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  • Author: Silvia Crescimbeni, Vahakn Kabakian, Jessica Obeid
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Middle East Institute (MEI)
  • Abstract: Amid converging political, economic, and humanitarian crises, Lebanon has recently doubled down on its climate ambition for the next ten years. In its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) submission to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the country has revised both its GHG emission reduction targets and renewable-energy-sourced power generation targets upwards. Does climate change bear national security implications for Lebanon today? How can climate-proofed infrastructure projects and low-carbon technologies attract investments, create jobs and support Lebanon’s economic revival post-collapse? How will immediate policy choices and renewable energy integration ensure economic growth and shape the future of critical sectors such as energy, water, food, and transportation? What is the role of climate diplomacy and partnerships in achieving Lebanon's climate ambitions? How can Lebanon ensure that its climate policy does not fall through the cracks?
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, National Security, Politics, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Lebanon
  • Author: Luke Patey, Elizabeth Wishnick
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University
  • Abstract: From its Belt and Road Initiative linking Asia and Europe, to its "Made in China 2025" strategy to dominate high-tech industries, to its significant economic reach into Africa and Latin America, China is rapidly expanding its influence around the globe. Many fear that China's economic clout, tech innovations, and military power will allow it to remake the world in its own authoritarian image. But despite all these strengths, a future with China in charge is far from certain. Rich and poor, big and small, countries around the world are recognizing that engaging China produces new strategic vulnerabilities to their independence and competitiveness. Researching the book took Dr. Patey to East Africa, Latin America, Europe, and East Asia over the past five years and he will discuss how countries in these parts of the world are responding to China’s rise and assertiveness. This event was cosponsored by the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, the APEC Study Center and the Columbia Harvard China and the World Program at Columbia University.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Economics, Geopolitics, Soft Power, Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Alberto Costa, Jonathan Portes, Lauren McLaren, Marina Fernandez Reino, Tim Bale
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: UK in a Changing Europe, King's College London
  • Abstract: Our recent #IsolationInsight virtual event looked at what the UK’s post Brexit immigration regime could and should look like, considering also public opinion on immigration and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Speakers: Alberto Costa, Conservative MP for South Leicestershire Professor Jonathan Portes, senior fellow at the UK in a Changing Europe Professor Lauren McLaren, @University of Leicester Marina Fernandez Reino, Migration Observatory Chair: Professor Tim Bale, deputy director at the UK in a Changing Europe
  • Topic: Economics, Migration, Politics, Immigration, Economy, Brexit, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Ben Chu, Jonathan Portes, Meredith Crowley, Gemma Tetlow, Anand Menon
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: UK in a Changing Europe, King's College London
  • Abstract: Our recent #IsolationInsight event discussed the economics of the coronavirus pandemic and the UK’s departure from the EU. Speakers : Ben Chu, economics editor, @The Independent ; Professor Jonathan Portes, senior fellow, The UK in a Changing Europe ; Dr Meredith Crowley, senior fellow, The UK in a Changing Europe ; Dr Gemma Tetlow, chief economist, @Institute for Government ; Chair: Professor Anand Menon, director, The UK in a Changing Europe
  • Topic: Economics, European Union, Brexit, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Ben Chu, Meredith Crowley, Gemma Tetlow, Thomas Sampson, Anand Menon
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: UK in a Changing Europe, King's College London
  • Abstract: At this Isolation Insight webinar, panelists discussed the economics of the Covid-19 pandemic and the UK's exit from the EU, six months after lockdown began and with less than three months left of the transition period. Speakers: Ben Chu, economics editor, The Independent; Meredith Crowley, senior fellow, UK in a Changing Europe; Gemma Tetlow, chief economist, Institute for Government; Thomas Sampson, associate professor, London School of Economics; Chair: Anand Menon, director, UK in a Changing Europe
  • Topic: Economics, European Union, Brexit, Transition, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Joyce Karam, Sawsan Abdulrahim, Noof Assi
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Middle East Institute (MEI)
  • Abstract: Protests in Iraq and Lebanon have drawn global attention as protestors advocate for political and economic reform and an end to corruption, especially in the wake of the Beirut blast and Lebanon’s disaster response. These countries also face economic crisis and socio-political challenges relating to the millions of refugees and IDPs within their borders and the lack of sustainable policies to address displaced people’s needs. In Lebanon and Iraq, refugees and IDPs face discrimination and lack of access to educational and public health resources in addition to the widespread economic pain and disenfranchisement that these countries protest movements aim to confront. How have refugees in these countries been active in or left out of these movements? How can access gaps and discrimination be overcome to integrate refugee rights into these protest movements? How do protest movements reflect a desire to integrate refugees and IDPs into the social fabric of these countries?
  • Topic: Economics, Politics, Reform, Refugees, Displacement, Protests
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Lebanon
  • Author: Suzanne Maloney, Alex Vatanka, Aleksi Aleksishvili, Rauf Mammadov
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Middle East Institute (MEI)
  • Abstract: The economic toll of COVID-19 around the world has been significant and the impact of this crisis will reverberate for the next few years. Iran is among the hardest hit economies but the fallout is also already felt among Iran’s immediate neighboring states, including the countries of South Caucasus and the Caspian Basin. With US sanctions severely limiting its international trade, Tehran has in recent years banked on trade with immediate neighbors as a stopgap remedy to its economic needs. This policy of prioritizing trade and other economic ties with immediate neighbors is now under even more pressure due to COVID-19. While Iran is expected to experience a sharp economic contraction in 2020, economic growth forecasts have also been cut in neighboring Caucasus states, requiring swift and decisive action from leaders and international partners. The Middle East Institute (MEI) will bring together a panel of experts to explore the economic impacts of COVID-19 on Iran, the South Caucasus and the question of regional economic cooperation and integration. Besides looking at what has driven Iran’s neighborhood policy in recent years, and how it is in danger of crumbling due to COVID-19 restrictions, the panel will focus on the specific case of the energy sector where regional integration was moving ahead, albeit slowly. Meanwhile, the role played by third-parties – including Russia and the US - will also be tackled by the panelists as they reflect on Iran-South Caucasus economic connections.
  • Topic: Economics, Sanctions, Trade, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Iran, Caucasus, Caspian Sea
  • Author: Alex Vatanka, Amin Tarzi, Laila Bokhari, Madiha Afzai, Fatemeh Aman
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Middle East Institute (MEI)
  • Abstract: As the United States continues to engage in peace talks with the Taliban, even as Washington considers its future military presence in Afghanistan, the country’s uncertain future provides an opportunity for regional power competition. Recent developments have laid the groundwork for coordination between Iran and Russia in this space, a cooperation which has implications for Iran’s rivalry with Pakistan. At stake in this interplay of regional interests are long-term geopolitical, military and economic interests that can be shaped for years to come. How might Iran approach the divergent and common interests of Iran, Russia and Pakistan in Afghanistan? What are Iran’s priorities, and where might opportunities emerge for cooperation or conflict? How might Iran balance these competing interests, and what will be the impact on the ground in Afghanistan? The Middle East Institute (MEI) is proud to host a group of experts to address these questions and more.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Economics, Military Strategy, Geopolitics, Negotiation, Strategic Interests
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia, Iran, United States of America
  • Author: Wang Feng
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University
  • Abstract: On October 7, 2020, Wang Feng, Professor of Sociology at UC Irvine joined Columbia's Qin Gao, Professor of Social Policy and Social Work and director of the China Center for Social Policy for an event: "Public Transfers and Inequality in China." With expanded fiscal capacity and rising concerns over economic inequality, the Chinese government in the last decade and a half has vastly rebuilt and expanded its social welfare regime. Using the National Transfer Accounts (NTA) methodology and both micro-level survey data and macro-level government statistics, this study examines the distribution of public transfers in education, health care and pension across generations and income groups in 2014 and compare it with those in 2010. While per capita public transfers in absolute terms remained in favor of higher-income groups and the elderly in 2014, as in 2010, the gap in receiving public transfers between the rich and the poor was reduced notably in this short time period. Public transfers also became more progressive in relative terms, with the bottom income group receiving much higher public transfers relative to their per capita household income than the wealthier groups. These results reveal that although the unequal distribution of public transfers continues and it in part results from the fragmented program design and the legacies of socialist inequalities, China’s expanded social welfare programs have contributed to narrowing the vast income inequality in this country.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Inequality, Welfare
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Ronald Schramm
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University
  • Abstract: Ronald Schramm, Visiting Associate Professor of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University Moderated by: Shang-Jin Wei, N. T. Wang Professor of Chinese Business and Economy and Professor of Finance and Economics, Columbia Business School Professor Jin Wei will interview Ron Schramm about new and important developments in China’s financial and economic system since the first edition of Schramm's textbook in 2015 (Routledge/Taylor&Francis): China Macro Finance: A US Perspective. Both new reforms and retrenchments in the Chinese economy will be discussed as well as the fraught economic relationship with the United States. Students and scholars of China will benefit by putting their own research in the context of how far China has come and where it is going in terms of economic and financial reform.
  • Topic: Development, Diplomacy, Economics, Reform, Finance, Business
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, United States of America