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  • Author: Valeria Branca
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The second Infrastructure Working Group workshop under the Italian G20 PPresidency, titled “Financing infrastructure investments for local communities”, was hosted on 4 February 2021 by the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI). As the world gradually recovers from the pandemic crisis, most governments are designing strategies to revive long-term growth. A key factor in their success will be the capacity to restart and reorient infrastructure investments. In this context, investments in local infrastructures are particularly important because social needs, work habits and production patterns have been greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, whose impact has been most severe on urban areas, the informal sector and marginalised groups – especially in developing countries. Investments in local infrastructures will therefore be crucial in addressing the need to sustain recovery while tackling long-standing problems posed by climate change and social exclusion.
  • Topic: Infrastructure, Sustainable Development Goals, Investment, Coronavirus, Sustainability, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Tsio Tadesse Abebe, Ottilia Anna Maunganidze
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the current state and prospects of partnership between the East African countries and the European Union on migration and forced displacement. The pandemic has exacerbated the root causes of migration and forced displacement. This is manifested by the continuation of irregular arrivals in Europe including from East Africa, after a brief decline in the initial phase of the COVID-19 response. The strong economic impact of the pandemic on the region has also disrupted the implementation of the Global Compact on Refugees that aspires to address forced displacement challenges through facilitating refugees’ self-reliance. These challenges require East African countries and the EU to work towards establishing a better migration governance system with a people-centred approach and with a view to addressing the root causes of migration. East African states should drive their migration and forced displacement policies in ways that benefit their citizens. This should include devising ways of engaging the EU in line with its proposed talent partnerships in its New Pact on Migration and Asylum. The EU should work towards easing the economic burden of countries in East Africa including through providing additional development support and debt cancellation.
  • Topic: Migration, Politics, European Union, Refugees, Coronavirus
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe
  • Author: Amer Al-Hussein
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The Syrian conflict entered its eleventh year on 15 March 2021, bringing this “living nightmare” back to our minds.[1] This ominous anniversary should remind the world of the importance of addressing the bleak reality inside Syria. While the new US administration provides a glimmer of hope for a return to diplomacy, multilateralism and an end to the mercantilism of the past years, Europe would be wrong to simply wait for the US lead on Syria.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Politics, Sanctions, European Union, Institutions, Coronavirus
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Syria, United States of America, Mediterranean
  • Author: Daniela Huber
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The coronavirus crisis deeply challenges the assumption that we human beings can dominate nature. Contraposing the new European Commission Green Deal and geopolitical language with critical/green thought, this paper aims to provoke reflections on a re-imagination of the European Union as part of a larger regional and global community that lives together within a green and diverse planet.
  • Topic: International Relations, Climate Change, Environment, Coronavirus
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Nicola Bilotta, Alissa Siara
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The economic ramifications of COVID-19 will accentuate the technological innovation gap between Latin America and the rest of the world. In a region already suffering from chronic underinvestment in research and development, the strain placed on government budgets by the pandemic-induced economic crisis will push innovation further back down the agenda. The region has compensated for a lack of domestic resources with foreign capital and technology imports from China and the United States. As the US–China relationship becomes more adversarial in the face of COVID, however, Latin America will emerge as a geopolitical battleground whose countries may be forced to choose sides and potentially lose out on capital inflows or technology imports. Navigating this potential storm will involve the region in a search for other options. Public–private partnerships with European Union firms represent one valuable possibility, but Europe and Latin America should first align their innovation agendas.
  • Topic: International Relations, Science and Technology, Sovereignty, Foreign Direct Investment, European Union, Institutions, Coronavirus, Digital Policy
  • Political Geography: China, South America, Latin America, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Asli Selin Okyay, Luca Barana
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Europe’s institutional landscape and political context have evolved considerably over the past year, with implications spanning numerous policy domains, including migration. The formation of the new European Commission, its commitment to deliver a New Pact on Migration and Asylum and the negotiations for the next Multi-Annual Financial Framework (MFF) have set the stage for much needed reforms in the migration field, a policy area still largely driven by the emergency mindset inherited from the 2015–16 “crisis”.
  • Topic: Migration, Reform, European Union, Refugees, Coronavirus
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Afrah Nasser
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: After Yemen’s 2011 uprising broke out, the country went through a series of political upheavals and cycles of violence that tore the country apart, including the start of a full-scale civil war in 2014 and the Saudi- and UAE-led intervention in 2015. In a context where civilians have been deliberately attacked by all sides, COVID-19 has added a new layer to the unspeakable suffering for millions of civilians in Yemen, whilst Europe has reacted with development aid but has thus far failed to support need for accountability in the conflict.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Health, War, Coronavirus, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Yemen, Saudi Arabia
  • 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: Narmina Gasimova, Nigar İslamlı
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Economic and Social Development (CESD)
  • Abstract: Nowadays, global economic growth has been severely affected beyond anything passed in nearly a century. The outbreak of the coronavirus disease has brought its negative impact and destructive outcome on the economies alongside with the sharp fluctuations in global energy and stock markets. There might be observed a subsequent sharp decline in the number of transactions and practical shutdown of many markets due to the large-scale quarantine and self-isolation measures. Taking into consideration the abovementioned factors, it becomes clear that there emerged a need to revise all economic forecasts for 2020-2021. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicted a decline of the global economic growth rate in April (-3%), but in accordance with the current circumstances, the figures were revised in June, representing a 4.9% decrease. In spite of a fact that Azerbaijan became one of the first countries among the post-soviet countries, that allocated the largest share of GDP, in order to eliminate the economic problems caused due to the pandemic, the impact of the emerged difficulties made a necessity to revise the budget.
  • Topic: Budget, GDP, Economy, Coronavirus, IMF, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Eurasia, Caucasus, Azerbaijan
  • Author: Ido Yahel
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies
  • Abstract: In the latest edition of Tel Aviv Notes, Ido Yahel examines the emergence of the coronavirus in Syria and its implications for the war-torn country and the region.
  • Topic: Health, Syrian War, Coronavirus, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Paul Rivlin
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies
  • Abstract: In this issue of Iqtisadi: The Middle East Economy, Paul Rivlin analyses the Iranian economy in 2020 in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic and economic sanctions.
  • Topic: Economy, Coronavirus, Health Crisis
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Lykke E. Andersen, Alejandra Gonzales Rocabado
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Advanced Development Studies (INESAD)
  • Abstract: This study carries out a cross-country analysis of changes in quantity and quality of life during the first six months of the COVID-19 pandemic (11 March to 11 September 2020) for 124 countries. Changes in quantity of life are measured as life years lost to COVID-19, including excess deaths not officially reported as COVID-19 deaths. Changes in quality of life are proxied by the average change in daily mobility, compared to a pre-COVID baseline. We find a significant negative correlation between the two, meaning that the countries with the biggest reductions in mobility are also the countries with the biggest losses of life years. We calculate that about 15 million life years were lost during the first six months of the pandemic, corresponding to 0.006% of all expected life years. For comparison, at least three times more life years are lost every six months due to children dying of diarrhea. About 28 million life years are created every day from babies being born, so the first six months of the pandemic set us back about 14 hours in terms of quantity of life. The setbacks in terms of quality of life are several orders of magnitude larger. Some countries have suffered more than a 50% reduction in mobility sustained over half a year, with devastating effects on many aspects of quality of life. Globally, the equivalent of 400 million full-time jobs were lost. GDP is estimated to have been set back about three years, poverty about five years, and the tourism industry about 20 years. The already large inequalities in access to quality education have been further widened, leaving hundreds of millions of disadvantaged children farther behind. Even countries that have managed the pandemic relatively well are suffering large economic contractions due to the negative spill-over effects from other countries. We still have a long way to go before this pandemic is over, and we urgently need to course-correct in order not to cause even more harm than has already been done. The paper provides a series of recommendations on what needs to be done to minimize total harm.
  • Topic: Political Economy, GDP, Mobility, Mortality, Coronavirus, Pandemic, COVID-19, Quality of Life
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Bolivia
  • Author: Miguel Jaramillo, Hugo Nopo
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Group for the Analysis of Development (GRADE)
  • Abstract: Latin America is currently suffering from two independent but related shocks: the impact of COVID-19 and the shock of commodity prices. Peru, we argue, is a case in which the strongest impact comes from the pandemic. Peru was the first country in Latin America to react and implement sanitary and economic measures against the coronavirus. The country has been in mandatory quarantine since Monday, March 16. This carries very important challenges for all economic actors. Global and national activity has suffered a sudden stop with direct implications for: (i) the income generating capacity of independent workers, (ii) the jobs of formal and informal and informal workers, and (iii) the survival of small, medium and large companies. In this note we consider the situation of Peruvian households in the face of the pandemic, exploring their vulnerabilities through an analysis of their main source of income generation: work. We also consider the situation of the companies that employ the workers under analysis. We present an overview of what the government’s main action have been so far and offer some recommendations.
  • Topic: Economics, Political Economy, Economic Policy, Coronavirus, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Peru