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  • Author: Emily Taylor
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The Internet enables the free flow of information on an unprecedented scale but to an increasing extent the management of individuals’ fundamental rights, such as privacy and the mediation of free expression, is being left in the hands of private actors. The popularity of a few web platforms across the globe confers on the providers both great power and heavy responsibilities. Free-to-use web platforms are founded on the sale of user data, and the standard terms give providers rights to intrude on every aspect of a user’s online life, while giving users the Hobson’s choice of either agreeing to those terms or not using the platform (the illusion of consent). Meanwhile, the same companies are steadily assuming responsibility for monitoring and censoring harmful content, either as a self-regulatory response to prevent conflicts with national regulatory environments, or to address inaction by states, which bear primary duty for upholding human rights. There is an underlying tension for those companies between self-regulation, on the one hand, and being held accountable for rights violations by states, on the other hand. The incongruity of this position might explain the secrecy surrounding the human systems that companies have developed to monitor content (the illusion of automation). Psychological experiments and opaque algorithms for defining what search results or friends’ updates users see highlight the power of today’s providers over their publics (the illusion of neutrality). Solutions could include provision of paid alternatives, more sophisticated definition and handling of different types of data — public, private, ephemeral, lasting — and the cooperation of all stakeholders in arriving at realistic and robust processes for content moderation that comply with the rule of law.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Human Rights, Human Welfare, Science and Technology, Governance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Nigel Shadbolt, Wendy Hall, Keiron O'Hara
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: In May 2014, the world of privacy regulation, data handling and the World Wide Web changed dramatically as a result of judgment C-131/12 in the CJEU. The so-called Google Spain decision confirmed that EU data protection legislation gives data subjects the right to request search engines to de-index webpages that appear in the search results on their names. The search engine is not obliged to agree to such requests — certain conditions have to be met and tests applied — but it is not free simply to ignore them. The decision drew on the 1995 DPD2 and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, and is consistent with a general direction toward more aggressive protection of privacy rights in Europe, as evidenced by the annulment of the Data Retention Directive, also in 2014 (CJEU 2014). Nevertheless, despite these antecedents, it has been seen as a major step in establishing a right to be forgotten.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Communications, Mass Media, Global Markets, Information Age, Digital Economy, Privacy
  • Political Geography: United States, Global Focus
  • Author: Bertrand de la Chapelle, Paul Fehlinger
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The past 20 years have witnessed a profound change in the types of non-resident investors who provide funding to emerging market economies (EMEs) and the financial instruments through which emerging market (EM) corporations borrow from abroad. Until the beginning of the new millennium, private capital flows to EMEs were mainly intermediated by large global banks, and EMEs were subjected to massive volatility in their external payments balances, exchange rates and domestic financial systems. But since the early 2000s the role of bank-intermediated credit has declined, as the base of investors willing to take on exposure to EM corporate debt has become much larger and more diverse. These structural changes have encouraged a vast growth in flows of funds, not only from the mature economies to EMEs as a group, but also among EMEs themselves.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Richard E. Hoagland
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Central Asia is strategically important to the West because of its neighbors, but not immediately, because it is not a “hot spot” on the world stage. Western governments are ambivalent about the region because of its poor record on human rights and governance. It presents the classic choice: ideology or realpolitik. But Western policy in Central Asia does not have to be one or the other — it can be both. Western nations can engage strongly to support humanist values in Central Asia through quiet and appropriate behind-the-scenes work with government officials who understand and have similar concerns — and they most certainly do exist and can produce results. Western governments need to engage in Central Asia precisely to ensure that it does not become a hot spot and instead becomes, over time, ever more firmly embedded in the community of responsible nations. Strategic engagement by the West is essential, and it will pay off.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Human Welfare, Politics, Governance
  • Political Geography: Central Asia
  • Author: Jacques Bertrand, Jessica Doedirgo
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Although the January 2016 Sarinah mall attacks in Jakarta demonstrate the need for continued vigilance, this paper argues that Islamic extremism and fundamentalism are not on the rise in Indonesia. In fact, Islamic extremism in Indonesia reached its height in the early 2000s, with radicalized groups participating in religious conflicts in Eastern Indonesia and carrying out large-scale terrorist attacks, such as the bombings in Bali in 2002. Since then, the capacity of the security apparatus has markedly improved, leading to the crippling of terrorist networks. Today, the majority of Islamists engage in above-ground non-violent activities and pose little threat to the country’s stability. This paper views fundamentalism and extremism as symptoms of broader problems in Indonesia, and argues that addressing these issues should help to further reduce the problems of religious fundamentalism and extremism.
  • Topic: Security, Political Violence, Islam, Terrorism, Sectarian violence, Violent Extremism
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Bali
  • Author: Jeff Rubin
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Alberta premier Rachel Notley have both argued that improving Canada’s emissions record will safeguard the future development of the oil sands. The perspective offers little recognition of the current problems facing the country’s largest energy resource, and even less recognition of the problems that the oil sands will encounter as a result of actions taken by other countries to limit their own carbon emissions as pledged recently at the twenty-first session of the Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). As climate change compels deep decarbonization of the global economy, emission restrictions around the world will destroy demand for billions of barrels of oil over the coming decades, severely impairing the economic viability of high-cost producers.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, International Trade and Finance, Oil, United Nations, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Canada
  • Author: Patricia Goff
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is noteworthy for the expanded role that Canadian provinces and territories played in the negotiation. In this particular instance, these sub-federal actors had a seat at the negotiating table at the request of their European Union partners. However, this paper argues that CETA is exceptional in this regard. Despite the fact that regional trade agreements increasingly contain provisions that relate to areas of provincial and territorial jurisdiction, each trade negotiation is distinct. The CETA experience should not create the expectation that provinces and territories will always participate in the same capacity. Any enhanced role will depend on the federal government’s strategic assessment of any specific trade negotiation.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Markets, Political Economy, Treaties and Agreements, Regulation
  • Political Geography: Canada, European Union
  • Author: John Whalley, Daqing Yao
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The effects of the termination of the Multifibre Arrangement (MFA) on the trade of clothing and textiles are assessed in this paper, based on world trade date and US trade data. The findings from the data analyzed indicate that the effects of the termination of the MFA on the clothing trade was more significant for clothing than for the textiles trade. With the end of the MFA, the freer trade in these sectors shed light on other sectors that are still protected under trade agreements.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Markets, Treaties and Agreements, Regulation
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: James M. Boughton
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has 188 member countries. The United Nations has 193. The difference is not economically or politically trivial. Although none of the members missing from the IMF is a large country, two of the five are potentially important in their regions: Cuba and North Korea. What would it take to complete the process to have both countries included as IMF member countries? What are the obstacles to becoming members, and how can they be overcome? For three years, 1997 to 2000, tentative moves toward membership for North Korea were encouraged by South Korea and were tolerated by most Western powers. The détente did not last, but the episode offers a model for a resumption of progress if conditions improve. Notably, the IMF could provide technical assistance and training, collect economic data and provide information on its membership requirements and obligations. Cuban membership faces additional hurdles because of US laws that were targeted specifically at the government of Fidel Castro. Moreover, to this date, neither country has applied to join the IMF. Because every other country in the world, aside from the very smallest and those not generally recognized as states, has joined the IMF, it is virtually certain that Cuba will apply eventually, as will North Korea, unless that prospect is preempted by reunification of the Korean Peninsula. When they do apply, a concerted political commitment will be needed to overcome the remaining technical obstacles.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy, United Nations, International Monetary Fund
  • Political Geography: North Korea, Cuba
  • Author: Wendy Dobson
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: This paper reviews Indonesia’s economic prospects and what these imply for a closer relationship with Canada. By posing the question “Is Indonesia the next China?,” the author suggests that Indonesia has the considerable economic potential envisaged by foreign investors, but conveys uncertainty as to whether Southeast Asia’s most populous country can make the changes necessary to realize that potential. A review of the economic record and comparison of China’s and Indonesia’s economic structures, endowments and institutions show major differences between the two countries. The paper further questions what it will take to realize Indonesia’s potential, finding the answers to be: human capital development; increased participation in the region’s global value chains; meeting the growing middle-class demand for modern services; raising productivity in agriculture and fishing; and increasing use of the Internet. Failure to make these changes will increase the chances of Indonesia’s growth in per capita incomes slowing and falling into the middle-income trap. Canada’s role will be to monitor closely how Indonesia tackles its five priorities at the same time as it responds to the opportunities to exploit Indonesia’s abundant natural resources, urbanization and its expanding consumer demand for modern services and educational opportunities.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Human Welfare, International Trade and Finance, Natural Resources, Regulation
  • Political Geography: China, Indonesia