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  • 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: Hai Anh La, Riyana Miranti
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: This study investigates the impact of various government interventions on the spread of COVID-19 as well as stock markets in South-East and East Asia. It finds that stricter interventions – including gathering restrictions, public event cancellations, and mask requirements – helped mitigate the severity of the pandemic significantly in the region. Total border closures had a moderate effect on flattening COVID-19 spread, especially during the onset of the pandemic. Other policies, such as school closures or stay-at-home orders, worked effectively later in the pandemic. The study also shows evidence of herding behaviours in regional stock markets during the pandemic. School closures, gathering restrictions, stay-at-home orders, domestic travelling bans, robust testing policies, and government income support programmes tended to reduce herding behaviour. More stock market integration is found during the onset of the pandemic, compared to the periods before and later in the pandemic, implying the short-term impact of a sudden shock from COVID-19.
  • Topic: Governance, Financial Markets, Pandemic, COVID-19, Stock Markets, Financial Development
  • Political Geography: Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Antonio Fanelli
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: This paper conducts a comparative review of the evolution of the economic crisis generated by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and the responses enacted by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the European Union. It highlights differences and common elements in the strategic approaches, the intensity of the interventions, and governance structures. In the final section, it identifies short- and medium-term actions, inspired by the comparative analysis, which could contribute to improve the ASEAN response.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, Governance, European Union, Leadership, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Sasiwimon W. Paweenawat, Lusi Liao
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: This paper studies the impact of COVID-19 on different demographic groups in the Thai labour market using the Labour Force Survey in 2018 and 2019. We construct a new set of COVID-19 impact indicators capturing both the degree of risk in industries and degree of occupational flexibility in the Thai context. Our results show that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is highly unequal across demographic groups and it may further worsen the pre-existing inequality in the Thai labour market as a result of the composition of industrial sectors and occupations. The results suggest that education attainments and income levels play a significant role in protecting individuals from the current crisis, indicating the important contribution of human capital. In addition, marriage affects men and women differently in the COVID-19 crisis, with married women suffering more. Finally, our study highlights the need for government supports that target vulnerable groups, including workers with low education, informal workers, private employees, older women, and the young, who are more likely to be affected by COVID-19.
  • Topic: Labor Issues, Governance, Employment, Pandemic, COVID-19, Labor Market
  • Political Geography: Asia, Thailand, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Duc Anh Dang, Vuong Anh Dang
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: Sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures and technical barriers to trade (TBTs) in destination markets may affect firms’ performance. In this paper, we examine how meeting foreign standards affects exporting firms’ innovation, reflected in the product quality, production processes, skills, and technological acquisition. The analysis relies on official regulations on non-tariff measures released by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and panel data for manufacturing firms in Viet Nam during 2013–2015. To correct for the potential endogeneity of SPS measures and TBTs and measurement errors, we use the number of SPS measures and TBTs imposed on other Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Member States as an instrument variable. Our results indicate that a higher number of SPS measures and TBTs applied by destination countries increases the probability of Vietnamese exporting firms’ skill acquisition. SPS measures also have higher positive impacts on product quality improvement and skill acquisition in the food processing sector. The SPS measures and TBTs have larger impacts on small firms than large firms. Foreign firms tend to acquire more technology and skills than domestic firms when facing SPS measures and TBTs by importing countries. Higher SPS measures and TBTs have more effects on the probability of acquiring skills by state-owned firms. However, the propensity of product quality and technological acquisition of non-state firms is much higher than that of state-owned firms when facing a greater level of SPS measures and TBTs.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Science and Technology, Governance, Innovation, Trade
  • Political Geography: Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Sarah Wolff
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: This paper argues that there is a need to improve linkages between security sector governance and migration. Going beyond the state-centric understanding of security sector governance and reform (SSG/R), it provides a comprehensive view of the relationship between SSG/R and migration and makes a series of practical recommendations to operationalize a better inclusion of migration issues at domestic, regional and international levels of SSG/R. It provides guidance as to how the military, police forces, intelligence services, border security services, judicial institutions, interior ministries, private actors, civil society organizations and parliaments should rethink the inclusion of migrants’ rights at the heart of their professional practice.
  • Topic: Security, Migration, Governance, Leadership, Institutions
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Elizabeth Shackelford
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft
  • Abstract: In U.S. foreign policy circles today, the bar to justify ending a military intervention is higher than it is to keep one going. Small wars have become routine foreign policy tools, executed with minimal oversight or scrutiny. Somalia offers a clear example of how this approach leads to high accumulated costs for the American people with little to show in gains for the U.S. national interest. The current military-led strategy promises no end to lethal interventions, and the costs and risks associated with it exceed the threats it is meant to address. Expanding U.S. military activity over the past five years has done little to impede the Somali terrorist insurgency group al–Shabaab, but it has continued to overshadow and undermine diplomatic and development efforts to address Somalia’s political and governance problems. At the same time, military intervention has propped up an ineffective government, disincentivizing Somali political leaders from taking the hard steps necessary to reach a sustainable peace and build a functioning state. The U.S. military cannot be expected to stay indefinitely in Somalia to maintain a messy stalemate. Rather than reflexively increase U.S. military activity when it falls short of stated objectives, the United States should reassess its overall strategy in Somalia by returning to basic questions: Why is the U.S. military fighting a war there? What U.S. national interest is the war serving? And are America’s actions in Somalia and the region furthering that national interest?
  • Topic: Diplomacy, War, Military Strategy, Governance, Military Affairs, Military Intervention, Peace
  • Political Geography: United States, Somalia
  • Author: Marc Lynch, Eleanore Ardemagni, Jesse Marks, Elizabeth Parker-Magyar, Allison Spencer Hartnett, Ezzeldeen al-Natour, Laith al-Ajlouni, Carla Abdo-Katsipis, Lucia Ardovini, Yasmine Zarhloule, Yasmina Abouzzohour, Brent E. Sasley, Ehud Eiran, Sally Sharif, Diana Galeeva, Matthew Hedges, Elham Fakhro, Kristin Diwan, Guy Burton, Ruth Hanau Santini, Justin Schon, Alex Thurston, Adam Hoffmann, Robert Kubinec
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS)
  • Abstract: This special issue of POMEPS STUDIES collects twenty contributions from a wide range of young scholars writing from diverse perspectives, which collectively offer a fascinating overview of a region whose governance failures, economic inequalities and societal resilience were all suddenly thrown into sharp relief.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Economics, Islam, Nationalism, United Nations, Governance, Authoritarianism, Refugees, Inequality, Conflict, Pandemic, Resilience, COVID-19, Identity
  • Political Geography: China, Middle East, Israel, Yemen, North Africa, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Morocco
  • Author: Nelson H.W. Wawire
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: This study addresses constraints to enhanced revenue mobilization and spending quality in Kenya. The structure and growth of Kenya’s economy and spending quality have a bearing on its taxable capacity. Constraints to enhancement of revenue mobilization and spending quality include the existence of a large informal sector; inadequate information on property ownership; perceived corruption; inefficient use of public resources; political interference; volatile election cycles; abuse of tax incentives; uneven transfer pricing; illicit financial flows; and untaxed online businesses, coupled with poor administrative capacity and tax policy design. Policy implications on revenue performance are (1) the National Treasury and Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) should focus on property taxes and capital gains taxes to expand the tax base; (2) development partners are needed to direct technical assistance to the informal sector, to aid with transfer pricing, to monitor illicit financial flows, and to properly tax online businesses; (3) greater use of technology is needed to increase efficiency; (4) intervention by the Geospatial Information System is needed to link data on land and property ownership with tax information in the existing database; (5) a pay-for-results model needs to be deployed; (6) need to reduce tax expenditures; and policy reforms to be initiated in the agricultural sector. The policy implications on expenditure are (1) the need for efficient utilization of tax revenues; (2) the need for implementation of digital technologies; (3) the need to revisit an integrated financial management information system (IFMIS) configuration; (4) the need to adhere to long-term planning; and (5) adoption of the GFS 2014 reporting standard. Overall, an independent entity needs to be established that will set budget ceilings, monitor budget implementation, and carry out audits.
  • Topic: Governance, Revenue Management, Public Spending, Mobilization
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa
  • Author: Grazvydas Jasutis, Richard Steyne, Elizaveta Chmykh
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: This study maps key security actors in Turkmenistan, determines their competencies and examines oversight powers and the role of oversight bodies in the broader national security system. It analyses security sector reforms across the intelligence, defence and law-enforcement spheres. Turkmenistan’s presidential system and status of permanent neutrality make its security system unique, even within the context of Central Asia. Surrounded by Afghanistan, Iran, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, the country deals with significant geopolitical and security challenges that determine their foreign and security policy. The study aims to contribute to a better understanding of their security system, particularly in light of the recent developments and changes that have occurred in the security sector. Written and edited by DCAF experts, the study relies on primary and secondary data sources, and concludes with recommendations on the areas of the Turkmen security sector which could benefit from reform. To this end, the study aims to provide guidance and stimulate debate on how national authorities and international actors might better promote human rights and good governance principles in the security sector of Turkmenistan.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Governance, Leadership
  • Political Geography: Asia, Turkmenistan