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  • Author: Ángel Ubide
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Since the Asian crisis, the IMF has undergone a deep process of soul searching, trying to extract lessons from the experience. External criticism has been abundant, and basically all three of the IMF's main areas of work – surveillance, crisis prevention and resolution, and poverty reduction – have been called into question. Several years later, there is a feeling that not much has been achieved, and key questions remain unanswered. As the world business cycle matures, and thus the likelihood of further crises slowly increases, it is critical for the stability of the world financial system to discuss what the IMF's business model should look like.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Thomas Carothers
  • Publication Date: 02-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), an important component of the Bush administration's policy of promoting Middle East reform, is falling short. MEPI should be relaunched as a private foundation funded by the government, akin to the Asia Foundation or the Eurasia Foundation. Such a relaunch would permit MEPI to develop greater expertise in the region, use more flexible, effective aid methods, and gain some independence from other U.S. programs and policies that serve conflicting ends. The restructuring of MEPI should be part of a broader set of measures to establish a more visible, coherent institutional policy structure to pursue the critical goal of fundamental political and economic change in the Middle East.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eurasia, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Frances G. Burwell
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: By the beginning of 2005, the improvement in relations between Russia and the West had lost momentum and come to a standstill, as serious concerns emerged in the United States and Europe about developments in Russia. European and U.S. commentators who disagree over economic policies and Iraq find themselves in broad critical consensus about Russian political and economic evolution. Will the term that has been moribund since the death of the Cold War — “containment” — emerge as an option for those in the United States and Europe making policy toward Russia? Already some argue for isolating Russia from Ukraine, Georgia, and other former Soviet republics; will they encourage the building of a new fence around Russia? Or will there be a new effort at engagement, albeit one that is more cautious about Russia's future in the West?
  • Topic: Cold War, Development, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Emily Hsu, Beth DeGrasse
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: With the September 18 parliamentary elections, Afghanistan completes its internationally mandated blueprint for democracy and enters a new phase of state building in uncharted waters. This transition occurs against the backdrop of rising threats to security and an economy dominated largely by illicit production and export of opium. On October 12, 2005, the U.S. Institute of Peace convened a meeting of the Afghanistan Working Group to review the recent parliamentary elections. The presenters at the meeting included Robert Varsalone, resident country director for Afghanistan for the International Republican Institute; Sam Zia-Zarifi, research director for the Asia Division of Human Rights Watch; Larry M. Sampler, former chief of staff for the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan; and Barnett R. Rubin, chairman of the Afghanistan Working Group. The following USIPeace Briefing summarizes views expressed at the meeting. The views expressed here do not reflect those of the Institute, which does not take positions on policy issues.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Politics
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Asia
  • Author: Zia Mian
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: The past few months have seen important developments in relations between the United States and India. Much of the commentary has focused resolutely and rightly on the wisdom and possible consequences of the new agreements on military and nuclear policy and programs. But these recent agreements need also to be seen in the light of the more than 50 years of U.S. efforts to have India become a part of American political, strategic, and economic plans for Asia. What becomes clear is how difficult this proved to be over the years. It begs the question why Indian leaders have finally started to fall in step so easily in the past few years.
  • Topic: Development
  • Political Geography: United States, China, America, India, Asia
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: China's economic reforms over the past two decades have brought remarkable growth, the development of a vibrant private sector and significant reform of the state-owned sector. Private businesses now represent some 57% of GDP, and productivity in the state-owned sector has improved significantly. However, a number of problems threaten to undermine prospects for sustainable growth. These notably include social tensions, partly due to increasing inequality within society and massive migration to the cities, but also linked to corruption, insufficient public services and rising unemployment as millions of workers have been laid off in the reform of the state-owned sector, while agriculture still displays huge structural under-employment.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: China's economic growth has averaged 9½% per cent over the past two decades. The rapid pace of economic change is likely to be sustained for some time. These gains have contributed not only to higher personal incomes, but also to a significant reduction in poverty. At the same time, the economy has become substantially integrated with the world economy. A large part of these gains have come through profound shifts in government policies. Reforms have allowed market prices and private investors to play a significant role in production and trade.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Ted Galen Carpenter
  • Publication Date: 03-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The Bush administration has gone from one extreme to the other with regard to U.S. policy on Taiwan. During the early months of his administration, the president gave a seemingly unconditional pledge to defend Taiwan from attack by mainland China—going significantly further than his predecessors had. He followed that assurance by approving the largest arms sales package to Taiwan in nearly a decade. In marked contrast to the Clinton years, high-profile visits by Taiwanese leaders to the United States have been encouraged, despite Beijing's protests.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Development, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia
  • Publication Date: 04-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: On March 31 — April 1, 2004, the governments of Germany and Afghanistan will co-host a conference in Berlin entitled "Afghanistan and the International Community: A Partnership for the Future." At this conference, the Afghan government will present to donor governments and international financial institutions its plan for rebuilding the country, "Securing Afghanistan's Future."
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Asia
  • Author: John Bowan
  • Publication Date: 08-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Abstract: Beijing's successful bid for the 2008 Olympic Games gives China a unique opportunity to signal its emergence as a leading player in the mainstream of international affairs. The Games will provide a unique opportunity to showcase to the international public, as well as to foreign governments and international business, China's technical and organisational capabilities, its cultural and social achievements, and its standing and potential as a global economic power and partner. The ongoing strong commitment to the Games by the national Government, and the rapid and efficient progress made to date by the Beijing Olympic organisers, are impressive; from a technical point of view, China's challenging Olympic project is on track. The Games will make some limited contribution to the extraordinary economic and technological development China is making, particularly in environmental protection. Similarly, the Games have the potential to make some incremental contribution to improving human rights in China. Their significance as a force for change in this area should not be overestimated, however, and the evidence is that the Olympic influence on China's human rights has so far been limited. Despite the good cooperation at the Olympic level that has developed between China and Taiwan in recent years, the hosting of the Games would not stand in the way of drastic action by China if Taiwan pursued independence beyond the limits of its tolerance. Australia's cooperative Olympic links with China, developed during Beijing's bid, add a valuable dimension to the strong and important relationship between the two countries.
  • Topic: International Relations, Civil Society, Development
  • Political Geography: China, Asia