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  • Author: Susanne Droge, Thomas Spencer, Alexandra Deprez, Liz Gallagher, Artur Gradziuk, Andrei Marcu, Sebastian Oberthur
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Prior to the Paris Climate Conference each country is to submit an Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) – a vision of the country’s efforts to tackle climate change. The EU’s submission is very clear in its goal to reduce greenhouse gases emissions by 40% by 2030, but it leaves room for defining precisely how the Union plans to achieve this target. The European INDC also lacks specifics on the adaptation and climate finance, thus putting at risk the EU’s ability to build a more ambitious coalition in support of the Paris Agreement. Also important for the Union is to hammer out plans for adjusting its domestic policy processes to regular five-year review cycles.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Treaties and Agreements, Budget, European Union
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Filippos Proedrou
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP)
  • Abstract: Mainstream discourse on energy security is premised upon the assumption of infinite growth. It hence focuses upon the economic, political, and security aspects of energy security. Consequently, it fails to provide satisfactory answers to the global environmental, energy, economic, geopolitical, and developmental challenges. An alternative paradigm is for this reason in demand. Ecological economics makes a strong case for disentangling prosperity from growth and studies how a substantial retreat of energy consumption is not only feasible, but will also efficiently address the sustainability challenge and enhance overall energy security. It also suggests how it can alleviate geopolitical and developmental tensions. Ultimately, the paper poses the fundamental question of how valid our assumptions are to lead us into a better, and sustainable, future.
  • Topic: Development, Energy Policy, Sustainable Development Goals
  • Political Geography: Europe, Global Focus
  • Author: Aspen Institute
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: In this brief, we use data from the Entrepreneurship Acceleration Research Initiative in order to respond to the following question by Steve Cumming of the MasterCard Foundation about Youth Entrepreneurship “At The MasterCard Foundation, we have a portfolio of youth entrepreneurship projects that we support in Sub Saharan Africa. We’re always looking for data to better understand the space and to inform our programming. I’m wondering if you could share any data by ages 18-24 and 25-30, and by African country or region if possible. Do you see anything interesting under these parameters?”
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Christopher D. Yung, Patrick McNulty
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: China, Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Brunei have used a wide variety of tactics to protect and advance their maritime territorial claims in the South China Sea. China is the most active user of the nine categories of tactics identified in this paper, with the exception of legal actions, and accounts for more than half of all military and paramilitary actions since 1995. Empirical data support the argument that the 2011 U.S. rebalance to Asia did not spur disruptive behavior in the South China Sea. China became more active in protecting and advancing its claims around 2009, before the rebalance was announced. The unclassified database used in this analysis undercounts military and paramilitary actions, but captures enough activity to provide a representative sample. A classified version that captures more activity would improve the potential to develop the database into an Indications and Warning tool to assist in monitoring and managing tensions in the South China Sea.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Walter L. Christman, Frank C. DiGiovanni, Linton Wells II
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Dealing effectively with contemporary security challenges requires prepared coalitions of partners that are able to operate together. The Global Knowledge Networking (GKN) initiative supports local decisionmaking and makes knowledge actionable. Its core is the “composable organization,” where people, ideas, processes, and technology can be brought together as needed. The GKN supports initiatives from NATO’s Wales Summit, focused especially on interoperability and capacity-building. A proposed Gulf Knowledge Center test bed also would support recent decisions by a Gulf Cooperation Council Summit concerning military command and education. Building new learning tools with coalition partners can improve common understanding and shared procedures. This vision is a key part of the next generation of training and readiness capability, led by the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel & Readiness). The GKN initiative could be adapted for regions beyond the Gulf.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Conor Sullivan, Schuyler Standley, James M Keagle
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: In the aftermath of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit in Wales in September 2014, the Obama administration pledged $1 billion to assist Allies on the eastern front. This was in response to Russian initiatives and our Allies’ requests for increased U.S. presence. A potential response could be the introduction of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities around the Black Sea. Given the increasing concern over the strategic importance and therefore vulnerability of the areas bordering the Black Sea, such as Odessa, Transnistria, and the Danube Delta, this asymmetric response from the United States not only would add a less escalatory pressure on Russian interests in the area but also could alleviate some of the concerns of some NATO members.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Samuel Bendett
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Further integration along with a shared forum for common procedures, roadblocks, and solution sets will help inform and address public-private, public-public (P4) functional stovepiping and specialized P4 success in the Department of Defense (DOD). There is a need for formal capture of enterprise-wide best practices and lessons observed. DOD personnel have significant training and competency in their specific career field, but there appears to be a need to either integrate or identify P4 subspecialties to develop P4 through the ranks. Cross-Service collaboration and interagency planning, tiger-teaming, and convening non-DOD stakeholders with DOD counterparts will support P4s both at a project level and an enterprise level.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Saskia Sassen
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Course Pack
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: What determines the flow of labor and capital in this new global information economy? Who has the capacity to coordinate this new system, to create some measure of order? What happens to territoriality and sovereignty, two fundamental principles of the modern state? And who gains rights and who loses rights? Losing Control? examines the rise of private transnational legal codes and supranational institutions, such as the World Trade Organization and universal human rights covenants, and shows that though sovereignty remains an important feature of the international system, it is no longer confined to the nation-state. Other actors gain rights and a kind of sovereignty by setting some of the rules that used to be within the exclusive domain of states. Saskia Sassen tracks the emergence and the making of the transformations that mark our world today, among which is the partial denationalizing of national territory. Two arenas in particular stand out in the new spatial and economic order by their capacity to set their own rules: the global capital market and the series of codes and institutions that have mushroomed into an international human rights regime. As Sassen shows, these two quasi-legal realms now have the power and legitimacy to demand action and accountability from national governments, with the ironic twist that both depend upon the state to enforce their goals. From the economic policy shifts forced by the Mexico debt crisis to the recurring battles over immigration and refugees around the world, Losing Control? incisively analyzes the events that have radically altered the landscape of governance in an era of increasing globalization.
  • Topic: Debt, Globalization, International Political Economy, Sovereignty, World Trade Organization, Labor Issues, Governance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231106092
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN
  • Author: Rachel Silverman, Mead Over, Sebastian Bauhoff
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Founded in 2002, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (the Global Fund) is one of the world’s largest multilateral health funders, disbursing $3–$4 billion a year across 100-plus countries. Many of these countries rely on Global Fund monies to finance their respective disease responses—and for their citizens, the efficient and effective use of Global Fund monies can be the difference between life and death. Many researchers and policymakers have hypothesized that models tying grant payments to achieved and verified results—referred to in this report as next generation financing models—offer an opportunity for the Global Fund to push forward its strategic interests and accelerate the impact of its investments. Free from year-to-year disbursement pressure (like government agencies) and rigid allocation policies (like the World Bank’s International Development Association), the Global Fund is also uniquely equipped to push forward innovative financing models. But despite interest, the how of new grant designs remains a challenge. Realizing their potential requires technical know-how and careful, strategic decisionmaking that responds to specific country and epidemiological contexts—all with little evidence or experience to guide the way. This report thus addresses the how of next generation financing models—that is, the concrete steps needed to change the basis of payment from expenses to something else: outputs, outcomes, or impact. For example, when and why is changing the basis of payment a good idea? What are the right indicators and results to purchase from grantees? How much and how should grantees be remunerated for their achievements? How can the Global Fund verify that the basis of payment is sound—that the reported results are accurate and reliable and represent real progress against disease control goals? And what is needed to protect communities against coercion or other human rights abuses, ensuring that these new incentives do not drive unintended consequences?
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Most money and responsibility for health in large federal countries like India rests with subnational governments — states, provinces, districts, and municipalities. The policies and spending at the subnational level affect the pace, scale, and equity of health improvements in countries that account for much of the world’s disease burden: India, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Pakistan. Fiscal transfers between levels of government can — but do not always — play an important role in turning money into outcomes at the subnational level. Well designed, transfers can help put states on a level financial playing field by equalizing spending across states and adjusting allocations for the health risks of each state’s population. Transfers can increase accountability and create incentives for greater spending or effectiveness in service delivery. But transfers are rarely designed with attention to their desired outcomes. To get to better outcomes, international experience suggests that transfers need to be reexamined and reformed along three dimensions. First, central government’s allocation of national revenues to subnational governments should respond to needs and population size. Second, transfers should generate incentives to improve subnational governments’ spending quality and performance on outcomes. Third, independent systems to monitor, evaluate, and provide feedback data on subnational performance can generate greater accountability to the central government, parliaments, and legislatures as well as to citizens. These insights are seemingly simple and suggestive, but each country starts from its own unique history that requires careful technical analysis and political savvy to define reforms with genuine potential to improve health.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Financial Markets
  • Political Geography: Global Focus