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  • Author: Menzie D. Chinn
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Twenty years ago, the United States was the world's largest creditor nation, unsurpassed in its ownership of assets outside of its borders, even after deducting what foreigners owned inside its borders. Yet over the past two decades, America has been transformed into the world's largest debtor nation. At the end of 2004, its debts to the rest of the world exceeded its assets by about $2.5 trillion—21 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP). This proportion is unmatched by any other major developed economy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Publication Date: 05-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The security and well-being of its citizens stand at the very pinnacle of any government's responsibilities. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, the futures of Canada, Mexico, and the United States are shared as never before. As a result, all three countries face a historic challenge: Do they continue on the path of cooperation in promoting more secure and more prosperous North American societies or do they pursue divergent and ultimately less secure and less prosperous courses? To ask the question is to answer it; and yet, if important decisions are not pursued and implemented, the three countries may well find themselves on divergent paths. Such a development would be a tragic mistake, one that can be readily avoided if they stay the course and pursue a series of deliberate and cooperative steps that will enhance both the security and prosperity of their citizens.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: United States, Canada, North America, Mexico
  • Author: Catherine E. Dalpino
  • Publication Date: 05-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The outcome of national elections in the Philippines on May 10 is still to be determined. For the past three years, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has governed as an appointed head of state in the wake of President Joseph Estrada's forced resignation on corruption charges. Her administration inherited a country in crisis, and it began the critical process of economic stabilization and growth. Economic indicators in the past two years have shown modest progress. In this interim period, the Philippines has been a steadfast ally of the United States in the war against terrorism. These fragile gains could be imperiled if the Philippines does not complete the electoral process in an expeditious and credible manner. Whatever the outcome of the polls, the winner will have little time to lose in addressing a number of short- and long-term problems in the Philippines.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Asia, Philippines, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Thomas R. Pickering, James R. Schlesinger
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: If the United States goes to war and removes the regime of Saddam Hussein, American interests will demand an extraordinary commitment of U.S. financial and personnel resources to postconflict transitional assistance and reconstruction. These interests include eliminating Iraqi weapons of mass destruction (WMD); ending Iraqi contacts, whether limited or extensive, with international terrorist organizations; ensuring that a post-transition Iraqi government can maintain the country's territorial integrity and independence while contributing to regional stability; and offering the people of Iraq a future in which they have a meaningful voice in the vital decisions that impact their lives.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Economics, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America, Middle East
  • Author: James J. Shinn, Peter Gourevitch
  • Publication Date: 06-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Corporate governance—the rules that govern the relationship between managers and shareholders—belongs on the foreign policy agenda of American decision-makers. The vigorous debates underway about corporate governance, both at home and abroad, present an opportunity for the United States to advance its foreign policy goals of enhancing free trade and financial stability.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, Government, Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Pat Choate, Bruce Stokes
  • Publication Date: 11-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Storm clouds signaling trouble with American trade policy have been gathering for some time. In the early 1990s, Congress barely approved creation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and only strenuous efforts by the Clinton administration and the business community ensured passage of legislation creating the World Trade Organization (WTO). In the late 1990s, President Clinton twice failed to obtain congressional renewal of his trade-negotiating authority. The massive demonstrations during the meeting of the world's trade ministers in Seattle in 1999 reflected a widespread public unease with the impact of trade policy on a range of issues, from clear-cutting practices in the forests of Indonesia to the price of AIDS drugs in southern Africa. Today, public opinion polls consistently demonstrate that, although the American public supports freer trade in theory, it often has profound reservations about trade liberalization in practice. And the current global economic slowdown may only further polarize public opinion on trade issues.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Indonesia, South America, North America
  • Author: Walter Russell Mead, Sherle R. Schwenninger
  • Publication Date: 10-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The Case For Middle-Class-Oriented Development International financial architecture works best when it serves social goals that command widespread support and legitimacy. Without neglecting the more conventional goal of allowing the greatest possible global flow of capital with the least risk of financial crisis, the primary goal of international financial reform, for both economic and political reasons, ought to be to promote middle-class-oriented development around the world.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Bruce Stokes
  • Publication Date: 07-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The time is ripe for a bold new initiative to recast the U.S.-Japan economic partnership for the 21st century. A new Japan is emerging. Foreign investment is on the rise. Tokyo is deregulating and restructuring its economy. A new generation of Japanese entrepreneurs and venture capitalists has arrived on the stage.
  • Topic: Economics, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, Israel, East Asia, Asia, North Africa
  • Author: Meredith Woo-Cumings
  • Publication Date: 06-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The Asian financial crisis of 1997–98 involved, among other things, a failure of regulation. Some believe this failure is endemic to global capitalism, and others believe it was profoundly local and idiosyncratic, emanating from regulatory flaws in the affected countries, stretching an arc from Thailand and Indonesia to Korea and Japan. There is also a debate about the nature of the regulation that failed. Some argue that the crisis emanated from a surfeit of nettlesome regulations and endemic industrial policy; others claim it happened for want of effective regulations and (even) industrial policy. Across the hypotenuse of these disagreements, however, stretches a universal recognition that regulatory infrastructure and institutions do matter and that they must play a major role in the way we think about economic development. After the miracle years in East Asia, “good governance” has become the Spirit of the Age.
  • Topic: Economics, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, Indonesia, Israel, East Asia, Asia, Korea, Thailand
  • Author: Amy L. Chua
  • Publication Date: 06-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: This paper will situate the recent problems in Indonesia in a more general framework that I will call the paradox of free-market democracy. The basic thesis I will advance is as follows. In Indonesia, as in many developing countries, class and ethnicity overlap in a distinctive and potentially explosive way: namely, in the form of a starkly economically dominant ethnic minority—here, the Sino-Indonesians. In such circumstances, contrary to conventional wisdom, markets and democracy may not be mutually reinforcing. On the contrary, the combined pursuit of marketization and democratization in Indonesia may catalyze ethnic tensions in highly determinate and predictable ways, with potentially very serious consequences, including the subversion of markets and democracy themselves. The principal challenge for neoliberal reform in Indonesia will be to find institutions capable of grappling with the problems of rapid democratization in the face of pervasive poverty, ethnic division, and an historically resented, market-dominant “outsider” minority.
  • Topic: Economics, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, Israel, East Asia