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  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Global Philanthropy Project (GPP)
  • Abstract: As COVID-19 spread across the globe in 2020, and its health and broader political and socioeconomic implications became evident, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI)2 communities organized. To meet new challenges, LGBTI organizations across the world stepped up, aware that legal and social discrimination and marginalization would make their communities particularly vulnerable to impacts of the pandemic. LGBTI community response included: delivering essential food to communities of unemployed trans men in rural Guatemala; providing housing for LGBTI communities escaping unsafe living environments in Macedonia; ensuring that lesbian, bisexual, and queer female sex workers have access to essential medicines in Uganda; and other examples in communities around the world. As governments, donors, and service providers have largely failed to acknowledge the specific needs of LGBTI people in responding to COVID-19, LGBTI organizations have filled the void to provide basic protection and support for their communities. Many of these organizations have traditionally focused on advocacy and community organizing to advance and protect the human rights of LGBTI people. Now, in the era of COVID-19, they have become direct service providers, out of necessity—albeit with limited resources and capacity. In April 2020, the Global Philanthropy Project launched a short survey to understand the initial response of global LGBTI philanthropy to the pandemic, soliciting data from all GPP member organizations as well as non-GPP members within the top 20 funders of global LGBTI issues. A key outcome from that report was an identified role for GPP to monitor shifts in resources flowing to LGBTI movements and communities, as well as the broader impact of COVID-19 on international development and humanitarian assistance funding.
  • Topic: Health, Discrimination, LGBT+, Advocacy, Community, Marginalization
  • Political Geography: Global Focus, Global South
  • Author: Hirofumi Tosaki
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: The implications of emerging technologies have been an important issue in the debate on nuclear posture and deterrence relationship. Although the concrete objectives, concepts, plans and states of development of the nuclear-armed states regarding the introduction of emerging technologies into their nuclear weapons systems are not necessarily clear, a particular focus of discussion has been the potential impacts of introducing artificial intelligence (AI), quantum technology and other emerging technologies into intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and nuclear command, control and communications (NC3). With regard to ISR for early warning, threat detection, situational awareness and attack/damage assessment, the development of remote sensing technology through quantum sensing, for instance, could improve the ability to detect an adversary's offensive capabilities, and increase the possibility of addressing them before they are used. The use of cloud computing, ultrahigh-speed high-capacity data communications and AI is expected to enable the efficient collection and prompt analysis of vast amounts of information.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Nuclear Power, Deterrence, Artificial Intelligence, Destabilization
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Hideyuki Mori
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: Broadly speaking, the COVID-19 crisis has been sparked by a combination of two factors. The first is the threat of zoonoses faced in common by humans and other vertebrate animals, and once again it has become clear that the capture and sale of wild animals can produce crises such as this. The second factor is the overall acceleration in the movement of people and goods across national borders that is characteristic of globalization. The first factor enabled transmission of the COVID-19 virus from animals to humans, while the second caused these infections to spread worldwide to a pandemic level.
  • Topic: Environment, Sustainability, COVID-19, Air Pollution
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Norichika Kanie
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: In modern society, every issue is connected to another. As suggested in the proverb "When the wind blows, the bucket maker gains", various self-differentiated issues actually interrelate and influence each other in today's world, where globalization has made considerable progress and the Internet infrastructure has become widespred and continues to evolve. These issues can be broadly divided into three types: economic, social and environmental. At first glance, economic, social and environmental issues appear to be independent issues, but in fact they are deeply and strongly related. If you buy and drink bottled water from a vending machine to cope with "life-threatening" heat, for instance, you can rehydrate yourself as an immediate necessary measure against climate change. But, if the water bottle is a petroleum product, incinerating it as garbage also promotes climate change. If we turn on air conditioning, we may be able to escape the mortal danger posed by climate change. However, as long as the electricity is produced by coal-fired power plants, using it will also contribute to climate change.
  • Topic: Environment, Governance, Economy, Sustainable Development Goals, Society
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Sachiko Ishikawa
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: With the COVID-19 pandemic threatening the lives and livelihoods of all people on Earth, UN Secretary-General Guterres from the outset has called for more international solidarity and cooperation than ever to respond to the coronavirus. Today, after a quarter of a century since the concept of human security was first brought to the world by the UNDP in 1994, the pandemic struck just as the importance of reconsidering its value and implementation in light of changes within the international community was being debated. In 2020, discussions about rethinking the concept and practice of human security in the context of the coronavirus pandemic increased, especially among academic societies and aid workers in Japan.
  • Topic: Recovery, Human Security, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Japan, Global Focus
  • Author: Kyoko Kuwahara
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: An open democratic society is one that allows its members to access information from both inside and outside the country presenting a diversity of viewpoints, to freely express their own thoughts, and to involve themselves in free and fair national governance. The role of the media has traditionally been emphasized with regard to accessing information. Traditional media play an important role in shaping public opinion and in providing information that enables members of the public to participate actively and effectively in a democratic society (see Figure 1). Freedom of the press1 as guaranteed by Article 21 of the Constitution of Japan is also one of the core values of democracy.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Science and Technology, Media, Disinformation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: Laura Nowzohour
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Environmental Studies, The Graduate Institute (IHEID)
  • Abstract: Adjustment costs are a central bottleneck of the real-world economic transition essential for achieving the sizeable reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions set out by policy makers. Could these costs derail the transition process to green growth, and if so, how should policy makers take this into account? I study this issue using the model of directed technical change in Acemoglu, Aghion, Bursztyn, and Hemous (2012), AABH, augmented by a friction on the choice of scientists developing better technologies. My results show that such frictions, even minor, materially affect the outcome. In particular, the risk of reaching an environmental disaster is higher than in the baseline AABH model. Fortunately, policy can address the problem. Specifically, a higher carbon tax ensures a disaster-free transition. In this case, the re-allocation of research activity to the clean sector happens over a longer but more realistic time horizon, namely around 15 instead of 5 years. An important policy implication is that optimal policies do not act over a substantially longer time horizon but must be more aggressive today in order to be effective. In turn, this implies that what may appear as a policy failure in the short-run | a slow transition albeit aggressive policy | actually re ects the efficient policy response to existing frictions in the economy. Furthermore, the risk of getting environmental policy wrong is highly asymmetric and `robust policy' implies erring on the side of stringency.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, Environment, Economic Growth, Green Technology, Economic Policy, Renewable Energy, Sustainability
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Matías Dewey, Cornelia Woll, Lucas Ronconi
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Sciences Po Center on Coping with Instability in Market Societies (MaxPo)
  • Abstract: The legal order is the legitimate foundation of liberal democracy. Its incomplete enforcement of the law can therefore appear dysfunctional, reflecting weak institutions, state capture, and corrupt practices. This paper casts doubt on such categorical assessments by systematically examining the reasons for and intentions behind incomplete enforcement. It argues that law enforcement is part of the political process that is deeply affected by the constellation of actors concerned. Choices over law enforcement produce social order that is analytically distinct from the production of legal norms and their formal implementation. By analyzing different types of partial enforcement, its rationales, and intended effects, we propose an approach that studies law enforcement as an integral part of public policy analysis and of the study of socioeconomic orders.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, Law Enforcement, Law, Police, Legal Sector
  • Political Geography: Europe, Global Focus
  • Author: Matthias Bauer
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE)
  • Abstract: Corporate tax laws vary significantly between different jurisdictions. Over the past four decades, governments globally competed for business activity by lowering statutory and effective corporate tax rates. Many governments provide special tax incentives for businesses to invest and expand employment. Special economic zones often grant full corporate tax exemptions to stimulate commercial development. Corporate income tax incentives for research and development activities are common across countries’ corporate tax codes reflecting governments’ desire to stimulate innovation and business development. While corporate tax competition is common government practice in the world economy, the OECD currently aims to curb international corporate tax competition. The OECD’s corporate tax reform proposals officially aim to address “corporate tax avoidance” and “unfairness in taxation”. The policy debate is driven by some governments’ motivation to increase revenues from taxes on corporate income. Economic impact assessments of the OECD’s current Pillar I and II proposals are still scarce. Individual governments have so far failed to conduct impact assessments or are hesitant to make their assessments available to the general public. The OECD’s secretariat expects additional tax revenues of 100bn USD annually, which are said to be evenly distributed among the 137 countries comprising the Inclusive Framework. The narrow focus on changes in governments’ revenues and the static nature of the OECD’s analysis is in various respects misleading. This paper highlights that the proposed reforms would shift taxing powers (tax sovereignty) and economic activity away from small open economies to the world’s largest countries, of which most (currently) apply very high statutory corporate tax rates. The implementation of Pillar I and II proposals would pave the way for a global tax redistribution framework transferring financial funds away from governments that embrace free international trade and investment to the many of the world’s worst-performing governments with respect to economic openness, acceptance of the rule of law, corruption, state interventionism, and the recognition of basic human rights (e.g. Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and Russia). Conversely, the OECD’s proposed corporate tax reforms would punish the world’s best performing economies with regard to economic freedoms, trade and investment openness and the rule of law (e.g. Estonia, the Czech Republic, Ireland, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, including small city and island states, such as Hong Kong, Luxembourg and Singapore). The reforms proposed by the OECD would have a significant impact on how much and where multinational enterprises would have to pay corporate income tax in the future. The proposed measures would therefore impact where large companies produce and invest in the future. Continued tax competition would contribute to a narrowing of international corporate tax rate differentials up to the 12.5% minimum tax threshold level proposed by the OCED. The narrowing of tax rate differentials between today’s high-tax jurisdictions, of which most are very large countries, and today’s low-tax jurisdictions would direct international and domestic investments and investment-induced tax revenues away from small countries. Estimates show that inward FDI in today’s high-tax countries would increase and outward FDI would decrease. In a symmetrical way, inward FDI in today’s low-tax countries would decrease and outward FDI would increase. Overall, the shift in effective taxing powers would undermine small countries’ relative attractiveness to international businesses and, on top of that, would induce domestic businesses to relocate to larger countries with the gravity of larger markets. Contrary to claims made by the OECD, the implementation of Pillar I and II proposals would not improve the global allocation of capital. Global trade and investment flows would still be subject to tax competition and prevalent trade and investment barriers. The OECD’s current proposals would likely incentivise the governments of large countries to maintain long-standing barriers to trade and investment. The economic gravity of large countries may even incentivise large country governments to erect additional barriers that would restrict market access for companies from small open economies. For small open economies that are home to research- and knowledge-intensive multinational companies, the OECD’s proposed tax reforms would undermine future investments in R&D, innovation and business model development, with adverse implications for existing research clusters, education systems and high value-added jobs. Policymakers should reconsider whether taxes on corporate income actually contribute to governments’ overall social and economic policy objectives, such as economic development, redistribution and fairness in taxation. Replacing tax systems that include taxes on corporate income by systems that rely more or exclusively on direct taxes on labour income, capital income and consumption (VAT/sales taxes) would increase transparency about the distributional effects of taxation and significantly improve governments’ tax manoeuvrability in response to citizens’ preferences for fairer taxation. A regime change towards greater use of VAT/sales taxes would also have a positive impact on global capital allocation. Companies would no longer have to pay attention to corporate tax rate differentials, while governments would have additional invectives to embrace foreign trade and investment, materialising in lower barriers to trade and investment and a more efficient allocation of global capital respectively.
  • Topic: Government, International Political Economy, Business , Tax Systems, R&D, Corporate Tax, OECD
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Frank Lavin, Oscar Guinea
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE)
  • Abstract: We are at the moment, the first in seventy-five years, where there is no international consensus in support of trade. Indeed, trade is unloved, unsupported, and even unwanted. There is no shortage of topics in the rhetoric of trade complaints: from the rapid rise of China to Coronavirus as a metaphor for the evils of greater connectivity. Regardless of the validity of these complaints, none of them negate the central truth of trade: countries that engage in trade move ahead, and those that do not, stagnate. Our political leaders disagree. Anti-trade positions are held by leaders across the political spectrum, from Donald Trump to Bernie Sanders. And yet, the public is increasingly warm to the idea of trade. When Gallup asks Americans, “Do you see foreign trade more as an opportunity for economic growth through increased U.S. exports or a threat to the economy from foreign imports?” a record high of 79% see trade as an opportunity, with 18% viewing it as a threat. How did the world arrive at this moment where the benefits of trade are clearly evidenced while trade has become politically toxic? We identify four main factors: (i) U.S. absenteeism from the leadership role; (ii) detachment between trade and security architecture; (iii) no alternative leadership in Europe or elsewhere; and (iv) the cumbersome WTO process. Against this background we put forward five initiatives that will be big enough to count but unobjectionable enough to be adopted. The Big Three. The U.S., EU, and Japan, should establish a consultative body on trade to forge a new approach that allows trade to move ahead in the absence of universal consensus. No harm, no foul. Each of the Big Three should commit to zero tariffs on any item not produced in each particular market. A de minimis strategy. Tariffs should be eliminated on all products where the current tariff is less than 2%. At that level tariffs are simply a nuisance fee. Mind the social costs. Expand the Nairobi Protocols to include health products and green tech. Scrapping import tariffs on medical and green goods would not only encourage additional trade but will also provide health and environmental benefits. Harmonize down. The Big Three should commit that on every tariff line each of the three will be no worse than the next worse. In other words, each of the Big Three will agree to reduce its tariff on every product where it has the highest tariff of the three. These actions will spur the WTO, not undermine it. The measures we propose can be set up on a plurilateral basis that would allow other trading powers to participate. By breaking away from the tyranny of universal consensus, these actions will encourage the trading community – including the WTO – to get back in forward motion. In some respect, convergence between the Big Three is already happening. The EU and Japan signed an FTA that lowers import tariffs between these two economies, while the U.S. and Japan agreed to negotiate a comprehensive FTA. And if China is willing to step up? China should be welcomed into this group if it supports the four initiatives, changing the Big Three to the Big Four.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Global Markets, Trade, WTO
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Europe, Global Focus