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  • Author: Kelly Case, Sahana Dharmapuri, Hans Hogrefe, Miki Jacevic, Jolynn Shoemaker, Moira Whelan, Erin Cooper
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Our Secure Future
  • Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic does not respect borders or power. Armies, weapons, and fortifications will not destroy it. COVID-19 is a national security threat of a different kind. It has killed tens of thousands of Americans so far and has resulted in the complete shutdown of the American economy in just a few months. The United States and countries around the world need to reexamine what it takes for people to be safe. Policymakers can look to the Women, Peace and Security agenda (WPS) for guidance and urgently needed solutions. Policymakers have primarily focused on the Women, Peace and Security agenda exclusively in the foreign policy arena. It has important application for domestic policy as well, especially for achieving policy goals that link to security and prosperity for American families and communities.
  • Topic: Security, Women, Peace, WPS
  • Political Geography: United States, Global Focus
  • Author: Laurie Zephyrin, Molly FitzGerald, Munira Z. Gunja, Roosa Tikkanen
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Commonwealth Fund
  • Abstract: The U.S. has the highest maternal mortality rate among developed countries. Obstetrician-gynecologists (ob-gyns) are overrepresented in its maternity care workforce relative to midwives, and there is an overall shortage of maternity care providers (both ob-gyns and midwives) relative to births. In most other countries, midwives outnumber ob-gyns by severalfold, and primary care plays a central role in the health system. Although a large share of its maternal deaths occur postbirth, the U.S. is the only country not to guarantee access to provider home visits or paid parental leave in the postpartum period.
  • Topic: Health, Health Care Policy, Women, Reproductive Health
  • Political Geography: United States, Global Focus
  • Author: Kathleen Newland
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Migration Policy Institute (MPI)
  • Abstract: The toolbox of international migration governance has few instruments for dealing with the migration-related challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Most international agreements on migration are designed to aid people on the move and to assist states in dealing with this movement, voluntary or forced. Yet the pandemic is a disaster characterized more by immobility than movement. While some migrants have been sent back to their origin countries or compelled to return due to job losses, many others have been stranded in destination countries by border closures and travel restrictions, and some would-be migrants have been unable to move abroad as intended. The most recent addition to the migration governance toolbox—the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration—does, however, offer states useful guidance. As this policy brief discusses, the objectives outlined in the compact include some that have gained added, real-time urgency during the pandemic and others that will be essential as states work to restart international migration safely. This brief also considers how the pandemic and its economic fallout have affected the relationship between migration and development, including in terms of its impacts on migrant workers and remittances. With remittances predicted to drop by at least 20 percent globally in 2020 compared to 2019, the effects on remittance-dependent countries will be particularly severe. This may spread the pandemic-induced economic pain even to places that have been relatively less affected by the virus itself. Looking ahead, this brief considers how greater cooperation between states and with multilateral agencies, civil-society organizations, the private sector, and philanthropies can assist in the immediate pandemic response, as well as in efforts to rebuild lost livelihoods and, eventually, reopen legal migration channels.
  • Topic: Migration, Governance, Employment, COVID-19, Labor Market
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Lena Kainz, Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan, Kathleen Newland
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Migration Policy Institute (MPI)
  • Abstract: The world has changed dramatically since the international community came together in December 2018 to adopt the Global Compact on Refugees and the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration. Two years on, national governments and UN agencies are working to implement the compacts in an environment of new and intensifying challenges, including those associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and the increasingly severe impacts of climate change. Given the significant political energy invested in the compacts, there is immense pressure to turn the commitments made on paper into reality, challenges or not. And while the migration landscape continues to change, the movement of people across borders remains at the heart of many pressing issues, including public health, economic recovery, and social inequality. This policy brief examines how implementation of the two compacts has played out thus far, highlighting areas in which the pacts have lived up to or fallen short of expectations. It also identifies sticking points and opportunities at the intersection of the compacts that merit greater attention. To do so, the brief draws on interviews with government officials and UN agency representatives in Europe, Africa, and the Americas, as well as an in-depth review of countries’ implementation plans and progress updates.
  • Topic: Climate Change, International Cooperation, Migration, Governance, Immigrants, Coronavirus, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Blaise Wilfert
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Robert Schuman Foundation (RSF)
  • Abstract: While the Covid-19 pandemic is unfolding in all its violence, "globalisation", to read more than one, is said to be the great culprit for what is happening to us, whether it has been the lightning speed of the virus' spread, the impotence of States to stop its progression, the inability of "capitalism" to produce medical equipment or the madness of stock market speculation. The logical consequence of this has been the repeated call, with some pathos, urgently to invent the time “after”, after the follies of globalisation. The magnitude of the shock that Covid-19 represents provides an ideal sounding board to replay a tune that is in fact an old one, familiar to us since the 1990s at least, or even the 1980s, but with an incomparable and therefore particularly disturbing echo. Defined both as liberalization - the triumph of the borderless market economy - and as planetarisation - the unification of the planet through flows of all kinds, information, migrants, ideas and representations, tourists, religious practices - globalisation is said to have become a form of disease fatal to the world. Hence to deglobalise[ 1]. Yet, it has to be said again, more than twenty years after Paul Krugman, globalisation is not to blame, and those who currently claim the opposite, with a communicative passion, pretending to draw conclusions from a lucid analysis of the recent past, rely on biased historical narratives to impose a political agenda, whether explicit or implicit. So, let a historian try to say a word about it, since understanding the times we are in requires understanding the times from whence we have come.
  • Topic: Globalization, Markets, Coronavirus, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Gérard Pogorel, Augusto Preta
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Robert Schuman Foundation (RSF)
  • Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic is tragically affecting our societies worldwide. As we are forced under these extraordinary circumstances to spend more time indoors, severely limiting our movements and journeys, telecommunications networks, communications services and the media are standing in to play a major role in economic and social resilience. They are providing the required tools for a transformed virtual workplace; making entertainment at home possible, at a time when theatres, and sports venues are at a standstill. More than ever before, the transformative nature of digital innovation in the media and telecommunications industries is moving along with the way we are living and working today.
  • Topic: International Relations, Communications, Media, Transatlantic Relations, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Europe, Global Focus
  • Author: Erik van der Marel
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE)
  • Abstract: Globalization isn’t in decline; it is simply changing. Although the COVID-19 crisis has seen a dramatic decline in goods trade, investments and the movement of people, a new type of globalization is emerging. This “new globalization” is based on digital services, research and development, data, ideas, and other intangibles. This development has been going on for a while and has evolved more rapidly after the previous global financial crisis (GFC) in 2008-9. For instance, the GFC caused digital services trade to significantly “de-link” from goods-related services trade. This pattern illustrates that the COVID-19 crisis will likely mark another break in trade patterns and that future growth in globalization will depend crucially on digital trade and cross-border exchange in intangibles.
  • Topic: Globalization, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Digital Economy, R&D, Data, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jean-Jacques Hallaert
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE)
  • Abstract: China’s rise and the U.S. response to the perceived threat it represents to its predominance jeopardize the world order and affect international institutions. The paralysis of the WTO and the U.S. withdrawal from the WHO are the most visible examples, but not the only ones. This article presents the case of the International Monetary Fund. Quotas are the cornerstone of IMF governance. They determine each member’s contribution to the institution’s resources and their voting power. As the world evolves, the quota distribution needs to be adjusted. Adjustments in quota shares and thus voting powers have always been politically difficult. However, they were possible. In the early 1990s, members agreed to an increase in the representation of Japan. In the 2000s, they agreed to increase substantially the voting power of emerging economies. In contrast, the 15th General Review of Quotas concluded early 2020, failed to increase and realign quotas. The proximate cause for this was the opposition of the United States to a change in quotas. This paper argues that the U.S. decision was in large part motivated to prevent an increased influence of China. The failure to increase and realign voting powers may have long-lasting consequences. In the absence of a quota increase, the IMF will need to continue to rely on borrowed resources to avoid a drop in its lending capacity. This extension of the “temporary” recourse to borrowed resources undermines the governance of the Fund as voting powers (which are not linked to borrowed resources but only to quotas) are disconnected from member’s total contributions to the Fund and to their economic weight. This may trigger a new legitimacy crisis and provide incentives for countries like China to support the development of new and competing institutions which would better represent their interests and economic weight. Such a development would undermine the complex and fragile international financial architecture.
  • Topic: International Organization, International Political Economy, Governance, IMF, WTO
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Global Focus