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  • Author: Harith Hasan, Kheder Khaddour
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The Iraqi-Syrian border continues to be geopolitically restless. Kurdish parties have taken advantage of central government weaknesses to increase their autonomy in these areas. Even after the collapse of the self-proclaimed Islamic State, the Iraqi-Syrian border continues to be one of the most geopolitically restless areas in the Middle East. In the last few years, a variety of Kurdish entities and groups have increasingly shaped the dynamics across the northern section of this border. In particular, there are two dynamics that deserve attention. First, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the Kurdish-dominated Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria have come to effectively control new border crossings in this area as the Syrian government has lost access and the Iraqi government’s presence has been contested. This means that the movement of people and goods in this area is largely controlled by two entities that are neither state nor nonstate actors. The reality on the ground reflects hybrid arrangements that have emerged as a result of the weaknesses of both central governments and the increasing autonomy gained by Kurdish parties (which, in the case of the KRG, is stipulated constitutionally). Second, the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK), by virtue of its participation in the war against the Islamic State and by taking advantage of the consequent power vacuum, managed to augment its influence along the border. Its ideological and organizational ties with local groups, such as the People Protection Units (YPG) in Syria and Sinjar Resistance Units (YBS) in Iraq, enabled it to exert security and political influence. On the one hand, this turned segments of the border into an arena for transnational, pan-Kurdish militancy. On the other hand, these groups’ presence intensified intra-Kurdish rivalries, especially between the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), which is the KRG’s main ruling party, and the PKK. This rivalry reflects a clash of two visions for the border: the PKK’s revolutionary, transnational vision that seeks to eradicate or at least underplay the reality of the border; and the KDP’s pragmatic and territorial vision seeking to assert the border’s reality as a demarcation of the KRG’s authority and future statehood. In addition, the KDP is allied with Turkey, which has been fighting the PKK for several decades and is currently waging a military campaign against the group in northern Iraq and Syria. To a large extent, the future of this border is predicated on this geopolitical conflict and whether the PKK manages to entrench itself further or becomes isolated and marginalized as the KRG, the Autonomous Administration, and the Iraqi federal government assert their territorial authorities.
  • Topic: Governance, Conflict, Borders, Kurds
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Zainab Usman, David Landry
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Many African countries have placed economic diversification high on the policy agenda, yet they first need to define what it means in their specific structural and socioeconomic contexts. For decades, economic diversification has been a policy priority for low- and middle-income economies. In the words of former managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde, “We know that economic diversification is good for growth. Diversification is also tremendously important for resilience.” Unfortunately, this goal continues to elude many African countries. In fact, the continent is home to eight of the world’s fifteen least economically diversified countries. This reality weakens the foundation of their economic transfomation and slows their pace of progress. It also makes these countries particularly vulnerable to sudden external shocks, as the pandemic-induced disruption of tourism and oil-dependent economies has illustrated. Given the importance of diversifying African economies, it is critical to recognize how various dimensions of diversification can have different implications for the menu of policy options. Closely associated with the process of structural transformation from lower to higher productivity sectors, economic diversification has three evident dimensions. The first relates to the expansion of economic sectors that contribute to employment and production or gross domestic product (GDP) diversification, and the second is associated with international trade or exports diversification. This paper, however, focuses on a third dimension that the economics literature pays scant attention to: fiscal diversification. This fiscal element involves expanding government revenue sources and public expenditure targets and can therefore play a central role in helping to catalyze broader economic transformation through the expansion of activity in specific industries and sectors. It is also critical that policymakers effectively measure the extent to which this objective is being achieved. Both the expansion of existing economic sectors and the creation of new ones may diversify an economy. But these processes are vastly different in practice and will garner distinct outcomes. Of the main tools used by economists to measure diversification, the Theil Index differentiates between the respective contributions of new economic sectors and existing ones to overall diversification. Another tool widely used by development practitioners—the Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) framework—has significant potential for evaluating fiscal diversification but would need to capture more information on government revenue collection and spending and link them to policy objectives.
  • Topic: Economics, Governance, Diversification, Trade
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Nathan Babb
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University
  • Abstract: This paper explores the ethnoracial segregation trends of New Orleans, Louisiana between the years 2000, 2010, and 2018. It studies the effect of Hurricane Katrina—which struck in August 2005—on population figures and racial composition within two geographic units of study in Orleans parish: neighborhoods and census tract block groups. Since Hurricane Katrina, White residents have returned in larger numbers than Black residents, and particularly so in neighborhoods that were predominantly Black before the storm. In 2019, New Orleans had 100,000 fewer people than before the storm—nearly the same as the number of Black residents who have not returned. Using a Gibbs-Martin index, which measures racial diversity, the paper finds that decreases in population at the census block group level are associated with racial “diversifying.” This trend invites a conversation on the normative interpretations of racial heterogenization, its causes, and its consequences: who bears the costs of increased “diversity” and what is the historical backdrop it operates under?
  • Topic: Race, Natural Disasters, Governance, Inequality, Domestic Policy, Disaster Management , Segregation
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Adela Cedillo
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: In the late 1960s, the Mexican government launched a series of counternarcotics campaigns characterized by the militarization of drug production zones, particularly in the northwestern region—the so-called Golden Triangle, epicenter of both production and trafficking of marijuana and opium poppy since the 1930s. Operations Canador (1969–1975) and Trizo (1976) served as a laboratory for methods to curb drug production, ranging from harassment of drug growers to the aerial defoliation of illicit crops. Operation Condor (1977–1988) combined and enhanced these strategies, wreaking havoc on communities of alleged drug growers, but without entirely disrupting the drug industry. This paper explores the role of the US government in the militarization of Mexico’s anti-drug policy, underscoring how the ruling party (the Institutional Revolutionary Party, PRI) took advantage of this shift to tackle domestic issues and reassert its hegemony. I argue that Operation Condor functioned as a counterinsurgency campaign oriented to thwart both social and armed movements, eliminate competitors in the narcotics market, and reorganize the drug industry to protect successful drug lords. Operation Condor also caused the decentralization of the drug industry from the northwest and created a new clientelistic pact between drug lords and national security agencies, such as the Federal Security Directorate (DFS), the Office of the Attorney General of Mexico–Federal Judicial Police (PGR-PJF), and the Secretariat of National Defense (SEDENA), which benefited from drug proceeds. Finally, the de facto state of siege imposed in the Golden Triangle produced thousands of victims of harassment, torture, rape, murder, forced-disappearance, and displacement; massive human rights abuses that authorities either concealed or denied.
  • Topic: Security, Corruption, Human Rights, Governance, Social Movement, History , Borders, Violence
  • Political Geography: Latin America, North America, Mexico, United States of America
  • Author: Pierre Siklos
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: As digital forms of payment become increasingly popular, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, cash is no longer king. Central banks are turning their attention toward central bank digital currency (CBDC) to replace coins and bills and to provide other types of services through digital technology. CBDC can also facilitate cross-border transactions through the use of internationally accepted currencies such as the euro and the US dollar. This paper explores the many tailwinds and headwinds that will affect the implementation of a CBDC.
  • Topic: Governance, Digital Economy, Banks, Digital Currency
  • Political Geography: North America, Global Focus, United States of America
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination, Princeton University
  • Abstract: The Handbook on the Prevention and Resolution of Self-Determination Conflicts is the latest product of a long and fruitful collaboration between the Mission of Liechtenstein to the United Nations, New York, and the Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination at Princeton University to assess the relationship of self-determination to conflict. The Handbook includes four case studies: Aceh, Bougainville, Mindanao, and Northern Ireland, in addition to setting out guidelines specifically aimed at those working to prevent and resolve self-determination conflicts. The handbook was conceived chiefly as the result of two meetings on self-determination held jointly by the Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination and the Liechtenstein Mission to the UN: “Models of Self-Governance as Tools to Promote Peace and Stability in Europe,” held in March 2016, in Triesenberg, Liechtenstein, and “Self-Determination in Conflict Prevention and Resolution,” held in December 2018, in Princeton, New Jersey, U.S.A. In these meetings, participants discussed the relationship between self-determination and conflict, as well as ways that self-determination conflicts may be prevented and resolved. These discussions drew on the tensions and links between self-determination, minority rights, autonomy and self-governance, and mediation, all of which are key elements of the handbook.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Diplomacy, Governance, Self Determination, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Sam Szoke-Burke
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Transparency is often seen as a means of improving governance and accountability of investment, but its potential to do so is hindered by vague definitions and failures to focus on the needs of key local actors. In a new report focusing on agribusiness, forestry, and renewable energy projects (“land investments”), CCSI grounds transparency in the needs of project-affected communities and other local actors. Transparency efforts that seek to inform and empower communities can also help governments, companies, and other actors to more effectively manage operational risk linked to social conflict.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Governance, Transparency, Sustainability, Community
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Martin Hellwig, Viola Priesemann, Guntram Wolff
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Bruegel
  • Abstract: Escape variants can cause new waves of COVID-19 and put vaccination strategies at risk. To prevent or delay the global spread of these waves, virus mobility needs to be minimised through screening and testing strategies, which should also cover vaccinated people. The costs of these strategies are minimal compared to the costs to health, society and economy from another wave.
  • Topic: Health, Governance, Global Political Economy, Vaccine, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Enrico Bergamini, Emmanuel Mourlon-Druol
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Bruegel
  • Abstract: This paper quantitatively explores news coverage on the subject of ‘Europe’ in three different countries and three newspapers: France (Le Monde), Italy (La Stampa) and Germany (Der Spiegel). We collected and organised large web-scraped datasets covering the period 1945 to 2019. After ensuring the quality of the archives, we identified articles referring to ‘European’ news while leaving aside national and other non-European news, based on a mix of keyword matching, large-scale natural language processing and topic identification on the full text of news articles. Once articles were classified and datasets labelled, we performed a time-series analysis, detecting salient events in European history, across France, Germany and Italy. We analysed these events in light of the evolution of European cooperation and integration since 1945. We found that the most important events in post-war European history are easily identifiable in the archives and that European issues have gathered substantially greater attention since the early 1990s.
  • Topic: Governance, Public Opinion, European Union, Media, Populism, Data
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Francesco Papadia, Enrico Bergamini, Emmanuel Mourlon-Druol, Giuseppe Porcaro
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Bruegel
  • Abstract: A disconnect between European Union integration and the level of interest of EU citizens in European matters is a potential weakness in the EU’s democratic foundations. The existence and possible size of this disconnect is a critical issue in assessing the potential for further integration of the EU and the risks to its stability. To move beyond qualitative assessments of this disconnect, we use three indicators to measure EU citizens’ interest in Europe: turnout in European Parliament elections relative to national elections, Eurobarometer surveys of interest in Europe, and the presence of European news in national newspapers, relative to all published news. We interpret our empirical results using three frameworks: Putnam’s social capital concept, the agenda-setting hypothesis and the no-demos hypothesis. All three indicators point to an increased interest in European matters, especially since the 1990s and the creation of the euro. However, this result does not settle the issue of whether the increased level of interest matches the actual state of integration of the EU’s member countries. Our results indicate the European construction maintains a technocratic character.
  • Topic: Governance, European Union, Media, Populism, Macroeconomics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Srinivasa Reddy Srigiri, Ines Dombrowsky
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: Understanding the conditions for coordination in the WEFNexus is key to achieving the 2030Agenda. We provide a framework for analysing nexus governance from a polycentricity perspective, which can be useful in formulating coherent strategies for the integrated implementation of the SDGs.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, United Nations, Water, Food, Governance, Sustainable Development Goals
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Robert Bakiika, Christine Mbatuusa, Anthony Mugeere, Anna Amumpiire
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE)
  • Abstract: This report seeks to contribute to informing the mobilization of climate finance in light of the climate change impacts across all sectors. The report highlights the operating policy, legal and institutional framework on public climate finance, makes reference to country case studies on climate finance mobilization, proposes various options for climate finance mobilization based on stakeholders consulted and ranks the most efficient option.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Governance, Finance, Mobilization
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa
  • 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: 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: 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: Sumitra Badrinathan
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for the Advanced Study of India
  • Abstract: Misinformation makes democratic governance harder, especially in developing countries. Despite its real-world import, little is known about how to combat misinformation outside of the U.S., particularly in places with low education, accelerating Internet access, and encrypted information sharing. This study uses a field experiment in India to test the efficacy of a pedagogical intervention on respondents’ ability to identify misinformation during the 2019 elections (N=1224). Treated respondents received in-person media literacy training in which enumerators demonstrated tools and tips to identify misinformation in a coherent learning module. Receiving this hour-long media literacy intervention did not significantly increase respondents’ ability to identify misinformation on average. However, treated respondents who support the ruling party became significantly less able to identify pro- attitudinal stories. These findings point to the resilience of misinformation in India and the presence of motivated reasoning in a traditionally non-ideological party system
  • Topic: Governance, Elections, Social Media, Misinformation
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Gregory Ferguson-Cradler
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies
  • Abstract: Electricity is a key area in climate mitigation. The sector needs to significantly expand while transitioning to renewable production, all in an extremely short timeframe. This paper fo- cuses on ownership and control in the electricity sector in an era of climate change. Bor- rowing substantially from classical American Institutionalism, heterodox theories and his- tories of the firm, and legal institutionalism, this paper discusses the historically constituted nature of the categories of property, capital, and the firm and how these literatures provide helpful frameworks for analyzing the recent history and possible futures of electricity sec- tors. A short discussion of the recent history of the German electricity sector, particularly the large utility RWE, will briefly illustrate the approach. Climate change mitigation will require revised notions of ownership and an updated theory of the firm, property, and cor- porate governance for the Anthropocene.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Governance, Electricity
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany, Central Europe
  • Author: Steven E. Finkel, Aníbal Pérez-Liñán, Michael Neureiter, Chris A. Belasco
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper updates our earlier work on the impact of US foreign assistance on democratic outcomes in recipient countries using newly available USAID Foreign Aid Explorer data covering the 2001–2014 period, as well as new outcome measures derived from Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) data. Building on the theoretical and empirical framework established in our previous study and in subsequent work in the field, we estimate: a) the effect of overall USAID Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance (DRG) expenditures on general indices of democracy, b) changes in the effects of DRG expenditures after 2001, and c) the conditions that moderate the impact of DRG funding at the country level in the contemporary era. We find that the effect of DRG expenditures decreased dramatically in the 2002–2014 period, relative to the modest effect shown in the previous study for the period immediately following the end of the Cold War. However, DRG aid remains effective in the current era under favorable conditions. Further analysis demonstrates important conditional effects related to patterns of DRG investment, such that aid has greater impact when levels of security assistance are low (indicating competing priorities) and when prior DRG investment is low (indicating diminishing returns). In addition, DRG is more effective at intermediate levels of democratization and less so in contexts of democratic backsliding.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Globalization, Governance, Democracy, Public Policy
  • Political Geography: North America, Global Focus, United States of America
  • 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: Adedeji Adeniran, Idris Ademuyiwa
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The growth of digitalization and digital technology adoption in Africa holds the key to strengthening and diversifying economies across the continent. Although these developments offer potentially life-changing benefits for consumers, businesses and governments, the inherent flaws in the digital market mean these benefits are not guaranteed. As most gains from the digital economy are largely concentrated in the United States and China, the digital divide may widen the gap between the Global North and the Global South.
  • Topic: Economics, Governance, Digital Economy, Digitalization
  • Political Geography: Africa, Global South
  • Author: Michel Girard
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Data is seen by many as the most lucrative commodity of the new global economy. Data analytics and self-teaching algorithms are projected to continue to disrupt every imaginable market and to create new ones. Many organizations are struggling to integrate big data analytics into their operations. New data governance challenges could be tackled through adherence to a data governance standard. There is currently no standard in place to provide guidance on the deployment of corporate data policies to manage ethics, transparency and trust in data value chains. This policy brief outlines the issues that should be covered in the proposed standard.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Governance, Data
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Mamadou Bodian, Aurélien Tobie, Myriam Marending
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: Since 2015 Mali’s central regions of Mopti and Ségou have become insecure hotspots at the confluence of interconnected challenges in terms of governance, development and security. Although international interventions involving a full range of actors and sectors are being increasingly reoriented towards these regions, the sustainability of the responses depends on their ability to draw on the needs and priorities of local communities. This SIPRI Insights is based on a study that combines both quantitative and qualitative data to provide an evidence-based analysis of local perspectives in Mopti and Ségou. It highlights how the people there understand and respond to the governance, development and security challenges they face.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Governance, Conflict, Peace
  • Political Geography: Mali, Africa
  • 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: José Francisco Alvarado Cóbar
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: In order to have a more nuanced understanding of inclusive peace processes, it is important to understand how civil society can connect to formal peace negotiations. The Colombian peace negotiation process is highly regarded as one of the most inclusive processes; involving civil society groups from diverse backgrounds, including both women’s and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender/ transsexual and intersex (LGBTI) groups. But how do these groups leverage influence among the main conflict actors, and what specific challenges and opportunities do they face? This paper applies a conflict resolution and negotiation framework to assess the involvement of women’s and LGBTI groups in the most recent Colombian peace negotiation process. In doing so, the suggested framework provides a practical application of conflict resolution and negotiation strategies that can further complement discussions on inclusion of marginalized groups in other peace negotiation processes.
  • Topic: Security, Civil Society, Development, Gender Issues, Governance, Women, Negotiation, LGBT+, Peace
  • Political Geography: Colombia, South America
  • 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: Vo Tri Tranh
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: This paper examines the policies for industrial cluster development in Viet Nam. The first export processing zone was established in 1991. Since 1994, Viet Nam has focused more on developing domestic productive capacity and thus various types of industrial estates were established. The key actors in industrial cluster policy are the government, Prime Minister, ministries, provincial people’s committees, and management boards of industrial and economic zones. The choice of industrial estate is often determined by factors such as geographic location, land, labour, infrastructure, industry, business environment, and incentives. Viet Nam has provided various incentives to industrial estates of various types, but the scope and extent of preferential policy support for firms in general and those operating in industrial and economic zones are rather modest. The industrial estates have contributed significantly to attracting foreign direct investment, to exports, to productivity improvement, etc. Looking forward, Viet Nam needs further efforts on industrial cluster development, including development of statistics, analysis of cluster policy impacts, and provision of FTA-consistent incentives.
  • Topic: Development, Industrial Policy, Governance, Leadership, Management
  • Political Geography: Asia, Vietnam
  • Author: 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: Zsolt Darvas
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Bruegel
  • Abstract: The level and composition of public expenditures and revenues both have implications for economic development, as shown by the ‘fiscal multiplier’ and the ‘quality of public finance’ literature. Public finance decisions also influence the distribution of income. Based on a review of the literature, I argue for a fair distribution of income as reflected in low-income inequality, not particularly because of the impact of income inequality on long-term growth (which is a controversial issue), but primarily because income inequality typically implies inequality of opportunity. European Union countries have very diverse public finance structures and different levels of effectiveness and there is room for improvement in the growth and equality impacts in all countries. A general guideline would be that the most effective approach comprises progressive taxes and inheritance taxes, spending on education, health and public infrastructure, and better government effectiveness. At the height of the 2008 global crisis and the subsequent European financial and economic crises, the fiscal consolidation strategies of EU countries largely relied on cutting public investment and social spending (except pensions), which is the opposite of what is suggested in the literature. Better fiscal rules and good fiscal institutions are needed to safeguard growth- and distribution-friendly expenditures in a crisis.
  • Topic: Governance, European Union, Inequality, Income Inequality, Tax Systems, Macroeconomics, Economic Development , Public Spending
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Dlawer Ala'Aldeen
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Middle East Research Institute (MERI)
  • Abstract: The Iraqi state has become increasingly fragile for decades and is plagued with instability, social conflicts and wars. Many drivers have contributed to the country’s intractable fragility, one of which relates to its highly centralised and poorly institutionalised governing system, which has failed to manage centre-periphery tensions and integrate local communities into the country’s polities. Rebuilding Iraq’s governance along the lines of its democratic Constitution, which adopts decentralisation at its core, will be a critical step toward stabilisation, reconstruction, and socioeconomic recovery. The Iraqi Council of Representatives adopted two transformative legislations in 2008, namely Law No. 21 of the Governorate not Incorporated into a Region, and Law No. 36 of the Provincial, District and Subdistrict Council elections. These put Iraq on a decentralisation pathway that is still evolving. However, after more than a decade of experimentation, the decentralisation process has failed to tackle the on-going crises of legitimacy and a lack of trust in government. It has failed to address problems of rampant corruption, inefficiency and an inability to improve the lives of citizens. It is, therefore, paramount to review the existing system and propose ways forward, hence this timely report. Here, Nineveh is used as a representative governorate to review the challenges facing the decentralisation process and explore possible models that can be piloted.
  • Topic: Sovereignty, Governance, Fragile States, State Building, Decentralization
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Michael Knights
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Middle East Research Institute (MERI)
  • Abstract: In the last decade, the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) has seen many moments of crisis – budget cuts, Daesh’s assault on Erbil, the halving of oil prices (twice!) and armed conflict with the Iraqi government over Kirkuk. Today’s situation feels different and arguably worse than these episodes: there’s COVID, a deep oil recession in Baghdad and Kurdistan, intensifying tensions with Turkey and Iran, and an unpleasant undercurrent of resentment against the Kurds among many of the MPs in the Baghdad parliament. What makes this moment uniquely dangerous, however, is the near-breakdown of cooperation between the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). Iraq’s Kurds have shown that they can weather any storm when they pull together as a people. The KRI’s international partners tend to support the Iraqi Kurds more effectively when the two parties work in harmony, but often back away when they cannot identify a cohesive counterparty to deal with in the KRI. International memories of the intra-Kurdish civil war in the 1990s undermined the Kurdish cause in Iraq in the 2000s, when the Kurds’ greatest opportunity for self-governance lay before them. Looking forward, it is clear that the futures of Iraq and the KRI are linked. If Baghdad’s economy and currency collapses, so does Kurdistan’s. If the Kurdish people starve, the blame will fall on Baghdad. If the Islamic State returns, it will emerge first in the strip of disputed territories between federal Iraq and the KRI. The success of U.S. policy in Iraq is the success of both the fifteen provinces of federal Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, not one or the other. The U.S.-Iraq strategic dialogue will continue in the late summer, hopefully including a visit of the Iraqi leadership to Washington DC. This presents an opportunity to re-energize the role of the U.S. and international partners in the issues facing the KRI. It is important to stress the importance of a multilateral mission to support intra-KRI cohesion and Baghdad-KRI relations because America does not have all the answers on Kurdistan, nor does it tend to focus enough attention there. U.S. power and leadership are most effective when combined with the perceptive insights and good instincts of many other partners on Kurdistan, such as the French, British, and Canadians, to name just a few. There is an argument that the U.S.-Iraq Strategic Framework Agreement should either have a specific working group or committee on KRI issues (or on decentralization more generally), or a cross-cutting mechanism that ensures the KRI is worked into each of the security, political, economic and energy working groups. The list of topics that require persistent attention is quite long. Most important, the KDP and PUK need to be led towards a de-escalation that will allow the region to speak with one cohesive voice in Baghdad and with international partners. This is a foundational issue that affects all the other issues the KRI faces. An adversarial relationship between the two parties undermines everything that is attempted in the KRI and is deeply off-putting for international partners and potential investors. It can result in armed standoffs, affecting key industries like LPG trucking, or in security crises such as the Zina Warte armed confrontation between KDP and PUK Peshmerga in mid-March 2020. Almost nothing – from oil and gas investment to counter-terrorism to fighting COVID to negotiations with Baghdad – works as well as it should due to the KDP-PUK schism. It would be magical thinking to imagine that the two parties can easily reconcile. Even so, the U.S. and its various partners should prioritize efforts to get the powerful leaders in the same room to hammer out a minimal level of cooperation and start a dialogue, however stilted or tense at the outset. The U.S. and other internationals also need to help Baghdad and the KRI complete the promising steps that have been taken on political, security and economic cooperation. The Kurds worked well with former premier Adel Abdul-Mahdi’s government in Baghdad, and they have overcome their initial caution towards a change in Baghdad to support the new Prime Minister Mustapha al-Kadhimi, another old friend. For the Kurds, however, the relationship will be almost solely judged on what it delivers in terms of budget support. Having watched six Iraqi prime ministers negotiate and renegotiate budget deals with the Kurds every year for over a decade, the U.S. is intimately familiar with every possible configuration of give and take – more so than the Iraqi and Kurdish leaders themselves. What has always been clear is that politics trump economics in such discussions: typically, the solution is political and the numbers and formulas get fudged to fit the required compromise. This is why, for the remainder of 2020, Kurdistan will probably keep selling its oil and gathering customs revenue while Baghdad will provide a reduced top-up to the Kurdish exchequer each month, which is basically what has been happening for the last two years. A lot of discussion tends to end up right back where the parties began. This pattern of recurrent budget crises is not sustainable for two reasons. First, the annual showdown complicates an already fraught budgeting process and Iraqi MPs are becoming more hostile to the KRI economy every time the cycle is undertaken. Second, the KDP and PUK are increasingly fighting over the revenue-sharing mechanism, with Sulaymaniyah seeking more direct transfers from Baghdad or other guarantees of a fair share. The U.S. and its international partners need to back a multi-year arrangement that has buy-in at the highest levels: the Iraqi Prime Minister, speaking for a sizable bloc in Iraq’s body politic, and key leaders within the KDP and PUK. This is yet another reason why the two parties must be able to sit down together at the highest political levels. The sweet spot for a Baghdad-KRI budget deal would seem to be about $800mn per month, requiring the KDP and PUK to agree on a no-blame, non-politicized and permanent reduction of KRI obligations (salaries, social services and allowances) by about 30%. The U.S. and other internationals need to put strong and well-intentioned pressure on the KRI to appoint an empowered and dedicated Minister of Natural Resources to salvage investor confidence in the energy sector, which will serve as a signpost for the KRI’s future non-oil investors. A quick win for Baghdad-KDP-PUK cooperation may be possible in the realm of counter-terrorism. The Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Service, the KDP-led Counterterrorism Department (CTD) and the PUK-led Counter-Terrorism Group (CTG) are three highly professional services that work closely with the international Coalition against Daesh. They have worked together before and can work in the disputed areas with relative ease now. The creation of joint counter-terrorism coordination centers should initially focus on these elite units and their related intelligence arms, not necessarily the “big military” units like the Iraqi Army, Federal Police and Peshmerga. One important symbol for Baghdad-KRI cooperation could be an investment in the deployment, for short periods, of some Iraqi Air Force F-16 aircraft to the airports in Erbil and Sulaymaniyah. These fighter-bombers were notoriously viewed as a stick that Baghdad might use against the Kurds, but today the F-16 fleet and its American technicians are struggling to stay in service as Iran-backed militias surround their operating base at Balad. Perhaps an out-of-the-box idea might be to cycle a fragment of the F-16 fleet through the safe operating environments of Erbil and Sulaymaniyah, as the Italian Air Force did with a small complement of Eurofighters during the war against Daesh. The common thread in all these options is a desire to “go big” in the Baghdad-KDP-PUK relationship, and for international players to encourage and support new thinking. The Kurdistan Region is currently cycling downwards, with less stability and less attractiveness as an investment environment, largely because Kurdish leaders are allowing themselves to be divided by personality politics. The U.S. intervention in Iraq in 1991 helped to free the Iraqi Kurds and the intervention in 2003 saw the U.S. ask those same Kurds to rejoin Iraq on the basis of U.S. guarantees. It is time to begin to make good on those guarantees. U.S. intervention transformed Iraq from a dictatorship to a democracy (imperfect, like all democracies), but an equally great transformation would be to help create an Iraqi state at peace with all of its components, first and foremost its Kurdish population. That moment can and should start in earnest now.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Governance, Peace, Mediation
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Kurdistan
  • Author: Clement Mutambo
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on International Policy (CIP)
  • Abstract: Fragile states are nations whose institutions of governance are highly susceptible to corruption, deception, and bias. According to the Fund for Peace, the vast majority of Sub-Saharan Africa countries qualify as moderately to severely fragile states. Why? Because African institutions are weak and dysfunctional, and leaders manipulate their systems with impunity. If the fragility fiasco is to be changed, African people need to realize that neither their leaders nor international observations can fix the issue; only the people hold the power to determine their future. Despite the tumultuous conditions in many nations in the Sub-Saharan continent, there is hope. The recent Malawian election demonstrated that despite weak local institutions and inadequate support from the international community, change can be made if citizens unite and demand accountability for corruption and abuses of power. When Malawians realized the outcome of their late 2019 presidential election was rigged, they took matters into their own hands. Even though six international observers, including the United Nations Development Program, Southern African Development Community, European Union, and African Union, argued that the elections were free and fair, overwhelming evidence of ballot tampering suggested otherwise.
  • Topic: Governance, Elections, Fragile States, Courts
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Author: Nancy Gallagher, Charles Harry, Jor-Shan Choi
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: Cyberattacks against the digital instrumentation and control (DI&C) systems in nuclear power plants (NPPs) are of grave security concern. The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) requires all NPPs to protect critical digital assets that support safety, security, and emergency preparedness functions against cyberattacks.1 Other standards bodies like the International Society of Automation (ISA) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) have also developed standards that address cybersecurity for industrial control systems (ICS) including DI&C.2 Due to concerns for security, relevant stakeholders such as regulators, plant operators, information technology (IT) and operation technology (OT) staff, and equipment suppliers are sometimes reluctant to reveal in technical detail about vulnerabilities posed by DI&C systems. Yet, because some types of cyberattacks against an NPP may cause core damage or significant release of radioactivity, harming the plant, the public and the industry, the safety implications of potential cyberattacks should be evaluated. This divide between security and safety is a challenge for stakeholders focused in cyber security for NPPs. To bridge this security and safety divide, this study proposes and demonstrates a methodology for assessing and addressing the safety consequences of cyber events that disrupt one or more parts of the DI&C systems at NPPs. The methodology builds on the “effect-centric” cyber risk assessment framework developed by the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM). It is used to analyze two historical cyberattacks and one hypothetical attack scenario. As the focus is on plant safety, these assessment, evaluation, and analysis can be candidly and openly discussed with the goal of finding the best defense to thwart the specific cyberattack.
  • Topic: Security, Governance, Nuclear Power, Cybersecurity, Regulation
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • 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: Fadi El-Jardali
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: In the Arab region, countries have become increasingly dependent on non-state actors, notably the private sector, for healthcare provision and any response that includes the State alone may not be sufficient to address the COVID-19 pandemic. This paper explores how state and non-state actors in Arab countries have collaborated so far and suggests ways forward to ensure quality healthcare services for all.
  • Topic: Non State Actors, Governance, Health Care Policy, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East
  • Author: Eya Jrad
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: With COVID-19, Tunisia is dealing with an unprecedented emergency that is testing its newly established democratic institutions. This paper explores how Tunisia’s different institutions have responded so far to the crisis, and sheds light on how each is trying to assert its role under the exceptional circumstances imposed by the pandemic.
  • Topic: Governance, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Africa, Tunisia
  • Author: Ishac Diwan, Joelle M. Abi-Rached
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: The Covid-19 pandemic in Lebanon is a crisis within a crisis. It occurred amidst a broader socio-economic meltdown that has shaken the country in recent months. While Lebanon appears to have responded effectively to the pandemic so far, a number of major challenges await it. With little measures to mitigate the economic impact of the confinement and protesters pushing to return to the streets, the country is entering an extremely volatile period. The only way out will be through measures that address the sanitary as well as underlying socio-economic issues that are threatening the entire country.
  • Topic: Governance, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Lebanon
  • Author: Sami Halabi
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: Facing an economy in free-fall, the Lebanese government has finally adopted a financial recovery plan that it has sent to the IMF and international donors. This paper argues that the plan fails to introduce strong accountability measures to address rampant corruption and mismanagement and does not tackle widespread inequality which could be done through a better distribution of losses and the introduction of more progressive taxation. Despite the government’s stated promise to “protect the poorest segments of the population from the dire consequences of the crisis”, the paper expects the plan to inevitably harm Lebanon’s poorest as well as its middle class.
  • Topic: Economics, Financial Crisis, Governance, Recovery
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Lebanon
  • Author: Zied Boussen
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: After months of negotiation, Tunisia’s parliament voted in a government like no other since 2011. Headed by a prime minister whose party is not represented in parliament and with more than half of the ministers independent or new to government office, it is the first since 2011 that is not a “national unity” government. This paper examines this new Tunisian political landscape, the relationship between the prime minister and Tunisia’s president, and looks at the impact of this configuration on the ability of the new government to carry out long-awaited reforms.
  • Topic: Governance, Reform, Political stability, Transition
  • Political Geography: Africa, Tunisia
  • Author: Alessandra Bajec
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: Despite being rich in oil and gas, Tataouine in the south of Tunisia has remained severely underdeveloped and marginalized, pushing its inhabitants, time and again, to protest for reinvestment of its wealth in infrastructure and local jobs. This paper examines the underlying drivers of the ongoing unrest in Tataouine, the heavy-handed response of the security forces, and the successive Tunisian governments’ broken pledges to address the region’s socio-economic marginalization.
  • Topic: Governance, Accountability, Marginalization, Socioeconomics , Civil Unrest
  • Political Geography: Africa, Tunisia
  • Author: Reinound Leenders
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: The institutional set-up of the Port of Beirut is emblematic of Lebanon’s post-war corruption and sectarian clientelism. Any investigation into the 4 August explosion needs to take into account the port’s dismal institutional record and how the current political class ensured its governance remained opaque and messy. This paper provides critical insights into the port’s set-up over the last 30 years highlighting the failing political system, a greedy political class, and entrenched mismanagement and corruption. It demonstrates how the bickering of key actors over the port’s control and the port’s institutional failures set the stage for the blast, pointing to an urgent need to build an accountable port authority as part of any reform effort.
  • Topic: Government, Governance, Accountability, Institutions
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Lebanon
  • Author: Joelle M. Abi-Rached, Nahla Issa, Jade Khalife, Pascale Salameh
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: In its first report, the Independent Lebanese Committee for the Elimination of COVID-19, a group of concerned citizens with various health-related expertise, addresses weaknesses in current government policy and highlights several directions and actions for a more coherent and sustainable national strategy.
  • Topic: Security, Governance, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Lebanon
  • Author: Jenny Tröltzsch, Nadine Gerner, Franziska Meergans, Ulf Stein, Robynne Sutcliffe
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: South Africa’s water legislation is recognised for its ambitious adoption of Integrated Water Resource Management. However, implementation is hindered by conflicting hierarchical and network-based governance styles and lack of coordination between western administration and traditional authority.
  • Topic: Natural Resources, Water, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa
  • Author: Philippe Benoit, Alex Clark
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on Global Energy Policy (CGEP), Columbia University
  • Abstract: On February 27, 2020, the Columbia University Center on Global Energy Policy (CGEP) convened a workshop at the university’s Faculty House in New York City. The workshop brought together a combination of practitioners, researchers, executives, and public sector officials to discuss the role of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in realizing collective climate action goals. Under the Chatham House Rule, the discussion focused around sectors (power generation, oil and gas) and relationships (government-SOE relations, and the role of public financial institutions), before concluding with a roundtable discussion drawing together the day’s proceedings and outlining the next steps. The following is a summary of that workshop.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Natural Resources, Governance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: David B. Sandalow
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia Society Policy Institute
  • Abstract: China is the world’s leading emitter of heat-trapping gases, by far. In 2019, Chinese emissions were greater than emissions from the United States, the European Union, and Japan combined. There is no solution to climate change without China. China’s response to climate change is a study in contrasts. China leads the world in solar power, wind power, and electric vehicle deployment, but also in coal consumption. The Chinese government has adopted some of the world’s most ambitious energy efficiency and forest conservation policies, but is financing a significant expansion of coal-fired power plant capacity at home and abroad. China’s leaders are strongly committed to the Paris Agreement, but appear to attach less priority to climate change than in years past. This Asia Society Policy Institute issue paper, China’s Response to Climate Change: A Study in Contrasts and a Policy at a Crossroads, written by former senior policymaker and current Columbia University fellow David Sandalow, explores these contrasts. It does so at an important time in Chinese climate change policy. During the next 18 months, the Chinese government will spend heavily on economic stimulus measures, release its 14th Five-Year Plan (for 2021–2025), and develop short- and long-term climate action plans (known as its “updated nationally-determined contributions” and “mid-century strategy” in the terminology of the global U.N. climate process). Decisions by the Chinese government will reverberate globally, including in the United States. A potential Biden administration’s ambition in addressing climate change would be reinforced by ambition in China. This issue paper also provides an up-to-date snapshot of China’s climate policies, drawing on data from 2019 and the beginning of 2020 (during the height of the COVID-19 economic lockdown), as well as recent remarks by Chinese leaders. It starts by examining Chinese emissions of heat-trapping gases. It then discusses China’s principal climate policies, explaining the main tools the Chinese government uses to address climate change and related topics. The issue paper concludes with a discussion of processes that will shape Chinese climate change policy in the years ahead. This paper is the second in a series of policy products that the Asia Society Policy Institute will publish as part of a project exploring the possibilities around U.S.-China climate cooperation.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Governance, Renewable Energy, Carbon Emissions
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, United States of America
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Institute for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Since the early 2010s, increased volatility in the Sahel has aroused widespread concern, spurring the establishment of regional and international groupings to deal with the many security and governance challenges that have undermined stability in the region. Among those efforts were the creation of the G5 Sahel cooperation framework (2014), the G5 Sahel Joint Force (2017), the Sahel Alliance (2017) – and more recently, in June 2020, the International Coalition for the Sahel, to tackle instability in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger. Those five countries are the focus of this paper.
  • Topic: Security, International Cooperation, Governance, Humanitarian Crisis
  • Political Geography: Africa, Mali, Chad, Mauritania, Niger, Burkina Faso
  • Author: Aleś Alachnovič, Andrzej Raczko, Izabela Styczynska, Jarosław Neneman, Kateryna Karunska, Krzysztof Głowacki, Pawel Swianiewicz, Sierž Naŭrodski
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: Belarusian economy has been stagnating in 2011-2015 after 15 years of a high annual average growth rate. In 2015, after four years of stagnation, the Belarusian economy slid into a recession, its first since 1996, and experienced both cyclical and structural recessions. Since 2015, the Belarusian government and the National Bank of Belarus have been giving economic reforms a good chance thanks to gradual but consistent actions aimed at maintaining macroeconomic stability and economic liberalization. It seems that the economic authorities have sustained more transformation efforts during 2015-2018 than in the previous 24 years since 1991. As the relative welfare level in Belarus is currently 64% compared to the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) countries average, Belarus needs to build stronger fundaments of sustainable growth by continuing and accelerating the implementation of institutional transformation, primarily by fostering elimination of existing administrative mechanisms of inefficient resource allocation. Based on the experience of the CEE countries’ economic transformation, we highlight five lessons for the purpose of the economic reforms that Belarus still faces today: keeping macroeconomic stability, restructuring and improving the governance of state-owned enterprises, developing the financial market, increasing taxation efficiency, and deepening fiscal decentralization.
  • Topic: Economics, Governance, Economic Growth, Trade
  • Political Geography: Eurasia, Belarus
  • Author: Aparna Das, Anindita Mukherjee, Baisakhi Sarkar Dhar
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: The spatial morphology of Indian cities mirrors a disconnect between the urban statutory spatial plans and Revenue records. The Revenue Department instituted during the colonial times had an overarching mandate to collect land taxes and, till today, is referred to as the "custodian of the land." This was a key institution that prepared robust cadastre maps to support the revenue collection. Post-independence, these spatial records are not updated. The institutional disconnect between the Revenue and Registration departments and Urban Land Administration Institutions in the urban and peri-urban areas coupled with poor land records affect the overall confidence in the land administration system. This further limit the nurturing of a robust land market. Taking two land titling programmes: JAGA mission, Odisha, and LIFE mission, Kerala, this paper argues that to achieve the full potential of such land titling programmes, the role of the Revenue and Registration Departments need to be reimagined.
  • Topic: Governance, Urban, Resilience, Revenue Management
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Avani Kapur, Sharad Pandey, U Ranjan, Vastav Irava
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: The ‘Study of State Finances 2020-21’ Working Paper delves into the revenue and expenditure performance of 17 States. As the COVID-19 pandemic tightens its grip, this timely analysis offers a unique window into the fiscal space available with States prior to the lockdown. This information is critical at a time when they are expected to craft adequate social protection responses and restart their economies.
  • Topic: Economics, Governance, Finance, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Ashwini K. Swain, Parth Bhatia, Ira Sharma, Prasanna Sarada Das, Navroz K. Dubash
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: The draft Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2020, released on April 17, 2020, is an improvement from its predecessors. It has dropped some significant proposals that were resisted and has added new provisions. Are these reform proposals adequate and appropriate to address India’s long-standing electricity challenges? Are these prescriptions based on a proper diagnosis of current trends and future challenges? How will these reforms proposals affect India’s ongoing transition to 21st century electricity? While we appreciate the endeavours and intent, in our comments we focus on some serious concerns the draft raises, vital gaps and issues that need serious consideration.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Governance, Legislation, Electricity, Public Service, Utilities
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Shibani Ghosh
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has proposed a new notification to supersede the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification 2006 that is currently in force. The Ministry has sought comments from the public on this draft EIA Notification 2020. Shibani Ghosh, Fellow, CPR, in her comments to the Ministry has highlighted that there is a crying need to overhaul the EIA Notification 2006 and the regulatory framework built around it – not only to address its various inherent weaknesses that have been identified over the years, but also to put in place systems and processes that respond to the steadily degrading environmental quality in the country. However, the draft EIA Notification 2020 fails to do so. According to Ghosh, in its current form, the draft Notification is legally untenable as it does not conform to its parent Act – the Environment (Protection) Act 1986, and is in the teeth of various judgments of the Supreme Court, High Courts and the National Green Tribunal. It dilutes the already weak processes of environmental impact assessment, expert scrutiny and public consultation, and wrongly condones violations and illegalities. The comments are divided into two sections. Section I discusses four specific reasons why the draft notification is legally untenable and Section II highlights five major concerns that arise from the proposed regulatory design.
  • Topic: Environment, Governance, Judiciary
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Arkaja Singh
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: COVID-19 produced an acute and widespread crisis of hunger across India, which was felt most acutely by migrant workers and those who were outside the reach of India’s highly organised but rigid Public Distribution System (PDS). The hunger was incidental to the actual disease itself, but severe enough to be considered a crisis of governance on its own as it brought the Indian state face-t0-face with one of its oldest and most enduring challenges: how to ensure that essential supplies of food reach those in need of it? Could the Indian government simply have ‘universalised’ the PDS, and made it accessible to all? It was pointed out that the Indian state had adequate buffer stocks of food grain to make this feasible. However, for reasons that were never articulated, this option was never seriously considered by the government of India. Instead, governments tried to extend the reach of the PDS delivery mechanism, and to devise ways to deliver relief outside of the PDS framework. These strategies were however quite challenging for the risk-averse, (nominally) rule-bound Indian state that is disinclined to allow for discretion in spending of government funds, making purchases and allocation of largesse. Typically, the Indian state is all the more reluctant to delegate power to exercise discretion to lower levels of government. For this reason, the Indian state governments (who were at the frontline of this response) seemed to need to devise a framework of rules for the identification of beneficiaries, even in the middle of a humanitarian crisis. As a related problem, the states also did not necessarily have the organisational wherewithal to take up rapid, decentralised and locally grounded interventions. The organisational wherewithal, so to speak, could come in various forms. Some examples of this, which we saw at play, were decentralised government, the capacity to make non-state collaborations and institutionalised systems for the ‘continuous updating’ of beneficiary lists. More fundamentally, however, what is needed is the capacity for high levels of government to be able to formulate responsive policy and to be able to trust in the ability of their subordinate ranks to carry out new interventions, often in case-specific and individualised ways. Arkaja Singh’s working paper explores these issues in the context of state response to the COVID hunger crisis in the states of Delhi, Kerala, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana,
  • Topic: Governance, Food Security, Hunger, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Deepak Sanan, Sanjay Mitra
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Reforms designed to address core issues and their sequencing and timing would be critical to ensure the eventual success of the latest initiatives in the power sector. Lessons from the experience of earlier sectoral reform programmes and recommendations regarding the general architecture of central interventions, would need to be taken on board. Through a simple scenario building exercise, this paper concludes that the parlous financial position of the distribution utilities after lockdown requires that “reforms” follow “recovery”. The concurrent roll out of stringent reform measures on several fronts during a period of severe financial stress could seriously impair the prospects of a viable power sector in the near future. This, in turn, will not only hamper our planned promotion of renewables-based electricity but act as a brake on the entire process of economic recovery.
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy, Governance, Reform
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Namita Wahi
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: This paper, the first in a series of three papers, constitutes the first systematic legal attempt since the late nineteenth century to describe the changing configuration of property rights of zamindars (landlords) and ryots or raiyats (peasants) relative to the English East India Company in colonial India over a period of two hundred years from 1600 to 1800. This period begins with the Company’s first arrival in India to the court of the Mughal Emperor Jehangir in 1600 as merely a trading company. It ends with the introduction of the Permanent Settlement in Bengal by Lord Cornwallis, the Governor General of Bengal in 1793, pursuant to the Company’s exercise of sovereign authority over the provinces of Bengal, Bihar, and Orissa. As described in the paper, during this period of great political upheaval, scandal, and intrigue, as the East India Company gradually transitioned from a monopoly trading company to a conquering and then an administering power, Company officials, including the Governor General, and later the Supreme Council of Bengal, created, destroyed, and resurrected property rights of landlords and tenant cultivators. Following a series of experiments with land revenue administration and the lives of zamindars and raiyats, with the sole objective of maximising revenue for the East India Company, Lord Cornwallis introduced the Permanent Settlement of Land Revenue in 1793, which completely destroyed the rights of peasant cultivators in favour of zamindars, and wreaked great injustice and misery upon the people of Bengal. It would take nearly seventy years for British government to begin to reverse this injustice through tenancy protection legislation enacted in 1859, and this reversal in law would only be completed following land reforms introduced by provincial governments post India’s independence in 1947. These later developments will be the subject of the next two papers in this series.
  • Topic: Sovereignty, History, Governance, Property
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, South Asia, India
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE)
  • Abstract: This memorandum seeks to contribute to the on-going ammendment to the Local Governments Act. The memorundum is based on the research, capacity building and outreach activities that ACODE has implemented in Local Governments over the last 10 years. This is very timely in view of the fact that MoLG has recently been granted a sector status, the Local Government Sector.
  • Topic: Governance, Budget, Public Policy, Local
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa
  • Author: Arthur Bainomugisha, Jonas Mbabazi, Wilson Winstons Muhwezi, George Bogere, Phoebe Atukunda, Eugene Gerald Ssemakula, Oscord Mark Otile, Fred Kasalirwe, Rebecca N. Mukwaya, Walter Akena, Richard Ayesigwa
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE)
  • Abstract: This eighth national Local Government Councils Scorecard report presents findings and results of the performance of elected political leaders at the district levels during the Financial Year 2018/2019. The Local Government Councils Scorecard FY 2018/19 report takes stock of where Uganda is on the road to full realization of the vision of decentralization and recommends a broad array of steps that would take the country much closer to that destination. The Scorecard methodology is unique in that it combines capacity-building and evidence-based assessment of elected local government leaders in a way that both strengthens local government institutions and holds leaders accountable for delivering the public services to which citizens are entitled. The methodology, described in this book, also incorporates an innovative civic engagement action planning process that builds capacity among citizens to use the tools of civic engagement to demand that public services are delivered.
  • Topic: Governance, Leadership, Local, Decentralization
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa
  • Author: Jonas Mbabazi, Phoebe Atukunda
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE)
  • Abstract: This report analyses the socioeconomic implication of new cities in Uganda. The operationalization of new cities requires office structures, staff and other administrative resources that are vital for daily operations. These come with a hefty price tag that can only increase public administration expenditure. Besides the start-up funds, the administrative units require operational funds to enable them to implement their mandate as stipulated in the Local Government Act, 1997. Some of the responsibilities under their mandate include service delivery, governance and administration.
  • Topic: Development, Governance, Urbanization, Urban, Local
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa
  • Author: Ramathan Ggoobi, Daniel Lukwago
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE)
  • Abstract: This study was a follow-up of the 2019 study intended to examine the Budget Framework Paper (BFP) and the National Budget Estimates for FY 2020/21 to identify the budget lines for devolved services that had been allocated to Central Government MDAs. It was intended as strategy for advocacy for increasing the financing of LGs in the FY 2020/21 national budget.
  • Topic: Governance, Budget, Finance, Local
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa
  • Author: Emmanuel Keith Kisaame, Richard Ayesigwa
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE)
  • Abstract: This report presents findings of the Budget and Service Delivery Monitoring Exercise (BSDME) carried out in 26 districts. The BSDME largely focuses on three basic aspects, namely, the display of information on transfers at service delivery units, payroll & pensions, timeliness in receipt of funds, and quality of services including challenges. This round of BSDME specifically focuses on the quality of district and community roads that make up the largest proportion of Uganda's road network. The exercise sought to assess the quality of these roads, the capacity of districts to undertake road maintenance, and the challenges they face.
  • Topic: Infrastructure, Governance, Budget, Local
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa
  • Author: Susan Namirembe Kavuma, Assumpta Tibamwenda, Elijah Dickens Mushemeza, George Bogere, Lillian Tamale, Eugene Gerald Ssemakula, Jonas Mbabazi
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE)
  • Abstract: This report presents the findings and discussions of Local Economic Development (LED) practices in nine districts of Northern Uganda that included: Adjumani, Amuru, Arua, Kitgum, Lira, Omoro, Oyam, and Yumbe. The analysis provides insights into implementation of LED policies, and the level of preparedness of the districts to implement the policy as a tool for economic transformation and development. LED was conceptualised as a process or development model where Local Governments, the private sector, and the community, are jointly and collectively engaged in identification, mobilization and management of resources at the local level. LED is therefore intended to create conducive environments for investment, increased household incomes, and higher revenues for Local Governments.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Governance, Local
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa
  • Author: Ramathan Ggoobi, Daniel Lukwago, George Bogere
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE)
  • Abstract: This study examines how funds in the roads sub-sector were allocated and managed during the Fiscal Year 2015/16-2018/19. The aim is to assess the impact of these investments, and the effectiveness of the planning, budgeting and execution and plans and budgets in the roads sub-sector. The study was motivated by government priority tagging of the Road Sector as "fundamental" for the achievement of the Uganda Vision 2040. Consequently, the roads have claimed the largest share of the national budget over the last decade. However, Uganda's road transport network is still very small by international standards, with only 21.4 percent of the national road network paved. Only 0.4 percent and 5.6 percent of the district and urban roads respectively, are paved. Despite continuous investment in the Road Sector with an average of 17 percent of the annual national budget over the last decade, there are reports of persistent public outcry about the poor state of roads and the deteriorating quality of works being executed.
  • Topic: Infrastructure, Governance, Public Policy, Roads
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa
  • Author: Onesmus Mugyenyi, Dickens Kagarura
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE)
  • Abstract: Law making process by local governments is a challenging task in Uganda largely due limited skills at the local government level. the publication of these guidelines, therefore, is intended to simplify the process of law making by providing step by step procedure of making ordinances by district councils and byelaws by lower local governments. These guidelines are based on the Local Government Act, and the Handbook on Making Ordinances and Byelaws in Uganda (Second Edition-2010) by the Uganda Law Reform Commission.
  • Topic: Government, Governance, Law, Local
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa
  • Author: Jonas Mbabazi, Fred Kasalirwe
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE)
  • Abstract: This policy brief is a product of the assessment of the performance of the COVID-19 District Task Forces (DTFs) in Uganda. This study on the performance of the COVID-19 District Task Forces was conducted under the Local Government Council's Scorecard Initiative (LGCSCI), a social accountability project implemented in 35 Districts in Uganda. The main objective of the study was to establish the determinants and level of performance of District COVID-19 Task Forces to enhance their effectiveness.
  • Topic: Governance, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa
  • Author: Wilson Winstons Muhwezi, Jonas Mbabazi, Fred Kasalirwe, Phoebe Atukunda, Eugene Gerald Ssemakula, Oscord Mark Otile, Rebecca N. Mukwaya, Walter Akena
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE)
  • Abstract: This report is an important assessment of the performance of the DTFs in implementing the COVID-19 pandemic containment plan. As the world is faced with the unprecedented challenges from COVID-19, the strain on many governments is extreme, and the impact on people all over the world continues to grow. Indeed, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the social and economic structures of service delivery with significant consequences on lives, livelihoods and general economic development. As part of the response mechanism to contain and manage the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Uganda instituted national and sub-national COVID-19 task forces to implement and manage the COVID-19 pandemic containment and recovery measures. The Presidential Decree on COVID-19 recognizes the Central Government's role in the provision of healthcare and security. District Taskforces (DTFs) were put in place to support Central Government's containment of COVID-19 and implementation of the GoU COVID-19 containment styrategies of case management, surveillance, health promotion, resource mobilization, enforcement of standard operating procedures (SOPs) and continued delivery of basic services.
  • Topic: Governance, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa
  • Author: Adela M. Alija
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Security Studies Group (GESI) at the University of Granada
  • Abstract: Although the most serious period of the refugee crisis in Europe was undoubtedly the year 2015, this persistent conflict remains unresolved, as the causes and factors that condition it remain unresolved. At this time, it has been demonstrated that the governance structures of the international system do not have the capacity to respond adequately to the new challenges. The phenomenon of forced migration is a clear expression of the complexity of today’s international scenarios. The refugee crisis, or migration crisis as it is also called, has tested, and continues to test, the foundations of the European Union, which is also going through a real existential crisis. This article analyzes, on the one hand, the situation, context and conditions of forced migrants and more particularly of refugees, and, on the other, the role that the European Union is developing in the face of this crisis, when it is going through serious difficulties. The legal and management instruments available to the European Union to face these crises are also analyzed.
  • Topic: Security, Governance, European Union, Refugees, Refugee Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Camino Kavanagh
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Significant technological advances are being made across a range of fields, including information communications technology (ICT); artificial intelligence (AI), particularly in terms of machine learning and robotics; nanotechnology; space technology; biotechnology; and quantum computing to name but a few. These breakthroughs are expected to be highly disruptive and bring about major transformative shifts in how societies function. The technological advances in question are driven by a digital revolution that commenced more than four decades ago. These innovations are centered on the gathering, processing, and analyzing of enormous reams of data emerging from the information sciences with implications for countless areas of research and development. These advances promise significant social and economic benefits, increased efficiency, and enhanced productivity across a host of sectors.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Governance, Economy, Artificial Intelligence
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ken Godfrey, Richard Youngs
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Ten years ago, the European Union’s (EU’s) member governments agreed on important council conclusions designed to raise the profile of the union’s support for democracy across the world. In late 2019, EU member states are likely to agree on new democracy conclusions and then, in 2020, on an updated and more operational action plan. They recognize that the strategic context has changed dramatically in the last decade, and the union needs to take on board many lessons about what has worked and not worked in its policies since 2009. Many policymakers hope that the change in leadership of the EU institutions in late 2019 might rejuvenate the bloc’s commitment to international democratic norms, after a period in which the priority has shifted to security issues. This working paper assesses the evolution of EU democracy support policies in recent years and proposes a number of improvements that a new policy framework might offer. The union has focused on improving microlevel tactics, but it most urgently needs a rethink at the macrolevel of its democracy strategies. Ironically, in the last ten years EU approaches to democracy have slowly become more sophisticated and sensitive at the implementation level yet have lost traction because they have failed to keep up with larger political and strategic changes within and beyond Europe. The paper proposes ten action points built around the need for the EU to be more proactive and flexible in supporting democracy and to link democracy support to the union’s changing approach to geopolitical challenges.
  • Topic: Governance, Democracy, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Europe, European Union
  • Author: Richard Youngs, Stephen Boucher, Israel Butler, Maarten De Groot, Elisa Lironi, Sophia Russack, Corina Stratulat, Anthony Zacharzewski
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: n recent years some European states have suffered dramatic regression, while others have experienced more subtle forms of democratic erosion. Several EU governments have constricted civic liberties. There has been lively debate about how much European citizens are losing faith in core democratic values. In general, the demand for democratic participation is outstripping its supply at both the national and EU levels. In recent years some European states have suffered dramatic regression, while others have experienced more subtle forms of democratic erosion. Several EU governments have constricted civic liberties. There has been lively debate about how much European citizens are losing faith in core democratic values. In general, the demand for democratic participation is outstripping its supply at both the national and EU levels.
  • Topic: Politics, Governance, Reform, Democracy
  • Political Geography: Europe, European Union
  • Author: Will Todman
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The United States government can neither engender new states nor prevent them from coming into being, but it does possess a range of policy tools to influence the trajectory of new or aspiring states. While U.S. history creates a certain amount of empathy for self-determination groups, as a general rule the U.S. government views most independence movements skeptically. This is appropriate, in part because few such movements are viable. Economies are small or fragile (or both), the cause enjoys limited internal support, or the forces arrayed against it are too massive. In addition, the United States is tied diplomatically to some 190 countries around the world, and it usually privileges intergovernmental ties over those with non-governmental groups. Supporting secession not only would threaten U.S. relations with countries fighting U.S.-backed movements, but also other countries that feared that the United States might come to support secessionists elsewhere. For the United States, some sort of decentralization or autonomy arrangement is often a less costly option. It is also more agreeable to partner governments and reduces the risk of regional instability. However, exceptions can occur when secessionist movements take root in countries where the United States has more difficult relations, or where repression of minority groups or some other humanitarian factor weighs heavily on the scale.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Non State Actors, Governance, Self Determination, Humanitarian Crisis
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Will Todman
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: When President Trump declared on December 19 that U.S. troops in Syria were “all coming back and coming back now,” it plunged the future of the East of the country into uncertainty.1 Dynamics in Syria were already shifting against the Kurdish-led Autonomous Administration (AA) in Northeast Syria, as threats from Turkey and the regime increased. The impending withdrawal of U.S. forces eliminates the AA’s main source of leverage over the Assad regime and increases its vulnerability to the Turkish invasion President Erdogan has threatened. Scrambling to avoid conflict, AA officials have turned to Russia to mediate a political deal with President Assad, hoping to restore regime control to Syria’s eastern borders in exchange for self-administration.2 However, the lack of clarity over the timeline of the withdrawal means the United States maintains important influence in eastern Syria.3 Shaping the outcome of the Kurdish question at this critical juncture and preventing a new conflict in Northeast Syria are among the few remaining positive steps it can take in Syria. Although the Kurdish issue seems tangential to U.S. interests, the United States should invest in its diplomatic and military tools to facilitate a limited autonomy settlement in Northeast Syria when the area is formally reintegrated into Assad’s territory. To do so, the United States should work to discourage potential spoilers to such a deal and then forge an international coalition to act as guarantors to the agreement. Failing to secure an autonomy settlement could sow the seeds of long-lasting instability in Northeast Syria. The experience of autonomy has fanned the flames of Kurdish self-determination, and although the position of Syrian Kurds is now precarious, they are nonetheless stronger and more united than they ever have been. Throughout the conflict, they have won freedoms which Damascus long denied them and built a formidable army: the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) reportedly numbers over 60,000 troops.4 Such self-determination movements do not flare out so easily. A new CSIS edited volume, Independence Movements and Their Aftermath: Self-Determination and the Struggle for Success,” shows that from Bangladesh to East Timor, governments’ attempts to curb a minority’s rights have often accelerated their push for independence.5 A U.S. abandonment of Syrian Kurds without facilitating a negotiated settlement could therefore ignite another bloody, long-term struggle for self-determination in the Middle East, with wide-reaching regional implications.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Governance, Self Determination, Settlements, Foreign Interference
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Syria, North America, Kurdistan, United States of America
  • Author: Sarah Baumunk, Richard Miles, Linnea Sandin, Mark Schneider, Mia Kazman
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: 2019 will be another pivotal year across the map in the Western Hemisphere. The region continues to battle several ongoing challenges: the Venezuelan crisis, the U.S.-Mexico bilateral relationship under new Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the rapid deterioration of Nicaragua, the fight for transparency in the Northern Triangle, and an uncertain economic horizon. Seven countries will hold national elections—Argentina, Bolivia, Canada, El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama, and Uruguay—each of which has the potential to affect domestic politics as well as geopolitical relations within the region.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, Governance, Elections, Leadership, Election watch
  • Political Geography: South America, North America
  • Author: Richard Miles
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: On October 23, 2018, with the sponsorship of Rassini, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), in partnership with the Mexican Council on Foreign Relations (COMEXI), hosted a conference in Mexico City on innovation. CSIS invited experts and senior government officials from Mexico and the United States to discuss the state of innovation in Mexico, how to increase it, and what the new Mexican government should do to promote it.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Governance, Innovation, Emerging Technology
  • Political Geography: North America, Mexico
  • Author: Nicole Davis, Christa Twyford Gibson, Jonathan Gonzalez-Smith
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Many international institutions—universities, foundations, companies, NGOs, and governments—would like to engage more deeply with the government of India to improve health outcomes. However, a lack of transparency, changing state-level priorities, and the absence of a single venue to learn about engagement opportunities holds back many potential partnerships. The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Wadhwani Chair in U.S.-India Policy Studies and Duke University’s Innovations in Healthcare have launched the “Indian States Health Innovation Partnership” to address this information gap and encourage subnational health care cooperation between Indian government entities and external partners. The primary goal of this project is to strengthen health outcomes in India by methodically identifying which Indian states are ripe for innovative partnerships with international institutions and broadcasting these opportunities publicly to spur future partnerships. In the first phase of this project, the team developed a clearer picture of India’s state-level health care reform priorities and identified specific areas for potential partnership across four categories: capacity building, organizational delivery, financing, and specific health conditions.
  • Topic: Health, Governance, Health Care Policy, Innovation, Public Health
  • Political Geography: India, Asia
  • Author: Richard Olson, Daniel F. Runde
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: This brief presents a summary of key historical events in Afghanistan since 1989 and outlines a possible worst-case scenario following a U.S. and allied withdrawal from the country. The United States, Afghanistan, and its allies must work together in search for greater Afghan self-reliance, security, and stability in order to avoid a catastrophic scenario. Only then will Afghanistan be able to free itself of foreign presences and embark on its own journey to prosperity and self-reliance.
  • Topic: Military Strategy, Governance, Hegemony, Military Affairs, Foreign Interference
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Middle East, North America, United States of America
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In January 2019, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called for the upcoming G20 summit in Osaka to “be the summit that [starts] world-wide data governance.” The rise of the data economy has driven unprecedented growth and innovation in recent decades but is also generating new policy challenges for global leaders. Figuring out how to govern the complex data ecosystem, both enabling its potential and managing its risks, is becoming a top priority for global policymakers. In partnership with the Omidyar Network, the CSIS Technology Policy Program and Project on Prosperity and Development developed a set of data governance principles for the G20 member states, which can inform the development of data governance frameworks around the world. Discussions of data governance are not happening in a vacuum. Laws, conventions, frameworks, norms, and protocols around data have existed for decades. Data governance is implicitly or explicitly wrapped up in existing governance mechanisms around privacy, digital trade and e-commerce, and human rights law. Few of these, however, anticipate emerging technology trends that have extended the reach of digital tracking into the physical world and have allowed us to derive detailed insight from the immense ocean of data generated by the digital economy. We set out to fill four key gaps in the existing global architecture of data governance. First is the need for consistency, interoperability, and coordination of the myriad international, regional, national, and local laws and regulations that impact data. The data ecosystem is fundamentally global and cross-functional, and gaps and inconsistencies between jurisdictions create uncertainty and limit the tools available to address harmful uses of data. Second, existing rules and frameworks and the current debate around data governance often focus almost exclusively on personal data and privacy with little thought to broader impacts of data, for example on competition, mobility, and trade. Third, most existing data governance frameworks, and much of the global debate around data governance, focus on controlling access to data instead of how it is used. Fourth, these debates are often framed around the rights and freedoms of data subjects at the expense of other stakeholders and society broadly. To address these gaps, we convened a series of multi-stakeholder meetings to help us identify a set of data governance principles that can be applied in a range of institutions, organizations and national and sub-national laws and regulations. Through this process, we developed ten principles, three core objectives, and seven essential mechanisms that can inform the development of consistent and effective data governance structures around the world. We have presented these principles in the form of a model G20 statement articulating the principles and the logic behind them.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Governance, Digital Economy, Digitization
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Conor M. Savoy
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The rule of law plays a critical role in the functioning of a well-governed, stable country. Not only does it help to provide transparent and accountable governance and protection of minority and human rights, it is also necessary to create the conditions for private sector-led growth, job creation, and attracting foreign investment. It should come as no surprise that five of the eleven indicators used by the World Bank in its annual Doing Business report are related to the strength of legal institutions; without strong, impartial legal institutions and respect for the rule of law, private sector actors—local and foreign—cannot make the investments needed to grow economies and create employment opportunities.1 Rule of law, though, remains an area of limited investment by donors. Part of this stems from an overall lack of attention on good governance, but it also comes from a sense that genuine reform requires significant involvement in local politics, which is something that many donors have traditionally sought to avoid. There does, however, seem to be a window of opportunity to reexamine good governance and, by extension, the rule of law. Since the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015, there have been several shifts that have created such an opening. First, the SDGs included Goal 16: Peace and Security that explicitly endorsed the need for good governance, rule of law, and strong institutions. SDG 16 represents a strong commitment on the part of the international community to supporting the creation of transparent and accountable governing institutions. Second, the 2015 Financing for Development conference held in Addis Ababa elevated the importance of domestic resource mobilization and private sector investment in creating sustainable sources of development finance.2 While strong rule of law is not sufficient on its own to mobilize these two pools of capital, it is necessary to ensure that countries can effectively utilize their own resources and investors can commit private capital securely. Third, USAID has launched a new policy framework called the Journey to Self-Reliance, which seeks to move developing countries along a path toward sustainability and off foreign assistance.3 Critical to USAID’s Journey to Self-Reliance is a country’s commitment and capacity—two areas that will require significant strengthening of governance and rule of law.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Governance, Economic Growth, Rule of Law
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Daniel Mahanty, William Meeker
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: A troubling increase in violent attacks in Niger suggests that conflict could be spilling further into the interior of the country, placing a challenge before a Nigerien government under domestic and international pressure to respond, and putting stress on a largely military that is already stretched to its limits. As the government in Niamey along with its partners in Washington and Paris formulate strategies to contend with the violence, they would be well served to ensure that additional investments in military capacity are carefully balanced with an emphasis on accountability and governance, civilian protection, and finding appropriate channels to address conflict through localized political processes.
  • Topic: Governance, Political stability, Domestic Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa, West Africa
  • Author: Nicole Davis, Christa Twyford Gibson, Jonathan Gonzalez-Smith
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Indian states control most facets of healthcare delivery. Every state has a different set of healthcare delivery gaps and priorities. Understanding these gaps can help foreign institutions target cooperation more effectively- going to the right place with the right type of cooperation. But having a base for cooperation must be paired with an effective strategy to engage India's states. Issues such as states' political timelines, shifts in key bureaucrats, and other issues can have a major impact on potential projects. In this report, Innovations in Healthcare and CSIS lay out strategies employed by a range of international institutions with current subnational partnerships in India.
  • Topic: Health, Governance, Health Care Policy, Innovation
  • Political Geography: India, Asia
  • Author: M. Chatib Basri, Mayara Felix, Rema Hanna, Benjamin A. Olken
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: Developing countries collect a far lower share of GDP in taxes than richer countries. This paper asks whether changes in tax administration and tax rates can nevertheless raise substantial additional revenue – and if so, which approach is most effective. We study corporate taxation in Indonesia, where the government implemented two reforms that differentially affected firms. First, we show that increasing tax administration intensity by moving the top firms in each region into “Medium-Sized Taxpayer Offices,” with much higher staff-to-taxpayer ratios, more than doubled tax revenue from affected firms over six years, with increasing impacts over time. Second, using non-linear changes to the corporate income tax schedule, we estimate an elasticity of taxable income of 0.59, which implies that the revenue-maximizing rate is almost double the current rate. The increased revenue from improvements in tax administration is equivalent to raising the marginal corporate tax rate on affected firms by about 23 percentage points. We suggest one reason improved tax administration was so effective was that it flattened the relationship between firm size and enforcement, removing the additional “enforcement tax” on large firms. On net, our results suggest that improving tax administration can have significant returns for developing country governments.
  • Topic: Governance, Developing World, Reform, Business , Tax Systems
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Mark H. Moore
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: This is one of a series of working papers from “RISE"—the large-scale education systems research programme supported by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
  • Topic: Development, Education, Governance, Developing World
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Dani Rodrik
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: In a world economy that is highly integrated, most policies produce effects across the border. This is often believed to be an argument for greater global governance, but the logic requires scrutiny. There remains strong revealed demand for policy and institutional diversity among nations, rooted in differences in historical, cultural, or development trajectories. The canonical case for global governance is based on two set of circumstances. The first occurs when there is global public good (GPG) and the second under “beggar-thy-neighbor” (BTN) policies. However, the world economy is not a global commons, and virtually no economic policy has the nature of a global public good (or bad). And while there are some important BTN policies, much of our current discussions deal with policies that are not true BTNs. The policy failures that exist arise not from weaknesses of global governance, but from distortions of domestic governance. As a general rule, these domestic failures cannot be fixed through international agreements or multilateral cooperation. The paper closes by discussing an alternative model of global governance called “democracy-enhancing global governance.”
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Governance, Global Political Economy, Trade Wars
  • Political Geography: Global Focus, Global Markets
  • Author: Katherine Baicker, Theodore Svoronos
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: Given the complex relationships between patients’ demographics, underlying health needs, and outcomes, establishing the causal effects of health policy and delivery interventions on health outcomes is often empirically challenging. The single interrupted time series (SITS) design has become a popular evaluation method in contexts where a randomized controlled trial is not feasible. In this paper, we formalize the structure and assumptions underlying the single ITS design and show that it is significantly more vulnerable to confounding than is often acknowledged and, as a result, can produce misleading results. We illustrate this empirically using the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment, showing that an evaluation using a single interrupted time series design instead of the randomized controlled trial would have produced large and statistically significant results of the wrong sign. We discuss the pitfalls of the SITS design, and suggest circumstances in which it is and is not likely to be reliable.
  • Topic: Health, Governance, Health Care Policy
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Sandra Lavenex, Ivo Križić
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: In light of rising internal cleavages and centrifugal tendencies, differentiated integration (DI) has (re)arisen as a major topic in debates on the future of the European Union. As new forms of participation below the threshold of full membership are needed, this paper provides a conceptualisation of effective and legitimate DI. Going beyond existing scholarship’s focus on the legal dimension of DI, the paper emphasises its organisational component, meaning the variegated participation of EU member states, sub-state entities and third-country actors in the panoply of EU policy-making institutions, such as regulatory agencies and transgovernmental networks. The paper subsequently discusses how to measure effectiveness of such differentiated arrangements in terms of their output, outcome and impact, before theorising under what conditions we are likely to see effective DI. Finally, the paper turns to the question of legitimacy of DI, discussing its meaning, measurement and determinants.
  • Topic: Governance, Democracy, Regional Integration, Accountability, Legitimacy
  • Political Geography: Europe, European Union
  • Author: Michael Pisa, John Polcari
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: en years ago, only 6 percent of the population in low-income and lower-middle-income countries had access to the internet. Today, nearly one in every three people there does. The rapid expansion of internet access across the globe is a welcome development, but it raises new policy challenges. And while there is broad agreement in the development community on the importance of getting digital policy “right,” too little attention has been paid to how policymakers in the developing world can best engage with the companies who dominate the digital landscape. As governments reassess their relationship with these companies, an increasing number are enacting policies that raise barriers to the cross-border flow of data and put the largely global and open nature of the internet at risk. In this paper, we review how internet use has evolved in the developing world over the last decade, with a focus on initiatives by big tech companies to reach the “Next Billion Users.” We then examine how concerns about data privacy, disinformation, and market concentration have manifested in lower-income countries and how policymakers have begun to respond. We close by considering ways the development community can support policymakers seeking to maximize the benefits of an open internet while minimizing its risks.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Governance, Inequality, Privacy, Internet, Emerging Technology
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Bright Simons
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Just before the yuletide of 2018, I arrived in my native Ghana after one of my long spells away. I flipped out my phone, opened Uber, and tried to flag a ride from inside the shiny new terminal of Accra’s international airport. After a couple of false starts I gave up, walked out, and headed for the taxi stand. In the many days that followed, this ritual repeated itself with remarkable regularity. Sometimes I got the Uber, but on as many occasions, I couldn’t. The reasons for the frequent failure ranged from curious to bizarre. The “partner-drivers” would accept the request. Then they would begin to go around in circles. Sometimes they would start heading in the opposite direction. On a few occasions they would call and announce that they were “far away,” even though their registered location was visible to me on the app and their estimated time of arrival had factored into my decision to wait. It would take me a whole week to figure out that the problem wasn’t always that many Ghanaian Uber drivers couldn’t use GPS all that well, or that they were displeased with fares. There were other issues that I’d left out of my calculation, such as my payment preference, which was set to “bank card” instead of “cash.” The drivers want cash because it allows them to unofficially “borrow” from Uber and remit Uber’s money when it suits their cashflow. Though Uber offers two tiers of service, the difference in quality appeared negligible. Even on the upper tier, it was a constant struggle to find an Uber whose air conditioner hadn’t “just stopped working earlier today.” As something of a globetrotter used to seamless Uber services in European and American cities, I found the costs of onboarding onto Uber as my main means of mobility in Accra onerous. Why is a powerful corporation like Uber, reportedly valued by shrewd investment bankers at $120 billion, with $24 billion in capital raised, unable to maintain even a relative semblance of quality in its product in Ghana? And in other African cities I have visited? It may seem bleedingly obvious why heavily digitalised Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, and Google manage to deliver fairly uniform standards of product quality regardless of where their customers are based, whilst Uber, because of its greater “embeddedness in local ecosystems” and lower digitalisation of its value chain, fails. But in that seemingly redundant observation enfolds many explanations for why the innovation-based leapfrogging narrative in frontier markets, especially in Africa, unravels at close quarters.
  • Topic: Development, Science and Technology, Governance, Digital Economy, Emerging Technology
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Dan Hoing, Lant Pritchett
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Accountability is rightly at the center of the conversation regarding how to improve governance systems, particularly health and education systems. But efforts to address accountability deficits often focus primarily on improving what can be counted and verified—what we term “accounting-based accountability.” We argue that introducing greater accounting-based accountability will only very rarely be the appropriate solution for addressing accountability problems. We illustrate this by exploring the role of Accountability ICT in (not) improving education system performance. Strengthening “real” accountability is not the same as improving data systems for observation and verification, and often attempts at the latter undermine the former. The development discourse’s frequent semantic misunderstanding of the term “accountability” has pernicious real-world consequences with real effects on system reform efforts and ultimately global welfare.
  • Topic: Education, Governance, Accountability, Welfare
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Artur Kovalchuk, Charles Kenny, Mallika Snyder
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: This paper examines the impact of Ukraine’s ambitious procurement reform on outcomes amongst a set of procurements that used competitive tendering. The ProZorro system placed all of the country’s government procurement online, introduced an auction approach as the default procurement method, and extended transparency. The reform was introduced with a dramatic increase in the proportion of government procurement that was conducted competitively. This paper examines the impact of ProZorro and reform on contracts that were procured competitively both prior to and after the introduction of the new system. It finds some evidence of impact of the new system on increasing the number of bidders, cost savings, and reduced contracting times.
  • Topic: Governance, Reform, Procurement, Contracts
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Arshi Aadil, Alan Gelb, Anurodh Giri, Kyle Navis
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The state of Andhra Pradesh is recognized as a leader in using technology to improve the delivery of public services, programs and subsidies. Many of its innovations were piloted in Krishna District, which has been visited by development agencies and delegations from many countries. This paper reports on research to better understand the functioning and effectiveness of its reforms to strengthen state capacity by digitalizing service delivery. Against the wider backdrop of the use of Aadhaar in India, it summarizes Andhra’s reforms, which go beyond those of most other jurisdictions in the measures taken to strengthen accountability, offer choice of service provider, and incorporate feedback loops using the vast amount of data generated by a real-time digital service system as well as beneficiary responses. It reports the results from surveys of beneficiaries who receive food rations through the Public Distribution System (PDS) and/or pensions, and on the response of landowners and tenant farmers to the digitization of land records, another important program. The results suggest strong support for the digitalization of these programs. The way in which the reforms have been implemented has indeed led to substantial improvements in delivery (as seen by beneficiaries) as well as, probably, significant fiscal savings. Is this case, then, a model for other Indian states and for other countries? Perhaps yes from a technology perspective; there are many lessons that apply to a wide range of programs and services and that others can usefully draw on. The picture is more complex from a political economy perspective, as suggested by some of the particular features of Andhra.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Governance, Reform, Digitization
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Mikael Wigell, Mikko Pyhala
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Venezuela needs a transition government with both pro-Maduro and anti-Maduro forces. Its function would be to renew the electoral institutions and negotiate a power-sharing agreement in order to lower the power stakes by protecting political minorities. Only then can presidential elections be held.
  • Topic: Governance, Minorities, Elections, State Building, Transition
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America, Venezuela
  • Author: Arkady Moshes, Ryhor Nizhnikau
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Belarus is undergoing important societal changes – public attitudes are evolving, the private sector is expanding, and the national culture is experiencing a certain revival – but the country’s old command and repressive model of governance shows no signs of change. This widening disjuncture is a race against time. At some point in the future, the societal transformations will require a significant ideational and structural reform in the system of governance. The longer the reform is postponed, the more costly it will be for the country. The end of Alexander Lukashenko’s personalist rule, whenever that happens, is likely to put a succession problem and, possibly, even a question about the country’s political independence on the agenda. A principal aim of the Western policy towards Belarus should be pushing the country’s regime in the direction of market reforms, political liberalization, independent identity-building and all other means that strengthen the country’s resilience.
  • Topic: Governance, Reform, Liberalism, Transition
  • Political Geography: Europe, Belarus
  • Author: Mariette Hagglund
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Recent large-scale protests in Iraq reveal deep dissatisfaction with the political elite and the dysfunctional system of governance. The protests could pose a threat to Iran’s foreign policy, whose channels of influence lie within parts of the Shia political elite in Iraq.
  • Topic: Religion, Governance, Social Movement, Protests, Elites
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Stuart Rosewarne, Nicola Piper
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Development and Peace
  • Abstract: The mobility of people can be defined as one of the pillars of globalisation because of the posi- tive effects it can engender for global economic development. Yet, the governance of migration contrasts with other dimensions of glo- balisation. The liberalisation of international trade, money and finance has been backed by an internationally-endorsed governance architec- ture. There has not been a comparable counter- part regulating migration. Increased migration and movement of refugees have exposed this lacuna, resulting in what we characterise as the securitisation-liberalisation paradox: the chal- lenge in advancing the development promise of international migration and reconciling it with maintaining the integrity of national sovereignty without compromising human and labour rights. The United Nations’ (UN) Global Compacts on Refugees and Migration articulate a raft of gov- ernance principles and instruments to encour- age international cooperation. However, the preoccupation with ensuring national sovereign- ty has prevailed to the detriment of furthering a post-migration paradigm with respect to human and labour rights. What is needed is a broader focus on migration, a better understanding of its various forms and a rights-based approach in migration governance.
  • Topic: Globalization, Migration, United Nations, Governance, Refugee Crisis
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Karen Eggleston
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: China’s national health reforms over the past two decades have brought the system closer to the modern, safe, reliable and accessible health system that is commensurate with China’s dramatic economic growth, improvement in living standards, and high hopes for the next generation. Celebrating a decade this year, China’s national health reforms of 2009 consolidated a system of social health insurance covering the entire population for basic health services, contributing to a surge in healthcare utilization while reducing out-of-pocket costs to patients – which declined from 56% to 28% of total health expenditures between 2003 and 2017. An expanded basic public health service package, funded by per capita government budget allocations that include a higher central government subsidy for lower income provinces, provides basic population health services to all Chinese. A higher percentage of Chinese accessed hospital admissions in 2017 than in the average high-income (OECD) country – a large increase from the turn of the 21st century.i A recent re-shuffle of the governance structure consolidates the purchaser role for social health insurance schemes under the newly created National Healthcare Security Administration, with most other health sector functions under the re-christened National Health Commission, among other changes. China’s world-leading technological prowess in multiple fields spanning digital commerce to artificial intelligence—and accompanying innovative business models such as WeDoctor that have not yet been fully integrated into the health system—hold promise for supporting higher quality and more convenient healthcare for China’s 1.4 billion.
  • Topic: Health, Science and Technology, Governance, Health Care Policy
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Graeme Gill
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The accepted wisdom about dictators is that they rule their political systems in an essentially arbitrary and willful manner. Their leadership colleagues are said to live in constant fear of the dictator, always vulnerable to his will and always looking to defend themselves against him. The leadership is shown as a Hobbesian “war of all against all” as the leader rules with no real restraint. This paper challenges that view. It will explain why such a view of leadership politics in authoritarian systems is inadequate, and will illustrate this by looking at two of the most egregious dictators of the twentieth century, Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong.
  • Topic: Communism, Democratization, Politics, Governance, Institutions, Political Parties
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Eurasia, Asia
  • Author: Margaret Myers, Rebecca Ray
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: Over the past two years, U.S. officials have sought to highlight China’s negative effects on the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region’s development and stability, whether to U.S. or Latin American audiences. As U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said during a trip to Mexico City in October 2018, "China has invested in ways that have left other countries worse off." Pompeo and other U.S. officials have also taken this message elsewhere in the region, cautioning against the effects of Chinese engagement on LAC governance, security, regulatory capacity, and financial stability, and in a rage of other areas. For Latin Americans, though, relations with China aren’t so black and white. China may be an imperfect partner for LAC, as many in the region will attest, but it is an increasingly important one. After nearly two decades of enhanced Chinese economic engagement with the region, LAC governments and economic sectors rely heavily on China’s economic partnership and inputs. China is LAC’s second most important trading partner, second most important source of mergers and acquisitions foreign direct investment, and top source of development finance. For South America, China’s importance is even more pronounced: It became the top export destination for South American goods in 2010. China’s effects on regional development are also mixed, as we demonstrate below. China’s contributions to the region’s economic growth are well-documented, but Chinese demand for raw materials has also accentuated regional dependence on these commodities, in a process of “re- primarization” in South American economies, with troubling implications for the region’s long-term development prospects. Chinese investments have transformed the energy sectors in some countries, but the environmental effects of hydroelectric and other projects will be long-lasting in certain cases. To achieve a wide range of development objectives—economic, environmental, and social—LAC must depend on increasingly well-planned and coordinated engagement from all of its major economic partners and donor nations, including China. This is especially true in times of growing uncertainty, as the region grapples with humanitarian and migration crises, growing populist tendencies, relentless corruption, and climate change, among other factors.
  • Topic: Security, Corruption, Imperialism, International Cooperation, Governance, Regulation
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia, Latin America, North America
  • Author: Aspen Institute
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Across the US there are a wide variety of opportunities to produce oil and natural gas. These opportunities have been greatly enhanced in recent years with the advent of directional drilling technology combined with hydraulic fracturing completion techniques, which have expanded the economically recoverable oil and natural gas reserves from shale resources. At the same time, the development and production of shale resources have posed real challenges and potential risks to public health and the environment. Considering both the benefits and the potential risks, every state must decide whether new oil and natural gas production should occur.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Oil, Science and Technology, Natural Resources, Governance, Gas, Productivity
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Honzhi Yu, Hongying Wang
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: In contrast to the growing profile of the Chinese government in global governance, the engagement of Chinese industrial actors in global rule making is quite limited and uneven. Some Chinese industrial leaders have shown an ambition to participate in global rule making in their respective realms; most of the others still lack interest or capacity. This policy brief identifies three plausible sources of variation among the Chinese industrial actors. It offers suggestions to Chinese industrial actors and to those concerned about China’s role in global governance, with the purpose of reducing misunderstanding and building trust between Chinese industrial actors and businesses, regulators, non-governmental organizations and stakeholders from other parts of the world in developing global standards for good governance.
  • Topic: Development, Industrial Policy, Governance
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Walter Kölin
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The number of internally displaced persons is at a record high, with most living in protracted displacement. While the humanitarian response in emergency situations is more effective than a decade ago, overall governance — the set of norms, institutions and processes necessary to address internal displacement — remains weak. Using the 1998 UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement as the normative point of reference, this paper addresses several questions: What governance gaps and challenges exist in responses to internal displacement? Are there promising new approaches to internal displacement? How can we build on these approaches to make responses more reliable and effective?
  • Topic: Governance, Displacement, Humanitarian Crisis, Internal Displacement
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Dan Ciuriak, Maria Piashkina
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The digital transformation provides developing economies new opportunities to leapfrog industrial age infrastructure, to draw on the vast knowledge spillovers from the internet, to take advantage of new markets offered by digital platforms and to exploit production possibilities enabled by digital technologies. It also increases the distance to the technological frontier as leading-edge countries race forward, creates new competitive challenges in capturing production mandates in tasks that can be automated and poses daunting new governance challenges. Developing countries can leverage the valuable data they generate, given their population size, rapid adoption of mobile technology and digital procurement potential, to improve the bargains they strike with advanced country suppliers and platforms and in trade negotiations.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Governance, Digital Economy, digital culture
  • Political Geography: Global South