise of power; and Pakistan's current state of affairs.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Governance
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, South Asia
  • Author: Anna Matveeva
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Since 2008, after a period of relative growth and social stability, the situation in Tajikistan has been steadily deteriorating, leading to increased speculation that the country could emerge as a failing state. Given its proximity to Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the role it plays in the Northern Distribution Network – a line that funnels military supplies from Europe to NATO ISAF troops in Afghanistan – the ramifications of potential instability in Tajikistan would resonate beyond the country. The current briefing assesses to what extent such danger is in fact real by outlining developments in the key areas of economy and security, and examining the regime's capacity to cope with emerging challenges. The briefing concludes with recommendations for the EU and an outlook for future.
  • Topic: NATO, Fragile/Failed State, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Central Asia, Tajikistan
  • Author: Piotr Maciej Kaczyński, Peadar ó Broin
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The first permanent European Council President and second High Representative for EU foreign policy have been chosen. After weeks of speculation, the question of who will occupy the roles has now been answered: Herman Van Rompuy will take office as European Council President on 1 January 2010; and Catherine Ashton will be appointed the EU's foreign affairs chief on 1 December 2009. The presidency of the European Council has until now been performed by the head of State or government of the member state holding the rotating presidency, but the Lisbon Treaty clearly stipulates that from its entry into force, the President of the European Council may not hold national office. The position of a High Representative had previously existed, but the function has been significantly re-written by the Lisbon Treaty. So, in addition to new faces, there are also new unknowns. The question of precisely what powers the President and High Representative will exercise remains largely unknown, as it is not yet clear how they will perform as individuals and in tandem. Nevertheless, the Treaties give at least a general indication of the powers these two leaders will wield.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Nicu Popescu
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Recent political changes in Moldova offer a window of opportunity for both EU-Moldova relations and for the Eastern Partnership. In the next few months, the EU should move quickly to consolidate the reform process in Moldova. In particular, the EU should send a group of high-level EU policy advisors to the country for the purpose of promoting reform of law-enforcement agencies. Leaders from the EU and its member states should also undertake a series of high-profile visits to Moldova to demonstrate support for reforms and European integration. Finally, the EU should support visible projects that have a quick policy impact, and will have broader relevance for Moldova's modernisation. Such projects could include equipping the entire country with free wireless internet access, the liberalisation of air travel between the EU and Moldova, replacing the corrupt traffic police with speed cameras and traffic patrols and moving forward on liberalising visas for Moldovans.
  • Political Geography: Europe, Moldova
  • Author: Jos Boonstra
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Central Asia faces a broad range of security challenges. Due to the region's position at the crossroads between Russia, China, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and the Caspian Sea it is confronted with a range of trans-national issues such as drug trafficking, human trafficking, organised crime and terrorism. Central Asia also encounters specific regional threats including scarcity of water resources for generating power and irrigation purposes, which is currently causing tension. On a national level the five Central Asian republics face the threat of instability due to bad governance and the harsh impact of the economic crisis.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia, China, Europe, Iran, Central Asia
  • Author: Jacques Pelkmans, Ineke Gubbels-van Hal
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Little is heard these days about REACH, the new EU Regulation on the Registration, E valuation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemical substances. For the general public and non-specialised EU observers, the ongoing implementation of what is perhaps the biggest EU regulation ever undertaken appears to be proceeding in serene tranquillity. What a contrast with the turmoil and hectic debates that raged between mid-2003 and December 2006, when this new EU chemicals regulation (of some 850 pages) was finally enacted.
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Ivo Slosarcik
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: In October 2009, the lion's share of media and political attention given to the ratification process of the Lisbon Treaty in the Czech Republic has been devoted to the antics of the President, Václav Klaus. However, it is important to point out that the process is being delayed not only by the President's reservations and requests for a Czech (quasi)opt-out from the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, but also by the pending review of the Treaty by the Czech Constitutional Court (CCC), which is set to give a second ruling on the Lisbon Treaty on November 3 rd, having delivered its first decision in autumn 2008.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Europe, Czech Republic
  • Author: Sergio Carrera, Elspeth Guild
  • Publication Date: 08-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The European Union needs a new five-year strategy for the development of the next phase of the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (AFSJ). The existing plan, designed in The Hague Programme of 2004, expires at the end of this year. The Justice and Home Affairs research unit of CEPS has already set out, in several contributions, the big issues and provided policy recommendations for the next five-year plan – The Stockholm Programme – which will be adopted under the Swedish Presidency in December. In June 2009, the European Commission published its perspective towards the Stockholm process in its Communication: “An area of Freedom, Security and Justice serving the citizen: Wider freedom in a safer environment”.3 In this Policy Brief, we take a closer look at the Commission's Communication and highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the approaches adopted for each of the different policy domains falling under the AFSJ rubric. The Communication assesses the AFSJ under three main headings: 1. successes, 2. ambivalent areas and 3. challenges. We will also follow these headings and comment accordingly. Our commentary on the three areas also provides answers to some of the thorny questions raised in the priorities for the Stockholm Programme. We spell these out in the conclusions and put forth a set of policy recommendations.
  • Topic: Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: John H. Makin
  • Publication Date: 08-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: China's economic statistics have become the envy of the world. On July 15, China reported a 7.9 percent growth rate for the second quarter of 2009 compared to the same period a year earlier. Meanwhile, China's stock markets are on fire, and its property markets are heating up fast as well. Shanghai's two stock markets are up 75 percent and 95 percent respectively so far this year. The more widely traded Hong Kong Index is up 27 percent, a stellar performance compared to largely flat stock markets in the United States, Europe, and Japan. In even stronger contrast, Russia, which is one of China's emerging-market peers, has seen its economy drop by 10.1 percent during the first half of this year, while its stock market has struggled as well.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Japan, China, Europe, Hong Kong
  • Author: John H. Makin
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Governor Zhou Xiaochuan's comment is an open acknowledgement that the “adverse feedback loop,” in which financial-sector problems hurt the real economy, which in turn intensifies negative conditions in finance, has hit China hard. China's real growth rate, which peaked at 13 percent in 2007 and is heavily dependent on exports, plunged to 6.1 percent on a year-over-year basis in the first quarter of 2009. Nominal growth, a measure of the current money value of goods and services, fell even more sharply, from 21.4 percent in 2007 to 3.6 percent in the first quarter of this year. The fact that the nominal growth rate is 2.5 percent below the real growth rate suggests that, at least as far as output is concerned, deflation has taken hold at a 2.5 percent rate in China.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: John H. Makin
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: A new truth of geopolitics has emerged during 2009. It is that the complex and rapidly evolving Sino-American relationship has become the most important bilateral relationship either country has. To this observation, made recently by William C. McCahill Jr. in the November 13 special issue of The China Report, must be added another claim: the course of the Sino-American relationship in both the economic and the political spheres will play a growing role in determining the levels of global economic and geopolitical stability. Trips like President Barack Obama's three-day visit to Shanghai and Beijing November 15–17 will probably be made with increasing frequency in coming years.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, China, America, Shanghai, Beijing
  • Author: John H. Makin
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: The recent steps by the Federal Reserve to preempt deflation have—ironically and unexpectedly— prompted a surge in inflation fears both inside the United States and abroad, especially in China. Specifically, the Fed's measures to go beyond the stimulus inherent in a zero percent federal funds rate by purchasing Treasury and mortgage securities has conjured visions—especially in the eyes of major buyers of Treasury securities, China foremost— of massive money printing to underwrite trillions of dollars of additional government borrowing at low interest rates. As markets have shown, if that were the Fed's intention—which it decidedly is not—the effort would fail because excessive money printing—creating a money supply larger than the quantity of money demanded— would push up interest rates as inflation expectations rose.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Author: John H. Makin
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: More than two years have passed since the U.S. housing bubble burst. That event ushered in a financial crisis that was not only intense but also stunning. So stunning in fact, that in August of last year, just a month before the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the global economy was close to a crisis worthy of comparison with the Great Depression, yet neither the markets nor the Federal Reserve had much of an inkling of what was to come. The Standard and Poor's (S) 500 Index had come down to about 1,300 from its October 2007 high of 1,576. Positive growth had just been reported for the U.S. economy during the second quarter of 2008 at an annual rate of 2.8 percent (later revised down to 1.5 percent). Almost one percentage point of that growth came from U.S. consumption, and government spending also contributed. The wave of relief after the Bear Stearns scare in March 2008 had provided a nice boost to the economy and to markets. That boost was further enhanced by the substantial contribution to growth from net exports (2.9 percentage points) thanks to what was, then, continuing strength in the global economy, especially in China, which had reported blistering 10.1 percent year-over-year growth in the second quarter of 2008. These and other positive components more than offset a drag from inventories and residential investment. In short, the real economy had not shown much evidence of damage emanating from the chaos that was churning in the financial sector.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Author: John H. Makin
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: The only thing scarier than the slide of the dollar, which has dropped by 15 percent since March, would be an attempt by the Federal Reserve to stop it. Such an attempt would show that we have learned nothing from the Bank of Japan's disastrous premature exit from a zero-interest policy in August 2000. Closer to home, it would resemble the Fed's premature move to mop up “excess” reserves by doubling reserve requirements in three steps between August 1936 and May 1937, which was followed by the third-worst recession of the twentieth century, from May 1937 to June 1938.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan
  • Author: John H. Makin
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Wall Street is dancing again to the music of a sharp rise in stock prices. The question that remains is whether Main Street, currently languishing in a sad world of job losses, unavailable credit, and weakened balance sheets, will get to join the party. To put the question more precisely, will the “adverse feedback loop” that saw a financial collapse last fall that crushed the real economy work in reverse, so that a financial bounce boosts the real economy in coming quarters? The jury is still out on this important question.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Augustus Vogel
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Maritime security challenges in Africa are growing rapidly and represent an increasingly central component of the threat matrix facing the continent. African states struggle to meet these threats because their maritime security structures are misaligned with the challenges posed. Redressing this misalignment will require valuing the coast guard capacity demanded by these threats and constructing the array of intragovernmental partnerships needed to be effective in combating these threats.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Affairs, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: William M. Bellamy
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Despite significant recent gains, Africa's security environment remains fragile with a wide array of ongoing and emerging threats placing great strains on already overburdened governments. United Nations peacekeeping operations in Africa have realized some success in recent years, especially when they have involved direct support from members of the Security Council. Much more cohesive interagency coordination under strong White House direction is required if the United States is to contribute to Africa's sustained stability given the region's persistent conditions of poverty, inequality, and weak governance.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, International Security, International Affairs, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Africa, United Nations
  • Author: Vijaya Ramachandran, Manju Kedia Shah, Alan Gelb
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Why has the private sector failed to thrive in much of sub-Saharan Africa? Drawing on a unique set of enterprise surveys, we identify inadequate infrastructure (especially unreliable electricity and poor quality roads) and burdensome regulations as the biggest obstacles to doing business. We find as well that the private sector in many countries is dominated by ethnic minorities, which inhibits competition and lowers demand for a better business environment. Solutions include investing in infrastructure, providing risk guarantees, and reforming regulations to lower the cost of doing business, as well as increasing access to education for would-be entrepreneurs.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, Globalization, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: David Wendt, Nandini Oomman, Christina Droggitis
  • Publication Date: 08-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Few people doubt that gender inequality influences the spread of HIV/AIDS. Yet public health efforts tend to focus on changing individual behavior rather than addressing structural factors—social, economic, physical and political—that influence the spread and effects of HIV and AIDS.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Health, Social Stratification
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The Commitment to Development Index (CDI) ranks 22 of the world's richest countries on their dedication to policies that benefit the five billion people living in poorer nations. Moving beyond standard comparisons of foreign aid volumes, the CDI quantifies a range of rich-country policies that affect poor people in developing countries: Quantity and quality of foreign aid Openness to developing-country exports Policies that encourage investment Migration policies Environmental policies Security policies Support for creation and dissemination of new technologies Scores on each component are scaled so that an average score in 2008, the reference year, equals 5.0. A country's final score is the average of those for each component. The CDI adjusts for size in order to compare how well countries are living up to their potential to help.
  • Topic: Development, International Cooperation, Poverty, Third World, International Affairs, Foreign Aid
  • Author: Rena Eichler, Ruth Levine
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Global health donors, like national governments, have traditionally paid for inputs such as doctors' salaries or medical equipment in the hope that they would lead to better health. Performance incentives offered to health workers, facility managers, or patients turn the equation on its head: they start with the performance targets and let those most directly affected decide how to achieve them. Funders pay (in money or in kind) when health providers or patients reach specified goals. Evidence shows that such incentives can work in a variety of settings. But making them effective requires careful planning, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation.
  • Topic: Health, Humanitarian Aid, Third World, Foreign Aid
  • Author: Liliana Rojas-Suarez
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Before the global economic crisis began in 2008, all countries in Latin America, long known as the world's most economically and financially volatile region, had experienced five consecutive years of economic growth, a feat that had not been achieved since the 1970s. Yet despite this growth, Latin America's incomeper-capita gap relative to high-income countries and other emerging-market economies widened, and poverty remained stubbornly high. Latin America, in short, suffered from growing pains even when things were going reasonably well.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Colombia, Latin America, Mexico, Costa Rica, Peru
  • Author: John Whalley, Sean Walsh
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The United Nations climate change negotiations currently underway and now seemingly likely to conclude only six to 12 months after the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) hosted meeting at Copenhagen in December 2009, are beset by a series of obstacles, the most fundamental of which reflect the North-South divide, largely between the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and non-OECD economies. In this brief we argue that movement across this divide is the single most important element in a successful conclusion to the negotiation. Current obstacles reflect asymmetries between developing and developed countries both in terms of growth in carbon emissions — and hence the costs of reducing emissions proportionately relative to some base date level, but also in terms of historical emissions as a source of damage. These are compounded by the imprecision of the negotiating mandate — a lack of a clear definition of the basic principles involved, particularly in the case of the original UNFCCC principle of common yet differentiated responsibilities, which accepts but does not clearly delineate differentiated responsibilities for developing and developed countries on climate change. Significant movement in the negotiating position of either side (or both) is likely a necessity for a climate deal to be reached even in post-Copenhagen negotiations. However, the recent unilateral commitment by China to reduce emissions by 40-45 percent per unit of GDP from a 2005 base year by 2020 is a positive first step.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Environment, Treaties and Agreements, Third World
  • Political Geography: China, United Nations
  • Author: John Whalley, Simon J. Evenett
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: This year was supposed to see breakthroughs in global environmental policy making, and that may still come to pass. However, the severity of the global economic downturn is intensifying protectionist pressures and fears of green protectionism.
  • Topic: Climate Change, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Financial Crisis
  • Author: Paola Subacchi, Eric Helleiner
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: From many perspectives, the London Summit of the G20 leaders at the beginning of April 2009 was a success – and a hard act to follow. The discussion was framed around crisis resolution and the strengthening of the international financial architecture. Beyond any concrete achievement, the success of the London Summit is that it morphed into an ongoing process with a rolling agenda, rather than remaining a one-off event. Undoubtedly the Italian Presidency of the G8 has a hard task, being caught between the success of London and the decreasing relevance of the G8. But there is also scope for building a meaningful bridge between London and the G8 meeting in L'Aquila in July 2009, and continuing and strengthening the economic governance reform process. There is an urgent need to continue to push for progress on a number of key items that were not adequately addressed at the London Summit and where progress can be made in L'Aquila – fostering clarity for the G20 agenda for the next meeting in Pittsburgh in September 2009. With regard, in particular, to the reform of the International Monetary Fund, the Italian Presidency should use its G8 chair to initiate a dialogue on reform of the European representation, taking advantage of having all the key players gathered together in L'Aquila.
  • Topic: Economics, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements, International Monetary Fund
  • Political Geography: Europe, London, Italy
  • Author: Andrew F. Cooper, Timothy M. Shaw
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Each Summit of the Americas forum has been accorded a single imprint. The 1994 Miami summit is remembered as the “Trade Summit,” the 1998 Santiago summit as the “Education Summit,” the 2001 Quebec City Summit as the “Democratic Summit,” and the 2005 Mar del Plata in Argentina—although officially focused on the themes of “Creating Jobs to Fight Poverty and Strengthen Democratic Governance”—is best remembered as the “Summit of Disorder.” The Fifth Summit of the Americas, April 17 – 19, 2009, presents an opportunity to identify the event with a regional sub-set of the Americas: the Caribbean. The host country, Trinidad and Tobago, is the first Caribbean country to host the event and, with a population of only 1.3 million, is the smallest state ever to host “such a logistically complicated and politically sensitive gathering” (Erikson, 2009: 179). Relegated to a marginal position in the first four summits, the Caribbean now moves to centre stage in 2009.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Argentina, Latin America, Caribbean, Miami, Santiago, Quebec City, Mar del Plata, Trinidad and Tobago
  • Author: Martin Eling, Robert W. Klein, Joan T. Schmit
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Independent Institute
  • Abstract: In this paper we compare insurance regulatory frameworks in the United States (US) and European Union (EU), focusing primarily on solvency, but also considering product and price regulation, as well as other elements of consumer protection. This comparison highlights the use of more fluid and principles-based approaches in the EU as it is developing under Solvency II, while the US continues to focus essentially on static, rules-based regulation. The discussion further notes evidence suggesting that the EU approach is more successful in promoting a financially solid insurance sector.
  • Topic: Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute of International Education
  • Abstract: India is currently the top place of origin international students studying at U.S. colleges and universities. Over the past decade, the number of Indian students in the U.S. has increased more than 175 percent, from just under 37,500 students in 1998/99 to over 103,000 in 2008/09. India has, in fact, been the leading place of origin since 2001/02, when it surpassed China. Since 2007/08, students from India have comprised over 15% of all international students in the United States.
  • Topic: Education
  • Political Geography: United States, China, India
  • Author: Michael G. Plummer
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: The economic crisis of 2008–09 is the second major crisis in just over a decade that Asia has endured. Unlike the Asian crisis of 1997–98, however, the current crisis originated mainly in the West. Asia's excessive reliance on net exports as the principal driver of economic growth since the 1997–98 crisis rendered it especially vulnerable to external shocks, and most Asian countries have paid dearly. The more open the economy, the more vulnerable it is to such shocks. The newly industrialized Asian economies (Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Taiwan), which are among the most open and dynamic in the world, are expected to contract by about 6 percent in 2009.
  • Topic: Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation, Global Recession, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Taiwan, Asia, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong
  • Author: Dieter Ernst
  • Publication Date: 08-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Political debates about globalization are focused on offshore outsourcing of manufacturing and services. But these debates neglect an important change in the geography of knowledge––the emergence of global innovation networks (GINs) that integrate dispersed engineering, product development, and research activities across geographic borders.
  • Topic: Emerging Markets, Globalization, Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Charles Chasie, Sanjoy Hazarika
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: In the first decade after India declared independence in 1947, the Indian state faced numerous challenges to its very existence and legitimacy. These ranged from a war with Pakistan over the state of Jammu and Kashmir immediately after independence, an issue that continues to challenge policy makers in both countries, to the first armed uprising in the country in Telengana led by Communists in what is today the state of Andhra Pradesh.
  • Topic: Security, Political Violence, Armed Struggle, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, South Asia, India, Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh
  • Author: Yitzhak Shichor
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Beginning in 1949, China considered, and dealt with, so-called Uyghur separatism and the quest for Eastern Turkestan (Xinjiang) independence as a domestic problem. Since the early 1990s, however, Beijing has begun to recognize the international aspects of this problem and to deal with its external manifestations. This new policy has affected China's relations with Turkey, which has ideologically inspired Uyghur nationalism, offered sanctuary to Uyghur refugees, and provided moral and material support to Eastern Turkestan movements, organizations, and activities.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, Ethnic Conflict, Minorities
  • Political Geography: China, Central Asia, Turkey