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  • Author: Teressa Juzwiak, Elaine McGregor, Melissa Siegel
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This policy brief considers how businesses and governments in global cities contribute to the integration of migrant and refugee populations, either through outreach, specialized programmes, the provision of services, or targeted funding of non-governmental organizations (NGOs); and to what extent these contributions can be deepened or expanded. The research involved the study of eight cities around the world representing a diversity of immigration experiences: Auckland (New Zealand), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Chicago (USA), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Lisbon (Portugal), Nairobi (Kenya), Rotterdam (The Netherlands), and São Paulo (Brazil).
  • Topic: Non-Governmental Organization, Immigration, Governance
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Malaysia, Brazil, Lisbon, Portugal, New Zealand, Chicago, Kuala Lumpur
  • Author: Shyama V. Ramani, Ajay Thutupalli, Sutapa Chattopadhyay, Veena Ravichandran, Tamás Medovarszki
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Women entrepreneurs in the informal economy need business engagements with other women (and men) that offer 'spaces' for dialogue to learn and build business capabilities. While formalization of entrepreneurial activity is favourable under some circumstances, it can be detrimental under others, necessitating a case-by-case evaluation. Many top-down actions for women's empowerment in the informal sector are only effective in gender-neutral economic development programmes. In this Policy Brief, we argue that although policy interventions may be favourable, they are neither necessary nor sufficient for change, as successful women role models are often the best agents for sweeping change.
  • Topic: Development, Diplomacy, Gender Issues, International Trade and Finance
  • Publication Date: 02-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The multi-billion dollar illegal wildlife trade is a global crisis that not only threatens the conservation of protected species but also has deep implications for peace and security in nations across the world. As wildlife trafficking becomes more organized and illegal trade of wildlife continues to flourish on the ground and in cyberspace, there is an urgent need for a concerted international effort to gather and share wildlife crime information among law enforcement and policymakers, empowering them to stem the tide of wildlife trafficking. There are several good examples out of such efforts, primarily by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and INTERPOL, to combat wildlife poaching and transboundary illegal wildlife trade. At a policy level, the formation of the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC) can be considered as one of the major achievements in recent times, where CITES, INTERPOL, World Bank, UN Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) and World Customs Organization have come together as one unit to address the issue. The good work done by civil society, including WWF, TRAFFIC, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) and member organizations of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Species Survival Network (SSN) including grass root NGOs, is noteworthy as well. Yet, combating wildlife crime remains a big challenge. The collective efforts of the conservation community and governments are still unable to check the behaviour of poaching syndicates and organized criminals. We remain far behind in finding an adequate response to the crisis.
  • Topic: Crime, Globalization, International Law, International Organization, Natural Resources, Law Enforcement
  • Author: Augustin K. Fosu
  • Publication Date: 03-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: What can the less well-off developing countries learn from the “successes” of other developing countries? This Policy Brief highlights successful development strategies and lessons from in-depth case studies of select countries from the developing world. The coverage includes East Asia and the Pacific, the emerging Asian giants, sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East and North Africa, along with respective regional syntheses. Although countries' experiences are not necessarily replicable, the recurrent themes across countries and regions provide the appropriate connectedness for a comprehensive global perspective on development strategies and lessons.
  • Topic: Development, Emerging Markets, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East, Israel, Latin America
  • Author: Madoka Futamura
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Countries under transition from war to peace or from an authoritarian to a democratic regime face fundamental political and social transformations and difficulties in emerging from a problematic past. The transition presents challenges but also opportunities for countries to reconsider their death penalty policies. It is in such a context that some countries abolish, retain or even actively resort to the death penalty to tackle transitional needs. Those who are working for abolition of the death penalty need to go beyond the human rights approach and take a more holistic approach to understand the fragile and complex local situation and needs in which the death penalty becomes a highly political issue.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Democratization, Development, Human Rights, Political Economy, Prisons/Penal Systems, Reform
  • Author: Kei Otsuki, Weena Gera, David Mungai
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Since the 2000s, African cities have witnessed a series of interventions to improve water and sanitation. This policy brief outlines key lessons learned from the intervention experience, drawing on the UNU research project Multi-level Urban Governance for Total Sanitation (2011-2013) under the Education for Sustainable Development in Africa (ESDA) Project. It highlights the importance of multi-actor approaches for promoting: (1) an institutional framework to coordinate civil society organizations, community-based organizations, and the state agencies across levels; (2) policy recognition of water and sanitation as socially embedded infrastructure with gendered dimensions; and (3) the relevance of scientific research and university education to ongoing policy interventions.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Health, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Danielle Resnick
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: When, why and how has foreign aid facilitated, or hindered, democracy in recipient countries? Focusing on sub-Saharan Africa, this policy brief examines the impact of foreign aid on supporting transitions from one-party to multi-party regimes, preventing democratic breakdown and the erosion of civil liberties, enhancing vertical and horizontal accountability, and enabling competitive political party systems. Particular attention is given to the trade-offs and complementarities between different types of foreign aid, namely democracy assistance and economic development aid. Select policy recommendations are offered to improve aid effectiveness at bolstering democratic trajectories within the region.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Development, Economics, Human Rights, Political Economy, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Claudia Luepschen, Ruediger Kuehr, Federico Magalini
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: ZeroWIN (Towards Zero Waste in Industrial Networks) is a five-year project (2009-2014) under the European Commission's Seventh Research Framework Programme. The ZeroWIN project has developed effective strategies for waste prevention through industrial networks. Ten industrial case studies in the automotive, construction, electronics and photovoltaic industries form the core of the project and exchange energy, water and materials in such a way that waste from one industry becomes raw material for another. This brief suggests what can be done to advance the implementation of industrial networks in practice, based on first outcomes of the ZeroWIN project. The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme FP7 2007-2013 under grant agreement n° 226752
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Health, Industrial Policy, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Koko Warner, Tamer Afifi, Walter Kälin, Scott Leckie, Beth Ferris, Susan F. Martin, David Wrathall
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The needs of affected people vary across types of human mobility: migration, displacement and planned relocation. Climate policy should draw on state-of-the-art knowledge and experience to distinguish between migration, displacement and planned relocation to improve the resilience of affected countries and communities.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Migration
  • Author: Nadia Bergamini, Robert Blasiak, Pablo Eyzaguirre, Kaoru Ichikawa, Dunja Mijatovic, Fumiko Nakao, Suneetha M. Subramanian
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The following policy report constitutes an important supplement to a set of 20 indicators for resilience in socio-ecological production landscapes (SEPLs) that was developed over the course of joint collaboration between Bioversity International and the United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS). The indicators were disseminated widely in pamphlet form for the first time in March 2012. Subsequently, a need was identified for sharing a more in-depth overview of the considerations that went into creating this list of indicators as well as the outcomes of initial field-testing.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Environment, Sociology
  • Author: Philip Verwimp, Wim Naudé, Tilman Brück
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Although the impacts of violent conflict on investment, production, incomes and inequality have been widely studied on an aggregate level, comparatively less is known about the more diverse impacts of such conflict at the micro (particularly firm) level. Understanding such impacts can improve policies to mitigate the human and financial costs of violent conflict in developing countries. This policy brief discusses lessons from recent studies to address this gap.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Economics, International Trade and Finance, War
  • Author: Sefano Burchi, Pasquale Steduto, Eelco van Beek, Patrick MacQuarrie, Anton Earle, Anders Jägerskog, David Coates et al
  • Publication Date: 03-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This Brief offers a working definition of water security developed from contributions made by the broad range of organizations, agencies, programmes and institutions that form UN-Water. Through this Brief, UN-Water aims to capture the constantly evolving dimensions of water-related issues, offering a holistic outlook on challenges under the umbrella of water security. It highlights the main challenges to be addressed, the role water security plays in policy agendas, and possible options for addressing water security challenges.
