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  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: As Kim Jong-un begins his sixth year as leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), it is appropriate to shift the focus from his moves to consolidate power to the impact that the organizational and staffing changes made under his leadership have had on the operations and efficacy of the system he leads. Toward that end, Stanford’s Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center and the Republic of Korea’s Institute for National Security Strategy (INSS) have prepared a joint paper utilizing the complementary resources of both institutions. This paper summarizes the findings and insights from this collaboration. We focus on personnel and organizational changes, and the economic performance of North Korea.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Korea
  • Author: Daniel Sneider
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: President-elect Moon has gained office riding a wave of demand for social justice and a reform of democratic governance in South Korea. These are the issues that are certain to consume his attention and that of voters. U.S. policymakers need to be mindful that the domestic factors that led to this shift in power in South Korea will remain paramount. That said, the return to power of South Korea’s progressives augurs a significant shift in several areas of policy that will have a clear impact on alliance relations with the United States.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Adam Jay Harrison
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Historically, the Department of Defense (DOD) has relied on strategic forecasting to determine specifications for new military products. These specifications are codified in formal product requirements that drive new product development (NPD). The rapid rate of technology change combined with increasing uncertainty in the global security environment challenges the ability of DOD to make accurate longterm predictions about future military product needs. To improve the efficacy of capability development, many DOD agencies and the Defense Industrial Base are exploring NPD strategies based on the insights of lead users with direct exposure to emerging military-technology problems. This paper details emerging approaches to military NPD that incorporate lead users; that is, practitioners who experience and proactively solve needs ahead of the market.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Adam Jay Harrison, Bharat Rao, Bala Mulloth
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) is looking at new ways to spur entrepreneurship and innovation among its stakeholders and related constituencies. We recommend creating a platform within the DOD focused on developing the Human and Relational Capital components of the innovation ecosystem such as the MD5 National Security Technology Accelerator, an initiative that develops innovators and human-centered networks that create high-tech “ventures” relevant to national security. The proposed ecosystem would not only facilitate the development of high-tech ventures in the national security interest, but also educate and build networks of innovators and entrepreneurs, both inside and outside of DOD, who would be equipped with the incentives, expertise, know-how, and resources required to continuously develop, commercialize, or apply technology relevant to military needs. A competency framework for developing such an ecosystem that would encourage venture-led, dual-use products that provide a sustainable, competitive advantage for the DOD and the national economy is presented and discussed.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Vivek Chadha
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses
  • Abstract: On August 30, 2017, the then Defence Minister, Arun Jaitley announced a series of defence reforms which will result in the ‘redeployment and restructuring of approximately 57,000 posts of officers/JCOs/ORs and civilians.’ The reforms are aimed at ‘enhancing Combat Capability & Rebalancing Defence Expenditure of the armed forces with an aim to increase the “teeth to tail ratio”.’ Initial approval has been given for 65 of a total of 99 recommendations pertaining to the Indian Army. This will begin with the closure of 39 military farms in a time bound manner. The reforms are expected to be completed by December 31, 2019.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Stephan Klose, Astrid Pepermans, Leia Wang
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: China’s 19th Party Congress unexpectedly amended the party’s constitution with a pledge to “pursue the Belt and Road Initiative”. This further elevates the status of president Xi’s heavily promoted foreign policy, which aims at creating trade and investment opportunities through the development of Eurasia’s continental and maritime infrastructure. As the implications of this policy are increasingly felt across Europe, following years of growing Chinese investments, so are the challenges it presents to Europe’s unity, prosperity and security. In light of these challenges a constructive engagement with China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) constitutes an immense task for the European Union, whose position has been weakened by growing dissent among member states over the Union’s policy towards China.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: China, Europe
  • Author: Frank Kakungu
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Zambia Institute for Policy Analysis and Research (ZIPAR)
  • Abstract: The disbursement of an equal quantum of funding per constituency has equity concerns because constituencies are not equal. This favours smaller, least populated constituencies against greatly populated and or the poorest – where needs are greatest. The blanket allocation of Constituency Development Fund (CDFs) across the country, without recourse to policy targets underscores national failure to address important policy concerns. This is unfortunately the case in Zambia. In this report, we devised a model that reallocates resources based on the socio-economic conditions prevailing in constituencies. The research developed a composite index of material and social deprivation using data from the Census 2010. Furthermore, the study evaluates the distribution of deprivation in constituencies and considers ways in which deprivation index can contribute to discussions relating to public resource allocation of the CDF. The research results has potential usages beyond the CDF reallocation, it informs decision-makers on resource allocation and planning and budgeting activities.
  • Topic: International Development
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ceasar Cheelo, Pamela Nakamba-Kabaso
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Zambia Institute for Policy Analysis and Research (ZIPAR)
  • Abstract: At a glance, China and Zambia – just like China and Africa – are strikingly different in many ways. They followed markedly different paths to development. They achieved significantly divergent trade and development results. However, they also have many striking commonalities, including a shared long history of developmental cooperation and relations. But, what are the lessons of China-Zambia relations for Zambia’s developmental goals and aspirations, including those in the Vision 2030?
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: China, Zambia
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Zambia Institute for Policy Analysis and Research (ZIPAR)
  • Abstract: Zambia is emerging from a major economic downturn. The copper price collapse, electricity shortages, huge fall in the value of the Kwacha and high inflation in 2015 left the economy stalling. Growth in 2015 was 2.9% and possibly 3.4% in 2016, significantly below the long-term average rate of 6.9%. The downturn was compounded by a tightening of monetary policy which made it harder for businesses to borrow, and by a continuation of expansionary fiscal policies which increased the budget deficit and Government debt. Because the scale of the challenge was so significant, the Government announced it would launch Zambia Plus, a home-grown recovery programme to put the economy back on track
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Shebo Nalishebo, Albert Halwampa
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Zambia Institute for Policy Analysis and Research (ZIPAR)
  • Abstract: In recent years, the Zambian economy has been growing strongly and the country has increasingly been faced with the need to plug huge infrastructural gaps. However, the slowing down of bilateral and multilateral financing due to austerity measures in developed economies and the World Bank’s reclassification of Zambia as a lower middle income country has led financiers to divert concessional loans to other needy countries in the low income bracket. Consequently, Zambia has had to diversify its budget and project financing options by issuing Eurobonds which are commercial borrowings by governments in currencies other than their own - in Zambia’s case, it is denominated in US dollars. Since 2012, the Zambian Government has issued two ten-year sovereign bonds collectively worth US$1.75 billion to mainly finance infrastructure projects. These two bonds amounted to 37% of Zambia’s external debt in 2014. With an average coupon rate of 6.9%, the two bonds have bullet repayment structures, implying that lump sum principal payments will be paid at the end of their respective ten-year maturity periods. The coupon rate is the interest rate at the time of issuance. Notwithstanding the high interest payments of over US$125 million annually, the bullet structure of the two bonds may have significant repayment risks as the country is expected to pay out the US$1.75 billion within a two-year period (in 2022 and 2024). The country may experience difficulty in repaying or refinancing the face value at maturity if the money is not spent in activities with high economic returns and if there are adverse changes in its exchange rate or international market conditions. The risks are already on the horizon – the recent depreciation of the Kwacha has increased debt servicing costs, while the low copper prices have reduced the much-needed export revenues used to service debt. Has Zambia dug itself into another debt hole? What measures can be put in place to mitigate the risk of a pending default
  • Topic: Debt, International Development
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Thulani Banda, Zali Chikuba
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Zambia Institute for Policy Analysis and Research (ZIPAR)
  • Abstract: The sustained positive growth of the Zambian economy has resulted in many shifts in consumption patterns of Zambian households. One notable change is the increased consumption of consumer durables, particularly motor vehicles. Motor vehicle ownership has increased substantially since 2004. The increase in motor vehicle ownership owes in part to the highly unbridled access to second hand motor vehicle imports. The downside of the relaxed motor vehicle import regulations as observed in Zambia is the ageing of the motor vehicle fleet and deterioration in fleet safety. Second hand motor vehicles imported in the country may be fine, but they may also be unreliable – commonly referred to as lemons in economic literature – and costly to maintain thereby generating serious financial, road safety and environmental concerns. Considering that Zambia is one of the highest road fatality risk countries in Africa with 23.7 road traffic deaths per 100,000 people, the ageing fleet of motor vehicles only compounds the risk. Thus, more deliberate measures to ensure lives are safeguarded and consumers get value-for-money on motor vehicle imports should be devised and implemented urgently.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Zambia Institute for Policy Analysis and Research (ZIPAR)
  • Abstract: Export-transactions data for the period 1999-2011 in Zambia suggests that much of the growth in the value of exports has been driven by the contribution of new exporters than pre-existing exporters. The catastrophic growth among pre-existing exporters is explained by the high death rate that occurs within the first two years of exporting. Approximately between 50%- 60% of exporters will not survive beyond the year of export commencement. We discuss the potentially important policy implications of these rather surprising results relative to the sizeable evidence that shows it is the deepening of export values among existing exporters that drives much of the year-on-year growth in exports for many advanced and developing countries.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Zambia Institute for Policy Analysis and Research (ZIPAR)
  • Abstract: Zambia is one of many developing countries struggling to create adequate employment opportunities for its people, especially in the formal economy. Unemployment is highest among youths (15–24 years old) and particularly affects those without skills. Unless the challenge of youth unemployment is met, Zambia could face rising poverty levels in the future. Based on a survey of firms in the mining and quarrying, manufacturing, and construction industries, this study analyses constraints on the demand for youth labour and identifies five broad policy areas in which the government could help make it easier for firms to absorb more young people.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Lauren Heuser
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: This final report was prepared following the 6 Degrees Citizen Space, which took place in Toronto, ON, from September 25 to 27, 2017. It provides a dialogue about the key barriers foreign-educated lawyers face in Canada’s licensing and employment processes, and makes recommendations for how unnecessary barriers can be mitigated or dismantled. Barriers are considered unnecessary if they are not relevant to testing an individual’s professional competency, or make it unduly difficult for foreign-educated lawyers to achieve licensure or employment relative to their Canadian counterparts. These recommendations are directed at a variety of stakeholders, including provincial law societies, the National Committee on Accreditation, law schools, fairness commissioners, legal employers, immigration officials and internationally trained lawyers themselves. For the purposes of this project, the author interviewed numerous foreign-educated lawyers, as well as Canadian immigration officials, immigration lawyers, regulators, employers and professors. The conversations made clear that there is work to be done in opening Canada’s closed legal shop.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Canada
  • Author: Uğur Gungor
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research (SAM)
  • Abstract: This policy brief focuses on Turkey’s leadership in peace operations in Somalia (UNOSOM II) and Afghanistan (ISAF II and VII). It explains the events leading to the establishment of these operations, provides a brief history, and explores their mission in order to provide a better understanding of Turkey’s leadership and the operations themselves. Then, the brief examines the organization and activities of these operations under Turkey’s leadership. This brief also aims at analyzing the significance of Turkey’s leadership.
  • Topic: International Relations, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Sexual Violence Research Initiative
  • Abstract: The Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI), in partnership with the World Bank Group (WBG), awards grants through the Development Marketplace Awards for innovative research on how to improve responses to and prevent gender-based violence – a severe and neglected problem affecting more than one in three women worldwide and a major challenge for global development. These grants range from $40 000 to $100 000 over a two-year period
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Sexual Violence Research Initiative
  • Abstract: The eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is slowly rebuilding after more than 20 years of conflict. Because of the prolonged conflict, adolescents living in rural areas are particularly vulnerable to risky behaviour, such as drinking alcohol and using violence. This study builds on a successful partnership with PAIDEK, an established Congolese microfinance organisation, to examine locals’ perceptions of youth engagement in alcohol consumption and violence, and the consequences of these behaviours
  • Topic: Gender Issues, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Sexual Violence Research Initiative
  • Abstract: Global levels of gender-based violence, occurring at all socioeconomic levels, are unacceptably high. However, existing evidence that education can protect against gender-based violence, largely observational in nature, is mixed. A better understanding of the causal link between education and reduced risk of gender-based violence is important to inform the design of promising interventions in this area
  • Topic: Gender Issues, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Sexual Violence Research Initiative
  • Abstract: Violence against women and violence against children often happen in the same families, initiating cycles of abuse within the home and across generations. Despite this link, efforts to address these types of violence are often conducted in isolation. Existing knowledge of how and why they occur together is limited, especially in low- and middle-income countries. Deeper understanding is critical to identifying opportunities for integrated prevention programmes. To increase the knowledge base, Raising Voices partnered with Columbia University on a study that explored the intersections between violence against women and children in Kampala, Uganda, between 2015 and 2016
  • Topic: Political Violence, Gender Issues
  • Political Geography: Uganda
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Sexual Violence Research Initiative
  • Abstract: Gender-based violence is widespread in Tanzania: 44 percent of married women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence from partners. To date, research on intimate partner violence has been limited, especially on the effectiveness of prevention efforts that target structural drivers of this type of violence in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Gender Based Violence
  • Political Geography: Tanzania
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Sexual Violence Research Initiative
  • Abstract: The Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI) – a global network of more than 5 000 members – promotes research on sexual and other forms of violence against women and children in low and middle-income countries to influence policy and practice. It does this by gathering and sharing information, funding research, building capacity through various workshops and events, and holding the SVRI Forum every two years. The SVRI Forum is a vibrant, informative and safe space for researchers, civil society, policy-makers, donors and others to share and learn about research, developments and innovations in the field of gender-based violence. It is the largest conference dedicated to research on prevention of and responses to violence against women and children.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Sexual Violence Research Initiative
  • Abstract: Violence against women is widespread in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC): nearly one in four women has experienced conflict-related sexual violence and nearly two-thirds have experienced violence from a male partner.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Sexual Violence Research Initiative
  • Abstract: Poverty places children at risk of not achieving their developmental potential. Factors such as lack of cognitive stimulation, harsh parenting practices and aggression in early childhood hinder development and may result in future violent behaviour. Interventions that target the intersection between early childhood development, parenting and early violence prevention are needed to address these problems.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Hillel Frisch
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Begin-Sadat Centre for Strategic Studies (BESA)
  • Abstract: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Many American detractors of Israel begin by citing that Israel receives the lion’s share of US military aid. The very suggestion conjures the demon of an all-powerful Israel lobby that has turned the US Congress into its pawn. But these figures, while reflecting official direct US military aid, are almost meaningless in comparison to the real costs and benefits of US military aid – above all, American boots on the ground. In reality, Israel receives only a small fraction of American military aid, and most of that was spent in the US to the benefit of the American economy
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Israel
  • Author: Dee Wu
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Project 2049 Institute
  • Abstract: This publication makes the case for a Taiwanese All-Volunteer Force (AVF) military in order to transform it into a more capable combat force. Wu analyzes the Tsai administrations’ defense strategy and concludes that the implementation of an all-volunteer force is in line with Taiwan’s interests to enhance its projection capabilities to attack, disrupt, and even defeat the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) far outside of the island
  • Topic: International Organization, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Taiwan
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Project 2049 Institute
  • Abstract: This publication lays out a field guide for the sailors and pilots operating in the disputed areas of the East and South China Seas. The guide examines four Chinese aerial drone models: S-100, ASN-209, BZK-005, and GJ-1, including tips on how to identify them, and where they could be seen operating in the East and South China Seas. The intent is to jumpstart a conversation on how militaries and law enforcement agencies should prepare their personnel to deal with potentially hostile aerial drones, armed or otherwise, operating in disputed areas in their maritime neighborhood
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Cory Gardner
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Project 2049 Institute
  • Abstract: The Project 2049 Institute is pleased to announce the publication of our Futuregram, “Getting the U.S.-China Relationship Right.” Senator Cory Gardner [R-CO], Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy, assesses the need for a long-term strategy in regards to the U.S.-China relationship. In addition, he details new legislation called the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act (ARIA), an approach that will put American interests first by reassuring our allies, deterring our adversaries, and securing U.S. leadership in the region for future generations.
  • Topic: International Organization, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Hiroko Maeda
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Project 2049 Institute
  • Abstract: China’s military buildup has shaken regional stability and poses a challenge to the U.S.-Japan alliance. This study examines China’s security challenges, as well as Japan’s response in a series of national security policy reforms. In light of China’s increasing assertiveness, the U.S. and Japan need more consultations and should share a strategy for maintaining peace and stability in the region. In particular, the study identifies cybersecurity and maritime capacity building in ASEAN as key areas where the U.S. and Japan can cooperate to establish a rules based order in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Akira Marusaki
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Project 2049 Institute
  • Abstract: Among the range of PLA capabilities undergoing modernization, this study focuses on conventional precision strike capability. In order to address the questions of how and why the PRC has been striving to improve this capability, this study will first illustrate the development of three weapon systems: the conventional ballistic missile, the anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM), and the land attack cruise missile (LACM). It will then analyze the reason why the PRC has developed these capabilities, casting a spotlight on historical and strategic backgrounds, in particular the end of Cold War, the 1990 Gulf War, and the Third Taiwan Strait Crisis in 1995 to 1996. This study concludes by pointing to future developments in China’s conventional precision strike capabilities, drawing attention to reconnaissance capabilities.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jason Thistlethwaite, Melissa Menzies
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: To promote climate change risk mitigation in financial markets, the Financial Stability Board recently proposed the creation of a Climate Disclosure Task Force, coordinated through the G20, to develop standards for companies to disclose their exposure to climate change risks. With more than 400 existing disclosure schemes, this task will be challenging. This brief identifies the key categories of governance practices that must be addressed, how these divergent practices challenge end-users, and how the establishment of criteria that define effective and efficient reporting is a critical first step for the Climate Disclosure Task Force.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, Markets, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: David S. Mitchell, Jeremy Smith
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: On November 18, 2015, the Obama Administration's Department of Labor (DOL) published two important legal opinions that propose to give states new options for expanding retirement coverage for private-sector workers. These opinions open the door for states to move forward along one of two distinct paths: a payroll deduction plan that avoids ERISA, or a more traditional model that would fall under ERISA. This issue brief summarizes these rules and highlights the tradeoffs state policymakers will face when deciding which of these new avenues to pursue. The brief will be updated once the proposals are finalized.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Welfare, Labor Issues, Governance, Social Movement
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Georges Fahmi
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: IEMed/EuroMeSCo
  • Abstract: Egypt and Tunisia have been witnessing over the past few years a new wave of violent Islamist radicalisation. The engagement of Egyptian and Tunisian youth in political violence shows that depending only on classical counter-terrorism strategies will not only fail to prevent violent radicalisation, but it might actually increase it. Both the political and religious actors need to work together to formulate a comprehensive de-radicalisation strategy to render the political and religious spheres less enabling for violent radical ideas and movements.
  • Author: Susan Schadler
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Research on links between the level of a country’s public debt and its broader economic developments has been heatedly debated in the economic literature. Two strands of the research stand out — one linking the level of debt to a country’s GDP growth rate and the other examining the debt level as an EWI of economic crises. As a broad generalization, research at the moment favors the view that high levels of debt are not a cause, in and of themselves, of low growth nor are they particularly good predictors of impending economic or even debt crises. In principle, the empirical findings have obvious implications for policy makers confronting the question of how to fashion policies (and fiscal policy in particular) when a country has a high debt burden. The IMF, as both a contributor to the literature and an adviser concerned with preventing or dealing with debt crises, has a particularly important stake in navigating the findings. Whether in its surveillance (routine annual advice to all member countries) or the construction of its lending programs to support countries in or near crisis, the IMF must answer the question “how much does the level of debt matter?” Despite the empirical research that casts doubt on the importance of debt, the level of debt figures prominently in the algebra of debt sustainability and the IMF’s real world policy advice. This policy brief examines the nexus of the relatively strong conclusions coming from the academic research and the IMF’s policy advice. It addresses the following question: given that the broad conclusion from the academic literature is that the level of debt itself is not systematically bad for growth or stability, why does the debt level seem to figure rather prominently in the IMF’s policy advice and conditionality?
  • Topic: Debt, Development, Economics, International Monetary Fund, Financial Crisis, GDP, Global Markets
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Cyrus Rustomjee
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The world’s oceans are crucial to human life. They cover 71 percent of the earth’s surface and contain 97 percent of the earth’s water (Oceanic Institute 2016); provide vital ecosystem services; serve as a growing source of renewable energy and make crucial contributions to global food production and food security, through the provision of food, minerals and nutrients. Fish provide 4.3 billion people with about 15 percent of their intake of animal protein (UN Food and Agriculture Organization [FAO] 2014b). Over 3.1 billion people live within 100 km of the ocean or sea in about 150 coastal and island nations (FAO 2014a), and global ocean economic activity is estimated to be US$3–5 trillion (FAO 2014b). Oceans and seas serve as waterways for global trade, with more than 90 percent of global trade carried by sea (International Maritime Organization 2012). Some 880 million people depend on the fisheries and aquaculture sector for their livelihoods (ibid.). Recognition of the services and resources provided by oceans has accelerated in recent years, spurred by the opportunities and challenges posed by a rapidly growing global population, increasing global demand for food and energy, advances in technology, and changes in patterns of global trade and human consumption. Developed countries have expanded fisheries, tourism and other oceanic and maritime industries; extended mineral exploration and extraction; and scaled up ocean-related scientific, technological and industrial research. Using increased knowledge of marine biodiversity, they have developed new value chains in pharmaceuticals, health care and aquaculture; and many have established integrated national ocean economy strategies, bringing together the regulatory, environmental, spatial, policy, institutional, industrial and other factors influencing their ability to exploit maritime resources.
  • Topic: Environment, Political Economy, Maritime Commerce, Biosecurity, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Caribbean, Global Focus
  • Author: Samuel Howorth, Domenico Lombardi, Pierre Siklos
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Students of macroeconomics will have heard about the central role played by the so-called Phillips curve in both theoretical and empirical analyses for almost 70 years. In 1958, A. W. Phillips reported an inverse relationship between changes in wages and the unemployment rate (Phillips 1958). The progeny of his thinking led to a revolution both in policy making and in the development of theoretical links between the real and nominal macroeconomic variables. Names such as Samuelson, Solow, Phelps, Friedman, Lucas and Sargent became associated with refinements and enhancements of the core finding reported by Phillips. Indeed, all of these economists went on to become Nobel laureates in economics, although not exclusively because of their contributions to the analysis of what has since been called the Phillips curve. Indeed, the concept is so influential that it spawned several different versions of the trade-off used to guide policy makers as a menu for the choices they face when deciding whether the gains from lower inflation are offset by the economic costs of higher unemployment. Initially, expectations of individuals or firms were ignored. This briefly gave policy makers the impression that they could simply select an inflation-unemployment combination and implement the necessary policy mix to achieve the desired outcome. Once a role for expectations was incorporated, debate centred on how forward-looking individuals are. The more forward-looking, the less likely it was that policy makers would be able to “exploit” the trade-off because, unless wages rose in purchasing-power terms, the gains from lower unemployment would, at best, be temporary once workers realized that the higher inflation, at unchanged wages, actually drives real wages down. Indeed, the pendulum swung all the way to the conclusion — reached by the 1970s and early 1980s — that the Phillips curve was illusory and there was no trade-off policy makers could exploit.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Welfare, International Political Economy, Labor Issues, Global Markets
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Céline Bak
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: On the way to Washington, DC, for a September 2015 visit, Chinese President Xi Jinping stopped in Seattle, WA, to sign an agreement aimed at combatting climate change by increasing the business ties between Chinese and US clean technology companies (South China News 2015). Five US states signed the agreement on commerce between China and clean-tech businesses from California, Iowa, Michigan, Oregon and Washington. On the same day, Bill Gates’s energy company, TerraPower, signed an agreement with the China National Nuclear Corporation for joint cooperation on next-generation renewable and fusion nuclear power. In early 2015, Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund invested in General Fusion, a Canadian company based in Vancouver, to advance its energy innovation.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Science and Technology, Treaties and Agreements, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Sarah Birch
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Leaders, negotiators and scientists returned home from the recent United Nations climate change negotiations in Paris with a new mandate: to explore pathways to a world that warms no more than 1.5°C; to finance climate change adaptation and mitigation in developing countries at a meaningful pace and scale; and, ultimately, to create real policy tools that can deliver prosperity that is not so fundamentally tied to burning fossil carbon. The Paris Agreement is historic in that it is universal (both industrialized and less-developed nations have agreed to the text), a heavy focus is placed on transparency and reporting of progress, and opportunities to periodically reevaluate and ratchet up ambition are built into the process. The ultimate power of this agreement, however, is not in its technicalities and legal implications. Rather, the Paris Agreement represents the manifestation of collective ambition, creating and demonstrating shared norms around the reality of climate change and the responsibility to act. This international process of negotiation and commitment is triggering a wave of conversations about how to reach these ambitious greenhouse gas reduction and adaptation targets. This will require a rapid and fundamental transformation of all sectors, including the design of urban spaces and the ways in which we produce and consume energy.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Treaties and Agreements, United Nations, Regulation
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jason Thistlewaite, Melissa Menzies
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: To promote climate change risk mitigation in financial markets, the Financial Stability Board (FSB) recently proposed the creation of a Climate Disclosure Task Force, coordinated through the G20, to develop standards for companies to disclose their exposure to climate change risks. With more than 400 existing disclosure schemes that employ a range of different standards to measure climate change risks and corporate sustainability, this task will be challenging. But the diversity of schemes also represents an opportunity to assess which practices are effective at improving corporate accountability for sustainability performance, as well as efficient at producing comparable reports that do not unfairly burden reporting organizations. This brief identifies the key categories of governance practices that must be addressed, how these divergent practices challenge end-users, and how the establishment of criteria that define effective and efficient reporting is a critical first step for the FSB and its Climate Disclosure Task Force.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Natural Resources, Governance, G20, Regulation, Financial Markets
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Damian Wnukowski
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Australia has a long history of immigration, including accepting refugees. Over the years, it has developed mechanisms and instruments that aim not only to help people in need but also to provide for the country’s stability and prosperity. However, in recent years some elements of Australia’s refugee policy, especially its approach towards the so-called boat people, have come under fire. Nevertheless, the solutions implemented by Australia should be part of the EU’s efforts to find ones useful for dealing with its current migration crisis.
  • Topic: Human Welfare, Humanitarian Aid, Refugee Issues, Immigration, European Union
  • Political Geography: Australia
  • Author: Marek Wasinski
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In a communication of 12 April, the European Commission assessed the potential political and economic consequences of suspending visa exemption for U.S. citizens. Lacking pressure from individual EU Member States, the Commission discouraged such a move and gave the EU Council and European Parliament three months to take an official position. It seems almost certain that the measure of applying pressure on a non-EU country will not be used to help Poland and four other Member States obtain visa-free travel to the United States or other countries with a similar restriction. However, if current trends continue, Poland should join the U.S. Visa Waiver Programme in five years.
  • Topic: Economics, Politics, European Union, Citizenship
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Carolina Salgado, Marek Wasinski
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Visegrad Group is still a new label among policy makers as well as public and private investors, scholars and media in Brazil. However, since their accession to the EU in 2004, and the financial crisis that started in 2008, the four Central European countries in this group have started to look beyond Europe in order to formulate their economic and political agenda, aiming to boost partnerships, for example among the biggest South American countries such as Brazil. V4 and Brazil should build momentum to deepen cooperation in the most promising prospective areas such as trade, military, tourism and education.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Politics, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Brazil
  • Author: Cordella Buchanan Ponczek
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Traditionally, there is a partisan split on foreign policy in the United States: Republican candidates and voters worry more about terrorism, defense and national security than Democratic candidates and voters, thereby putting more stock in foreign policy issues, which manifests itself in the aggressiveness—of lack thereof—of each party’s foreign policy platform. But the candidates in the 2016 U.S. presidential election can be categorised by more than just party: a line can also be drawn between conventional candidates—Hillary Clinton, a Democrat, and Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, Republicans—and unconventional candidates—Donald Trump, a Republican, and Bernie Sanders, a Democrat. Should a conventional candidate be elected president, U.S. foreign policy would be based on predictable adaptation to the changing international environment. An unconventional candidate, however, would be a wild card, whose actions would be difficult to predict.
  • Topic: Security, Politics, Elections
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Justyna Szczudlik
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Asia could be described as the world’s great construction site, and is already the focus of a scramble for infrastructure projects. Among countries competing for investments are not only China with its Silk Road initiative, but also Korea, Japan, India and ASEAN, which have prepared their own infrastructural strategies. The plethora of initiatives may have a positive impact on Asia, offering diverse solutions to the infrastructural bottleneck and reforms of existing institutions and modes of assistance. But there is also the risk that fierce competition may result in unprofitable projects, while economic slowdown could cause a decline in funding. For Europe these initiatives create opportunities to take part in new projects, but the EU should be aware that the projects will be implemented mainly in Asia and by Asian countries.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Infrastructure, Reform
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Tomasz Żornaczuk
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: At the beginning of 2016, almost 13 years after the Thessaloniki declaration to integrate the Western Balkans into the European Union, Brussels is left with Croatia as a Member State, Montenegro half way, at best, to becoming one, Serbia with first negotiation chapters just opened, and half of the region with no clear prospect of membership. But the wait-and-see approach that the EU had been employing for a number of years towards the enlargement policy in the Balkans has become even riskier in times of new international challenges. Among them, the ever-growing tensions between the West and Russia should, in particular, serve as motivation for the Union to look at enlargement in the Balkans from a geopolitical angle. Even if the Member States have in recent years shown less enthusiasm towards further rounds of enlargement, this should not discourage the EU institutions from undertaking an active role to revive the European integration process in the Balkans.
  • Topic: Economics, Regional Cooperation, European Union, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Serbia, Croatia
  • Author: Damian Wnukowski
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The transformation of ASEAN into an economic community is a significant step in the organisation’s integration process. The project, formally launched at the beginning of 2016, aims at creation of a single market of more than 620 million people, loosens the flow of goods, services and investment, which should underpin regional economic growth and catch the attention of foreign businesses. However, obstacles to economic cooperation remain, such as limitations on the movement of labour or capital, which shows that the integration process is not yet complete. The EU, which can benefit from a well-functioning market in this region, should share its own experience to support the ASEAN integration process.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Politics, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Stanislav Secrieru
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Although Transnistria, in exchange for meeting certain conditions, was allowed to benefit from the free trade agreement that Moldova signed with the EU, there are plenty of obstacles which could derail the deal. The business community in the breakaway republic is eager to enjoy the fruits of the DCFTA but is reluctant to shoulder the price of necessary reforms, the outgoing leader of the separatist enclave could undermine the agreement for electoral reasons, Russia might be tempted to test the EU’s resolve to defend its trade-related norms, and Moldova could erect bureaucratic barriers for producers from the left bank of the Nistru River. In the light of these many risks, the EU should persistently encourage all sides to stick to their commitments while averting disputes that would undermine enforcement of the DCFTA in Transnistria in a timely manner.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Politics, Elections, European Union
  • Political Geography: Moldova, Transnistria
  • Author: Pinar Elman
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Since the EU-Turkey deal on refugees on 29 November, there has not been a significant reduction in the numbers of migrants crossing into the EU from Turkey. One of the main reasons is probably lack of trust between Turkey and European Commission in their readiness to keep promises. EU can break the impasse by offering Schengen visa liberalisation but at the same time should use the accession negotiations to exert greater pressure on Ankara.
  • Topic: Human Welfare, Migration, Politics, Refugee Issues, European Union
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Piotr Kościński
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: At a time when many European countries are strengthening border protection (including building walls), migrants will seek new avenues to Europe. In this context and of particular importance will be the policy of the authorities of Ukraine, which currently, and despite the still unstable situation in the country (war in the east and economic problems) could become the country of choice for migrants. Another problem for Kyiv may be internal migration. Both forms increase the risk of migration to EU countries such as Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Romania, which are neighbours of Ukraine. In this situation, additional EU assistance to the authorities in Kyiv will be necessary.
  • Topic: Economics, Migration, Politics, Governance
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine
  • Author: Bobby Anderson
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: West Papua is the most violent area of Indonesia. Indonesian security forces battle the country's last active separatist insurgency there. The majority of Indonesia's political prisoners are Papuans, and support for independence is widespread. But military repression and indigenous resistance are only one part of a complex topography of insecurity in Papua: vigilantism, clan conflict, and other forms of horizontal violence produce more casualties than the vertical conflict that is often the exclusive focus of international accounts of contemporary Papua. Similarly, Papua's coerced incorporation into Indonesia in 1969 is not unique; it mirrors a pattern of long-term annexation found in other remote and highland areas of South and Southeast Asia. What distinguishes Papua is the near-total absence of the state in indigenous areas. This is the consequence of a morass of policy dysfunction over time that compounds the insecurity that ordinary Papuans face. The author illuminates the diverse and local sources of insecurity that indicate too little state as opposed to too much, challenges common perceptions of insecurity in Papua, and offers a prescription of policy initiatives. These include the reform of a violent and unaccountable security sector as a part of a broader reconciliation process and the urgent need for a comprehensive indigenous-centered development policy.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Political Violence, Development, Politics
  • Political Geography: Indonesia
  • Author: Dinshaw Mistry
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: In the early and mid-2000s, US policymakers anticipated India becoming one of America's top global partners. Have New Delhi's policies on key strategic issues actually aligned strongly with US objectives, as would be typical of close partners? An analysis of twelve prominent issues in US-India relations indicates that New Delhi's policies mostly converged moderately, rather than to a high extent, with US objectives. Specifically, the alignment between New Delhi's policies and US objectives was high or moderate-to-high on three issues—UN peacekeeping, nonproliferation export controls, and arms sales. It was moderate or low-to-moderate on six issues—China, Iran, Afghanistan, Indian Ocean security, Pakistan, and bilateral defense cooperation. And it was low or negligible on three issues—nuclear reactor contracts for US firms, nuclear arms control, and the war in Iraq. To be sure, despite the low or negligible convergence, New Delhi did not take an anti-US position on these issues. Four factors explain why New Delhi's policies aligned unevenly with US objectives across the issues: India's strategic interests (that diverged from US interests on some issues); domestic political and economic barriers (that prevented greater convergence between India's policies and US objectives); incentives and disincentives (that induced New Delhi to better align with US objectives); and certain case-specific factors. This analysis suggests that, rather than expecting India to become a close ally, US policymakers should consider it a friendly strategic partner whose policies would align, on the average, moderately with US strategic interests.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Political Economy, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: India, Asia