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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: Helle Munk Ravnborg, Bernard Bashaasha, Rikke Broegaard, Michael Byaruhanga, Evelyne Lazaro, Festo Maro, Khamaldin Mutabazi, Teddy Nakanwagi, David Tumusiime
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This DIIS Working Paper describes the design of a questionnaire survey developed and implemented in order to trace the development outcomes of foreign agricultural investments in six research locations in Tanzania and Uganda. The questionnaire survey was conducted as part of the Agricultural Investors as Development Actors (henceforward AIDA) research programme which, in particular, focuses on development outcomes in terms of employment, migration, food security and wider dynamic economic effects, such as access to technology, infrastructure and markets; land markets and perceived security of land tenure; and water access and security of tenure. The working paper which serves as a methodological reference document describes the approach which was employed for drawing six independent samples of 400 respondents each, as well as the approach developed for computing a foreign agricultural investment exposure index and for computing a locally informed household poverty index.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Climate Change, Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, Environment, Poverty, Water, Food, Governance, Inequality, Investment, Land Rights
  • Political Geography: Sub-Saharan Africa, Africa
  • Author: Marie Ladekjær Gravesen, Mikkel Funder
  • Publication Date: 08-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Nature-based Solutions (NbS) to climate- and development-related challenges have recently gained attention in development cooperation. Among other, approaches that fall under the NbS umbrella include Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA), Ecosystem-based Mitigation (EbM) and Ecosystem-based Disaster Risk Reduction (Eco-DRR). This new DIIS Working Paper focuses on nature-based solutions to climate change adaptation, EbA. It provides an overview of selected lessons learnt from EbA in the context of development cooperation, with a particular emphasis on the opportunities and risks regarding poverty alleviation and rights. It generates learning for Danish development cooperation, including future programming under Denmark’s 2021 development strategy, in which NbS approaches are emphasised. However, the paper can also be read as a general discussion of experiences with EbA in the development context. The three-legged EbA approach focuses on human well-being, ecosystem management, and climate change adaptation. EbA has already been applied to a range of ecosystems, including the restoration of mangroves to shield them against storm and sea-level rises, the management of watersheds to protect against droughts and flooding, the management of rangelands to inhibit desertification and land degradation, and more sustainably managed fisheries and forestry to tackle food insecurity. EbA thus not only addresses the restoration of already degraded ecosystems, but also the sustainable use, management, and conservation of intact ecosystems. The paper provides a conceptual overview of EbA in relation to NbS, outlines the potential in using EbA approaches, and describes the landscape of the institutions and agencies that fund, promote and implement EbA. The paper then provides a synthesis of lessons learned from PES and REDD+ schemes that are of relevance to EbA. For instance, it is emphasised that many REDD+ measures have effectively existed as project islands that were not anchored in national or subnational planning and governance mechanisms. As a result, the conservation activities and socioeconomic benefits were often not effectively integrated or scaled up beyond small project sites. If comprehensively implemented, the EbA approach builds on these experiences by insuring full inclusion of stakeholders from all relevant sectors, as well as demanding full integration in existing policies, planning and governance practices from the ministry levels to sub-national governments. Among the final recommendations and possible entry points for Danish development cooperation, the paper highlights that the support must have a strong focus on ensuring that EbA is pro-poor (i.e. supports poverty alleviation) and rights-based (i.e. supports the rights of local resource users). Experience from EbA and related efforts show that EbA is not automatically pro-poor or supportive of local rights to natural resources and ecosystem services. In particular, there is insufficient attention to and knowledge of rights issues in EbA. Therefore, Danish development cooperation should help lead the way in ensuring that EbA takes a rights-based approach and supports poverty alleviation.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Climate Change, Development, Environment, Poverty, Natural Resources, Water, Food, Governance, Inequality, Investment, Land Rights
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • 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: Loubna Marfouk, Martin Sarvas, Jack Wippell, Jintao Zhu
  • Publication Date: 07-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Afrobarometer
  • Abstract: This paper explores the presence of politically sourced sensitivity bias, which leads respondents to report alternative answers to their true beliefs, in Afrobarometer’s survey results. To this end, we run a set of regressions on Afrobarometer Round 7 data to explore mechanisms through which the perceived sponsor of the survey is associated with response patterns related to trust in political parties. Questions regarding individuals’ trust levels in political parties are prone to sensitivity bias insofar as political concerns can lead respondents to favour a certain response for strategic reasons. Moreover, if respondents believe that answers will be shared with the perceived sponsor of the interview, they are likely to tailor their answers to what they judge is the preferred answer of their perceived survey sponsor. We find a number of statistically significant results that suggest some sensitivity bias is present in the survey responses. In particular, we show that there are statistically significant differences in responses for self-reported trust in both opposition and ruling parties when the respondent perceives the government to be the survey sponsor compared to when they perceive the sponsor to be Afrobarometer. We also explore how these responses vary by country- specific characteristics, such as regime type. Reducing respondents’ variation in perception of the survey sponsor might alleviate biases throughout Afrobarometer’s interviews, and a set of methodological changes might mitigate the effects of this sensitivity bias in future surveys. While other studies have focused on potential bias from interviewer effects, our research suggests a new avenue for research, in Africa and beyond, on respondent perceptions of sponsorship.
  • Topic: Governance, Research, Political Parties, Survey
  • Political Geography: 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
  • 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