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  • Author: Ivan Eland, Timothy M. Beard
  • Publication Date: 02-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Although the end of the Cold War reduced the likelihood of a nuclear exchange between the superpowers, several smaller rogue states, through their dedicated efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles, have emerged as potential threats to U.S. national security. National Intelligence Estimate 95-19 stated that no new missile threats to the United States would develop before 2010. However, given the curious circumstances of the estimate's release and the many analytical faults contained in the document, its results have been questioned.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, National Security
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: C. Richard Nelson, Jr. Gillespie, Brandon Grove Jr., David E. McGiffert
  • Publication Date: 07-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The implications of the transfer of the Panama Canal go well beyond U.S. relations with Panama. This complex transition provides an important lesson for Latin America and the rest of the world on how countries of vastly different size and outlook can work together. The success of this 20 year process lies mainly in first identifying the primary common interest of the United States, Panama and the major canal users: access to an open, safe and efficient canal. Important but secondary concerns, including U.S. military access to facilities in Panama, were addressed during the process but never were allowed to displace the primary interest. By focusing on this clear, compelling key objective, both Panama and the United States were able to accommodate fundamental changes in the political, economic and security context, including several changes in administrations, tough negotiations and even a military confrontation.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America
  • Author: Roger Kirk, Jack M. Seymour Jr., John Lampe, Louis Sell
  • Publication Date: 06-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Basic Factors Underlying a Regional Settlement 1. Any overall settlement in the Balkans should be area-wide and coordinated among the entities directly involved, the neighboring states, the key nations of the outside community, and the relevant political and economic international institutions. 2. It will have to include political arrangements, international security guarantees, and substantial economic assistance as a basis for genuine peace and reconciliation. 3. It must embrace generally accepted international standards, including respect for human rights and rights for ethnic minorities; right of return for all area refugees; rule of law; effective media freedom; and free elections supervised or, where necessary, organized by the international community. 4. The settlement should promote and institutionalize political and economic cooperation, regional trade and/or formal ties among the participating states and entities of the former Yugoslavia, and neighboring states as feasible, including the free flow of goods, labor and capital. 5. International assistance in reconstruction, economic reform and development of economic ties among the peoples of the region and with the European Community must be massive. It should, however, be designed to promote democratic institutions, market reform, adherence to peace agreements, and respect for human rights. 6. Such assistance should target the private sector, encourage local initiatives, and help governments pursue effective economic reform policies. It should seek to curtail corruption and the maintenance of unprofitable state industries. It should avoid encouraging international dependency. The purpose should be to build societies and practices conducive to self-reliance, international cooperation, and outside investment. Positive and negative lessons can be drawn from experiences in Bosnia. 7. The support of the broad population of Serbia will be necessary if peaceful and economically viable regional arrangements are to last. The reconstruction process implied in these arrangements will itself be an incentive for the Serbs to opt away from destructive nationalist policies and join in the regional reconstruction process. 8. Neither lasting peace in the Balkans nor democracy in Serbia can be achieved as long as Slobodan Milosevic remains in power. He has been indicted by the Tribunal in The Hague for crimes against humanity and his removal from power is a prime NATO objective. There are increasing and encouraging signs of popular Serb desire to be rid of Milosevic, but it is not certain that he will depart in the near future. 9. A regional settlement may have to be negotiated indirectly with, or imposed upon, Milosevic as the ruler of Serbia. It should nevertheless be made clear that the West condemns Milosevic\'s actions, that Serbia cannot resume its rightful place in Europe as long as it is governed by indicted war criminals, and that the West will help the people of Serbia in their efforts to bring forth new, democratic, cosmopolitan leadership in their country. 10. The Kosovar Albanians cannot be expected to live under Serbian control again for the foreseeable future. Arrangements short of formal independence such as an international protectorate or trusteeship are possible, indeed likely, for a transitional period. A more permanent and self-sustaining arrangement is highly desirable if it can be achieved without creating more instability in the former Yugoslav space and the neighboring area. 11. A credible international military presence is needed to encourage the return of the remaining Albanian-Kosovars, the continued residence of Serb-Kosovars and to maintain peace and order within Kosovo and on its borders. Such a presence will also be a lasting part of any transitional arrangement. Any foreseeable regional settlement will similarly require a prolonged foreign military presence. This settlement should, however, lay the foundation for an end to that presence by, among other things, providing for supervised demilitarization of the states and entities involved, and a comprehensive regional arms control agreement. 12. A central objective of any regional settlement should be to promote conditions that will encourage a stable political and military environment, economic growth, and increasing self-reliance. These changes will permit an end to the foreign military, political, and economic presence in the region, though no date for that termination should be set.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Kosovo, Balkans
  • Author: C. Richard Nelson, James E. Goodby, Tomohisha Sakanaka, W. Neal Anderson, Tomohide Murai, Shinichi Ogawa
  • Publication Date: 05-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The main challenge for Asia is to build a security community that transforms a legacy of military competition into security cooperation. This transformation will be difficult because of the high level of distrust among the states and considerable uncertainty about future relations. Asia lacks the kinds of developed, institutionalized multilateral security arrangements that contribute to transparency, confidence-building and long-term stability. Furthermore, a “ business as usual ” approach that focuses on managing bilateral relationships is unlikely to result in a security community. More attention needs to be devoted to multilateral security efforts. Without the reassurance of a network of cooperative arrangements, including verifiable arms limitations, potential adversaries may place their hopes in achieving unilateral military advantages. Such efforts could foster fears of regional domination and, in turn, a potential arms race that includes nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.
  • Topic: Security, NATO
  • Political Geography: United States, Israel, East Asia, Asia
  • Author: Donald L. Guertin, Richard E. Balzhiser, Christian Gobert, William J. Dirks, Joy C. Dunkerley, Stephen P. Pettibone
  • Publication Date: 02-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Despite the recent global economic slowdown, the demand for energy services is bound to increase over the long term in order to provide improved living standards for growing populations, in particular in developing countries. In recognition of its unique characteristics, the demand for electricity will rise even faster than total energy. Several studies present scenarios that show a doubling of global installed capacity over the next twenty years.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: United States, Asia
  • Author: Jeni Klugman
  • Publication Date: 01-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Complex humanitarian emergencies have caused widespread death and suffering over the last two decades. While recent tragedies in Bosnia, Rwanda and Angola have made the world more aware of the terrible human toll involved, the international community has yet to develop effective policy responses to stem such crises.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Development, Economics, Genocide, Human Rights, Migration, Politics
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Rwanda, Angola
  • Author: Frank Ching, Lee Kuan Yew, George Hui, Sunny Kai-Sun Kwong
  • Publication Date: 10-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: During my yearly visits to Hong Kong over the last thirty years, I was struck by the upbeat, can-do spirit of its people. However troublesome the situation, such as the noisy demonstrations of the imitators of the Red Guards in 1966 and 1967, or the economic downturn caused by the sudden quadrupling of oil prices in 1973, Hong Kong people were not dismayed or despondent. So when I spent a few days in Hong Kong at the beginning of June this year, I was surprised by its completely different mood. The people I met seemed frustrated at finding themselves in a situation where the solutions were not obvious. Much of the present malaise in Hong Kong arises from the problems of a transition that proved more difficult than expected. In part it was because of the five years of the last governor's policies, aggravated by the Asian financial crisis. Until the territory has come through this transition phase it is not possible to make any long-term forecasts on Hong Kong's future.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Economics, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Israel, Hong Kong
  • Author: John V. Mitchell
  • Publication Date: 12-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Current trends in transportation are unsustainable. A struggle for new means of mobility is beginning. Changes are inevitable. There is uncertainty about growth in the supply of fuel for vehicles after 2020. (See Briefing Paper No. 10, Changing Oil, by Norman Selley, forthcoming January 2000).The transport sector will be required to contribute to the reductions in GHG emissions required under the Kyoto Protocol. This will involve going beyond the 20-30% improvements envisaged by current voluntary commitments such as those by the Association of European Automobile Manufacturers in Europe, since such improvements extend trends which are already embedded in 'business as usual' projections.To manufacture clean petroleum fuels to protect urban air quality against increasing volumes of vehicle traffic will require increases in hydrogen inputs which cannot be achieved without significant increases in CO2 emissions (unless restrictions on the expansion of nuclear power are lifted).
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Environment, Science and Technology
  • Author: David Simon, Alexander Johnston
  • Publication Date: 12-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Shortly before he became President of the 'new South Africa' in May 1994, Nelson Mandela stressed that his country's relations with the region's poorer and weaker neighbours would be characterized by 'sensitivity and restraint'. This declaration of intent was welcome given South Africa's traditional dominance as the hegemonic power during the apartheid era and the resulting crude and at times violent exploitation of its neighbours' dependence, in varying degree, on the Republic's economy for a wide range of goods and services, for transport links and a market for employment. Indeed, South Africa's accession to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in 1994 offered the promise of a new deal in regional relations, with the new member acting as an 'engine of growth' and as a cooperative and enthusiastic supporter of purposeful and sustained regional integration.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Cooperation, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Christopher P. Hood
  • Publication Date: 11-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Ishihara Shintaro, known for his strong views particularly on Japan's relationship with the United States, became Governor of Tokyo on 11 April 1999. This paper considers the significance of his election, and whether it symbolizes a rise in nationalism in Japan.
  • Topic: International Relations, Nationalism, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, Israel, Tokyo
  • Author: John Chown
  • Publication Date: 08-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Currency boards have been suggested for Russia, and adopted elsewhere in eastern Europe. Brazil's fixed rate has had to be abandoned, but Argentina is considering replacing its currency board with dollarization, and suggesting this solution for the rest of Latin America. Fixed exchange-rate regimes (and the crawling peg in Russia) have collapsed in Southeast Asia but Hong Kong, which had a formal currency board, has (so far) survived.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, Central America, Caribbean, North America
  • Author: Joel Peters, Becky Kook
  • Publication Date: 08-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: On 17 May 1999 Ehud Barak secured a stunning victory in the Israeli elections, defeating incumbent Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu with a majority of almost 400,000 and gaining slightly over 56 per cent of all the votes cast. While polls in the days immediately prior to the election had signalled Netanyahu\'s defeat, no one had anticipated such a landslide victory. After three turbulent years of Likud government, Barak\'s election slogan \'Israel wants a change\' clearly captured Israeli public disillusion with Netanyahu, who lost the trust and support of voters throughout the country.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Government, Peace Studies, Politics
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Walt Patterson
  • Publication Date: 08-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: As governments around the world liberalize their electricity systems, they are overturning the guiding principles that have shaped electricity for the past century. Yet they continue to regard electricity as a public service. The consequent inconsistencies and contradictions are already evident, and intensifying. This Briefing Paper outlines the implications. It is based on a research project now under way in the Energy and Environmental Programme, entitled Keeping the Lights On: Public Service in Liberalized Electricity. For details please see the back page.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: David Bright
  • Publication Date: 06-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: One of the most interesting consequences of the development of the European Union has been the stimulus it has given in recent years to the rediscovery of region within European states. As the supra-state functions of the European institutions in Brussels have burgeoned and the intrinsic sovereignty of the state in Europe has declined, so regions have acquired an ever greater social and political significance. Of course, in some cases, the state was traditionally federal in nature—as with Germany\'s Länder system—and, politically at least, regional aspirations have been satisfied. In the past two decades, however, regional aspirations have expanded into social and cultural spheres that require a new, defined political context. Even in such long-established states as the United Kingdom, such pressures now have to be acknowledged as sub-state factors enter into the complex array of political elements that go to make up the contemporary Union. In this context the Spanish experience is illuminating, both in the way it demonstrates how such tendencies should be accommodated and in the way in which regional populations respond. It is, in fact, a paradigm for a development that will become inevitable and universal as the power of the state declines within the wider structures of contemporary \'Euroland\'.
  • Topic: Government, Religion
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • Author: Christiaan Vrolijk
  • Publication Date: 04-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The Kyoto Protocol agreed in December 1997 was a landmark, but not an end point. Negotiations are on going to fill in the gaps left in the Protocol. From 2 to 14 November the Conference of Parties met again to follow up on Kyoto in its fourth session (COP-4) in Buenos Aires. After the media hype of the Japan meeting, the lack of news coverage was not entirely deserved. Although discussions had to focus on filling in the details in the framework of the Kyoto Protocol, these details will determine just how big a step Kyoto was The Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) was negotiated at the \'Earth Summit\' in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and has entered into force in 1994. Under the Convention the Parties have committed themselves to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations \'at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system\'. The headline commitment for the countries listed in Annex I of the Convention, the industrialized countries, is to return greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels, and to show a reversal in the trend of growing emissions before the year 2000. The Conference of Parties meets annually as the supreme body of the Convention, dealing with various issues related to it. The Kyoto Protocol, negotiated at COP-3 in Japan, is a Protocol to the FCCC, and as such was also on the negotiating table of the COP in Argentina. It sets out renewed, and now legally binding, emission reduction commitments for the Annex B Parties (the industrialized and former COMECON countries). The overall commitments add up to a 5% reduction from 1990 in a basket of greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, some industrial gases (HFCs, PFCs, SF6) and emissions and removals from land-use change and forestry (LUCF). After its entry into force, the Meeting of Parties (to the Kyoto Protocol) will take over the responsibility for the Protocol issues Many Annex B Parties that have taken up commitments under the Kyoto Protocol stressed the importance at working on the rules for the mechanisms of the Protocol. The EU also stressed the need for limits on the use of these mechanisms and a compliance regime. The G77/China stressed the importance of a debate on the adverse effects and impact of responses. One of the commentators said that Article 17 on international emissions trading \'contains the basic principles, but its main feature is the fact that it can be interpreted to anyone\'s liking\'. Many articles leave room for further work by the COP. Even if the text was not deliberately ambiguous, only general principles were described, so that the 170 Parties at the negotiations could reach agreement, with a later COP to decide on the details of the issue This paper will first briefly discuss the science of climate change and then consider the Buenos Aires Plan of Action and the most important individual issues of the conference.
  • Topic: Environment, International Cooperation, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Martin Plaut, Patrick Gilkes
  • Publication Date: 03-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: In May 1991 the capital of Eritrea, Asmara, fell to the liberation movement that had been fighting for the independence of the territory for the past thirty years. At the same time the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, was captured by forces led by northern rebels from the province of Tigray. It seemed, for a moment, that the long and bloody wars that had racked the region might be at an end. The dual victories were the result of a close cooperation between the two movements that had led these struggles—the Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF) and the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF). Both had been determined to overcome authoritarian rule from Addis Ababa and had worked closely together to achieve this end. Two years later Eritrea achieved formal independence, recognized by the United Nations, by the Organization of African Unity and—most important of all—by the new rulers in Ethiopia. At the hour of victory relations between the two movements appeared genuinely warm and friendly. Yet just seven years later the divisions could hardly be deeper. Since May 1998 they have been in—or close to—open warfare. Their leaders, who were once close personal friends, are no longer on speaking terms. Tens of thousands of people have been deported or displaced and radio stations blare out vitriolic propaganda against one another. These are complex events that have been further obscured by the contradictory versions of the truth that both sides have advanced.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Migration, Nationalism, Sovereignty, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia
  • Publication Date: 12-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The leading index increased 0.4 percent, the coincident index increased 0.2 percent, and the lagging index increased 0.5 percent in December. Taken together, the three composite indexes and their components show a healthy economy: The coincident indicators show that the economy continued to expand through the end of 1999. The leading indicators point to a continuation of the expansion during 2000. Cyclical imbalances and related economic instability problems should be monitored for future increases.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 11-1999
  • 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 increased 0.3 percent in November. Taken together, the three composite indexes and their components show a healthy economy: The coincident indicators point to GDP rising in the 4th quarter of 1999. The leading indicators point to a continuation of the expansion. Cyclical imbalances and related economic instability problems should be monitored for future increases.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 10-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The leading index held steady, the coincident index increased 0.6 percent, and the lagging index decreased 0.1 percent in October. Taken together, the three composite indexes and their components show a healthy economy: The coincident indicators point to GDP rising in the 4th quarter of 1999. The leading indicators have paused after strong growth early this year. Cyclical imbalances and related economic instability problems should be monitored for future increases.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 09-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Conference Board
  • Abstract: The leading index decreased 0.1 percent, the coincident index decreased 0.2 percent, and the lagging index increased 0.4 percent in September. This report merits careful interpretation, but does not change general conclusions drawn from previous releases, which show the economy is in good health: The coincident indicators point to GDP rising in the 4th quarter of 1999. The leading indicators point to a continuation of the expansion through early 2000. Cyclical imbalances and related economic instability problems must be monitored for future increases.
  • Topic: Economics, Health
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 08-1999
  • 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 0.2 percent in August. Taken together, the three composite indexes and their components show a healthy economy: The coincident indicators point to GDP rising at a pace of 3.0 percent (annualized) in the 3rd quarter of 1999. The leading indicators point to a continuation of the expansion through early 2000. Cyclical imbalances and related economic instability problems do not seem to be a problem yet.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 07-1999
  • 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 increased 0.6 percent in July. Taken together, the three composite indexes and their components show a healthy economy: The coincident indicators point to economic activity rising in the 3rd quarter from the 1.8 percent (annualized) rise in GDP in the 2nd quarter. The leading indicators point to continuation of the expansion through early 2000. Cyclical imbalances and related economic instability problems show inconsistent patterns of growth.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • 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