Search

Number of results to display per page

Search Results

  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Russian state television's Channel One on the evening of April 22 broadcast a putative documentary film made by Kremlin correspondent Anton Vernitsky called “Plan 'Kavkaz'” (The Caucasus Plan). The film purports to show how Turkey, the United States and Great Britain attempted at the start of the 1990s to divide Russia into small parts not controlled by the federal center. The film featured Berkan Merrikh Yashar, born Abubakar—a Turkish-born ethnic Chechen who claims to be a journalist who once worked for Radio Liberty in Munich and a politician with close connections to the Turkish leadership.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Development
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Turkey, Asia, Chechnya
  • Author: Katri Pynnöniemi
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: During recent years, transport and infrastructure development has acquired the status of a 'topic to be mentioned by the president' and other high-level state officials in their public appearances. The rise of transport from almost complete oblivion into the sphere of state strategic interests has been rapid, and it is a subject which is likely to maintain a high profile in the years to come. Success in implementing the current plans for infrastructure development is considered critical in order to generate further economic growth. From the longer-term perspective, it will also be critical in ensuring the diversification of the economy and securing Russia's place amongst the most advanced economies in the world. The modernization of the transport infrastructure is also seen as a lever with which Russia can reposition herself as a power-house in Eurasia. In actual fact, Russia is not a bridge but the dead-end of Eurasia. The country is faced with the enormous task of modernizing its transport infrastructures and implementing structural reforms that have been postponed for years. This would pose a tremendous challenge even in the best possible external circumstances, never mind against the backdrop of inflation and uncertainty in the world markets which exists at present. Something which has changed is that Russia now has the resources and the appropriate legislation in place to carry out these tasks. Yet, even if considerable effort has gone into defining strategic priorities, infrastructure investments are still implemented in an ad-hoc manner. The country is in dire need of massive construction projects. If the quality of the state apparatus in managing government spending does not improve – and there are few signs of that materializing – infrastructure development will become the Trojan horse of the Russian economy.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Afghanistan has recently embarked on the process of joining the World Trade Organisation (WTO). While increased trade can help lift countries out of poverty, the experience of countries at similar levels of development to Afghanistan's which have joined the WTO suggests that, unless great care is exercised, the terms of that member ship may adversely affect poverty reduction. This paper seeks to identify how Afghanistan can give itself the best possible chance of achieving a WTO accession package that supports its efforts to develop sustainably and to reduce poverty.
  • Topic: Development, World Trade Organization
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Asia
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: This paper outlines urgent action necessary to address immediate challenges in Afghanistan and to avert humanitarian disaster. It does not seek to address all issues of concern but focuses on essential policy change in development and humanitarian spheres. While aid has contributed to progress in Afghanistan, especially in social and economic infrastructure – and whilst more aid is needed – the development process has to date been too centralised, top-heavy and insufficient. It is has been prescriptive and supply-driven, rather than indigenous and responding to Afghan needs. As a result millions of Afghans, particularly in rural areas, still face severe hardship comparable with sub-Saharan Africa. Conditions of persistent poverty have been a significant factor in the spread of insecurity.
  • Topic: Development
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Africa, Asia
  • Author: Matt Waldman
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Existing measures to promote peace in Afghanistan are not succeeding. This is not only due to the revival of the Taliban, but also because little has been done to try to ensure that families, communities, and tribes - the fundamental units of Afghan society - get on better with each other. War has fractured the social fabric of the country and, in the context of severe and persistent poverty, local disputes have the potential to turn violent and to exacerbate the wider conflict. But there is no effective strategy to help Afghans deal with disputes in a peaceful and constructive way.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Development, International Cooperation, Non-Governmental Organization, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Asia, Taliban
  • Author: J Alexander Thier
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Pakistan, a nuclear-armed, predominantly Muslim nation of 165 million, has experienced a dramatic rise in political turmoil and violence in the last year. Following the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto on December 27, 2007, analysts have raised serious concerns about Pakistan's stability and the possibility of a collapse of the federation.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Democratization, Development
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Asia
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Cambodia is one of the most disaster-prone countries in East Asia, with its vulnerability to annual floods and droughts. One of the reasons why it is vulnerable to natural disasters is that the livelihoods of the majority of people depend directly upon natural resources, with a large proportion of its population occupied in agriculture and related sectors, including animal husbandry. Extreme poverty, which limits access to food, water, and other basic amenities, increases vulnerability. These characteristics heighten Cambodia's exposure to the impacts of climate change too. The Mekong region has recently been showing signs of climate change, as illustrated in our previous report on VietNam ('Drought-Management Considerations for Climate-Change Adaptation: Focus on the Mekong Region – Report (VietNam)', October 2007). There is evidence of greater climatic extremes: both declining rainfall in the dry season and more violent rainfall in the wet season, causing flash floods. Increasingly powerful typhoons also appear to be occurring.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Energy Policy, Environment, Non-Governmental Organization
  • Political Geography: East Asia, Asia, Vietnam, Cambodia
  • Author: Daniel Markey
  • Publication Date: 12-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: How should the United States respond to Pakistan's ongoing political crisis? In particular, what position should the Bush administration take with regard to Pakistan's national elections?
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Democratization, Development
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, United States, Asia
  • Publication Date: 10-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: During recent years, drought has become a common occurrence in most areas in the Mekong River Delta of the Mekong region, including nine provinces in the Southern Central and Central Highland regions in Viet Nam. The Department of Water Resources, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), has estimated that between 1 and 1.3 million people (13–17 per cent of the total population) are affected by drought in these provinces and hence are in need of assistance. Ninh Thuan province is the worst affected of these provinces.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Environment
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Myanmar
  • Publication Date: 11-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: This paper outlines urgent action necessary to address immediate challenges in Afghanistan and to avert humanitarian disaster. It does not see k to address all issues of concern but focuses on essential policy change in development and human itarian spheres.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Asia