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  • Author: Melinda K. Abrams, Reginald D. Williams II, Katharine Fields, Roosa Tikkanen
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Commonwealth Fund
  • Abstract: About one-quarter of U.S. adults report having a mental health diagnosis such as anxiety or depression or experiencing emotional distress. This is one of the highest rates among 11 high-income countries. While U.S. adults are among the most willing to seek professional help for emotional distress, they are among the most likely to report access or affordability issues. Emotional distress is associated with social and economic needs in all countries. Nearly half of U.S. adults who experience emotional distress report such worries, a higher share than seen in other countries. The United States has some of the worst mental health–related outcomes, including the highest suicide rate and second-highest drug-related death rate. The U.S. has a relatively low supply of mental health workers, particularly psychologists and psychiatrists. Just one-third of U.S. primary care practices have mental health professionals on their team, compared to more than 90 percent in the Netherlands and Sweden.
  • Topic: Health, Health Care Policy, Mental Health, Drugs, Substance Abuse
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Global Focus
  • Author: Vibeke Schou Tjalve, Minda Holm
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In this policy note, we explore the nature, strength and tensions of the contemporary US-Central Eastern Europe relationship. We describe the expanding US-CEE ‘brotherhood in arms’: growing trade relations, intensified military cooperation, and rekindled diplomatic ties. Further, we unpack the striking and largely ignored dimensions of the US-CEE ‘brotherhood in faith’: the many ways in which the United States and Central and Eastern Europe are tied together by overlapping ideologies of national conservatism and a particular version of Christian ‘family values’. This involves addressing the complexities of an increasingly influential and ambitious Visegrád Group, whose key players – Poland and Hungary – may be brothers, but are by no means twins. It also means raising some broader, burning discussions about the future of NATO and the meaning of ‘Europe’. Universalist, multicultural and postnational? Or conservative, Christian and sovereigntist?
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Conservatism, Alliance, Ideology, Christianity, Trade Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Eastern Europe, Central Europe
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: World Politics Review
  • Abstract: The ballistic missiles that Iran fired at two military bases in Iraq housing American troops could only be the start of Tehran’s retaliation. Many observers worry that more blowback could come in the form of Iran’s favored tactic of asymmetric warfare waged through its proxies, such as Hezbollah in Lebanon and pro-Iranian militias in Iraq. This escalation did not begin with the killing of Soleimani, but in May 2018, when Trump unilaterally took the United States out of the international agreement curbing Iran’s nuclear program, known as the JCPOA, and reimposed crippling sanctions on Iran’s economy. What impact has the U.S. exit from the nuclear deal had in Iran? How has it changed the Iranian regime’s foreign policy calculations? And how have Iranian citizens reacted to Trump’s campaign of “maximum pressure” and more sanctions? This WPR report provides an essential view of events from Iran.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons, Sanctions, Military Affairs, Nuclear Power, Denuclearization
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran
  • Author: Sahana Dharmapuri, Pamela Tansey, Lexie Van Buskirk
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Our Secure Future
  • Abstract: The Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda is a transformative policy mandate with a global constituency. It provides policymakers with the tools to end cycles of violent conflict, create more equitable peace processes, and promote gender equality on a global, national, and local scale. Passed in October 2000, United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (UNSCR 1325) underscores women’s agency, voice, and capacities as intrinsic to creating more effective international peace and security policies. Since 2000, more than 80 countries have adopted Women, Peace and Security National Action Plans and other policies to robustly implement the WPS agenda. In 2017, the US Congress adopted the Women, Peace, and Security Act to incorporate the principle of gender equality into US foreign policy. The two main objectives of the WPS agenda are to 1) increase the representation of women in decision-making positions, and 2) to apply a gender perspective to matters of international peace and security.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Gender Issues, Women, Peace
  • Political Geography: United States, Global Focus
  • Author: Michelle M. Doty, Eric C. Schneider, Roosa Tikkanen, Arnav Shah, Reginald D. Williams II
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Commonwealth Fund
  • Abstract: With more than 4 million confirmed cases and 150,000 deaths as of August, the United States is failing to control the COVID-19 pandemic. At a time when many nations are reopening their economies and societies, the U.S. is struggling in its attempts to do the same. To examine the early impact of the pandemic on the well-being of adults in the U.S. and abroad, the Commonwealth Fund joined the survey research firm SSRS to interview 8,259 adults age 18 and older between March and May 2020. It is the latest in the Commonwealth Fund’s series of cross-national comparisons featuring the United States and nine other high-income countries that participate in the Fund’s annual International Health Policy Survey. The following exhibits illustrate COVID-19’s effects on people’s mental health and economic security and compare levels of public trust in national leaders in responding to the pandemic.
  • Topic: Health, Health Care Policy, Mental Health, Public Health
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Global Focus
  • Author: Meredith B. Rosenthal, Paul F. van Gils, Caroline A. Baan, Eline F. de Vries, Jeroen Struijs
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Commonwealth Fund
  • Abstract: We identified 23 initiatives in eight countries that have implemented bundled-payment models, focusing on procedures such as total joint replacements and cardiac surgery, as well as chronic conditions like diabetes and breast cancer. Of the 35 studies retrieved, 32 reported effects on quality of care and 32 reported effects on medical spending. Twenty of 32 studies reported modest savings or a modest reduction in spending growth, while two studies (both based on the same initiative) demonstrated increased spending in the early years of the bundled-payment model’s implementation. Eighteen of 32 studies reported quality improvements for most evaluated measures, while other studies showed no difference in measured quality. Our study provides evidence that bundled-payment models have the potential to reduce medical spending growth while having either a positive impact or no impact on quality of care.
  • Topic: Economics, Health, Health Care Policy, Income Inequality, Macroeconomics, Coronavirus, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: United States, Global Focus
  • Author: Roosa Tikkanen, Melinda K. Abrams
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Commonwealth Fund
  • Abstract: A 2015 Commonwealth Fund brief showed that — before the major provisions of the Affordable Care Act were introduced — the United States had worse outcomes and spent more on health care, largely because of greater use of medical technology and higher prices, compared to other high-income countries. By benchmarking the performance of the U.S. health care system against other countries — and updating with new data as they become available — we can gain important insights into our strengths and weaknesses and help policymakers and delivery system leaders identify areas for improvement. This analysis is the latest in a series of Commonwealth Fund cross-national comparisons that uses health data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to assess U.S. health care system spending, outcomes, risk factors and prevention, utilization, and quality, relative to 10 other high-income countries: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. We also compare U.S. performance to that of the OECD average, comprising 36 high-income member countries.
  • Topic: Health, Health Care Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Global Focus
  • Author: Maha Abdullah, Joy Al-Nemri, Emily Goldman, Ian James
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Feinstein International Center, Tufts University
  • Abstract: New Britain, Connecticut has a long history of immigration. This report focuses on the experiences of newly arrived Arabic-speaking immigrants and refugees from Syria, Iraq, Sudan, Yemen, and Morocco. The Arab population of New Britain has increased faster than other migrant populations over the last eight years, from 161 in 2010 to 733 in 2017. As of December 2018, there were approximately 260 Arabic-speaking families living in New Britain. The services in the city have taken notice and are starting to make changes to meet the needs of New Britain’s Arabic-speaking populations. Educators and employees of nonprofits told us that their organizations are still collecting data about New Britain’s Arabic-speaking community and trying to understand the specific needs of Arabic-speaking immigrants and refugees. Our research focuses on the organizations involved in the resettlement process and individuals’ experiences with the resettlement process. New Britain is a city with a well-documented history of welcoming immigrants, and the ways in which that history is remembered affect how refugees and immigrants adapt today.
  • Topic: Migration, Refugees
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Syria
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: World Politics Review
  • Abstract: Integrating China into the liberal trade order was expected to have a moderating effect on Beijing. Instead, under President Xi Jinping, China has asserted its military control over the South China Sea and cracked down on domestic dissent, all while continuing to use unfair trade practices to boost its economy. As a result, a bipartisan consensus has emerged in Washington that the U.S. must rethink the assumptions underpinning its approach to China’s rise. But President Donald Trump’s confrontational approach, including a costly trade war, is unlikely to prove effective. This report provides a comprehensive look at the military and economic aspects of U.S.-China rivalry in the Trump era.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Military Affairs, Trade Wars, Economic Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: World Politics Review
  • Abstract: What does victory on President Bashar al-Assad’s brutal terms look like? How has the rise and fall of the Islamic State changed Syria’s political map? How will U.S. President Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northeastern Syria and the subsequent Turkish invasion of the area change the situation?And what about reconstruction, let alone reconciliation? This WPR report provides a comprehensive look at those questions and several others that will determine what’s to come in Syria, with impacts far beyond the Middle East.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Civil War, Proxy War, Armed Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Turkey, Middle East, Syria