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  • Author: David Hoffman
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The recently enacted revisions to China’s Anti-Monopoly Law, and its extensive provisions for regulating China’s “platform economy” – i.e., fintech and ecommerce platforms – are consequential for foreign investors in China, bearing both upside and downside risks. On the one hand, they reinforce the trend of increasing state intervention in China’s economy and commercial markets and raise concerns about a more confined and controlled play-space for the private sector in China, a cohort which includes foreign multinational companies and financial investors.
  • Topic: Governance, Law, Economy, Business , Investment, Monopoly, Private Sector, Commerce
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Chanchal Kumar Sharma
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: What kept the Goods and Services Tax (GST) from becoming a reality in India for a quarter of a century after the adoption of the structural adjustment programme in 1991? What made it possible in 2016? To what extent the Indian model of GST reflects a compromise between the need to keep fiscal federalism intact and to respond to a more global economic imperative? To what extent India’s transition to a concurrent dual GST has brought about a change in the principles, rules, frameworks, and institutions guiding intergovernmental fiscal interactions? This paper investigates these issues and shows that the shifts in the indirect tax regime in India since independence have taken place within the structural context of constitutional rules, the economic policy paradigm and political dynamics. Party congruence after 2014 helped to facilitate the introduction of the GST, but the shape thereof was strongly marked by path-dependent logics and the role of state governments as institutional veto players. In addition, the paper examines the ways in which India’s transition to a concurrent dual GST has brought about a fundamental change in the principles, rules, frameworks, and institutions guiding intergovernmental fiscal interactions.
  • Topic: Development, Political Economy, Governance, Tax Systems, Institutions, Services
  • Political Geography: India, Asia
  • Author: C. Randall Henning
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Cooperation and competition among regional financial arrangements (RFAs) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) increasingly determine the effectiveness of the global financial safety net (GFSN), which many observers fear is becoming fragmented. Overlap among these crisis-fighting institutions has important benefits but also pitfalls, including with respect to competition, moral hazard, independence, institutional conflict, creditor seniority and non-transparency. The study reviews the RFAs in Latin America, East Asia and Europe to assess their relationships with the IMF and address these problems. Among other things, it concludes: institutional competition, while harmful in program conditionality, can be beneficial in economic analysis and surveillance; moral hazard depends critically on institutional governance and varies substantially from one regional arrangement to the next; secretariats should be independent in economic analysis, but lending programs should be decided by bodies with political responsibility; and conflicts among institutions are often resolved by key member states through informal mechanisms that should be protected and developed. Findings of other recent studies on the GFSN are critiqued. Architects of financial governance should maintain the IMF at the centre of the safety net but also develop regional arrangements as insurance against the possibility that any one institution could be immobilized in a crisis, thereby safeguarding both coherence and resilience of the institutional complex.
  • Topic: Governance, Surveillance, Strategic Competition, IMF
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Asia, South America, Australia, North America, Global Focus
  • Author: Vo Tri Tranh
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: This paper examines the policies for industrial cluster development in Viet Nam. The first export processing zone was established in 1991. Since 1994, Viet Nam has focused more on developing domestic productive capacity and thus various types of industrial estates were established. The key actors in industrial cluster policy are the government, Prime Minister, ministries, provincial people’s committees, and management boards of industrial and economic zones. The choice of industrial estate is often determined by factors such as geographic location, land, labour, infrastructure, industry, business environment, and incentives. Viet Nam has provided various incentives to industrial estates of various types, but the scope and extent of preferential policy support for firms in general and those operating in industrial and economic zones are rather modest. The industrial estates have contributed significantly to attracting foreign direct investment, to exports, to productivity improvement, etc. Looking forward, Viet Nam needs further efforts on industrial cluster development, including development of statistics, analysis of cluster policy impacts, and provision of FTA-consistent incentives.
  • Topic: Development, Industrial Policy, Governance, Leadership, Management
  • Political Geography: Asia, Vietnam
  • Author: Dic Lo, Yuning Shi
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: School of Oriental and African Studies - University of London
  • Abstract: The control of the COVID-19 crisis requires strong and rapid actions of each nation- state, but multiple facets of the ineffectiveness have been exposed so far. This paper seeks to characterise and assess the handling of the public health emergency in China and the United States. The exposition focuses on the governance structures and state-people dynamics of the two countries, drawing on the framework of “exit, voice, and loyalty” developed by Albert Hirschman. The paper concludes that the Chinese “tough model” appears to have facilitated a virtuous circle of the state- people interaction, whereas the US “loose model” has led to a vicious circle.
  • Topic: Governance, Hegemony, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19, Rivalry
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Shahana Chattaraj
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: How does the state govern cities where much of the economy is informal, on the margins of state regulatory institutions? In this paper, I draw on field research in Mumbai to a present an empirically-based conceptualization of the workings of the state in cities where’ informality is a pervasive feature of work and built environment.’ I draw on the popular notion of ‘jugaad,’- makeshift adaptations, workarounds and improvisation under constraints, to describe the state in Mumbai. ‘Jugaad’ practices and strategies of governance – adaptive, flexible, negotiated and contingent - are routinely applied by state actors at different levels in Mumbai, in spaces “illegible” to formal state institutions. ‘Jugaad’ governance practices are not arbitrary or merely corrupt, but rational, if ad hoc and extra-legal, adaptations around formal rules. These processes embed state actors in local power structures and crosscutting networks that span state, market and political organisations. While they enable the state to apprehend and partially incorporate the city’s informal spaces, they dissipate centralised state power and cohesiveness . The ‘jugaad’ state concept encapsulates how the formal and informal workings of the state interact and shape urban governance in largely informal cities. It draws attention to tensions and disjunctions within the state and in state-society relations in such contexts.
  • Topic: Infrastructure, Governance, Social Policy, State, Urban
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Middle East Research Institute (MERI)
  • Abstract: This timely session was dedicated to a debate with the President of Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) to discuss central geo-political and domestic developments, including the protests and the crisis of governance in Baghdad; the Turkish invasion of Northern Syria (particularly Rojava); and finally, the effects of internal political fissures within the KRI.
  • Topic: Development, Governance, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Asia, Baghdad, Syria, Kurdistan
  • Author: Honzhi Yu, Hongying Wang
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: In contrast to the growing profile of the Chinese government in global governance, the engagement of Chinese industrial actors in global rule making is quite limited and uneven. Some Chinese industrial leaders have shown an ambition to participate in global rule making in their respective realms; most of the others still lack interest or capacity. This policy brief identifies three plausible sources of variation among the Chinese industrial actors. It offers suggestions to Chinese industrial actors and to those concerned about China’s role in global governance, with the purpose of reducing misunderstanding and building trust between Chinese industrial actors and businesses, regulators, non-governmental organizations and stakeholders from other parts of the world in developing global standards for good governance.
  • Topic: Development, Industrial Policy, Governance
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Graeme Gill
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The accepted wisdom about dictators is that they rule their political systems in an essentially arbitrary and willful manner. Their leadership colleagues are said to live in constant fear of the dictator, always vulnerable to his will and always looking to defend themselves against him. The leadership is shown as a Hobbesian “war of all against all” as the leader rules with no real restraint. This paper challenges that view. It will explain why such a view of leadership politics in authoritarian systems is inadequate, and will illustrate this by looking at two of the most egregious dictators of the twentieth century, Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong.
  • Topic: Communism, Democratization, Politics, Governance, Institutions, Political Parties
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Eurasia, Asia
  • Author: Uri Dadush, Marta Dominguez-Jimenez, Tianlang Gao
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Bruegel
  • Abstract: China and the European Union have an extensive and growing economic relationship. The relationship is problematic because of the distortions caused by China’s state capitalist system and the diversity of interests within the EU’s incomplete federation. More can be done to capture the untapped trade and investment opportunities that exist between the parties. China’s size and dynamism, and its recent shift from an export-led to a domestic demand-led growth model, mean that these opportunities are likely to grow with time. As the Chinese economy matures, provided appropriate policy steps are taken, it is likely to become a less disruptive force in world markets than during its extraordinary breakout period.
  • Topic: Economics, Governance, European Union, Investment, Trade
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Alicia Garcia-Herrero, Jianwei Xu
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Bruegel
  • Abstract: China’s economic ties with Russia are deepening. Meanwhile, Europe remains Russia’s largest trading partner, lender and investor. An analysis of China’s ties with Russia, indicate that China seems to have become more of a competitor to the European Union on Russia’s market. Competition over investment and lending is more limited, but the situation could change rapidly with China and Russia giving clear signs of a stronger than ever strategic partnership.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Bilateral Relations, Governance, Investment, Exports
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, Eurasia, Asia
  • Author: Margaret Myers, Rebecca Ray
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: Over the past two years, U.S. officials have sought to highlight China’s negative effects on the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region’s development and stability, whether to U.S. or Latin American audiences. As U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said during a trip to Mexico City in October 2018, "China has invested in ways that have left other countries worse off." Pompeo and other U.S. officials have also taken this message elsewhere in the region, cautioning against the effects of Chinese engagement on LAC governance, security, regulatory capacity, and financial stability, and in a rage of other areas. For Latin Americans, though, relations with China aren’t so black and white. China may be an imperfect partner for LAC, as many in the region will attest, but it is an increasingly important one. After nearly two decades of enhanced Chinese economic engagement with the region, LAC governments and economic sectors rely heavily on China’s economic partnership and inputs. China is LAC’s second most important trading partner, second most important source of mergers and acquisitions foreign direct investment, and top source of development finance. For South America, China’s importance is even more pronounced: It became the top export destination for South American goods in 2010. China’s effects on regional development are also mixed, as we demonstrate below. China’s contributions to the region’s economic growth are well-documented, but Chinese demand for raw materials has also accentuated regional dependence on these commodities, in a process of “re- primarization” in South American economies, with troubling implications for the region’s long-term development prospects. Chinese investments have transformed the energy sectors in some countries, but the environmental effects of hydroelectric and other projects will be long-lasting in certain cases. To achieve a wide range of development objectives—economic, environmental, and social—LAC must depend on increasingly well-planned and coordinated engagement from all of its major economic partners and donor nations, including China. This is especially true in times of growing uncertainty, as the region grapples with humanitarian and migration crises, growing populist tendencies, relentless corruption, and climate change, among other factors.
  • Topic: Security, Corruption, Imperialism, International Cooperation, Governance, Regulation
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia, Latin America, North America
  • Author: Karen Eggleston
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: China’s national health reforms over the past two decades have brought the system closer to the modern, safe, reliable and accessible health system that is commensurate with China’s dramatic economic growth, improvement in living standards, and high hopes for the next generation. Celebrating a decade this year, China’s national health reforms of 2009 consolidated a system of social health insurance covering the entire population for basic health services, contributing to a surge in healthcare utilization while reducing out-of-pocket costs to patients – which declined from 56% to 28% of total health expenditures between 2003 and 2017. An expanded basic public health service package, funded by per capita government budget allocations that include a higher central government subsidy for lower income provinces, provides basic population health services to all Chinese. A higher percentage of Chinese accessed hospital admissions in 2017 than in the average high-income (OECD) country – a large increase from the turn of the 21st century.i A recent re-shuffle of the governance structure consolidates the purchaser role for social health insurance schemes under the newly created National Healthcare Security Administration, with most other health sector functions under the re-christened National Health Commission, among other changes. China’s world-leading technological prowess in multiple fields spanning digital commerce to artificial intelligence—and accompanying innovative business models such as WeDoctor that have not yet been fully integrated into the health system—hold promise for supporting higher quality and more convenient healthcare for China’s 1.4 billion.
  • Topic: Health, Science and Technology, Governance, Health Care Policy
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Joshua Krasna
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security (JISS)
  • Abstract: Arab countries are re-normalizing their relations with the Assad regime, seeking to balance the strong Iranian and Turkish influences in Syria and to achieve some degree of influence in a new Syrian political-strategic structure. This further cements a Russian-oriented strategic architecture in the region. In the long term, this could lead to tensions between conservative Arab states and Israel, if Israel targets the Syrian military and government in the campaign against Iran, or if Israel continues to promote diplomatic recognition of its Golan annexation.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Military Strategy, Governance, Normalization, Annexation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Asia, Syria
  • Author: Nicole Davis, Christa Twyford Gibson, Jonathan Gonzalez-Smith
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Many international institutions—universities, foundations, companies, NGOs, and governments—would like to engage more deeply with the government of India to improve health outcomes. However, a lack of transparency, changing state-level priorities, and the absence of a single venue to learn about engagement opportunities holds back many potential partnerships. The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Wadhwani Chair in U.S.-India Policy Studies and Duke University’s Innovations in Healthcare have launched the “Indian States Health Innovation Partnership” to address this information gap and encourage subnational health care cooperation between Indian government entities and external partners. The primary goal of this project is to strengthen health outcomes in India by methodically identifying which Indian states are ripe for innovative partnerships with international institutions and broadcasting these opportunities publicly to spur future partnerships. In the first phase of this project, the team developed a clearer picture of India’s state-level health care reform priorities and identified specific areas for potential partnership across four categories: capacity building, organizational delivery, financing, and specific health conditions.
  • Topic: Health, Governance, Health Care Policy, Innovation, Public Health
  • Political Geography: India, Asia
  • Author: Nicole Davis, Christa Twyford Gibson, Jonathan Gonzalez-Smith
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Indian states control most facets of healthcare delivery. Every state has a different set of healthcare delivery gaps and priorities. Understanding these gaps can help foreign institutions target cooperation more effectively- going to the right place with the right type of cooperation. But having a base for cooperation must be paired with an effective strategy to engage India's states. Issues such as states' political timelines, shifts in key bureaucrats, and other issues can have a major impact on potential projects. In this report, Innovations in Healthcare and CSIS lay out strategies employed by a range of international institutions with current subnational partnerships in India.
  • Topic: Health, Governance, Health Care Policy, Innovation
  • Political Geography: India, Asia
  • Author: P. Perera, Risa Morimoto
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: School of Oriental and African Studies - University of London
  • Abstract: Mangrove forests are critical to protecting our environment against the damaging impacts of climate change. While a third of global mangrove species are found in Sri Lanka, considerable mangrove deforestation has occurred over the last few decades, primarily due to the expansion of shrimp farming. This has degraded the mangrove ecosystem and led to the depletion of fish population, in turn affecting the livelihoods of local communities who depend predominantly on fishing for their survival. This study quantitatively analyses household survey data collected from local communities in and around the Puttalam lagoon, northwest Sri Lanka, to explore the institutions that are used for fishing commons governance (using Elinor Ostrom’s (1990) design principles as a theoretical underpinning) and their relation to poverty and environmental (and commons) degradation. The analysis finds that mangrove conservation is considered important regardless of poverty level and that poverty is related to greater institutional adherence. While adherence to the design principles leads to greater sustenance of the fishing commons, certain design principles are found to be more important than others. In this study, we found monitoring is the most important design principle.
  • Topic: Environment, Poverty, Governance, Institutions, Rural, Fishing, Deforestation
  • Political Geography: Asia, Sri Lanka
  • Author: Kai He, Huiyun Feng
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: The establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has signified a “charm offensive” by China towards multilateral institutions and existing global financial governance. If the rise of China is inevitable, what will the future world look like and what should other countries be prepared for? Borrowing insights from institutional balancing theory and role theory in foreign policy analysis, this project introduces a “leadership transition” framework to explain policy dynamics in global governance with the AIIB as a case study. It suggests that China, the US, and other countries have employed different types of institutional balancing strategies, i.e., inclusive institutional balancing, exclusive institutional balancing, and inter-institutional balancing to compete for influence and interest in the process of establishing the AIIB. A state’s role identity as a “leader,” a “challenger,” or a “follower” will shape its policy choices regarding different institutional balancing strategies in the process of leadership transition in global governance. Institutional balancing is a new form of balancing among states in the future of global governance. China’s institutional rise in global governance might be more peaceful than widely predicted.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, Infrastructure, Governance, Economic Cooperation
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia
  • Author: Arunajeet Kaur
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: The Hindu Rights Action Force (HINDRAF) came out from a series of controversial actions perceived by the Malaysian Indian community as discriminatory. The issues were topical occurrences such as the errant destruction of Hindu temples and the body-snatching cases of Tamil Hindus, thought to have been converted to Islam, as well as the state of poverty confronted by the Tamil Hindu community in Malaysia. From a protest rally in November 2007, led by mainly Malaysian Tamil lawyers, the Malaysian Indian community framed its demands in legal terms and questioned the position of not only the Malaysian Malay-Muslim majoritarian government but also the decolonising decisions of the departing British colonial authorities at the point of Independence in 1957. The 2007 event become known as the HINDRAF rally. It had an overwhelming impact internationally, in drawing attention to the plight of Malaysian Tamil Hindus. Inside Malaysia, by garnering the support of non- Malays, mainly the Chinese, to unite with the Indians, it affected the Malaysian general election in 2008, as the ruling Barisan Nasional government lost its two-thirds majority in Parliament. There was also an unprecedented number of Malaysian Indians who were elected into Parliament in 2008. However, this paper will demonstrate that by the subsequent two Malaysian general elections of 2013 and 2018, the Tamil Hindus, as represented by HINDRAF, had not achieved their goals. Enduring heavy-handed treatment by the Malaysian authorities previously and troubled by internal strife and leadership issues within HINDRAF, this movement of Tamil Hindus in Malaysia stands diluted and divided. After the 14th general election of 2018, it seems that the leadership has also accepted a compromised position. Malay-Muslim majoritarianism remains dominant and the “New Malaysia” appears less than that heralded in the early days of the new Pakatan Harapan government.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Religion, Governance, Discrimination, Decolonization
  • Political Geography: Malaysia, Asia
  • Author: Stephen Naimoli, Jane Nakano
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: This report provides a summary of the discussion from a CSIS roundtable held on April 13, 2018, as part of the CSIS-Pertamina Energy Initiative. The discussion brought together government, industry, and policy experts to explore the outlook for the region’s energy mix out to 2040, the state of renewable energy in Southeast Asia, and its role in the region’s energy priorities. This was the first in a series of events that will be convened this year to examine the role of renewable energy in Southeast Asia and its security, economic, and political importance in the Indo-Pacific. Southeast Asia is one of the fastest-growing regions in the world. The region’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew 66 percent from 2006 to 2015, and if all 10 countries were one economy, it would be the seventh-largest in the world. This growth is projected to increase, averaging just over 5 percent annually from 2018 to 2022. With economic growth comes demand for energy. From 2000 to 2016, economic growth in Southeast Asia drove a 70 percent increase in primary energy demand. Governments in Southeast Asia have implemented a range of policies and incentives to ensure they meet their energy demand. Renewable energy (wind, solar, geothermal, and sometimes hydro and biomass) is capturing an increasing, although not dominant, amount of attention from policymakers, investors, and the private sector as an important part of meeting this demand. Renewable energy’s share of the electric power mix is driven by a range of factors—the economics of power generation, efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, energy security concerns, and concerns over local air pollution. While renewable energy is set to grow as a share of the region’s energy mix, there are indications that its potential contribution is much higher than is currently on track to be realized. Renewable energy increasingly competes on an economic basis in many countries against all fuels except coal, but sometimes political and socioeconomic factors stand in the way of improving their competitiveness in specific markets. The region is also attracting a great deal of outside investor interest. Countries from around the region and ever farther afield are investing in Southeast Asia’s energy sector because of the rapid growth experienced over the last decade and half, and their investment priorities, along with economics, shape their investment decisions in Southeast Asia. Energy policy and investment decisions are also being driven by the shifting nature of supply-and-demand balances in each country and the shifting domestic realities that come from becoming a net importer of specific fuels, such as in Indonesia. Many Southeast Asian countries have integrated low- or zero-carbon renewable energy into their energy planning efforts, and this report examines the dynamics of the power sector in Southeast Asia and how renewable energy competes with fossil fuel sources of electricity.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy, Oil, Governance, Gas, Electricity, Renewable Energy, Industry
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Asia, Southeast Asia, Indo-Pacific
  • Author: Anton Malkin
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: This paper provides a reassessment of Made in China 2025 (MIC 2025) — China’s industrial policy framework aimed at helping the country overcome the much-maligned middle-income trap — in the context of global trade governance. It suggests that China’s industrial policies have been viewed too narrowly — without sufficient attention to longer-term global governance issues — by a large segment of the global business and policy-making community. The paper argues that the general aims of MIC 2025 and the policies that underpin them are not unreasonable, given the increasingly prevalent dilemmas in global trade that China’s leaders are grappling with. These include problems of international development arising from growing global industrial concentration — driven by the growth of the intangible economy — and China’s shrinking access to importing and developing technological components (such as semiconductor chips) that are increasingly characterized as “dual-use” by China’s trading partners. This suggests that resolving the concerns of China’s trading partners regarding China’s industrial policies requires global trade governance reform to ensure an equitable, rules-based global trading order that addresses the legitimate needs of developing and middle-income economies in acquiring foreign-owned technological components and know-how, for the purposes of economic development. The paper concludes by outlining specific recommendations for Canada’s policy makers in improving their economic relationship with China in the context of MIC 2025.
  • Topic: Development, Industrial Policy, Science and Technology, Governance, Free Trade
  • Political Geography: China, Canada, Asia, North America
  • Author: Gustaaf Geeraets
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: Against a background in which the United States is increasingly drawing into question its commitments to free trade and the global commons, the challenge for the EU and China is to deal with a global governance system that is evolving from a multilateral system centred around the US into a more diffuse system resting on the three strong trading poles: China, the EU and the US.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Governance, European Union, Multilateralism
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Europe, Asia, North America
  • Author: Elena Naughton, Kelen Meregali
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ)
  • Abstract: Recently, Nepal implemented some significant long-awaited changes to its structure of government that present new opportunities for addressing the justice needs of conflict victims. On September 20, 2015, a new Constitution came into effect, replacing the interim Constitution promulgated in 2007, soon after the conflict ended. That constitution introduced a new federal structure of government that, among other things, vests local governments with 22 powers and areas of responsibility over which they have broad authority. Many of these powers can be exercised to establish policies and programs at the local level for fulfilling victims’ rights to truth, justice, reparation, and acknowledgment for the human rights abuses victims suffered during the war. Although local initiatives are not a complete substitute for a coherent national policy, these powers offer great potential for implementing measures to address promptly and directly a full spectrum of victims’ reparative needs, from the symbolic to the material. They encompass food, housing, employment and job creation, medical care, education, legal services, help obtaining official documentation, memorialization initiatives and other forms of public recognition, awareness-raising activities, and measures aimed at preventing the recurrence of human rights abuses. Many of these measures would fulfill fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution to all Nepal’s citizens, and additional rights secured there for vulnerable populations (such as the elderly, disabled, single women, those marginalized or indigent, and children). If designed to be reparative in nature, they could also fulfill victims’ rights to an effective remedy, including the right to “adequate, effective and prompt reparation,” as articulated by the UN General Assembly in its Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Gross Violations of Human Rights Law and Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law (UN Basic Guidelines). This report aims to help local governments, victims’ groups, and other stakeholders to understand the scope and potential inherent in these powers and to identify what local governments and others can do to design and implement initiatives that support victims of conflict and that fulfill this potential. To this end, this report looks closely at the provisions of the 2015 Constitution and the Local Government Operationalization Act 2074 BS (2017 AD). It also considers the essential role local governments can play in crafting and coordinating responses alongside national-level institutions that are advancing transitional justice processes, such as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), the Commission on Investigation of Enforced Disappearance of Persons (CIEDP), and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). Additional consideration is given to the provisions of the Enforced Disappearances Enquiry, Truth and Reconciliation Commission Act (the TRC Act), 2071 (2014), and the requirements established therein for local government cooperation and engagement with ongoing transitional justice mechanisms. With offices within or near victim communities, local governments in Nepal are well situated to tailor initiatives to address victims’ particular needs. Coming as they do from out of the communities they serve, most local officials, including many who are victims themselves, are familiar with realities on the ground and nuances in the economy and in community practices that may affect whether a policy will benefit or might unintentionally harm victims, or could even exacerbate tensions within families or between neighbors. Many local officials speak and read the local languages and dialects victims speak and read. Also, many are privy to crucial differences among survivors’ experiences of war, as well as their current life situations. With access to information about existing services and knowledge of what is required to get things done locally, local governments offer real potential advantages for understanding and effectively responding to victims’ needs and for building the kinds of relationships needed to help bridge divides not only between and among victim populations, but also between victims and nonvictim communities in Nepal. With five-year terms in office (and eligibility for an additional term), local officials at each of the different levels of local government (e.g., municipal, village, and ward) should be able to plan and undertake not only short-term or targeted projects that respond to victims’ urgent needs but also long-term, subsistence-based projects that can provide victims with the benefits they need to create a more stable life for years to come. Many of these initiatives can begin while national policymakers in Kathmandu continue working on a comprehensive approach to transitional justice. National and local dimensions of transitional justice are not mutually exclusive; there is no reason local efforts cannot be designed in a way that meet victims’ needs for redress, in particular for the most vulnerable populations, while still meeting other government obligations, including those at the central and provincial levels. In fact, local governments working effectively now might relieve some of the pressures on the central government, by meeting victims most acute needs and collecting data and testing policies that could be implemented later at the national level. To do so, all levels of government across the federal structure will need to coordinate, communicate, and abide by the essential elements of good governance, including preventing corruption. Victim initiatives must be designed in such a way as to “do no harm” and to ensure that victims are treated fairly and with respect and dignity. As Nepal has learned from its experience implementing the Interim Relief Program (IRP)—which was hampered by significant shortfalls in design and implementation (including insufficient funding, a lack of coordination among key stakeholders, the exclusion of some categories of victims and the unequal treatment of others, and the politicization of application processes and eligibility determinations)—it is essential to consult with victims, to be sensitive to their needs and vulnerabilities, to acknowledge the violations they experienced, and to monitor and evaluate implementation to prevent discrimination. In all decisions and procedures, the safety, well-being, and dignity of victims must be considered and given priority. The victims will be paying attention. As one victim forcefully made the point, “We raise our voices. We do not give up. And we will not sit by in silence…I say to the government—listen to our voices, consider our demands. The challenges local governments will inevitably face are innumerable. At each stage of the process, local governments will confront significant hurdles as they exercise their powers to design, plan, and eventually implement programs benefiting their constituents, including Nepal’s many conflict victims. This report highlights some of these major challenges based on feedback obtained during consultations conducted in preparation of this report in some of the districts where conflict victims live. Immediate steps should be taken to monitor, address, and mitigate the following challenges
  • Topic: Government, Governance, Transitional Justice, Local
  • Political Geography: Asia, Nepal
  • Author: Eran Lerman
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security (JISS)
  • Abstract: President Erdogan is taking Turkey in dangerous directions. The conquest of the Kurdish ‘Afrin enclave lends momentum to his ambitions. Erdogan must pay a manifest price for leading Turkey towards dictatorship and Islamism
  • Topic: Governance, Authoritarianism, Leadership, Islamism, Dictatorship
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Asia
  • Author: Caroline Hambloch
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: School of Oriental and African Studies - University of London
  • Abstract: The chain literature (Global Commodity Chains/Value Chains/Production Networks) have remained surprisingly silent about the role of land as a factor of production. I use fieldwork experience from the palm oil industry in Agusan del Sur, Philippines to illustrate the way in which the buyer-driven nature of the chain interacts with a major institutional change, namely the redistributive land reform, Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP). I argue that the CARP has not resulted in the desired redistribution of power from the landed to the landless, but reinforces the unequal distribution of power between plantation/milling companies and beneficiaries, producing economic and social downgrading trajectories for reform beneficiaries and farmworkers.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Governance, Reform, Land, Land Reform
  • Political Geography: Asia, Philippines
  • Author: Parkash Chander
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: his paper studies the political economy of the Southeast Asian haze and discusses the obstacles that, unless overcome, could prevent a permanent and effective solution to this transboundary pollution problem, which originates in Indonesia. Following a cost-benefit analysis of the problem, the paper takes note of the weaknesses in Indonesia’s governance structure, which make it difficult to enforce national policies aimed at curbing the haze problem. It also puts forward a number of suggestions for strengthening the current policy regime for tackling the problem.
  • Topic: Political Economy, Regional Cooperation, Governance, Domestic politics
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Tajikistan was one of the first countries that signed up for the Global Partnership for Social Accountability (GPSA). Oxfam’s strategy on social accountability in the country focuses in three aspects: constructive engagement, enhancing trust through the Community Advisory Boards (CABs), and promoting women’s engagement. The programme has generated strong commitment from the government, communities and water services providers.
  • Topic: Water, Infrastructure, Governance, Accountability, Community
  • Political Geography: Central Asia, Asia, Tajikistan
  • Author: Clay Westrope
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: This evaluation is presented as part of the Effectiveness Review Series 2015/16, randomly selected for review under the good governance thematic area. This report documents the findings of a qualitative impact evaluation, carried out in May 2016. The evaluation used process tracing to assess the effectiveness of the GROW campaign in Tajikistan. In an effort to complement agricultural value chain programming implemented by a variety of organisations in the Khatlon region of Tajikistan, Oxfam GB (OGB) integrated aspects of its global advocacy campaign, GROW. The GROW campaign takes a multi-pronged approach to the multi-faceted issue of global food insecurity by focusing on a diversity of causes, including climate change, land reform issues, industrial farming, and private sector policies. In Tajikistan, the campaign team selected contextually relevant key issues to guide its advocacy activities, including climate change, land reform, and water availability with a focus on women smallholder farmers as the key agricultural producers. OGB did this through trainings, workshops, round tables, and highly visual events integrated with previous and currently existing programming. In Tajikistan, the GROW Campaign was implemented in a distinctive way by leveraging synergies between previous, existing, and future programming both directly and tangentially related to the main themes of the campaign. Rather than serving as a standalone campaign, GROW served as a platform from which to promote, influence, and advocate on issues through related projects being implemented on the ground.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Gender Issues, Governance, Feminism, Rural, Farming, Empowerment
  • Political Geography: Central Asia, Asia, Tajikistan
  • Author: Diana Sarosi
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Tourism is booming and generates millions of jobs for women around the world. Yet the hotel industry exemplifies the vast inequality of today’s world. The women who make hotel beds and clean hotel toilets labour long hours for meagre pay, face sexual harassment and intimidation, are exposed daily to toxic chemicals and live in fear of arbitrary dismissal. Meanwhile, the top-earning hotel CEOs can earn more in an hour than some housekeepers do in a year. Such systematic exploitation is not inevitable. The hotel industry, consumers and governments must all be part of the solution to end the economic exploitation of women. This report examines the working lives of housekeepers in Toronto, Canada, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic and Phuket, Thailand. In dozens of interviews with hotel housekeepers, representatives of workers’ organizations and hotel managers, Oxfam found five overarching trends common to the three locations: in non-unionized hotels, extremely low wages that are not sufficient to live on; serious health risks and high rates of injury; high rates of sexual harassment; difficulty organizing due to employer resistance and bad management practices; and a lack of adequate child care.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Labor Issues, Governance, Tourism, Sexual Violence, Exploitation
  • Political Geography: Canada, Asia, Caribbean, Dominican Republic, North America, Thailand
  • Author: Eli Berman, Joseph Felter, Mitch Downey
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Empirical Studies of Conflict Project (ESOC)
  • Abstract: Citizens in Mexico are trapped in between two illegitimate forces – the drug gangs and their criminal organizations and the police who are supposed to protect them. Through the use of list experiments within the Survey on Public Safety and Governance in Mexico (SPSGM), we measure the pervasiveness of drug gang activity as it pertains to strategies of coercion (extortion) and co-optation (offering help) to ordinary citizens. The list experiments also allow us to provide a mapping of the geography of drug activity and the extent to which not only the drug gangs, but also the police, engages in strategies of coercion. The paper seeks to provide a better understanding of which groups are most vulnerable and where is it that drug gangs have become most embedded in society. Our findings suggest that although narcotraficantes extort citizens the most in high violence regions and the police does so in low violence ones, both forms of extortion are present everywhere in Mexico. This has triggered a spiral of fear: drug gangs signal unambiguously that they are in control and will punish anyone who provides information to the government, while the police can’t credibly signal that they can regain control of the streets. Police corruption is hence an essential part of the story of Mexico’s violence. Ever more fearful citizens have turned to the narcos for help, we demonstrate, and hence many tacitly –or even openly– support them. The paper results suggest that public strategies emphasizing military action and harsh treatment might not affect the social embeddedness that protects drug gangs and criminal organizations. Instead, enhancing citizen trust within communities and shifting the reputation of police forces while improving the adjudication of justice are more likely to strengthen the social fabric.
  • Topic: Security, Governance, Violence, Drugs, Police
  • Political Geography: Asia, Philippines, Mexico
  • Author: Ashwini K. Swain
  • Publication Date: 08-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Despite sustained efforts to reform the sector, electricity distribution in India remains amidst complex problems, manifested in the form of loss-making distribution utilities, poor quality of service, governance ambiguities, and absence of basic data. The current wave of reforms seeks to turnaround the sector’s performance by transforming the generation mix, strengthening the network infrastructure, ensuring universal access and better consumer experience, and financial revival of discoms. While policy signals from the centre appear to be promising and ambitious, given the past records, execution of these reform plans at the state level is uncertain. Against this backdrop, the paper analyses the distribution reform initiated from the centre and the role played by the central government in shaping ideas and stimulating change at the state level. Looking into various diagnoses of the challenges and subsequent reform initiatives, the paper seeks to explain the political economy of successive reform attempts and their outcomes. It also identifies gaps in the current wave of reforms and raises questions for further exploration.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Political Economy, Infrastructure, Governance, Reform, Electricity
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Bhanu Joshi, Ashish Ranjan, Neelanjan Sircar
  • Publication Date: 05-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: In 2011, Mamata Banerjee and party, Trinamool Congress, stormed to power in West Bengal under the simple slogan poriborton (change). In this piece, Bhanu Joshi, Ashish Ranjan, and Neelanjan explore how Mamata went about demonstrating this change to the West Bengal, as well as the architecture of Trinamool Congress’ thumping victory in the 2016 state election.
  • Topic: Government, Politics, Governance, Elections, Social Policy
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Kiran Bhatty, Radhika Saraf
  • Publication Date: 05-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: This study attempts to understand the effectiveness of education governance, specifically the monitoring function, through the perspectives of frontline officials in India. It locates institutions within social and political structures marked by deep inequalities and analyses the manner in which these institutional arrangements influence the behaviour of frontline officials. It finds that poor state capacities in terms of inadequate resources and systemic infirmities contribute significantly to ineffective monitoring. In addition, the social distance of frontline bureaucrats from their clients reinforces their low levels of motivation, preventing them from using discretion to achieve official objectives.
  • Topic: Education, Government, Infrastructure, Governance, Social Policy
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Colonel Russell N. Bailey, Colonel (NZ) Christopher J. Parsons, Elizabeth R. Smith, Lieutenant Colonel J. O'Malley, Lieutenant Colonel Bob Dixon, Ms. Laura McAleer
  • Publication Date: 08-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: This strategic assessment seeks to go beyond a traditional comparative analysis of the military, technological, political, cultural, and economic factors governing the relationships and capabilities of the Asia Pacific environment. To make sense of the intrinsic complexities unique to this region, we endeavor to broaden our view and rely on a tool often overlooked in government studies: imagination. Moreover, we aim to offer a strategic document that is readable, instructive, and provocative. Pulling from a well-referenced piece of military teaching, this assessment borrows a learning concept first employed in 1904 by Major General Sir Ernest Dunlop Swinton in "The Defence of Duffer’s Drift." This fictional story describes the plight of young Lieutenant Backsight Forethought as he commands a 50-man platoon tasked to hold a tactically critical piece of land called Duffer’s Drift. The story unfolds in a series of six dreams, where the blunders of the unwitting lieutenant lead to disaster. As the dreams progress, he harnesses the lessons of each of his failures, and by applying these lessons, his platoon ultimately defends Duffer’s Drift.
  • Topic: Military Strategy, Governance, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Asia, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: Shibani Ghosh
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: The recent uproar about the toxic levels of pollution in the country’s national capital region has once again brought to fore the failure of the regulatory and legal mechanisms in India to control air pollution. Despite an early legislative acknowledgment of the issues relating to air pollution, and regulatory mechanisms set up consequently, India has not been able to restrict the sharp upward trajectory of air pollution. While several issues with regard to the legal and regulatory regime governing air quality in the country deserve serious and urgent consideration, this paper focuses on one issue in particular – the liability regime for violation of air quality standards. The paper is divided into three parts. The first part discusses the relevant provisions of the law pertaining to liability - civil and criminal - for causing air pollution. The second part identifies three critical issues that have emerged in the current liability regime: (1) the Pollution Control Boards do not have the power to levy penalties; (2) criminal prosecution is not an effective solution; and (3) the National Green Tribunal Act does not provide complete relief. The third and final part of the essay proposes a way forward. It is suggested that the Pollution Control Boards need to be granted additional enforcement powers, and administrative fines for violations should be introduced, albeit with certain conditions.
  • Topic: Environment, Health, Governance, Law Enforcement, Law, Reform, Pollution
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Pradumna B. Rana, Wai-Mun Chia
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: In the past few years, the pace of economic growth in South Asia has slowed considerably for two reasons: unfavourable global economic environment and the slowing pace of economic reforms that once were the key drivers of the region’s dynamic economic performance and resilience. This paper focuses on the latter and following Rana (2011) and Rana and Hamid (1995), it argues that South Asian countries have not sequenced their reforms properly. The first round of reforms in South Asia that began in the 1980s and the early 1990s focused on macroeconomic reforms — monetary, fiscal, and exchange rate management, as well as reducing rigid government controls — which led to private sector driven economic growth. These should have been followed by the more microeconomic reforms — sectoral and the so-called “second generation” reforms to strengthen governance and institutions — to sustain the higher growth levels. But they were not and reforms ran out of steam because of, among others, lack of law and order, and corruption in the public sector. This paper finds a significant “governance gap” in South Asia that refers to how South Asia lags behind East Asia in terms of various governance indicators and how within South Asia some countries are ahead of others. The paper argues that in order to revive economic growth, South Asian countries must implement microeconomic reforms: it identifies the remaining policy agenda for each South Asian country. However, implementation of microeconomic reforms poses a difficult challenge as they require a wider consensus and political support and have a longer term focus. The recent election of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in India with a strong mandate for economic reform provides an environment of “cautious optimism” for all of South Asia.
  • Topic: Governance, Reform, Global Political Economy, Economic Development
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Chisako T. Masuo
  • Publication Date: 08-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Project 2049 Institute
  • Abstract: In 1982, General Liu Huaqing of China proposed the strategy of ‘offshore defense’ and drew a line through the Kurile Islands, Japan and the Ryukyu Islands, Taiwan, the Philippines, Borneo, and Natuna Besar. He set the year 2000 as the goal for establishing Chinese control inside this ‘First Island Chain.’ China has been trying to expand its area of actual control by extending domestic governance over the seas. Over the last decade, the State Oceanic Administration (SOA) under the State Council has assumed more responsibility in the oceanic administration and developed a clearer division of labor within PLAN.
  • Topic: Territorial Disputes, Governance, Geopolitics, Oceans and Seas
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Taiwan, Asia, Philippines, Borneo
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: Corruption has become a perennial issue that has shackled political parties to a groundswell of unpopularity in Indonesia. In the run up towards the 2014 General Elections, it is envisaged that such an issue may jeopardise the electability of certain political parties. This report explores the influence of corruption cases on the elections by first highlighting the current status of competing political parties in the 2014 elections. The report then looks at the notable corruption cases that have an adverse effect on the political parties. The report concludes with four points. First, how utilising the "corruption-card" has become the new weapon of choice among political parties. Second, how the acute problem of corruption signifies that Indonesia's democratic consolidation process is far from over. Third, how shadowy affairs between political parties, their elites and the media can and should be constantly monitored. Lastly, the need to strengthen and continuous evaluation of the Corruption Eradication Committee (KPK) to prevent unnecessary interventions by political parties in the future.
  • Topic: Corruption, Democratization, Development, Political Economy, Governance
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Asia
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: The Democratic Party (PD) – the incumbent party that won a majority sweep in the 2009 general elections, conferring Yudhoyono his second presidency – is now experiencing a dramatic reversal of fortunes. The party's electability rate has dipped significantly from its heyday peak of 21 per cent in 2009 to a meagre 7 per cent in 2013. A convention based on democratic proceedings ha s been hatched as part of a last - ditched effort by PD with the express purpose of generating the requisite publicity before legislative elections commence in order to restore confidence among its voters. While the convention has been proceeding apace, its impact on the electorate and on the image of the party as a whole has been disappointing. This report analyses the reasons why PD's novel attempt at a democratic convention failed to rejuvenate the party like its predecessor the Golkar party did a decade a go. Included in the analysis are scenario analyses of the various outcomes of the convention, given the plausible choices that party Chairman Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono may take in consideration of the current dire status of PD.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Islam, Political Economy, Governance
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Abdullah Toukan
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: This study examines the key strategic risks that shape the stability and security of the Indian Ocean Region or IOR. This means examining risks that cut across a vast span of territory that directly affects both the global economy and some 32 nations–some within the limits of the Indian Ocean, but others that play a critical role in shaping the security of the nations in the IOR region and the security of its sea lanes and petroleum exports.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Governance
  • Political Geography: India, Asia
  • Author: Young-Chul Kim, Young-Joon Kim, Glenn C. Loury
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University
  • Abstract: As private education becomes widespread over the last decade in South Korea, the education gap among regions and social classes, noticeably widens. The recent global financial crisis exacerbates the problem as the rich continues to utilize more private education while the poor utilizes it less. For the first time, we confirm the widening gap in academic achievement and college admission in recent years by using source materials on Korea's College Scholastic Ability Test (CSAT) and students admitted to Seoul National University (SNU). We also present a simple theory that suggests as the influence of socioeconomic background and educational environment on the entrance exam score rises over that of innate talents, labor productivity of overall society appears to decline. Controlling for student talent by using the scholastic ranking of the 2nd year of middle school, we show that the socioeconomic status and learning environment exert a considerable influence on all college admissions criteria in this country. Finally, we discuss the importance of voluntary efforts by universities for expanding equal opportunity in higher education, as well as the government's response to the growing gap in college admissions.
  • Topic: Education, Governance
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Myanmar's first census in over 30 years, an ambitious project conducted in April 2014 with technical advice from the UN and significant funding from bilateral donors, has proved to be highly controversial and deeply divisive. A process that was largely blind to the political and conflict risks has inflamed ethnic and religious tensions in this diverse country. The release of the inevitably controversial results in the coming months will have to be handled with great sensitivity if further dangers are to be minimised.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Ethnic Conflict, Governance
  • Political Geography: Asia, Myanmar
  • Author: Michelle Hughes
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The Afghan National Police (ANP) has made remarkable progress, but the challenges are urgent, and critical capabilities remain underdeveloped. Within the framework of the minister of interior's own Strategic Vision, opportunities will arise to close some of the capacity gaps in the coming years. Helping the ANP shift from a wartime footing to a contextually appropriate community policing model, and advancing professionalism within the ministry and the operating forces, is critical to sustainability. If a national police force is going to succeed, the linkage between policing and governance must be recognized and strengthened. Managing the expanding array of ANP donors and their activities poses a unique challenge that has yet to be addressed. It is an executive challenge for the Ministry of Interior and a coordination challenge for the international community. For both, it will require a long-term approach. To facilitate effective evidence-based operations (EvBO) and strengthen the relationship between the ANP and the communities it serves, U.S.-funded activities that build capacity for justice and governance need to be more closely aligned with ANP development.
  • Topic: Security, International Cooperation, Bilateral Relations, Governance
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Asia
  • Author: Katharina Zellweger
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: "People with Disabilities in a Changing North Korea" details the situation that people with disabilities face in the Democratic People's Republic of North Korea (DPRK). Despite its reputation as a repressive, closed society where human rights are routinely abused, there are in fact institutions in the DPRK that work to address the needs of the disabled, and a number of non-governmental organizations providing aid to disabled people are active in the country. In this paper, Katharina Zellweger attempts to provide "an informed and balanced view of what it means to live with disabilities in North Korea and current work to assist the disabled."
  • Topic: Health, Human Welfare, Governance
  • Political Geography: Asia, North Korea
  • Author: Mathieu Duchâtel, Oliver Bräuner, Zhou Hang
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: Chinese foreign policy is slowly shifting away from a strict interpretation of non-interference, towards a pragmatic and incremental adaptation to new challenges to China's globalizing economic and security interests. Although there has always been a degree of flexibility in Chinese foreign policy regarding non-interference, even during the Maoist period, the principle has by and large remained a key guideline for diplomatic work and a major rhetorical tool.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Governance
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Yuddy Chrisnandi, Adhi Priamarizki
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: Following the implementation of Law No. 2/1999 on political parties by former president Bacharuddin Jusuf Habbibie, the multiparty system has been championed as the more prominent feature of the rapidly democratized Indonesian political landscape in the post-Suharto era. he implementation of such a law replaced the three-party system that had previously been dominated by the single hegemonic political vehicle of the New Order, Golkar or Golongan Karya [the Functional Groups], for almost 26 years. In the 1999 General Elections (GE), Indonesia witnessed an exuberance of new political parties. A total of forty-eight new political parties joined the 1999 election, the first free and fair democratic election since the 1955 GE. While the number of political parties may seem overwhelming, such a political turnout is not surprising given the degree of plurality of Indonesian society. In the 2004, 2009, and 2014 GE respectively, 24, 38, and 12 national political parties competed.
  • Topic: Democratization, Politics, Governance
  • Political Geography: Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: On 22 May, for the twelfth time in Thailand's history, the army seized power after months of political turbulence. This is not simply more of the same. The past decade has seen an intensifying cycle of election, protest and government downfall, whether at the hands of the courts or military, revealing deepening societal cleavages and elite rivalries, highlighting competing notions of legitimate authority. A looming royal succession, prohibited by law from being openly discussed, adds to the urgency. A failure to fix this dysfunction risks greater turmoil. The military's apparent prescription – gelding elected leaders in favour of unelected institutions – is more likely to bring conflict than cohesion, given a recent history of a newly empowered electorate. For the army, buyer's remorse is not an option, nor is open-ended autocracy; rather its legacy, and Thailand's stability, depend on its success in forging a path – thus far elusive – both respectful of majoritarian politics and in which all Thais can see their concerns acknowledged.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Democratization, Ethnic Conflict, Governance, Authoritarianism
  • Political Geography: Asia, Thailand
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Creating an effective transition for the ANSF is only one of the major challenges that Afghanistan, the US, and Afghanistan's other allies face during 2014-2015 and beyond. The five other key challenges include: Going from an uncertain election to effective leadership and political cohesion and unity. Creating an effective and popular structure governance, with suitable reforms, from the local to central government, reducing corruption to acceptable levels, and making suitable progress in planning, budgeting, and budget execution. Coping with the coming major cuts in outside aid and military spending in Afghanistan, adapting to a largely self-financed economy, developing renewal world economic development plans, carrying out the reforms pledged at the Tokyo Conference, and reducing the many barriers to doing business. Establishing relations with Pakistan and other neighbors that will limit outside pressures and threats, and insurgent sanctuaries on Afghanistan's border. Persuading the US, other donors, NGCO, and nations will to provide advisors to furnish the needed aid effort through at least 2018, and probably well beyond.
  • Topic: Corruption, Economics, Governance, Reform
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Asia
  • Author: Eleonora Poli
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Before the 1997 economic crisis in Asia, the institutional evolution of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was very different from the European model. The economic downturn in the late 1990s and the global shift toward a neo-liberal economic era urged ASEAN countries to rethink their regional integration strategy and to mimic some of the institutional models in Europe. In light of this, this paper analyses the rationale behind the evolution of ASEAN since the late 1990, evaluating how and why the organization on a surface replicated aspects of the EU model without engaging in meaningful supranational institutionalization.
  • Topic: Economics, Regional Cooperation, Governance
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia
  • Author: Sabrina Zajak
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies
  • Abstract: This paper contributes to the debate on the role of democratic participation in complex systems of governance. It takes a process-oriented constructivist approach asking how transnational activism over time contributes to the construction of access and voice from below and uses the Asia-Europe Meetings (ASEM) to analyze how interactions between civil society and global governance institutions shape concrete forms of participation. The paper shows that transnational activism triggers both discursive and institutional changes within the official ASEM process leading to an informal, fragmented, and fragile institutionalization of civil society participation. However, the paper reveals a division between civil society organizations with some, such as business representatives, having preferential access and voice in comparison to more contentious organizations. The paper explains this fragmented form of democratization as the result of three interrelated processes: the particular history and economic origins of the ASEM; international developments particularly in the ongoing economic crisis; and domestic developments within individual countries (in particular China) which have begun to favor controlled access for civil society participation.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Economics, History, Governance, Developments
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia