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  • Author: Dana Stroul, Hanin Ghaddar
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Apart from its military intervention, Tehran has pursued a wide range of economic and social tactics for increasing its sway in Syria, but Washington can still push back with targeted assistance, innovative sanctions, and strategic messaging. This PolicyWatch is the first in a two-part series on how to counter Iran’s expanding activities in Syria amid talk of U.S. military withdrawal. Part 2 will discuss the array of Iranian-backed armed groups currently operating there
  • Topic: International Affairs, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Michael Herzog
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Jerusalem seeks to mitigate the potential risks of the president’s decision by shaping its implementation and obtaining U.S. security guarantees, though long-term concerns still loom. Israeli officials have been careful not to publicly criticize President Trump’s recent announcement that all U.S. military forces will be pulled out of Syria. Below the surface, however, they have exuded dissatisfaction, concern, and a desire to make the best out of the situation. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s initial public response was lukewarm, stating that Israel will continue to take care of its security and “will not abide Iranian entrenchment in Syria.” He followed those remarks with hectic bilateral discussions on the matter, holding a phone call with President Trump, meeting with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on the sidelines of a gathering in Brazil, and hosting National Security Advisor John Bolton in Jerusalem. These discussions elicited U.S. public assurances about Israel’s security and, so it appears, opened opportunities to affect the manner in which Trump’s decision is implemented.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jana Juzová
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: The Visegrad countries have since their own accession to the EU been one of the most active European actors advocating for further EU enlargement towards South- Eastern Europe. On the joint Visegrad-level as well as in their own foreign policies, the Western Balkans have a special position; the V4 countries provided them support on their path of European integration with transfer of know-how based on the V4’s own successful experience with economic and political transformation, regional cooperation and Euro-Atlantic integration. However, the Visegrad approach towards the Western Balkans is now being undermined and is losing its legitimacy due to several factors outlined in this paper. In spite of the positive impact of the Visegrad policy towards Western Balkans1, recent trends, such as worsening state of democracy in Hungary, Hungarian PM Orbán’s connections to autocratic leaders in the region (recently granting the asylum to former Macedonian PM Gruevski who escaped to Hungary from a jail sentence at home) are weakening not only Visegrad’s legitimacy as advocate for transformation of the region and its integration into the Euro-Atlantic structures, but also the normative power of the EU. Other V4 countries’ indifference towards this trend coupled with Poland’s new involvement in the Berlin Process framework, another EU member states’ initiative focused on the Western Balkans, only contribute to raising doubts about the commitment and legitimacy of Visegrad’s Western Balkan policy.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Frank Gorenc
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: As the world enters an era of great-power competition, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) faces a renewed challenge from an old adversary. A Europe whole, free, and at peace is now at risk as Russian aggression challenges the traditional rules-based world order. Russia’s activities in and against Ukraine and Georgia, rampant intrusion on Western democratic processes and political discourse, blatant assassination attempts on NATO soil, support for rogue regimes in Syria and Iran, and military deployments and force accumulation in Kaliningrad and Crimea, as well as in the Sea of Azov, demonstrate that the threat is as real and compelling as it ever was.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Democracy, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Magnus Nordenman
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The global and European security environments have changed drastically in just a few years. The world is entering a new era of great power competition, which will play out alongside continued political instability and weakening states in key regions of the world. This has profound implications for the United States and its friends, allies, and partners including those in Europe. Bilateral US defense and security relationships must be examined and evolved in order to be relevant for a new era. One example of this is the US-Denmark defense and security relationship
  • Topic: International Affairs, Global Security
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: David Koranyi
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: As energy markets and technologies rapidly change, international oil companies (IOCs) are facing a set of interconnected challenges that will fundamentally affect their business models. From changes in the supply and demand picture, to shifts in how energy is produced and consumed, to public pressure to decrease greenhouse gas footprints, companies have a wide range of issues to consider as they decide how to prepare for an unpredictable future. In a new issue brief, “Navigating the Energy Transition: International Oil Company Diversification Strategies,” Global Energy Center Senior Fellow David Koranyi provides a macro picture of select IOC’s strategic (re)thinking and explores some of the strategies IOCs have undertaken to diversify their portfolios and prepare for the unfolding energy transition.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Louise Riis Andersen
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Anti-corruption is central to building capable and legitimate security institutions in fragile states. However, military capacity-building programs often do not include anti-corruption measures. Denmark should strive to put the fight against military corruption on the international agenda
  • Topic: Corruption, International Affairs, Global Security
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Tony Bricktua, Abigail Lawson
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: Report Recommends Approaches to Meet Needs of Law Enforcement While Managing Risks to Cybersecurity and Privacy
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Wael Abdul-Shafi, Jan Hanrath
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: The repercussions of climate change and environmental challenges pose enormous risks to Iran and Saudi Arabia alike. While there are differences in geography and climate in both countries, they also have many environmental challenges in common. Problems such as sand and dust storms or diminishing water resources are border-crossing phenomena that no country can deal with alone; therefore, cooperation is key. At this point in time, however, willingness to cooperate is utterly lacking in a region marked by geo-strategic rivalries, ongoing military conflicts and deep-rooted mutual distrust between regional rivals, and between Saudi Arabia and Iran in particular.
  • Topic: Environment, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Thomas Renard , Rik Coolsaet
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: Some 5000 men, women and children have travelled from Europe to Syria and Iraq since 2012. An estimated 1500 of these foreign terrorist fighters (FTF) have returned so far. Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands represent a third of European FTF and returnees. This report looks into the evolution of policies on returning foreign fighters in these three countries, comparing responses with regard to fighters that are still in the conflict zone, policies to deal with returnees in prison and attitudes towards the children of foreign fighters. It is the very first systematic and in-depth study into national approaches and policies vis-à-vis returnees. Its added value lies in the wealth of data, including data that has not been published before, and in the comparative angle.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Affairs, Refugees
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Alice Dabarre
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: While humanitarian action was traditionally designed to be a short-term emergency response, this is increasingly perceived as inaccurate and even undesirable. Humanitarian actors have acknowledged a responsibility to work toward bridging the “humanitarian-development divide” and not to overlook the nexus between addressing and reducing humanitarian needs and building the foundations for sustaining peace.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Current drug policy too often has a negative impact on communities and runs counter to efforts to ameliorate poverty through sustainable development. However, this is often not captured by the metrics used to measure the impact of drug policy. One way to improve these metrics is to align them with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This would not only help overcome many of the limitations of drug policies resulting from suboptimal metrics but also make sure these policies enhance, rather than hinder, efforts to achieve the SDGs.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Narcotics Trafficking
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Els Debuf
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: IPI’s research project on mechanisms to investigate attacks on healthcare aims to assist the Security Council, relevant UN organs, member states, and other stakeholders in operationalizing Resolution 2286 and the UN secretary-general’s recommendations for its implementation. The project focuses on recommendations regarding the use of international mechanisms to ensure that the “full, prompt, impartial and effective investigations” required by Resolution 2286 are carried out when parties to the conflict are unable or unwilling to do so themselves. Through a combination of desk research, key informant interviews, and an expert meeting bringing together stakeholders in the implementation of Resolution 2286 and experts on international fact-finding and investigation into violations of international humanitarian law, the project developed a set of tools, available on this page. These include:
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: James Kadtke, John Wharton
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Rapid globalization of science and technology (S&T) capacity presents a serious and long-term risk to the military and economic security of the United States. To maintain U.S. preeminence, our domestic science and technology enterprise requires a new paradigm to make it more agile, synchronized, and globally engaged. U.S. technological competitiveness depends not only on research but also on legal, economic, regulatory, ethical, moral, and social frameworks, and therefore requires the vision and cooperation of our political, corporate, and civil society leadership. Re-organizing our domestic S&T enterprise will be a complex task, but recommendations presented in this paper could be first steps on the path to maintaining our future technological security.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Vivek Chadha
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses
  • Abstract: During the last couple of years, India has recalibrated its policy towards Pakistan by adopting a two-pronged approach. One prong consists of not holding formal talks until Pakistan stops using terrorism as an instrument of state policy against India.1 And the second prong involves retaining the right of retaliation against those elements and locations along the Line of Control (LoC) that are complicit in perpetrating cross border terrorism.2 In essence, India's aim has been to gain leverage over Pakistan by striking it where it hurts the most.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: P. Stobdan
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses
  • Abstract: The recent launch of the China-Pakistan-Economic Corridor (CPEC) by China and Pakistan has provided India with a fresh impetus to assert its sovereign claim over Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK), including Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) region, which had hitherto remained in diplomatic abeyance. The Instrument of Accession signed by Maharaja Hari Singh on October 26, 1947 warranted India’s control over the entire territory of the erstwhile Princely State of Jammu & Kashmir. And, Section 4 of the Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) Constitution defined the State’s territory as comprising all the territories which, on the fifteenth day of August 1947, were under the sovereignty or suzerainty of the Ruler of the Stat
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Edwin M. Truman
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Once again, the United States and other members of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have been asked to address the adequacy of IMF financial resources and the distribution of voting power in the Fund. Observers are justified in thinking that they just witnessed this drama. IMF members completed an agreement on the size of IMF quota resources and governance—or voting power—reform in November 2010. As part of that agreement on the 14th general review of IMF quotas, members committed to bring forward the completion of the 15th general review of quotas to January 2014. The target was not met because the United States delayed approving the 2010 agreement until December 2015, which was necessary for the implementation of the 14th review. As a result, in December 2016, the governors of the IMF freshly resolved to complete the 15th review by the spring of 2019 or the fall of 2019 at the latest.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Gary Clyde Hufbauer , Euijin Jung, (Lucy) Lu Zhiyao
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: The fraught negotiations over revising the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) have focused largely on US demands to limit imports from Canada and Mexico. But one little discussed step could help the United States increase exports to Canada and Mexico in a way the Trump administration ought to support. US express shipments to its NAFTA partners are far below potential, partly due to what are called low de minimis thresholds in those countries. The de minimis threshold refers to the value of imported goods below which no duty or tax is collected, and the customs declaration is very simple.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Robert Z. Lawrence
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: President Trump has asserted that trade balances are a key measure of a nation’s commercial success and that large US trade deficits prove that past trade approaches have been flawed. But trade deficits are not in fact a good measure of how well a country is doing with respect to its trade policies. Many of the assumptions on which the administration’s beliefs rest are not supported by the evidence. This Policy Brief argues that trade deficits are not necessarily bad, do not necessarily cost jobs or reduce growth, and are not a measure of whether foreign trade policies or agreements with other countries are fair or unfair. Efforts to use trade policy and agreements to reduce either bilateral or overall trade deficits are also unlikely to produce the effects the administration claims they will and instead lead to friction with US trading partners, harming the people the policies claim to help
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Tetyana Payosova, Gary Clyde Hufbauer , Jeffrey Schott
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Since its inception in 1995, the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) dispute settlement mechanism has resolved an impressive number of trade disputes and has earned a reputation as the “crown jewel” of the global trading system. Today, however, the mechanism is in crisis. WTO members have failed to negotiate updates to the rulebook, including rules on dispute settlement itself. As a result, the WTO Appellate Body increasingly is asked to render decisions on ambiguous or incomplete WTO rules. Its interpretations of such provisions have provoked charges by the United States and others that binding Appellate Body rulings, which establish precedents for future cases, effectively circumvent the prerogative of member countries to revise the WTO rulebook and thus undercut the national sovereignty of WTO members. For the past few years, US officials have blocked appointments of Appellate Body members to force WTO members to negotiate new rules that address US concerns and limit the scope for judicial overreach. If this problem is not resolved, the Appellate Body soon will not have enough members to review cases and the vaunted WTO dispute settlement system will grind to a halt.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: William R Cline
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: The centerpiece of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017 is the reduction in the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. The Joint Committee on Taxation has estimated the net revenue loss from the tax overhaul at $1 trillion over the next decade. The underlying premise of the legislation is that lower corporate taxes will spur growth, with trickle-down wage benefits that spread the resulting economic gains.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Martin Chorzempa
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Formidable barriers stand between the modern financial system and the hundreds of millions of Chinese citizens still using costly informal credit. For many, the financial data that could be used to give them a credit score that would lead to a fair priced loan exist but are not being used. This analysis finds that the most difficult barriers cutting these data off from their potential use for greater financial inclusion are the legal and political restrictions on data sharing and use, economic and competitive concerns from data holders, and the technical difficulty of integrating disparate systems. Policies that encourage coordination between public authorities and private actors in finance and technology can go a long way towards making these data available and driving access to credit in China. This shift would not only help borrowers: It would also encourage the needed economic rebalancing towards consumption, increase competition in the financial sector, raise efficiency through better credit allocation, and contribute to sustainable economic growth and social welfare.
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Johannes Lang, Robin May Schott, Rens van Munster
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Formal UN discussions have begun to address how the international community should regulate the development and use of lethal autonomous weapons – also known as ‘killer robots’. Denmark has so far chosen not to participate in these discussions, but there are good reasons to get involved.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Weapons
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Johannes Lang, Rens van Munster, Robin May Schott
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Disagreements on how to define “autonomy” are stalling formal UN discussions on the compliance of autonomous weapons with international humanitarian law. A pragmatic approach that focuses on the weapon’s critical functions, such as target selection and firing, can help move discussions forward in the future.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jairo Munive, Finn Stepputat
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Armed non-state actors are significant players in most conflicts. The international community is often forced to engage with them in order to secure humanitarian aid for civilians or to end armed political conflicts. The question of when and how to engage is being debated. We sug­gest a more pragmatic approach.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Max Otto Baumann, Silke Weinlich
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: Can the United Nations Development System (UNDS) become a resourceful, well-organised partner for member states in implementing the 2030 Agenda? The UNDS is the biggest multilateral development actor, accounting for $18.4 billion, or 33 per cent, of multilateral aid in 2015. Its functions range from providing a forum for dialogue, decision-making and norm-setting, to research, advocacy, technical assistance and humanitarian aid. Numerous governments, including those of high-income countries, are counting on the UN’s assistance for advancing their development in a sustainable way. More than any other development organisation, the UNDS needs to adjust in order to fulfil these expectations. In May 2018, UN member states set the course for reforming the UNDS by agreeing on a draft resolution. The resolution contains five potentially transformative decisions that will bring the UNDS a step closer to being “fit for purpose”, the term under which the reform process was initiated more than three years ago. The global structures of the UNDS are to be strengthened, making the system more strategic and accountable; Resident Coordinators are to coordinate more effectively and objectively; their funding will be guaranteed by a new 1 per cent levy on tightly earmarked contributions; common business operations are to be advanced, with potential efficiency gains of $380 million per year; and the UN’s vast network of country offices is to be consolidated for more efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Claudia Schwegmann, Sarah Holzapfel
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: Data is a central but underestimated prerequisite for the realisation of the 2030 Agenda. Although technical innovations such as smartphones or the internet of things have led to a data explosion in recent years, there are still considerable gaps in the availability and use of data in developing countries and development cooperation (DC) in particular. So far it is not possible to report regularly on the majority of the 230 indicators of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • Topic: International Affairs, International Development
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jean-Frédéric Morin, Vera Chaudhuri, Mathilde Gauquelin
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: Trade agreements have mixed effects on the environment. On the one hand, trade generates additional pollution by raising production levels. Trade rules can also restrict the capacity of governments to adopt environmental regulations. On the other hand, trade agreements can favour the diffusion of green technologies, make production more efficient and foster environmental cooperation. Whether the overall effect is positive or negative partly depends on the content of the trade agreement itself. Recent studies have found that trade agreements with detailed environmental provisions, in contrast to agreements without such provisions, are associated with reduced levels of CO2 emission and suspended particulate matter (Baghdadi et al., 2013; Zhou, 2017). It remains unclear, however, which specific provisions have a positive environmental impact and how they are actually implemented.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Svea Koch, Niels Keijzer, Christine Hackenesch, Julian Bergmann
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: The EU is one of the leading global players in international development, trade, peace and security. Therefore, a key part of the EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) is the one reserved for action beyond EU’s borders. This budget heading is called ‘Global Europe’ (also referred to as Heading IV). Under the current budget for the period of 2014 to 2020, including the inter-governmental European Development Fund (EDF), over 90 billion euros are available for the EU’s external action. The lion’s share of this is reserved for development cooperation. In previous years, the EU has dealt with new challenges in external action mostly by creating specific initiatives and new financial instruments. At the start of the negotiations on the next MFF, Heading IV thus appears to be rather complex and fragmented compared to other headings.
  • Topic: International Affairs, International Development
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Francesco Burchi
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: With the signing of the 2030 Agenda, the international community has committed to ending poverty in all its forms. This first Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) recognises poverty as a multidimensional phenomenon that goes beyond the simple lack of a sufficient amount of income. However, the way the SDG 1 and, in particular, Target 1.2 – “reduce … poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions” – are formulated poses challenges for its operationalisation. Which specific dimensions of poverty should a country focus on? How can we identify them? Is it possible to agree on a universal set of dimensions with which to compare poverty across several countries?
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Katja Cruetz
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The International Criminal Court (ICC) and the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP) principle both seek to respond to mass atrocities. They are products of the heyday of the international liberal order, which allowed the formation of projects based upon interference in the internal affairs of states in order to protect populations from atrocity crimes. The changing international system with the redistribution of power between states has affected these projects by bringing uncontroversial activities to the fore in order to secure state acceptance. Consensus on the RtoP extends to the primacy of the state in protection of its populations, while actions of the international community going beyond assistance and capacity-building are contested, particularly highly coercive ones such as military intervention. Alongside its judicial task of trying perpetrators of international crimes, the ICC has focused on positive complementarity whereby national capabilities are enhanced. It has also engaged in symbolic activities, such as highlighting certain international crimes.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jose Ma, Luis Montesclaros, Mely Caballero-Anthony
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: S.Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: As Southeast Asian economies become deeply integrated, there are concerns as to whether movement of people through labour migration should be part of this integration. While labour migration offers benefits especially in addressing labour shortage in countries with shrinking working age population, for countries at different levels of economic development, opening up the labour markets presents disadvantages to locals facing more job competition and falling wages. This paper re-examines this debate by analysing a number of factors that have allowed states to maintain their competitiveness and improve wages. By comparing the experiences of a number of countries that have seen rising wages with those countries that saw falling wages with labour migration, and using a statistical (two-sample difference of means) test, this preliminary study shows that labour migration by itself is neither boon nor bane. A more nuanced view is needed, as labour migration’s impacts on wages hinge on the nature of institutional support provided by governments in helping firms to be internationally competitive.
  • Topic: Migration, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: James M. Acton
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This policy brief is based on “Escalation through Entanglement: How the Vulnerability of Command-and- Control Systems Raises the Risks of Inadvertent Nuclear War,” which appears in the summer 2018 issue of International Security.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Patrick Porter
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Political scientists and historians continue to debate the sources of U.S. grand strategy. Some emphasize the importance of the United States’ material capabilities and large share of relative power; others point to the significance of ideas in shaping policymakers’ choices. Both accounts are incomplete. Two case studies—the first eighteen months of the presidency of Donald Trump and the presidency of Bill Clinton—demonstrate that the United States persists with a strategy of primacy because it has become a habit—an axiomatic, sacrosanct belief system that the American foreign policy establishment perpetuates.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Barak Barfi
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: When Abdul Fattah al-Sisi became president in 2014, Egyptians were clamoring for stability after the chaos of the post–Arab Spring years and the failed leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood government. Emblematic of this stability, Sisi was at one point so highly regarded that his face adorned chocolate bars. Although he remains popular four years later, Sisi can no longer rest on prior achievements and promises of financial improvement. Grappling with a moribund economy, domestic unrest, jihadist threats, and foreign policy challenges, he will need even stronger support as he implements an austerity plan approved by the IMF in November 2016. In this new study, Barak Barfi methodically sets the leadership of President Sisi in the context of his military predecessors Gamal Abdul Nasser, Anwar Sadat, and Hosni Mubarak. He then examines trends in the country such as the growing role of the military, the need for reductions in subsidies, and the looming water crisis posed by the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. The U.S. role, as well, is subject to a much-needed assessment. Among the limited ways Washington can influence Cairo, he argues, is by tying increased aid to the enactment of essential economic reforms.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Paul Holtom, Irene Pavesi
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: The 2018 Small Arms Trade Transparency Barometer (the Barometer) identifies the most and least transparent of 49 major small arms exporters, based on their reporting of their arms-trading activities undertaken in 2015.1 For the first time the Barometer assesses Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) and UN Programme of Action on small arms (PoA) reports to determine small arms exporters’ levels of transparency. These sources provide new information for the Barometer’s assessment of national transfer control systems, while ATT annual reports on arms exports reveal new data compared to national arms export reports; United Nations Commodity Trade Statistics Database (UN Comtrade) data, and the UN Register of Conventional Arms (UN Register). Despite the increase in reports containing information on national transfer control systems and small arms exports assessed by the Barometer, no major exporter received full marks for transparency.
  • Topic: International Security, International Affairs, Arms Trade
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Aaron Karp
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: Available sources indicate that as of 2017 there was a global total of at least 22.7 million known or estimated law enforcement firearms, equal to roughly 2.2 per cent of all firearms identified by the Small Arms Survey around the world. Worldwide, 4.8 million law enforcement firearms have been reported to the Small Arms Survey or documented from other sources. An additional 17.9 million or so firearms owned by law enforcement agencies can be estimated with reasonable confidence. The global estimate is slightly lower than the previous Small Arms Survey global estimate for 2006, the result of methodological changes and a decision not to estimate the holdings for many specialized or smaller law enforcement agencies. There are several reasons to assume that the total of 22.7 million law enforcement firearms given in this Briefing Paper is an underestimate. The state of research on law enforcement armament makes it hard to say whether global law enforcement weapons inventories are increasing or decreasing. But the types of firearms used by law enforcement agencies appear to be changing more rapidly than those of military services, also becoming more alike to military armament
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Aaron Karp
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: Uncertainty about any firearms data requires systematic estimation that relies on a broad spectrum of sources and makes approximation unavoidable. The Small Arms Survey’s estimates of civilian firearms holdings use data gathered from multiple sources. However, with much of civilian ownership concealed or hard to identify, gun ownership numbers can only approximate reality. Using data from several different sources, at the end of 2017 there were approximately 857 million civilian-held firearms in the world’s 230 countries and territories. Civilian firearms registration data was available for 133 countries and territories. Survey results were used to help establish total gun civilian holdings in 56 countries. The new figure is 32 per cent higher than the previous estimate from 2006, when the Small Arms Survey estimated there were approximately 650 million civilian-held firearms. Virtually all countries show higher numbers, although national ownership rates vary widely, reflecting factors such as national legislation, a country’s gun culture, historical and other factors. While some of the increase reflects improved data and research methods, much is due to actual growth of civilian ownership.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Matthias Nowak
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: Craft weapons production in Nigeria is under-researched, yet it is highly relevant for any future actions to counter small arms and light weapons proliferation.1 This Briefing Paper provides new research findings based on extensive fieldwork in four Nigerian states (Adamawa, Anambra, Benue, and Plateau). It reviews demand and supply factors that shape the craft market in Nigeria, finding that demand is driven by insecurity and conflict, but also by cultural and societal factors. Supply is mostly demand driven. The quality of the products and production methods varies greatly across the surveyed states. Craft production poses a significant challenge for the Nigerian state and will require a mix of holistic measures to regulate or deter it, ranging from improving security (and security perceptions) and the relationship between security providers and communities, to licensing, measures aimed at providing alternative livelihoods for craft producers, and a more comprehensive application of the relevant legal framework.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Glenn McDonald
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: This Briefing Paper outlines possible next steps in the UN small arms process as proposed by participants in the thematic symposia that were held in October–November 2017 as part of a European Union project designed to support preparations for the Third Review Conference of the UN Small Arms Programme of Action (PoA). The paper outlines the main observations and recommendations made by participants in the following areas: small arms control in conflict and post-conflict situations; small arms and the SDGs, and gender-related aspects of small arms control; recent developments in small arms manufacturing, technology, and design; and synergies between the PoA and other arms control instruments and processes. Each of the symposia sought to identify practical, actionable steps that could be taken by the UN membership in strengthening small arms-related work after the Review Conference.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Holger Anders
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: UN Peacekeeping operations are in a unique position to monitor flows of illicit arms and ammunition in their areas of operation. Systematic collection and analysis of data regarding matériel encountered by peacekeeping operations can enhance their situational awareness. It can provide important information about sources and supply chains of armed actors illicitly procuring arms and ammunition, as well as help in assessing capacities, intent, and geographical expansion of those actors. It can also make important contributions to the work of UN Panels of Experts monitoring arms embargoes. This Briefing Paper reviews relevant aspects of UN peacekeeping operations— their mandates, relations with UN Panels of Experts, as well as different approaches towards monitoring illicit arms flows. The Paper presents case studies on the UN peacekeeping operations in Côte d'Ivoire and Mali. The Paper considers the scope for improving management of arms and ammunition by peacekeeping missions to prevent materiel from being lost or otherwise diverted. This Briefing Paper concludes that UN peacekeeping missions could become substantially more involved in monitoring illicit arms and ammunition flows. This requires greater awareness and support for such work within the UN system and in its operations. This Paper’s findings are also relevant to efforts to monitor progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals, specifically SDG 16 and Target 16.4, which calls on states to significantly reduce illicit arms flows
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jovana Carapic, Paul Holtom
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: This Briefing Paper analyses the emergence of a life-cycle management of ammunition (LCMA) system in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) during the period 2012–16, with reference to four of the five elements of the Small Arms Survey’s LCMA model: national ownership, planning, stockpile management, and disposal. The paper examines the key challenges faced by the international community and BiH government in addressing the safety and security risks posed by BiH’s post-conflict ammunition surplus, focusing on the international community’s role in facilitating the development, and transfer to national ownership, of an LCMA system. The paper notes ‘ten lessons learned’ that could apply to other post-conflict countries. These lessons stress the importance of building sustainable national capacity in states receiving international assistance. Training, infrastructure, and operating standards need to be country specific to achieve this goal and reduce the risk of unplanned explosions at munitions sites (UEMS) and diversion in the long term.
  • Topic: International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Mihaela Racovita
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: The Government of Nepal has recently stepped up efforts to integrate women within the state security apparatus. This Briefing Paper examines recent legislative and institutional changes governing female participation in the security sector, the latest recruitment and advancement trends, and the persistent challenges facing female security providers. It shows that while formal and institutional changes have enabled more women to become part of Nepal’s security sector, women remain under-represented therein, and face challenges including objections to positive discrimination, difficult trade-offs between professional careers and personal lives, and societal attitudes that see security provision as a male-only occupation
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Vladislav Strnad
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: The Visegrad Group (V4) has responded to the migration crisis by an unexpectedly unified and consistent position , which was symptomatic of its identity shift. The long-term confrontation with the European Migration and Asylum Policy, the political changes in Poland and Hungary, the illiberal rhetoric of Visegrad politicians as well as the conflict with the European Commission have significantly influenced the position of V4 and the Czech Republic in Europe.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Martin Michelot
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: Martin Michelot and Martin Macq wrote an introductory chapter for the new IFAT's (The Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade) publication on the security challenges for the V4 countries. The chapter wrote by our researchers focuses on the military security and military cooperation of Visegrad Four countries. The main topic for discussion is especially the dual membership of both countries in NATO and in the EU - which is trying to build-up its own military structures notably in the recent years.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Alena Kudzko
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: Issues of labour mobility and labour markets have been among the most contentious discussions on the crowded EU agenda of the past couple years. Proposals calling for reform of the regulations on posted workers and for the enhancement of social rights, advocated primarily by Western countries - including most notably France - and the EU Commission, have been accompanied by both domestic and EU-wide squabbling. Visegrad countries (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia) have often found themselves on the defensive, seeking at once to both fend off accusations of “social dumping” and foil the undesired reforms. They fear that some of the proposals on labour reform fail to coincide with their economic interests and the principle of the free market, or perceive them as an encroachment of the EU Commission on national competencies
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Andrzej Sadecki
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: At first glance, reaching an agreement on the next MFF could seem easier than for its previous iterations. The MFF 2014-2020 was negotiated against the backdrop of a financial crisis which put significant strains on the member states, particularly those in the the Eurozone. Currently, economic growth has returned to the European Union and the economic sentiments have reached their highest levels since 2000s . Nevertheless, some key political developments will affect and complicate the process of finding a consensus on the next MFF. Firstly, the negotiations on the post 2020- MFF will coincide with two major processes underpinning the future of European integration: the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union and the debate on the reform of the Eurozone. Secondly, some stakeholders see Brexit as an opportunity to substantially reform the MFF and the EU budget, which in turn widened the debate to the future of main EU policies, and could breach the fragile balance between the various interests of the member states that functioned in this sphere until now.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Abstract: On December 4–5, 2017, the City of Chicago hosted the North American Climate Summit in partnership with C40 and the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy. This was the first time a US climate summit convened following President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement. Featuring remarks from former President Barack Obama, the summit brought together mayors from around the world to define collective, city-level actions and commitments to combat climate change. At the time of this publication, upward of 70 cities have signed the Chicago Climate Charter, affirming their commitment to address climate change within their cities
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Craig Kafura
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Abstract: Over the first two years of the Trump administration, the United States has simultaneously aggrieved Japan, a pivotal US ally in Asia, while also taking a more confrontational stance against China. This has raised broad concerns about the future of US involvement in Asia and the basis of support for the US-Japan alliance. While the American public is hesitant to get involved in a conflict between China and Japan, public support for US bases in Japan is at an all-time high, and Americans across party lines want to build strong relations with US allies in Asia
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Craig Kafura
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Abstract: In the past year, the Trump administration has moved the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, ended aid to the United Nation agency supporting Palestinian refugees, and announced the closure of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) office in Washington, DC. These actions, heavily criticized by the international community, are a dramatic shift from past US policy. The 2018 Chicago Council Survey, conducted after the US embassy move to Jerusalem but before the other actions, finds that the American public has generally not formed an opinion about the embassy relocation and would prefer that the US not take a side in the Israel-Palestinian conflict. A just completed Chicago Council-University of Texas survey of foreign policy opinion leaders shows that leaders have stronger views. Republican opinion leaders approve of the embassy relocation, while solid majorities of Democratic and Independent leaders disapprove
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Philip I. Levy
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Abstract: The World Trade Organization (WTO) is teetering. The Trump Administration has attacked it repeatedly, blocked moves to restock its judicial panels, and looked skeptically on its multilateral decision-making process. For an organization that embodied the results of decades of trade liberalization and emerged triumphantly in the mid-1990s, this has been a remarkable fall from grace. In this brief, we ask why the WTO is worth saving, consider the complaints lodged against it, and suggest what would be required for a serious rescue attempt. There are several reasons to hope, but more reasons for concern
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Gustav Gressel
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: European Council On Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The decrepitude of arms control treaties in Europe is becoming increasingly apparent at the same time as Russia continues to act as a revisionist power. Russia’s unpredictability and lack of transparency is part of its competitive advantage. It will therefore not give this up by returning to arms-control agreements of the late cold war or negotiating new ones. Arms control is an integrated part of Russia’s military strategy: to advance its own military position while weakening that of its enemies. As a result, it is open to arms-control agreements that would entrench its military superiority in eastern Europe and prevent the technological gap between Russia and the West from growing. This logic creates an opportunity for the West. If Europe engages in rearmament, enhances its militaries’ combat-readiness and capacity to quickly conduct large-scale, sustainable deployments to eastern Europe, it will deprive Russia of its relative military superiority. Moscow will then be willing to talk on arms control. Europeans still need to agree a common approach on what they want to achieve vis-à-vis Russia, however. Otherwise, they will be divided and public support for rearmament will falter.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Paul Shortell
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Natural Resource Governance Institute
  • Abstract: Myanmar exports more than 90 percent of global jade supply and is also a leading source of high-quality rubies, sapphires and other varieties of colored gemstones. Mining of these precious stones generates billions of dollars annually, making it one of the country’s most significant sectors. Yet the jade and gemstone industry has remained largely shrouded in secrecy, with most profits flowing to armed groups and political elites rather than supporting broad-based economic and social development.1 The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) is a global standard designed to “promote the open and accountable management of oil, gas and mineral resources.”2 Since Myanmar became a candidate country in 2014, the EITI process has helped to shine light on the previously opaque jade and gemstone sector. Myanmar EITI released its first reconciliation report, covering fiscal year
  • Topic: International Affairs, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Andrew Bauer, David Mihalyi, Fernando Patzy
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Natural Resource Governance Institute
  • Abstract: Guyana is on the verge of becoming an oil-rich country. In absolute terms, Guyana’s petroleum wealth is modest, representing approximately 0.2 percent of global reserves, which places the country 26th globally. However, it possesses the world’s seventh-largest oil reserves per capita, second-largest in Latin America behind Venezuela. If revenue estimates from the Liza field prove to be accurate, Guyana could become one of the world’s largest per capita oil producers over the course of several years in the mid-2020s. According to independent projections, fiscal revenues from the petroleum sector could range between USD 7 and 27 billion over the next 30 years. Between 2025 and 2028, revenues could peak at between USD 800 million and 2.5 billion in a given year, at least doubling Guyana’s national budget in some years. That said, delays on these types of megaprojects are common and some revenue estimates may be optimistic.
  • Topic: Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ted Yoho
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Project 2049 Institute
  • Abstract: The Project 2049 Institute is pleased to announce the publication of remarks made by Congressman Ted Yoho [R-FL] at our event, “Addressing China’s Coercive Air Power in the Taiwan Strait.” Congressman Yoho, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Asia and the Pacific, asserts his commitment to protecting the interests of Taiwan despite the recent growing aggressive actions and coercive language of Beijing, directed under General Secretary Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party. In addition, Congressman Yoho addressed the fact that China’s declaration of the new M503 flight path is just one part of their larger strategic plan to quell Taiwan, which motivates him to continue to push the U.S. administration and Congress to prioritize Taiwan and to work to meet the mounting challenges with which China presents us.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Hayder al-Khoei, Ellie Geranmayeh, Mattia Toaldo
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: European Council On Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: ISIS has suffered significant setbacks in both Iraq and Libya with the battles for Mosul and Sirte representing potential turning-points. • Without a clear political strategy to guide post- ISIS efforts, these military gains could quickly be lost. Both countries could again become breeding grounds for conflict and extremism, exacerbating European security and migration challenges. This risk is especially high for Iraq given the conflict in neighbouring Syria. • The new US administration is likely to invest less energy than its predecessors in strengthening political orders which provide stability. European states must step up their own efforts
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Global Focus
  • Author: Antoni Estevadeordal
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: On February 22, 2017, the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) entered into force. The TFA was concluded at the WTO Bali Ministerial Conference in 2013. Since then, countries have been working on implementing the agreement in their domestic markets to reach the two-thirds requirement for implementation.[1] As of March 2017, 113 members (or 69 percent of WTO members) have ratified the agreement—including 19 Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries—and another 93 countries have notified the WTO of their timeline for each TFA provision, giving a comprehensive picture of the state of the agreement.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Roger Burkhardt, Colin I. Bradford Jr.
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: In this policy brief, we highlight the impact of the speed and the scale that digital innovation will have in disrupting labor markets in the future, which requires anticipating policy responses now. We advocate for the formation of new social partnerships between business, labor, governments, financial institutions, and social stakeholders to forge comprehensive policy responses to address the coming social impact of technological change. This brief was used at the VISION 20 Workshop held at the Brookings Institution on February 27, 2017 to help generate new “big picture” policy approaches for the German G-20 Summit in Hamburg in July. The workshop was sponsored by the University of British Columbia Institute for Asia Research, the Munk School at the University of Toronto, the Boell Foundation, and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung with the participation of the Kiel Institute for the World Economy and the German Development Institute.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Development
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Colin I. Bradford, Roger Burkhardt
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: In this policy brief, we discuss the importance of accelerated private investment in skill development of labor as a means to increase the competitiveness of firms, to create value added by workers, and to boost wages and social mobility. This brief was used at the VISION 20 Workshop held at the Brookings Institution on February 27, 2017, to help generate new “big picture” policy approaches for the German G-20 Summit in Hamburg in July. The workshop was sponsored by the University of British Columbia Institute for Asia Research, the Munk School at the University of Toronto, the Boell Foundation, and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung with the participation of the Kiel Institute for the World Economy and the German Development Institute.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Social Movement, International Development
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Vibeke Schou Tjalve
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The cabinet nominations, budget proposals and stepped up force displays of the Trump administration signals a decisive militarization. Even if European NATO members also increase their military muscle, a transatlantic gap on the purpose, language and limits of military power seems looming – not least in the field of counter-terrorism.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Sarah Goldfeder
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: On Jan. 23, the first Monday after being sworn in as president of the United States, Donald Trump signed a presidential memorandum that laid the groundwork for exiting the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The TPP was the elegant solution to a host of hold-over irritants from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as well as a way to address wholly new issues of trade and commerce. In the wake of this decision, Trump also promised a wholesale reworking of NAFTA, in which everything would be on the table. In the days since, the Trump trade team has been off to a rocky start. Finally, after months of discussion, the notification incumbent for use of the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) was provided to Congressional leaders on May 18, 2017. Mexico has taken it all in stride, as it took almost immediate advantage of the blusterous U.S. rhetoric to outline its demands for any NAFTA discussion. Canada meanwhile plays the sphinx, open about its willingness to negotiate, but not much else. The U.S. may find that it’s less ready for this round of negotiations than it wanted to be, but its partners are well placed to unite and drive a hard bargain.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Canada, Global Focus
  • Author: Sandro Knezović, Nani Klepo
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute for Development and International Relations (IRMO)
  • Abstract: In the last two decades, the architecture of global governance has significant- ly changed in terms that post-Cold-war system dominated mainly by Western countries is now facing fragmentations. New actors, new forms of governance and various forms of partnerships are shaping new multilateralism, which is challenged with many security issues and conflicting relations between global actors.
  • Topic: International Security
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Linda Hasunuma
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute Français des Relations Internationales (IFRI)
  • Abstract: Four years have passed since Prime Minister Abe launched his Three Arrows of reform – “Abenomics” – to revitalize Japan’s economy. The first arrow targeted monetary policy; the second fiscal policy, and the third structural reform – including a measure aimed at reducing barriers to women’s participation in the labor force; this part quickly became known in the media as “womenomics”. Demographic and economic pressures make it imperative for the Japanese government to employ more women as its population ages and shrinks, but Japan has been under great international pressure over its disappointing record on women’s equality as well. What began as an economic strategy about women became also a foreign relations strategy that could help the Japanese government reframe the narrative and its reputation as a country that fails its women; it has also faced increasing criticism and even condemnation from human and women’s rights activists and organizations for its position on the Comfort Women issue. Womenomics is also a public relations strategy for the government to signal to other countries, financial and international institutions, investors and rights organizations, that it is taking action on two important fronts: economic reforms and gender equality. The inclusion of women can provide economic and political benefits to Japan.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Linda Hasunuma
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute Français des Relations Internationales (IFRI)
  • Abstract: Four years have passed since Prime Minister Abe launched his Three Arrows of reform – “Abenomics” – to revitalize Japan’s economy. The first arrow targeted monetary policy; the second fiscal policy, and the third structural reform – including a measure aimed at reducing barriers to women’s participation in the labor force; this part quickly became known in the media as “womenomics”. Demographic and economic pressures make it imperative for the Japanese government to employ more women as its population ages and shrinks, but Japan has been under great international pressure over its disappointing record on women’s equality as well. What began as an economic strategy about women became also a foreign relations strategy that could help the Japanese government reframe the narrative and its reputation as a country that fails its women; it has also faced increasing criticism and even condemnation from human and women’s rights activists and organizations for its position on the Comfort Women issue. Womenomics is also a public relations strategy for the government to signal to other countries, financial and international institutions, investors and rights organizations, that it is taking action on two important fronts: economic reforms and gender equality. The inclusion of women can provide economic and political benefits to Japan.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Erik Lundsgaarde
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This policy brief argues that the expertise, networks, and convening role of governments are key assets in efforts to expand business involvement to promote sustainable development goals. In addition, development cooperation providers have the potential to adopt a systemic perspective that can contribute to improving the framework conditions in partner countries. These public sector advantages should provide a point of departure for partnership development approaches.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Development
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Susan Schadler
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: So far, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has defied the odds in its relations with the administration of US President Donald Trump. In contrast to the administration’s at times stormy ride with some other international organizations and agreements, relations have been rather calm — even friendly — between the United States and the IMF. There has been no talk of cutting US funding to the IMF, no threat of pulling out of the organization, no statements casting aspersions on the IMF and no “tweet storms” on specific events involving the IMF. In fact, although not directly from President Trump, statements in support of actions or positions of the IMF have surfaced. Why has the IMF escaped the antagonism of the new administration, and can it continue to do so?
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Cyrus Rustomjee
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The blue economy — a concept and framework for economic activity that recognizes and seeks to maximize the potential for economic growth, employment and diversification through the sustainable use of resources from the ocean — has vast economic potential for small states; however, they confront several unique international governance challenges in pursuing a marine-resource-based development framework; have few comparative lessons of good practice to draw on; and face several practical obstacles in taking the first steps to operationalize the blue economy, resulting in modest progress. Collective experience highlights six key priorities in operationalizing the blue economy. Small states can take several new initiatives, supported by regional and international development partners, to focus attention on and coalesce policy effort and resources.
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Edward A. Parson
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Climate engineering can, if appropriately governed within a coherent overall climate change strategy, reduce risks beyond what mitigation and adaptation can achieve alone, and is probably essential to achieve the Paris Agreement temperature targets. Climate engineering also poses significant new risks, and needs expanded research and scrutiny in climate assessments.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Climate Finance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Andreas R Kraemer
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The Group of Twenty should initiate a global ocean governance process and call for dialogues, strategies and regional cooperation to ensure that investment and growth in ocean use become sustainable and reach their full potential. The ocean is the largest and most critical ecosystem on Earth, and potentially the largest provider of food, materials, energy and ecosystem services. However, past and current uses of the ocean continue to be unsustainable, with increasing demand contributing to the ocean’s decline. Better governance, appreciation of the economic value of the ocean and “blue economy” strategies can reduce conflicts among uses, ensure financial sustainability, ecosystem integrity and prosperity, and promote long-term national growth and employment in maritime industries.
  • Topic: Climate Finance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Steven L. Schwarcz
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Unsustainable sovereign debt is a serious problem for nations, as well as their citizens and creditors, and a threat to global financial stability. The existing contractual approach to restructuring unsustainable debt is inadequate and no treaty or other multilateral legal framework exists, or is currently likely to be adopted, that would enable nations to restructure unsustainable debt. Because a significant percentage of sovereign debt is governed by English law, there is an opportunity to modify the law to fairly and equitably facilitate the restructuring of unsustainable sovereign debt. This policy brief proposes a novel legal framework, focusing on governing law, for doing that. This framework would legislatively achieve the equivalent of the ideal goal of including perfect collective action clauses in all English-law-governed sovereign debt contracts. It therefore should ensure the continuing legitimacy and attractiveness of English law as the governing law for future sovereign debt contracts. Even absent the legislative proposal, the analysis in this policy brief can contribute to the incremental development of sovereign debt restructuring norms.
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Céline Bak
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: There was no consensus on climate-related financial risk at the Group of Twenty (G20) meeting of central bankers and finance ministers in March 2017, and the final communiqué did not mention climate change or the Paris Agreement. US President Donald Trump has since announced his intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement; therefore, the phase I report from the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Risk Disclosures may not be welcomed at the G20 summit in July. As a result, G20 finance ministers must assure governance of this agenda through interconnected national high-level expert groups. Canada’s financial institutions including asset owners and asset managers have the capacity to move swiftly to contribute to a platform for international collaboration on climate-related financial risk and green finance opportunities.
  • Topic: Climate Finance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Santana Moisés
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: IEMed/EuroMeSCo
  • Abstract: The goal of this paper is to introduce the promotion of technology-based entrepreneurship as an engine for Mediterranean economic growth, with an emphasis on the role of entrepreneurs. Without avoiding or undermining current problems or challenges, this document takes a look at the Mediterranean Basin free of stereotypes and from a constructive viewpoint. Hence it applies to the Mediterranean the words spoken by Shimon Peres when he received the Nobel Peace Prize together with Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin in 1994: “A Middle East that is not a killing field but a field of creativity and growth.”
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Security
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Peter Nadin
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Abstract: Australia should strengthen its engagement with the United Nations to ensure it has a greater voice on global issues that matter to its national interests
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Marcin Przychodniak
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Reform of the Chinese armed forces gained new momentum under Xi Jinping in 2015. The main argument behind the strategy, structure, and equipment modernisation of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is the active defence of China’s global interests to strengthen its competitiveness with the United States. A short-term goal is to make the PLA operationally capable of projecting China’s power abroad constantly, using joint exercises, peacekeeping missions, and the development of military infrastructure. One recent example was opening of China’s first foreign military base in Djibouti. The PLA should also be capable of defending China’s territory and overseas interests by performing combat operations abroad. This means a possible change to the non-intervention clause that has until now been a crucial element of China’s foreign policy.
  • Topic: International Security, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: The message is by now clear: our global economy must be fundamentally reoriented and redeployed in order to achieve the SDGs and the commitments of the Paris Climate Agreement. This requires action by all stakeholders, including non-financial and financial firms, debt and equity investors, government policymakers, and consumers. In terms of the amount of money required, it has been estimated that meeting the SDGs will require $5 to $7 trillion annually, with investment needs for developing countries amounting to roughly $3.3 to $4.5 trillion per year. While a big picture view of and strategic thinking regarding the entire economic ecosystem is necessary to generate such investments, this paper, produced in conjunction with the UN Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System, focuses on the actual and potential role of one type of financial flow—FDI—in achieving the transition to a low-carbon, just and sustainable world and, more specifically, FDI flows into developing countries.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Climate Finance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: When a local asset (or a right relating to such asset) is sold, a country will generally have jurisdiction to levy a capital gains tax on the sale, both under domestic law and international treaty. This is called taxation of a “direct” transfer of a local asset. However, taxation becomes increasingly complicated when a company located offshore owns the local asset. Further difficulties arise when the local asset is held by a chain of corporations located in tax havens. An “indirect” transfer occurs when the shares of the domestic subsidiary, the shares of the foreign company with a branch in the country, or the shares of the holding company are sold, instead of the asset.
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Howard Mann, Karl Sauvant
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Based on a review of 150 instruments, ranging from international investment agreements to codes of multinational enterprises, this paper identifies ten core characteristics of sustainable FDI and twenty emerging sustainable FDI characteristics widely accepted across ten stakeholder groups. The paper explores furthermore opportunities and mechanisms to advance the application of the sustainability characteristics. The FDI sustainability characteristics are also of immediate relevance for the discussions of investment facilitation
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Agricultural investment contracts and forestry projects can be complex, with complicated provisions that are difficult to understand. To assist non-lawyers in better understanding agricultural investment contracts, such as those available on OpenLandContracts.org, CCSI has developed a Guide to Land Contracts: Forestry Projects. This Guide, prepared by International Senior Lawyers Project staff and volunteers in collaboration with the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment, aims to assist OpenLandContracts.org users in unpacking the technical provisions and language typically found in forestry contracts in order to better understand the contracts and the potential implications of specific provisions across a range of stakeholder interests.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Landpower
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Brazilian Center for International Relations (CEBRI)
  • Abstract: The international order is currently undergoing a fundamental change and it is evident that this phase that has been lasting since the end of the East-West conflict is almost coming to an end. This change is associated with side effects which many observers perceive as destabilizing, as well as with a great uncertainty concerning which new order will replace the so far established one and what effects this will have. This situation is easy to understand, as far as the history of international relations can be used to identify numerous epochal watersheds related to regulatory governance that have not been peaceful, but instead whose side effects have rather been inter-state wars. One should think, for instance, of the rise in political power of the German Reich at the beginning of the twentieth century, or the phase immediately after the Second World War, when the East-West conflict emerged as a determining force for a period of almost four decades.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Brazilian Center for International Relations (CEBRI)
  • Abstract: The Regional Security Architectures are challenged by the emergence of this new and enlarging space, whereas relationship, communication and operation are also new. In the cyberspace, the States’ empowerment is a complex matter and even if they succeed in doing so, they must resort to advanced technology. If we try to answer if South America has enough capacities against cyber threats, we necessarily must know what steps were given in each country. Integration is a pending debt in the sub region and it does not differ from a superior reality
  • Topic: International Affairs, Cybersecurity
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Brazilian Center for International Relations (CEBRI)
  • Abstract: the Digital Agenda, in 2014 the German Federal Government proposed, within the framework of an IT Security Law, to strengthen IT security by expanding partnerships with critical infrastructure providers and by creating legal requirements, in addition to introducing an obligation to report significant incidents in the IT area. Germany was a pioneer with the IT Security Law in 2015.3 Through this law, critical infrastructure providers are required to ensure the security of their IT infrastructures according to the latest technology. The sectors concerned (information technology and telecommunications, energy management, food industry, water management, finance, transport and transit, as well as the health sector) have been defined in two regulations of the German Ministry of Interior, considering the quality and the amount of penetration rate achieved by systems, equipment or parts of critical infrastructures. The last regulation came into force at the end of June 2017.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Germany, Global Focus
  • Author: Peter Albrecht
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Policing in the global North and the global South is becoming more alike. An increasingly common characteristic is the blurring of boundaries between rule-based and more personalized policing styles. Reasons for this approximation include a growing focus on fighting or preventing radicalisation globally, and a general debureaucratisation of policing that has occurred in the global North.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Flemming Splidsboel Hansen
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: “The weaponization of information” alerts us to the thinking about the very conscious use of information to achieve various goals. Moreover, it reminds us of the new opportunities offered by modern information technology.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Information Age
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Nilsu Gören
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Geneva Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: States in the Middle East/Gulf should consider practical, ready-to-start measures to address the technical and organisational aspects of regional security and bypass the political disagreements on a regional weapons-of-mass-destruction-free zone (WMDFZ). Firstly, establishing a comprehensive expert group on the verification of arms control, non-proliferation, and disarmament would increase confidence in the ability to sustain the provisions of a zonal arrangement. Secondly, creating a regional security centre would provide an institutional mechanism that would facilitate the conversation from within the region and enhance cooperation.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Bernd W. Kubbig
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Geneva Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: This Policy Forum issue summarises the achievements and deficits of the Glion/Geneva informal consultation process and describes the currently held divergent positions of major players. With reference to several necessary conditions for success, the authors make concrete proposals for a compromise-oriented new NPT cycle that does not repeat the mistakes of the past.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Misha Nagelmackers-Voinov
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Geneva Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: Long considered a natural partner for peace through economic diplomacy and bilateral trade agreements, business has increasingly become ignored or demonised. The private sector comprises a wide diversity of organisations and is the part of the economy that is not run by a state, but by individuals and companies for profit. Small businesses/micro-companies serve as a good starting point for a conflict resolution process because they often constitute the only form of economic activity in a conflict zone. MNCs have a range of options to respond to conflict, but cannot openly take part in conflict resolution and peacebuilding initiatives, and rarely become involved officially. Track Two diplomacy is their more likely area of involvement. The United Nations has frequently supported the view that the private sector can be a powerful agent of change. However, the UN still engages only two players in conflict resolution and peacebuilding: civil society/NGOs and armed actors. UN peace operations have never been expressly mandated to consult with business or use its influence to build peace. Combining the resources, expertise and leverage of all possible actors would produce a more formidable force for peace. World affairs would benefit from integrating the private sector into a new UN system of governance; new routes are possible for a truly inclusive approach, recognising the business sector’s positive contribution to sustainable peace through informal mediation and collaborative engagement.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Aissata Athie, Youssef Mahmoud
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Human rights violations and lack of accountability for such violations are often drivers of conflict. Monitoring human rights, therefore, could provide early warning of and help prevent destabilization of societies. Secretary-General António Guterres alluded to this in his April 2017 address to the Security Council, where he observed that “upholding human rights is a crucial element of prevention,” and “human rights are intrinsically linked to sustaining peace.”
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Namie Di Razza
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Since the late 1990s, POC has continuously gained prominence, both as a concept and in practice, and has become the mandated priority for most UN peacekeeping operations. However, while POC has become a centerpiece of peacekeeping for many stakeholders, it has also become diluted as a consensual label used to justify diverse actions and approaches.
  • Topic: Peace Studies, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Daniel Sneider
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: President-elect Moon has gained office riding a wave of demand for social justice and a reform of democratic governance in South Korea. These are the issues that are certain to consume his attention and that of voters. U.S. policymakers need to be mindful that the domestic factors that led to this shift in power in South Korea will remain paramount. That said, the return to power of South Korea’s progressives augurs a significant shift in several areas of policy that will have a clear impact on alliance relations with the United States.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Adam Jay Harrison
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Historically, the Department of Defense (DOD) has relied on strategic forecasting to determine specifications for new military products. These specifications are codified in formal product requirements that drive new product development (NPD). The rapid rate of technology change combined with increasing uncertainty in the global security environment challenges the ability of DOD to make accurate longterm predictions about future military product needs. To improve the efficacy of capability development, many DOD agencies and the Defense Industrial Base are exploring NPD strategies based on the insights of lead users with direct exposure to emerging military-technology problems. This paper details emerging approaches to military NPD that incorporate lead users; that is, practitioners who experience and proactively solve needs ahead of the market.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Adam Jay Harrison, Bharat Rao, Bala Mulloth
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) is looking at new ways to spur entrepreneurship and innovation among its stakeholders and related constituencies. We recommend creating a platform within the DOD focused on developing the Human and Relational Capital components of the innovation ecosystem such as the MD5 National Security Technology Accelerator, an initiative that develops innovators and human-centered networks that create high-tech “ventures” relevant to national security. The proposed ecosystem would not only facilitate the development of high-tech ventures in the national security interest, but also educate and build networks of innovators and entrepreneurs, both inside and outside of DOD, who would be equipped with the incentives, expertise, know-how, and resources required to continuously develop, commercialize, or apply technology relevant to military needs. A competency framework for developing such an ecosystem that would encourage venture-led, dual-use products that provide a sustainable, competitive advantage for the DOD and the national economy is presented and discussed.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Frank Kakungu
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Zambia Institute for Policy Analysis and Research (ZIPAR)
  • Abstract: The disbursement of an equal quantum of funding per constituency has equity concerns because constituencies are not equal. This favours smaller, least populated constituencies against greatly populated and or the poorest – where needs are greatest. The blanket allocation of Constituency Development Fund (CDFs) across the country, without recourse to policy targets underscores national failure to address important policy concerns. This is unfortunately the case in Zambia. In this report, we devised a model that reallocates resources based on the socio-economic conditions prevailing in constituencies. The research developed a composite index of material and social deprivation using data from the Census 2010. Furthermore, the study evaluates the distribution of deprivation in constituencies and considers ways in which deprivation index can contribute to discussions relating to public resource allocation of the CDF. The research results has potential usages beyond the CDF reallocation, it informs decision-makers on resource allocation and planning and budgeting activities.
  • Topic: International Development
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Zambia Institute for Policy Analysis and Research (ZIPAR)
  • Abstract: Zambia is emerging from a major economic downturn. The copper price collapse, electricity shortages, huge fall in the value of the Kwacha and high inflation in 2015 left the economy stalling. Growth in 2015 was 2.9% and possibly 3.4% in 2016, significantly below the long-term average rate of 6.9%. The downturn was compounded by a tightening of monetary policy which made it harder for businesses to borrow, and by a continuation of expansionary fiscal policies which increased the budget deficit and Government debt. Because the scale of the challenge was so significant, the Government announced it would launch Zambia Plus, a home-grown recovery programme to put the economy back on track
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Shebo Nalishebo, Albert Halwampa
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Zambia Institute for Policy Analysis and Research (ZIPAR)
  • Abstract: In recent years, the Zambian economy has been growing strongly and the country has increasingly been faced with the need to plug huge infrastructural gaps. However, the slowing down of bilateral and multilateral financing due to austerity measures in developed economies and the World Bank’s reclassification of Zambia as a lower middle income country has led financiers to divert concessional loans to other needy countries in the low income bracket. Consequently, Zambia has had to diversify its budget and project financing options by issuing Eurobonds which are commercial borrowings by governments in currencies other than their own - in Zambia’s case, it is denominated in US dollars. Since 2012, the Zambian Government has issued two ten-year sovereign bonds collectively worth US$1.75 billion to mainly finance infrastructure projects. These two bonds amounted to 37% of Zambia’s external debt in 2014. With an average coupon rate of 6.9%, the two bonds have bullet repayment structures, implying that lump sum principal payments will be paid at the end of their respective ten-year maturity periods. The coupon rate is the interest rate at the time of issuance. Notwithstanding the high interest payments of over US$125 million annually, the bullet structure of the two bonds may have significant repayment risks as the country is expected to pay out the US$1.75 billion within a two-year period (in 2022 and 2024). The country may experience difficulty in repaying or refinancing the face value at maturity if the money is not spent in activities with high economic returns and if there are adverse changes in its exchange rate or international market conditions. The risks are already on the horizon – the recent depreciation of the Kwacha has increased debt servicing costs, while the low copper prices have reduced the much-needed export revenues used to service debt. Has Zambia dug itself into another debt hole? What measures can be put in place to mitigate the risk of a pending default
  • Topic: Debt, International Development
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Thulani Banda, Zali Chikuba
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Zambia Institute for Policy Analysis and Research (ZIPAR)
  • Abstract: The sustained positive growth of the Zambian economy has resulted in many shifts in consumption patterns of Zambian households. One notable change is the increased consumption of consumer durables, particularly motor vehicles. Motor vehicle ownership has increased substantially since 2004. The increase in motor vehicle ownership owes in part to the highly unbridled access to second hand motor vehicle imports. The downside of the relaxed motor vehicle import regulations as observed in Zambia is the ageing of the motor vehicle fleet and deterioration in fleet safety. Second hand motor vehicles imported in the country may be fine, but they may also be unreliable – commonly referred to as lemons in economic literature – and costly to maintain thereby generating serious financial, road safety and environmental concerns. Considering that Zambia is one of the highest road fatality risk countries in Africa with 23.7 road traffic deaths per 100,000 people, the ageing fleet of motor vehicles only compounds the risk. Thus, more deliberate measures to ensure lives are safeguarded and consumers get value-for-money on motor vehicle imports should be devised and implemented urgently.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Zambia Institute for Policy Analysis and Research (ZIPAR)
  • Abstract: Export-transactions data for the period 1999-2011 in Zambia suggests that much of the growth in the value of exports has been driven by the contribution of new exporters than pre-existing exporters. The catastrophic growth among pre-existing exporters is explained by the high death rate that occurs within the first two years of exporting. Approximately between 50%- 60% of exporters will not survive beyond the year of export commencement. We discuss the potentially important policy implications of these rather surprising results relative to the sizeable evidence that shows it is the deepening of export values among existing exporters that drives much of the year-on-year growth in exports for many advanced and developing countries.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Zambia Institute for Policy Analysis and Research (ZIPAR)
  • Abstract: Zambia is one of many developing countries struggling to create adequate employment opportunities for its people, especially in the formal economy. Unemployment is highest among youths (15–24 years old) and particularly affects those without skills. Unless the challenge of youth unemployment is met, Zambia could face rising poverty levels in the future. Based on a survey of firms in the mining and quarrying, manufacturing, and construction industries, this study analyses constraints on the demand for youth labour and identifies five broad policy areas in which the government could help make it easier for firms to absorb more young people.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Sexual Violence Research Initiative
  • Abstract: The Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI), in partnership with the World Bank Group (WBG), awards grants through the Development Marketplace Awards for innovative research on how to improve responses to and prevent gender-based violence – a severe and neglected problem affecting more than one in three women worldwide and a major challenge for global development. These grants range from $40 000 to $100 000 over a two-year period
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Sexual Violence Research Initiative
  • Abstract: Global levels of gender-based violence, occurring at all socioeconomic levels, are unacceptably high. However, existing evidence that education can protect against gender-based violence, largely observational in nature, is mixed. A better understanding of the causal link between education and reduced risk of gender-based violence is important to inform the design of promising interventions in this area
  • Topic: Gender Issues, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Sexual Violence Research Initiative
  • Abstract: The Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI) – a global network of more than 5 000 members – promotes research on sexual and other forms of violence against women and children in low and middle-income countries to influence policy and practice. It does this by gathering and sharing information, funding research, building capacity through various workshops and events, and holding the SVRI Forum every two years. The SVRI Forum is a vibrant, informative and safe space for researchers, civil society, policy-makers, donors and others to share and learn about research, developments and innovations in the field of gender-based violence. It is the largest conference dedicated to research on prevention of and responses to violence against women and children.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus