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  • Author: Anton Malkin
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: China’s journey from being a technological backwater to a technological superpower was fuelled, in part, by the success of its venture capital (VC) sector in supporting start-ups. Its VC market is now the second largest in the world after that of the United States. As of 2019, China produced more “unicorns” (privately held, rapidly growing, early-stage technology companies valued at US$1 billion or more) than the United States. Policy makers can learn the following lessons from China’s growing VC sector: China’s use of labour market incentives promotes reverse migration of highly educated expatriates; weak intellectual property protection is not necessarily a deterrent to VC funding, especially in developing countries; government finance, when used appropriately, can help direct VC toward promising technology firms; and an emerging market does not need to wait until it becomes financially developed in order to create funding channels to support start-ups and entrepreneurship.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Hegemony, Finance, Venture Capital
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Hanzhi Yu, Yang Xue
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Cutting-edge biotechnology, mainly consisting of gene editing, gene drives and gene synthesis, is developing and changing rapidly. It acts as a double-edged sword, bringing benefits to human development in many fields, such as medical treatment and agriculture, while also posing serious threats to biological security, human existence and development. For example, the case of He Jiankui, a young scholar from the Southern University of Science and Technology of China who created gene-edited babies, triggered a global controversy and debate on biosafety in the winter of 2018. This paper argues that the problems China faces do not only exist in China — they are in fact common problems faced by all countries in the world. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the world is paying close attention to global health governance and biosafety issues. There is a window of opportunity for global collaboration to deal with biosecurity threats.
  • Topic: Security, International Cooperation, Science and Technology, Biotechnology
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Michel Girard
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Fifth-generation (5G) networks are the building blocks of the new digital economy; therefore, standardization of these networks is essential to building a strong foundation. A North American Technology Trust can help Canada, Mexico and the United States work together to develop common standards needed to build, maintain and operate a safe and reliable 5G infrastructure. These standards, guided by a 5G technology road map and safety code, will help maximize the benefits of 5G networks and related technologies for users across the continent. This policy brief is a contribution to a workshop focusing on the future of 5G in North America. The 5G Beyond Borders workshop, organized by the Wilson Center, CIGI and Tecnológico de Monterrey, discussed how strategic cooperation at the North American level can directly shape the future of 5G and lay the groundwork for expanded North American competitiveness in a range of emerging technologies.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, Science and Technology, Infrastructure, 5G, Emerging Technology
  • Political Geography: Canada, 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
  • Author: Michel Girard
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Although Canada is making progress in protecting consumers against data misuse, it needs to turn its attention to enabling data reuse. The current practices and tools in place are not conducive for data sharing. This creates a significant hurdle for data scientists and statisticians as they cannot train algorithms without large data inputs. A national framework for data reuse is needed to manage risks associated with data sharing. It should include sector-based data strategies, the certification of new classes of data professionals across data value chains, common interoperability and governance standards, and a safe and secure data transmission infrastructure. As common data-sharing spaces are needed for data reuse to occur, there is an opportunity to experiment with different data-sharing models. A national data reuse framework is essential for Canada to assert its data sovereignty and become a digital society. This is why the federal government has a critical role to play.
  • Topic: Security, Privacy, Data, Digital Policy
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America
  • Author: Alex He
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: This paper reviews the strategies and plans, policy-making institutions, process and problems in China’s techno-industrial development. Although it has made noticeable progress in some areas in the past two decades, China still lags behind in most core technology and advanced manufacturing fields, such as high-end chips. There have been several real breakthroughs in the semiconductor sector by private companies such as HiSilicon and rapid advancement in frontier technologies — artificial intelligence, fifth-generation wireless communication network technology, big data, blockchain and the Internet of Things — by private companies such as Huawei, Tencent, Alibaba and Baidu; however, state-sponsored technological innovation and breakthroughs have been crippled by the existing problems in China’s science and technology research system and a campaign-style catch-up strategy that rewards bureaucrats on short-term goals, as well as by weak links between academic research and industry and a swing between the market-oriented approach for technology acquisitions and indigenous innovation for technology breakthroughs. A case study of China’s semiconductor industry demonstrates both the problems and progress in China’s techno-industrial development, as well as the implications for the country's prospects of evolving into a technological powerhouse.
  • Topic: Development, Science and Technology, Artificial Intelligence, Industry, 5G
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Dan Ciuriak, Maria Ptashkina
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Trade secret theft is estimated to cost hundreds of billions of dollars annually. As a result, governments worldwide are developing legislation to mitigate these losses. This paper looks at the growing importance of trade secrets globally, corporations’ responsibilities to protect their trade secrets and how trade secret theft occurs (for example, through cybertheft or personnel movement between companies). The authors argue that protecting intellectual property rights must not come at the expense of the innovation-intensive economy.
  • Topic: Security, Intellectual Property/Copyright, Trade, Trade Policy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jeremy de Beer
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) is the new high-water mark in international intellectual property (IP) law. CUSMA includes most of the Trans-Pacific Partnership provisions that were suspended in the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership, except for a few pharmaceutical-related provisions amended after signing. Canada will be required to make meaningful changes to domestic IP laws, including copyright term extension, criminal penalties for tampering with digital rights management information, restoration of patent terms to compensate for administrative and regulatory delays, broader and longer protection for undisclosed testing data and other data, new civil and criminal remedies for the misappropriation of trade secrets, and additional powers for customs officials to seize and destroy IP-infringing goods.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation, Intellectual Property/Copyright, NAFTA, USMCA
  • Political Geography: United States, Canada, North America, Mexico
  • Author: C. Randall Henning
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Cooperation and competition among regional financial arrangements (RFAs) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) increasingly determine the effectiveness of the global financial safety net (GFSN), which many observers fear is becoming fragmented. Overlap among these crisis-fighting institutions has important benefits but also pitfalls, including with respect to competition, moral hazard, independence, institutional conflict, creditor seniority and non-transparency. The study reviews the RFAs in Latin America, East Asia and Europe to assess their relationships with the IMF and address these problems. Among other things, it concludes: institutional competition, while harmful in program conditionality, can be beneficial in economic analysis and surveillance; moral hazard depends critically on institutional governance and varies substantially from one regional arrangement to the next; secretariats should be independent in economic analysis, but lending programs should be decided by bodies with political responsibility; and conflicts among institutions are often resolved by key member states through informal mechanisms that should be protected and developed. Findings of other recent studies on the GFSN are critiqued. Architects of financial governance should maintain the IMF at the centre of the safety net but also develop regional arrangements as insurance against the possibility that any one institution could be immobilized in a crisis, thereby safeguarding both coherence and resilience of the institutional complex.
  • Topic: Governance, Surveillance, Strategic Competition, IMF
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Asia, South America, Australia, North America, Global Focus
  • Author: Michel Girard
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Global data standards are urgently needed to foster digital cooperation and manage global tech platforms. No global organization is currently mandated to coordinate the development, maintenance and use of technical standards covering data value chains and policy-oriented standards covering data governance. Precedents exist where standards development work is coordinated by international organizations in sectors of the economy operating across borders, from aviation and maritime shipping to meteorology, food production, public health and the management of the internet. This paper proposes the creation of a Data Standards Task Force (DSTF), which would be entrusted with a dual mandate: enabling the development of technical standards to create data value chains and being accountable for the development of data governance standards needed by regulators to properly frame the leading big tech platforms (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and Google). The ultimate objective of the DSTF would be to create the required architecture for a “single data zone” where data can circulate freely between participating jurisdictions.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Social Media, Data, Digital Cooperation , Big Tech
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Dieter Ernst
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: This special report assesses the challenges that China is facing in developing its artificial intelligence (AI) industry due to unprecedented US technology export restrictions. A central proposition is that China’s achievements in AI lack a robust foundation in leading-edge AI chips, and thus the country is vulnerable to externally imposed supply disruptions. The COVID-19 pandemic has further decoupled China from international trade and technology flows. Success in AI requires mastery of data, algorithms and computing power, which, in turn, is determined by the performance of AI chips. Increasing computing power that is cost-effective and energy-saving is the indispensable third component of this magic AI triangle. Research on China’s AI strategy has emphasized China’s huge data sets as a primary advantage. It was assumed that China could always purchase the necessary AI chips from global semiconductor industry leaders. Until recently, AI applications run by leading-edge major Chinese technology firms were powered by foreign chips, mostly designed by a small group of top US semiconductor firms. The outbreak of the technology war, however, is disrupting China’s access to advanced AI chips from the United States. Drawing on field research conducted in 2019, this report contributes to the literature by addressing China’s arguably most immediate and difficult AI challenges. The report highlights China’s challenge of competing in AI, and contrasts America’s and China’s different AI development trajectories. Capabilities and challenges are assessed, both for the large players (Huawei, Alibaba and Baidu) and for a small group of AI chip “unicorns.” The report concludes with implications for China’s future AI chip development.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Science and Technology, Sanctions, Artificial Intelligence
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia, North America
  • Author: Dan Ciuriak, Maria Piashkina
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The rapid digital transformation occurring worldwide poses significant challenges for policy makers working within a governance framework that evolved over centuries. Domestic policy space needs to be redefined for the digital age, and the interface with international trade governance recalibrated. In this paper, Dan Ciuriak and Maria Ptashkina organize the issues facing policy makers under the broad pillars of “economic value capture,” “sovereignty” in public choice and “national security,” and outline a conceptual framework with which policy makers can start to think about a coherent integration of the many reform efforts now under way, considering how policies adopted in these areas can be reconciled with commitments under a multilateral framework adapted for the digital age.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Reform, Digital Economy, Multilateralism, Digitization
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Europe, Asia, North America
  • Author: Susan Ariel Aaronson
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: From posting photos and videos to tracking physical activity, apps can do almost anything, but while they may seem like harmless fun, they may also pose a threat to personal data and national security. This paper compares the different responses of the United States, Canada and Germany to data risks posed by popular apps such as FaceApp, Facebook, Strava, TikTok and ToTok. These apps and many others store troves of personal data that can be hacked and misused, putting users (and the countries in which they live) at risk.
  • Topic: Security, Digital Economy, Social Media, Data
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Canada, Germany, North America
  • Author: Jason Thistlethwaite, Andrea Minano, Daniel Henstra, Daniel Scott
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Nearly every year, Indigenous peoples in First Nations communities face property damage, disrupted livelihoods and the severe social and psychological burdens associated with evacuation due to flooding. Perhaps the most striking example is the recurrent flooding that afflicts the Kashechewan First Nation in Northern Ontario, whose residents have been forced to evacuate their homes every spring for 17 years. Although it’s known that Indigenous communities face a greater flood risk and experience more flood emergencies than the general Canadian population, the scope and magnitude of the current threat, and how it might evolve under climate change, has been little studied. This policy brief reports on research at the University of Waterloo that is assessing, quantifying and mapping the flood risk to Indigenous peoples living on reserve lands and includes policy recommendations to help with better understanding and reducing that risk.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Natural Disasters, Indigenous, Flood
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America
  • Author: Sara Ghebremusse
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Despite Africa's wealth of natural resources, millions of its people live in extreme poverty. Effective mining governance can help Africa address this imbalance by achieving UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 1 (to end poverty) and SDG 8 (to create sustainable economic growth and decent work for all). Reforms aimed at generating more revenue for national governments to address poverty and building new partnerships between public and private sectors to promote economic growth and boost employment can help achieve these goals.
  • Topic: Poverty, United Nations, Natural Resources, Employment, Sustainable Development Goals, Private Sector
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Brigitte Vézina
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: From commercials to movies to fashion, Indigenous artworks have been misused in ways that are offensive to the artists who created them and disrespectful of the cultures that inspired them. Using Indigenous traditional cultural expressions (TCEs) without acknowledging their sources or providing financial compensation to the artists undermines the TCEs' traditional value and amounts to cultural theft. This paper looks at protecting TCEs using copyright's moral rights approach, which provides intellectual property protection based on acknowledgement, respect and integrity.
  • Topic: Arts, Intellectual Property/Copyright, Culture, Indigenous
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America
  • Author: Akshay Mathur, Purvaja Modak
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Over the past decade, there has been a shift in global trade from trade in goods to trade in services. Unlike goods, services are intangible and consumed by the user directly, without intermediate supervision. Thus, the only way to ensure the quality of a service is to enforce standards on the service provider. This is the responsibility of domestic sector-specific regulatory institutions established by the government. This paper examines the current state of services trade in India and Canada, considers India’s services trade with Canada and outlines a number of measures the countries could take to support services trade.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Services, Trade Policy
  • Political Geography: Canada, India, Asia, North America
  • Author: Don Stephenson
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Like foreign policy, trade policy is the outward expression of domestic policy — both economic and social — and trade negotiations are to advance the national interest. Both India and Canada have important commercial interests in digital trade and both have counterbalancing social policy concerns, but they have important differences as well. Their equitable participation in digital trade must overcome an imbalanced competitive landscape through measures to facilitate access to technology and infrastructure, financing, and training in digital technology literacy and data-based business models. As yet, there is no international consensus on how trade rules should be adapted to foster digital trade. Consistent with the Track 1.5 Dialogue objectives, this paper calls on Canada and India to partner and lead in advancing the digital trade agenda. It recommends creating a bilateral process to identify common causes and areas for collaboration; convening a business-to-business conversation supported with research and analysis; and focusing on the impact of digital technology, looking at not only electronic commerce but also trade in traditional service sectors.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Digital Economy, Trade Policy
  • Political Geography: Canada, India, Asia, North America
  • Author: Amit Bhandari
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The energy sectors of India and Canada complement each other: India is a large and growing oil importer, while Canada is a large and growing exporter of oil and gas. However, as they invested in oil fields across the world, Indian oil companies have missed out on the Canada story. Investing in Canada’s oil sector can help India guard against the risk of spikes in oil prices and provide Canada with long-term demand security. In this paper, first presented as a backgrounder at Track 1.5 meetings in Mumbai, India, in November 2019, Gateway House outlines its findings on the feasibility of Indian investment in Canada’s petroleum sector, suggesting a path forward and best prospects for investment.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, International Trade and Finance, Oil, Gas, Investment
  • Political Geography: Canada, India, Asia, North America
  • 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: Olaf Weber, Vasundhara Saravade
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Emerging economies, such as India, will need significant international investment in climate action in order to transition toward a future that is low-carbon and climate-resilient. India needs fossil fuels at an affordable price and needs to protect itself against price fluctuations. It can meet these needs by investing in Canadian oil companies, given the country’s political stability and rule of law. As an emerging economy, India could attract greater foreign direct investment into its economy through green bonds, a climate finance debt instrument that addresses environmental and climate-related challenges. Not only are green bond issuances linearly increasing over the years, but they also seem to be driven by institutional pressure, provided in part by the Securities and Exchange Board of India’s regulation, as well as by the informal advocacy efforts of market stakeholders. These findings are consistent with institutional theory and contribute to it by introducing the regulatory perspective of the green bond market.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Green Technology, Sustainability
  • Political Geography: India, Asia
  • Author: Silvia Maciunas
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The environmental chapter in the newly ratified Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) builds on the environmental chapters of its predecessors: the North American Free Trade Agreement and the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation between Canada, the United States and Mexico. Although CUSMA contains greater environmental provisions in the form of pollution prevention, the control of toxic substances and illegal fishing, and the conservation of wild flora and fauna, it fails to address climate change, the most critical challenge of our time.
  • Topic: Environment, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation, NAFTA, Trade Policy
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America, Mexico, United States of America
  • Author: Dan Ciuriak
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: In the era of continuous and steadily accelerating technological change that started with the Industrial Revolution, economies and societies were repeatedly transformed in ways that can be traced to ownership of the essential and scarce factor of production of the day and command of the economic rents that flowed to that factor. The digital transformation is now ushering in a new economic era, in which the economy is again being reordered by new technologies based on a new essential capital asset — data. Data generates massive rents, fuels the rise of superstar firms and generates powerful incentives for strategic trade and investment policy. The emergence of this new economy signals a new era of conflict, on new battlegrounds and with new tools or weapons, between new coalitions within and between countries. This paper describes the contours of the conflicts that are to be expected with the digital transformation as it realigns interests; compares these expectations with actual developments; and comments on the strategies of the main protagonists and the implications for the rules-based system of international commerce.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Commerce, Digitalization
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Michel Girard
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: There is no consensus to create a global framework for managing data governance under the United Nations. A Data Standards Task Force (DSTF) is needed to create a single data zone where trustworthy data could circulate freely between like-minded countries. This proposal is aligned with the objectives of fora such as the International Grand Committee on Big Data, Privacy and Democracy. Canada could also spearhead the launch of the DSTF with like-minded countries through the implementation of regional free trade agreements such as the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement, the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement or the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, United Nations, Trade Policy, Digitalization
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • 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: Jeremy de Beer
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: To remain competitive on a global scale, Canada needs to enhance its domestic intellectual property (IP) and digital trade strategies with an international approach that can respond to constantly changing global economic conditions. Although Canada launched its Intellectual Property Strategy in 2018 — focusing on IP awareness, strategic tools and legislation — its data initiative, known as the Digital Charter, remains a work in progress. Both policies would benefit from an outward-looking, interconnected, international strategic vision. As a member of various international trade agreements, Canada has framed its IP laws to align with these agreements and its trade partners. Canada should expand its trade relationships with Africa before other countries, such as China, take advantage of the continent’s rapidly growing economies and trade opportunities. Building strategic alliances with the right global partners, combined with the use of hard and soft laws to promote Canadian interests, will help Canada strengthen its international IP and digital trade strategy.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Intellectual Property/Copyright, Digital Economy, Trade
  • Political Geography: China, Canada, Asia, North America
  • Author: Aaron Shull, Daniel Araya, Samantha Bradshaw, Amandeep Singh Gill, Michael Horowitz, Meg King, Robert Mazzolin, Maya Medeiros, Rodrigo Nieto-Gomez, Liis Vihul
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Autonomous systems are revolutionizing our lives, but they present clear international security concerns. Despite the risks, emerging technologies are increasingly applied as tools for cybersecurity and, in some cases, cyberwarfare. In this essay series, first published online, experts explore digital threats to democracy and security, and the geopolitical tensions they create.
  • Topic: Cybersecurity, Conflict, Artificial Intelligence, Emerging Technology
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Colin J. Bennett
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Canada has much to gain by joining the Council of Europe’s Modernized Convention on Personal Data Protection (Convention 108+), based on its predecessor, the Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data. The latter remains the only binding international convention within the international privacy and data protection policy space. By joining Convention 108+, Canada would enhance its reputation as a trusted jurisdiction for personal data processing and its commitment to international privacy rights.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Privacy, Data
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America
  • Author: Suzie Dunn
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: As digital technologies become more sophisticated, so does technology-facilitated gender-based violence (TFGBV). This type of violence can take many forms, from the release of personal information and private images without consent, to online stalking and death threats. For perpetrators of TFGBV, the internet is their weapon of choice — it allows them to monitor and control their targets from anywhere in the world. Victim-survivors have little recourse against the many forms of online gender-based violence, including threats of harm, some of which have been carried out. The resulting mental and physical health effects of TFGBV, among other impacts, have forced many victim-survivors out of online spaces and silenced their voices.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Science and Technology, Gender Based Violence , Mental Health
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Susan Ariel Aaronson, Thomas Struett
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: For 22 years, the members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) have been discussing how to govern e-commerce and the data that underpins it. In 2019, some 74 (now 86) nations began to negotiate e-commerce. These talks are conducted in secret and little is known about how they are progressing. However, WTO members issued a wide range of public comments on both the Work Programme on Electronic Commerce and the Joint Statement Initiative on Electronic Commerce from 1998, when the work program began, to the present. These communications provide context as well as a window into the negotiations. Using qualitative techniques to analyze these communications, the authors of this paper found that throughout the 22-year period, member states were divided by their understanding, capacity and willingness to set rules governing e-commerce or digital trade. Data, digital prowess and data governance expertise were creating division among members. The paper offers three suggestions for action policy makers could take to address this divide.
  • Topic: Communications, Digital Economy, Data, WTO
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Giovanni Tria, Angelo Arcelli, Robert Fay
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has posed significant challenges for all economies, and for the financial sector, in 2020. At the same time, the crisis also brings material opportunities for beneficial change. Policy makers, regulators and governments have the chance to rethink the evolution of the financial systems and international relations to make them fit-for-purpose for what could now be called a “new normal,” where green finance and sustainability will likely become key pillars of the post-pandemic world. Discussions as part of the Financial Regulatory Outlook partnership between CIGI and Oliver Wyman, held virtually on November 23, 2020, focused on how policy makers and financial services leaders can help the industry navigate the risks they face during and after the pandemic and, as a result, build more resilient economies and financial systems for the future.
  • Topic: Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Meredith Lily, Hugo Perezcano, Christine McDaniel
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) — known in the United States as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) — was reached on September 30, 2018, and will replace its predecessor if successfully ratified by legislatures in all three countries. Several weeks later, on October 14–16, 2018, thought leaders from Mexico, the United States and Canada gathered for the fourteenth annual North American Forum in Ottawa, Ontario. In light of these events, CIGI initiated a trilateral project to anticipate and predict how North American trade and economic relations would unfold in the near term and further into the future. Three authors, Christine McDaniel, Hugo Perezcano Díaz and Meredith Lilly, each from one of the North American countries, explain the importance of the new CUSMA to their respective countries and how economic relations could be reshaped in the coming months and years. Earlier versions of these papers were presented in a panel discussion at the North American Forum.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation, NAFTA, USMCA
  • Political Geography: United States, Canada, North America, Mexico
  • 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: Raya Pakzad
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Efforts are being made to use information and communications technologies to improve accountability in providing refugee aid. However, there remains a pressing need for increased accountability and transparency when designing and deploying humanitarian technologies. This paper outlines the challenges and opportunities of emerging technologies, such as machine learning and blockchain, in the refugee system. The paper concludes by recommending the creation of quantifiable metrics for sharing information across both public and private initiatives; the creation of the equivalent of a “Hippocratic oath” for technologists working in the humanitarian field; the development of predictive early-warning systems for human rights abuses; and greater accountability among funders and technologists to ensure the sustainability and real-world value of humanitarian apps and other digital platforms.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Refugee Issues, Digital Economy, Humanitarian Crisis
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Daniel Henstra, Jason Thistlethwaite
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: To maximize the effectiveness of flood risk management, city governments should employ multiple policy instruments to balance the objectives of resilience (i.e., risk reduction), efficiency (i.e., benefits exceed costs) and legitimacy (i.e., political and public support). Flood risk management instruments differ to the extent that they emphasize some of these objectives over others, so informed trade-offs are required when selecting and combining them. Contextual factors, such as available resources, the level of flood risk and the degree of public risk awareness, are also salient when choosing among policy instruments for flood risk management.
  • Topic: Natural Disasters, Legitimacy, Public Health, Flood
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Robert Fay, Angelo Arcelli
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Following the 2008 financial crisis, the Group of Twenty embarked on an ambitious financial regulatory reform plan that has seen many banks worldwide make substantial progress in terms of both capitalization and governance. Over this period, banks have also become increasingly exposed to business risks from digitization, artificial intelligence and cybercrime, and major investments are necessary to manage these risks. New regulations have been introduced in the European Union to reduce these risks, but their associated costs have potentially created a lasting competitive disadvantage for European banks. This situation has raised some key questions that deserve to be discussed and investigated: How does regulation — including that outside the sector — affect banks’ ability to compete globally? What will be the impact of fintech players as well as globally active banks from China and other emerging markets? Can the Basel regulatory framework and Financial Stability Board (FSB) ensure a level playing field globally going forward, or has the regulatory pendulum swung too far? How will the supervisory approach need to be adapted to the changing structure of the global financial system? Moreover, how will the implementation of Basel reforms affect the industry? These and other questions remain about the effectiveness of the already-achieved reforms as well as their future direction. These issues were at the core of CIGI and Oliver Wyman’s fifth annual Financial Regulatory Outlook Conference, held in Rome on November 28, 2018. This conference report summarizes the key points of discussions at the conference, with a special focus on the 10 years of regulatory reform that was conducted under the auspices of the FSB and the new forces that are currently affecting banks and could have an impact on the future.
  • Topic: Financial Crisis, Regulation, Europe Union, digital culture
  • Political Geography: Europe, Global Focus
  • 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: Sarah Miller
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: This paper considers how responsibility for ensuring refugee protection and access to solutions can be shared more reliably across the United Nations’ system, by examining entry points beyond traditional humanitarian actors (including peace and security actors in the United Nations), as well as the role states can play in supporting a broader response from the UN system. It draws upon a range of literature and concepts, including the Responsibility to Protect doctrine, offering a mapping and analysis of the proposed UN reforms within the humanitarian, development, financial, and peace and security sectors. It then considers how these reforms might be relevant to responsibility sharing in displacement situations and lays out some of the broader challenges to greater responsibility sharing. Finally, the paper provides recommendations for how to more fully engage these other actors — within the United Nations and beyond — to improve the prevention of, response to and resolution of displacement.
  • Topic: Security, United Nations, Refugee Issues, Displacement, Humanitarian Crisis
  • 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
  • Author: Tristan Harley
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: In recent years, significant global attention — much of it through the negotiations of the 2016 New York Declaration and the 2018 Global Compact on Refugees — has been focused on developing more effective and equitable methods for sharing responsibility for refugees. States, international organizations, civil society organizations and academics have also put forward proposals and programs, alongside and in response to these negotiations. This paper examines and compares these initiatives, analyzing their strengths and limitations. It calls for a clearer understanding of the meaning and application of responsibility sharing for the protection of refugees and for further examination as to how the refugee regime interacts with other areas of international governance. It also highlights opportunities associated with incorporating refugees within broader development or human mobility initiatives, while it reiterates the need to preserve the principal humanitarian purpose of refugee protection and the provision of durable solutions through effective responsibility sharing. It proposes transitioning refugee financing and refugee resettlement away from voluntary, ad hoc contributions and toward more concrete legal and financial commitments, while accounting for states’ differing capacities and resources. One approach to implementing these changes is to bring together the actors who are most capable, most responsible and most vulnerable, within a mini-multilateral framework.
  • Topic: Migration, Refugee Issues, Displacement, Humanitarian Crisis
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Dragana Kaurin
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: For the millions of refugees fleeing conflict and persecution every year, access to information about their rights and control over their personal data are crucial for their ability to assess risk and navigate the asylum process. While asylum seekers are required to provide significant amounts of personal information on their journey to safety, they are rarely fully informed of their data rights by UN agencies or local border control and law enforcement staff tasked with obtaining and processing their personal information. Despite recent improvements in data protection mechanisms in the European Union, refugees’ informed consent for the collection and use of their personal data is rarely sought. Using examples drawn from interviews with refugees who have arrived in Europe since 2013, and an analysis of the impacts of the 2016 EU-Turkey deal on migration, this paper analyzes how the vast amount of data collected from refugees is gathered, stored and shared today, and considers the additional risks this collection process poses to an already vulnerable population navigating a perilous information-decision gap.
  • Topic: United Nations, Refugee Issues, European Union, Asylum, Humanitarian Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Asia
  • Author: Olena Ivus, Marta Paczos
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: In recent years, Canada has adopted the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA). Like other modern international trade agreements, CETA, the CPTPP and the CUSMA include protections for innovators’ profits and technologies in the form of intellectual property rights (IPRs) regulations. These trade agreements will have a first-order impact on the volume and composition of trade in goods and innovation with sensitive intellectual property (IP) in Canada, as well as having an impact on global welfare distribution. But is Canada’s membership in these agreements good for Canadian firms looking to compete globally? This paper begins with a review of the IP protections instituted through recent trade deals involving Canada. It discusses the nature and scope of Canada’s IP obligations under CETA, the CPTPP and the CUSMA and explains how these obligations fit within the current Canadian legal framework. The changes in the standards of IPRs under these agreements will have a first-order impact on the volume and composition of trade in IP-sensitive goods, innovation and global welfare distribution and so deserve thorough debate. The paper then proceeds with a broader discussion of the reasons to include IP provisions in international trade agreements and the rationale for international coordination of the IPRs policy. Next, the paper discusses how IP provisions in trade agreements limit the freedom to use IP policy to promote national interests, while acknowledging that the various IP obligations are counterbalanced by several flexibilities, including the right to establish local exhaustion policies. The paper concludes with policy recommendations.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, NAFTA, Trans-Pacific Partnership, Innovation, USMCA
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Canada, Asia, North America, Mexico
  • Author: Géraud de Lassus Saint-Genliês
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The Global Pact for the Environment (GPE) is a draft treaty prepared in 2017 by a French think tank, Le Club des Juristes, which aims at strengthening the effectiveness of international environmental law (IEL) by combining its most fundamental principles into a single overarching, legally binding instrument. In May 2018, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted Towards a Global Pact for the Environment, a resolution that established an intergovernmental working group to discuss the necessity and feasibility of adopting an instrument such as the GPE, with a view to making recommendations to the UNGA. As the working group nears its final session, scheduled for May 20–22, 2019, this paper discusses the extent to which codifying the fundamental principles of IEL into a treaty could increase the problem-solving effectiveness of environmental governance. The analysis suggests that the added value of the proposed GPE (or any such instrument) may not be as evident as what its proponents argue. The paper also highlights the fact that the adoption of such an instrument could generate unintended consequences that would hinder the development of more effective environmental standards in the future.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Environment, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Olaf Weber, Adeboye Oyegunle
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Recently, a task force has been established by the Financial Stability Board that addresses climate risks for the financial industry. The Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) has published recommendations for standardized disclosure about climate-related risks, and it has proposed developing scenario analyses to address climate-related risks for the financial industry. Using the climate risk indicators developed by the TCFD, an impact analysis that explored how direct impacts of the risk indicators influence one another was conducted. In addition, the influence of indirect impacts of the risk indicators on each other was examined by using a mathematical approach, the cross impact matrix-multiplication applied to classification (MICMAC Analysis). Finally, three scenarios were generated (a business as usual scenario; a reduced climate policies scenario; and a strong climate policies scenario), from which recommendations were made that will enable the Canadian financial sector to address risks and take proactive action, including investing in a low-carbon economy, to mitigate climate change.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Investment, Financial Institutions
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity (TCEI), an initiative of the Alliance of Democracies, aims to prevent election interference by advocating for increased transparency and by fighting the use of disinformation in campaigns. The TCEI is systematically assessing the adequacy of laws, policies and practices in democratic states so as to evaluate their electoral resilience and ability to preserve their elections’ integrity. The TCEI met in Ottawa in April to consider Canada’s performance in this regard. This report, the first in a series of Election Risk Monitors from CIGI and TCEI, was prepared as a foundation for that assessment. After reviewing a range of threats and Canada’s new laws, policies and investments designed to anticipate and respond to them, it documents strategies that the Canadian government has adopted at home, as well as its contributions to international efforts. Finally, it outlines the policy choices that lie ahead for Canada regarding the exploitation of social media platforms by malicious actors who have an interest in influencing Canadian elections.
  • Topic: Elections, Democracy, Social Media, Election watch
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America
  • Author: David M Malone, Rohinton P. Medhora
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: This paper includes essential history of how the multilateral world has evolved over the last 150 years, followed by an examination of several types of multilateral systems: the United Nations and related organizations (including the World Bank group and the International Monetary Fund), and the World Trade Organization; regional organizations; and cross-cutting multilateral or plurilateral groupings with more limited, generally consultative purposes, such as the Group of Seven and BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India and China). It concludes with some reflections on the implications for multilateralism of a defection from its attractions and principles by key actors.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, World Trade Organization, World Bank, Multilateral Relatons, IMF, BRIC
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, India, Asia, Brazil, South America, North America
  • Author: Dan Ciuriak
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The rules-based framework, as instantiated in rules established under the World Trade Organization (WTO), is not equipped to address the issues that are emerging under the technological conditions generated by the digital transformation. The emerging knowledge-based and data-driven economy features incentives for strategic trade and investment policy and a confluence of factors contributing to market failure at a global scale; digital social media and platform business models have raised concerns with calls for regulation affecting cross-border data flows; and newfound security issues raised by the vulnerabilities in the infrastructure of the digitized economy have precipitated a potential decoupling of global production networks along geopolitical fault lines. To date, the response has been fragmented, incomplete and, in large part, conducted outside the WTO. A new WTO digital round is required to create a multilateral framework that is fit for purpose for the digital age.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, World Trade Organization, Digital Economy, Multilateralism
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: James Bacchus
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Trade has become a taboo topic in climate negotiations on the implementation of the Paris climate agreement. This must change. The nexus between trade and climate change must be addressed in the climate regime. In particular, a definition is needed that will clarify the meaning of a climate “response measure.” Without a definition provided by climate negotiators, the task of defining which national climate measures are permissible and which are not when they restrict trade while pursuing climate mitigation and adaptation will be left to the judges of the World Trade Organization. To avoid a collision between the climate and trade regimes that will potentially be harmful to both, the ongoing deliberation on response measures in the climate regime must be reframed by ending the climate taboo on trade.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, International Trade and Finance, World Trade Organization
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Andrea Minano, Daniel Henstra, Jason Thistlethwaite
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Flooding is a growing source of financial insecurity for Canadian households. Flood maps serve a far more effective function in many countries than they currently do in Canada, and they are an essential tool with which to communicate flood risk to the public, encourage property owners to purchase insurance and encourage flood preparedness. Existing flood maps in Canada, however, are difficult to find, outdated and of poor quality, containing few of the characteristics that experts associate with high-quality maps. Improving information about flood exposure, by improving the quality of and access to these maps, can play an important role in protecting Canadians from significant financial risk.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Natural Disasters, Flood, Property
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America
  • Author: Sarah Burch
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Canada cannot deliver on its international obligations under the Paris Agreement without meaningfully engaging its small business sector. Small businesses are more than simple profit-maximizers: they are social and political actors. Policies and incentives to foster sustainability should be carefully tailored to respond to the variety of drivers at each size of firm, rather than employing the same approach across the spectrum. Government can accelerate small business sustainability innovation by providing information, cases and success stories; technical skills and expertise; financial support and incentives; and legitimation.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Environment, Innovation, Sustainability
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America
  • Author: Melissa Hathaway
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: In recent years, the world has witnessed an alarming number of high-profile cyber incidents, harmful information and communications technology (ICT) practices, and internationally wrongful acts through the misuse of ICTs. Over the last 30 years, a unique and strategic vulnerability has been brought to society — by allowing poorly coded or engineered, commercial-off-the-shelf products to permeate and power every aspect of our connected society. These products and services are prepackaged with exploitable weaknesses and have become the soft underbelly of government systems, critical infrastructures and services, as well as business and household operations. The resulting global cyber insecurity poses an increasing risk to public health, safety and prosperity. It is critical to become much more strategic about how new digital technologies are designed and deployed, and hold manufacturers of these technologies accountable for the digital security and safety of their products. The technology industry has fielded vulnerable products quickly — now, it is crucial to work together to reduce the risks created and heal our digital environment as fast as society can.
  • Topic: Security, Science and Technology, Cybersecurity, Digital Economy, Surveillance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Susan Ariel Aaronson
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Many wealthy states are transitioning to a new economy built on data. Individuals and firms in these states have expertise in using data to create new goods and services as well as in how to use data to solve complex problems. Other states may be rich in data but do not yet see their citizens’ personal data or their public data as an asset. Most states are learning how to govern and maintain trust in the data-driven economy; however, many developing countries are not well positioned to govern data in a way that encourages development. Meanwhile, some 76 countries are developing rules and exceptions to the rules governing cross-border data flows as part of new negotiations on e-commerce. This paper uses a wide range of metrics to show that most developing and middle-income countries are not ready or able to provide an environment where their citizens’ personal data is protected and where public data is open and readily accessible. Not surprisingly, greater wealth is associated with better scores on all the metrics. Yet, many industrialized countries are also struggling to govern the many different types and uses of data. The paper argues that data governance will be essential to development, and that donor nations have a responsibility to work with developing countries to improve their data governance.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Governance, Data
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: James A. Haley
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: This paper discusses the nexus between the Donald Trump administration’s trade policy and International Monetary Fund (IMF) exchange rate surveillance. It reviews the evolution of IMF surveillance and the possible implications of incorporating currency manipulation clauses into bilateral trade agreements. Such clauses constitute a key US trade negotiation objective. While they may reflect genuine concern over practices to thwart international adjustment, they could erode the effectiveness of the IMF at a time of transition and resulting tension in the global economy. Managing this tension calls for a cooperative approach to the issue of adjustment, one consistent with the fundamental mandate of the IMF. An approach based on indicators of reserve adequacy is proposed. Such a framework was briefly considered and dismissed almost 50 years ago, which was likewise a period of tension in trade and global monetary affairs. Prospects for success today are equally dim because cooperative measures to assuage adjustment challenges would require repudiation of the view that exchange rate surveillance is about bilateral trade balances and abandonment of the zero-sum game approach to international arrangements on which Trump administration trade actions are based.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Exchange Rate Policy, IMF
  • Political Geography: United States, North America
  • Author: Michel Girard
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Canadian industry and thought leaders view digitization as a way to enhance the competitiveness of the economy; digitization can also improve the delivery of services such as health care. In order to achieve this vision, new data value chains are needed. Data value chains would allow participants in existing supply chains to share data, gain new insights, solve problems and become more efficient. Standards are required to clarify the roles and responsibilities of participants in data value chains regarding data collection and grading, data access and sharing, as well as data analytics and solutions. Standards are also necessary to achieve interoperability and set appropriate benchmarks regarding data governance — both necessary preconditions for data sharing between organizations.
  • Topic: Health Care Policy, Digital Economy, Data, Digitization
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America
  • Author: Alex He
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: This paper argues that with more objectives added since its inception in 2013, China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has evolved into a much more expansive grand strategy that includes a package of themes and goals. It examines the policy-making process of the BRI by exploring the motivations behind the plan President Xi Jinping proposed and how the initial Silk Road projects have developed into China’s package of strategies over the past few years. The priorities and performance of China’s investments in the BRI are discussed from the angle of geographical distribution, routes and projects, priority sectors and the connection between the BRI and the previous “going out” strategy China started at the beginning of the twenty-first century. The model and the specific ways China finances and invests in BRI projects, to a great extent, decided the nature of the China-led global infrastructure investment plan. BRI financing is reviewed in detail. Based on the geopolitical and geo-economic analysis of the BRI in the previous parts, the implications of the BRI for global governance as it goes beyond the ambitious infrastructure investment plan are revealed. The risks and problems facing the BRI and the controversy and criticism it has encountered are also addressed. Finally, the paper summarizes the BRI’s ever-expanding themes and the problems and risks it faces, and their implications for the future of the BRI.
  • Topic: Development, Imperialism, Infrastructure, Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Strategic Competition
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The Centre for International Governance Innovation conducted consultations in the spring of 2019 with trade experts and stakeholders about options for modernizing the trade rules and strengthening the World Trade Organization (WTO). The consultations focused on the three themes of improving the WTO through monitoring of existing rules, strengthening and safeguarding the dispute settlement function, and modernizing the trade rules for the twenty-first century. This report synthesizes the results of the consultations.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, World Trade Organization, Modernization
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Canada’s Arctic Agenda: Into the Vortex brings together leading Arctic thinkers to examine key elements of Canadian Arctic and Northern policy. These experts reflect on the progress that has been made in the past few years in Arctic policies and programs and consider the impact of powerful forces of change and division, both within Canada and abroad, which have produced a vortex of economic, security, environmental and identity challenges for the Canadian Arctic. Addressing the intense, if understated, debate on Canada’s Arctic agenda, this report’s contributors share the consistent message that Northerners must play a leadership role in creating and implementing the policies that affect them. The report also includes a collection of interviews with Jane Glassco Northern Fellows. These thoughtful Indigenous women from across the North in Canada share their perspectives and ideas on the policy issues that require urgent attention to ensure the prosperity of their Northern communities. The well-informed essays and interviews in this report will spark conversation about Canada’s Arctic policy priorities and provide concrete advice to inform the work of Canada’s policy makers moving forward.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Environment, Identities
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America, Arctic
  • Author: Marsha Cadogan
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: IP rights are often presented as a contentious issue in the development discourse. Some view strong IP rights as an obstacle to domestic development by creating barriers to the use of intangible resources on favourable terms. Others view IP rights as a means to foster growth in domestic industries, encourage innovation and protect foreign firms in high-infringement jurisdictions. These differing global perspectives on whether and, if so, how, IP rights promote development in domestic and global economies often result in policies that are either conducive to development or are challenging as development aids. The SDGs make no explicit reference to IP. However, IP is implicit in either the achievement of the SDGs as a whole, or as an aspect of specific goals, such as innovation. This policy brief deals with the relevance of the SDGs to the creation, use, protection and management of IP in developed economies.
  • Topic: Development, Foreign Direct Investment, Sustainable Development Goals, Innovation, Industry
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Armand de Mestral, Lukas Vanhonnaeker
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: In response to concerns raised about investor-state arbitration (ISA), different proposals for reform of this means of dispute settlement have been proposed. One such proposal is to entrust domestic courts with the resolution of investment disputes. Although opting for the resolution of investment disputes before domestic courts has led to some discussion about the advantages and difficulties of this approach, very few studies have analyzed the specificities of domestic regimes in this regard. Many questions remain unanswered, including whether foreign investors have, in practice, access to domestic courts in the host state and whether the remedies available domestically are comparable to those available in ISA. In an attempt to answer some of these questions, a questionnaire was prepared and answered by respondents in 17 countries, in addition to Canada, from different regions of the world.
  • Topic: Reform, Democracy, Legal Theory , Investment
  • Political Geography: United States, Canada, South America, North America, Mexico, Peru
  • Author: Ghazaleh Jerban
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The gender aspects of traditional knowledge (TK) protection highlight the important link between intellectual property rights, TK, women and sustainable development. Indigenous and local women’s TK is not only distinct and relevant, but also crucial for accomplishing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. National governments and international organizations dealing with TK should pay attention to gender aspects of the issue. Policies and initiatives that ignore gender aspects of TK can have serious implications for the survival and development of Indigenous and local communities and TK itself as a dynamic and living body of knowledge. The economic significance of TK and its trade value make it an enabler of sustainable development and women’s economic empowerment, especially in light of the World Trade Organization’s recent Declaration on Trade and Women’s Economic Empowerment.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, World Trade Organization, Sustainable Development Goals, Local, Indigenous
  • Political Geography: Africa, West Africa, Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: In December 2017, trade ministers met in Buenos Aires, Argentina, for the Eleventh Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO), against the backdrop of crisis in the WTO dispute settlement system. After the meeting achieved only modest outcomes, and none related to dispute settlement, the Centre for International Governance Innovation convened a group of experts in Ottawa for a round table discussion of the way forward to restoring and improving the dispute settlement system. The round table discussion addressed three issues: ideas for reforming the operation of the WTO dispute settlement system; US concerns over the operation of the WTO dispute settlement system and the US decision to block appointments to the Appellate Body; and solutions to break the deadlock on WTO Appellate Body appointments and what to do if members are unable to reach an agreement. There was broad agreement that, while the WTO dispute settlement system has made an important contribution to maintaining the security and predictability of the rules-based trading system, there is still room for improvement in its operation. Participants discussed a number of procedural, systemic and substantive issues that could be addressed through reform, some of which might be easily agreed on and implemented, whereas others would require further consideration. It was agreed that the most pressing challenge to the system is the refusal of the United States to allow new appointments to the Appellate Body. While there was sympathy for some of the concerns raised by the United States, participants agreed that the ultimate objectives of the United States remain unclear, and, therefore, participants cautioned against making hasty concessions that might undermine the integrity and independence of the dispute settlement system.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, World Trade Organization, Settlements
  • Political Geography: United States, Canada, North America
  • Author: Patrick Leblond
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: On the margins of the Group of Twenty leaders’ meeting in Osaka, Japan on June 28-29, 2019, Canada and 23 others signed the Osaka Declaration on the Digital Economy. This declaration launched the “Osaka Track,” which reinforces the signatories’ commitment to the World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations on “trade-related aspects of electronic commerce.” In this context, unlike its main economic partners (China, the European Union and the United States), Canada has yet to decide its position. The purpose of this paper is thus to help Canada define its position in those negotiations. To do so, it offers a detailed analysis of the e-commerce/digital trade chapters found in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA), the North American Free Trade Agreement’s replacement, in order to identify the potential constraints that these agreements could impose on the federal government’s ability to regulate data nationally as it seeks to establish a trusting digital environment for consumers and businesses. The analysis leads to the conclusion that Canada’s CPTPP and CUSMA commitments could ultimately negate the effectiveness of future data protection policies that the federal government might want to adopt to create trust in the data-driven economy. As a result, Canada should not follow the United States’ position in the WTO negotiations. Instead, the best thing that Canada could do is to push for a distinct international regime (i.e., separate from the WTO) to govern data and its cross-border flows.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, World Trade Organization, European Union, Digital Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Europe, Canada, Asia, North America
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The 2019 Canada-India Partnership Summit, held in Toronto on June 26, focused on the role of corporate exemplars in accessing business opportunities in the binational space and on building sectoral linkages, especially in the infrastructure, services, manufacturing and innovation sectors. The summit also included discussions related to overcoming challenges in the two-way business-to-business relations, and the role of Canada and India in the global economy, particularly in light of recent pressures and opportunities. This report summarizes eight key issues and recommendations raised during the summit’s interactive panel sessions.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Infrastructure, Partnerships, Innovation
  • Political Geography: Canada, India, Asia, North America
  • Author: Chios Carmody
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: This is a guide to the legal framework for emissions trading under the cap-and-trade system created and adhered to under the Western Climate Initiative (WCI). This guide is intended to serve three aims. First, the guide is an overview of the WCI cap-and-trade system for emissions trading by current users of the system; potential industry participants; state, provincial and municipal governments; academic institutions; and members of civil society. Second, the guide’s aim is to foster learning among domestic and international actors interested in North America’s collective response to climate change and highlights one attempt to combat climate change through a subnational cap-and-trade system on the continent. Third, during the course of research for this guide in 2018, the province of Ontario linked its WCI-inspired cap-and-trade system with that of California and Quebec and six months later delinked its system, eventually terminating it altogether and announcing its intention to withdraw from the WCI. A third purpose of this guide is therefore to serve as an account of Ontario’s short-lived cap-and-trade system and its brief experience with linkage.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Climate Change, Environment, Carbon Emissions
  • Political Geography: United States, Canada, North America, Mexico
  • Author: Andrew Walter
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: This paper explores the role of emerging-country members in the Basel process, a key aspect of the global financial standard-setting process. It argues that this process has been significantly more politically resilient than adjacent aspects of global economic governance, in part because major emerging countries obtain continuing “intra-club” benefits from participation within it. The most important of these are learning benefits, but status and sometimes influence over standard-setting outcomes can also be valuable. The paper outlines how these benefits could be enhanced to secure the ongoing resilience of global financial regulatory governance. It recommends some modest reforms to further improve the position of emerging countries in the process and to bolster its perceived legitimacy among members and non-member countries.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Governance, Regulation
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jonathan Kent
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The World Refugee Council and the Aspen Ministers Forum co-hosted this working meeting to explore the integration of technology into the governance and lives of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs). One of the first of its kind, this multi-stakeholder event brought together representatives from the private sector and civil society as well as researchers and former political leaders to explore the challenges and opportunities in the use of technology and its potential to transform the global refugee system. This workshop’s participants discussed technology’s potential to mobilize political will and increase accountability, facilitate greater responsibility sharing, assist in mobilizing new funding sources and improve the efficiency of existing ones, as well as technology’s risks to the refugee system and individuals and how the risks can be mitigated. They also discussed how refugees and IDPs can be included in the development of these technologies and how major technological communities and hubs can transform themselves to reflect the diversity of these populations. Creating a foundation of shared understandings about how technology fits into the refugee and IDP field is the first step toward designing a more strategic and long-term vision.
  • Topic: Migration, Science and Technology, Refugee Issues, Humanitarian Crisis
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Idris Ademuyiwa, Pierre Siklos
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Recent events have the potential to reverse the positive macroeconomic performance of the global economy and trigger a slowdown in both global growth and international trade. In particular, the implications of ongoing trade disputes that have undermined trust in the existing multilateral cooperation system and the incentive for countries to align with ongoing global policy coordination efforts. A compelling case for a mutually beneficial resolution of these tensions can be made by emphasizing the interdependence of the Group of Twenty (G20) economies — the G20 being the premier repository of international cooperation in economic and political matters. This study also considers the state of trade globalization, with an emphasis on the performance of the G20. The emergence of geopolitical risks (GPRs), that is, events that heighten tensions between countries and therefore threaten global economic performance, is an attempt to quantify the potential economic impact of the nexus between politics and economics. In the presence of heightened political risks, negative economic effects become more likely. Nevertheless, there is no empirical evidence investigating the links between the real economy, trade, the state of the financial sector, commodity prices and GPRs. Moreover, there is no evidence on these links that has a sample of countries that make up the G20. This paper begins to fill this gap. Relying on descriptive and statistical evidence, the conclusion is drawn that GPRs represent a significant factor that threatens global economic growth and economic performance, in the G20 countries in particular. Ultimately, however, GPRs reflect other factors, including threats stemming from trade tensions and large swings in commodity prices.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Economic Growth, Multilateralism
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia, South America, North America, Global Focus
  • Author: Bushra Ebadi
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Young people aged 15 to 35 comprise one-third of the world’s population, yet they are largely absent from decision-making fora and, as such, unaccounted for in policy making, programming and laws. The disenfranchisement of displaced youth is a particular problem, because it further marginalizes young people who have already experienced persecution and been forcibly displaced. This paper aims to demonstrate the importance of including displaced youth in governance and decision making, to identify key barriers to engagement that displaced youth face, and to highlight effective strategies for engaging youth. Comprehensive financial, legal, social and governance reforms are needed in order to facilitate and support the meaningful engagement of youth in the refugee and IDP systems. Without these reforms and partnerships between youth and other diverse stakeholders, it will be difficult to achieve sustainable solutions for forcibly displaced populations and the communities that host them.
  • Topic: Migration, Refugee Issues, Displacement, Youth Movement , Humanitarian Crisis
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Asia, South America, North America, Global Focus
  • Author: Cameron S. G. Jefferies
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The high seas are a critical biodiversity reservoir and carbon sink. Unfortunately, the oceans, generally, and the high seas, in particular, do not feature prominently in international climate mitigation or climate adaptation efforts. There are, however, signals that ocean conservation is poised to occupy a more significant role in international climate law and policy going forward. This paper argues that improved conservation and sustainable use of high-seas living marine resources are essential developments at the convergence of climate action and ocean governance that should manifest, at least in part, as climate-informed high-seas marine protected areas.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Water, Maritime, Conservation
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Asia, South America, Australia, North America, Global Focus
  • Author: Alexander Ezenagu
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: As part of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 16 on the rule of law, Target 16.42 aims to “significantly reduce illicit financial and arms flows, strengthen the recovery and return of stolen assets and combat all forms of organized crime” by 2030. This policy brief argues that tax avoidance under existing international tax rules gives rise to illicit financial flows and is hindering the sustainable development of African countries.
  • Topic: Law Enforcement, Sustainable Development Goals, International Crime, Illegal Trade
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Guy Marcel Nono
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: For more than a decade, there has been a lot of focus on how sustainable development relates to international investment law. The growing trend of including general and security exceptions clauses in international investment agreements (IIAs) has also been highlighted. However, the nexus between general IIAs and security exceptions and the achievement of the SDGs has not been explored.
  • Topic: Security, International Law, Sustainable Development Goals, Investment
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jason Thistlethwaite, Daniel Henstra
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Disasters focus attention on hazards, creating a window of opportunity to adopt new risk reduction policies. The news media can shape post-disaster policy debate by directing the attention of policy makers toward problems and solutions. A content analysis of newspaper coverage around two of Canada’s most significant floods reveals that the media are focused more on the short-term impacts of hazards than on the policy problems that underpin flood risk. Broadening the constituency of flood risk management advocates and improving outreach with stakeholders could help to better leverage the focal power of media coverage for disaster management policy change.
  • Topic: Natural Disasters, Media, Flood
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America
  • Author: Andrew Walter
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: This special report explores the role of emerging-country members in the Basel process, a key aspect of global financial standard setting. It argues that this process has been significantly more politically resilient than adjacent aspects of global economic governance, in part because major emerging countries have perceived continuing “intra-club” benefits from participation within it. Most important among these are learning benefits for key actors within these countries, including incumbent political leaders. Although some emerging countries perceive growing influence over the international financial standard-setting process, many implicitly accept limited influence in return for learning benefits, which are valuable because of the complexity of contemporary financial systems and the sustained policy challenges it creates for advanced and emerging countries alike. The importance of learning benefits also differentiates the Basel process from other international economic organizations in which agenda control and influence over outcomes are more important for emerging-country governments. This helps to explain the relative resilience of the Basel process in the context of continued influence asymmetries and the wider fragmentation of global economic governance. The report also considers some reforms that could further improve the position of emerging countries in the process and bolster its perceived legitimacy among them.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Financial Markets, Global Political Economy, Emerging States
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Asia, South America, Australia, North America, Global Focus
  • Author: Kerryn Brent, Will Burns, Jeffrey McGee
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: After more than two decades of UN negotiations, global greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, with current projections indicating the planet is on a pathway to a temperature increase of approximately 3.2°C by 2100, well beyond what is considered a safe level. This has spurred scientific and policy interest in the possible role of solar radiation management and carbon dioxide removal geoengineering activities to help avert passing critical climatic thresholds, or to help societies recover if global temperatures overshoot expectations of safe levels. Marine geoengineering proposals show significant diversity in terms of their purpose, scale of application, likely effectiveness, requisite levels of international cooperation and intensity of environmental risks. This diversity of marine geoengineering activities will likely place significant new demands upon the international law system to govern potential risks and opportunities. International ocean law governance is comprised of a patchwork of global framework agreements, sectoral agreements and customary international law rules that have developed over time in response to disparate issues. These include maritime access, fisheries management, shipping pollution, ocean dumping and marine scientific research. This patchwork of oceans governance contains several bodies of rules that might apply in governing marine geoengineering activities. However, these bodies of rules were negotiated for different purposes, and not specifically for the governance of marine geoengineering. The extent to which this patchwork of rules might contribute to marine geoengineering governance will vary, depending on the purpose of an activity, where it is conducted, which state is responsible for it and the types of impacts it is likely to have. The 2013 amendment to the London Protocol on ocean dumping provides the most developed and specific framework for marine geoengineering governance to date. But the capacity of this amendment to bolster the capacity of international law to govern marine geoengineering activities is limited by some significant shortcomings. Negotiations are under way to establish a new global treaty on conservation of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction, including new rules for area-based management, environmental impact assessments and capacity building/technology transfer. A new agreement has the potential to fill key gaps in the existing patchwork of international law for marine geoengineering activities in high-seas areas. However, it is also important that this new treaty be structured in a way that is not overly restrictive, which might hinder responsible research and development of marine geoengineering in high-seas areas.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, International Law, United Nations, Green Technology, Geoengineering
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Chidi Oguamanam
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The focus of the last two decades (1994–2015) on the world’s Indigenous peoples has highlighted a number of critical issues that are central to Indigenous empowerment and resurgence in the quest for decolonization. The key issues include Indigenous peoples’ full and effective participation in decision making in matters that affect them, the pursuit of culturally sensitive development policies, or what is now termed self-determined development, and effective monitoring or stock-taking mechanisms and processes, not only for planning but also for measuring progress. A combination of factors, including access to information and communications technology amid current Indigenous resurgence and rapidly intensifying Indigenous interest in data sovereignty, places Indigenous peoples in a strong position to further their ongoing investment not only in self-repositioning but also for practical realization of their rights to self-determination.
  • Topic: Development, Decolonization, Indigenous
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America
  • Author: Oonagh Fitzgerald
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: At the December 2017 World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires, 118 WTO members joined forces to launch the Declaration on Trade and Women’s Economic Empowerment. The members undertook to work together to develop best practices on how to apply gender-based analysis to domestic economic policy and international trade policy to encourage female entrepreneurship and financial inclusion, remove barriers to women’s participation in trade, and develop useful gender statistics and research. The Centre for International Governance Innovation undertook this essay series to raise awareness about this initiative and contribute to increasing understanding of how the declaration might contribute to economic empowerment of women.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Data has been hailed by some as “the new oil,” an analogy that captures the excitement and high expectations surrounding the data-driven economy. The success of the world’s most valuable companies (Apple, Google, Facebook and Microsoft) is now underpinned by a sophisticated capacity to collect, organize, control and commercialize stores of data and intellectual property. Big data and its application in artificial intelligence, for example, promises to transform the way we live and work — and will generate considerable wealth in the process. But data’s transformative nature also raises important questions around how the benefits are shared, privacy, public security, openness and democracy, and the institutions that will govern the data revolution. The recent Cambridge Analytica scandal has exposed the vulnerability of democracies to data strategies deployed on platforms such as Facebook to influence the outcomes of the Brexit referendum and the 2016 US presidential race. Any national data strategy will have to address both the economic and non-economic dimensions of harnessing big data. Balances will have to be struck between numerous goals. The essays in this collection, first published online in spring 2018, by leading scholars and practitioners, are grouped into five blocks: the rationale of a data strategy; the role of a data strategy for Canadian industries; balancing privacy and commercial values; domestic policy for data governance; and international policy considerations. An epilogue concludes with some key questions to consider around data governance in the digital age.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Basic Data
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The World Refugee Council (WRC) was created to build on the momentum generated by UN meetings in New York in September 2016, which saw the unanimous adoption of the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, and to develop bold approaches to transform the current refugee system, focusing on the issues of accountability, responsibility sharing and governance, and finance. The WRC offers this interim report, and other discussion and research papers, to raise awareness of these issues and to stimulate ideas for reform that will transform lives.
  • Topic: International Organization, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Stephanie Maclellan, Christian Leuprecht
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: By virtue of the constitutional division of powers into federal and provincial jurisdictions, the governance of the provision of cyber security in Canada — and in comparable federal systems with constitutionally distinct levels of government, such as the United States and Australia — raises a host of policy-making challenges. This special report’s authors ponder the division of authority and responsibility — for cyber, in general, and cyber security, in particular — between public and private actors and different levels of government. Drawing on expertise and insights from business, law, policy and academia, they posit normative models of cyber security governance and gauge the advantages and disadvantages of different approaches. Their contributions illuminate some preliminary lessons for policy makers striving to improve governance outcomes across the cyber domain in Canada.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: John Higginbotham, Jennifer Spence
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The opening of the Arctic Ocean and the forces of globalization it will unleash pose both pressing challenges and exciting opportunities for the largest and most autonomous of the Arctic regions, the North American Arctic (NAA) — Greenland, Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, Yukon and Alaska. However, a broad pan-Arctic cooperation is not always the best approach to address these issues; neither are international interests always well aligned with the priorities of Northerners.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: North America
  • Author: Cyrus Rustomjee
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Debt sustainability among the 30 African low-income countries that previously received debt relief has deteriorated sharply. More than one-third are either back in, or at high risk of, debt distress. Outcomes of the 2017 review of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Debt Sustainability Framework for Low-Income Countries and improvements in country-specific debt sustainability assessments can help strengthen the diagnosis of debt vulnerability and improve the quality of policy recommendations respectively.
  • Topic: Debt, Poverty, Sustainability, IMF
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Jeff Crisp
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Many commentators have suggested that the displacement of people across international borders is caused by a lack of “political will,” and that refugee situations could be averted, mitigated or resolved if only such will existed. However, there has been little serious analysis as to what “political will” means and how to generate and sustain it in a refugee context. This paper is an initial attempt to address these neglected issues. It begins by defining the notion of political will and then outlines the gap between the protection principles formally espoused by states and the ways in which they treat refugees and asylum seekers in practice. The paper then identifies the key ways in which political will can be mobilized on behalf of refugee protection and solutions, focusing on the humanitarian interests of political leaders, the obligations that states have assumed in relation to refugees, the incentives that can be used to encourage compliance with refugee protection principles and the pressure that can be placed on states by other stakeholders. Following an examination of interstate cooperation on refugee issues and the role of the UN Refugee Agency in promoting refugee protection and solutions, the paper concludes with a call for political will to be mobilized in a way that is evidence-based, geographically differentiated, inclusive of other actors, and sensitive to the situation of other people who are on the move and whose rights are also at risk.
  • Topic: Migration, Refugee Crisis, Displacement, Humanitarian Crisis
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jeff Rubin
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Even though US President Donald Trump has pulled the United States out of the Paris Agreement, the country remains much closer to hitting the 2020 emission targets pledged by the previous administration of Barack Obama than Canada is of meeting the targets originally proposed by the government of Stephen Harper. The significant difference in emission performance is the result of the very different trajectories of energy-related emissions in the two countries. In the United States, such emissions have fallen steadily over the last decade as natural gas has usurped coal’s once dominant role in the US power sector. North of the border, oil sands emissions continue to be the fastest-growing source of emissions in Canada as emission-intensive in situ oil sands production continues to increase despite unfavourable economics.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Oil, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: United States, Canada, North America
  • Author: Jason Thistlethwaite, Daniel Henstra
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Private property insurance is an efficient, resilient and legitimate approach to disaster recovery, but flood insurance premiums in high-risk areas are too expensive for many property owners to afford. Comparing flood insurance regimes in other states demonstrates the difficult balance between ensuring coverage is available and keeping it affordable for policyholders. Sustaining property insurance in high-risk areas in Canada requires a partnership whereby governments invest strategically in risk reduction and inform Canadians about the location of high-risk areas, while insurers provide coverage and adjust premiums to reward community-level actions that reduce risk.
  • Topic: Natural Disasters, Maritime, Insurance
  • Political Geography: Canada
  • Author: Robert Muggah, Adriana Erthal Abdenur
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Today, more than 60 percent of all refugees and 80 percent of all internally displaced persons are living in urban areas. While cities are periodically overwhelmed by sudden mass influxes of forced migrants, they are remarkably effective at absorbing populations on the move. With some exceptions, the international community — the UN Refugee Agency, in particular — has been slow to empower cities to assume a greater role in protecting, assisting and promoting durable solutions for refugees, asylum claimants and other groups of concern. New compacts on migration and refugees only tangentially address cities’ pivotal role in shaping the experience of forced migrants. Instead, cities are developing solutions on their own. This paper assesses the characteristics of the urban displacement crisis and identifies challenges and opportunities confronting cities, challenging myths associated with the “refugee burden” and offering preliminary recommendations for stepping up international, national and municipal cooperation.
  • Topic: Migration, United Nations, Refugee Issues, Urban, Asylum
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Eileen Pittaway, Linda Bartolomei
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: This paper addresses the international refugee regime’s failure, despite significant international law and policy developed over the past 30 years, to address the protection needs of refugee women and girls and to promote gender equality in policy and service provision. This failure results in serious human rights abuses and squanders the enormous potential and social capital that women and girls can bring to achieving solutions. Refugee women and girls continue to suffer endemic sexual violence and discrimination and to be marginalized, their voices and capacities ignored. The current negotiation of a global compact on refugees by UN member states, led by the UN Refugee Agency, provides an opportunity to look at the reasons for this failure and its implications for women and girls, men and boys, youth, families and communities, in host countries and countries of asylum. The issue is both humanitarian and political, and includes the contentious debate about whether refugees are “burdens” or “responsibilities,” an argument mainly between the governments of the Global South, who host the majority of refugees, and those of the Global North, who provide resources. These tensions, and ideological positions held by stakeholders, all adversely impact refugee women and girls. The increased movement of refugees and the scarcity of resources have decreased the protection available for all refugees and made the plight of women and girls even more acute. The authors outline seven key barriers to refugee women and girls’ achieving gender equality in policy and practice. They explore the ways in which each barrier exacerbates and compounds the others, and recommend approaches to bring about the structural and operational changes urgently needed.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, United Nations, Refugee Issues, Gender Based Violence , Sexual Violence
  • Political Geography: Global South
  • Author: Ryerson Neal
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Participants from academia and various levels of government gathered in Ottawa to discuss the often underappreciated interplay between the international climate agenda and the global trade system. The trade system has traditionally supported open flows of goods and services by disciplining tariffs, as well as trade-distorting subsidies and regulations. But there is an emerging tension between this approach and the desire of governments to address climate change through potentially trade-distorting domestic regulations and green subsidies. The challenge for policy makers is how to maintain relatively free, undistorted trade, while still giving countries sufficient policy space to implement effective measures to combat climate change.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Regulation, Green Technology, Free Trade
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: John Higginbotham, Jennifer Spence
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The North American Arctic (NAA) is a distinct subregion of the Arctic, with vast territories, extreme environmental conditions, small and remote communities, complex governance and significant resource constraints. There is an urgent need for stronger east-to-west cooperation among regional and national governments, Indigenous organizations, business, academia and other stakeholders to build the region’s prosperity. In February 2018, working closely with the Labrador North and Baffin Regional Chambers of Commerce, the Centre for International Governance Innovation hosted the “CIGI Summit of North American Arctic Leaders” — two special panel discussions exploring ways to foster this cooperation and strengthen dialogue among stakeholders. These panels occurred during the Northern Lights 2018 Business and Cultural Showcase, a four-day event in Ottawa bringing together more than 1,200 participants from across the country and around the world. The first panel featured the political leadership of the NAA; the second brought together experts in marine development and infrastructure. This conference report describes the summit’s key themes, priorities and takeaways.
  • Topic: Environment, Natural Resources, Governance, Maritime, Indigenous
  • Political Geography: Arctic
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Worldwide, the internet and the increasingly important social media and content applications and platforms running on it have assumed an extraordinary and powerful role in people’s lives and become defining features of present-day life. This global digital ecosystem has created immeasurable benefits for free expression, social and cultural exchange, and economic progress. Yet, its impacts, and the easy access to content it provides, have not all been either foreseeable or desirable, as even a cursory scan of the daily news will show. In this environment, the Global Digital Policy Incubator at Stanford University and the Centre for International Governance Innovation, in cooperation with the Department of Canadian Heritage, invited government, business, academic and civil society experts to an international working meeting in March 2018 to explore governance innovations aimed at protecting free expression, diversity of content and voices, and civic engagement in the global digital ecosystem. One of the goals was to bring different players and perspectives together to explore their similarities within a comparative public policy context. This publication reports on the meeting’s discussion as participants sought innovative approaches to deal with both present and emerging challenges, without impeding the creativity and benefits that the internet can bring.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Governance, Digital Economy, Engagement
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: James A. Haley
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: This paper reviews the concept of fiscal space, or the capacity to deploy fiscal stimulus should it be needed; identifies the key factors that determine its size; and discusses considerations relevant to its use. The paper is motivated by the remarkably rapid mobilization of fiscal stimulus in the 2008-2009 global financial crisis, coordinated by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which was followed by the equally remarkable rapid adoption of austerity in key advanced economies. This switch from stimulus to austerity occurred despite the languid pace of the global recovery, in which growth was, as subsequently described by IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, “too low, for too long.” At the time, the change was justified in terms of concerns over large debt burdens and diminished capacity for future action. Curiously, however, the principled voices defending the interests of future generations were silent with respect to more recent tax cuts and the adoption of higher budgeted spending.
  • Topic: Budget, Fiscal Policy, IMF, Stimulus
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Hongying Wang
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Following the global financial crisis, international financial standard-setting bodies granted emerging economies unprecedented representation. Some observers expected the existing system of international financial regulation to be undermined by the larger number of players and their diverging interests from the traditional standard setters. This paper examines whether China, the largest emerging economy, has influenced the international financial regulatory regime. It finds that China has, by and large, been a “rule taker” so far, but points out some important signs of change. It argues that with improved technical capacity, greater stakes in international financial standards and rising structural power, China is poised to increase its participation in the making of international financial standards.
  • Topic: Regulation, Global Political Economy, Fiscal Policy
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Anton Malkin
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: This paper provides a reassessment of Made in China 2025 (MIC 2025) — China’s industrial policy framework aimed at helping the country overcome the much-maligned middle-income trap — in the context of global trade governance. It suggests that China’s industrial policies have been viewed too narrowly — without sufficient attention to longer-term global governance issues — by a large segment of the global business and policy-making community. The paper argues that the general aims of MIC 2025 and the policies that underpin them are not unreasonable, given the increasingly prevalent dilemmas in global trade that China’s leaders are grappling with. These include problems of international development arising from growing global industrial concentration — driven by the growth of the intangible economy — and China’s shrinking access to importing and developing technological components (such as semiconductor chips) that are increasingly characterized as “dual-use” by China’s trading partners. This suggests that resolving the concerns of China’s trading partners regarding China’s industrial policies requires global trade governance reform to ensure an equitable, rules-based global trading order that addresses the legitimate needs of developing and middle-income economies in acquiring foreign-owned technological components and know-how, for the purposes of economic development. The paper concludes by outlining specific recommendations for Canada’s policy makers in improving their economic relationship with China in the context of MIC 2025.
  • Topic: Development, Industrial Policy, Science and Technology, Governance, Free Trade
  • Political Geography: China, Canada, Asia, North America
  • Author: Aldo Chicop, Meinhard Doelle, Ryan Gauvin
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: This report investigates the international law and policy challenges to the determination of the international shipping industry’s contribution to climate change mitigation efforts through the International Maritime Organization (IMO), a specialized agency of the United Nations and the competent international organization with respect to shipping in international law. The report sets out the international legal framework that serves as the context for the IMO initial strategy, the challenge of regulating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from international shipping, and the process and issues in determining the industry’s “fair share” of mitigation efforts and potential legal pathways. The report concludes with general, policy and legal considerations that have a bearing on the current and possible future directions of the nascent IMO strategy. General considerations include the observation that the complexity and uncertainty underscoring the development of the IMO strategy call for a long-term planning instrument that is integrated and systemic in scope, flexible in approach and adaptive in application. As other regimes and sectors progress in developing and delivering on mitigation efforts, care should be exercised in considering lessons and tools from other sectors for application to shipping, given its uniqueness and that other sector experiences emanate from different contexts and considerations. Given continuing significant differences on GHG issues in the IMO, it is vital for the long-term IMO strategy to be advanced and maintained on the basis of the culture of consensus that has helped shape the IMO as a successful regulatory body.
  • Topic: International Law, United Nations, Policy Implementation, IMF, Shipping
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Sarah Miller
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Generally speaking, those who study forced migration and those who advocate for solutions to forced migration spend little time studying xenophobia. This paper has aimed to address that gap by examining xenophobia in the context of refugees, first by considering definitions of xenophobia vis-à-vis other terms, including racism and nativism, and next by looking at the roots of xenophobia, which include not only political, social and economic grievances and uncertainty but also competition for scarce resources and the belief that one’s own nation-state or group is superior to others. The paper then reviews some expressions of xenophobic rhetoric and actions, and their impacts, before considering key issues and challenges in overcoming xenophobia. Looking at successful attempts in combatting xenophobia provides lessons for those engaged in research and advocacy. Recommended actions include holding governments more accountable for their failures to protect people’s rights; identifying and fighting against policies that incentivize xenophobic behaviour; recognizing that pro-migrant programming can backfire; identifying political actors who promulgate xenophobia and choosing interventions carefully; and seeking greater collaboration and creativity among different actors working to combat xenophobia. The use of localized approaches emerges from the literature as particularly important. The backdrop of the UN Refugee Agency’s global compacts on refugees and for migration makes the moment ripe for further discussion on how to reduce xenophobia and increase responsibility sharing in refugee situations. Likewise, the prominence of political regimes that draw on xenophobic rhetoric and even encourage xenophobic actions means that finding new ways to reduce xenophobia is more important than ever.
  • Topic: Migration, United Nations, Refugee Issues, Xenophobia
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Cally Jordan
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: As a response to multiple financial shocks, international standards have disappointed. Consensus seeking has stifled innovation, perpetuating outdated regulatory concepts at a time of rapid market change. Markets are complex and idiosyncratic; they may not be receptive to efforts toward producing regulatory harmonization and convergence. Alternatives to international standard setting should be explored. Possibilities include fora for experimentation in capital markets regulation, the creation of a set of variegated model capital markets laws and a “restatement”-like treatise.
  • Topic: Markets, Financial Crisis, Regulation, Capitalism
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Gregory Makoff
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The recent rise in sovereign debt litigation in the US Federal Court System is an unintended consequence of the US Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976 related to an unanticipated shift of the international sovereign debt market from a narrow loan market to a global bond market. Collective action clauses (CACs) — developed in 2003 and “enhanced” in 2014 — are, in theory, an effective contract-based tool to facilitate orderly debt restructurings and control the holdout creditor problem. However, compliance by countries is voluntary and may not be sustained. To assure sustained compliance and to reduce the future incidence of holdout creditor litigation, the US Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act should be amended to provide that only bonds with enhanced CACs will be subject to suit and enforcement in the US courts.
  • Topic: Debt, Legal Theory , Credit, Global Bond Market
  • Political Geography: United States, North America
  • Author: Markus Gehring
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Economic, environmental and other international regimes are jointly facing a wicked climate problem. Climate change impacts on human activity and ecosystems have the potential to jeopardize attaining shared goals of these different regimes, and yet can only be addressed by overcoming the division and occasional conflict between their different stakeholders and areas of focus. Discussions have begun in the hallways on how trade law could best be leveraged to bring the international community together to prevent climate-related harms. This paper argues that World Trade Organization (WTO) fisheries subsidies negotiations should be a priority area for those practitioners and researchers building links between trade and climate law. It is submitted that successful fisheries subsidies reform will directly contribute to the implementation of the Paris Agreement and to the delivery of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13 (“Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts”), given the important synergies that exist between the transformation of fisheries subsidies and climate mitigation and adaptation. Furthermore, fisheries subsidies negotiations are of crucial importance for international climate law because they can provide a case study to learn from and increase chances of success with fossil fuel subsidy reform. This paper provides a brief historical overview of trade law negotiations aiming to reduce and reform fisheries subsidies, and shows the important synergies that exist between reforming fisheries subsidies and implementing the Paris Agreement as well as the SDGs. The paper then extracts five drivers for success that can be observed from the current process of fisheries subsidies reform: leadership of key countries and of the WTO Secretariat itself; meticulous academic, scientific and policy background analysis; commitment by civil society and the private sector; the development of alternatives to those subsidies that encourage overfishing; and inter-regime learning. Lastly, the paper discusses the transferability of these drivers for success to prevent climate harms and to address more general challenges encountered in both the climate and trade regimes.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, World Trade Organization, Maritime, Fishing
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Steven L. Schwarcz, Maziar Peihani
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Excessive corporate risk taking by systemically important financial institutions (SIFIs) is widely seen as one of the primary causes of the global financial crisis. In response, an array of international reforms, under the auspices of the Group of Twenty’s (G20’s) standard-setting bodies, has been adopted to try to curb that risk taking. However, these reforms only impose substantive requirements, such as capital adequacy, and cannot by themselves prevent future systemic collapses. To complete the G20 financial reform agenda, SIFI managers should have a duty to society (a public governance duty) not to engage their firms in excessive risk taking that leads to systemic externalities. Regulating governance in this way can help supplement the ongoing regulatory reforms and reduce the likelihood of systemic harm to the public.
  • Topic: Financial Crisis, Reform, Regulation, Risk, Financial Institutions
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Zachary Folger-Laronde, Olaf Weber
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: As the impacts of climate change continue to grow in severity, focus has turned toward the climate change implications associated with the products and services of the financial sector. It is estimated that the indirect carbon emissions, which are caused in the financial sector by borrowers, investees and financed projects, are 50 to 200 times larger than the direct impacts of the financial sector. It is evident that a decarbonization strategy is needed for more than the fossil fuel industry and will require significant changes to most economic sectors. This added focus toward the financial sector has led to demands for enhanced disclosure of climate change information with regard to financed clients and projects. However, there remains limited guidance in how the financial sector should disclose its carbon performance to its shareholders and stakeholders. This paper reviews the highlights from an empirical study that investigated the types of carbon performance voluntarily disclosed by banks and the type of carbon impact emissions disclosed. Policy recommendations are made that aim to facilitate and standardize disclosures.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Finance, Fossil Fuels, Carbon Emissions
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Sarah Morales, Joshua Nicholas
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has publicly shared a vision of a plurinational state brought about through truth and reconciliation. He has expressed hope that Canadians are ready to rectify past wrongs and undo the legacy of colonialism by using the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN Declaration) as “a way forward” to achieve self-determination, dignity and respect for Indigenous peoples. Many have questioned the government’s commitment to reconciliation built upon nation-to-nation and government-to-government relationships. Governmental support of major development projects such as the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion, against strong opposition from some Indigenous voices, has created skepticism. Many Indigenous leaders have expressed concerns about how changes to a number of laws currently making their way through Parliament will impact Indigenous people, and whether their concerns are being fully heard by government. With respect to the government’s rights recognition and implementation framework, some Indigenous communities argue that the focus should be on the affirmation rather than the mere recognition of rights that are already enshrined in the UN Declaration. This paper looks at the history of Indigenous treaty making in Canada, the history of the courts’ statements regarding Crown sovereignty, underlying title and legislative power, and how the UN Declaration might lead Canada and Indigenous peoples toward genuine nation-to-nation relationships.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, United Nations, Colonialism, Indigenous
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America