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  • Author: Edwin M. Truman
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Over the past year, sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) have leapt from the back pages in business sections of financial newspapers to lead stories on the Internet. Defenders of SWFs argue that they are benign, long-term investors that provide needed capital transfusions to hard-pressed private financial institutions. At the same time, political controversy surrounds SWFs in many countries including their own. Moderate voices have called for agreement on a set of best practices for SWFs.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, International Political Economy, Markets, Sovereignty
  • Author: Pavel K. Baev
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The self-assertive rhetoric of the Russian leadership, in which President Putin's Munich speech marked a shift towards a more aggressive style, has been translated into such demonstrative actions as the resumption of regular patrols by Long Range Aviation and the unilateral suspension of the CFE Treaty. Despite new funding and against confident self-assessments, Russia's strategic arsenal continues to shrink, and many key modernization projects, such as the Bulava missile for strategic submarines, have encountered setbacks. The need for brandishing the diminishing capabilities is driven by the desire to deter the perceived threat of a 'coloured revolution' sponsored by the West, the urge to assert a more solid status than just that of an 'energy super-power', and the complicated intrigues surrounding the on-going reconfiguration of the political leadership. Expanding demonstrations of the dilapidated strategic arsenal increase the risks of technical failures but fall far short of initiating a new confrontation of the Cold War type. The most worrisome point in Russia's ambivalent power policy is Georgia, which has been the target of choice for multiple propaganda attacks, but which now faces the challenge of an external intervention in its domestic crises since Moscow has built up usable military instruments in the North Caucasus. Russia's desire to secure higher international status does not amount to malicious revisionism; so over-reaction to its experiments with muscle-flexing could constitute a greater risk to the Western strategy of engagement than underestimating its ambitions.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Aylin S. Gorener
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Perhaps the most consequential and drastic decision in Turkish foreign policy in recent months was to engage in direct negotiations with Kurdish Regional Government in northern Iraq. This is significant because, since the onset of Iraq War in 2003, Turkey has sought to ignore or marginalize Iraqi Kurds, and has refrained from all acts that could be viewed as concessions or de facto recognition. Although the Iraqi Kurdish leadership has received red-carpet ceremony in Ankara in the1990s, Turkish foreign policy toward northern Iraq, since the war, has been stymied by anxiety and emotional rhetoric. Indeed, the fear of Iraq's disintegration and the rise of an independent Kurdish enclave in the north, inspiring or even assisting separatist sentiments in Turkey, have appeared to cloud the possibility of rational evaluation of the pros and cons of policy alternatives. As a result, the policy of projecting illegitimacy to the Kurdish Regional Government has cost Turkey a significant loss of clout not only in northern Iraq but also in the wider Iraqi political affairs, as Kurds have come to occupy significant positions in the central government as well.
  • Topic: Government, International Political Economy, War
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Thomas Carothers
  • Publication Date: 05-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Although the idea of a “League of Democracies” usefully reflects the urgent need to rebuild the legitimacy of U.S. democracy promotion, it is a problematic idea. It rests on the false assumption that democracies share sufficient common interests to work effectively together in a large group on a wide range of global issues. Such a league could aggravate rather than alleviate global sensitivities about the close association between U.S. democracy promotion and the U.S. global security agenda. The next U.S. president should opt instead for more flexible, case-by-case partnerships to fit specific issues and contexts.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Cooperation, International Organization, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
105. Putinism
  • Author: Leon Aron
  • Publication Date: 05-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Throughout Russia's history, the weakness of institutions and laws has ensured that the successor regimes rarely, if ever, turn out as intended by the previous ruler. Instead of continuity, the national tradition of highly personalized government often produces a very different political organism ostensibly from the same institutional framework. Yet with former president Vladimir Putin's staying on as a kind of regent–prime minister to the dauphin-president Dmitri Medvedev, at least for the next few years, the ideology, priorities, and policies of the Putin Kremlin—what might be called Putinism—are almost certain to inform and guide the Medvedev administration. Part I of this Outlook discusses the components of the new Russian authoritarianism, and parts II and III examine the elements of “Russia, Inc.”—the corporatist state that Putin has built—and the factors that may affect Russia's economic performance, stability, and foreign policy in the future.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Hasan Ali Karasar
  • Publication Date: 08-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Turkey has been involved, historically and demographically, with many of the regions of “frozen conflict” in post-Soviet space. At this point, one might consider the position of Turkey as being at the epicenter of Euro-Atlantic and Russian extremes concerning the frozen conflicts. Georgia, since 1991, has been considered a valuable “strategic partner” by Turkey for several reasons. Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's Caucasus Pact idea is a good opportunity to create an inclusive (Russia, Turkey, Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan) new foreign policy approach at this stage. This approach should be merged with the representation of all the frozen or unfrozen conflict areas, peoples, ethnic groups and regions included under the roof of such an alliance.
  • Topic: NATO, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Asia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia
  • Author: Mohammad Yaghi
  • Publication Date: 08-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayad recently appealed to the World Bank in an effort to bridge the current budget gap preventing the Palestinian Authority (PA) from paying government salaries this month. Despite a three-year $7.5 billion assistance pledge from the 2007 Paris donor conference, the PA remains in a financial crisis, with a projected shortfall of $400 million for the second half of 2008, as reported by the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee in May. Since Fayad's technocratic government has no independent political base, its legitimacy stems from the PA's financial solvency. He has survived ongoing attacks from rival Fatah leaders only because Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas recognizes him as the linchpin to Western donor assistance. If the financial crisis persists, however, Fayad's political future is in doubt.
  • Topic: Government, International Political Economy, Financial Crisis, World Bank
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Palestine
  • Author: Raymond Tanter
  • Publication Date: 08-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Throughout summer 2008, Iraqi politicians tied to Tehran have put increasing political pressure on the U.S. government to allow Baghdad to control Camp Ashraf, the base housing Iran's main opposition -- the Mujahedin e Khalq (MEK). Options regarding Iraqi-based MEK members are limited, but include the following: sending them to the United States; allowing them to stay in Iraq under Iraqi control; dispersing them to surrounding countries, including Iran; or maintaining the status quo with the continued protection of the U.S. military. Since each option is problematic, finding a solution is neither easy nor simple.
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Hassan Barari
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In the Middle East, it is widely believed that Syria is obstructing the election of a new Lebanese president. Amid this crisis, many are beginning to doubt whether the next Arab League summit, scheduled to open in Damascus at month's end, will take place at all.
  • Topic: Democratization, International Political Economy, Politics
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Lebanon, Syria
  • Author: Nasuhi Gungor
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article considers the August 2008 visit to Turkey by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, and analyzes relations between Turkey and Iran in general. The tensions and crises that followed the 1979 Iranian Revolution are briefly presented in order to provide a better understanding of the present state of relations. Then we draw a picture of the situation after the Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power in 2002, bringing widespread changes to Turkish foreign policy. We also call attention to Turkey's changing role in the regional balance of power, and to the significance of that role both in Turkey's relations with Iran and with the United States.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Anthony Bubalo
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Abstract: Before 2001, Australian policy in the region defined here as West Asia – that stretching from India's western borders across to the eastern shores of the Mediterranean, encompassing Southwest Asia, the Persian Gulf and the Levant – focused on two broad objectives: supporting American-led efforts to promote regional stability, and securing opportunities for Australian exports.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Asia, Australia
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: Policy-makers are increasingly concerned by what appears to be a growing body of 'weak,' 'fragile', or 'failing' states. This is understandable, as few issues are so central to contemporary international politics – to questions of development, management of the global commons, or human and collective security – as that of well-organized cooperation between effective states. States retain the central responsibility for assuring the safety and security of their citizens, protecting property rights, and providing public goods to enable a functioning market. Many states do more, taking on critical welfare functions for their populations.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, Development, International Political Economy
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Europe is negotiating new trade deals with African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) countries. A true partnership in trade could radically transform the lives of one-third of all people living in poverty, providing farmers and small businesses with sustainable incomes and workers with decent jobs. But Europe is choosing power politics over partnership. The deals currently on the table will strip ACP countries of important policy tools they need in order to develop. They will fracture regional integration, exacerbate poverty and make it harder for countries to break away from commodity dependence. Despite massive pressure, many ACP countries are holding out for a fair deal. Europe needs to rethink, and agree to change course. Ultimately, it is in its own interests to do so.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Australia/Pacific, Caribbean
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The year 2008 is halfway to the deadline for reaching the Millennium Development Goals. Despite some progress, they will not be achieved if current trends continue. Aid promises are predicted to be missed by $30bn, at a potential cost of 5 million lives. Starting with the G8 meeting in Japan, rich countries must use a series of high-profile summits in 2008 to make sure the Goals are met, and to tackle both climate change and the current food crisis. Economic woes must not be used as excuses: rich countries' credibility is on the line.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Climate Change, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Japan
  • Author: Igor Torbakov
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Russia's conduct in the post-Soviet space in general and its policies toward Central Asia in particular should be seen within the context of Russia's post-imperial readjustment. The notion of the sphere of “privileged interests” currently advanced by the Kremlin is a clear indication that Russia's search for a new modus operandi with its ex-Soviet neighbours is a painful and, essentially, an open-ended process. Moscow views Central Asia as an area of great strategic importance as it presents both considerable opportunities (due to the region's rich energy resources) and serious threats (stemming from the region's inherent instability and its proximity to volatile Afghanistan). Russia's key interests in Central Asia appear to be preservation of the region's stability, strengthening control over the region's energy resources, and balancing other major actors that are increasing their presence in the region – the United States and China. The effectiveness of the Kremlin's policies in Central Asia seems to be constrained by the nature of Russia's current socio-political system whose key features are authoritarianism and rent-seeking. The latter prompts Moscow to act as a conservative rather than reformist force in the region. Russia's goal of maintaining strategic pre-eminence in Central Asia underpinned by Moscow's significantly increased economic and political clout may ultimately not be realized. The odds are that, given the rise of China, Russia may prove to be a weaker competitor. The European Union's strategic interests increasingly compel the bloc to engage the Central Asian nations, particularly in the spheres of energy and security. Eventually, Russia's wariness of China's growing economic and political clout might prompt Moscow to seek deeper cooperation with Brussels in Central Asia.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Oil
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, Asia, Moscow
  • Author: Johannes F. Linn, Colin I. Bradford, Paul Martin
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: At the invitation of President George W. Bush, the G20 leaders met on November 15, 2008, in Washington, DC, in response to the worldwide financial and economic crisis. With this summit meeting the reality of global governance shifted surprisingly quickly. Previously, major global economic, social and environmental issues were debated in the small, increasingly unrepresentative and often times ineffectual circle of G8 leaders. Now, there is a larger, much more legitimate summit group which can speak for over two-thirds of the world's population and controls 90% of the world's economy.
  • Topic: Environment, Globalization, Government, International Cooperation, International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Author: Guy de Jonquières
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The troubled history of the Doha trade talks, which suffered their latest breakdown in July 2008, is due to more than differences between members' negotiating positions. It is a symptom of deeper institutional problems in the WTO, as it struggles to adjust to global economic change. At stake are not only prospects for a further push to open world markets, but the primacy of the WTO as the maker and enforcer of the multilateral rules that underpin the international economic order. Although reforms of WTO procedures may be desirable, they will not be enough to restore momentum. WTO members need also to develop a new model of leadership, define a clearer mission for the organization and pursue domestic policies that buttress its role. It is unclear whether governments possess the political energy or commitment required to undertake that effort. But continued drift risks weakening the organization and could, in the longer term, undermine the integrity of the rules-based trade system.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Globalization, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: Vanessa Rossi
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The global financial system has suffered a once-in-a-century meltdown that almost brought the world economy to a halt in late September. Confidence and trust have been shattered. In spite of concerted and extraordinary efforts on the part of central banks and political leaders, including recapitalizing the banks, it is not yet certain that the waves of panic and destruction have been halted. Many of the repercussions have yet to emerge, including possible legal action as well as economic damage. Even before this latest explosion, the leading OECD economies were plunging into an unusually synchronized recession, driven by the simultaneous collapse in consumer and business spending. This will now get worse.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, Globalization, International Political Economy, Markets
  • Author: René Kemp
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Policymakers are constantly searching for ways to reconcile the goals of economic growth and environmental protection. Underlying this is the belief that the introduction of cleaner technologies and more efficient environmental management processes could help reduce the costs of environmental protection and contribute to growth and jobs.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Globalization, International Political Economy, Markets, Political Economy
  • Author: Vadim Kononenko
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The global financial crisis has had both an economic and a political impact on Russia. Inasmuch as Russia's political system is infused with business interests and economic considerations, the crisis presents an external and unexpected challenge to the system in terms of rocking the balance between the elite groups. In effect, the crisis calls into question the assumption that the economic and social stability of the Putin years has been successfully sustained during Medvedev's presidency. The Kremlin's response to the rapidly changing situation has been essentially conservative and geared towards strengthening the regime rather than addressing the challenges stemming from the crisis. The anti-crisis measures that are being taken reveal that the government is relying on its finance reserves as the ultimate means to solve the problem rather than reforming state institutions. The president, the government and the key business groups have yet to define the terms of their relationship in the new situation. The plans to increase state control over companies as a means of tackling the crisis are problematic and likely to lead to an intensification of the struggle between the elites. At the same time, as the state takes on even more responsibility, the question of its efficiency becomes more pertinent in the crisis conditions. The return of Vladimir Putin as president remains uncertain despite the constitutional change initiated by Medvedev. His return becomes more probable if the crisis lingers and the overall situation worsens, thus prompting the return of the “national leader” to the driver's seat. The crisis alone cannot lead to major political or social turmoil or a regime change, but it nonetheless presents a major challenge for Russia in the short-term perspective. Ultimately, the outcome of the crisis will depend on how well the incumbent leadership is able to maintain a balance between tackling the crisis and protecting its own interests and legitimacy.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Michael Emerson
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: resident Sarkozy's proposed Union for the Mediterranean (or UMed) has so far been poorly conceived and, to say the least, awkwardly presented politically. However this does not mean that nothing good can come of it. The Barcelona process and its confusing combination with the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) have neither been a disaster nor a brilliant success. There is a case for streamlining a single European Mediterranean policy, rationalising and properly integrating Barcelona, the ENP and new ideas that the UMed initiative may produce. Both Italy and Spain as well as the South Mediterranean states themselves appear concerned not to undermine the existing structures (Barcelona and ENP). Steps could be made to lighten the overweight participation of the EU and all its 27 member states in too many meetings with too many participants and too few results, drawing on models that have emerged in the EU's Northern maritime regions. However, the EU as a whole will not agree to delegate the essential initiative on strategic matters to just its Southern coastal states – as has been made clear in recent exchanges between President Sarkozy and Chancellor Merkel. In addition the EU will also want to maintain a balance between its Northern and Southern priorities, and if the UMed becomes a new impetus for the South, an equivalent but different policy move can be contemplated for the EU's East European neighbours
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Foreign Policy, International Political Economy, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Spain, Italy, Barcelona
  • Author: Jørgen Mortensen, ain Begg, Juraj Draxler
  • Publication Date: 08-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This policy brief picks up the main observations and arguments included in a study undertaken by CEPS for the Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities of the European Commission. It was presented by Iain Begg at a major Commission conference in Brussels on 16 April 2008, which had broad attendance by officials, media people and researchers, and was concluded by a keynote speech by José Manuel Barroso, President of the Commission. The conference took place at a time of emerging financial crisis and rising oil and food prices, aspects emphasised by some speakers as elements throwing new light on some of the arguments in the report. Hans-Gert Pöttering, President of the European Parliament, stressed that promotion of knowledge and innovation constitutes an important condition for enhancing the competitiveness of the European economy. Thus, the Union should take on a leadership role in combining globalisation with social policy, fighting climate change and fostering environmental stability. Mr. Barroso, in his conclusions underlined the necessity of a renewal of social policies based on equal opportunities, access and solidarity.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, International Political Economy, Markets, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Niels Aadal Rasmussen
  • Publication Date: 02-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Since China has an interest in delivery systems of Weapons of Mass Destruction, and the main strategic capability available to the country is missile technology, China has a range of ballistic and cruise missile capabilities. China's technology export or proliferation of ballistic missile technology is of particular and serious concern. China has not joined the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), but has applied for membership and pledged to abide by its main control mechanisms. The Brief concludes that it seems unhelpful to deny China's accession to the MTCR on the grounds of inadequate missile export control, in stead of seeking ways to bring China's missile technology export control policy and infrastructure to the acceptable level. The MTCR in the present international situation appears increasingly less dependent on exclusively bringing likeminded countries inside the regime and more on inclusiveness.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, International Political Economy, Science and Technology, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Col. Daniel Smith
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Defense Information
  • Abstract: No conventional, state-sponsored opposing armies took to the field of battle in 2006. Nonetheless, the number of overt armed interventions by out-side powers in other nations civil wars increased, illustrating a trend away from conventional armed conflicts and toward more complex civil wars that increasingly transform into larger regional wars.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, International Political Economy, War
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Soner Cagaptay
  • Publication Date: 07-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On June 19, the Turkish Supreme Elections Board, an independent body that monitors the elections process, finalized the candidate lists for the July 22 early parliamentary polls. The outcome at the polls should be easier to estimate now that the electorate can judge the parties as well as their candidates. Will the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) win? How will the other major parties fare? And what issues will dominate, among them the Constitutional Court's decision yesterday to overturn President Ahmet Sezer's veto of the AKP's proposal for direct presidential elections?
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Islam, Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Roman Krznaric
  • Publication Date: 03-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: How change happens is a central issue in almost every field of academic inquiry. Historians debate how National Socialism emerged in Germany. Economists investigate the drivers of economic growth. Sociologists examine the rise of radical Islam. Psychologists discuss the incentive structures that alter human behaviour. Geographers study the role of climate in the rise and fall of civilization.
  • Topic: Civil Society, International Political Economy, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Germany
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: This is the first in a series of three papers that examines the financing of services in developing countries. This paper focuses on external assistance in the form of aid and debt cancellation. The other papers in the series will focus on internal revenues; first, receipts from taxation and then receipts from extractive industries.
  • Topic: Debt, Development, Education, Health, Humanitarian Aid, International Political Economy, Poverty
  • Author: Linda Jakobson
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: China has in a very short time span embraced multilateral mechanisms to address a broad range of issues and avoided confrontation with the United States. Both stances have shaped Asian and European views of a rising China. At present, Asian and European leaders take China's word regarding its peaceful intentions as a rising power. However, Asian and European policy-makers tend to refrain from confronting China too strongly on issues sensitive to Beijing (poor implementation of intellectual property rights, disregard for human rights, etc). The more prosperous China grows, the less influence any other country will have over Beijing's policies. A rising China is a challenge to others because of its sheer size, its great need for imported energy, and the environmental degradation it causes due to its ongoing industrialization. The troubled relationship between China and Japan is one of increasing concern and could lead to aggravated tensions in East Asia.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Col. Daniel Smith
  • Publication Date: 06-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Defense Information
  • Abstract: Set against non-stop cable news broadcasts recounting the ongoing daily carnage in Iraq and the resurgent violence in Afghanistan, the headline “wars decrease” was a jolt.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, International Political Economy, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq
  • Author: Anthony Bubalo, Mark P Thirlwell
  • Publication Date: 11-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Abstract: Strongly growing demand for oil, the sharp run up in prices since mid-2003 and tight supply, have seen energy insecurity return to the international policy agenda. Fears have been raised that China's emergence as a voracious consumer of oil and gas and a keen competitor in global energy markets might imperil the largely cordial relationship that has developed between Beijing and Washington over the last decade. There is also a risk that the competition for energy resources could feed into the less than cordial relations between China and Japan. The purpose of this Policy Brief is to examine the risks that the competition for oil resources might pose for international security, focusing in particular on the relationships between the United States, Middle East oil producers and major Northeast Asian energy consumers, and to propose a mechanism for defusing some of the risks that this competition could entail.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, International Organization, International Political Economy, Oil
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Middle East
  • Author: Tim Josling, Dale Hathaway
  • Publication Date: 03-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: As countries attempt to restart the stalled Doha Round and continue the negotiations on further agricultural trade reform and liberalization, it is useful to take stock of the progress made so far in the light of both the objectives of countries and the needs of the trading system. This policy brief reviews the main objectives of the agricultural talks in the World Trade Organization (WTO), examines the major proposals that emerged in the run-up to Cancún and at the ministerial itself, describes the emerging framework for further reform, and suggests ways in which the negotiations can build on this progress to achieve a worthwhile outcome.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: South America
  • Author: Steve H. Hanke, Matt Sekerke
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Following a swift military campaign to remove the Saddam Hussein government in Iraq, it has become clear that preparations for the postwar period have been inadequate and that the occupying forces lack a workable exit strategy. Specifically, the Coalition Provisional Authority has failed to anticipate the challenges that face the postwar Iraqi economy, including the introduction of sound money to facilitate exchange.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Ian Vásquez
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The failure of past foreign aid programs has given rise to a new consensus on how to make foreign aid effective. According to the new approach, aid that goes into poor countries that have good policies and institutions is highly effective at promoting growth and reducing poverty. Disbursing aid to countries that have good policies contrasts with the traditional practice of providing aid to countries irrespective of the quality of their policies or providing aid to promote policy reforms. President George Bush's proposed foreign aid initiative, the Millennium Challenge Account, is based on the selective approach to foreign assistance, as are, in large part, the World Bank's calls to double foreign aid flows worldwide.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Third World
  • Author: Ian Vásquez, John Welborn
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The Overseas Private Investment Corporation is a government agency that provides loans and investment insurance to U.S. companies doing business around the world. Its four-year, renewable charter will expire in September 2003. Proponents of OPIC claim that the agency helps the U.S. economy and promotes economic development abroad.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Anna J. Schwartz
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The International Monetary Fund has proposed a universal bankruptcy tribunal to deal with sovereign debt restructuring. But does the international financial system really need such a mechanism? There has been little demand by sovereign borrowers or their creditors for a universal bankruptcy law, and few countries have had to enter into debt restructuring procedures. The absence of such a law does not appear to have created chaotic conditions even in those cases.
  • Topic: Economics, International Organization, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: Matthew Clarke
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The world economy has recently changed. A new world economy has emerged over the last decade as two long-run broad trends, globalization and advances in information and communication technology (ICT) have converged. This 'new economy' is significantly different to the 'old economy', as knowledge has replaced traditional productivity inputs, such as labour and natural resources, as the primary ingredient for economic growth. A new landscape exists and countries must adapt their approaches and policies for development to achieve progress in the future.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, International Political Economy, Science and Technology
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: This week's piece is on the progress towards completing the Financial Services Action Plan (FSAP). Amid continuing difficulties in key areas, pressure is growing for further advances in completing the single market for capital and financial services.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: OECD members meet in Paris today and tomorrow in the fourth high-level forum on reducing global steel production capacity. The world steel trade is more unsettled than at any time in the last twenty years. Surplus capacity is holding prices down and harming otherwise competitive manufacturers.
  • Topic: Industrial Policy, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: A textbook approach to economic growth suggests the world is in for a difficult period. However, there are reasons to believe that the global economy will defy convention. The global economy will continue to support US external imbalances for the medium term, barring marked deterioration in certain areas of US weakness. However, European integration and Asian development could provide alternative sources of global demand, relieving the current imbalance of global dependence on the US economy.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: This week's piece focuses on the role of ERM II in the East European accession candidate countries. The EU's Exchange Rate Mechanism has emerged as the primary vehicle for the integration of the CEEC-10 accession countries into the European Monetary Union.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: This week's piece examines the impact of the economic crisis on the Argentine banking sector. The collapse of the peso-dollar peg dealt a serious blow to the already weakened Argentine banking system, which now faces a significant restructuring process.
  • Topic: International Organization, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Argentina, Latin America
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: This week's piece examines the outlook for euro-area economic performance. Despite some indications of improvements in the global and euro-area economies, it is too early to assume that these signify a lasting recovery.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: The United States on March 5 announced tariffs on the vast majority of US steel imports. Despite rumours that he would impose moderate duties, US President Bush levied 30% tariffs on the types of steel accounting for about three-quarters of steel imports. Given that these duties follow hundreds of anti-dumping duties imposed on steel products over the past three years, the decision means that virtually no foreign steel will be sold in the United States. It will also have a host of unforeseen international consequences.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: This week's piece focuses on mixed successes of intra-regional mergers and acquisitions in South-east Asia. Large South-east Asian firms have been enthusiastic investors within the region, with mixed results. Successful intra-regional investment is important for developing a greater domestic demand structure in the region and reducing reliance on external demand.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: South Asia, Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Yossi Baidatz
  • Publication Date: 03-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In recent weeks, a simmering debate between the two major power centers in domestic Lebanese politics has spilled into public view. This debate pits newly installed Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, who represents those who want Lebanon to take advantage of Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon to focus on internal stability, economic reconstruction and securing foreign investment, against Hizballah leader Shaykh Hassan Nasrallah, who — with the support of Syria and Iran — champions maintaining Lebanon's role on the front line of the ongoing revolutionary resistance against Israel. This tension was described in the Lebanese newspaper an-Nahar as the choice between "Hanoi" (Nasrallah) and "Hong Kong" (Hariri). As with most Middle East crises, the development of this delicate and flammable dispute carries both risks and opportunities for Lebanon and other players on the Middle East scene.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Foreign Policy, Economics, International Political Economy, Politics, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Iran, Middle East, Israel, Syria, Hong Kong
  • Author: Halina Ward
  • Publication Date: 02-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The business of global governance is set to become one of the key international policy issues of the twenty-first century. The governance of global business is one of the most difficult action points in this agenda. New issues are still emerging, not least among them a discussion on whether there is a need for tougher transnational regulation of multinational corporations. This Briefing Paper outlines the implications of one way of enforcing corporate environmental, social and human rights standards across borders: 'foreign direct liability'.
  • Topic: International Law, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Publication Date: 11-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar on November 15 threatened widespread destruction in the United States. Mullah Omar's ambiguous threat of large-scale destruction and Osama bin Laden's explicit claim to possess nuclear weapons raise questions about the likelihood of nuclear terrorism and highlight the importance of protecting sources of highly enriched uranium and plutonium. Technical barriers need not be considered sufficient to prevent the use of nuclear devices by terrorist groups. Nuclear weapon standards are much lower for terrorist groups than for states, potentially making their production less challenging. Acquisition of sufficient qualities and quantities of fissile material is the most formidable obstacle to nuclear terrorist capabilities. Therefore, stringent guarding of access to such material is the best defence against nuclear terrorism.
  • Topic: International Organization, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Taliban
  • Publication Date: 11-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: The IMF's major shareholders have shown little willingness to provide new funds to Argentina. In deferring further assistance, the United States and other G7 shareholders have set limits on the international financial community's role in resolving a major emerging market financial crisis. The slowing global economy could provide an early test of these limits as it exposes weaknesses in other emerging markets — particularly those with larger geopolitical profiles than Argentina. Argentina's predicament highlights the Fund's paradox in wanting, on the one hand, to facilitate orderly resolution of crises (and prevent calamitous social impacts) and, on the other hand, to encourage markets to appropriately price risk by proving that non-optimal outcomes are possible. The risk of such outcomes is the basis upon which investors demand higher premiums from emerging market borrowers.
  • Topic: International Organization, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Argentina
  • Publication Date: 11-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: This piece examines the prospects for the WTO Fourth Ministerial Conference in Doha beginning November 9. The central issue for the Qatar meeting is whether WTO members can agree to launch new negotiations, and in so doing restore confidence in the WTO itself. In the background are the September 11 terrorist attacks and the worsening global economic outlook, all of which simultaneously raise the stakes at the meeting and improve prospects for success. The outlook for the Qatar summit has improved, and agreement by WTO members in favour of wide-ranging trade negotiations is now on balance the most likely outcome. However, failure remains a real possibility, unless members can resolve remaining differences on agriculture, implementation of WTO agreements, environmental goals, US anti-dumping practices and pharmaceutical patents.
  • Topic: Environment, Industrial Policy, International Organization, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Qatar
  • Publication Date: 11-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: OPEC President Chakib Kelil yesterday expressed confidence that the cartel can bring prices back to 25 dollars per barrel through production cuts implemented from January 1. Kelil's remarks follow a recent meeting of OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers to secure non-OPEC support for a production cut at OPEC's November 14 meeting. The moves take place against a backdrop of falling oil prices and an outlook for even lower prices as global economic growth deteriorates and oil producers fail to implement earlier output cut decisions. Significant uncertainties cloud the oil market and make micro-management extremely difficult. OPEC's apparent failure to secure non-OPEC cooperation for production cuts undermines market credibility for OPEC cuts at its November meeting. Unless the cartel can develop a plausible response, there is a real possibility that it will face an oil price collapse reminiscent of 1997-99.
  • Topic: Environment, Industrial Policy, International Organization, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance