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  • Author: Caspar Fithin
  • Publication Date: 11-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: Delegates from 122 countries recently concluded an international agreement restricting the use of persistent organic pollutants. The agreement marks an important step towards eliminating the use of highly toxic and long-lived chemicals that do not break down easily in the environment. However, the significance of the accord extends well beyond its subject area: negotiators managed to find compromises on several issues that have bedevilled other international environmental agreements.
  • Topic: Security, Environment
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Caspar Fithin
  • Publication Date: 08-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: Vice-President Al Gore officially accepted the Democratic presidential nomination at the party's National Convention in Los Angeles on August 17. A continued deficit in the polls forced Gore to use the convention as a platform to consolidate his base vote. He also sought to differentiate himself from the Clinton presidency, despite the fact that he has adopted similar positions to the outgoing administration on many key issues. If Gore is to win in November, he must convince voters that the current expansion, and the benign political climate that it has fostered, would be imperilled by a Bush presidency.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States
  • Author: Caspar Fithin
  • Publication Date: 08-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: The recent increase in arrests on espionage charges and expansion of activity by Russia's security and intelligence agencies appears to be signalling a reversion to aggressive Cold War tactics. They are seeking to increase their political influence and appear to be testing the limits of the 'civilised' intelligence competition which has evolved in the last decade. While Moscow has the means and apparent will to intensify intelligence competition, its clumsy and outdated methods threaten the country's commercial interests and could harm broader foreign policy goals.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Cold War
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Oxford Analytica
  • Publication Date: 01-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: Russia's new State Duma ended its first day's work in an uproar on January 18. An unlikely alliance of pro-Communist and pro-Kremlin parties was in control of the chamber's agenda, while an equally improbable alliance of smaller factions vowed not to participate in the running of the chamber until their demands for a greater say were met. This unpromising start presents acting President Vladimir Putin with both a short-term boost and a fresh political challenge. It also highlights one of Boris Yeltsin's more surprising political legacies.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Todd Sechser
  • Publication Date: 12-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The United States has spent over $3 billion addressing the nuclear proliferation threat from Russia since the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. Programs managed by the Departments of Defense, Energy, and State have helped safeguard Russia's enormous stockpiles of nuclear material, dismantle nuclear-tipped missiles, and keep nuclear scientists employed in Russia and out of other nations' nuclear programs.
  • Topic: Security, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Jon B. Wolfsthal
  • Publication Date: 10-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Russia's nuclear weapons complex is spread across 10 remote, closed and formerly secret “nuclear cities,” which employ almost 1 million scientists, engineers and technicians. Moscow's economic collapse has left these former “jewels” in the Russian nuclear crown struggling to survive, and workers with access to nuclear materials and expertise routinely go for months without getting paid. The U.S. Department of Energy, as part of the Clinton Administration's cooperative threat reduction efforts, has launched the Nuclear Cities Initiative (NCI) to reduce the proliferation risks created by the poor economic conditions in these closed cities. By promoting the development of private industry in these cities, NCI seeks to prevent a brain drain of Russian nuclear experts to would-be nuclear-weapon states.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, International Cooperation, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Asia
  • Author: John Chown
  • Publication Date: 08-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Currency boards have been suggested for Russia, and adopted elsewhere in eastern Europe. Brazil's fixed rate has had to be abandoned, but Argentina is considering replacing its currency board with dollarization, and suggesting this solution for the rest of Latin America. Fixed exchange-rate regimes (and the crawling peg in Russia) have collapsed in Southeast Asia but Hong Kong, which had a formal currency board, has (so far) survived.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, Central America, Caribbean, North America
  • 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
  • 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