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  • Publication Date: 06-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The leading index increased 0.3 percent, the coincident index increased 0.4 percent, and the lagging index decreased 0.4 percent in June. Taken together, the three composite indexes and their components show a very healthy economy: The coincident indicators point to economic activity rising at a pace of 2.7 percent (annualized) in the 2nd quarter of 1999, compared to the advance estimate of GDP showing a 2.3 percent increase. The leading indicators point to continuation of the expansion through early 2000. Cyclical imbalances and related economic instability problems are almost nonexistent.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 05-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The leading index increased 0.3 percent, the coincident index increased 0.2 percent, and the lagging index held steady in May. Taken together, the three composite indexes and their components show a healthy economy: The coincident indicators point to GDP rising at a pace of over 2.5 percent (annualized) in the 2nd quarter of 1999. The leading indicators point to a continuation of the expansion through the remainder of 1999. There is little evidence of cyclical imbalances that would jeopardize the economy's stability.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 04-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The leading index decreased 0.1 percent, the coincident index increased 0.2 percent, and the lagging index increased 0.4 percent in April. Taken together, the three composite indexes and their components show a healthy economy: The coincident indicators point to activity continuing to rise at the start of the 2nd quarter of 1999, but at a pace that is much more modest than the 4.1 percent (annualized) rise in GDP in the 1st quarter. The leading indicators point to a continuation of the expansion through at least the 4th quarter of 1999. Evidence of cyclical imbalances from the lagging indicators—that might threaten the stability of the economy—is neither consistent nor convincing.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 03-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The leading index increased 0.1 percent, and both the coincident and lagging indexes increased 0.2 percent in March. Taken together, the three composite indexes and their components show a very healthy economy: The coincident indicators show aggregate economic activity growing at about a 3.25 percent annualized pace in the 1st quarter of 1999 (compared to a 4.5 percent increase in the advance estimate of GDP). The leading indicators point to a continuation of the expansion for at least six more months. Cyclical imbalances and related conditions are unlikely to jeopardize the economy's stability.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 02-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The leading index increased 0.2 percent, the coincident index increased 0.3 percent, and the lagging index increased 0.2 percent in February. Taken together, the three composite indexes and their components show a healthy economy: The coincident indicators point to GDP rising at a pace of about 3 percent (annualized) in the 1st quarter of 1999. The leading indicators show odds are high that the expansion will continue through at least late-1999. There is little evidence of cyclical imbalances that would jeopardize the economy's stability.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 01-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The leading index increased 0.5 percent, the coincident index increased 0.2 percent, and the lagging index increased 0.4 percent in January. Taken together, the three composite indexes and their components show generally healthy conditions: The coincident indicators show that, although industrial production fell slightly, the first quarter of 1999 started on a positive note. The leading indicators are almost unanimous in predicting continued growth through at least the middle of the year. Signs of cyclical imbalances and other factors that might jeopardize the economy's stability remain relatively subdued.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Tom Barry, Robert Weissman, Martha Honey
  • Publication Date: 08-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: Africa and the developing world are facing an HIV/AIDS crisis equated by the U.S. surgeon general to the plague that decimated Europe in the fourteenth century. Combinations of available pharmaceuticals-too expensive for nearly all of the infected people in the developing world-could enable many afflicted with HIV/AIDS to live relatively normal lives. Compulsory licensing and parallel importing policies could help developing country governments make essential medicines more affordable to their citizens.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Science and Technology, Third World
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Europe
  • Author: Tom Barry, Martha Honey
  • Publication Date: 05-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: The Foreign Policy In Focus project functions as a network of foreign policy experts. The following brief, written by one of the project's codirectors, benefits from the expert opinions about the Kosovo crisis from numerous experts and organizations that have contributed to the project's efforts to make the U.S. a more responsible global leader and partner. We see this policy brief as a living document that will be regularly updated and revised as this horrific manifestation of U.S. militarism and global irresponsibility evolves. The policy brief calls for the unconditional halt to this war of terror. Comments appreciated.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, NATO, Ethnic Conflict, Migration
  • Political Geography: United States, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Gerald M. Steinberg
  • Publication Date: 11-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Europe, both in terms of the individual states and collectively through the 15-member European Union, seeks to play an active role in the Middle East peace process. There are many reasons for this - substantive, political, and symbolic.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Security, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East
  • Author: Betsy Gidwitz
  • Publication Date: 09-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: In recent months, since shortly after the collapse of the Russian ruble in August 1998, an upsurge of antisemitism in Russia has generated a startling increase in emigration of Russian Jewry. Among Jews in Israel and many diaspora countries, concern has grown about the fate of those Jews remaining in Russia, the largest of the post-Soviet states.
  • Topic: Politics, Religion
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Gerald M. Steinberg
  • Publication Date: 07-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Prime Minister Ehud Barak will not get a period of grace or a post-election honeymoon. Immediately upon taking office, he faces a number of pressing issues. Many of these are domestic - including religious-secular relations and economic concerns.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Eliyahu Kanovsky
  • Publication Date: 05-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Blaming "the other guy" for current problems is a human frailty, but there are cases where there is substance to the allegation. I believe that the widespread criticism of Netanyahu's economic record lacks, at the very least, a sense of fairness and balance. On the economic front, the Netanyahu administration is faulted for the slow rate of economic growth since 1997, and, as a consequence, the rising rate of unemployment. The opposition contends that in 1996, Netanyahu inherited from the previous administration (Rabin-Peres) a thriving, prosperous, and stable economy, and then proceeded to "mess things up." What are the facts and figures? What is the larger picture?
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Aharon Lopez
  • Publication Date: 03-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: During the ceremony of the presentation of my credentials as the Ambassador of Israel to the Holy See on April 10, 1997, I told His Holiness that, actually, this was not my first connection with the Vatican. In fact, when I served as Ambassador of Israel to the Republic of Cyprus, in one of the ceremonies there, I was approached by the non-resident Ambassador of Outer Mongolia, who asked me whether I represented the Holy See in Cyprus. Of course I answered that I represented the State of Israel. Then, looking at my head, he remarked: "Oh, you are right, sir; now I can see the difference in the color!" Of course, he was referring to my skullcap.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, Religion
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Israel, Vatican city
  • Author: Robert O. Freedman
  • Publication Date: 03-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: During U.S. President Bill Clinton's second term in office, the U.S. "dual containment" policy toward Iran and Iraq, which he inherited from the Bush administration and then intensified during his first term, had come close to collapse.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Foreign Policy, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: George E. Gruen
  • Publication Date: 02-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: On June 10, 1998, Turkish police and Islamist students scuffled at Istanbul University after authorities refused to allow eleven women wearing Muslim headscarves to take final exams. The students attempted to force their way into the examination hall past police who were helping college authorities enforce a long-standing ban on Islamist attire in places of education, government ministries, and other public institutions. Istanbul University, like nearly all educational institutions in Turkey, receives public funding. Similar scuffles had occurred the previous day when police forcibly removed headscarves from some girls' heads, the pro-Islamist newspaper Zaman said. The paper printed photographs of what it said were female students who fainted in distress after their headscarves had been torn off.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Government, Human Rights, Islam, Religion
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Alan Dowty
  • Publication Date: 05-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame
  • Abstract: The 1999 Israeli elections confirm the emergence of a more centrist Israeli politics A “national unity government” emerging from the elections is a distinct possibility Though the peace process was not a major issue, the outcome will be a renewal of peace talks Deals on both the Palestinian and Syrian fronts may be closer to realization than is generally realized.
  • Topic: Government, Peace Studies, Elections
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Syria
  • Publication Date: 12-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: In its sixth year of expansion, the Dutch economy has continued to perform well, with strong real GDP growth and job creation. But some tensions have appeared, and inflation is close to the upper limit of price stability as defined by the European Central Bank. The outlook is broadly favourable as GDP growth is expected to slow only moderately: this would provide a welcome cooling-off of the economy. However, fiscal policy needs to remain particularly vigilant concerning the risk of overheating, and stand ready to tighten promptly, within the budgetary framework, if so needed. A major challenge facing the authorities is to deal with the important unfinished agenda in the structural area through speeding up the process of structural reform. The announced income tax reform is particularly necessary, not only to improve fiscal efficiency and equity, but also to redress incentives to work. This would enhance labour market policies aimed at increasing the outflow from social security schemes, and would boost the active labour force and potential output. Other necessary actions include reforming the health care system and introducing more market forces in public transport and some other former public utilities. Taking advantage of the favourable conjunctural situation, the authorities should move ahead forcefully along all these lines, thereby contributing to the continuation of strong job creation in an environment of sustainable economic growth.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Netherlands
  • Publication Date: 12-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: The economic crisis of 1998 has victimised a number of important areas of institutional development and increased social distress among much of the population. A responsible fiscal and monetary response to the crisis, bolstered by a strengthened current account, has helped to stabilise inflation and the exchange rate, although the low level of reserves, the demands of foreign debt service, and threats to the independence of the Central Bank speak for the continued fragility of the achieved level of stability. A restructuring of foreign debt is critical for consolidating trends in the fiscal sphere. While the quick onset of a recovery in GDP in the wake of the weaker rouble is encouraging, delays in structural reforms and low administered input prices raise concern about the quality and sustainability of this growth. The restructuring and regulation of the commercial banking sector continues to pose major challenges to the Central Bank and the Russian government. Throughout a decade of transition, problems in demonetisation and fiscal federalist relations, the particular focus of this Survey, have been important underlying structural obstacles to economic reform. Although some institutional reforms have provided a foundation for a market economy, delays in addressing these and other fundamental problems have impeded efficiency and increased the comparative vulnerability of the Russian economy to external shocks. The future stability and growth of the Russian economy will require the continuation of responsible macroeconomic policies, but depends first and foremost on progress in structural reform, including tax reform, effective institutions of bankruptcy, competition, more decisive and comprehensive measures to combat the process of demonetisation, defend the rule of law, and realise fundamental reform in fiscal federalist relations.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Publication Date: 12-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: The euro came into being under mixed auspices. On the one hand, convergence efforts in the run-up to monetary union, particularly in the fiscal area, had helped bring inflation and interest rates down to historically low levels. On the other hand, growth, which had only just started to recover in earnest after several disappointing years, was slowing down in the wake of a series of emerging market crises. The macroeconomic policy mix prevailing in 1999 combined monetary easing and modest fiscal consolidation. It contributed to sustain domestic demand, limiting the extent of the deceleration. With a brightening external environment, growth picked up vigorously in the second half of the year. In hindsight, the new regime's début is commendable, especially when recalling the gloomy predictions of some sceptics and taking into account that this first year has been a period of learning-by-doing for all agents. Major challenges lie ahead, however, both as regards long-run fiscal sustainability in the face of population ageing and as regards market structures. The policy tradeoffs facing European policymakers are harsher in some important ways than those confronting their counterparts across the Atlantic, because of deeply ingrained labour and product market rigidities. Those are being addressed in various ways, and tangible progress is being made. Nonetheless, reform efforts should be stepped up to raise economic performance significantly above the record of the 1990s.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Date: 12-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Globalisation has become a key force of change in all OECD countries. It is making our economies more open, bringing new opportunities, new markets and new wealth. But it also demands more rapid adjustment to change. The accomplishment of strategic restructuring is often required, so that workers are not displaced or excluded from the labour market and so that no localities are left to lag behind or decline. In the new economic environment, policy-makers must help build dynamic and flexible regions and cities. They must assist the transition from individual closed local economic systems to a new, open global system. To do this, it is important to “think globally and act locally”.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Globalization, Government
  • Publication Date: 12-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: The new government has set itself the ambitious tasks of lowering unemployment, modernising the economy and the social system, and securing the long term viability of the budget and the health and pension systems. Ecological goals have been given equal prominence in order to ensure the environmental sustainability of economic development. In some fields there has been progress. However, the fiscal package needs to be fully implemented to put public finances on a sustainable path and to create a tax regime that is more business friendly. These policies should be underpinned by structural reforms that strengthen future growth prospects. Such policies can benefit both macroeconomic performance and future fiscal outcomes. While short-term growth prospects are already improving, unemployment remains a major problem. With respect to its strategy for reducing unemployment, the government is seeking to obtain consensus, inter-alia on an employmentfriendly wage policy, via round-table talks with the social partners. It is important that a consistent set of policy instruments emerge that establish clear links between policies and ultimate policy goals. For Germany to attain the employment, growth and environmental aims commensurate with its key position in the European economy, requires not only favourable macroeconomic conditions, including aggregate wage developments, but a policy emphasis which more effectively enhances labour-market flexibility, as well as structural reforms that strengthen individual initiative, economic choice and the role of competition. Since structural and macroeconomic policies tend to have synergies which make them mutually reinforcing, achieving a more flexible and dynamic use of resources will help to assure progress towards the country's social, budgetary, environmental and economic goals.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • Publication Date: 12-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: The Icelandic economy has expanded rapidly over the past five years, bringing output to well above its potential. Clear signs of overheating have emerged, with unemployment below 2 per cent, inflation picking up and a large current external deficit. These developments are projected to continue, raising the risks of a wage-price spiral and financial instability. To guard against such risks, a significant tightening of monetary policy is required, with less priority attached to the exchange rate as a target for policy. This should be complemented by a medium-term fiscal discipline aiming at achieving a structural budget surplus. Such a course would help cope with long-term care spending that will rise with ageing. On the other hand, except for government employees, pensions should not constitute a burden for public finances, as, for the main, they will be provided by the private sector. To enhance future growth prospects, it will be important to maintain and extend the fishing quota regime in the face of legal threats and to increase competitive forces, especially in the telecommunications industry.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Iceland
  • Publication Date: 10-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: The collapse of communism in Central and Eastern Europe and the subsequent disintegration of the Soviet Union brought the region's serious environmental problems to the attention of the international community. Although the countries in this vast area of the world are remarkably diverse, central economic planning had created a common pattern of environmental problems. Notable among these problems were levels of industrial pollution that, in many places, threatened human health; widespread land and water degradation (particularly in the former Soviet Union); and the persistent neglect of nuclear safety and nuclear waste management.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Environment
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Soviet Union
  • Publication Date: 10-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Never before have so many countries at such different levels of development been involved in so much activity aimed at progressively rolling back obstacles to freer trade and investment. Yet, paradoxically, at no time during the post-war period has the prospect of further liberalisation generated so much public anxiety, not least within those countries that built much of their prosperity on a liberal trade and investment order.
  • Topic: Economics, Environment, Government, International Trade and Finance, Sovereignty
  • Publication Date: 07-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: The goal of a large number of criminal acts is to generate a profit for the individual or group that carries out the act. Money laundering is the processing of these criminal proceeds to disguise their illegal origin. This process is of critical importance, as it enables the criminal to enjoy these profits without jeopardising their source.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Publication Date: 06-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Twice a year, in June and December, the OECD publishes its Economic Outlook (EO), which contains projections for a number of key economic variables over a two to two and a half-year horizon.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: David Weiner
  • Publication Date: 11-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Overseas Development Council
  • Abstract: The debate over trade and labor standards is one of the most divisive in relations between industrial and developing countries. Concern about the impact of trade on workers is undermining support for trade liberalization worldwide.
  • Topic: Environment, International Organization, International Trade and Finance, World Trade Organization
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Kevin M. Morrison
  • Publication Date: 09-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Overseas Development Council
  • Abstract: Kevin M. Morrison September 1999 Overseas Development Council The debate over debt relief has reached a critical phase. The pressing need to reduce the crushing debt of the highly indebted poorest countries (HIPCs) is no longer in doubt, due to the efforts of advocates in developing and developed countries. At the Cologne G7 Summit in June, the leaders of the richest countries decided to speed up and enlarge their previous debt relief initiative. Now the issue is: How are donors going to pay the bill? The G7 is exploring various means to finance the expanded initiative, and they hope to announce the plan this month during the annual meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF).But there is concern that, when all is said and done, financing the initiative will cut down other resources for developing countries. Key development assistance programs might be reduced, as might developing countries' earnings from gold exports if the IMF sells some of its gold reserves to finance the relief and the price of gold drops. The point of debt relief is, as the leaders said in Cologne, "to provide a greater focus on poverty reduction by releasing resources for investment in health, education, and social needs." Thus, to provide debt relief and then reduce other resources for development makes little sense.
  • Topic: Environment, International Organization, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: J. Brian Atwood
  • Publication Date: 06-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Overseas Development Council
  • Abstract: Let me begin by thanking John Sewell and ODC for sponsoring this forum. ODC has contributed so much to development thinking over the years. I could not think of a more appropriate venue for my last message to the development community as AID Administrator. One year ago, I decided it was time to bring my tenure to a close. About that time Sandy Berger asked me if I would agree to serve as Ambassador to Brazil. That decision was obviously a mistake. I lost control over my own timetable. I would probably still be waiting for a hearing if I had not withdrawn my nomination. Timetables are important when you are trying to bring closure to both a government career and a term of office. When I leave government on July 9, I will complete six years, two months and four days as AID Administrator. That is not a record, by the way, it just feels that way ! While it is natural to want to achieve a neat closure to this experience, I have concluded that there will always be unfinished business. That is what I want to talk to you about today.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Globalization, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Catherine Gwin
  • Publication Date: 06-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Overseas Development Council
  • Abstract: Catherine Gwin June 1999 Overseas Development Council Fifteen years after the end of the Cold War, a new development cooperation paradigm is emerging. Spurred by global economic and political change, development cooperation is undergoing a fundamental redesign on three levels: 1) rationale and purpose, 2) strategy, and 3) provision of assistance.
  • Topic: Development, Globalization, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: David Weiner
  • Publication Date: 05-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Overseas Development Council
  • Abstract: U.S. trade leadership has suffered from a contentious policy debate that has left President Clinton without new fast-track trade negotiating authority since 1994. Disagreement over the impact of commerce with developing countries on jobs and the environment is at the heart of the trade quarrel, but that quarrel misreads what is happening in developing economies and what is achievable in negotiations with them.
  • Topic: Environment, International Organization, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Stuart Eizenstat
  • Publication Date: 04-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Overseas Development Council
  • Abstract: The Overseas Development Council was prescient in calling for an international dialogue on globalization last year. It is a particularly important time for a dialogue on the relationship between globalization and development, given new concerns raised by the global financial crisis.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, Globalization, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Gary P. Sampson
  • Publication Date: 02-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Overseas Development Council
  • Abstract: Environmentalists and trade advocates have clashed frequently in recent years. Environmentalists argue that international trade rules restrict the legitimate use of trade measures to enforce environmental standards internationally and undermine environmental standards at home. Trade officials argue that trade measures are not the appropriate tools to dal with environmental problems, no is the World Trade Organization (WTO) the appropriate institution. They contend that environmentalists need to put their own house in order rather than resort to trade measures to achieve their objectives.
  • Topic: Environment, International Organization, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: Oxford Analytica
  • Publication Date: 12-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: Croatia is preparing for two elections—parliamentary polls on January 3 and, following the recent death of President Franjo Tudjman, a presidential contest on January 24. Thus, the population has an opportunity to choose real change, and to set Croatia firmly on the path of economic transformation and European integration, after a period of stilted political and economic development, marked by cronyism, under Tudjman. However, this scenario is by no means certain.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Oxford Analytica
  • Publication Date: 12-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: It was exactly 18 years ago this week that former Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin rushed from his hospital room, where he was being treated for a broken hip, descended on a surprised Knesset, and, within a few hours, forced through a bill imposing Israeli sovereignty on the Golan Heights. This same sense of urgency now animates Prime Minister Ehud Barak in his attempts to negotiate a peace agreement with Syria that will, perforce, require the abrogation of Begin's initiative.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Palestine
  • Author: Oxford Analytica
  • Publication Date: 12-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: European defence cooperation will be a key issue at this week's European Council (EC) summit. It looks likely that ministers will agree that Europe should move towards an autonomous military capability independent of NATO. However, significant problems remain before these plans can be realised in operational terms.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, NATO
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Oxford Analytica
  • Publication Date: 12-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: The quarter-point increase in the fed funds rate announced at the November 16 Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting was accompanied by the adoption of a neutral directive for the inter-meeting period, in place of the bias towards tightening in force since early October. The directive indicates that the Fed intends the rise to be the last of this year. However, the OECD, in its recent Economic Outlook, predicted that another one percentage point increase in the fed funds rate will be needed to restore demand and supply to equilibrium. While the economy will probably not slow sufficiently of its own accord, the incentives to defer action into 2000 mean that rates are likely to remain as they are during 1999, though probably associated with an announced bias towards tightening.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Oxford Analytica
  • Publication Date: 11-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) Council will meet on November 27 to deliberate the political understanding reached between First Minister-elect David Trimble and the Sinn Fein leadership. Trimble will probably achieve the level of support necessary for devolution to occur in Northern Ireland, by a narrow margin. However, significant political difficulties, remain to be addressed in the months following devolution. The medium-term prospects for the peace process will primarily depend on the IRA's approach to implementing its commitment to decommission.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Oxford Analytica
  • Publication Date: 11-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: Despite Hanoi's repeated assertions of its commitment to reform, the gap between the government's stated policies and what happens on the ground remains as wide as ever. The root of this problem is the diffusion of power throughout the multiple layers of government and bureaucracy. There are no quick-fix solutions which will centralise political power. A combination of continued global economic integration and exposure to outside ideas, allied with the government's own initiatives in areas such as administrative reform, provide the most likely route to strengthening the central administration's power.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Soviet Union, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Oxford Analytica
  • Publication Date: 10-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: Compromise and accommodation are the watchwords of the new Indonesian government. During the past two weeks, the top legislative and executive positions have been distributed to the leaders of four of the country's five major political parties. The new cabinet, announced on October 26, continues this trend. Active and retired members of the military hold six seats, giving them a larger representation than any single political party. Not only President Abdurrahman Wahid, but all of Indonesia's political leaders, are hoping that by sharing power, rather than struggling for supremacy, conflict can be minimised and some measure of reform achieved. However, it is likely that governmental splits will emerge in the medium term.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Southeast Asia
  • Author: Oxford Analytica
  • Publication Date: 10-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: Russia's military operations in the North Caucasus have, so far, received broad domestic support and enhanced the popularity of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. This stands in contrast to the 1994-96 conflict. The difference can be explained by the successful characterisation of the enemy as terrorists combined with the low level of conscript casualties. Moscow politicians have united broadly behind the military strategy, with opposition limited to extreme reformist groups. Two key consequences emerge from this situation. Firstly, Putin's political future is tied to the continued success of the campaign. Secondly, the nationalist fervour sparked by the conflict has reduced international investor confidence and led to domestic calls for increased defence spending.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, International Trade and Finance, Nationalism, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Caucasus
  • Author: Oxford Analytica
  • Publication Date: 10-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: Pessimism surrounding the Japanese economy has lessened as, against most expectations, recovery continues to take hold. Analysts who predicted further contraction in Japan's GDP during fiscal 1999 have altered to a more optimistic outlook. The reason for this turnaround is a general change in perception of the recession. Rather than the downturn being part of a decade-long stagnation persisting since the collapse of the bubble economy in 1991, the recession was in fact of more recent origin and, therefore, of a less intractable nature than commonly supposed.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Japan, East Asia
  • Author: Oxford Analytica
  • Publication Date: 10-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: Daily demonstrations calling for Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic to resign have, over recent weeks, been poorly attended. In part this reflects the opposition parties' failure to resolve their differences. This has led to growing scepticism in the West about the Serbian people's ability to bring about political change. In these circumstances, the international community may alter its policy towards the country. However, greater efforts to support the democratic opposition could prove counter-productive in the short-to-medium term due to anti-Western sentiment in the aftermath of the NATO air campaign. In the longer term the West will need to reconsider its policy towards the Balkans if it wants to play a constructive role in regional democratisation.
  • Topic: International Relations, NATO, Democratization, Politics
  • Political Geography: Mongolia, Eastern Europe, Serbia, Balkans
  • Publication Date: 11-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: The outright victory of the Alliance candidate, Fernando de la Rua, on the first round of voting in the presidential elections on October 24, reflects the desire for a change of political style. De la Rua's approach to government will be less personalist and more consensual than that of the outgoing president, Carlos Menem. While economic policy is unlikely to change in any fundamental way, the new government will be under pressure to root out corruption. It will be the first time since the return to civilian rule in 1983 that a government lacks a majority in either chamber of Congress, which may strengthen democratic institutions.
  • Topic: Corruption, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Argentina
  • Author: Oxford Analytica
  • Publication Date: 09-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: The Indonesian army has, so far, failed to derail President BJ Habibie's plans for East Timorese self-determination. Nevertheless, military leaders have reasserted themselves as key players in domestic politics by imposing a high cost on politicians who fail to take sufficient account of their agenda. Civilian contenders for political power are actively courting army support. A likely consequence will be the emergence of a civilian-led government with close ties to the military. Opposition leader Megawati Sukarnoputri is the front-runner for the presidency, possibly with Army Chief General Wiranto as her vice-president.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Oxford Analytica
  • Publication Date: 09-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: Debate surrounding the US elections in 2000 has centred on the contests for the presidency, and control of the House of Representatives. Far less attention has been placed on the partisan balance within the Senate. During the past two decades, the upper chamber has increased its influence over policy direction, a trend that appears likely to continue. Growing senatorial influence will act as a moderating force in US politics regardless of who occupies the White House or which party holds a majority in the House.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Oxford Analytica
  • Publication Date: 09-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: The attractions of the single european currency are likely to draw the Scandinavian countries into the euro-area by around 2003. However, the outlook for United Kingdom accession is complicated by differences in its economic profile compared with the rest of the euro-area, combined with its enduringly euro-sceptical public opinion. These factors are likely to postpone its accession until later in the decade.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Oxford Analytica
  • Publication Date: 09-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: Last week's signing of an Israeli–Palestinian agreement at Sharm al-Sheikh represents an important development in the search for a lasting settlement in the Middle East. The deal illustrates that it is possible to reach an agreement from which all parties will gain, while also exposing enduring problems. The progress made at Sharm al-Sheikh represents, as Nabil Shaath of the Palestinian authority described, an 'unfreezing' of the peace process. Whether the whole process can be infused with greater warmth depends firstly on US efforts to impel the Syrian–Israeli peace negotiations; secondly, it relies on the ability of the regional leaders to make the compromises necessary to reach a peace that all can present as a victory to their domestic constituencies.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Development, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Syria
  • Author: Oxford Analytica
  • Publication Date: 08-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: The present incursion of Islamic rebels into Dagestan is not the prelude to a re-run of the Chechen war across the Russian periphery. However, it highlights Moscow's failure to adequately monitor developments in the North Caucasus region and the lack of military preparedness for dealing with internal rebellions. Despite the potential for increased violence, weak central government control is likely to prevail across the region, but only because for the majority of the local population, the alternatives appear even less palatable.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Islam
  • Political Geography: Russia, North Caucasus
  • Author: Oxford Analytica
  • Publication Date: 08-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: In the past nine months, the United States and the United Kingdom have pursued a low-intensity military campaign against Iraq. Such actions have been made easier by a lack of political scrutiny. However, the US administration in particular now faces mounting criticism from France, China and Russia, who favour a relaxation of policy, and domestic US interest groups favouring a more activist stance. Despite these pressures, US President Bill Clinton is unlikely to change policy significantly in his remaining 18 months of office.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Iraq, United Kingdom, Middle East, France
  • Author: Oxford Analytica
  • Publication Date: 08-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: On July 28, the IMF's Board of Directors announced their approval of a 4.5 billion dollar loan to Russia. Rather than representing a breakthrough deal, the agreement is merely the latest chapter in the cycle of non–compliance and renegotiation that has characterised the Fund's relationship with Moscow. With presidential and parliamentary polls scheduled during the next twelve months, electoral pressures will almost certainly prevent the latest macroeconomic programme being implemented. Moreover, unless the root cause of Russia's economic problems—its dire GDP growth rate—is rectified, a further round of comprehensive renegotiations will be required.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, Government, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Moscow
  • Author: Oxford Analytica
  • Publication Date: 07-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: In recent weeks, economic data has produced conflicting signals about the strength of domestic demand within the US economy. A majority within the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) believes that growth will decelerate and that only a small tightening of monetary policy will be necessary in the short term. However, the Federal Reserve has consistently underestimated domestic demand, and there are signs that the economy is still buoyant. Moreover, with improving economic prospects in Europe and Asia, the external forces encouraging lower US interest rates are likely to be reversed. The combination of these factors could put pressure on the Fed to tighten further.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Oxford Analytica
  • Publication Date: 07-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: The success of NATO in forcing the Serbian army to quit Kosovo has led some western leaders, notably the UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, to espouse a new 'moral' emphasis in foreign policy. While a complete abandonment of self–interest for ethics can be dismissed, there are important new factors affecting the conduct of international affairs, which vary in regional applicability.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, NATO, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Serbia
  • Author: Oxford Analytica
  • Publication Date: 07-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: Despite last week's crackdown on pro-reform demonstrations, there is still considerable momentum behind President Mohamed Khatami's political liberalisation drive. While the democratisation movement may have suffered a short-term setback and is likely to encounter further opposition from right-wing clerics, Khatami's reform coalition remains in place and is still likely to be buoyed by next year's parliamentary election results. Nonetheless, the president needs quickly to reassert his commitment to change in the run-up to the election.
  • Topic: Security, Democratization, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Michael J. White
  • Publication Date: 02-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
  • Abstract: Migration is the demographic process that links rural to urban areas, generating or spurring the growth of cities. The resultant urbanization is linked to a variety of policy issues, spanning demographic, economic, and environmental concerns. Growing cities are often seen as the agents of environmental degradation. Urbanization can place stress on the land through sprawl; coincident industrial development may threaten air and water quality. In the eyes of many observers, rapid urbanization is also linked to problems of unemployment and the social adaptation of migrants in their new urban setting. Cities advertise society's inequalities in income, housing, and other social resources, whether these problems are new or just newly manifest in urban settings. Most of the migration conventionally liked to these urban issues was seen as following a conventional pattern. In this policy brief I raise some issues about the nature of contemporary, migratory behavior, both for our understanding of processes of population redistribution directly, and for understanding some of the implications of that redistribution. Contemporary research is sketching the contours of this migratory behavior and the social adjustment that accompanies it. New research is beginning to shed light on the rate of migrant adaptation, on the connection between origin and destination communities through remittances, and the demographic structure and dynamics of refugee movements.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Civil Society, Development, Economics, Migration
  • Author: David Everatt
  • Publication Date: 02-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
  • Abstract: Comparative Urban Studies Project Policy Brief Yet Another Transition? Urbanization, Class Formation, and the End of National Liberation Struggle in South Africa Presented February 8-9, 1999, at the Woodrow Wilson Center for the Comparative Urban Studies Project's Research Working Group on Urbanization, Population, the Environment, and Security funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development. These policy briefs do not represent an official position of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars or the U.S. Agency for International Development. Opinions expressed are solely those of the authors. South Africa's negotiated settlement is widely hailed as a small miracle. What is the state of the miracle five years on?
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Government
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa
  • Author: Richard Middleton, John Kalbermatten, Peter Rogers
  • Publication Date: 02-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
  • Abstract: In large urban area of developing countries, about 30% of the population does not have access to safe water, and 50% does not have adequate sanitation. That means that over 500 million people do not have safe water, and 850 million people do not have proper sanitation. By the year 2020, there will be nearly 2 billion more people in urban areas needing these services. Putting it another way, in the next 20 years water supply coverage will have to more than triple, and sanitation coverage more than quadruple, if everyone in these countries is to be adequately served. To do this, even at a low consumption figure of 100 liters/person/day, will require an additional 88 BCM/year - both of water to be supplied and of wastewater to be safely disposed of.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Government, Industrial Policy
  • Author: Alan Gilbert
  • Publication Date: 02-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
  • Abstract: This paper will argue that no consistent or meaningful relationship exists between urbanization and security. For a start, the words urbanisation and security do not mean a great deal because they embrace too many cross-cutting ideas and processes. Second, researchers have found few consistent correlations between the numerous dimensions of security and urbanisation. Third, insofar as one can find a close correlation, independent variables usually account for the statistical relationship. Fourth, even when a direct correlation between security and urbanisation exists, the direction of causation is by no means obvious. Finally, every country and every city contains so much internal variation that most generalisations across nations, let alone across regions, are rendered meaningless.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Civil Society, Development, Government
  • Publication Date: 01-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: U.S. Government Statistics, Economic Statistics Briefing Room
  • Abstract: This report presents summary data on the 100 companies, and their subsidiaries, receiving the largest dollar volume of Department of Defense (DoD) prime contract awards during fiscal year (FY) 1998. Table 1 lists the 100 companies in alphabetical order and gives their associated rank. Table 2 identifies the parent companies in rank order, with their subsidiaries, and gives the total net value of awards for both the parent company and its subsidiaries. In many cases, the parent company receives no awards itself, but appears on the list because of its subsidiaries. Table 2 also shows what percentage of the total awards each company's awards represent, as well as the cumulative percentage represented by all companies. Table 3 lists the top 100 companies DoD-wide in rank order and breaks the totals into three categories of procurement: Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation (RDT); Other Services and Construction; and Supplies and Equipment. Table 4 lists the top 50 companies for each of the Reporting Components in rank order, and by category of procurement.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 09-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: U.S. Government Statistics, Economic Statistics Briefing Room
  • Abstract: This report presents summary data on the 100 prime contractors receiving the largest dollar volume in Department of Defense (DoD) awards over $25,000 for research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT) work during fiscal year (FY) 1998. RDT work can include research (basic and applied) and development (exploratory, advanced, engineering, operational systems, or management and support services). Full definitions for each of these categories are provided in Section 235.001 of the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement. These data rank each corporation according to its relative standing. The order of ranking is based on the net value of each contractor's RDT awards. Beginning in FY 1994, the contractors have been ranked by the parent company vs. subsidiaries or divisions of the company as in past issues of this publication. For example, figures for General Motors Corporation include awards to Hughes Aircraft Company. Also, classification of a company as foreign is based on the parent company. Beginning in FY 1996, only the top 100 contractors are listed in this publication. When percentages are used for dollar amounts they are based on whole dollars. Table 1 lists the 100 contractors in alphabetical order, displays the order of ranking for each, and shows how each has been categorized for reporting purposes. The categories are business firm (B), foreign contractor (F), and nonprofit institution (N). Table 2 shows the net value of awards to U.S. business firms. Those firms which qualify as small businesses are further identified by an "S." The net value of awards to each of the firm's reported locations is also provided. Tables 3 and 4 provide the net value of awards to U.S. educational and other nonprofit institutions and foreign contractors. As in Table 1, contractors in Tables 2 through 4 are shown by order of ranking, with their total awards indicated by an asterisk (*). The value of awards to each of the contractor's reported locations is also shown for these tables.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Economics, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 01-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: U.S. Government Statistics, Economic Statistics Briefing Room
  • Abstract: This report provides data on prime contract actions (PCAs) over $25,000 awarded by the Department of Defense (DoD) in fiscal year (FY) 1998. For reporting purposes, contracts have been distributed by dollar value into 11 different size categories. The tables provide information on the number of total actions, their net value, and their percentage of distribution, by size, and according to a variety of categories. The categories include Defense Component, type of contract involved, extent of competed procurements, kind of contract action taken, selected procurement programs, and labor standard statutes. Table 1 presents data by individual size category (e.g., $25,000 to $49,999, $50,000 to $99,999) while Tables 2 through 7 present data in cumulative categories (e.g., $25,000 or more; $50,000 or more). The information in Prime Contract Awards, Size Distribution, assists DoD management in projecting the workload that will be required by various proposed projects. For example, using data in this publication, DoD officials could determine that a proposal to review all contract actions of $500,000 or more in FY 1998 would require examining approximately 27,000 transactions, or 11.7 percent of the total transactions as shown in Table 2. These data can also be used to identify trends in DoD procurement, (e.g., to identify which of the various types of contracts were most frequently awarded, in terms of number of contract actions, during FY 1998).
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 01-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: U.S. Government Statistics, Economic Statistics Briefing Room
  • Abstract: This report presents a variety of current and historical data pertaining to Department of Defense (DoD) prime contract awards. All historical tables commence with fiscal year (FY) 1988 data. Six categories of data on DoD prime contracts are provided. Data are displayed by type of contractor, by procurement program, by competition, and by type of contract pricing provision. Awards for research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT) are discussed separately, as is the DoD Small Business Subcontracting Program. Amounts in this report are shown for the DoD Agency that awards the prime contracts and not the department or agency that budgets for the supplies or services. In addition, data for the Army, Navy, and Air Force include prime contracts awarded on behalf of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and other Federal Agencies, as well as for foreign countries whose Defense purchases are reimbursable. Percentages are derived by dividing the detail line or the subtotal line by the base line designated by 100 percent, unless otherwise noted. Column headings, footnotes, or section narrative are used to identify these exceptions. Indentation is used to provide assistance in recognizing total, subtotal, and detail line information. The data are collected in whole dollars and the totals given in some tables may not add due to rounding. This report includes awards made by Other Defense Agencies (ODAs), which are listed in the Glossary. It also includes tariff or regulated acquisitions under $25,000. It does not include obligations for “in house” work performed at government owned and operated establishments, such as Navy shipyards, Army arsenals, and Air Force research laboratories, except to the extent that such establishments place contracts for supplies and services with industry or other Federal Agencies. The estimated dollar amounts of indefinite quantity petroleum contracts are included in this report, but the number of individual orders written against these contracts has not been included in the totals for procurement actions. For the definition of terms used in this publication, see the Glossary.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 12-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: U.S. Government Statistics, Economic Statistics Briefing Room
  • Abstract: The Nation's international deficit in goods and services increased to $25.9 billion in October, from $24.2 billion (revised) in September, as exports decreased and imports increased.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 12-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: U.S. Government Statistics, Economic Statistics Briefing Room
  • Abstract: The Nation's international deficit in goods and services increased to $24.4 billion in September, from $23.5 billion (revised) in August, as exports decreased and imports increased.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 11-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: U.S. Government Statistics, Economic Statistics Briefing Room
  • Abstract: The Nation's international deficit in goods and services decreased to $24.1 billion in August, from $24.9 billion (revised) in July, as exports increased more than imports.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 09-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: U.S. Government Statistics, Economic Statistics Briefing Room
  • Abstract: The Nation's international deficit in goods and services increased to $25.2 billion in July, from $24.6 billion (revised) in June, as imports increased more than exports.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 08-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: U.S. Government Statistics, Economic Statistics Briefing Room
  • Abstract: The Nation's international deficit in goods and services increased to $24.6 billion in June, from $21.2 billion (revised) in May, as imports increased more than exports.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 07-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: U.S. Government Statistics, Economic Statistics Briefing Room
  • Abstract: The Nation's international deficit in goods and services increased to $21.3 billion in May, from $18.6 billion (revised) in April, as imports increased and exports decreased.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 06-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: U.S. Government Statistics, Economic Statistics Briefing Room
  • Abstract: The Nation's international deficit in goods and services was $18.9 billion in April, virtually unchanged from March (revised), as exports and imports increased.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 04-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: U.S. Government Statistics, Economic Statistics Briefing Room
  • Abstract: The Nation's international deficit in goods and services increased to $19.4 billion in February, from $16.8 billion (revised) in January as imports increased and exports decreased.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 03-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: U.S. Government Statistics, Economic Statistics Briefing Room
  • Abstract: The Nation's international deficit in goods and services increased to $17.0 billion in January, from $14.1 billion (revised) in December as imports increased and exports decreased.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 01-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: U.S. Government Statistics, Economic Statistics Briefing Room
  • Abstract: The Nation's international deficit in goods and services increased to $15.5 billion in November, from $13.6 billion (revised) in October as imports increased and exports decreased.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Publication Date: 12-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: U.S. Government Statistics, Economic Statistics Briefing Room
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 09-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: U.S. Government Statistics, Economic Statistics Briefing Room
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 06-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: U.S. Government Statistics, Economic Statistics Briefing Room
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 03-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: U.S. Government Statistics, Economic Statistics Briefing Room
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 12-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: U.S. Government Statistics, Economic Statistics Briefing Room
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 11-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: U.S. Government Statistics, Economic Statistics Briefing Room
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 08-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: U.S. Government Statistics, Economic Statistics Briefing Room
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 01-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: U.S. Government Statistics, Economic Statistics Briefing Room
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Mahnaz Fahim-Nader
  • Publication Date: 06-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: U.S. Government Statistics, Economic Statistics Briefing Room
  • Abstract: Last year,outlays by foreign direct investors to acquire or establish businesses in the United States surged to $201.0 billion, 2 1/2 times the previous record of $79.9 billion set in 1996 and almost triple the 1997 level of $69.7 billion ( table 1 and chart 1). The 1998 outlays were boosted by two exceptionally large acquisitions, each of which significantly exceeded the size of any previous single investment. However, even without these two investments, outlays were still about 40 percent higher than those in 1996.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Dale P. Shannon, William J. Zeile
  • Publication Date: 05-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: U.S. Government Statistics, Economic Statistics Briefing Room
  • Abstract: A new data set on foreign–owned establishments supports an analysis of regional patterns of foreign direct investment in the United States (FDIUS) that uses comprehensive establishment data and is based on geographic areas that are defined on an economic basis rather than on a strictly political or administrative basis. A key feature of the data set is the separate identification of newly built, or “greenfield,” establishments. Greenfield establishments are of particular interest in the analysis of FDIUS because they indicate explicit locational choices by the foreign owners at the time of the investment.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 03-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: There is a considerable range in OECD national tax levels, as tax revenues as a percentage of GDP show. The tax bur- den in 1996 exceeded 45% of GDP in five countries, all in Europe – Den- mark, Sweden, Finland, Belgium and France. In contrast, five countries had tax levels below 30%: Mexico, Korea, Turkey, Japan and the United States. Mexico's total tax revenues were nearly 22 percentage points below the OECD average of 37.7%.
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, Europe, Turkey, Korea, Mexico
  • Publication Date: 03-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Gross Domestic product: Volume series, seasonally adjusted except for Czech Republic and Portugal; Leading indicator: A composite indicator, based on other indicators of economic activity (employment, sales, income, etc.), which signals cyclical movements in industrial production from six to nine months in advance; Consumer price index: Measures changes in average retail prices of a fixed basket of goods and services; Current balance: $ billion; not seasonally adjusted except for Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States; Unemployment rate: % of civilian labour force – standardised unemployment rate; national definitions for Czech Republic, Iceland, Korea, Mexico, Poland, Switzerland and Turkey; seasonally adjusted apart from Turkey; Interest rate: Three months, except for Greece (twelve months) and Turkey (overnight interbank rate); .. not available Sources: Main Economic Indicators, OECD Publications, Paris, December 1998. For Hungary, PIB*: CSO and current balance*: Central Bank.
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom, Turkey, Poland, Australia, Switzerland, Mexico
  • Publication Date: 01-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Health care spending In the United States public spending on health care came to 3.9% of GDP in 1980, and rose to 6.3% by 1995. Most countries saw some increase too, but a few countries saw their ratios fall, notably Sweden (8.7% to 7.1%) and Ireland (7.1% to 5.2%). The country with the highest ratio of public health care spending to GDP in 1995 was Germany, with 8.1%. US public spending on health care was about average for the 21 countries in the table, but the United States spends as much again on private healthcare. As a result US total spending on health care stood at 13.6% of GDP in 1995, significantly higher than any other OECD country.
  • Political Geography: United States, Germany, Sweden
  • Publication Date: 01-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Gross Domestic product: Volume series, seasonally adjusted except for Czech Republic and Portugal; Leading indicator: A composite indicator, based on other indicators of economic activity (employment, sales, income, etc.), which signals cyclical movements in industrial production from six to nine months in advance; Consumer price index: Measures changes in average retail prices of a fixed basket of goods and services; Current balance: $ billion; not seasonally adjusted except for Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States; Unemployment rate: % of civilian labour force – standardised unemployment rate; national definitions for Czech Republic, Iceland, Korea, Mexico, Poland, Switzerland and Turkey; seasonally adjusted apart from Turkey; Interest rate: Three months, except for Greece (twelve months) and Turkey (overnight interbank rate). not available Sources: Main Economic Indicators, OECD Publications, Paris, December 1998. For Hungary, PIB*: CSO and current balance*: Central Bank.
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Turkey, Poland, Australia, Switzerland, Korea, Mexico
  • Publication Date: 11-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Gross Domestic Product: Volume series, seasonally adjusted except for Czech Republic and Portugal Leading Indicator: A composite indicator, based on other indicators of economic activity (employment, sales, income, etc.), which signals cyclical movements in industrial production from six to nine months in advance Consumer Price Index: Measures changes in average retail prices of a fixed basket of goods and services Current Balance: $ billion; not seasonally adjusted except for Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States Unemployment Rate: % of civilian labour force – standardised unemployment rate; national definitions for Czech Republic, Iceland, Korea, Mexico, Poland, Switzerland and Turkey; seasonally adjusted apart from Turkey Interest Rate: Three months, except for Greece (twelve months) and Turkey (overnight interbank rate) ..
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom, Turkey, Poland, Australia, Switzerland, Korea, Mexico, Iceland, Czech Republic
  • Author: Francesca di Mauro
  • Publication Date: 10-1998
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Karel Lannoo
  • Publication Date: 05-1998
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The agreement reached in the Council of EU Finance Ministers (Ecofin) on 1 December 1997 on taxation policy can be considered as a landmark in EU direct tax harmonisation. The Council agreed on a package of measures to combat harmful tax competition in the EU, including a code of conduct on corporate taxation and elements which should enable the Commission to draft a new proposal for a directive on the taxation of income from savings. The Council invited the Taxation Policy Group to continue its work and instituted a Review Group to assess harmful tax competition. The first and, until now, last EU measures in the area of direct taxation date back to 1990. These abolished double taxation between enterprises of the same group.
  • Topic: Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Michael E. OHanlon, Jerre Wilson
  • Publication Date: 12-1998
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Today's U.S. military is about one-third smaller and one-third less expensive than it was at the end of the Cold War. Even so, on a unit-by-unit basis it is as good as the U.S. armed forces of Ronald Reagan's presidency. It is far from hollow; its readiness to carry out a wide range of operations from warfighting to peacekeeping to deterrence remains quite good on the whole.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Toby F. Dalton
  • Publication Date: 04-1998
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: In a front-page story on April 21, 1998, The New York Times broke the news of Auburn Endeavor, a secret U.S.-British operation to airlift fissile material from a nuclear research facility in Tbilisi, Georgia. This operation seems to be another success for the U.S. Departments of Defense and Energy in preventing the transfer of nuclear weapons, material or technology to nuclear weapons aspirants.
  • Topic: Security, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: New York
  • Author: Ivan Eland
  • Publication Date: 12-1998
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: According to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, terrorism is the most important threat the United States and the world face as the 21st century begins. High-level U.S. officials have acknowledged that terrorists are now more likely to be able to obtain and use nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons than ever before.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Steve H. Hanke
  • Publication Date: 10-1998
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The devaluation of the Russian ruble this year was predictable, especially considering Russia's poor monetary history. State-manipulated money has been a Russian hallmark since the time of Peter the Great and shows that the country's money problems are endemic and do not depend on who controls the central bank. Czarist, Soviet, and post-Soviet governments have used the central bank printing press to finance deficit spending, resulting in high inflation, confiscation of savings, capital controls, or a combination of the three.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Soviet Union
  • Author: Anna J. Schwartz
  • Publication Date: 08-1998
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The International Monetary Fund and the U.S. Treasury Department's Exchange Stabilization Fund are undemocratic institutions unaccountable for their actions. Their current functions have little to do with their original missions. The ESF is used by the executive branch to circumvent Congress in the provision of foreign aid. Its foreign exchange interventions have, in any event, always been wasteful and ineffective at controlling the relative price of the U.S. dollar. The IMF has also been used to provide massive bailouts in the cases of Mexico in 1995 and of Asian countries since 1997. Defenders of the IMF as an international lender of last resort are misinformed since the IMF does not and cannot serve that purpose. Both institutions should be abolished, not reformed, because they are not needed to resolve currency crises and they preclude superior solutions.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, Asia, Mexico
  • Author: John D. Macomber, Charles McC. Mathias
  • Publication Date: 10-1998
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Can the United States collaborate with foreign nations in armaments development and production without jeopardizing US national security? This question - in light of America's global security obligations - demands a satisfactory answer. The economic and political advantages of greater international cooperation are significant. Benefits from cooperation include improved interoperability of weapons and equipment used by US allies and partners in operations with the United States, reduction in production costs, and preservation of a defense industrial base among US allies. Yet, considerations of national security are equally cogent.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Publication Date: 12-1998
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The provided an overview of the Indian economy. This issue will focus on three key sectors: industry, the financial sector, and agriculture. The three sectors, while seemingly unrelated, are key to India's future. Indian industry is undergoing unprecedented change as a result of the deregulation process begun in 1991, the recent downturn in the domestic economy, and the crisis in Asia. Established industries are being challenged and new ones are emerging.
  • Topic: Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Tim Forsyth
  • Publication Date: 10-1998
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: This workshop was arranged by the RIIA under the sponsorship of the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) of Japan to explore ways of increasing international investment in renewable energy technology in Asia. Enhancing renewable energy investment is clearly relevant to global strategies to mitigate climate change. However, the two debates on climate change policy and renewable energy investment have largely remained separate, and characterized by tendencies to discuss large-scale global flows of energy and investment on the one hand, and local development-oriented practice on the other. The workshop attempted to integrate these two debates, and therefore form part of a growing body of knowledge to inform the current climate change negotiations with practical options available to small and large businesses. The workshop had three main aims: to identify the implications of the Kyoto Protocol for international renewable energy investment; to define technology transfer and identify how it may be increased for renewable energy in South and Southeast Asia; to assess what public and private forms of finance could be sought to ensure the success of renewable energy businesses in South and Southeast Asia. The workshop was attended by some 30 industrialists, financiers and renewable energy specialists from around the world. This paper is a summary of the proceedings. In order to encourage frank exchange, the workshop was held under Chatham House Rule of confidentiality and anonymity, so individual speakers are not named.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Environment, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Jesmond Blumenfeld
  • Publication Date: 07-1998
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: As South Africa approaches its second inclusive elections in 1999, the government's economic record will come under increasing scrutiny. Against widespread expectations of a post-apartheid transformation in economic performance, the country's achievements in output, investment and employment have been profoundly disappointing. The adoption of a new, and more market- and investor-friendly, macroeconomic strategy in 1996 boosted confidence by promising major structural and policy reforms, but this has since been undermined by failure to meet most of the strategy's targets. In this Briefing Paper, Jesmond Blumenfeld analyses the origins, content and outcomes of the strategy as well as the economic and political dilemmas that it has created.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: South Africa, New Delhi
  • Author: Ralph Negrine
  • Publication Date: 07-1998
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The last decade of the 20th century has apparently seen a profound change in the way in which European media handle their reporting of the political process. It is a process which marks an end to the formality and sense of obligation with which parliamentary debates and the activities of individual politicians have traditionally been treated. It has been paralleled by far-reaching changes in the ways in which politicians seek to influence their electorate. This briefing paper summarizes the findings of a comprehensive study that attempts to quantify what these changes in presentation of news and information might really mean.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Abiodun Alao
  • Publication Date: 06-1998
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Prior to the recent controversy over the transfer of arms, little international attention was devoted to Sierra Leone. Even its civil war, which is at the root of the matter, did not attract any significant attention outside West Africa, despite the fact that it had claimed nearly 50,000 lives. Although its enormous diamond deposits have always attracted some interest, this has been limited to private companies and individual entrepreneurs. Many Sierra Leoneans believe that had there been sustained concern about the predicament of their country, the entire arms controversy might have been avoided. This briefing paper does not, however, attempt to delve into the complexities surrounding the sale of arms to Sierra Leone and deals only tangentially with the role of mercenaries that has been the subject of so much scrutiny. Rather, it traces the major events leading to the civil war that began in March 1991, bringing with it immense suffering for this impoverished nation. This is a tale of intrigue and power struggles that has involved most of the West African region, and has allowed unscrupulous actors from as far afield as South Africa, Britain and the United States to dabble in the affairs of this country. It is a salutary lesson in the lack of concern about the fate of small nations in the post-Cold War era.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Democratization, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, South America