  • Topic: Security, Health, Natural Resources, Water
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: Wim Naudé
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Some states lack the capability and/or the willingness to progressively promote the shared development of their citizens and are particularly vulnerable to external shocks and internal conflicts. They have been described as "fragile states". The poor governance and lack of state capabilities in around 45 fragile states pose a threat to global security and development. Effective international partnerships are necessary to pull them out of low-development–high-conflict traps. The "New Deal on Fragile States" announced on 30 November 2011 at the Fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan by the g7+ (see "The International Dialogue on Peace-building and State-building and the g7+" Box) is the most recent initiative to foster such partnerships.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Political Economy, Terrorism, Foreign Aid, Fragile/Failed State
  • Author: Kei Otsuki, Shimako Takahashi
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Research capacity development at the higher education level in order to improve environmental planning and management has been considered invaluable in ensuring the sustainable development of developing countries. In least developed countries (LDCs), such as Cambodia, people are especially vulnerable to environmental changes and advanced knowledge is urgently needed to enhance their socio-ecological resilience; however, governments lack both the financial and human resources needed to ensure adequate academic infrastructure for knowledge generation and dissemination. Furthermore, the international aid community has rarely placed emphasis on investing in higher education in developing countries; instead, producing basically skilled labourers through primary and secondary education was considered more effective in bringing return on investment and enhancing economic development. Neither national nor international development agendas have so far resulted in a substantial commitment to research capacity development of academic institutions in LDCs.
  • Topic: Development, Education, Environment
  • Political Geography: Cambodia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Wim Naudé, Adam Szirmai, Micheline Goedhuys
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Nobody can be left in any doubt as to the importance of innovation for prosperity upon reading that “people living in the first decade of the twentieth century did not know modern dental and medical equipment, penicillin, bypass operations, safe births, control of genetically transmitted diseases, personal computers, compact discs, television sets, automobiles, opportunities for fast and cheap worldwide travel, affordable universities, central heating, air conditioning . . . technological change has transformed the quality of our lives.”
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Globalization, Markets
  • Author: Albrecht Schnabel, Vanessa Farr, Henri Myrttinen
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Every day, small arms and light weapons (salw) kill, maim, wound and threaten millions of adults and children. The victims are combatants and civilians in war zones or communities in degraded “peacetime” environments characterized by large-scale criminal or political violence, and can also be found in “societies at peace” where SALW may be used in cases of domestic violence or shooting sprees. Due to their widespread availability, mobility and ease of use, prolific SALW play a significant role in maintaining social dislocation, destabilization, insecurity and crime in the build-up to war, in wartime and in the aftermath of violent conflict. Small arms are misused within domestic settings as well as in public spaces, and they affect everyone in the community regardless of sex or age.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Arms Control and Proliferation, Gender Issues
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: Luc Soete, Alexis Habiyaremye
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Before the current global recession, many resource-rich African countries were recording unprecedented levels of growth due to a raw material price boom. However, the collapse in raw material prices and the ensuing severe economic difficulties have again exposed the vulnerability of these countries' natural resource export-focussed economic structures. In this research brief, we describe how Africa's abundance of natural resources attracted disruptive and predatory foreign forces that have hindered innovation-based growth and economic diversification by delaying the accumulation of sufficient stocks of human capital. We suggest that for their long-term prosperity, resource-rich African countries shift their strategic emphasis from natural to human resources and technological capabilities needed to transform those natural resources into valuable goods and services to compete in the global market.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Industrial Policy, Global Recession, Natural Resources, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, India
  • Author: Shahrbanou Tadjbakhsh, Edward Newman, Madoka Futamura
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: In recent decades, international peacebuilding and reconstruction after civil wars have managed to promote stability and contain conflict in many regions around the world, ending violence and enabling communities to rebuild their lives and societies. However, the peacebuilding record indicates that there are problems related to the effectiveness and legitimacy of peacebuilding, especially related to the promotion of liberal democracy, market reform and state institutions. This brief considers these limitations and argues that a new human security-based approach may offer insights for a more sustainable form of peacebuilding.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Human Welfare, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan
  • Author: Nicholas Turner, Nanako Otsuki
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Genocide and ethnic cleansing have all- too-clearly demonstrated the dangers of failing to protect minority groups. A “kin-state” with strong ethnic, cultural, religious or linguistic links to a minority population abroad, may be well-placed to assist in its protection. But unilateral interference by kin-states can raise tensions with host-states, endangering international peace and security.
  • Topic: International Relations, Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights, Nationalism, Treaties and Agreements, United Nations, Minorities
  • Author: Wim Naudé
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This policy brief provides some fresh perspectives on the relationship between entrepreneurship and development, and considers policy design issues. It reports on the UNU-WIDER two-year research project “Promoting Entrepreneurial Capacity”, which aimed to understand whether and how entrepreneurship matters for development, how it could derail development, how entrepreneurs function in high growth as well as in conflict environments, and how female entrepreneurship differs across countries at various stages of development.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, Third World
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, Burundi
  • Author: Sandeep Kapur, Suma Athreye
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The last two decades have seen a significant rise in the internationalization of firms from developing economies. In addition to their growing participation in international trade, a number of leading emerging economies are contributing to growing outflows of foreign direct investment (FDI) and cross-border mergers and acquisitions. According to the 2008 World Investment Report, outward flows of FDI from developing countries rose from about US$6 billion between 1989 and 1991 to US$225 billion in 2007. As a percentage of total global outflows, the share of developing countries grew from 2.7% to nearly 13.0% during this period.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Globalization, International Political Economy, Markets, Foreign Direct Investment, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States, China, India
  • Author: Wim Naudé
  • Publication Date: 08-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: T HE ECONOMIC DOWNTURN AND RECESSION, WHICH spread across the globe following the US sub-prime mortgage crisis in September 2008, has become the dominant news topic of the past year. One year into the crisis it has become clear that the paradigm for international development has changed irrevocably. With leadership, moral authority and the capacity of the West diminishing, developing countries' recovery and future growth will critically depend on their own initiatives and solutions.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Wim Naudé, Augustin Kwasi Fosu
  • Publication Date: 08-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: THE GLOBAL ECONOMIC CRISIS OF 2008 HAS INDUCED two negative external shocks in African countries. The first is a financial shock with the availability of credit declining and the cost of international credit increasing (a financial crisis); and the second is a shock relating to the demand for and price of exports, as most of Africa's important markets went into recession and commodity prices tumbled (an economic crisis).
  • Topic: Globalization, Poverty, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Monika Kruesmann, Martina Timmermann
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Women represent the great majority of the world's poor. With this poverty comes a range of well-documented problems: low educational attainment; low income and earning potential; inferior social power, status and influence compared with men; and importantly, poor health outcomes for both women and their children. High rates of maternal mortality and morbidity remain apparently intractable problems in many countries, particularly developing countries. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that every minute, at least one woman dies from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth; and 20 more suffer injury, infection or disease.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Health, Treaties and Agreements, United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Paul A. David, Can Huang, Luc Soete, Adriaan van Zon
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The current economic crisis has tended to sap the policy momentum that had developed during 2006 and 2007 behind public R programmes and institutional initiatives to expand the portfolio of affordable technological means of controlling global warming. This is unfortunate, since the international negotiations about concerted actions among the leading industrial countries to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have so far proceeded very slowly – too slowly, considering both the global nature of the problem and the size of the stakes involved. The initial “bargaining” stance taken by some important players, notably Japan and the United States, was in some respects disappointing in that it appears to fall far short of the EU member countries' endorsement in December 2008 of the package of EC directives designed to activate its “20-20-20” renewable energy strategy – a 20 per cent reduction of GHG emissions, and 20 per cent of energy consumption from renewable sources, by the year 2020. While there have been more promising developments recently, in the convergence towards that target in some of the legislation introduced in the US Congress, and the Obama administration's issuance of US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulatory directives requiring the use of the latest emissions control technologies on new and retrofitted electricity power plants, the outcome of the Copenhagen conference in December 2009 remains uncomfortably uncertain.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, International Cooperation, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Vesselin Popovski, Johanna Stratton, Kalle Huebner
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: A society emerging from war or authoritarianism seeks to reckon with past human rights atrocities that, if not addressed, can threaten the state's legitimacy and democratic foundations. It is in the interests of sustainable peacebuilding and democratic consolidation to promote reconciliation and healing, and foster human rights and the rule of law. In order to achieve such a transformation over the long term, the organizational strategies, political styles and mechanisms used to consolidate democracy are of critical importance and deserve closer comparative analysis with the aim to provide valuable lessons for newly democratizing societies.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Law
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Latin America
  • Author: Guanghua Wan
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Should growth or inequality be prioritized in the design and execution of development policies ? An oft cited paper by Dollar and Kraay of the World Bank advocates growth as the primary objective of development. Opponents argue that growth may not be pro-poor, thus growth alone is insufficient for poverty reduction—the ultimate goal of development. They instead emphasize redistribution as an important policy instrument. From a practical point of view, most policies involve trade-offs between efficiency (i.e., growth) and equity, at least in the short-run. With this in mind, development strategists and policymakers face the challenge or dilemma: what should be prioritized in the design and execution of development policies?
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Vesselin Popovski, Nicholas Turner
  • Publication Date: 05-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The 1999 NATO armed intervention over Kosovo was illegal under international law, but widely regarded as legitimate. The 2003 US invasion of Iraq was both illegal and illegitimate, though unilateral attempts were made to legitimize it, using the Kosovo precedent. The sanctions against Iraq, preceding the 2003 invasion, were legal, but seen by many as illegitimate. These examples are symptomatic of a wider disconnect between legality and legitimacy which affects many areas of international life. Legality is not the only criteria for determining acceptable state behaviour. Other criteria—humanitarian, ethical and political—play a significant role in modern international relations. Ignorance of international law has serious negative consequences, but so has the blind reliance on international law, detached from human aspirations and actual circumstances.
  • Topic: International Law
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Kosovo
  • Author: Vesselin Popovski, Nicholas Turner, Thomas Karl Wagner, Greg Lowden
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This policy brief examines the context, development and future of the human rights regime in the Americas —a region where people in many states have suffered brutal repression on a massive scale. It argues that the changing nature of human rights violations in Latin America demands a refocusing of international and domestic policies, building state capacity and improving the implementation of judicial reforms. The significant progress achieved in protection of civil and political rights should inspire and guide strategies to promote economic, social and cultural rights.
  • Topic: Democratization, Human Rights, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Basudeb Guha-Khasnobis
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: World hunger is prevalent yet receives relatively less attention compared to poverty. The MDGs have taken a step to address this with the resolution of halving the number of starving people in the world by 2015. A substantial and sustainable reduction in hunger will also greatly improve the chances of meeting the MDGs related to poverty reduction, education, child mortality, maternal health, and disease. Hunger though is not a straightforward problem of producing enough to feed the world's population; it has many cross-cutting dimensions. This study addresses a combination of economic, social, and political perspectives, drawing upon academic research of the economic factors and the experiences of international organizations and civil society.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Development, International Organization
  • Author: Obijiofor Aginam, Christina Hansen
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Consumer trust of food producers and the governments that regulate them is in notable decline throughout the world, due to frequent and recurring instances of food contamination. Yet consumer trust is pivotal in order to sustain the increasingly globalized nature of food production, processing, and distribution in the international trading relations of states. With an increasing population, rapid urbanization and rise of the middle class, the demand for processed food is increasing significantly, and thus presents inherent risks for food safety and sustainability. The challenge of ensuring effective global food safety standards is inexorably linked to the progressive trade liberalization agenda of the World Trade Organization (WTO). In a globalized world, food-borne outbreaks, like air-borne infectious diseases, disregard the geopolitical boundaries of sovereign states. Food products grown in one part of the world, because of advancements in food production trends and burgeoning international trade between states, are now easily transported to other regions of the world. International trade norms and policies often focus predominantly on traded goods and services, especially “Northern” access to “Southern” markets. Founded on the free trade agenda of market access, and driven by the principles of “National Treatment” and “Most Favoured Nation”, the international trading system—with nation-states as the dominant actors—is asymmetrical in nature. Very often, the international trading system does not effectively address the many fundamental and pressing issues related to environmental degradation, pesticide use and chemical dependency common in modern agricultural practices.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Globalization, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: Mark McGillivray, Wim Naudé, Amelia U. Santos-Paulino
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Many of the world's poorest countries can be described as “fragile states” wherein governments cannot or will not provide an environment for households to reduce, mitigate or cope with poverty and other risks to well-being. Many of these states are in conflict or just emerging from conflict. The UNU-WIDER project “Fragility and Development” explored state fragility and its relationship to household vulnerability, noting that there is a lack of research on the economic dimensions of conflict, aid and development in fragile states. This research brief provides a summary of the various contributions made by this project, including case studies on Iraq, Kosovo, Palestine and Somalia. It also addresses a number of pertinent questions. When are states fragile? What are the costs that fragile states impose on their people and the international community? Should the sovereignty of fragile states be reconsidered? And how can aid flows to fragile states be made more effective?
  • Topic: Government, Politics, Post Colonialism, Political Theory
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Palestine, Kosovo, Somalia
  • Author: Mark McGillivray, Wim Naudé, Amelia U. Santos-Paulino
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The first Millennium Development Goal aims to halve the number of people in the world living in extreme poverty. In this research brief, emanating from the UNU-WIDER project on “Fragility and Development”, the premise is that we should also be concerned about households which are vulnerable to poverty. This includes those who have little likelihood of escaping from poverty and those who are at risk of falling into poverty in the future. Household vulnerability to poverty is affected by, and affects, vulnerability in other dimensions and levels, such as the vulnerability of a country or region to natural hazards and macro-economic shocks. To address household vulnerability in developing countries requires an understanding of the concept and nature of vulnerability, its measurement and its application. Therefore, this research brief asks what is vulnerability? How can vulnerability be measured? How should households, governments and development agencies respond to vulnerability?
  • Topic: Development, Political Economy, Post Colonialism, Poverty, Third World
  • Author: Vesselin Popovski, Nicholas Turner, Obijiofor Aginam
  • Publication Date: 08-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Economic development is essential for every country but it is especially crucial for those countries in the aftermath of protracted armed confl ict, needing peacebuilding, recovery and reconstruction. Development aid alone cannot transform damaged economies, and it is here that foreign direct investment (FDI) can be a valuable tool to revitalize industries, rebuild infrastructures and eventually even eliminate the need for aid.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Development, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Political Economy, Third World
  • Author: Vesselin Popovski, G Shabbir Cheema, Cameron Lowry, Mark Notaras
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Scholars and development practitioners recognize the centrality of governance capacity to achieve sustainable peace and development objectives, including the eradication of extreme poverty, access to services and livelihoods, promotion of economic growth, environmental protection and gender equality among others. With these in view, developing countries are emphasizing the need to improve governance systems and processes to promote people-centered sustainability. The United Nations, development banks, bilateral donors and private sector foundations have been supporting these efforts through governance assistance programs.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Government, Political Theory
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: René Kemp
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Policymakers are constantly searching for ways to reconcile the goals of economic growth and environmental protection. Underlying this is the belief that the introduction of cleaner technologies and more efficient environmental management processes could help reduce the costs of environmental protection and contribute to growth and jobs.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Globalization, International Political Economy, Markets, Political Economy
  • Author: Vesselin Popovski, G Shabbir Cheema, Cameron Lowry, Mark Notaras
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Scholars and development practitioners recognize the centrality of governance capacity to achieve sustainable peace and development objectives, including the eradication of extreme poverty, access to services and livelihoods, promotion of economic growth, environmental protection and gender equality among others. With these in view, developing countries are emphasizing the need to improve governance systems and processes to promote people-centered sustainability. The United Nations, development banks, bilateral donors and private sector foundations have been supporting these efforts through governance assistance programs.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Politics, United Nations, Non State Actors, Governance
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Vesselin Popovski, Nicholas Turner, Obijiofor Aginam
  • Publication Date: 11-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: It has become increasingly clear that economic development and poverty reduction can significantly reduce the incidence of conflict. This is of particular importance for countries recovering from violent conflicts, considering they are often among the poorest even compared with other developing countries, and are extremely vulnerable to slipping back into violence.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Development, Third World, Foreign Aid, Infrastructure, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Author: Gil Loescher, James Milner, Edward Newman, Gary Troeller
  • Publication Date: 05-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Despite the need for a multifaceted approach to protracted refugee situations, the overall response of policy makers remains compartmentalised. Security, development and humanitarian issues tend to be discussed in different forums, each with their own institutional arrangements and independent policy approaches. Meaningful comprehensive solutions for protracted refugee situations must overcome these divisions and instead incorporate the recent policy initiatives of a wide range of actors. This type of broader engagement—with a catalytic role by UNHCR—cannot occur without the sustained engagement of all branches of the UN system. In this way, the establishment of the UN Peacebuilding Commission provides both a timely opportunity and a possible institutional context for this type of cross-sectoral approach.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Disaster Relief, Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: Erik Thorbecke, Machiko Nissanke
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: While the economic opportunities offered by globalization can be large, a question is often raised as to whether the actual distribution of gains is fair, in particular, whether the poor benefit less than proportionately from globalization and could under some circumstances be hurt by it. This Policy Brief summarizes and examines the various channels and transmission mechanisms, such as greater openness to trade and foreign investment, economic growth, effects on income distribution, technology transfer and labour migration, through which the process of globalization affects different dimensions of poverty in the developing world.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Globalization, Poverty
  • Author: Mark McGillivray, David Clark
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This Policy Brief is an outcome of the UNU-WIDER research project 'Social Development Indicators'. The overall aim of the project was to provide insights into how human well-being might be better conceptualized and, in particular, measured, by reviewing various concepts and measures and then offering recommendations for future practice and research. This Policy Brief outlines a contextual background to the project, by introducing some key concepts and measures used in assessing achieved well-being, especially at the national level. Highlighted are some of the best known and most widely used well-being measures. The Policy Brief then provides an overview of the five edited volumes that have emerged from the project, summarizing some of the main conclusions.
  • Topic: International Relations, Demographics, Development, Poverty
  • Author: Ramesh Thakur
  • Publication Date: 07-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: In this policy brief, based on the book with the same title, Ramesh Thakur argues that Iraq confi rms that, as with terrorism, a war of aggression is an unacceptable tactic no matter how just the cause. What was meant as an awesome demonstration of limitless American might and willpower turned out to prove the limits of American power in defeating even a small band of insurgents fighting urban warfare with their own bodies as the primary weapon-delivery system. The fallout with respect to Iran suggests that the United Nations cannot contemptuously be brushed aside as irrelevant and disposable in one crisis, only to be lifted out of the rubbish bin of history, dusted off and put to use in another.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Wim Naudé, Marianne Matthee
  • Publication Date: 08-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The success of Africa's exports, as well as its spatial development, depends on lowering transport costs. In this Policy Brief, we address a number of pertinent questions on transport costs in Africa, such as 'what are transport costs?', 'do transport costs matter for trade?', 'how important are transport costs in practice?', and 'why are Africa's transport costs so high?' We present a case study of the firm location decisions of exporters in South Africa to illustrate the significance in particular of domestic transport costs for manufactured exports. The message from this Policy Brief is that Africa's international transport costs are significantly higher than that of other regions, and its domestic transport costs could be just as significant. Moreover we show how domestic transport costs influence the location, the quantity, and the diversity of manufactured exports. Various policy options to reduce transport costs in Africa are discussed.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Ha-Joon Chang
  • Publication Date: 08-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The volume Institutional Change and Economic Development fills some important gaps in our understanding of the relationship between institutional changes and economic development. It does so by developing new discourses on the 'technology of institution building' and by providing detailed case studies—historical and more recent— of institution building. It is argued that functional multiplicity, the importance of informal institutions, unintended consequences, and intended 'perversion' of institutions all imply that the orthodox recipe of importing 'best practice' formal institutions does not work. While denying the existence of universal formulas, the volume distills some general principles of institutions building from theoretical explorations and case studies.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: Vesselin Popovski, Nicholas Turner
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Decisions over the use of force are the most significant and dangerous that leaders must take, both morally and in terms of achieving their goals. Consideration of the reasons that can justify behaviour resulting in the elimination of human life is as philosophical and ethical as it is political and legal. In the context of exponential increases in the destructiveness of war, particularly with the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, such consideration assumes an even greater significance.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Peace Studies, Religion
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo
  • Author: Carolyn Bull
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: For international actors seeking to consolidate peace and democracy in disrupted states, the importance of establishing the rule of law is well-recognised. Yet this goal has proven frustratingly elusive. In the hostile intervention environment of the post-conflict disrupted state, international actors in the UN system and elsewhere have struggled to build legitimate state structures to redress disputes peacefully. They have found it even more challenging to instil principles of governance that promote accountability to the law, protect against abuse and generate trust in the state. This brief examines the difficulties faced by UN peace operations in attempting to build the rule of law, with reference to UN transitional administrations in Cambodia, Kosovo and East Timor.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Development, Government, International Law, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Kosovo, Cambodia
  • Author: Edward Newman, Oliver Richmond
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Many ceasefires and peace agreements in civil wars are initially unsuccessful and give way to renewed violence. In other cases, peace processes have become interminably protracted: lengthy and circular negotiations in which concessions are rare and even if agreements are reached they falter at the implementation phase. State-building and peacebuilding processes are also often subject to outbreaks of violence, as recent experience in Afghanistan, Haiti, Iraq, Kosovo and East Timor illustrate. Given the huge material and human costs of a failed peace process, the consolidation of conflict settlement and dealing with threats to peacebuilding are critical challenges for the international community. After a history of painful experience in cases such as Angola and Bosnia, the importance of this was finally addressed in December 2005 by the UN Security Council in Resolution 1645 which calls for the creation of a UN Peacebuilding Commission. Th is new organ is expected to improve coordination amongst, and effectiveness of, all agencies involved in peacebuilding, peacekeeping, disarmament and demobilization, development, human rights issues, and the administration of former conflict zones.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Peace Studies, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Kosovo
  • Author: Jean-Marc Coicaud, Daniel Bell
  • Publication Date: 10-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: International human rights and humanitarian nongovernmental organizations (INGOs) are major players on the world stage. They fund human rights projects, actively participate in human rights and humanitarian work, and criticize human rights violations in foreign lands. They work in cooperative networks with each other, with local NGOs, and with international organizations. They consult and lobby governments and international organizations, sometimes participating in high level negotiations and diplomacy for global policy development. They cooperate and negotiate with economic and political organizations in the field for the implementation of their projects, whether this be monitoring or assistance. In short, they are generating a new type of political power, the purpose of which is to secure the vital interests of human beings on an international scale, regardless of state boundaries.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization, Non-Governmental Organization
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: Sergey Filippov, Iornara Costa, Mariana Zanatta
  • Publication Date: 10-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The growing importance attached to attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) is evidenced by the steady rise of investment promotion agencies (IPAs) worldwide, especially from the early 1990s. Since its launch in 1995, the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA) has registered a growing number of members representing cities, regions, countries and free zones from all over the world: from 112 in 2002, 161 in 2004, rising to 191 members from 149 countries in 2006. According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) there were around 500 IPAs in more than 160 countries in 2004.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: Andrs Solimano
  • Publication Date: 08-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The generation of new ideas and their application for productive uses is an important engine for growth and development. This is an area in which developing countries usually lag behind developed countries and is where development gaps are more evident. Behind the generation of ideas, innovations, and new technologies there is 'human talent': an inner capacity of individuals to develop ideas and objects, some of them with a high economic value. The 'human factor' is critical to the success or failure of many endeavours. Several countries, particularly China and India, followed by Russia, Poland, and some Latin American countries, are becoming an important source of talented people with PhDs and degrees in science, engineering, and other areas that can lead to change in the international patterns of comparative advantages and reduce development gaps. Part of the new talent formed in developing countries goes to live and work to developed countries, typically the USA, UK, and other OECD nations. At the same time multinational corporations are outsourcing several of their productive and service activities, including research and development, to developing countries (China and India are main destinations) to take advantage of the (less expensive) talent being developed there. Today, therefore, we see a double movement of talent and capital around the globe: on the one hand talent from developing countries is moving north seeking better opportunities where people are equipped with more capital, technologies, and effective organizations. On the hand capital from the north pursues talent in the south; a process largely led by multinational corporations.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Human Welfare, Migration
  • Political Geography: United States, China, United Kingdom, India