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  • Author: Linda Zhang, Ryan Berg
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) engagement in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) is drawing increased scrutiny from U.S. policymakers. The International Liaison Department of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (ILD) (中共中央对外联络部, zhonggong zhongyang duiwai lianluo bu) is one of the many Chinese organizations active in LAC. Although its footprint is relatively small compared to larger trade and governmental organizations, the ILD’s emphasis on ideology and on long-term relationship building in its engagements is noteworthy and should be monitored more closely within the context of China-Latin America relations.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Affairs, Political Parties, Chinese Communist Party (CCP)
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, Latin America
  • Author: Sungwoo Hong, Yeo Joon Yoon, Jino Kim, Jeewoon Rim, Jimin Nam
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP)
  • Abstract: The conflict between the United States and China may be the issue of most importance as well as interest to the world, prior to COVID-19. This conflict between the two countries is appearing not only in the economic sector, but also in various field such as politics, diplomacy, and military affairs. Such competition between the two countries is likely to escalate further as multilateral systems such as the WTO are threatened and protectionism intensifies in the post-COVID-19 world. Even within Latin America, the competition between the two countries frequently appears in a variety of forms. Conflicts between the United States and China in Latin America tend to occur mainly in the infrastructure sectors. Furthermore, the United States pressured Latin American countries to choose between the United States and China, with the results of this pressure depending on the political orientation of the ruling government. In order to investigate the impact of retaliatory tariffs between the two countries on Latin American countries’ exports and welfare, we employ an event analysis for exports and computational general equilibrium (CGE) model for welfare, with Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and Chile as the subject of our analysis. Based on the outcome of the event study, Brazil’s exports to the United States moderately increased due to the tariff imposition, and such an effect persisted for short term. Its exports to China rose considerably immediately after the tariff imposition, and then the impact tended to decrease over time. By contrast, it is difficult to conclude that the tariff imposition had a statistically significant and lasting effect on the exports of the remaining three countries to the United States and China. As a result of the analysis using the CGE model, meanwhile, the tariffs imposed between the United States and China trivially increased the welfare of Latin American countries.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economy, Tariffs, Exports, Trade, Rivalry
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, South America, Latin America, Korea, United States of America
  • Author: Carlos Monge
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Natural Resource Governance Institute
  • Abstract: Mining companies are asking governments to make consultation and environmental procedures more flexible to mitigate production risks and attract new investments. However, there is no real reason to slacken regulations in order to promote mining in Latin America. Conversely, the region should strengthen these standards to prepare for a possible new mining cycle fueled by the transition to clean energy. In the event of a new mining cycle, governments should safeguard against overreliance on commodity exports and the use of fossil fuels. Instead, governments and companies should explore ways in which the mining sector can contribute to economic diversifications and energy transitions. Demand and prices for minerals produced in the region have fallen as a result of the global recession. Logistical issues resultant from pandemic-related lockdowns have slowed internal production. Consequently, mining taxes and royalties will likely fall this year. Prices have not fallen enough to threaten the commercial feasibility of current projects, the global investment budget remains robust, and the region is attractive to mining investors. Furthermore, the global transition to clean and sustainable energies will most probably increase the demand and prices for the critical minerals (copper, silver, lithium and others) produced in the region.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Commodities, Mining, Coronavirus, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Karolien van Teijlingen, Barbara Hogenboom
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Clingendael Netherlands Institute of International Relations
  • Abstract: COVID-19 struck Latin America in the middle of what was already a tough economic, political and social period. This policy brief looks into the effects of the pandemic on employment and labour rights in the Colombian and Peruvian large-scale mining sectors. Mining has been severely affected by low commodity prices and demand, interrupted supply chains, national lockdowns and the (partial) closure of operations. Companies have tried to cut costs on the back of their labour force, resulting in layoffs, renegotiations and suspension of contracts. Informal economies around mining operations also suffer from the fall in demand for services and goods. The most impacted groups are outsourced workers and workers in the informal economy, the latter being predominantly women. On the long-term, these countries risks a race to the bottom in terms of labour rights. The brief calls upon (Dutch) companies and investors working in the Latin American commodity sectors to put social and economic justice at the centre of their operations.
  • Topic: Labor Issues, Mining, Global Value Chains, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America
  • Author: Alicia Garcia-Herrero, Elina Ribakova
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Bruegel
  • Abstract: COVID-19 is by far the biggest challenge policymakers in emerging economies have had to deal with in recent history. Beyond the potentially large negative impact on these countries’ fiscal accounts, and the related solvency issues, worsening conditions for these countries’ external funding are a major challenge.
  • Topic: Monetary Policy, Regulation, Finance, Economy, Central Bank, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia, Latin America
  • Author: Victória Monteiro da Silva Santos
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: BRICS Policy Center
  • Abstract: By tracing concepts such as truth, justice, reparations, and nonrepeats, as well as models such as the International Commission against Impunity, the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts, and the Truth Commission, the article discusses some of the ways in which a diversity actors sought to address and transform the complex patterns of organized violence that routinely impact various Latin American societies.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Transitional Justice, Justice, Reconciliation , Truth, Reparations
  • Political Geography: Colombia, Latin America, Mexico
  • Author: Ninna Nyberg Sørensen, Cesar Castilla
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Venezuela is facing a deep economic, political, and social crisis, with acute shortages of food, medicine and other basic goods. Over 3.4 million Venezuelans, a tenth of the population, have left the country, presenting Latin America with an unprecedented migration crisis. However, diaspora engagement in humanitarian efforts could also be part of the solution to the crisis. RECOMMENDATIONS ■ The exodus illustrates increasing difficulty distinguishing between voluntary and forced migration. To overcome barriers in accessing protection and social services, migrants and refugees must be granted legal status in receiving countries. ■ The migration crisis is politicized by many actors. Supply routes for vital humanitarian assistance are needed, but historical experiences should warn against the use of military force or other forms of intervention. ■ UN efforts to complement humanitarian help with development assistance to poorer reception areas should be supported. Ways to connect the Venezuelan diaspora to ongoing humanitarian and future development efforts directed at Venezuela should also be pursued.
  • Topic: Migration, United Nations, Economy, Humanitarian Crisis
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America, Venezuela
  • Author: Pepe Zhang
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Four new BRI trends to watch: (i) enforcement of transparency, debt, and environmental safeguards; (ii) growing participation of the private sector; (iii) the role of the advanced economies in BRI; and (iv) new BRI sectors beyond infrastructure Governments and companies in Latin America and the Caribbean should engage and help shape an evolving BRI, mindful of both the opportunities and risks involved The United States can play a key role in setting standards for economic development projects in the region and beyond
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Environment, Financial Markets, Trade
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Susanna B. Hecht
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Environmental Studies, The Graduate Institute (IHEID)
  • Abstract: The dramatic Amazon fires images of Au-gust 2019 triggered a geopolitical outcry. Brazilian President Bolsonaro, however, unflinchingly continues to support his destructive model of Amazonian development. This article recalls the extent of the disaster and delves into the reasons behind such disdain for environmental concerns.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Climate Change, Development, Environment
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Latin America
  • Author: Adriana Erthal Abdenur, Giovanna Kuele, Ariane Francisco
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Igarapé Institute
  • Abstract: There is growing recognition at the UN and among member states that peacekeeping must be made more effective, especially in face of major budget cuts and wavering leadership by traditional actors. Against this backdrop, how can member states improve the quality of pre-deployment and mission preparation for UN peacekeeping? This policy brief focuses on one area in which innovation has become more urgent than ever: enhancing the effectiveness of peacekeeping through better training. More specifically, we analyze the emerging configurations, innovations, and challenges of international cooperation for peacekeeping training centers (PTCs), drawing on the case of Latin America.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, Peace Studies, Regional Cooperation, United Nations, Peacekeeping, Training, Peace
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Maria Elena Rodriguez, Gabriel de Barros Torres
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: BRICS Policy Center
  • Abstract: With the purpose of contributing to expanding transnational investment flows, Brazil signed, in 2015, a series of Cooperation and Investment Facilitation Agreements (CIFAs) with African and Latin American countries. Among its provisions, the CIFAs feature distinctive characteristics in terms of direct (and indirect) expropriation, corporate social responsibility, dispute settlement mechanisms and national treatment clauses – ultimately, aiming to provide greater legal certainty for investors. However, civil society organizations have warned against the potential impact of this new model of investment agreements on the autonomy of states to establish regulations in the public interest. As such, this Quarterly Brief seeks to analyze similarities and differences between the new Brazilian CIFAs and traditional bilateral investment agreements – as well as to evaluate them in light of alternative frameworks, elaborated by civil society networks, aimed at balancing investment promotion with human and environmental rights protection.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Environment, Treaties and Agreements, Regulation, Social Justice, Land Rights, Public Health
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Latin America
  • Author: Marcelo López de Aragón
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Council on International Policy (CIP)
  • Abstract: The name Odebrecht has become irremediably tied to one of the largest corruption scandals in Latin American history. In the midst of the ongoing scandal is the man bearing the company’s name, one of Brazil’s richest men, Marcelo Odebrecht; a 48-year- old executive, who went from managing one of the world's largest construction firms to having several high-ranking government officials in Latin America look on nervously as the Brazilian construction tycoon confesses and provides details on an unparalleled and sophisticated bribery and bid-rigging scheme to Brazilian judicial authorities and to US courts.
  • Topic: Corruption, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Eric Miller
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: With a majority government and a different world view than his predecessor, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is re-making Canada’s foreign policy priorities and approaches. This paper offers some suggested approaches for engagement with Latin America. In the area of trade, the paper recommends seeking associate membership in the Pacific Alliance while continuing to strengthen linkages with Mexico within the North American commercial policy framework. It also suggests exploring the scope of what is possible with countries with which Canada does not have free trade agreements, especially Brazil and Ecuador. On the security front, the paper suggests that Canada needs a strategy for the Colombian peace process and to step up support to Mexico in strengthening the integrity of the southern border of North America. With regards to foreign policy, Canada needs a serious strategy for the new Cuba and needs to expand its diplomatic representation, namely in Paraguay and Bolivia. Finally, on the institution-building front Canada needs to secure senior positions at the Inter-American Development Bank and Organization of American States in order to help to drive institutional reform. Canada further needs a coherent strategy to attract in-bound foreign investment from Latin America. The region is rich with possibilities and a coherent engagement strategy can deliver much.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Canada, Latin America
  • Author: Julia Palmiano Federer, Rachel Gasser
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: BRICS Policy Center
  • Abstract: In this policy brief, Julia Palmiano Federer and Rachel Gasser explore the nexus between international peace mediation and gender. The publication focuses on the state of play of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda almost two decades since the passing of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 in October 2000. The WPS Agenda has become a powerful and salient normative instrument in the mediation field and most comprehensively represents the nexus between gender and mediation. Since 2000, it has produced large scale efforts to address existing inequalities between women and men as agents for change in peacemaking activities. While these efforts are embraced by mediators per se, addressing these inequalities in practice has achieved mixed results and can be subject of debate between those doing mediation and those supporting mediation from a distance. This policy brief does not advocate for either a normative or pragmatic approach to integrating mediation and gender, but instead aims to illuminate key conceptual debates and practical realities in the ground in different peace processes around the world. It also illustrates the specific opportunities and challenges faced by national governments in implementing the WPS Agenda at the national policy level through National Action Plans. The policy brief concludes with suggested research agendas and questions for debate and discussion.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, Gender Issues, Peace Studies, United Nations, Peacekeeping, Transitional Justice
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: René Castro
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: In 2014, world per capita greenhouse gas emissions, expressed in carbon dioxide equivalent terms (CO2e), exceeded 7 tons. Per capita emissions for Latin America and the Caribbean were even higher, at 9 tons CO2e. To achieve international goals for the stabilization of atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is calling for annual emissions to fall to 2 tons per capita by the year 2050 and 1 ton per capita by the year 2100. It is clear that we face a moral problem: everyone needs to, and can contribute to, the fight against climate change (Pope Francis, 2015). Improvements in eco-efficiency—defined as a combination of reducing waste and reducing the use of raw inputs—offer one strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions while also lowering production costs. In addition, changes in culture—at the level of individual businesses, countries, or both—can enhance the eco-competitive position of these businesses and countries. This paper describes three examples from Costa Rica and shows how the goal of achieving carbon neutrality can provide incentives for improving eco-efficiency and eco-competitiveness.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Industrial Policy, International Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements, Governance
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Jose De Gregorio
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Latin America's recent economic performance has been disappointing. After a very strong recovery from the Great Recession, growth has slowed considerably, and prospects for 2015 are dim. Among the seven largest economies in the region, output is expected to contract in Argentina, Brazil, and Venezuela, and Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru are projected to grow by only about 3 percent. The decline was not caused by external factors but was mostly cyclical in nature and a result of low productivity. Although monetary and fiscal policies may still have a role in supporting demand in some instances, the main problem in the region is not a lack of demand but low productivity growth. Efforts must be made to foster productivity. Institutional weakness must be addressed and inequality reduced if sustainable high growth is to resume.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Monica de Bolle
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Public lending by the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) may have done more harm than good in Brazil, adversely affecting real interest rates and productivity growth. Specifically, BNDES's large amounts of subsidized lending are responsible for substantial credit market segmentation, choking off monetary policy transmission. As a result, to maintain price stability the Central Bank of Brazil is forced to raise interest rates more than it might do otherwise in the absence of BNDES lending. Restoring Brazil's capacity to grow in the medium term requires a thorough rethinking of the role of BNDES. In particular, the bank's lending rates should be aligned with market prices, term and risk premia, while taking into account that, with an adequate transparency framework, public development banks can increase private sector participation instead of crowding it out.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Latin America
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The second CIGI Graduate Fellows policy brief examines Brazil's success in ensuring access to essential pharmaceuticals for its citizens, and how this success can be leveraged for other developing countries in similar circumstances. Five unique factors underlie this success, including, among others, a sustained government commitment to public health systems and an indigenous capacity to produce pharmaceuticals domestically, the emergence of a civil society coalition built around the norm of health equity, and the international harmonization of quality assurance and clinical standards related to pharmaceutical research and development. While it is unlikely that other developing countries lacking indigenous manufacturing capacity can achieve similar results in the near to medium-term future, it is instead recommended that private foundations and large bilateral aid country providers invest in a global funding mechanism. This fund would use pre-existing, innovative financing mechanisms to scale up production in the handful of developing countries that have achieved near self-sufficiency in pharmaceutical production, for the benefit of populations beyond their borders.
  • Topic: Health Care Policy
  • Political Geography: Brazil, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Roberto Alvarez, José De Gregorio
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Latin American performance during the global financial crisis was unprecedented. Many developing and emerging countries successfully weathered the worst crisis since the Great Depression. Was it good luck? Was it good policies? In this paper we compare growth during the Asian and global financial crises and find that a looser monetary policy played an important role in mitigating crisis. We also find that higher private credit, more financial openness, less trade openness, and greater exchange rate intervention worsened economic performance. Our analysis of Latin American countries confirms that effective macroeconomic management was key to good economic performance. Finally, we present evidence from a sample of 31 emerging markets that high terms of trade had a positive impact on resilience.
  • Topic: Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Asia, Latin America
  • Author: Roger F. Noriega
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: El Salvador will choose a new president in a runoff election on March 9. The nation's decision may prove critical to Salvadoran democracy and regional security, in light of substantial evidence linking the ruling party candidate to narcotraffickers, terrorist groups, and violent street gangs. Moreover, foreign interference in the form of billions of dollars in Venezuelan oil revenues has given the ruling party an advantage, despite the fact that its economic policies have increased poverty and stunted economic growth.
  • Topic: Corruption, Crime, Democratization, Narcotics Trafficking
  • Political Geography: Latin America