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  • Author: Geoffrey Gertz, Homi Kharas
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: The past 15 years saw the most rapid decline in global poverty ever, with the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of halving the global poverty rate reached several years ahead of schedule. Building on this, governments around the world committed to a new set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including ending extreme poverty everywhere by 2030.
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Rachid Chennani
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: The Moroccan state started to seriously interact with the human rights discourse in the early 1990s due to long domestic struggles by human rights advocates and global pressures to reform. At the same time, human rights organizations have developed and set aside much of their political lineage, taking up an active role in policy advocacy and pushing for alternatives to meet growing social and societal demands. The 2011 movement has revitalized the human rights approach to politics and social problems, and culminated a decades-long struggle to peacefully and gradually move to a social rights-based contract with the state. Such a state of affairs no longer seems far off.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Morocco
  • Author: Mohamed El Agati
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: The Egyptian state seeks to control civil society through laws and puts in place security measures to restrict its action, while civil society organizations, especially rights groups, deploy various strategies to ensure a minimal space for action. In this struggle, a solution lies not only in legislation enabling the participation of independent civil society but more in the opening of the political domain itself. In a context where the real danger lies in the continuation of a status quo that prevents the construction of a modern democratic state, civil society must build wider social and political network to enable it to influence state decisions and represent rights holders.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Author: Youssef Mounsif
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: A deeper and broader national transformation took root in Morocco as bridges started to appear over the gap between an alleged elitism of the human rights movement and the “masses”, with human rights organizations refocussing on social, economic and localized causes of various communities. As in other similar countries, rights actors collide with existing economic and political arrangements and the entrenched networks of patronage. This will be their challenge for years to come.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Morocco
  • Author: Hatem Chakroun
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: The interaction between Tunisian human rights organizations and movements struggling for economic and social rights present the former with hard questions and important challenges. Human rights actors need to scrutinize their role and tactics to decide whether they would remain in the fast eroding mediation level (between the movements and the state) or they could explore other avenues that can address the complex issues of representation and brokerage between human rights defenders and the bearers of these very rights who are busy developing new ways of defending themselves.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Tunisia
  • Author: Amr Adly
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: The economic and social rights movement has struck some success in working with contentious movements to challenge public policies and institutions in Egypt. However, no organic relationship developed between the two. The contentious movement did not strategically adopt an economic and social rights framing that would have enabled it to get beyond its local, largely apolitical and un-institutionalized characteristics in favour of a nationwide platform.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Author: Philip Stockdale, Scott Aughenbaugh, Nickolas J. Boensch
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: In support of the Air University “Fast Space” study, the National Defense University collaborated with Johns Hopkins University, eight think tanks, and subject matter experts to analyze the utility of ultra-low-cost access to space (ULCATS) for the U.S. military. Contributors identified disruptors that could achieve ULCATS and Fast Space as well as space architectures and capabilities that could reduce the cost of access to space. They also offered recommendations for legal, policy, regulatory, authority, and oversight adjustments that could facilitate reductions. The combination of a greater number of innovative commercial space actors, industry advocacy for licensing reform, and optimism regarding reusable launch vehicles will eventually change the ways the United States operates in space. As the economic landscape of space activities evolves, some missions in low earth orbit may be turned over to commercial sector operation, but the next 3 to 5 years might not be revolutionary for government use of space capabilities.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ian Anthony, Carrie Weintraub
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: Th e National Security Strategy published by the Swedish government in January 2017 underlines that the security challenges facing the country are complex and subject to rapid change. One current challenge is the re-emergence of traditional forms of power politics, including in the Baltic Sea region, which is described as one of the main areas of friction between Russia and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).2
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Robert Blair
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University
  • Abstract: What are the effects of international intervention on the rule of law after civil war? Rule of law requires not only that state authorities abide by legal limits on their power, but also that citizens rely on state laws and institutions to adjudicate disputes. Using an original survey and list experiment in Liberia, and adopting multiple identification strategies to support a causal interpretation of my results, I show that exposure to the UN Mission in Liberia increased civilians’ reliance on state over non-state authorities to resolve the most serious incidents of crime and violence, and increased non-state authorities’ reliance on legal over illegal mechanisms of dispute resolution. I also find, however, that international intervention did not mitigate and may in fact have exacerbated citizens’ perceptions of state corruption and bias. I conclude by discussing theoretical and policy implications of these apparently contradictory effects.
  • Topic: International Law
  • Political Geography: Liberia
  • Author: Anna Maria Mayda
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Political leaders’ positions on the issue of immigration can be an important determinant of their electoral success or failure. Immigration took center stage in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and its aftermath, as now-president Donald Trump took strong stands on illegal immigration, the construction of a border wall, refugees from Syria, and “sanctuary cities.”
  • Topic: International Relations, Immigration
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Michael D Bordo
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The Dodd Frank Act of 2010 (DFA) was designed to overcome the sources of excessive leverage and systemic risk in the U.S. financial sector perceived to have created the Great Financial Crisis of 2007–2008. Since then, considerable controversy has swirled around the efficacy of various components of the multifaceted act. Many have been critical of the Volcker Rule, while others have praised the elevation of capital ratios and the requirements for banks to undergo periodic stress tests. However, there has been mounting concern in the financial community, Congress, and the press over the negative impact of the DFA regulations on small banks and businesses.
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: David Bier
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Texas law SB 4 imposes jail time on local police who fail to detain anyone whom federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) requests. Data from Travis County, Texas, show that ICE targets large numbers of U.S. citizens. From October 2005 to August 2017, 814 targets of ICE detainers in Travis County-3.3 percent of all requests-claimed U.S. citizenship and presented officers with a Social Security number (SSN). ICE subsequently canceled or declined to execute about a quarter of those detainer requests. Based on statements from ICE officials, the best explanation for not executing these detainers is that ICE targeted at least 228 U.S. citizens in the county before canceling or declining to execute those detainers. SB 4 will likely increase the detention of U.S. citizens for supposed violations of immigration law by preventing local police from releasing them.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Immigration
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Nancy Glass, Anjalee Kohli, Pamela J Surkan, Mitma Mpanano Remy, Nancy Perrin
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: The Sexual Violence Research Initiative
  • Abstract: Prolonged conflict and economic instability challenge the existing support networks in families and society places significant stress on both adults and adolescents. Exploring individual, family and social factors that increase the likelihood of or protect adolescents from negative outcomes are important to the development of evidence-based prevention and response programing in global settings.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Author: Edward Lemon, Vera Mironova, William H. Tobey
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: In the fall of 2016 Fletcher School professor Monica Duffy Toft and I were completing work on an issue brief in which we argued that the Islamic State should be further rolled back and dismantled rather than allowed to remain in the hopes that it would somehow become a normal state. IS was already in retreat at the time, having lost much of the territories it had once controlled in Syria and Iraq.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ash Carter
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: As Secretary of Defense, I devoted a large amount of my time to visiting our troops at bases around the world. These were my favorite trips because they gave me the opportunity to spend time with the most important, dynamic, and inspiring part of the United States Armed Forces: our people In June 2016, I visited Fort Knox on one of these trips, where I met with Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) cadets and observed their training. These were college students training to be commissioned officers. Meeting with them, I felt an overwhelming sense of pride. Any American who had the chance to look these young women and men in the eye would be proud to observe how dedicated, disciplined, talented, and principled they are. And to know what they are doing for all Americans—to protect us and make a better world for our children—makes you even prouder.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jesse Reynolds, Gernot Wagner
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: New technologies, such as social media and do-it-yourself biotechnology, alter the capacities and incentives of both state and nonstate actors. This can include enabling direct decentralized interventions, in turn altering actors’ power relations. The provision of global public goods, widely regarded as states’ domain, so far has eluded such powerful technological disruptions. We here introduce the idea of highly decentralized solar geoengineering, plausibly done in form of small high-altitude balloons. While solar geoengineering has the potential to greatly reduce climate change, it has generally been conceived as centralized and state deployed. Potential highly decentralized deployment moves the activity from the already contested arena of state action to that of environmentally motivated nongovernmental organizations and individuals, which could disrupt international relations and pose novel challenges for technology and environmental policy. We explore its feasibility, political implications, and governance.
  • Topic: Climate Change, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Michael A Mehling
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Parties to the Paris Agreement can engage in voluntary cooperation and use internationally transferred mitigation outcomes towards their national climate pledges. Doing so promises to lower the cost of achieving agreed climate objectives, which can, in turn, allow Parties to increase their mitigation efforts with given resources. Lower costs do not automatically translate into greater climate ambition, however. Transfers that involve questionable mitigation outcomes can effectively increase overall emissions, affirming the need for a sound regulatory framework. As Parties negotiate guidance on the implementation of cooperative approaches under Article 6.2 of the Paris Agreement, they are therefore considering governance options to secure environmental integrity and address the question of overall climate ambition. Drawing on an analytical framework that incorporates economic theory and deliberative jurisprudence, practical case studies, and treaty interpretation, this Working Paper maps central positions of actors in the negotiations and evaluates relevant options included in the latest textual proposal.
  • Topic: Climate Change, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Todd Moss
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: After nearly thirty years of working on and in Zimbabwe, I was hopeful, after the long nightmare of misrule by Robert Mugabe, that the July 2018 election was an opportunity to put the country on a positive track. I had the good fortune of visiting Zimbabwe with a delegation of former US diplomats prior to the election to assess conditions. I came away from that trip deeply pessimistic about the prospects for a free, fair, and credible election, unconvinced that economic reforms were real, and skeptical of the intentions of Emmerson Mnangagwa and the ruling ZANU-PF. It all appeared little more than a poorly-disguised charade.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Michael Clemens, Kate Gough
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The world needs better ways to manage international migration for this century. Those better ways finally have a roadmap: the Global Compact for Migration. Now begins the journey. National governments must lead in order to implement that Compact, and they need tools. One promising tool is Global Skill Partnerships. This brief explains what Global Skill Partnerships are and how to build them, based on related experiences around the world.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Scott Morris
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: First, we should recognize that much of the value of the IFIs for the United States derives from their multilateral character. It greatly oversimplifies things to suggest they are strictly a US tool, available to do our bidding no matter what the issue. The reality is that when we want to get something done in these multilateral institutions, we need to work with other countries. In turn, these institutions are most effective when they have the buy-in of the largest number of their member countries. And when the United States is seeking something from them that doesn’t have broad-based support, it can be a tough road.
  • Topic: Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus