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  • Author: Gemma Dipoppa, Guy Grossman, Stephanie Zonszein
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Empirical Studies of Conflict Project (ESOC)
  • Abstract: Covid-19 caused a significant health and economic crisis, a condition identified as conducive to stigmatization and hateful behavior against minority groups. It is however unclear whether the threat of infection triggers violence in addition to stigmatization, and whether a violent reaction can happen at the onset of an unexpected economic shock before social hierarchies can be disrupted. Using a novel database of hate crimes across Italy, we show that (i) hate crimes against Asians increased substantially at the pandemic onset, and that (ii) the increase was concentrated in cities with higher expected unemployment, but not higher mortality. We then examine individual, local and national mobilization as mechanisms. We find that (iii) local far-right institutions motivate hate crimes, while we find no support for the role of individual prejudice and national discourse. Our study identifies new conditions triggering hateful behavior, advancing our understanding of factors hindering migrant integration.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Minorities, Violence, Far Right, Hate Speech, COVID-19, Racism, Hate Groups
  • Political Geography: United States, Italy, Global Focus
  • Author: Samer Matta, Michael Bleaney, Simon Appleton
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Nottingham Interdisciplinary Centre for Economic and Political Research (NICEP)
  • Abstract: An extensive literature has examined the economic effects of non-violent political instability events. Nonetheless, the issue of whether economies react differently over time to such events remains largely unexplored. Using synthetic control methodology, which constructs a counterfactual in the absence of political instability, we estimate the output effect of 38 regime crises in the period 1970-2011. A crucial factor is whether crises are accompanied by mass civil protest. In the crises accompanied by mass civil protest, there is typically an immediate fall in output which is never recovered in the subsequent five years. In crises unaccompanied by protest, there are usually no significant effects. Furthermore, this paper provides new evidence that regime crises (with and without mass civil protest) have heterogeneous (country-specific) effects on output per capita.
  • Topic: Economics, Political Economy, Regime Change, Political stability, Economic growth, Protests, Economic Policy, Civil Unrest
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Vincent Stamer
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW)
  • Abstract: Global container ship movements may reliably predict global trade flows. Aggregating both movements at sea and port call events produces a wealth of explanatory variables. The machine learning algorithm partial least squares can map these explanatory time series to unilateral imports and exports, as well as bilateral trade flows. Applying out-of-sample and time series methods on monthly trade data of 75 countries, this paper shows that the new shipping indicator outperforms benchmark models for the vast majority of countries. This holds true for predictions for the current and subsequent month even if one limits the analysis to data during the first half of the month. This makes the indicator available at least as early as other leading indicators.
  • Topic: Economics, Science and Technology, Trade, Shipping, Machine Learning
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Chuck Fang, Julian Schumacher, Christoph Trebesch
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW)
  • Abstract: Sovereign debt crises are difficult to solve. This paper studies the “holdout problem”, meaning the risk that creditors refuse to participate in a debt restructuring. We document a large variation in holdout rates, based on a comprehensive new dataset of 23 bond restructurings with external creditors since 1994. We then study the determinants of holdouts and find that the size of creditor losses (haircuts) is among the best predictors at the bond level. In a restructuring, bonds with higher haircuts see higher holdout rates, and the same is true for small bonds and those issued under foreign law. Collective action clauses (CACs) are effective in reducing holdout risks. However, classic CACs, with bond-by-bond voting, are not sufficient to assure high participation rates. Only the strongest form of CACs, with single-limb aggregate voting, minimizes the holdout problem according to our simulations. The results help to inform theory as well as current policy initiatives on reforming sovereign bond markets.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, International Political Economy, Law, Credit
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ingrid Ott, Ivan Savin, Chris Konop
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW)
  • Abstract: Taking robotic patents between 1977 and 2017 and building upon the topic modeling technique, we extract their latent topics, analyze how important these topics are over time, and how they are related to each other looking at how often they are recombined in the same patents. This allows us to differentiate between more and less important technological trends in robotics based on their stage of diffusion and position in the space of knowledge, where some topics appear isolated while others are highly interconnected. Furthermore, we propose a novel approach to match the constructed topics to the IFR classification of service robots based on frequency and exclusivity of words overlapping between them. We identify around 20 topics belonging to service robotics. Our results corroborate earlier findings, but also provide novel insights on the content and stage of development of application areas in service robotics. With this study we contribute to a better understanding of the highly dynamic field of robotics and contribute to new practices of utilizing the topic modeling approach.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Science and Technology, Robotics, Models
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Paul Stronski, Richard Sokolsky
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Over the past two decades, and especially since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2014, the Kremlin has intensified its engagement with international institutions. This paper evaluates the drivers of this involvement, Russian views of three of these organizations, and Moscow’s success in achieving its objectives.
  • Topic: International Relations, Regional Cooperation, Multilateralism, Institutions
  • Political Geography: Russia, Global Focus
  • Author: George Perkovich
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: For decades, policy debates in nuclear-armed states and alliances have centered on the question, “How much is enough?” What size and type of arsenal, and what doctrine, are enough to credibly deter given adversaries? This paper argues that the more urgent question today is, “How much is too much?” What size and type of arsenal, and what doctrine, are too likely to produce humanitarian and environmental catastrophe that would be strategically and legally indefensible? Two international initiatives could help answer this question. One would involve nuclear-armed states, perhaps with others, commissioning suitable scientific experts to conduct new studies on the probable climatic and environmental consequences of nuclear war. Such studies would benefit from recent advances in modeling, data, and computing power. They should explore what changes in numbers, yields, and targets of nuclear weapons would significantly reduce the probability of nuclear winter. If some nuclear arsenals and operational plans are especially likely to threaten the global environment and food supply, nuclear-armed states as well as non-nuclear-weapon states would benefit from actions to physically reduce such risks. The paper suggests possible modalities for international debate on these issues. The second initiative would query all nuclear-armed states whether they plan to adhere to international humanitarian law in deciding if and when to detonate nuclear weapons, and if so, how their arsenals and operational plans affirm their intentions (or not). The United Kingdom and the United States have committed, in the words of the 2018 U.S. Nuclear Posture Review, to “adhere to the law of armed conflict” in any “initiation and conduct of nuclear operations.” But other nuclear-armed states have been more reticent, and the practical meaning of such declarations needs to be clarified through international discussion. The two proposed initiatives would help states and civil society experts to better reconcile the (perceived) need for nuclear deterrence with the strategic, legal, and physical imperatives of reducing the probability that a war escalates to catastrophic proportions. The concern is not only for the well-being of belligerent populations, but also for those in nations not involved in the posited conflict. Traditional security studies and the policies of some nuclear-armed states have ignored these imperatives. Accountable deterrents—in terms of international law and human survival—would be those that met the security and moral needs of all nations, not just one or two. These purposes may be too modest for states and activists that prefer the immediate prohibition and abolition of nuclear weapons. Conversely, advocates of escalation dominance in the United States and Russia—and perhaps in Pakistan and India—will find the force reductions and doctrinal changes implied by them too demanding. Yet, the positions of both of these polarized groups are unrealistic and/or unacceptable to a plurality of attentive states and experts. To blunt efforts to stifle further analysis and debate of these issues, the appendix of this paper heuristically rebuts leading arguments against accountable deterrents. Middle powers and civil society have successfully put new issues on the global agenda and created political pressure on major powers to change policies. Yet, cooperation from at least one major nuclear power is necessary to achieve the changes in nuclear deterrent postures and policies explored here. In today’s circumstances, China may be the pivotal player. The conclusion suggests ways in which China could extend the traditional restraint in its nuclear force posture and doctrine into a new approach to nuclear arms control and disarmament with the United States and Russia that could win the support of middle powers and international civil society. If the looming breakdown in the global nuclear order is to be averted, and the dangers of nuclear war to be lessened, new ideas and political coalitions need to gain ascendance. The initiatives proposed here intended to stimulate the sort of analysis and debate from which such ideas and coalitions can emerge.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Environment, Nuclear Power, Weapons , Deterrence
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Russia, China, India, Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: Christian Ruhl, Duncan Hollis, Wyatt Hoffman, Tim Maurer
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: As cyber insecurity has become a growing problem worldwide, states and other stakeholders have sought to increase stability for cyberspace. As a result, a new ecosystem of “cyber norm” processes has emerged in diverse fora and formats. Today, United Nations (UN) groups (for example, the Group of Governmental Experts [GGE] and the Open-Ended Working Group [OEWG]), expert commissions (for example, the Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace), industry coalitions (for example, the Tech Accord, the Charter of Trust), and multistakeholder collectives (for example, the Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace) all purport to identify or operationalize various normative standards of behavior for states and/or other stakeholders in cyberspace. As some of these processes wind down (for example, the Global Commission) and others wind up (for example, the OEWG), cyber norms are at a crossroads where each process’s potential (and problems) looms large.
  • Topic: Security, Science and Technology, Cybersecurity, Geopolitics, Norms
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jan-Philipp Brauchle, Matthias Göbel, Jens Seiler, Christoph Von Busekist
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Cyber risks present a growing threat for individual agents in the financial system: banks, insurers, central counterparties, and the like. However, cyber events may also have the potential to destabilize the financial system as a whole. While dedicated microprudential regulatory and supervisory regimes are in place or are being developed to manage cyber risks especially at credit institutions, what is lacking is a systemic view of cyber risks that particularly sheds light on concentrations and contagion channels that are material to the financial system.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Finance, Networks, Risk, Financial Institutions
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Luicy Pedroza
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This piece is both an exercise in critical conceptual landscaping in the field of Migration Studies and the proposal of an analytical framework that can correct some of its most serious biases. The framework I propose allows the observing of migration policies as if they constituted a comprehensive policy field. This will permit comparisons across the whole spectrum of migration policies on a rigorous basis, and for all countries and regions. I identify two constitutive sides to the proposed framework, each dealing with how state‐like polities regulate the mobility of incoming or outgoing persons. I further suggest that it include regulations on the rights of individuals to pass through three stages of any international migration journey: the right to enter/exit; the rights as immigrant residents/emigrant non‐residents; and, the rights to citizenship and nationality. This comprehensive framework for studying migration policy promises advances for empirical agendas, but also for connecting them to normative ones rooted in global justice and democratic concerns.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Migration, Immigration, Justice
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Lea Muller-Funk, Christiane Frohlich, André Bank
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Between normative aspirations and national interests, forced migrants often become pawns in host states’ negotiations with internal and external actors. Focusing on North Africa, the Middle East, and the Horn of Africa, this paper offers an analytical framework to better understand forced migration governance across space and time from a more global, pluralist perspective in a logic of iterative theory-building. We hypothesise that some drivers of forced migration governance are distinct from drivers of migration governance – for example, global policy and conceptions of humanitarian norms and principles play a larger role in the former. We hypothesise that while forced migration governance is negotiated around humanitarian principles, in which international actors, externalisation, and civil society play a crucial role, it also functions as a regime strategy and is driven by certain characteristics of forced migrant groups, including size and perceived identity proximity. Finally, forced migration governance is characterised by strong path dependency.
  • Topic: Migration, Governance, Displacement, Humanitarian Crisis
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Robert Wilkinson, Kimberlyn Leary
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: The year 2020 has brought one crisis after another, perhaps exacerbating a common belief that a “heroic leader” can save the day. But does this mythical figure really exist? Leadership, once we study it, isn’t one thing exercised at the top by one person, as our colleague and leadership expert Ron Heifetz has observed; it is an activity exerted by people at all levels, and by noticing certain less obvious aspects of leadership, anyone can improve at it. Leadership is possible at any time there is a collective problem. Each of us may have a role to play in mobilizing others to address community problems, and each of us can improve our skills to be more effective.
  • Topic: Leadership, Crisis Management
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Eliana Carranza, Robert Garlick, Kate Orkin, Neil Rankin
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: This paper presents field experimental evidence that limited information about workseekers’ skills distorts both firm and workseeker behavior. Assessing workseekers’ skills, giving workseekers their assessment results, and helping them to credibly share the results with firms increases workseekers’ employment and earnings. It also aligns their beliefs and search strategies more closely with their skills. Giving assessment results only to workseekers has similar effects on beliefs and search, but smaller effects on employment and earnings. Giving assessment results only to firms increases callbacks. These patterns are consistent with two-sided information frictions, a new finding that can inform the design of information-provision mechanisms.
  • Topic: Labor Issues, Employment, Business , Job Creation
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ricardo Hausmann, Ulrich Schetter
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: In this paper, we develop a heterogeneous agent general equilibrium framework to analyze optimal joint policies of a lockdown and transfer payments in times of a pandemic. In our model, the effectiveness of a lockdown in mitigating the pandemic depends on endogenous compliance. A more stringent lockdown deepens the recession which implies that poorer parts of society find it harder to subsist. This reduces their compliance with the lockdown, and may cause deprivation of the very poor, giving rise to an excruciating trade-off between saving lives from the pandemic and from deprivation. Lump-sum transfers help mitigate this trade-off. We identify and discuss key trade-offs involved and provide comparative statics for optimal policy. We show that, ceteris paribus, the optimal lockdown is stricter for more severe pandemics and in richer countries. We then consider a government borrowing constraint and show that limited fiscal space lowers the optimal lockdown and welfare, and increases the aggregate death burden during the pandemic. We finally discuss distributional consequences and the political economy of fighting a pandemic.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Political Economy, Inequality, Economic growth, Fiscal Policy, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ina Ganguli, Ricardo Hausmann, Martina Viarengo
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: We examine gender gaps in career dynamics in the legal sector using rich panel data from one of the largest global law firms in the world. The law firm studied is representative of multinational law firms and operates in 23 countries. The sample includes countries at different stages of development. We document the cross-country variation in gender gaps and how these gaps have changed over time. We show that while there is gender parity at the entry level in most countries by the end of the period examined, there are persistent raw gender gaps at the top of the organization across all countries. We observe significant heterogeneity among countries in terms of gender gaps in promotions and wages, but the gaps that exist appear to be declining over the period studied. We also observe that women are more likely to report exiting the firm for family and work-life balance reasons, while men report leaving for career advancement. Finally, we show that various measures of national institutions and culture appear to play a role in the differential labor-market outcomes of men and women.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Labor Issues, Women, Employment, Inequality, Human Capital, Legal Sector
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Kristin Forbes, Joseph E. Gagnon, Christopher G. Collins
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This paper models inflation by combining the multicountry framework of one of its authors (Forbes) with the nonlinear specification proposed by the other two (Gagnon and Collins). The results find strong support for a Phillips curve that becomes nonlinear when inflation is low, in which case excess economic slack has little effect on inflation. This finding is consistent with evidence of downward nominal wage and price rigidity. The estimates also show a significant and economically meaningful Phillips curve relationship between slack and inflation when slack is negative (i.e., when output is above long-run potential). In this nonlinear model, international factors play a large role in explaining headline inflation, a role that has increased over time, supporting the results of Forbes’ linear model.
  • Topic: Economics, Inflation, Data
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Marie Hyland, Simeon Djankov, Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This paper provides the first global look at how gender discrimination by the law affects women’s economic opportunity and charts the evolution of legal inequalities over five decades. Using the World Bank’s newly constructed Women, Business and the Law database, it documents large and persistent gender inequalities, especially with regard to pay and treatment of parenthood. The paper finds positive correlations between more equal laws pertaining to women in the workforce and more equal labor market outcomes, such as higher female labor force participation and a smaller wage gap between men and women.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Labor Issues, Women, Inequality, Economic Inequality
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Joseph E. Gagnon, Olivier Jeanne
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This paper shows that the scope for bond yields to fall below zero is strictly limited by market expectations about how far below zero central banks are willing to set their short-term policy rates. If a central bank communicates a credible commitment to keeping its policy rate above a given level under all circumstances, then bond yields must be higher than that level. This result holds true even in a model in which central banks are able to depress the term premium in bond yields below zero via large-scale purchases of long-term bonds, also known as quantitative easing (QE). QE becomes less effective as bond yields approach their lower bound.
  • Topic: Economics, Finance, Central Bank, Global Bond Market
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Chad P. Bown, Aksel Erbahar, Maurizio Zanardi
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This paper examines how trade protection is affected by changes in the value-added content of production arising through global value chains (GVCs). Exploiting a new set of World Trade Organization (WTO) rules adopted in 1995 that impose an exogenously timed requirement for countries to reevaluate their previously imposed trade protection, the authors adopt an instrumental variables strategy and identify the causal effect of GVC integration on the likelihood that a trade barrier is removed. Using a newly constructed dataset of protection removal decisions involving 10 countries, 41 trading partners, and 18 industries over 1995–2013, they find that bilateral industry-specific domestic value-added growth in foreign production significantly raises the probability of removing a duty. The results are not limited to imports from China but are only found for the protection decisions of high-income countries. Back-of-the-envelope calculations indicate that rapid GVC growth in the 2000s freed almost a third of the trade flows subject to the most common temporary restrictions (i.e., antidumping) applied by high-income countries in 2006.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Global Markets, Finance, Trade
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: David Reifschneider, David Wilcox
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: If the Federal Reserve does not decisively change the way it conducts monetary policy, it will probably not be capable of fighting recessions in the future as effectively as it fought them in the past. This reality helped motivate the Fed to undertake the policy framework review in which it is currently engaged. Researchers have suggested many steps the Fed could take to improve its recession-fighting ability; however, no consensus has emerged as to which of these steps would be both practical and maximally effective. This paper aims to fill that gap. It recommends that the Fed commit as soon as possible to a new approach for fighting recessions, involving two key elements. First, the Fed should commit that whenever it runs out of room to cut the federal funds rate further, it will leave the rate at its minimum level until the labor market recovers and inflation returns to 2 percent. Second, the Fed should commit that under the same circumstances, it will begin to purchase longer-term assets in volume and will continue such purchases until the labor market recovers. If the forces driving the next recession are not unusually severe, this framework might allow the Fed to be as effective at fighting that recession as it was in the past. If the next recession is more severe, however, the Fed will probably run out of ammunition even if it takes the two steps recommended here. Therefore, both monetary and fiscal policymakers should consider yet other steps they could take to enhance their ability to fight future recessions.
  • Topic: Economics, Monetary Policy, Federal Reserve
  • Political Geography: North America, Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: Mika Aaltola
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Since late 2019, the world has sought – frantically at times – to appropriate policies for responding to the coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19). This Working Paper reviews the political significance of Covid-19 in order to understand the ways in which it challenges the existing domestic order, international health governance actors and, more fundamentally, the circulation-based modus operandi of the present world order. The analysis begins with the argument that contagious diseases should be regarded as complex open-ended phenomena with various features; they are not reducible to biology and epidemiology alone. In particular, politics and social reactions – in the form of panic and blamecasting, for example – are prominent features with clear historical patterns, and should not, for the sake of efficient health governance, be treated as aspects extraneous to the disease itself. The Working Paper further highlights that when a serious infectious disease spreads, a “threat” is very often externalized into a culturally meaningful “foreign” entity. Pandemics tend to be territorialized, nationalized, ethnicized, and racialized. This has also been the case with Covid-19.
  • Topic: Governance, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Tyyne Karjalainen
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Covid-19 highlights the relevance of sharing information at a time of crisis. The revision of International Health Regulations in 2005 aimed to prevent the international spread of diseases, but the response to the novel virus shows that gaps in global health security remain. At the same time, authorities at all levels need to gain citizens’ trust in order to design an effective response.
  • Topic: Leadership, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Mikael Wigell, Mika Aaltola
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The idea of a ‘Middle East Helsinki Process’ has been raised as a potential collective security mechanism to help avoid major political regressions and violent spirals. The Helsinki Process, known for reducing tensions between the Soviet Union and the West in the 1970s, can provide some useful lessons, but the region will have to develop its own model by drawing on past experiences and the region-specific threat perceptions and political needs. Non-interference, sovereignty and the protection of religious rights could serve as useful starting principles for regional security-building in the Middle East. Drawing on the lessons learnt from the Helsinki Process, specific recommendations for a possible Middle East Process would be as follows: i) establish a regional initiative for building a security architecture in the Persian Gulf inspired by the Helsinki Process and its institutionalization; ii) establish a channel for Track 1, state-to-state-level consultations; iii) focus on the basic security guarantees that are common to the Persian Gulf states; and iv) maximize regional ownership, but with external facilitation.
  • Topic: Security, Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Katja Creutz
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The UN has achieved its aims with variable results. Thus far, the world has been spared another devastating world war, but the UN is now expected to address varied existential threats. Without real commitment to multilateralism on the part of major powers, the organization faces a grim future.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, United Nations, Multilateralism
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Angela Kane, Noah Mayhew
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Development and Peace
  • Abstract: Many consider the Reagan-Gorbachev prin- ciple that “nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought” (Joint Soviet-United States Statement 1985) to be the clarion call for arms control. With this, US and Soviet leaders put words to the fundamental under- standing that arms control was sacrosanct in the context of other, unrelated issues in inter- national security. In 2020, we live in a different reality where arms control by some experts has been reduced to “nuclear identity politics” (Ford 2020) while others claim that it is “practical- ly exhausted” (Yermakov 2020). Disconcert- ing as these sentiments may be, they contain a kernel of truth. Arms control in 2020 is still oriented to realities of the past. But if the arms race spirals into full force, it is humans who will be the losers. Hence, it is unhelp- ful to dismiss arms control as an obsolete manifestation of Cold War nightmares. But it is time for an update to address new global challenges, in particular quickly evolving geo- political realities and emerging technologies. Furthermore, the silos in the debate on arms control need to be overcome.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jana Herold
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Development and Peace
  • Abstract: The support of agricultural value chains has become an important approach in German and international development cooperation, not only to promote the economic development of a country but also to contribute to poverty reduction and food security by integrating smallholder farmers into value chains. In consequence, this approach can address a number of goals of the Agenda 2030 for sustainable development. While promoting value chains has great potential to advance sustainable development, it can also have negative effects, particularly for poor and vulnerable population groups. In order for these population groups to be able to benefit from value chain support, they need targeted financial and technical support and bridging assistance. Therefore, the approach should primarily aim at poverty reduction, but also at improving food security, empowering women and sustainable natural resource management. The main challenges of the value chain approach are insufficient access to agricultural inputs, markets and agricultural credits and the lack of entrepreneurial know-how for market-oriented production. Overall, the INEF research on agricultural value chains shows that their promotion should always start with primary production, as this is the basis for any further added value. However, the land use rights of the population eligible for support, especially women, should be clarified before any investment is made. Another critical point that any support for value chains should take into account is a country's physical infrastructure. It is necessary to connect both primary production and processing to markets. The integration of smallholder farmers into value chains is particularly viable via primary production. In order to include resource-poor farmers into value chains as well, these should be actively supported at the beginning of the project, among other things through training in market-oriented production. Furthermore, access to financial services and bridging assistance as well as to agricultural inputs is of key importance, especially at the beginning of the growing season, and particularly when market-oriented production is started for the first time. Access to credits can be facilitated by organising in cooperatives. Furthermore, this form of organisation makes it possible to bundle resources and strengthen negotiating power vis- à-vis buyers. In order to ensure that smallholder farmers can continue to supply themselves with food, especially at the start of operations, a sole focus on cash crops should be avoided and instead healthy staple foods should also be promoted. To support sustainable production, the support of value chains should always include natural resource management measures. This can increase productivity and, compared to previous practice, at the same time achieve a more ecologically sustainable cultivation of the land. In this context, secured land use rights, especially for women, provide additional incentives for farmers to invest in their fields. The studies also show that the processing of local agricultural products and commercially harvested products offers income-generating activities especially for women. In this context, locally adapted partial mechanisation is important in order to increase production efficiency without displacing women from further processing.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Natural Resources, Food Security
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Marjorie Pajaron
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: COVID-19 presents humanity with not just a health crisis but also a governance crisis as leaders around the globe confront the challenges of stemming the spread of the virus. Various governments have responded in various ways to slow the transmission of the virus. Ideally, the leaders of a country should approach the crisis with a two-pronged attack. The first is to flatten the epidemic curve (epi curve), which is simply a graphical representation of the number of cases and date of onset of the illness, and the second is to raise or strengthen the capacity of the health system. Flattening the epi curve includes mass testing for COVID-19, which has been done in South Korea, for example. Decreasing the incidence also includes quarantine, isolation, and other social distancing strategies, which have been done by various countries in varying degrees. For example, in China, total lockdown (cordon sanitaire) was implemented in Wuhan, of the Hubei province, while in the Philippines, the entire Luzon, which consists of eight administrative regions, including the national capital region (NCR), was in total lockdown (enhanced community quarantine, or ECQ) since March 16 (World Health Organization [WHO] 2020a). Other parts of the Philippines were under different degrees of quarantine at different periods since the appearance of local transmission. Raising the health care system capacity of a country may include, but is not limited to, training of health care workers, increasing facilities or hospitals that receive COVID patients, and providing adequate personal protective equipment (PPE). This paper offers a brief epidemiological review of COVID-19 since its first case in China and how the hotspots for this disease evolved and changed over a relatively short period. This paper also aims to provide a short descriptive review of the existing data on COVID-19 in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region and the government response of its ten member countries, so that we can somehow draw lessons and learn from these myriad experiences as we continue to combat the spread of this dangerous pathogen. The findings in this paper are preliminary, and more rigorous analysis is expected to be performed as the data becomes more extensive and available.
  • Topic: Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19, Travel , Quarantine
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Nendirmwa Noel, Sarah Cliffe
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: This short memo summarizes issues linking the COVID-19 pandemic and food prices. There is a real risk of a food price crisis emerging as a result of the pandemic, for the following reasons: Food systems are facing a complex set of demand and supply shocks during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes increased demand due to hoarding versus decreased demand due to containment measures; lower prices for food system inputs, such as petroleum, versus decreased supply due to disruption of production, transport and trade. There seems to be a risk that rice, and possibly wheat, see a price surge which disconnects them from the downward trend in other basic commodities. There is also undoubtedly a risk that specific countries and large urban settlements see sharp increases in prices of scarce commodities, as protests in Afghanistan and in Nigeria have already shown this week. The crisis is coming just as farmers in many parts of the world are about to begin planting, and action is therefore needed now.
  • Topic: Governance, Food Security, Multilateralism, Crisis Management, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Sarah Cliffe, Leah Zamore, Nendirmwa Noel
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: As the coronavirus pandemic spreads across the globe, people are also moving in response to the threat of the virus and the actions states have taken to stem its transmission. This memo examines population movements in pandemics and offers relevant policy recommendations. In this policy memo, Sarah Cliffe, Leah Zamore, and Nendirmwa Noel detail the history of population movements during pandemics, provide an overview of the internal and cross-border movements now taking place around the world, and give examples of the restrictions and other measures governments are implementing to to respond. They also supply a number of concrete policy recommendations goverments can take now to improve their management of internal and cross-border movement in the face of COVID-19.
  • Topic: Governance, Conflict, Borders, Humanitarian Crisis, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Paige Arthur, Céline Monnier
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: Over the past 18 months, CIC has facilitated a series of discussions on the United Nations secretary-general’s agenda on preventing violent conflict. This options paper consolidates key recommendations for operationalizing the prevention agenda in light of the 2020 peacebuilding architecture review. In the paper, Paige Arthur and Céline Monnier present recommendations based on the consultations CIC has held across the UN system, as well as with national actors, to support the operationalization of the 2016 sustaining peace resolutions—with a specific focus on upstream prevention that is nationally led and sovereignty supporting. The paper examines options to increase national demand for prevention approaches, opportunities to build and consolidate the UN system’s expertise on prevention, and options to increase cross-pillar approaches, which are critical to the success of prevention initiatives.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, United Nations, Peace
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs
  • Abstract: This is a Pugwash document concerning nuclear problems and tensions in the time of COVID-19. This document has been co-signed by an extensive list of Pugwash colleagues and personalities. We hope that it might promote debate about how to improve international cooperation and, in particular, the reduction of international tensions that may bring new risks
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy, Nonproliferation, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs
  • Abstract: On July 9, 1955, two of the most eminent intellectuals of the 20th century, Bertrand Russell and Albert Einstein, issued an appeal to humanity, urging that the immense peril associated with nuclear weapons be recognized by governments and publics alike. The Russell-Einstein Manifesto warned that nuclear weapons pose a threat to the survival of the human species and called for major efforts to address and contain nuclear dangers. One of the consequences of the Manifesto was the holding of the first Pugwash conference in 1957. The origins and goals of Pugwash are contained in the Russell-Einstein Manifesto: to highlight the dangers of nuclear weapons, to call for the elimination of nuclear weapons, and to promote peaceful resolution of conflicts. Today, July 9, 2020, is the 65th anniversary of the Russell-Einstein Manifesto. We ask, how is the situation now, 65 years later?
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Human Rights, Nuclear Weapons, Conflict, Peace
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Gian Piero Siroli, Gotz Neuneck, Paolo Cotta-Ramusino
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs
  • Abstract: Since its foundation, the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs (Pugwash) has continued to bring together, from around the world, influential scientists, scholars, experts and public figures concerned with reducing the dangers of armed conflict, especially regarding nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, and with understanding the new threats related to new technologies, while seeking cooperative solutions. Pugwash held three workshops on the topic of cyber security and warfare between December 2018 and January 2020, gathering a total of about 60 experts and practitioners from Europe, North and South America, and Asia, focusing on a broad set of specific themes. The first workshop (Geneva, Switzerland, December 2018, hosted by the GCSP) discussed battlefield digitalization and offensive cyber capabilities, weapon-system vulnerabilities, and the implications of Artificial Intelligence (AI). The second workshop (Bariloche, Argentina, October 2019, supported by INVAP, Global Security Foundation and KPMG) focused on “Cybersecurity in Latin America”. The third workshop (Geneva, Switzerland, January 2020, sponsored by the Mission of Brazil to the UN Office in Geneva) focused on “Cyber Security and Warfare,” and included discussions on international cooperation, the multi-stakeholder approach, and implications of AI and autonomous weapons systems. Reports are available on the Pugwash website1. The participants, who came from many countries, carried out an analysis and reflection on various aspects of the cyber ecosystem in the context of international stability and security, and reviewed current initiatives included within the international agenda. Better definitions, a common nomenclature, and reliable communication between responsible stakeholders—based on the principles of International Humanitarian Law and the experiences of arms control for risk reduction, self-restraint and crisis management--might be useful or necessary. Sound technical analysis and forensics are a precondition to understanding the different threats and vulnerabilities of the cyber-sphere. Detailed proposals for discussion and implementation were elaborated during the workshops.
  • Topic: Security, War, Cybersecurity, Conflict, Artificial Intelligence
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: James K. Wither
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies
  • Abstract: The paper analyzes the terrorism threat against western states during the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and, in particular, whether the crisis has created particular vulnerabilities that terrorists could exploit both to mount attacks and attract new recruits. The paper also explores the extent to which the pandemic might make western societies more vulnerable to terrorism in the longer term. Salafi-jihadist and far-right extremists have greeted the COVID-19 crisis with enthusiasm, viewing its impact on the West as both vindicating and advancing their ideologies and objectives. However, despite the calls for attacks on social media, the pandemic’s lockdowns, increased surveillance, travel restrictions, and the heavy police and military presence on the ground have created a challenging environment for terrorist operations. The security services have been drawn directly into the campaign against the corona virus. This has diverted resources and assets away from counterterrorism duties in the short term, which might create potential opportunities for terrorists. As a result of the pandemic, governments will need to review national security priorities in the longer term. This is likely to result in a much greater emphasis on domestic and international public health issues. Counterterrorism may not retain its post 9/11 position in the hierarchy of western national security priorities.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: John L. Clarke
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies
  • Abstract: The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis has caused leaders in all affected countries to turn to their armed forces for support in an ever-expanding range of roles. Armed forces are being tasked to provide capabilities that in many instances go beyond what they have provided in past crises. As the crisis progresses and tragedy intensifies, the armed forces may appear to be the last resort available—the ultima ratio—to decision-makers. It must be expected that these demands will continue to mount even if the current crisis abates, as it is sure to remain a top national concern for months to come. This paper examines the range of roles that armed forces have taken on within the context of this crisis and places those roles, mission, tasks, and function within a scheme of six mission sets that comprise the defense support to civil authority (DSCA) rubric. The paper goes on to set forth a half-dozen considerations for decision-makers to contemplate before asking the armed forces to undertake these roles. In the current pandemic crisis, many of the tasks inherent in the DSCA rubric have been prominent in the demands by political leaders for armed forces support, such as the provision of essential services (many logistical and medical in nature) as well as search capabilities, decontamination operations, and engineering support. For example, armed forces in Italy, Spain, France, and the United States, just to name a few, have built and staffed medical facilities; transported virus patients; delivered food supplies; searched buildings for victims; and decontaminated residences and public facilities, such as train stations and airports. In addition, armed forces organizations have provided mortuary services, including the transportation and cremation of virus victims’ remains, which, of course, are contaminated. Photos of Italian Army units have shown convoys of trucks loaded with coffins. Soldiers have also provided medical support to overwhelmed facilities. Soldiers have been photographed administering tests for the virus, moving patients within hospitals, and providing basic services, such as changing bed pans and providing meals, all in a contaminated environment. French military aircraft, equipped for medical evacuation, have transported virus patients to less-stressed medical facilities in France.
  • Topic: Military Affairs, Leadership, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Alex W. Schulman
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: eathering TechNationalism provides policymakers, regulators, and corporate executives a five-part framework for mitigating supply chain risk in a holistic way. The framework lays out measures of assurance, transparency, and accountability that ICT buyers, operators, and vendors can implement jointly. Supplementing this framework, the report recommends several balanced, risk-informed policy measures—in accordance with national and industry-specific policy goals—that may further ICT and supply chain security and avoid the negative consequences of TechNationalism he action roadmap provides a whole-of-society approach and recommends that policymakers: Enable threat and vulnerability information sharing, Require diverse sources of supply, Make strategic science and technology investments, Consider narrow national security exceptions, and Review and adapt national supply chain security goals and policies.
  • Topic: Security, National Security, Science and Technology, Cybersecurity, Information Technology
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jens Beckert, Timur Ergen
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies
  • Abstract: This paper discusses sociological analyses of the formation and role of expectations in the economy. Recognition of the social constitution of expectations advances the understand- ing of economic action under conditions of uncertainty and helps to explain core features of modern capitalist societies. The range of applications of the analytical perspective is il- lustrated by closer examination of three core spheres of capitalist societies: consumption, investment, and innovation. To provide an idea of core challenges of the approach, three major research questions for the sociological analysis of expectations are presented.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Sociology, Capitalism, Innovation
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Lee Evans, G. Lee Robinson
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Department of Social Sciences at West Point, United States Military Academy
  • Abstract: Selecting the right person for the right job at the right time is a persistent challenge faced by organizations. Performance evaluations are a fundamental component of selection processes, and their use in the Army is nearly as old as the service itself. Some early evaluation systems consisted of a list of officers in a regiment with observations noted for each ranging from “a good-natured man” to “merely good—nothing promising” to “a man of whom all unite in speaking ill.” While our current evaluation form adds a bit more science to the art of performance evaluation, a constant in the Army’s performance evaluation system is the reliance on raters to render their judgment on the potential of a subordinate for service at higher levels. The purpose of this article is to better equip raters to exercise these judgments. While we recognize the calls for personnel management reform and the initiatives underway to better manage the Army’s talent, our purpose is not to add another voice to these suggestions for structural changes to the Army’s evaluation system.Instead, we focus on the process of discretionary judgment exercised by raters that is and will continue to be an integral part of performance evaluation. Our aim is to recognize the structural and cognitive biases inherent in our evaluation system and provide recommendations to help senior raters more objectively evaluate their subordinates. While we think the importance of this topic is self-evident, educating raters on the potential for bias in their evaluations is especially important in the type of rating system used by the Army. This system places great emphasis on the person serving as the senior rater. Although the evaluation forms include assessments from raters and sometimes intermediate raters, the senior rater comments are widely acknowledged to carry the most weight for promotion and selection decisions due to the small amount of time available to evaluate a soldier’s file. Most positions involve work that is highly interdependent on other members of the organization, which places a considerable demand on raters to assess and articulate how much an individual contributed to the output of the group. While the performance of an officer is undoubtedly important to his or her chances for promotion or selection, the abilities of the officer’s senior rater to convey the level of this performance through an evaluation is also vital to talent management. Previous studies demonstrate that exposure to a high-quality mentor increases an officer’s likelihood of an early promotion to major by 29 percent, perhaps because high-quality mentors are skilled at communicating their protégé’s potential in their performance evaluations. Equipping raters to make their best possible judgments of subordinates and clearly articulating these judgments is vital to fostering a meritocratic Army talent management system.
  • Topic: Military Affairs, Leadership, Bureaucracy, Performance Evaluation
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: In June 2019, the Aspen Health Strategy Group met for three days to explore the topic of antimicrobial resistance. We are pleased to present the final report from our work, based upon the group’s rich discussion. In the tradition of the thought-provoking conversations and dialogue on how to address critical societal issues — the hallmark of the Aspen Institute — the report includes five big ideas to address antimicrobial resistance.
  • Topic: Health, Public Health, Resistance, Medicine
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: For all of the gains that artificial intelligent (AI) systems allow, society is only now beginning to orient itself to the tremendous ethical and political issues emerging as a result of AI’s prevalence in our society. For example, recent critiques of facial recognition software bring to light issues of algorithmic bias, data irregularities, human rights violations, and government surveillance. In response, various principles and values-based governance models are furiously being developed to direct the future of AI design. The report of the 2020 Aspen Institute Roundtable on Artificial Intelligence explored the intersection of human intimacy and artificial intelligence, investigating how different human-machine relationships may affect the development of human behavior and emotions.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Emotions, Artificial Intelligence, Behavior, Robotics, Emerging Technology
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • 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: Michel Girard
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Global data standards are urgently needed to foster digital cooperation and manage global tech platforms. No global organization is currently mandated to coordinate the development, maintenance and use of technical standards covering data value chains and policy-oriented standards covering data governance. Precedents exist where standards development work is coordinated by international organizations in sectors of the economy operating across borders, from aviation and maritime shipping to meteorology, food production, public health and the management of the internet. This paper proposes the creation of a Data Standards Task Force (DSTF), which would be entrusted with a dual mandate: enabling the development of technical standards to create data value chains and being accountable for the development of data governance standards needed by regulators to properly frame the leading big tech platforms (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and Google). The ultimate objective of the DSTF would be to create the required architecture for a “single data zone” where data can circulate freely between participating jurisdictions.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Social Media, Data, Digital Cooperation , Big Tech
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Petra Rethmann
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute on Globalization and the Human Condition, McMaster University
  • Abstract: In the space of just a few weeks, the COVID-19 pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus has radically transformed the lives of people around the globe. Apart from devastating health consequences for people directly affected by the virus, the COVID-19 pandemic has had major implications for the way people live and work, socialize and love, and make personal, political, and economic decisions. The elbow bump has replaced the handshake. Privately owned communications technologies such as Zoom and Skype have become media of necessity, not of choice. Unemployment is at record levels, the low-wage sector is growing, and short-term work and precariousness is on the rise. The downward mobility trend (Nachtwey 2016) that has been underway in, among others, Western capitalist states for a while, continues to cement itself. Fears of social and personal decline are growing. All of this, and more, harbors the danger of increasing polarizations, (re)producing old and new figures of enmity, hate, and blame. The pandemic has inflicted a level of pain that is deep. War metaphors have been and are being bandied around, enlisting us in a fight in which supposedly we are all together. But as the papers included in this collection show, this “we” is not harmonious, uniform, or even. It cracks across fault lines of poverty, gender, and race. Data from a variety of reliable sources show that African Americans, who suffer disproportionally from poverty, inadequate housing, limited access to good health care, and chronic illnesses such as diabetes and hypertension, are dying from COVID-19 at horrific rates. In the banlieues and cités (public housing complexes) of France food-price spikes have triggered hunger riots. While many of us have had (and have) the privilege to work from home, others, including warehouse packers and front-line workers, have been exposed to deadly hazards at work. Domestic, sexual, and gender-based violence has increased, and stay-at-home measures have exposed women and children who live with violent men to great danger. Restrictions that translate into national-security policies have ramped up anti-migrant sentiments. And across Canada, as well as in other places, people in local nursing homes, seniors’ residences, and single-parent households are disproportionally affected and suffer. Indeed, it appears as if the very fabrics of the social, whatever they were before, are at stake.
  • Topic: Digital Economy, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19, Health Crisis
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Petra Rethmann
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute on Globalization and the Human Condition, McMaster University
  • Abstract: In May 2020 the Institute on Globalization and the Human Condition published a Working Paper entitled COVID-19: Urgent Responses. The paper produced by James Gibbs, Luseadra McKerracher, and Jessica Fields is part of this series. Together, then, the COVID-19: Urgent Responses includes ten exciting paper that also stand as a testimony to the challenges faced by many of us in these times.
  • Topic: Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19, Health Crisis
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: June Park
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: June Park, political economist at the National Research Foundation of Korea, explains that “even the like-minded countries of GPAI have revealed their differences and institutional variance in deploying digital technology to fight COVID-19 at a time of grave national emergency and public health crisis.”
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Crisis Management, Trade, Artificial Intelligence, Pandemic, COVID-19, Health Crisis
  • Political Geography: Asia, Global Focus
  • Author: Miroslav Tuma
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Abstract: The political declaration with an annex entitled Advancing Nuclear Disarmament, Securing Our Future was adopted on 25 February 2020 in Berlin by the Foreign Ministers of the fifteen countries associated in the prestigious Stockholm Initiative for Nuclear Disarmament. They call on all NPT participating countries to discuss and adopt the proposed stepping stones. According to the authors of the declaration, the implementation could contribute to averting the dangerous development of the security situation and to the gradual realization of the generally supported vision of creating a world without nuclear weapons. Due to the global pandemic caused by COVID-19, the 10th NPT Review Conference was postponed indefinitely.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Nonproliferation
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Elizabeth Smith
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: Climate change can increase the risks of violent conflict, create risks to human security, and challenge conflict recovery and peacebuilding in different contexts. In many parts of the world, women and girls are significantly affected by the respective and compounding effects of climate change and conflict. They can also be agents of change in addressing climate change, and peace and security issues. This SIPRI Insights paper explores how the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) national action plans (NAPs) of 80 states frame and respond to climate change and security. It finds that they do so in different ways. Seventeen states include direct mention of climate change in at least one of their plans. Of these, three states include comparatively higher numbers of specific goals and activities referencing climate change in different plans. The paper highlights a need for increased action in the area of climate change in WPS NAPs. It argues for a greater focus on supporting women and girls’ participation in action addressing climate-related security risks, as well as a need to evaluate how climate change is framed as a security risk in the plans.
  • Topic: Security, Climate Change, Women, Peace
  • Political Geography: United States, Finland, Ireland, Global Focus
  • Author: Nan Tian, Diego Lopes da Silva
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: Official development assistance (ODA) plays an important and complementary role in promoting development in low- and middle-income states. Previous research in the literature has shown that ODA can have unintended con­sequences by enabling recipient states to shift ‘freed-up’ resources away from activities now funded by ODA to other spending categories. This literature has argued that the ‘freed-up’ resources could be funding military spending. This SIPRI Insights on Peace and Security queries these con­clusions and contributes to the debate by placing the relation­ship between ODA and military spending in context. The results show that, for low-income states, armed conflict is a major explanatory factor in determin­ing the positive association between increases in ODA and increases in military spending. While the existence of armed conflict drives both higher military spending and the need for higher levels of ODA, peace helps to lower military spending and states’ reliance on external aid.
  • Topic: Development, Military Spending, Conflict, Peace, Sustainability
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Fei Su, Dr Vincent Boulanin, Johan Turell
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: The ever-increasing dependence on information and communication technologies (ICTs) in all aspects of society raises many challenges for national crisis management agencies. These agencies need to prepare not only for new cyberthreats and cyber vulnerabilities, but also for the fact that the aftermath of a cyber incident affecting critical infrastructure has its own challenges. On the one hand, the practical disruptions caused by an isolated incident can be hard to predict and control and, on the other hand, the consequences and perceptions of an incident whose cause is not yet determined can be equally hard to manage. Uncertainty around the cause of the incident and remedial actions being taken often lead to public speculation and political pressure to respond in ways that could create political tensions, and possibly conflict, between countries. This policy paper is the result of a nine-month research project that was jointly conducted by SIPRI and the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) on cyber-incident management. It explores what national crisis management authorities can do to improve their cyber-incident prevention, detection and response strategies and also how they can do better to deal with the larger societal and potentially political aftermath. It investigates why and how cyber incidents may lead to escalatory scenarios and how these scenarios can be avoided and contained using various de-escalatory approaches. It comprises an introduction providing background and the inspiration of this report (section I); four sections that explore the dynamics of escalation and de-escalation from conceptual (section II), analytical (sections III–IV) and empirical (section V) standpoints; and two sections that present the main findings and recommendations (sections VI–VII).
  • Topic: Security, Science and Technology, Military Affairs, Cybersecurity
  • Political Geography: Sweden, Global Focus
  • Author: Dr Vincent Boulanin, Kolja Brockmann, Luke Richards
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: In 2018 the United Nations Secretary-General identified responsible research and innovation (RRI) in science and technology as an approach for academia, the private sector and governments to work on the mitigation of risks that are posed by new technologies. This report explores how RRI could help to address the humanitarian and strategic risks that may result from the development, diffusion and military use of artificial intelligence (AI) and thereby achieve arms control objectives on the military use of AI. The report makes recommendations on how the arms control community could build on existing responsible AI initiatives and export control and compliance systems to engage with academia and the private sector in the governance of risks to international peace and security posed by the military use of AI.
  • Topic: Security, Science and Technology, Peace, Artificial Intelligence
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jiayi Zhou, Lisa Marie Dellmuth, Kevin M. Adams, Tina-Simone Neset, Nina von Uexkull
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: Assessing the prospects for Zero Hunger—Sustainable Development Goal 2—requires an understanding of food security that goes beyond developmental or humanitarian issues, to include linkages with geopolitics. Geopolitical challenges cut across areas such as natural resources, trade, armed conflict and climate change where unilateralism and zero-sum approaches to security directly hamper efforts to eradicate hunger and undermine the frameworks that govern those efforts. The report provides an overview of how geopolitics interacts with these areas. Competition for agricultural resources can be both a cause and a consequence of geopolitical rivalry. International trade, while essential for food security, also creates vulnerabilities through supply disruptions—sometimes politically motivated. Armed conflict is a driver of food insecurity, which can itself feed into social unrest and violence. Climate change interacts with all three phenomena, reshaping both the physical landscape and political calculus. These overlapping linkages require further integrated policy engagement and analysis.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, International Trade and Finance, Governance, Food Security, Geopolitics, Peace
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Malin Mobjörk, Florian Krampe, Kheira Tarif
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: Policymakers are increasingly concerned with the climate-related security risks—the adverse effects of climate change on peace and security. This SIPRI Policy Brief outlines four interrelated pathways between climate change and conflict: (a) livelihoods, (b) migration and mobility, (c) armed group tactics, and (d) elite exploitation. These illustrate the relationship between short- and long-term environmental changes linked to climate change; their impact on the root causes and dynamics of violent conflict; and the critical role of human action, reaction and inaction in mediating violent outcomes. As a policymaking tool, pathways help to identify and navigate the political space for mitigating violent conflict. They can support decision makers in navigating these complex relationships in conflict-affected and climate-exposed regions by integrating local context into analyses of the security and conflict risks of climate change. Pathways also help to facilitate policy planning in areas such as livelihoods, mobility, resource management and governance.
  • Topic: Security, Climate Change, Development, Peace
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jill Dahlburg, Robert Shea
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The National Academy of Public Administration
  • Abstract: The Act directs NNSA’s Administrator to enter into an agreement with the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine and the National Academy of Public Administration to create an Implementation Assessment Panel to: Provide guidance to the Secretary and Administrator on the implementation plan content; Track implementation plan progress; and Assess implementation plan effectiveness. NAPA and NAS have formed a joint Implementation Assessment Panel. The Panel will oversee the work of the joint NAPA/NAS study team, providing strategic guidance on study approach and focus, and issuing key findings and recommendations. The 14 Panel members bring a wealth of experience from DOE Science Laboratories, Federally Funded Research & Development Centers, the Intelligence Community, Academia, and the Office of Management and Budget.
  • Topic: Security, Diplomacy, National Security, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Tamia Brito
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Public International Law Policy Group
  • Abstract: n the increasingly complex realm of armed conflict, the impact of armed encounters has expanded beyond the parties to the conflict and the civilian population. There is a deteriorating situation for humanitarian workers as they have become direct targets of organized violence, despite the protection that international law has provided for them. Both International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and International Criminal Law (ICL) have established special protection to personnel providing input and services to the civilian population affected by armed conflict. However, the difference between theory and practice can be rather large. The humanitarian mission is being limited in the field by novel risks brought by armed conflicts. This blog post discusses the achievements of international law in providing special protection to humanitarian aid personnel as part of global recognition of the humanitarian endeavor. It also addresses factual information regarding humanitarian workers, illustrating the risks they experience in the field. To conclude, this blog post exhibits responses that the international community is implementing to mitigate the discrepancy between law and practice. World Humanitarian Day (August 19th) may be an opportunity to remember the relevance of this particular issue and encourage further efforts towards its solution.
  • Topic: Humanitarian Intervention, Violence, Humanitarian Crisis, Armed Conflict
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Margaret Croy
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies
  • Abstract: Several states have succeeded in extracting “yellowcake” uranium from phosphoric acid as part of the phosphate fertilizer production process. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has both the means and motivation to undertake such work, thus significantly altering existing open-source assessments of how much yellowcake uranium North Korea could produce annually, which in turn affects estimates of how many nuclear warheads DPRK can make. There is ample rationale for the DPRK to pursue this method of uranium extraction. The dual usage of existing infrastructure would both conceal the activity and make it more difficult for international audiences to positively identify and condemn. The DPRK certainly needs fertilizer, and the information on how to extract uranium from its production is readily available. Lastly, this method of yellowcake production embodies the policy of byungjin—parallel nuclear-weapon development and economic expansion—a hallmark of Kim Jong Un’s strategy. Given these factors, the rationale for the pursuit of this method is clear. The evidence is even more so. The first section of the paper explains the science behind uranium extraction from phosphoric acid produced as an intermediary in the production of fertilizer from phosphate rock. The second section highlights some of the historical cases of states using this method to obtain uranium. The third section elucidates the reasoning and rationale for using this method in the DPRK, and the fourth section examines the open-source evidence available indicating that this method of obtaining uranium—however uncommon—is in use in the DPRK today, and is likely to continue and expand in scale.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Mining, Manufacturing, Uranium
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jennifer Bradshaw, Louise Allen
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace Justice, University of San Diego
  • Abstract: As we move into this new decade, women peacebuilders from around the world are facing enormous challenges as they work to build more inclusive and safer societies. To better understand the peacebuilding landscape that these women are currently navigating, the Kroc School's Institute for Peace and Justice has conducted a network-wide research project with its Women Waging Peace members. This research brought together perspectives from over 1,000 women from 56 different countries who are working to end cycles of violence in their communities. In the fifth installment of our Kroc Insight series, we focus on the increased insecurity and threat women peacebuilders are facing from three main sources: state actors, non-state actors, and their domestic space.
  • Topic: United Nations, Peacekeeping, Women, Peace
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Sven Biscop
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: This will change everything. It is an understandable feeling. When people pass through an ordeal, they want to believe that when all is over there will be some compensation. Things may indeed change, but perhaps not as radically as may seem likely today in the midst of the crisis – and not all change will be for the better. What change could the corona crisis bring to international politics?
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Mieke Eoyang
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Third Way
  • Abstract: In 2020, candidates and elected officials will face questions on national security and foreign policy issues. In this memo, we provide short talking points on these issues that acknowledge the concerns of Americans, critique current approaches and policies, and present a vision for the future: 1. Global Health Security, 2. China & COVID-19, 3. China Trade War, 4. Russia, 5. Terrorism, 6. Domestic Extremism, 7. Iran, 8. Election Security, 9. Saudi Arabia & Yemen, 10. Syria, 11. Alliances, 12. North Korea, 13. Cyberthreats, 14. Venezuela, 15. Afghanistan, 16. Forever War, 17. Border Security, 18. Defense Spending, 19. Impeachment, 20. Climate Change, 21. Corruption
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Military Strategy, Elections
  • Political Geography: United States, North America, Global Focus
  • Author: Steven Tepp
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Hudson Institute
  • Abstract: The Internet Archive (“IA”) began operation in 1996, at first making archival copies of websites, but soon offering those to the public and then expanding to other copyrighted works including books, sound recordings, audiovisual works, graphic arts (still images), and software, without regard to their copyright status and generally without licenses. It positions itself as an online version of a library and has offered free access to the materials it copies, albeit limiting users to one-for-one use of its copies: one copy may only be used by one account at a time.2 At the time of this writing, efforts to limit the spread of the coronavirus have resulted in “stay at home” orders in over forty states, covering more than ninety percent of the U.S. population.3 Similarly, educational institutions at all levels have closed their physical spaces and are trying to carry on via distance education. For many, including this author, the current situation was unimaginable only a couple of months ago. By any measure, this is an extreme set of circumstances.
  • Topic: Intellectual Property/Copyright, Internet, Criminal Justice, Coronavirus
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Arthur Herman
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Hudson Institute
  • Abstract: This guidebook answers key questions about how quantum technology itself, in the form of quantum random-number generators (QRNG) and quantum-key distribution (QKD), can provide secure solutions for addressing the quantum computer threat. After explaining how QRNG and QKD work, the guidebook recommends that executives combine these quantum cryptographic solutions with other software-based, quantum-resistant applications that can deter future quantum computer attacks. Finally, the guide shows how quantum science will determine the future of communication technology by making it safe, secure, and ready for the twenty-first century.
  • Topic: Security, Science and Technology, Business , Quantum Computers
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Harold Furchtgott-Roth, Kirk R. Arner
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Hudson Institute
  • Abstract: American businesses and consumers have an unequal relationship. Consumers generally are and should be sovereign because a consumer—not a seller, nor a third party, nor even the government—usually decides what to purchase. Consumers must like a business to buy its product or service. If a business has poor service, sales will suffer. And if a business is tainted by scandal, customers will flee. As courtiers of purchasing power, businesses go on bended knee to pay homage to the consumer. Typically, a business need not like a consumer to sell products or services. In most lines of business, a seller must sell to anyone willing to pay. And although there are types of businesses where a seller can legally refuse a sale, most rational sellers seek as many customers as possible.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Sovereignty, Regulation
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Joseph Chamie
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: This article comprehensively examines international migration trends and policies in light of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. It begins by reviewing migration developments throughout the past 60 years. It then examines pandemic-related migration trends and policies. It concludes with a series of general observations and insights that should guide local, national, regional, and international policymakers, moving forward. In particular, it proposes the following: National measures to combat COVID-19 should include international migrants, irrespective of their legal status, and should complement regional and international responses. Localities, nations, and the international community should prioritize the safe return and reintegration of migrants. States and international agencies should plan for the gradual re-emergence of large-scale migration based on traditional push and pull forces once a COVID-19 vaccine is widely available. States should redouble their efforts to reconcile national border security concerns and the basic human rights of migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. States and the international community should accelerate their efforts to address climate-related migration. States of origin, transit, and destination should directly address the challenges of international migration and not minimize them.
  • Topic: Migration, Governance, Borders, Public Health, Humanitarian Crisis, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Henry Sokolski
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Nonproliferation Policy Education Center
  • Abstract: In the next decade, it is all too likely that the past success of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in preventing the further spread of nuclear weapons among the world’s nations will be reversed. Three trends make more proliferation likely. First is the decay of nuclear taboos. Second, and arguably worse, is renewed vertical proliferation—the increase in size and sophistication of nuclear arsenals by states that already have them. Third, the technical information to fuel nuclear breakouts and ramp-ups is more available now than in the past. These trends toward increased proliferation are not yet facts. The author describes three steps the international community could take to save the NPT: making further withdrawals from the NPT unattractive; clamping down on the uneconomical stockpiling and civilian use of nuclear weapons materials (plutonium and highly enriched uranium); and giving real meaning to efforts to limit the threats that existing nuclear weapons pose.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Treaties and Agreements, Nuclear Power, Disarmament, Nonproliferation
  • Political Geography: Russia, North Korea, Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: Louise Van Schaik, Camilla Born, Elizabeth Sellwood, Sophie de Bruin
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Clingendael Netherlands Institute of International Relations
  • Abstract: Climate change poses risks to poor and rich communities alike, although impacts on the availability and distribution of essential resources such as water, food, energy and land will differ. These changes, combined with other social, political and economic stresses and shocks, can increase tensions within and between states, which, if unmanaged, can lead to violence. Climate-related changes to transboundary waters, food security and trade patterns, sea levels, and Arctic ice, as well as the transition to a low-carbon economy, have profound geopolitical implications. Largescale climate-related migration may also affect the stability of states, and relations between states. Climate action itself may prove destabilizing: (mal)adaptation can disrupt economic and social relations, particularly if implemented without appropriate political economy analysis and risk assessments. In response to analyses linking climate change to security, peace and security actors increasingly realize that interventions to promote peace and stability are more likely to be effective if they incorporate such analyses. At the United Nations, member states have agreed to shift towards a “preventive” approach to conflict risks, grounded in sustainable development. The UN leadership is adjusting institutional structures to better understand and respond to climate-related security risks at all levels, including a newly established climate security mechanism in New York. Many regional intergovernmental institutions have also recognized the links between climate change, peace and security. Some, such as the Intergovernmental Authority on Development in East Africa and the European Union, have incorporated climate-related factors into their conflict early-warning mechanisms. We are only just beginning to understand the realities of adapting to unprecedented climate change, however. Climate-related factors will need to be incorporated systematically into political analysis, risk assessment, and early warning, accompanied by deeper integration of climate-security risk assessment into planning and political engagement in the field. Similarly, more consistent analysis of climate-related security risks must contribute to politically informed, conflict-sensitive adaptation strategies.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Climate Change, International Political Economy, Peace, Sustainability
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Takashi Hongo, Venkatachalam Anbumozhi
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: The construction of green infrastructure, using advanced technology and retiring inefficient technology, is essential for the low-carbon transition. Various green infrastructure programs are being implemented, and banks play an important role in facilitating these programs. Many lessons have been learned in improving finance for green infrastructure: (i) measurement, reporting, and verification is a useful tool for identifying green infrastructure investment; but just reduction is not enough for Green Infrastructure and three requirements – carbon dioxide emission reductions, improving energy access, and contributions to sustainable economic growth – connected with the Sustainable Development Goals are necessary; (ii) banks can contribute to realising a positive cycle of cost reduction and diffusion of advanced technology for reducing costs by scaling up markets; and (iii) carbon pricing is essential for removing carbon externalities and making green infrastructure commercially viable. Banks are recommended to have long-term strategies, improve their capacity for scenario analysis, have more dialogue with industry, and develop innovative finance such as carbon markets. Governments are recommended to adopt carbon pricing to encourage finance for green infrastructure.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Infrastructure, Green Technology, Renewable Energy, Banking
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Dirk Schoenmaker
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Bruegel
  • Abstract: Governments and companies can reinforce each other in their pursuit of sustainable development, which is based on three pillars: economic, social and environmental. An impact economy, in which governments and companies balance profit and impact, is best placed to achieve the United Nations sustainable development goals.
  • Topic: Economics, Environment, United Nations, Governance, Sustainable Development Goals, Business , Private Sector
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Zsolt Darvas, Zoltan Schepp
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Bruegel
  • Abstract: This paper presents unprecedented exchange rate forecasting results based upon a new model which approximates the gap between the fundamental equilibrium exchange rate and the actual exchange rate with the long-maturity forward exchange rate.
  • Topic: Economics, Governance, Global Political Economy, Exchange Rate Policy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Zafar Imran
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: Whether climate change can stoke political violence and civil conflict is a critical and controversial question. Differences in methodological traditions (qualitative vs. quantitative) are often blamed for academic infighting over this question. This brief suggests that the real problem lies with an impoverished understanding of the process of climate change, particularly how social and ecological systems interact, and how changes in either propagate through the other and generate feedbacks. By presenting a dynamic understanding of the climate-conflict equation, this brief presents a mechanism-based analytical framework that can be used to study the complex phenomenon across diverse social settings. It illustrates the approach by tracing mechanisms through which climate change is fueling protests by farmers in Pakistan, and suggesting other potential applications.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Climate Change, Environment, Conflict, Rural
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Lindsay Rand, Jonas Siegel, Scott Jones, Tucker Boyce
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: Balancing the benefits and risks posed by artificial intelligence (AI), one of the most diffuse and rapidly evolving emerging technologies, is imperative when forming sound policy. This report analyzes the threats, trade linkages and mechanisms, and policy options in light of ongoing discussions regarding the prospects for applying export controls on artificial intelligence technologies and applications. Using open source research, findings from organized dialogues, and expert interviews, the report authors identified policy options that go beyond export controls and encompass a coordinated, comprehensive, and technical approach to garnering the many benefits of artificial intelligence while mitigating its security risks. These approaches take into account both traditional nonproliferation strategies and ongoing debates concerning national security and economic competitiveness. Urgent, cross-sector action by governments and nongovernmental entities, including exporters, technology developers, academia, and civil society, is necessary to activate cooperative tools that mitigate the risks posed by AI. Lessons learned from strategic trade approaches to AI can be replicated, in certain situations, to other emerging technologies.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Governance, Artificial Intelligence, Emerging Technology
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Amy J. Nelson
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: his study explores variations in national models of innovation, as well as the pathways or levers those models afford in controlling innovation’s end product. This report focuses on dual-use, emerging technologies’ “origin stories” and takes a big picture view of their emergence. It is bookended by an exploration of where these dual-use technologies come from and by an assessment of where they are going. The report uses case studies of both U.S. and German investment in artificial intelligence and additive manufacturing to highlight national approaches to innovation, assessing each country’s approach to regulating sensitive and dual-use technologies once they have been developed. The report argues that within a national model of innovation, the way in which technology is procured by a state’s military is linked with that state’s ability to control or regulate an end-product and, in turn, prevent diffusion or proliferation.
  • Topic: Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Nonproliferation, Innovation
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Lindsay Rand, Tucker Boyce
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: The rapid development of dual-use emerging technologies has magnified the importance of reconciling technological leadership, economic competitiveness, and national security objectives. While trade controls on dual-use technology transfer can promote peace and mitigate security threats, overly cumbersome policies may impose economic burdens on the private sector that threaten competitiveness and innovation. Striking a balance between these opposing agendas has become especially challenging in the context of emerging technologies that have elicited significant interest in both the military and civilian markets. The dilemma has also been complicated by the merging of economic security discourse and policy with national security. Policymaking mechanisms should be calibrated at the level of individual technologies to avoid security and/or economic consequences of under or over-regulation. This report offers policymakers data, findings, and recommendations to strengthen the effectiveness of individual policies and to work towards a comprehensive technology strategy. In order to develop trade policies that can achieve the intended security benefits without unwarranted damage to economic competitiveness and technology innovation, policymakers must recognize technology-specific development characteristics and the associated global sectoral composition – companies, universities, research institutes, and public-private collaborations - worldwide. This report applies a mapping methodology to three emerging technologies whose level of emergence and security relevance qualifies them as “chokepoint” technologies: position, navigation, and timing (PNT), quantum computing, and computer vision. Entities in each technology category were selected and analyzed using open source information in order to identify trends with respect to global dispersion, foreign involvement (including partnerships, commerce, and investment), and specific technology focus area. A second level of analysis was conducted to compare and contrast the key trends for each of the three sectors to determine how technology-specific factors impact innovation and market establishment and to illustrate the importance of technology-specific trade policies. Analysis of the data shows clear differences among the three technologies that have important implications for the desirability and feasibility of strategic trade controls:
  • Topic: Security, Science and Technology, Innovation, Trade, Emerging Technology
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Gordan Akrap
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Development and International Relations (IRMO)
  • Abstract: Hybrid threats and hybrid conflicts and wars are one of those terms that have suddenly entered in public knowledge, raising many concerns. This is not surprising because there is no common and generally accepted definition of hybrid threats by which these processes are defined. The emergence of this term in the the complexity of this issue. Specifically, hybrid threats are not a new phenomenon to theorists of conflicts and wars. What makes hybrid warfare different from previous wars is the change in the importance and intensity of the individual components of the conflict, such as information or influence warfare component. In fact, until regional media space was, in the beginning, connected with journalist’s perception that intention of the state is to impose censorship of writing and publishing. Over time, fear in the media receded and gave way to understanding the end of the 20th century, information and media operations, that could be called influence or cognitive operations, were in the function of military operations.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Military Strategy, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Cholpon Abdyraeva
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Austrian Institute for International Affairs (OIIP)
  • Abstract: This paper aims to introduce the state of art on hybrid warfare and seeks to address the conceptual confusion regarding an ever-expanding concept of hybrid warfare. By doing so, this paper simultaneously attempts to assess the growing significance of cyber and information domains within the hybrid warfare, which can be clearly illustrated by the example of the Russian hybrid warfare strategy. The Russian approach to hybrid warfare has considerably broadened the scope of hybrid warfare and changed the focus of debates from military to non-military components of hybrid warfare. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is: 1) to produce a deeper insight into hybrid warfare, including related trends, and 2) to assess the role and impact of cyber and information warfare with a particular focus on Russia. This paper can serve as an introduction that guides policy makers with expert opinions, and as such, intends to motivate further investigation in this field.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Cybersecurity, Internet, Conflict, Hybrid Warfare
  • Political Geography: Russia, Global Focus
  • Author: Edmund Downie
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on Global Energy Policy
  • Abstract: China’s Global Energy Interconnection (GEI) initiative presents a transformational vision for meeting the world’s growing power demand with a globally interconnected electricity grid. The concept involves ultra-high-voltage transmission lines strung across vast distances and smart grid technology tapping large-scale renewable power sources. Chinese President Xi Jinping first touted GEI’s goal to “facilitate efforts to meet the global power demand with clean and green alternatives” at the UN General Assembly in 2015. The ambition of the GEI vision is enormous, especially since there is very little cross-border trade in electricity around the world today. Regional electricity integration initiatives championed by development banks and multilateral organizations have largely struggled against the formidable political, economic and technical complications that accompany interstate electricity trade. China has seen these challenges firsthand in its participation in the Asian Development Bank’s Greater Mekong Subregion electricity trade endeavor, which has progressed fitfully since the 1990s amid regional infrastructure gaps and uneven political support from member states. This report, prepared as part of the Belt and Road Initiative series published by Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy, uses a case study of power trade in the Greater Mekong Subregion to assess the prospects for GEI in catalyzing energy integration around the world. It discusses why Greater Mekong Subregion integration has been slow, how GEI might help accelerate interconnection in the area, and what lessons the region offers for understanding the overall outlook for GEI. Based on this study, the author finds the following: Establishing a GEI-style global energy grid backbone by 2070 would require overcoming an extraordinary set of political challenges. The global grid outlined by GEI for the coming decades serves more as a demonstration of technical potential than a strict blueprint to be implemented. The limited scale attained thus far by the Greater Mekong Subregion project for grid integration and cross-border electricity trading demonstrates the headwinds such multinational efforts can face. Weak internal power sector development in recent decades has left some member states without the generation surpluses and robust power grids necessary to support meaningful levels of trade. In addition, power trade requires a strong degree of interstate political trust, motivated engagement by national utilities, and support from civil society players for the specific generation and transmission projects involved. Integration backers have historically struggled to build consensus across this diverse array of stakeholders. While enormous generation and transmission infrastructure projects are core components of the GEI vision and dovetail with the interests of China’s domestic proponents, considerable debate persists about their merits for fostering the renewables transition. Ultra-high-voltage transmission, a specialty of Chinese utilities, is a particular flashpoint. State interest in cross-border trade has been increasing across many regions in recent years, and more gradual gains in power trade around the world that can aid the renewable transition and bolster regional solidarity are possible. China can contribute greatly to this process: as an investor and contractor in grid projects abroad, as a member state of integration initiatives in Asia, and as an advocate of grid integration in international fora. GEI’s ultimate impact will depend in part on how advocates within China reconcile tensions between strengthening cross-border power trade and promoting domestic priorities, such as advancing the country’s own industrial policy objectives.
  • Topic: Climate Change, United Nations, Infrastructure, Green Technology, Electricity
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jason Bordoff
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on Global Energy Policy
  • Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted daily life, caused widespread sickness and fatalities, and sent the global economy careening toward a depression. Governments have responded by taking unprecedented steps to shut down entire cities, ban travel, and isolate nations—extreme measures that are giving hope to climate activists that similarly ambitious policies might be possible to address global warming, which many consider a similar existential threat. Yet that would be the wrong lesson to draw, as the very same barriers preventing an effective COVID-19 response continue to keep climate change action out of reach. Scientists warn that the impacts of COVID-19 will rise sharply over time, threatening the lives of vast numbers of people, particularly those most vulnerable. They warn that climate change, too, will severely harm many over time, albeit not with the same rapidity. If governments and companies can take extreme actions to cancel sports seasons, shut down workplaces, and restrict movement, surely they can take similarly drastic steps to change how we produce and consume energy?
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Mauricio Cardenas, Juan Jose Guzman
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on Global Energy Policy
  • Abstract: he novel coronavirus crisis has increased awareness about the need for sustainable and responsible investment. Once the spread of the virus is effectively contained, through testing and isolation, the world will focus on the recovery phase. But it should not be a return to business as usual. A successful recovery strategy should combine the need to restore income and economic activity while at the same time preventing another catastrophe resulting from the buildup of economic and financial vulnerabilities and policy mistakes (commonly known as white swans). As we enter what could likely be the worst recession since the Great Depression, the level of awareness about the costs of ignoring the physical limits to economic growth will likely increase. This crisis is revealing how unprepared and vulnerable our socio-economic system is to physical shocks. As opposed to financial shocks, like the ones that caused the global financial crisis over a decade ago, physical shocks originate from ecological and social constraints that, when violated, generate an economic collapse. Thanks to advancements in the natural and social sciences, we are now in a better position to understand their underlying causes, and in some cases assess their likelihood. Mitigating this class of tail-risks is not just possible, it has never been more relevant and urgent. One effective way to do that is to allocate capital intelligently. Although insufficient alone, the use of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) finance is one way to ensure that the post-Covid-19 period does not breed another such experience. Greater focus on sustainable investing, once some normalcy is restored, can reduce the chances that a new physical shock develops into another global crisis.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Erin Blanton
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on Global Energy Policy
  • Abstract: The global LNG market, like most commodities markets, has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. The ensuing demand collapse came after a warm Northern hemisphere winter that left the global market oversupplied, and now prices for spot LNG cargoes are expected to remain low well into 2021. As market watchers search for clues as to how and when demand may recover, the coronavirus could actually bring forward and intensify longer-term tightening of the LNG market by creating conditions that do not favor additional investments in LNG projects. Already, lockdowns have slowed construction on projects in the works and companies are delaying final investment decisions (FIDs) on potential LNG supply projects by several years. The global LNG market could face a supply shortfall in a few years, a scenario that seemed unlikely at the start of 2020 when proposed projects with 186 million tons of capacity were in the pipeline. The ability of the oil and gas industry to recover from the impacts of coronavirus will have a long-term effect on companies’ potential to secure the financing required for multibillion-dollar investments in LNG supply. In addition to the 359 million tons (MT) of existing global LNG supply, there is over 100 MT of supply under construction and expected online by 2025. Some 30 MT of that supply was expected over the next 18 months, but the timing now appears in doubt.[1] These factors will create additional pressure on the LNG industry, which was already facing difficult questions, including how natural gas will fit into global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and ongoing trade relations between the US and China.
  • Topic: Natural Resources, Gas, Pandemic, COVID-19, LNG
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Richard Nephew
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on Global Energy Policy
  • Abstract: The coronavirus outbreak has once again placed a spotlight on global supply chains, particularly those that are involved in the fabrication of medicines, medical equipment, and vaccines. Right now, much of the discussion around these supply chains is in the arena of high-level politics. Observers and officials of a protectionist bent—such as Peter Navarro, a trade adviser to Donald Trump—have used the occasion to emphasize that “if we learn anything from this crisis, [it is that] never again should we have to depend on the rest of the world for our essential medicines and counter-measures.” Others have argued instead that this is why protectionism is inherently counterproductive and dangerous. Global supply chains are likely to leave the realm of elite debate if and when the effects are felt more directly by consumers and in visible ways, such as the shortage of fresh fruits or vegetables. The result will be political pressure on leaders around the world to reduce national exposure to international trade, perhaps not just in areas associated with coronavirus response and mitigation. Underscoring this point, on 1 May, the Trump Administration issued an Executive Order that restricts the procurement of components and equipment for the U.S. “bulk-power system,” arguing that “unrestricted” trade in these goods “augments the ability of foreign adversaries to create and exploit vulnerabilities in bulk-power system electric equipment, with potentially catastrophic effects.” Setting aside completely whether investing the effort in deglobalizing supply chains is sound or sensible, moves to do so will have important effects on global economic statecraft. States that presently have an outsized advantage in the use of such tools—the United States in particular—may find that shifts away from global supply chains are damaging to their ability to use economic leverage, especially sanctions. States that are more vulnerable to these tools, on the other hand, may find their exposure to sanctions reduced, alongside lost advantages from international trade and business; in essence, less reliance on international supply chains could do the work of sanctions.
  • Topic: Sanctions, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19, Supply Chains
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Tanya Ogilvie-White
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Institute for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Collaborative efforts to build a new arms-control architecture are urgently needed following the demise of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) – especially in the Asia-Pacific, where arms-racing pressures are unbridled. High-level discussions within the Trump administration on deploying previously prohibited ground-based INF-range (500–5,500 kilometres) missiles in the Asia-Pacific could hamper progress; rather than convincing Beijing to engage in (as-yet-unspecified) trilateral arms-control negotiations, they could increase strategic risks, strain relations between the United States and its allies in the region (Australia, Japan and South Korea) and encourage closer Sino–Russian military cooperation. Efforts to create arms-control momentum are welcome, but to be politically viable, new initiatives need to be fair, equitable and underpinned by strategic empathy, reciprocity and mutual restraint. A more constructive approach would see the US and its Asia-Pacific allies using their combined diplomatic capital to push for a formal regional arms-control dialogue, which could initially focus on confidence building and strategic-risk reduction, and over the longer term help lay the foundations for a new arms-control regime.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Diplomacy, Military Strategy, INF Treaty
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: David Ramirez
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Institute for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The COVID-19 outbreak has shaken international trade and supply chains to their very foundations. This paper presents possible trade and supply scenarios, examining in particular the future of China’s pre-COVID-19 role as ‘the world’s factory’. Although disruptions such as the Japan earthquake and tsunami of 2011 and the recent trade war between the United States and China have strained global trade and supply chains in the past, particularly in Asia, COVID-19 has had historically devastating effects. While high levels of uncertainty currently make it hard to foresee exactly how global trade and supply chains will look in the post-COVID-19 era, it is inevitable that they will be reshaped.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Institute for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: In the second in a series of papers analysing the ways COVID-19 is affecting stability across the world, this paper explores how the pandemic has affected the implementation of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and undermined progress towards global economic, social and political stability. The COVID-19 pandemic is a major setback on the path towards achieving the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2030 ASD), making the challenge even greater for international organisations, governments and all relevant stakeholders. Moreover, when the health crisis hit, progress towards development goals was already patchy. The impacts of the pandemic and the consequences of the lack of progress in certain areas are mutually reinforcing, and require a combination of immediate responses to the damage done by COVID-19 and broader, longer-term efforts aimed at increasing resilience to future crises of similar proportions.
  • Topic: United Nations, Sustainable Development Goals, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Institute for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 spread around the world in a matter of a few short months in 2020. Its long-term effects, as well as the ultimate duration and severity of the pandemic itself, are marked by deep uncertainty. While it is too early to forecast the consequences of COVID-19 with precision, it is possible to systematically explore plausible trajectories for the medium-term future. This research paper uses scenarios to address the following question: what could be the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global political, economic and military balance of power over the course of the next five years? The paper focuses on six clusters of drivers of change to build scenarios. In the realm of politics, the two clusters are governance and geopolitics. The governance cluster straddles the divide of domestic and international politics, combining social cohesion in societies, populism as a political force, the role of the state, nationalism and state capacity. The geopolitics cluster focuses on aspects of international leadership and alliances. In the economic arena, clusters formed around the themes of economic reordering and recovery. In the former, regionalism, protectionism, supply-chain dynamics and Chinese technological leadership are considered. In the latter, the pace of the recovery is set in the context of employment, public debt, finance and energy issues. In the military realm, drivers relating to armed conflict and to military posture were combined to form clusters. The armed-conflict cluster considers projections for threat perceptions, major-power war, conflict among middle powers and intra-state violence. Military posture is captured by examining issues around force projection, the digitisation of armed forces, defence-industrial dynamics, strategic stability and the role of nuclear weapons. Scenarios in this paper are not designed to predict the future, but they are meant to help bound the range of possible futures for which decision-makers may need to prepare. In the scenario Silver Linings, geopolitics in 2025 are characterised by cooperation and the recession of domestic governance challenges. The economic recovery was swift and comprehensive, and although the pandemic modified aspects of globalisation its basic tenets remained intact. Armed conflict of the inter-state and intra-state kind has declined, and military postures are increasingly driven by advanced technologies and a smaller number of overseas operations. In the Downfall scenario, a weakened societal fabric has generated governance challenges at home and geopolitics are characterised by conflict. Economic recovery following the collapse triggered by the pandemic remains slow and incomplete, and economic reordering leads to the fragmentation of pre-existing international ties at the state and commercial levels. Great-power war has become a realistic probability and growing state fragility brought about by the pandemic leads to an increase in armed conflict. The scenario Lost in Transition is full of countervailing forces introducing challenges and a sense of instability. In the realm of politics, the geopolitical situation is marred by conflict, but domestic governance structures are not particularly challenged. Economically, recovery is slow and there are attempts to decouple − leading to bifurcated economic activity − with each strand led by China and the United States respectively. Militarily, new alliances emerge but a key concern is the near-perfect storm that the pandemic has created for security and stability in Africa. The scenario Home Alone outlines a future world in which the economic recovery is highly uneven. Attempts to generate momentum for renewed international cooperation fail as great-power rivalries intensify – however, the European Union emerges as a more confident geopolitical actor. Globalisation is disrupted by a drive to create regional and local supply chains and China forces a bifurcation of production for some sectors. Armed conflict linked to state fragility increases markedly, while the ability and willingness of international actors to provide humanitarian assistance and crisis-management resources fall dramatically. The pandemic itself is an event of world-shattering proportions. Yet many of its political and military implications are likely to be evolutionary in nature. In the period considered here, the potential for radical change (and a break with past practice and assumptions) is perhaps greatest in the economic realm. Furthermore, the scenarios can be helpful in recognising courses of actions that appear to be robust in the sense that they would appear to yield beneficial results across a range of alternative futures. Of course, even ‘future history’ marches on and it will remain crucial to consider the impact of unfolding events to maintain a sense of the direction of travel. The scenario implications will be useful to policymakers seeking to identify particular developments that may be desirable or undesirable. This will in turn facilitate discussion about the levers available and the extent to which such developments can be influenced. The most important point to take away from a European perspective is that across the scenarios a coherent and cohesive Europe is a prerequisite to exploit opportunities and avoid becoming, if not the battleground, than at least the playground for the political and economic policies of others.
  • Topic: Development, International Cooperation, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Institute for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 will have enduring effects on geopolitics and geo-economics in the Middle East, the Gulf and beyond. In this IISS Manama Dialogue 2020 Special Publication we explore the regional and global implications of the pandemic, including essays on Gulf defence economics, global and great-power politics, the Gulf states’ development models, strategy and geo-economics.
  • Topic: Development, International Cooperation, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Elise Thomas, Albert Zhang
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Australian Strategic Policy Institute
  • Abstract: Against the backdrop of the global Covid-19 pandemic, billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates has become the subject of a diverse and rapidly expanding universe of conspiracy theories. This report takes a close look at a particular variant of the Gates conspiracy theories, which is referred to here as the ID2020 conspiracy (named after the non-profit ID2020 Alliance, which the conspiracy theorists claim has a role in the narrative), as a case study for examining the dynamics of online conspiracy theories on Covid-19. Like many conspiracy theories, that narrative builds on legitimate concerns, in this case about privacy and surveillance in the context of digital identity systems, and distorts them in extreme and unfounded ways. Among the many conspiracy theories now surrounding Gates, this one is particularly worthy of attention because it highlights the way emergent events catalyse existing online conspiracy substrates. In times of crisis, these digital structures—the online communities, the content, the shaping of recommendation algorithms—serve to channel anxious, uncertain individuals towards conspiratorial beliefs. This report focuses primarily on the role and use of those digital structures in proliferating the ID2020 conspiracy.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Internet, COVID-19, Misinformation
  • Political Geography: Australia, Global Focus
  • Author: Andreas Antoniades, Ugo Panizza
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Global Political Economy, University of Sussex
  • Abstract: The recurrence of ever more destructive economic crises and patterns of pervasive indebtedness and inequality threaten the social fabric of our societies. Our main responses to these trends have been partial, focusing on symptoms rather than causes, often exacerbating rather than improving the underlying socio-economic dynamics. To reflect on these conditions and on ‘what needs to be done’ this paper turns to a similar socio-economic malaise faced by the city-state of Athens in the 6th century BC. Most historical studies dealing with this crisis focus on the comprehensive debt relief policy (seisachteia) implemented by Solon. We argue that this debt relief, although necessary, was the least important of Solon’s reforms. Solon read the problem of debt as a problem of money so he went on to reform the monetary and exchange system. But he did not think that these reforms alone could restore socioeconomic sustainability. For this, a redefinition of what was counted as valuable economic activity and as income had also to take place. And for all these to work, citizens had to be involved more in the commons. Far from only achieving socioeconomic sustainability, these reforms gave rise gradually to the demos that we meet in the golden age of Democracy. It is indeed interesting that Democracy, in its ideal type of the 5th century BC, finds its origin in the way in which a society responded to a major socioeconomic crisis, characterised by pervasive indebtedness and destabilising inequalities. Such a broader historical horizon may help us grasp better the problems, stakes and challenges of our times.
  • Topic: Debt, Political Economy, History, Democracy, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Greece, Global Focus
  • Author: Carter Wilbur
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: The release of the National Security Strategy (NSS)[i] in 2017 and related National Defense Strategy (NDS)[ii] in 2018 shifted the United States’ strategic focus to what has become known as Great Power Competition (GPC). These strategies acknowledge that the almost 20-year long fight against violent extremist organizations (VEOs) will continue, but add the need to address emerging and enduring threats from near-peer competitors such as Russia and China, and those approaching that status, such as Iran and North Korea. To address these authoritarian competitors requires the seamless integration of all aspects of U.S. power. Specifically, this article seeks to examine the current status of the relationship between U.S. embassies and U.S. Special Operations Forces (USSOF), while Part 2 will propose some specific ways to improve that working relationship.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, National Security, Armed Forces, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: Trevon Logan, Peter Temin
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET)
  • Abstract: This paper records the path by which African Americans were transformed from enslaved persons in the American economy to partial participants in the progress of the economy. The path was not monotonic, and we organize our tale by periods in which inclusiveness rose and fell. The history we recount demonstrates the staying power of the myth of black inferiority held by a changing white majority as the economy expanded dramatically. Slavery was outlawed after the Civil War, and blacks began to participate in American politics en masse for the first time during Reconstruction. This process met with white resistance, and black inclusion in the growing economy fell as the Gilded Age followed and white political will for black political participation faded. The Second World War also was followed by prosperity in which blacks were included more fully into the white economy, but still not completely. The Civil Rights Movement proved no more durable than Reconstruction, and blacks lost ground as the 20th century ended in the growth of a New Gilded Age. Resources that could be used to improve the welfare of whites and blacks continue to be spent on the continued repressions of blacks.
  • Topic: Economics, Race, History, Capitalism, Slavery
  • Political Geography: United States, Global Focus
  • Author: Graeme Blair, Darin Christensen, Aaron Rudkin
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Empirical Studies of Conflict Project (ESOC)
  • Abstract: Scholars of the resource curse argue that reliance on primary commodities destabilizes governments: price fluctuations generate windfalls or periods of austerity that provoke or intensify civil conflict. Over 350 quantitative studies test this claim, but prominent results point in different directions, making it difficult to discern which results reliably hold across contexts. We conduct a meta-analysis of 46 natural experiments that use difference-in-difference designs to estimate the causal effect of commodity price changes on armed civil conflict. We show that commodity price changes, on average, do not change the likelihood of conflict. However, there are cross-cutting effects by commodity type. In line with theory, we find price increases for labor-intensive agricultural commodities reduce conflict, while increases in the price of oil, a capital-intensive commodity, provoke conflict. We also find that price increases for lootable artisanal minerals provoke conflict. Our meta-analysis consolidates existing evidence, but also highlights opportunities for future research.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Oil, Natural Resources, Commodities, Armed Conflict
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Amat Adarov, Robert Stehrer
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (WIIW)
  • Abstract: The paper studies the drivers of productivity at country and sectoral levels over the period 2000-2017 with the focus on the impact of capital accumulation and structure. The analysis confirms an especially important role of ICT and intangible digital capital for productivity growth, particularly in the manufacturing sectors. While backward global value chain participation and EU integration are also found to be instrumental for accelerating productivity growth, the impact of inward foreign direct investment is not robustly detected when the data is purged from the effects of special purpose entities and outlier countries.
  • Topic: Economics, Foreign Direct Investment, European Union, Digital Economy, Capital Flows, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, Global Focus
  • Author: Mahdi Ghodsi, Oliver Reiter, Robert Stehrer, Roman Stöllinger
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (WIIW)
  • Abstract: The global economy is currently experiencing a new wave of technological change involving new technologies, especially in the realm of artificial intelligence and robotics, but not limited to it. One key concern in this context is the consequences of these new technologies on the labour market. This paper provides a comprehensive analysis of the direct and indirect effects of the rise of industrial robots and productivity via international value chains on various industrial indicators, including employment and real value added. The paper thereby adds to the existing empirical work on the relationship between technological change, employment and industrial growth by adding data on industrial robots while controlling for other technological advancements measured by total factor productivity (TFP). The results indicate that the overall impact of the installation of new robots did not statistically affect the growth of industrial employment during the period 2000–2014 significantly, while the overall impact on the real value added growth of industries in the world was positive and significant. The methodology also allows for a differentiation between the impact of robots across various industries and countries based on two different perspectives of source and destination industries across global value chains.
  • Topic: Economics, Science and Technology, Digital Economy, Economic growth, Industry, Robotics
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Philipp Heimberger
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (WIIW)
  • Abstract: Despite extensive research efforts, the magnitude of the effect of employment protection legislation (EPL) on unemployment remains unclear. Existing econometric estimates exhibit substantial variation, and it is therefore difficult to draw valid conclusions. This paper applies meta-analysis and meta-regression methods to a unique data set consisting of 881 observations on the effect of EPL on unemployment from 75 studies. Once we control for publication selection bias, we cannot reject the hypothesis that the average effect of EPL on unemployment is zero. The meta-regression analysis, which investigates sources of heterogeneity in the reported effect sizes, reveals the following main results. First, the choice of the EPL variable matters: estimates that build on survey-based EPL variables report a significantly stronger unemployment-increasing impact of EPL than estimates developed using EPL indices based on the OECD’s methodology, where the latter relies on coding information from legal provisions. Second, we find that employment protection has a small unemployment-increasing effect on female unemployment, compared with a zero impact on total unemployment. Third, using multi-year averages of the underlying data tends to dampen the unemployment effects of EPL. Fourth, product market regulation is found to moderate the effect of EPL on unemployment.
  • Topic: Labor Issues, European Union, Employment, Unemployment, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Political Geography: Europe, Global Focus
  • Author: Nikola Gjorshoski, Goran Ilik
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Research and European Studies (IRES)
  • Abstract: The question of the correlation between Islam, political Islam, and liberal democracy has so far been the most exposed topic in exploring the democratic capacity of political Islam and Islamic societies in general. What is particularly intriguing about the relationship between political Islam and liberal democracy is the fact of its westernized triviality that has received a pejorative tone in Islamic political circles. Simplified, the triviality of liberal democracy for the Islamic political campus implies imposing a model of democracy that cannot be fully compatible with the original Muslim notion of society and government. Hence, the following paper analyzes exactly the relations of political Islam to specific inherent categories of liberal democracy such as the rule of law, representative government, the separation of powers, and secularism as diferenta specifica of liberal western democratic discourse. Through the methods of induction and deduction, the author will illustrate how appropriate tangent or divergence is illustrated and how this is reflected in the general ideological positioning of political Islam towards liberal democracy in Muslim countries through an axiological and praxeological perspective.
  • Topic: Democracy, Rule of Law, Islamism, Liberalism, Secularism, Sharia
  • Political Geography: Middle East, North Africa, Global Focus
  • Author: Mallika Iyer, Mavic Cabrera-Balleza
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP)
  • Abstract: Women and youth peacebuilders formed a coalition to discuss urgent, intersecting issues related to the full and effective implementation of the Women and Peace and Security (WPS) and Youth and Peace and Security (YPS) agendas.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Violent Extremism, Women, Equality
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Mavic Cabrera-Balleza
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP)
  • Abstract: During the first practicum in the Fall of 2019, five students from the Master’s in Global Affairs program at CGA worked in teams to address research questions that emerged from GNWP’s work and research on current and past peace processes, and women’s roles in peacebuilding and sustaining peace. Using quantitative and qualitative analysis, the students examined the effect of women’s participation in peace negotiations and gender-sensitive provisions in peace agreements on women’s political representation and economic empowerment post-conflict.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Women, Peace, Inclusion
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ruben Carranza, Mohamed Azer Zouari
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ)
  • Abstract: Building on its work in Tunisia since 2012, ICTJ met with representatives of youth-led civil society organizations and social movements and state institutions involved in pursuing accountability for Ben Ali-era corruption. This paper focuses on the strategies and insights that members of the youth-led organizations and movements shared in these discussions. It seeks to call attention to their larger revolutionary goals and to offer ways for policymakers, advocates, and donors to support these goals in their transitional justice work.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Social Movement, Transitional Justice, Youth, Revolution
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Dario Tortarolo, Roman D. Zarate
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Nottingham Interdisciplinary Centre for Economic and Political Research (NICEP)
  • Abstract: We disentangle the extent of imperfect competition in product and labor markets using plant level data. We derive a formula for the ratio between markups and markdowns assuming costminimizing firms that face upward-sloping labour supply and downward-sloping product demand curves. We then separate this combined measure of market power by estimating firm-level labour supply elasticities instrumenting wages with a different set of instruments: including the use of intermediate inputs, input price shocks, and TFP shocks. Our results suggest that both markets exhibit imperfect competition, but the variation is mainly driven by markups. We also estimate the relative gains of removing market power dispersion on allocative efficiency, finding that markups are more important on TFP than markdowns.
  • Topic: Economics, Labor Issues, Finance, Labor Market, Supply Chains, Price
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Elena D'Agostino, Daniel J. Seidmann
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Nottingham Interdisciplinary Centre for Economic and Political Research (NICEP)
  • Abstract: Is it better to have the first or the last word in two-round debates like common law trials? If litigants always share available witnesses then they never prefer to present first (to lead), and may prefer to follow; and they never prefer to choose the order after observing the available witnesses than to always follow. Litigants can prefer to lead if they have different available witnesses because the outcomes when some litigant leads coincide with the outcomes in an alternative game where that litigant follows, but commits to its reaction function before observing its available witnesses. Leading is therefore a commitment device.
  • Topic: Law, Criminal Justice, Legal Sector
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Toke S. Aidt, Facundo Albornoz, Esther Hauk
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Nottingham Interdisciplinary Centre for Economic and Political Research (NICEP)
  • Abstract: In an interconnected world, economic and political interests inevitably reach beyond national borders. Since policy choices generate external economic and political costs, foreign state and non-state actors have an interest in infl uencing policy actions in other sovereign countries to their advantage. Foreign infl uence is a strategic choice aimed at internalizing these externalities and takes three principal forms: (i) voluntary agreements, (ii) policy interventions based on rewarding or sanctioning the target country to obtain a specific change in policy and (iii) institution interventions aimed at influencing the political institutions in the target country. We propose a unifying theoretical framework to study when foreign in fluence is chosen and in which form, and use it to organize and evaluate the new political economics literature on foreign infl uence along with work in cognate disciplines.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Relations Theory, Borders, Nation-State, Domestic Policy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Dennis Görlich, Aoife Hanley, Wan-Hsin Liu, Finn Ole Semrau
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW)
  • Abstract: The overarching aim of the study is to investigate the key factors that determine how and how intensively countries can be integrated into the coffee global value chain (GVC) and thus can better reap the globalization benefits. The empirical analysis shows how the international trade in coffee has developed across regions/countries over the past three decades. It provides evidence-based insights into the key determinants of countries’ GVC integration in the coffee industry. It discusses countries’ functional and product upgrading for their GVC integration. Based on the empirical results obtained, policy implications are derived to support the further development of the coffee GVC. This study serves as a background study for the Coffee Development Report 2020 in preparation by the International Coffee Organisation.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Food, Global Value Chains, Coffee, Value Chains
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Marcel Fratzscher, Tobias Heidland, Lukas Menkhoff, Lucio Sarno, Maik Schmeling
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW)
  • Abstract: We construct a novel database of monthly foreign exchange interventions for 49 countries over up to 22 years. We build on a text classification approach that extracts information about interventions from news articles and calibrate our procedure to data about actual interventions. Our new dataset allows us to document stylized facts about the use of foreign exchange interventions for countries that neither publish their data nor make them available to researchers. Moreover, we show that foreign exchange interventions are used in a complementary way with capital controls and macroprudential regulation.
  • Topic: Economics, Foreign Exchange, International Political Economy, Data, Capital Controls
  • Political Geography: Global Focus