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  • Author: Jose Ma, Luis Montesclaros, Mely Caballero-Anthony
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: S.Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: As Southeast Asian economies become deeply integrated, there are concerns as to whether movement of people through labour migration should be part of this integration. While labour migration offers benefits especially in addressing labour shortage in countries with shrinking working age population, for countries at different levels of economic development, opening up the labour markets presents disadvantages to locals facing more job competition and falling wages. This paper re-examines this debate by analysing a number of factors that have allowed states to maintain their competitiveness and improve wages. By comparing the experiences of a number of countries that have seen rising wages with those countries that saw falling wages with labour migration, and using a statistical (two-sample difference of means) test, this preliminary study shows that labour migration by itself is neither boon nor bane. A more nuanced view is needed, as labour migration’s impacts on wages hinge on the nature of institutional support provided by governments in helping firms to be internationally competitive.
  • Topic: Migration, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Vishalini Chandara Sagar, Alistair D. B. Cook, Tamara Nair, Foo Yen Ne
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: S.Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: Over the past fifteen years, Timor Leste has made noteworthy gains in national development in general but continues to experience significant exposure during natural disasters like prolonged droughts and flooding in particular. Yet there is little documented evidence of these disasters and their impact on human security in Timor Leste. The challenges facing the country are considerable, and low institutional capacity makes it difficult for the government to increase resilience to slow onset disasters. This report explores how current structures, mechanisms and institutions in the country have been organised for emergencies and how disaster response operations have been conducted thus far. Data was collected by conducting in-depth interviews with relevant personnel from government agencies, international aid agencies and local non-state actors. This was supplemented by document analyses of major reports and literature surrounding disaster preparedness in the country. The findings reveal that there are three key strategies that need further development: enhancing institutional capacity, strengthening coordination mechanisms and evaluating current emergency response plans. Further research should include conducting a comprehensive needs assessment, mapping the localised response structures, and the contextualising of human insecurities in the country.
  • Topic: Disaster Relief, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Timor-Leste
  • Author: James M. Acton
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This policy brief is based on “Escalation through Entanglement: How the Vulnerability of Command-and- Control Systems Raises the Risks of Inadvertent Nuclear War,” which appears in the summer 2018 issue of International Security.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Patrick Porter
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Political scientists and historians continue to debate the sources of U.S. grand strategy. Some emphasize the importance of the United States’ material capabilities and large share of relative power; others point to the significance of ideas in shaping policymakers’ choices. Both accounts are incomplete. Two case studies—the first eighteen months of the presidency of Donald Trump and the presidency of Bill Clinton—demonstrate that the United States persists with a strategy of primacy because it has become a habit—an axiomatic, sacrosanct belief system that the American foreign policy establishment perpetuates.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Barak Barfi
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: When Abdul Fattah al-Sisi became president in 2014, Egyptians were clamoring for stability after the chaos of the post–Arab Spring years and the failed leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood government. Emblematic of this stability, Sisi was at one point so highly regarded that his face adorned chocolate bars. Although he remains popular four years later, Sisi can no longer rest on prior achievements and promises of financial improvement. Grappling with a moribund economy, domestic unrest, jihadist threats, and foreign policy challenges, he will need even stronger support as he implements an austerity plan approved by the IMF in November 2016. In this new study, Barak Barfi methodically sets the leadership of President Sisi in the context of his military predecessors Gamal Abdul Nasser, Anwar Sadat, and Hosni Mubarak. He then examines trends in the country such as the growing role of the military, the need for reductions in subsidies, and the looming water crisis posed by the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. The U.S. role, as well, is subject to a much-needed assessment. Among the limited ways Washington can influence Cairo, he argues, is by tying increased aid to the enactment of essential economic reforms.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Paul Holtom, Irene Pavesi
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: The 2018 Small Arms Trade Transparency Barometer (the Barometer) identifies the most and least transparent of 49 major small arms exporters, based on their reporting of their arms-trading activities undertaken in 2015.1 For the first time the Barometer assesses Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) and UN Programme of Action on small arms (PoA) reports to determine small arms exporters’ levels of transparency. These sources provide new information for the Barometer’s assessment of national transfer control systems, while ATT annual reports on arms exports reveal new data compared to national arms export reports; United Nations Commodity Trade Statistics Database (UN Comtrade) data, and the UN Register of Conventional Arms (UN Register). Despite the increase in reports containing information on national transfer control systems and small arms exports assessed by the Barometer, no major exporter received full marks for transparency.
  • Topic: International Security, International Affairs, Arms Trade
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Wolfram Lacher
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: Since the arrival of the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli in March 2016, four large local militias have gradually divided up the capital between themselves. Though nominally loyal to the government, they now exert a degree of influence over state institutions and resources that is unprecedented in post-Qaddafi Libya. This Paper examines the rise of a militia cartel in Tripoli, and concludes that the situation is untenable, as it risks provoking a major new conflict over Tripoli fought by those who have been excluded from access to the state and impedes efforts to establish a meaningful unity government
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Libya
  • Author: Aaron Karp
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: Available sources indicate that as of 2017 there was a global total of at least 22.7 million known or estimated law enforcement firearms, equal to roughly 2.2 per cent of all firearms identified by the Small Arms Survey around the world. Worldwide, 4.8 million law enforcement firearms have been reported to the Small Arms Survey or documented from other sources. An additional 17.9 million or so firearms owned by law enforcement agencies can be estimated with reasonable confidence. The global estimate is slightly lower than the previous Small Arms Survey global estimate for 2006, the result of methodological changes and a decision not to estimate the holdings for many specialized or smaller law enforcement agencies. There are several reasons to assume that the total of 22.7 million law enforcement firearms given in this Briefing Paper is an underestimate. The state of research on law enforcement armament makes it hard to say whether global law enforcement weapons inventories are increasing or decreasing. But the types of firearms used by law enforcement agencies appear to be changing more rapidly than those of military services, also becoming more alike to military armament
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Aaron Karp
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: Uncertainty about any firearms data requires systematic estimation that relies on a broad spectrum of sources and makes approximation unavoidable. The Small Arms Survey’s estimates of civilian firearms holdings use data gathered from multiple sources. However, with much of civilian ownership concealed or hard to identify, gun ownership numbers can only approximate reality. Using data from several different sources, at the end of 2017 there were approximately 857 million civilian-held firearms in the world’s 230 countries and territories. Civilian firearms registration data was available for 133 countries and territories. Survey results were used to help establish total gun civilian holdings in 56 countries. The new figure is 32 per cent higher than the previous estimate from 2006, when the Small Arms Survey estimated there were approximately 650 million civilian-held firearms. Virtually all countries show higher numbers, although national ownership rates vary widely, reflecting factors such as national legislation, a country’s gun culture, historical and other factors. While some of the increase reflects improved data and research methods, much is due to actual growth of civilian ownership.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Matthias Nowak
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: Craft weapons production in Nigeria is under-researched, yet it is highly relevant for any future actions to counter small arms and light weapons proliferation.1 This Briefing Paper provides new research findings based on extensive fieldwork in four Nigerian states (Adamawa, Anambra, Benue, and Plateau). It reviews demand and supply factors that shape the craft market in Nigeria, finding that demand is driven by insecurity and conflict, but also by cultural and societal factors. Supply is mostly demand driven. The quality of the products and production methods varies greatly across the surveyed states. Craft production poses a significant challenge for the Nigerian state and will require a mix of holistic measures to regulate or deter it, ranging from improving security (and security perceptions) and the relationship between security providers and communities, to licensing, measures aimed at providing alternative livelihoods for craft producers, and a more comprehensive application of the relevant legal framework.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Glenn McDonald
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: This Briefing Paper outlines possible next steps in the UN small arms process as proposed by participants in the thematic symposia that were held in October–November 2017 as part of a European Union project designed to support preparations for the Third Review Conference of the UN Small Arms Programme of Action (PoA). The paper outlines the main observations and recommendations made by participants in the following areas: small arms control in conflict and post-conflict situations; small arms and the SDGs, and gender-related aspects of small arms control; recent developments in small arms manufacturing, technology, and design; and synergies between the PoA and other arms control instruments and processes. Each of the symposia sought to identify practical, actionable steps that could be taken by the UN membership in strengthening small arms-related work after the Review Conference.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Holger Anders
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: UN Peacekeeping operations are in a unique position to monitor flows of illicit arms and ammunition in their areas of operation. Systematic collection and analysis of data regarding matériel encountered by peacekeeping operations can enhance their situational awareness. It can provide important information about sources and supply chains of armed actors illicitly procuring arms and ammunition, as well as help in assessing capacities, intent, and geographical expansion of those actors. It can also make important contributions to the work of UN Panels of Experts monitoring arms embargoes. This Briefing Paper reviews relevant aspects of UN peacekeeping operations— their mandates, relations with UN Panels of Experts, as well as different approaches towards monitoring illicit arms flows. The Paper presents case studies on the UN peacekeeping operations in Côte d'Ivoire and Mali. The Paper considers the scope for improving management of arms and ammunition by peacekeeping missions to prevent materiel from being lost or otherwise diverted. This Briefing Paper concludes that UN peacekeeping missions could become substantially more involved in monitoring illicit arms and ammunition flows. This requires greater awareness and support for such work within the UN system and in its operations. This Paper’s findings are also relevant to efforts to monitor progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals, specifically SDG 16 and Target 16.4, which calls on states to significantly reduce illicit arms flows
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jovana Carapic, Paul Holtom
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: This Briefing Paper analyses the emergence of a life-cycle management of ammunition (LCMA) system in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) during the period 2012–16, with reference to four of the five elements of the Small Arms Survey’s LCMA model: national ownership, planning, stockpile management, and disposal. The paper examines the key challenges faced by the international community and BiH government in addressing the safety and security risks posed by BiH’s post-conflict ammunition surplus, focusing on the international community’s role in facilitating the development, and transfer to national ownership, of an LCMA system. The paper notes ‘ten lessons learned’ that could apply to other post-conflict countries. These lessons stress the importance of building sustainable national capacity in states receiving international assistance. Training, infrastructure, and operating standards need to be country specific to achieve this goal and reduce the risk of unplanned explosions at munitions sites (UEMS) and diversion in the long term.
  • Topic: International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Mihaela Racovita
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: The Government of Nepal has recently stepped up efforts to integrate women within the state security apparatus. This Briefing Paper examines recent legislative and institutional changes governing female participation in the security sector, the latest recruitment and advancement trends, and the persistent challenges facing female security providers. It shows that while formal and institutional changes have enabled more women to become part of Nepal’s security sector, women remain under-represented therein, and face challenges including objections to positive discrimination, difficult trade-offs between professional careers and personal lives, and societal attitudes that see security provision as a male-only occupation
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Vladislav Strnad
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: The Visegrad Group (V4) has responded to the migration crisis by an unexpectedly unified and consistent position , which was symptomatic of its identity shift. The long-term confrontation with the European Migration and Asylum Policy, the political changes in Poland and Hungary, the illiberal rhetoric of Visegrad politicians as well as the conflict with the European Commission have significantly influenced the position of V4 and the Czech Republic in Europe.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Martin Michelot
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: Martin Michelot and Martin Macq wrote an introductory chapter for the new IFAT's (The Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade) publication on the security challenges for the V4 countries. The chapter wrote by our researchers focuses on the military security and military cooperation of Visegrad Four countries. The main topic for discussion is especially the dual membership of both countries in NATO and in the EU - which is trying to build-up its own military structures notably in the recent years.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Alena Kudzko
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: Issues of labour mobility and labour markets have been among the most contentious discussions on the crowded EU agenda of the past couple years. Proposals calling for reform of the regulations on posted workers and for the enhancement of social rights, advocated primarily by Western countries - including most notably France - and the EU Commission, have been accompanied by both domestic and EU-wide squabbling. Visegrad countries (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia) have often found themselves on the defensive, seeking at once to both fend off accusations of “social dumping” and foil the undesired reforms. They fear that some of the proposals on labour reform fail to coincide with their economic interests and the principle of the free market, or perceive them as an encroachment of the EU Commission on national competencies
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Andrzej Sadecki
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: At first glance, reaching an agreement on the next MFF could seem easier than for its previous iterations. The MFF 2014-2020 was negotiated against the backdrop of a financial crisis which put significant strains on the member states, particularly those in the the Eurozone. Currently, economic growth has returned to the European Union and the economic sentiments have reached their highest levels since 2000s . Nevertheless, some key political developments will affect and complicate the process of finding a consensus on the next MFF. Firstly, the negotiations on the post 2020- MFF will coincide with two major processes underpinning the future of European integration: the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union and the debate on the reform of the Eurozone. Secondly, some stakeholders see Brexit as an opportunity to substantially reform the MFF and the EU budget, which in turn widened the debate to the future of main EU policies, and could breach the fragile balance between the various interests of the member states that functioned in this sphere until now.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Abstract: On December 4–5, 2017, the City of Chicago hosted the North American Climate Summit in partnership with C40 and the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy. This was the first time a US climate summit convened following President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement. Featuring remarks from former President Barack Obama, the summit brought together mayors from around the world to define collective, city-level actions and commitments to combat climate change. At the time of this publication, upward of 70 cities have signed the Chicago Climate Charter, affirming their commitment to address climate change within their cities
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Craig Kafura
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Abstract: Over the first two years of the Trump administration, the United States has simultaneously aggrieved Japan, a pivotal US ally in Asia, while also taking a more confrontational stance against China. This has raised broad concerns about the future of US involvement in Asia and the basis of support for the US-Japan alliance. While the American public is hesitant to get involved in a conflict between China and Japan, public support for US bases in Japan is at an all-time high, and Americans across party lines want to build strong relations with US allies in Asia
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus