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  • Author: Douglas Besharov
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: For forty years, Head Start has sought to improve the life prospects of low-income children. Since 1965, about 20 million children have gone through the program at a total cost of more than $100 billion. Head Start was supposed to be reauthorized in 2003, but for two years Congress was immobilized as the Bush administration and its Republican allies pushed for what they saw as needed improvements in the program—while Democrats and the Head Start establishment argued that the proposals would hurt poor children. The impasse was broken earlier this year when key Republicans gave up their efforts to change the program. Committees in both Houses have now voted unanimously to expand eligibility for Head Start. The Senate bill would raise the income-eligibility cap from the poverty line to 130 percent of poverty (a roughly 35 percent increase in the number of children eligible for the program), and the House bill would allow programs to enroll more one-and two-year-olds, rather than their traditional target group of three- and four-year-olds (ultimately doubling the number of eligible children).
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Education, Government
  • Author: Adam Lerrick
  • Publication Date: 11-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: World Bank money is building schools in China's impoverished western provinces, but the bill for interest charges is being mailed to the United Kingdom, attention Chancellor of Exchequer Gordon Brown. Mexico, Chile, and Brazil will soon be lining up for the same deal. This is but the latest scheme designed to preserve the World Bank's lending role at a time when the need and demand for its services are falling. Major middle-income countries, the cream of the bank's lending portfolio and where more than 80 percent of Latin Americans live, are curbing their borrowing and paying down their balances, setting off alarms at the bank. Net loan flows have shifted from a positive $10 billion in 1999–2001, to a negative $15 billion in 2002–2004.
  • Topic: Debt, Development, Economics, Third World
  • Political Geography: China, United Kingdom, Brazil, Latin America, Mexico, Chile
  • Author: John E. Calfee
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: If we know anything about the American tort liability system, we know that it works badly when it gets infected by junk science. The recent Vioxx verdict in Angleton, Texas, is a case in point. The jury awarded $253 million to the widow of a man who died after taking the now-infamous pain reliever. The award will almost certainly be reduced to something like $5 million or $10 million because it ignored statutory limits on punitive damages, and it may eventually get thrown out because of mistakes by the judge. But even at “only” $10 million a case, a string of adverse Vioxx decisions would prove an expensive example of the triumph of the junk lawsuit over science. Most press accounts portray the jury's decision as simply a reflection of medical science, which supposedly has indicted and convicted Vioxx of causing excess heart attacks. This view prevailed in the four months after September 30, 2004, when Merck voluntarily pulled Vioxx from the market. Those months saw vituperous debate and criticism of both Merck and the Food and Drug Administration in leading medical journals. A renegade FDA staffer testified at congressional hearings along with other critics.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Human Welfare, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Richard Vedder
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: As college students begin a new academic year, many parents are reeling from tuition charges. This fall's estimated 8 percent average increase at public universities, added onto double-digit hikes in the two previous years, means tuition at a typical state university is up 36 percent over 2002—at a time when consumer prices in general have risen less than 9 percent. In inflation-adjusted terms, tuition today is roughly triple what it was when parents of today's college students attended school in the 1970s. Tuition charges are rising faster than family incomes, an unsustainable trend in the long run. This holds true even when scholarships and financial aid are considered. One consequence of rising costs is that college enrollments are no longer increasing as much as before. Price-sensitive groups such as low-income students and minorities are missing out. A smaller proportion of Hispanics between eighteen and twenty-four attends college today than in 1976. The United States is beginning to fall below some other industrial nations in population-adjusted college attendance.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Education, Government
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Scott Gottlieb
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: There are seldom eureka moments in health care. Few new drugs or medical devices save scores of lives or cure diseases when they first hit the market. New technologies rarely translate into immediate life expectancy gains, and it is uncommon that results of a single study will transform how medicine is practiced. Medical progress is not magic, and sudden discoveries do not lead to dramatic cures, although a new book by Marcia Angell, a former editor of The New England Journal of Medicine, would lead you to think all of our gains in health have been achieved from just a handful of the most potent new medicines. Instead, medical breakthroughs unfold over time, and gains in life expectancy and health are realized only after a series of small technological advances are collected into new ways of practicing medicine or attacking a disease. The practice of medicine unfolds not in a series of certainties, but in a series of doubts.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Human Welfare, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: England
  • Author: John R. Lott Jr.
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Statistical evidence indicates that qualifications, experience, and potential influence are far greater factors in delaying or rejecting judicial nominees than perceptions of extremism.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: James K. Glassman
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Entry-level positions long criticized as "dead-end jobs" deserve respect as stepping-stones to greater success, as these jobs teach the basics of business to new workers.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Economics, Education
  • Author: Steven F. Hayward
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: The New Orleans flood is shaping up to take its place alongside the Cuyahoga River fire and the Santa Barbara and Exxon Valdez oil spills as one of the major environmental catastrophes of modern times. The issue of hurricanes and climate change—a linkage not established in current climate science—distracts from the most significant environmental lessons of the Katrina disaster. The rebuilding of New Orleans offers an opportunity to begin reversing the long-term Gulf Coast erosion that contributed to the magnitude of the disaster.
  • Topic: Development, Environment, Human Welfare, Politics
  • Author: Ted Gayer
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: After failing to make it out of Senate committee in March, the future of the president's Clear Skies bill is uncertain. While the bill contains some flaws, most of its opponents criticized the virtues of Clear Skies, thus making it more difficult to fix the real problems and to strike a compromise. There is still some hope that the bill will pass later this congressional session. In lieu of Clear Skies, the Environmental Protection Agency recently promulgated two administrative rules to tighten regulations on power plant air pollution. These rules are certain to be litigated and thus delayed. With Clear Skies, we get a greater guarantee that the air quality goals will be met, and we get greater regulatory certainty that leads to lower costs.
  • Topic: Development, Environment, Government, Politics
  • Author: Albert Zaccor
  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: There is widespread recognition that the struggle against international terrorism relies heavily on the cooperation of our partners and allies. The National Security Strategy (NSS) of the United States declares that the U.S. will hold partners responsible for doing their part in the struggle -- including efforts to stem the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and trafficking of illicit drugs -- but admits that weaker nations may not be able to fulfill that responsibility. That strategy and other subordinate strategies call for U.S. assistance to those states that lack the capacity to counter effectively those threats. This places foreign assistance and building partner and allied security capabilities at the center of the struggle against terrorism and related transnational threats.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Development, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Jan Neutze, Philipa Tucker
  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: A senior delegation from the Atlantic Council of the United States, led by W. Bowman Cutter and Paula Stern, visited key government, parliamentary, and private sector stakeholders in Frankfurt, Berlin, and Brussels in spring 2005. The delegation presented the findings of the Atlantic Council report, "The Transatlantic Economy in 2020: A Partnership for the Future?" to numerous business, government, and think tank audiences. This report summarizes the delegation's discussions.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Germany, Berlin
  • Author: Jason S. Purcell (ed), Joshua D. Weintraub (ed)
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The Brussels Conference on “Topics in Terrorism: Toward a Transatlantic Consensus on the Nature of the Threat” was the first of three conferences whose principal purpose was to explore specific themes associated with the world-wide effort to cope with and counter the threat of terrorists. Held in three different European capitals (Brussels, Vienna, and Budapest), the conferences drew on divergent presenters and audiences. Each conference convened subject-matter experts from the United States and Europe with the express intent of considering various perspectives on some of the most difficult challenges facing the transatlantic community. While reaching a consensus on each of the major topics would certainly have been a desirable outcome, where a consensus proved elusive, a major objective was to gain a better understanding of the divergent views and the rationale that underpins those views.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Vienna
  • Author: Frances G. Burwell
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: By the beginning of 2005, the improvement in relations between Russia and the West had lost momentum and come to a standstill, as serious concerns emerged in the United States and Europe about developments in Russia. European and U.S. commentators who disagree over economic policies and Iraq find themselves in broad critical consensus about Russian political and economic evolution. Will the term that has been moribund since the death of the Cold War — “containment” — emerge as an option for those in the United States and Europe making policy toward Russia? Already some argue for isolating Russia from Ukraine, Georgia, and other former Soviet republics; will they encourage the building of a new fence around Russia? Or will there be a new effort at engagement, albeit one that is more cautious about Russia's future in the West?
  • Topic: Cold War, Development, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Richard L. Lawson, John R. Lyman, Donald L. Guertin
  • Publication Date: 03-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Today, hunger, poverty, and desperation remain prevalent throughout much of the developing world. If we are to live in a 21st century more prone to peace than violence, the developed countries must move expeditiously to address the developing countries' energy and water problems. The availability, accessibility and affordability of energy and water are vital to the economic development that is required to alleviate global poverty and to address environmental degradation.
  • Topic: Development, Energy Policy, Environment, Poverty
  • Author: Emily Hsu, Beth DeGrasse
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: With the September 18 parliamentary elections, Afghanistan completes its internationally mandated blueprint for democracy and enters a new phase of state building in uncharted waters. This transition occurs against the backdrop of rising threats to security and an economy dominated largely by illicit production and export of opium. On October 12, 2005, the U.S. Institute of Peace convened a meeting of the Afghanistan Working Group to review the recent parliamentary elections. The presenters at the meeting included Robert Varsalone, resident country director for Afghanistan for the International Republican Institute; Sam Zia-Zarifi, research director for the Asia Division of Human Rights Watch; Larry M. Sampler, former chief of staff for the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan; and Barnett R. Rubin, chairman of the Afghanistan Working Group. The following USIPeace Briefing summarizes views expressed at the meeting. The views expressed here do not reflect those of the Institute, which does not take positions on policy issues.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Politics
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Asia
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Described as the last remaining dictatorship in Europe, Belarus is scheduled to have a presidential election in 2006 that could prove crucial to the future of the country. After nonviolent democratic revolutions in Georgia and Ukraine, questions arise about similar changes in Belarus: Is a peaceful transition to democracy in Belarus possible? And if so, what would be needed to make that happen?
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine, Georgia
  • Author: Mona Yacoubian, Scott Lasensky
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: This USIPeace Briefing , written by Scott Lasensky and Mona Yacoubian of the Institute's Center for Conflict Analysis and Prevention, is based on discussions at a recent seminar. The views expressed do not reflect those of the Institute, which does not take policy positions. Syria is facing unprecedented pressure from the international community on issues ranging from Syrian meddling in Lebanon to its support for terrorist groups. The United Nations investigation into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri will release its second report in mid- December 2005. The current crisis has increased speculation about prospects for political change in Syria. The opacity of Syrian politics means there are more questions than answers. Nonetheless, a number of key indicators suggest a changing political environment, in a country where political development has essentially been frozen for thirty-five years.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Courtney Rusin
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Iraq will elect a new parliament on December 15th. The new government—whatever its composition—will then be in a race to build a democratic order before the insurgency creates enough chaos to break it down. Whether or not the government succeeds depends on how political events of the past two years have set the stage for the December elections—and on the prospects of creating a national narrative that encompasses all of Iraq's main political and ethno-sectarian groups.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Politics
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Dorina Bekoe
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The Niger Delta, an area of dense mangrove rainforest in the southern tip of Nigeria, comprises nine of Nigeria's thirty-six states: Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Imo, Ondo, and Rivers. The region's oil accounts for approximately 90 percent of the value of Nigeria's exports, but the Niger Delta remains one of Nigeria's least developed regions.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Publication Date: 11-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Following the successes of the peaceful revolutions in Georgia and Ukraine, experts are examining these movements for insights into future prospects for nonviolent civic resistance. They hope to find lessons in these successes that might hold significance for nonviolent political change in other non-democratic countries.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Ukraine, Eastern Europe, Georgia
  • Author: Ninna Nyberg Sorensen
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Abstract Migration transforms not only the destiny of individual migrants but also the conditions of family members left behind, of local communities and of the wider society. Despite the fact that migratory processes are multidimensional and may generate a wide array of positive as well as negative consequences for development, remittances have lately become the single most emphasized evidence and measuring stick for the ties connecting migrants with their societies of origin.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Gender Issues, Migration
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Andrew F. Cooper, Ramesh Thakur, John English
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This document is based on a forthcoming book that examines the feasibility of creating an institution known as the “L20”, a summit of twenty world leaders whose objective would be to break the international deadlock over some of the most pressing problems facing the world. In a climate of despondency over the achievements of existing global institutions such as the G7/8, the United Nations, the World Bank and others in dealing with these major issues—which include terrorism, HIV/AIDS, globalization and the “global apartheid” between the developed North and the developing South —this document asks what is new and unique about the L20 that might enable it to make the breakthrough where others are deemed to have failed. Is the L20 destined to be the defining institution of the 21st century, or is it doomed to remain merely an idea?
  • Topic: Development, Globalization, International Trade and Finance, United Nations
  • Author: Padmashree Gehl Sampath
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This policy brief summarizes the main arguments and conclusions of a forthcoming book by United Nations University Press, which examines the regulation of bioprospecting for drug research from an interdisciplinary law and economics perspective. Bioprospecting was once touted as a promising opportunity for collaborative ventures in biotechnology-based research and development (R) between the genetic resources-rich South and the technology-rich North, especially in the case of drug research. However this promise has yet to materialize. Understanding why this is so is a central policy question for countries in the South that wish to leverage their biodiversity endowments in the development process.
  • Topic: Development, Environment, Health, Science and Technology
  • Author: Ravi Kanbur, Anthony J. Venables
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Amidst a growing concern about increasing inequality, the spatial dimensions of inequality have begun to attract considerable policy interest. In China, Russia, India, Mexico, and South Africa, as well as most other developing and transition economies, there is a sense that spatial and regional disparities in economic activity, incomes and social indicators, are on the increase. Spatial inequality is a dimension of overall inequality, but it has added significance when spatial and regional divisions align with political and ethnic tensions to undermine social and political stability. Also important in the policy debate is a perceived sense that increasing internal spatial inequality is related to greater openness of economies, and to globalization in general.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Demographics, Development
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, India, South Africa, Mexico
  • Author: Khairi Abaza
  • Publication Date: 11-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: November 9 marks the start of legislative elections in Egypt. These are the first elections to be contested after Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak pledged to implement political reforms during his presidential campaign in September. The political opposition maintains that the legislative elections will not reflect the true will of the Egyptian people and that the political environment is still not conducive to truly democratic politics.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Politics
  • Political Geography: North Africa, Egypt
  • Author: Khairi Abaza
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On September 27, Hosni Mubarak will be sworn in for a fifth consecutive term as president of Egypt. Mubarak was reelected according to new electoral procedures introduced earlier this year that allowed for a competitive election between multiple candidates. The opposition, united in its calls for more democracy, criticized the reforms, claiming that they only aimed at strengthening the regime's grip on power. For his part, Mubarak pledged to introduce further political reforms during his fifth mandate. What would a reform program look like and what would its prospects be?
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Government
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Egypt
  • Author: Samer Abu Libdah
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: King Abdullah II's latest domestic reform initiative for Jordan — the National Agenda Committee — will soon release a series of major political recommendations. These proposals will provide the Jordanian government with a detailed framework to guide the reform process in coming years.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Jordan
  • Author: Jeffrey White
  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Though armed insurgencies can last for a decade or more, they also can have decisive periods in which their paths are set, even if those paths do not become apparent for some time. Iraq appears to be entering just such a period of decision.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Development, Government
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Jeffrey White, Jack Keane, Francis West
  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Daily images of carnage from Iraq and uncertainty over how to measure coalition progress continue to stoke debate in the United States. How does one assess the status of the insurgency? How are the efforts to recruit and train Iraq's security forces proceeding? What are America's options in Iraq?
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Development
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Vietnam, Syria
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On July 19, Lebanon's incoming prime minister, Fuad Siniora, announced the formation of a new Lebanese cabinet, a move praised in Washington as another step toward democratic reform. At the same time, the State Department warned that it would not be able to maintain contact with newly appointed Minister of Energy and Water Muhammad Fneish, who is a member of Hizballah. Beyond the fact that U.S. officials are prohibited by law from dealing with members of officially designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations like Hizballah, Fneish's appointment raises the larger question of how to deal with the extensive presence of active terrorist groups in a Lebanon no longer dominated by Syria.
  • Topic: International Relations, Democratization, Development
  • Political Geography: Washington, Middle East, Lebanon, Syria
  • Author: Dennis Ross, Moshe Yaalon, Avi Dichter
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On December 15, 2005, Lt. Gen. (ret.) Moshe Yaalon, Avi Dichter, and Ambassador Dennis Ross addressed The Washington Institute's Special Policy Forum. General Yaalon, a distinguished military fellow at the Institute, is the former Israel Defense Forces (IDF) chief of staff. Mr. Dichter, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution's Saban Center for Middle East Policy, is the former head of the Israeli Security Agency (Shin Bet). Ambassador Ross, the Institute's counselor and Ziegler distinguished fellow, is a former U.S. Middle East peace envoy and author of The Missing Peace: The Inside Story of the Fight for Middle East Peace (2004). The following is a rapporteur's summary of their remarks.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Ben Fishman, Mohammed Yaghi
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: After a relatively calm first round of Fatah primaries in five of the West Bank's eleven electoral districts, a second round of primaries in five additional districts—four in the West Bank and one in Gaza—held between November 28 and December 3 have caused increased tensions within the movement. Where the victories by the younger generation of Fatah leaders in the primaries could have represented a watershed moment in Fatah's evolution, they have been marred by a haphazard system of voting and numerous accusations of fraud. Moreover, repeated incidents of violence at polling stations demonstrate Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas's difficulty in enforcing his principle of One Authority, One Gun even within his own movement. Rather than unifying Fatah, the primaries have highlighted the party's disorganization and divisions. The old guard represented by Fatah's Central Committee, which dominates a committee of the wise tasked to determine Fatah's final electoral lists, will now have greater leverage in that process to place its own members high on Fatah's national list of candidates in Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) elections scheduled for January 2006.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Politics
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Ben Fishman, Mohammed Yaghi
  • Publication Date: 11-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In preparation for January elections to the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), Fatah, the mainstream Palestinian faction that dominates the current council, held its first ever primaries on November 25.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Palestine
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 11-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Amir Peretz's decision to pull the Labor Party he leads out of its national unity government with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon set Israel's new political calendar and precipitated Sharon's decision to bolt the Likud Party and consent to elections in March 2006. Peretz is a veteran labor union leader who won the leadership of the Labor Party on November 10, defeating Shimon Peres, a dominant force in the party since 1974.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 11-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On Monday, November 21, Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon announced that he is bolting the Likud Party and forming a new National Responsibility Party. The Knesset took a preliminary vote to dissolve itself. While wrangling may continue, a final date will soon be set for elections in March 2006. Sharon remains prime minister during the interregnum.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Mohammed Yaghi
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Palestinian security reform was high on the agenda during Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's recent visit to Ramallah. A spike in armed clashes, crime, and demonstrations in the territories has highlighted the issue of law and order among the Palestinian people, who are increasingly concerned about their daily security. On June 14, Palestinian Authority (PA) prime minister Ahmed Qurei threatened to suspend the work of the cabinet "if the security forces fail to put an end to the trespasses and anarchy."
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Development
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Palestine
  • Author: Zia Mian
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: The past few months have seen important developments in relations between the United States and India. Much of the commentary has focused resolutely and rightly on the wisdom and possible consequences of the new agreements on military and nuclear policy and programs. But these recent agreements need also to be seen in the light of the more than 50 years of U.S. efforts to have India become a part of American political, strategic, and economic plans for Asia. What becomes clear is how difficult this proved to be over the years. It begs the question why Indian leaders have finally started to fall in step so easily in the past few years.
  • Topic: Development
  • Political Geography: United States, China, America, India, Asia
  • Author: Thomas J. Bickford
  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: China is primarily interested in concentrating on trade and economic development and therefore wants an international environment conducive to continued economic growth. Even with recent defense budget increases, China's ability to project power beyond its borders will be extremely limited for a long time to come. There is a real risk of conflict between the United States and China over Taiwan, and U.S. policy needs to be aimed at avoiding such a conflict.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Development
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Taiwan
  • Author: Daniel Smith
  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: The prevailing sentiment, less "laid back," refers to "the dog days of summer" from which the rich and well-connected have historically sought relief by getting out of town. Indeed, one can easily picture Caesar Augustus — in whose honor the Roman Senate renamed and lengthened the sixth month in the Julian calendar — abandoning Rome in the same way Congress and the president flee Washington.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Development
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington
  • Author: Debayani Kar, Neil Watkins
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: Jubilee campaigns and debt cancellation advocates can be proud of their efforts. The Finance Ministers of the eight rich country governments as represented at the Group of 8 (G-8) have announced a deal on 100% debt cancellation of International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, and African Development Fund debt for some impoverished nations.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Debt, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Zia Mian
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: Many events commemorating the 60th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany in the Second World War were held this past May. Yet there has been little or no discussion of some of the most important and enduring legacies of that war, legacies that have cast long shadows ever since. Nationalism, industrial production, the bureaucratic state, and science and technology were harnessed to the cause of war in terrible new ways. It brought us the gas chambers, the systematic bombing of cities, and nuclear weapons. These three forms of modern violence are different in some significant ways, but they shared important features. Among these were centralized authority, extensive compartmentalization of responsibilities, tasks, and knowledge accompanied by strong organizational loyalty, along with scientific rationalization for the policy and technical ways of distancing perpetrators from victims.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Science and Technology, War
  • Political Geography: Germany
  • Author: Caroline Holmqvist
  • Publication Date: 01-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: It was estimated in March 2003 that 15 000–20 000 private security contractors were working in Iraq, and the conflict there was referred to as 'the first privatised war'. Since then, both the number and the visibility of contract personnel in Iraq have increased, triggering a broad debate on the role of private companies which provide military and security services to states, corporations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). However, the phenomenon is neither new nor exclusive to the Iraqi conflict. The past decade has seen the rise and consolidation of a global industry for private security provision, with over 100 companies operating in as many countries worldwide.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Development, Government
  • Political Geography: Iraq
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Governments pay out some USD 6 billion a year to support the fisheries sector in OECD countries. This money, variously called subsidies, support or financial transfers, is used to help manage fish stocks, to modernise fishing fleets, and to help communities and regions that can no longer make a living out of fishing to develop other economic activity. The money is also intended to assist in resolving problems of over-fishing and over-capacity that affect many parts of the OECD fishing industry.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Environment, Government
  • Publication Date: 11-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Opening up agricultural markets to international trade has been one of the thorniest issues in successive rounds of global trade talks. Protection in agricultural trade is still high in both the developed and developing world, so agreement in agriculture is crucial to the success of the Doha Development Agenda talks in the World Trade Organization (WTO), particularly for developing countries who stand to make significant gains.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance
  • Publication Date: 11-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Chile continues to be a strong performer and the economy has recovered in earnest from the 1998-2003 slowdown. Macroeconomic management has been exemplary and policies have been framed in rules-based, credible settings. Public finances are particularly robust, making the economy resilient to shocks. Structural reform is on-going, unleashing opportunities for growth. But Chile's income gap remains sizeable relative to the OECD area. Lifting the economy's growth potential is therefore Chile's overarching policy challenge.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Markets
  • Political Geography: South America
  • Publication Date: 11-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Are pupils learning enough, and learning it well in secondary school classrooms – and how can you tell? Can schools and teachers not only measure the progress made by pupils, but also identify their learning needs and respond to them? Effective assessment is needed to provide effective answers to all these critical questions.
  • Topic: International Relations, Civil Society, Development, Education
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Despite higher energy prices, the expansion has continued at a solid pace, driven by private domestic demand. With the output gap closing, stimulus is appropriately being withdrawn. However, monetary tightening since mid-2004 has not yet translated into higher long-term interest rates, and the incipient decline in the federal budget deficit owes much to the recent buoyancy of revenues. Over the next 18 months, the economy is projected to grow at an annual rate of 3¼ per cent, roughly in line with estimated potential output. Although such a soft landing is the most likely outcome, there are some risks. With little economic slack left, inflation could continue to pick up, in particular if oil prices keep rising. Insufficient public spending restraint or renewed dollar weakness associated with concerns about the external deficit might also add to inflationary pressures. On the other hand, an end to the house price boom, let alone a sharp correction, could entail a retrenchment of household expenditure that has been underpinned by rising household wealth.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Markets
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: The stability and resilience of the economy has been impressive and labour and product markets are among the most flexible in the OECD, but structural economic performance judged against a range of indicators can be further improved.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Markets
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Will developing countries really gain substantially from further multilateral trade liberalisation? This is a vital issue for the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) talks at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and a requirement for their successful conclusion. It is clear that many developing countries have benefited from multilateral trade negotiations and the resultant market-opening agreements in the decades since the Second World War. Further market opening should help more of them to better integrate into the world economy.
  • Topic: Development, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Third World
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Space, and man's relationship to it, has captured the human imagination for centuries. During the 20th century, dreams of space exploration became reality, and now dozens of countries, in particular in the OECD area, devote major resources to space programmes. But is this money well spent? Can we use space to find solutions to Earth's problems not available on the ground, or are we just pursuing high-priced star-filled dreams? Space technology may have brought us benefits from satellite telecommunications and their associated benefits such as telemedicine, but could we be doing more to exploit the link between space exploration and Earth application?
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Environment, Science and Technology
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: The modern era of competition policy in Brazil began in 1994 with the enactment of a new law as part of the “Real Plan”, a set of policies developed to deal with a period of hyperinflation. The law established a Brazilian Competition Policy System (BCPS) consisting of three agencies: a re-configured Administrative Council for Economic Defence (CADE), which had originally been created in 1962, the Economic Law Office (SDE) in the Ministry of Justice, and the Secretariat for Economic Monitoring (SEAE) in the Ministry of Finance. CADE has adjudicative authority in BCPS cases, while SDE has the principal investigative role, and SEAE is primarily responsible for providing economic analysis.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Brazil, South America
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Trade barriers can be hazardous to the environment, at least those that prevent the free flow of environmental goods and services (EG). Roughly, these refer to the goods and services used to measure, prevent, limit, minimise or correct environmental damage. Studies have stressed the importance of eliminating barriers to trade in environmental goods and services as a key to improving environmental protection. And negotiations to reduce or eliminate barriers to trade in environmental goods and services are included in the current World Trade Organisation (WTO) talks. Today, because OECD countries have already eliminated most barriers to trade in EG, increasing trade flows in these products requires commitments from countries in the developing world.
  • Topic: Development, Environment, Markets, Third World
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Sound macroeconomic policy, assertive product, capital and labour market liberalisation, and fundamental tax and welfare reform have transformed the Slovak business environment in recent years. Foreign direct investment (FDI) has responded particularly well, becoming the prime engine of capacity and productivity growth, and helping to put the economy on a strong and well-balanced growth path.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: China's economic reforms over the past two decades have brought remarkable growth, the development of a vibrant private sector and significant reform of the state-owned sector. Private businesses now represent some 57% of GDP, and productivity in the state-owned sector has improved significantly. However, a number of problems threaten to undermine prospects for sustainable growth. These notably include social tensions, partly due to increasing inequality within society and massive migration to the cities, but also linked to corruption, insufficient public services and rising unemployment as millions of workers have been laid off in the reform of the state-owned sector, while agriculture still displays huge structural under-employment.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: China's economic growth has averaged 9½% per cent over the past two decades. The rapid pace of economic change is likely to be sustained for some time. These gains have contributed not only to higher personal incomes, but also to a significant reduction in poverty. At the same time, the economy has become substantially integrated with the world economy. A large part of these gains have come through profound shifts in government policies. Reforms have allowed market prices and private investors to play a significant role in production and trade.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Fiscal management has been successful in recent years, and the backdrop of an inflation-targeting monetary policy has helped anchor expectations that macroeconomic stability is here to stay. In addition, the financial sector has gone through an important transformation and a broader and deeper domestic capital market has developed. This will enable the Mexican authorities to turn more of their attention to long-term priorities, which are where the important policy challenges increasingly lie. Faster growth of living standards will require reforms to the tax system so as to finance the appropriate level of current spending and long-term investment needs. Fiscal relations between the different levels of government need to be re-thought so as to ensure a more effective and more equitable use of revenues. Part of higher oil revenues should be earmarked for financing some important multi-year but finite programmes. Major reforms to education, the labour market, the electricity industry, other network sectors and ways of doing business are also desirable, and will help spur investment in Mexico's future by both domestic and foreign firms. It is important that reforms be assessed and judged by legislators on their intrinsic merits rather than through the prism of short-term political considerations.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets
  • Political Geography: Central America, Mexico
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: In recent years Japan has been challenged by important socioeconomic changes. Low economic growth, population ageing and depopulation, and new trade relationships with the East Asia region have made it increasingly necessary to transform the system established during the period of economic and demographic expansion.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets
  • Political Geography: Japan, Israel, East Asia
  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: The Norwegian economy continues to recover strongly from its 2002-2003 slowdown. Low interest rates, competition induced productivity gains, high investments by the booming oil sector, terms-of-trade gains and supportive macroeconomic policies are the main drivers. Inflation is low and labour inputs in terms of hours worked are rising briskly. Strong growth is likely for the remainder of this year and possibly during 2006.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets
  • Political Geography: Europe, Norway
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: The composition of growth of the Hungarian economy has become healthier and real convergence looks set to be on a sustainable path. While most reforms to establish a flourishing market economy have been carried out and the current government is launching a new reform initiative of "100 Steps", more needs to be done in two broad areas in order to maintain high growth: Achieving a smooth entry into the euro area: Frequently missed policy targets, tensions between the government and the Central Bank and stubbornly high twin deficits have established an unhealthy climate of financial volatility, which contrasts with and may even risk threatening the rather smooth process of real convergence. Increasing trend growth by both raising the employment potential and trend productivity growth: A large share of Hungarians with some work capacity is not working in part because of the way social benefits are designed. Low employment is aggravated by impediments to regional mobility of the labour force. Hungary needs to move further up the value added chain. This process for the time being rests very much on investments by foreign companies while innovative activities and commercial applications of own research remain limited.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Hungary
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Economic policy in the euro area pursues the objectives of achieving solid economic growth, a better performance of labour markets and restoring sound public finances in the context of a single monetary policy which aims at maintaining price stability. Although inflation has remained just above the ECB's definition of price stability, longer-term inflation expectations remain firmly anchored to price stability. However, progress towards the other goals has been disappointing thus far partly owing to adverse shocks such as higher oil prices or exchange rate shifts. On unchanged policies and with population ageing the euro area's potential output growth is set to decelerate over the next decades and eventually stabilises at around 1% per annum by about 2020, as illustrated in the following scenario:
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Recent and prospective growth performance is good. The Greek economy has continued to grow vigorously, buoyed especially by low nominal and real interest rates and an expansionary fiscal policy stance, largely reflecting public works in preparation for the Olympic Games in 2004. The outlook is for some slowing activity in the near term, triggered by fiscal consolidation, but a subsequent pick-up in growth thereafter. However, inflation is likely to remain above the euro-area average, to a certain extent eroding Greece's international competitiveness. Fiscal consolidation is the main priority. The fiscal audit, performed by the new government in close collaboration with Eurostat has revealed a very loose fiscal policy since the late 1990s, culminating in a general government deficit of 6% of GDP in 2004. The government debt-to-GDP ratio has remained stubbornly above 100%, despite uninterrupted strong growth during the past eleven years. Reining in government deficits is of vital importance both to meet the fiscal objectives of EMU, and to prepare for demographically-related budget pressures that will start emerging in a decade's time. Moreover, sustained high public debt makes Greece relatively more vulnerable to changes in interest rates and market sentiment, while it's servicing threatens to crowd out public spending in areas important for Greece's ambitions to reach income levels elsewhere in the EU.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe, Greece
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: The economy has continued on its strong upward course and living standards – measured as real GDP per person – have risen steadily over the past decade, putting the country on track towards the government’s objective of returning to the top half of the OECD. But capacity has become increasingly strained, and monetary policy has been tightened to ensure inflation remains well anchored. The country’s prospects are bright, with potential growth projected to remain comfortably above 3% per year over the medium term
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Australia/Pacific, New Zealand
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: France has high productivity per hour worked and a sophisticated social welfare system, but it also suffers from low labour force participation and high structural un employment. This poor labour market performance contributes to a persistent budget deficit which is exacerbating, rather than alleviating, the fiscal pressures arising from ageing. Rising public debt threatens fiscal sustainability. It is partly a result of insufficient public expenditure control an d insufficient public understanding of the need to meet long-run challenges as well as short-term targets. Aspects of the labour code designed to protect employees, and some aspects of the system of social transfers have had some unintended but perverse consequences leading to structurally high levels of unemployment and low participation rates. Dynamism and growth of activity and employment are held back by a lack of competition in a large number of service sectors.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Europe, France
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: The Swedish economy has undergone impressive changes and has delivered a remarkable surge in productivity since the mid-1990s. Consequently, per capita incomes are slowly making up the ground lost in earlier decades. Labour market performance, however, has been less inspiring. Employment rates have yet to recover to their 1990 peaks and hours of work need to increase to support the welfare state.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe, Sweden
  • Publication Date: 05-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: The Austrian economy has demonstrated the capacity to take advantage of positive external developments. Important challenges remain, however, in two areas: Fiscal performance needs to be improved despite substantial progress in securing the sustainability of government finances: government debt is still relatively high, fiscal consolidation also incorporates significant one-off measures and fiscal federal relations are often inefficient. Trend growth is still held back by low labour force participation of older workers – also a potential source of future growth deceleration, high seasonal inactivity, relatively weak productivity growth in the services and a sub-optimal environment for innovation activities.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government
  • Publication Date: 05-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Over the past two decades, governments battling budget pressures and public perceptions of civil servants as under-worked and overpaid have been seeking ways to make the public service perform better. Alongside government re-organisation and privatisation of services such as telecommunications and water, governments have been modernising the management of their civil servants.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Economics, Government
  • Publication Date: 05-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: A modest recovery is under way. A recovery has been under way since early 2004 and is expected to proceed at a moderate pace in 2005 and 2006, with domestic demand continuing to rise faster than GDP. Real growth is projected to remain somewhat slower than the EU average. The gap in consumer price inflation is expected to widen again in 2006. The current-account deficit has increased and export market share losses were substantial until recently. Employment growth has been impressive throughout the slowdown, but the growth of productivity, including that of total factor productivity, has been very weak.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Italy
  • Author: K. Fukasaku, M. Kawai, M.G. Plummer, A. Trzeciak-Duval
  • Publication Date: 05-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: The East Asian development experience needs to be better understood — especially the region's clustered, sequential development process and neighbourhood effects linking economies at different levels of industrial development. How have different policy vectors transmitted by OECD countries, notably in the areas of trade, investment and aid, contributed to the development of the region? To what extent have the impacts of OECD-country policies depended on the capacity of East Asian economies to respond through their own public policies?
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Israel, East Asia
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: In the past two decades, new forms of public sector management, privatisation and new technologies have changed the way the public sector operates, but have also created a need for new ways of making both agencies and governments accountable for what they do. With an increasingly devolved public sector, ensuring conformity with government policy objectives, control of expenditure and monitoring of actual agency performance has become increasingly complex. At the same time, the changing relationship between government and the public sector has profoundly affected the traditional accountability of ministers to the legislature
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government, Science and Technology
  • Publication Date: 03-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: The dominant challenge for Belgium in the years to come is to prepare for population ageing. This entails putting in place policies to attenuate its effects on economic growth and public finances. The few years left before large numbers of baby boomers retire provide a window of opportunity to push ahead with such policies and so preserve the essential elements of the system of social protection. First, further budget consolidation is required to put public finances on a sustainable path. Second, reforms are needed to increase employment rates, especially for the older working age-population, school leavers and ethnic minorities, and to slow the decline in working time. Finally, reforms are required to raise productivity growth.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Date: 02-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Nuclear energy has been used to produce electricity for more than half a century. It currently provides about 17% of the world's supply and 23% in OECD countries. The oil crisis of the early 1970s provoked a surge in nuclear power plant orders and construction, but as oil prices stabilised and even dropped, and enough electricity generating plants came into service to meet demand, orders tailed off. Accidents at Three Mile Island in the United States (1979) and at Chernobyl in Ukraine (1986) also raised serious questions in the public mind about nuclear safety.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Nuclear Weapons, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States, Ukraine
  • Publication Date: 02-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Governments are under increasing pressure to open up to public scrutiny, to be more accessible to the people who elected them and more responsive to their demands and needs. Indeed, an open government that meets all these requirements is increasingly recognised as an essential ingredient for de mocratic governance, social stability and economic development.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Economics, Government
  • Publication Date: 02-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Denmark has been near the top of the OECD's income rankings for many years. It has the most equal income distribution among member countries, partly because of its comprehensive welfare state. Given an ageing population, the key economic challenge is to maintain growth in living standards while preserving the welfare system. To achieve this, Denmark will need to raise labour supply and productivity growth. If they do not improve from here, the growth rate of per capita GDP will be dragged down to just ½ per cent per annum within a couple of decades.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Europe, Denmark
  • Publication Date: 02-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Iceland's impressive economic performance has continued to show the benefits of the refocusing of policies on financial stabilisation and market liberalisation in the 1990s. The most recent recovery, which began in 2003, has been much more vigorous than expected, as buoyant household demand has reinforced the stimulatory effect of the large-scale aluminium-related investment projects underway. Imbalances in the economy – specifically, the large current account deficit and inflation pressures – have mounted and – with GDP growth averaging over 5% in 2004-06 – they may well be similar in size to those seen in the last overheating episode in 2000-01, which resulted in a mild recession. Limiting instability over the next few years is a demanding task for macroeconomic policymakers, and efforts underway in this regard need to be strengthened. There are also challenges for structural policies, notably with respect to the proper assessment of future investment projects and in the environ-mental area. In a longer-term perspective, sustaining the faster productivity growth that structural reforms in the 1990s have brought about will require further action, especially in the education and competition policy fields.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Date: 02-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Danmark har i mange år ligget nær toppen på OECD's rangliste over BNP pr. indbygger. Danmark har den mest lige indkomstfordeling blandt medlemslandene, delvist so m følge af dets vidtfavnende velfærdsstat. I lyset af befolkningsaldringen er den primære økonomiske udfordring at fastholde væksten i levestandarden og samtidig bevare velfærdssystemet. For at opnå dette er det nødvendigt at øge arbejdsudbuddet og væksten i produktiviteten. Uden forbedringer på disse to områder vil væksten i BNP pr. indbygger fa lde til blot ½ procent om året i løbet af et par årtier.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Europe, Denmark
  • Author: Ted Galen Carpenter
  • Publication Date: 03-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The Bush administration has gone from one extreme to the other with regard to U.S. policy on Taiwan. During the early months of his administration, the president gave a seemingly unconditional pledge to defend Taiwan from attack by mainland China—going significantly further than his predecessors had. He followed that assurance by approving the largest arms sales package to Taiwan in nearly a decade. In marked contrast to the Clinton years, high-profile visits by Taiwanese leaders to the United States have been encouraged, despite Beijing's protests.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Development, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia
  • Publication Date: 04-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: On March 31 — April 1, 2004, the governments of Germany and Afghanistan will co-host a conference in Berlin entitled "Afghanistan and the International Community: A Partnership for the Future." At this conference, the Afghan government will present to donor governments and international financial institutions its plan for rebuilding the country, "Securing Afghanistan's Future."
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Asia
  • Author: Susan Woodward
  • Publication Date: 06-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: Complex, multidimensional peacekeeping is a creature of the 1990s. The civilian tasks are those set out in Agenda for Peace (1992), and its 1995 Supplement, while the lessons of the 1990s for UN operations were only codified in the Brahimi Report of August 2000 and its proposed reforms. The explicit contribution to peacekeeping missions of UNDP and the Specialized Agencies, with the important exception of those with an established humanitarian mandate such as UNHCR and WFP, is thus little more than a decade old. Capacity-building reforms within UNDP and the agencies for this conflict-related and post-conflict role date to 2001-2002 at best. Accommodation by the UN system for peacekeeping operations of their now integral role has not begun.
  • Topic: Development, International Organization, Peace Studies, United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Warwick McKibbin, Park Yung Chul, Jong-Wha Lee
  • Publication Date: 09-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Abstract: This paper explores the causes of the transpacific trade imbalances using an empirical global model. It also evaluates the impact of various policies to reduce these imbalances. We find the fundamental cause of trade imbalances since 1997 is changes in saving-investment gaps, attributed to the surge of the U.S fiscal deficits and the decline of East Asia's private investment after the 1997 financial crisis. Our simulation results show that a revaluation of East Asia's exchange rates by 10 percent (effectively a shift in monetary policy) cannot resolve the imbalances. We find East Asia's concerted efforts to stimulate aggregate demand can have significant impacts on trade balances globally, but the impact on the US trade balance is not large. US fiscal contraction is estimated to have large impacts on the US trade position overall and on the bilateral trade balances with East Asian economies. These results suggest that in order to improve the transpacific imbalance, macroeconomic adjustment will need to be made on both sides of the Pacific. lowy institute for international policy.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Israel, East Asia
  • Author: John Bowan
  • Publication Date: 08-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Abstract: Beijing's successful bid for the 2008 Olympic Games gives China a unique opportunity to signal its emergence as a leading player in the mainstream of international affairs. The Games will provide a unique opportunity to showcase to the international public, as well as to foreign governments and international business, China's technical and organisational capabilities, its cultural and social achievements, and its standing and potential as a global economic power and partner. The ongoing strong commitment to the Games by the national Government, and the rapid and efficient progress made to date by the Beijing Olympic organisers, are impressive; from a technical point of view, China's challenging Olympic project is on track. The Games will make some limited contribution to the extraordinary economic and technological development China is making, particularly in environmental protection. Similarly, the Games have the potential to make some incremental contribution to improving human rights in China. Their significance as a force for change in this area should not be overestimated, however, and the evidence is that the Olympic influence on China's human rights has so far been limited. Despite the good cooperation at the Olympic level that has developed between China and Taiwan in recent years, the hosting of the Games would not stand in the way of drastic action by China if Taiwan pursued independence beyond the limits of its tolerance. Australia's cooperative Olympic links with China, developed during Beijing's bid, add a valuable dimension to the strong and important relationship between the two countries.
  • Topic: International Relations, Civil Society, Development
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Malcolm Cook
  • Publication Date: 02-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Abstract: Changes in Japan's party system offer new hope for Japan's long-delayed economic reform as the axis of voting power accelerated its shift to the urban areas. The upcoming Upper House1 elections will provide another opportunity to see how far these changes have come and how permanent they are. The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has dominated post-war Japanese politics due to the party's overwhelming support in Japan's declining rural areas. The LDP's iron grip on the rural vote has created and been maintained by a nexus of interests between LDP politicians, favoured construction companies and rural voters. This rural public works "glue" has been one of the main reasons the Japanese government has been unable to address its drastically declining fiscal position. The political power of Japan's small farming sector also explains why Japan's bilateral and multilateral free trade diplomacy has not progressed. The November 9 Lower House election results and the rise of a real alternative to the LDP promise to help Prime Minister Koizumi's three-year fight to "modernise" the LDP and make it more appealing to urban and younger voters. November 9's results also suggest that if Koizumi loses this intra-LDP battle, then in the next Lower House elections the LDP will lose. So whether Koizumi is successful or not, economic reform chances in Japan have been boosted. Australia's largest trading partner is better placed for free trade talks bilaterally and globally and to address its worrying fiscal situation, the largest threat looming over Japan's future prosperity.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Japan, Israel, East Asia, Australia
  • Author: Gary Clyde Hufbauer, Yee Wong
  • Publication Date: 09-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: On April 26, 2004, Senator John Kerry released his six-point trade pro - gram, “Trade Enforcement: Asleep at the Wheel,” and conspicuously targeted China for violating worker rights, dumping, and supporting “illegal currency manipulation” (Kerry 2004). Five days earlier, senior Bush administration officials met with Chinese Vice Premier Wu Yi to settle a few trade disputes (e.g., WiFi) but did not resolve the most contentious ones (exchange rates, semiconductors, and labor rights).
  • Topic: Development, Globalization, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Marcus Noland, Howard Pack
  • Publication Date: 06-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: The Middle East is a demographic time bomb. According to the United Nations Development Program's (UNDP) Arab Human Development Report 2002, the population of the Arab region is expected to increase by around 25 percent between 2000 and 2010 and by 50 to 60 percent by 2020—or by perhaps 150 million people, a figure equivalent to more than two Egypts. Even under the UNDP's more conservative scenario, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates will be the only Arab countries in 2020 with median ages above 30.
  • Topic: Development, Globalization, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Kuwait, Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates
  • Author: Gary Clyde Hufbauer, Paul Grieco
  • Publication Date: 04-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Senator John Kerry has proposed a major overhaul in corporate taxation, with the goal of persuading multinational companies (MNCs) to employ more workers at home and fewer abroad. Kerry has correctly emphasized that domestic production is often taxed at a higher rate than production abroad, but his prescriptions will not boost US jobs.
  • Topic: Development, Globalization, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, South America, Central America, Caribbean, North America
  • Author: Kimberly Ann Elliott
  • Publication Date: 03-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: The debate over linking trade and worker rights is often a dialogue of the deaf, with advocates on either side paying little attention to the scope for positive synergies between labor standards, development, and globalization. Instead, each side views the other as promoting positions that will, intentionally or not, impoverish poor people in poor countries. Opponents of global labor standards fear that these standards will undermine developing countries' comparative advantage in low-wage goods or be abused for protectionist purposes, thereby denying workers jobs. Standards advocates argue that failure to include labor standards in trade agreements increases inequality and leads to a race to the bottom for workers worldwide.
  • Topic: Development, Globalization, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Central America
  • Author: Steven F. Hayward
  • Publication Date: 11-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: A slew of new and highly regarded environmental books in 2004 is testimony to the persistence of environmental apocalyticism, despite growing signs of environmental progress in the United States and the developing world. The persistence of doomsaying is an indicator of the staleness of popular environmental thought, which is increasingly removed from political reality and closed-minded toward innovative thinking about real environmental problems and their solutions.
  • Topic: Development, Energy Policy, Environment
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Anthony B. Atkinson
  • Publication Date: 09-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: In order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), substantial additional external funding needs to be mobilized. Estimates differ, but a 'ballpark' figure is an annual increase of US$50 billion. This could be achieved by a doubling of official development assistance (ODA). Welcome steps have been made in that direction, but this takes time, and time is of the essence. For this reason alone, it is necessary to consider new sources.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Cooperation, United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Matthew Odedokun
  • Publication Date: 03-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: External development finance consists of those foreign sources of funds that promote or at least have the potential to promote development in the destination countries if delivered in the appropriate form. This rather broad definition qualifies all forms of external finance, and the quality and quantity of their inflows to developing countries are thus covered in the studies that form the background to this Policy Brief. These include official bilateral and multilateral, private commercial, and private noncommercial flows. A common characteristic is that all these types of flows are inadequate or becoming inadequate on the one hand and that their distribution is lopsided geographically and/or temporally, on the other.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Cooperation, United Nations
  • Author: Toufiq A. Siddiqi
  • Publication Date: 08-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: India and Pakistan have had volatile relations ever since they became independent of Britain in 1947. Frequent hostility has stifled cooperation between the two countries and inhibited development in the region. Recently, however, tensions show signs of easing. In March 2004, India's then prime minister visited Pakistan to attend a South Asian regional summit. Flights, bus service, and cricket matches between the two countries have resumed; India's newly elected government continues to support the process. Peace could bring a wide range of benefits not only to India and Pakistan but to the wider region as well. For example, it could enable cooperation on importing energy via a natural-gas pipeline, which would support environmentally sound development. The improved road and rail system that would necessarily accompany a pipeline would also support the goal of building an Asian highway network and the resurgence of cross-border trade, another likely consequence of détente. These benefits could spread far beyond India and Pakistan into the wider west, central, and south Asian region.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, South Asia, India
  • Author: Piers Blaikie, Joshua Muldavin
  • Publication Date: 06-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: How we arrive at knowledge—and how we draw on knowledge to make policy—have been the subject of vigorous debate and analysis. Simple models of expertise and action are gradually yielding to a more complex vision of how truth speaks to power and power talks back. The Himalayan region—where scientists, statesmen, and citizens confront a unique set of environmental challenges and political legacies—provides a powerful case study. For more than a century, it was believed that over-use by local farmers and pastoralists threatened fragile mountain and river environments. Beginning in the colonial era and continuing into the present, governments have strictly curtailed traditional land-use practices. In the 1980s, scholars began to question the science on which those restrictive laws were based. But new science has not, in most cases, led to new policy. This disconnect inspires questions about the nature of both science and policy, their influence on each other, and whether each could benefit from greater openness to the insights of people who fall outside the narrow roles of expert and politician.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development
  • Political Geography: Asia, Australia/Pacific, Southeast Asia
  • Author: T.C. Chang
  • Publication Date: 05-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: The development of tourist destinations that transcend national borders, first envisioned in the 1950s, gained momentum in the 1990s. Whether facilitated by large regional organizations such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) or bilateral agreements, countries—especially smaller ones— have worked to identify and leverage their neighbor's strengths. Singapore, for example, adopted a national tourism plan based on the concept of "borrowed attractiveness." It has compensated for its limited natural resources and high costs by collaborating with Indonesia and Malaysia, which contribute cheaper labor and land in exchange for infrastructure, financing, and expertise. The city-state also aggressively sells its tourism expertise overseas and aspires to be Asia's tourism hub. But Singapore's experience demonstrates that regional tourism, while diversifying tourism development opportunities, can also perpetuate inequities between wealthier and poorer collaborators and present serious challenges to businesses operating in unfamiliar settings.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development
  • Political Geography: Asia, Australia/Pacific, Singapore, Southeast Asia
  • Publication Date: 11-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Performance – improving it and measuring it – has pre-occupied governments for at least half a century. Over the past two decades, public sector performance has taken on special urgency as OECD countries have faced recessions, mounting demands for more and better public services, and, in some countries, citizens increasingly unwilling to pay higher taxes. Accompanying these pressures have been demands for more public accountability.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Economics, Government
  • Publication Date: 10-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: The textile and clothing industries provide employment for tens of million of people, primarily in developing countries, and accounted for USD 350 billion in merchandise exports in 2002, or 5.6% of the world total. The current rules governing world trade in textiles and clothing will change drastically at the end of 2004, when countries will no longer be able to protect their own industries by means of quantitative restrictions on imports of textile and clothing products. What will this mean for cotton growers in Burkina Faso and Turkey, fashion retailers in France and the United States, or shirt factories in Bangladesh, the Dominican Republic or China?
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Economics, Industrial Policy
  • Political Geography: Bangladesh, United States, China, Turkey, France
  • Publication Date: 10-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: The amount of time people spend at work is a key element in several economic and social challenges facing industrial countries, notably those associated with population ageing. OECD governments will need to bring more people into the labour force and keep them there in coming years as the ratio of older to younger people rises if they wish to maintain living standards and finance social protection. One way of doing that is to make working time more flexible. For example, part-time jobs can make it easier for mothers with young children to combine working and parenting. More flexible working hours can also help firms adjust to changing workloads.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Economics, Industrial Policy
  • Publication Date: 10-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Improving the income situation of farm households remains a prominent objective of agricultural policies in many OECD countries. Concerns are often expressed in response to year over year declines in national farm income levels or to fluctuating world commodity prices. Increasingly, however, attention is moving away from such partial indicators of household well-being towards a more comprehensive concept of farm household income which encompasses all income sources available to family members as well as their accumulated wealth.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Civil Society, Development, Economics
  • Publication Date: 10-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: The transformation of the Finnish economy over the last decade represents one of the few examples of the "new economy" taking hold in Europe. Output and productivity growth over the second half of the 1990s was among the highest in the OECD, and the recovery from the global downturn has been much stronger than for the euro area as a whole. However, imminent population ageing threatens to expose weaknesses in the labour market. Demographic developments, which over past decades have been broadly neutral, could reduce the growth rate of GDP per capita by 1/4 of a percentage point per annum over the remainder of this decade and by almost 1 percentage point over the next decade. This, combined with the likelihood of smaller productivity gains in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector, a continuation of falling ICT prices as well as the mediocre performance in the sheltered sectors, threatens the future growth of living standards. Within a decade, and in the absence of further policy changes, these developments together could imply that Finland not only loses its top performer status but could face a protracted period of slow growth, as illustrated in the following scenario.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Date: 09-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Health spending in OECD countries averages more than 8% of gross domestic product (GDP) and the share is rising. Overall, some threequarters of that spending is publicly financed. Private health insurance accounts, on average, for only a quarter of private-sector financing, although there is great cross-country variation. In a third of the OECD member countries at least 30% of the population has private health insurance, while market size is negligible in nearly as many countries. Private health insurance also plays a variety of roles, ranging from primary coverage for particular population groups to a supporting role for public systems.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Economics, Human Welfare
  • Publication Date: 09-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Deregulating labour markets – for example making it easier for firms to hire and fire employees – is at the heart of the employment debate in many OECD countries. Laws on firing or layoffs and other employment protection regulations are thought by many to be a key factor in generating labour market "rigidity", as well as one reason for the large differences in labour market performance among OECD countries, notably between the United States and some of the larger European countries.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Date: 09-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Convergence of the Portuguese economy toward the more advanced OECD economies seems to have halted in recent years, leaving a significant gap in per capita incomes. The proximate cause is low labour productivity, as employment rates across the board are substantially higher than the EU average. Nor is there a shortage of capital goods in aggregate. But capital equipment in the business sector is not always efficiently used or allocated, and new technologies are not readily adopted. Furthermore, the Portuguese labour force – even its younger members – have had less formal education than workers in other EU countries, including among the new entrants from Central and Eastern Europe, and workers in Portugal also have less access to training than in many other countries. Traditional Portuguese low value-added highly labourintensive products now face increasing competition from developing countries and from the new EU entrants.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 09-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Japan's Fair Trade Commission, created in 1947, is one of the oldest and largest competition law enforcement agencies in the world. Before the 1990s, though, competition had usually played a subordinate role in Japan's regulatory policies, while aspects of Japan's traditional approach to regulation had contradicted principles of modern competition policy. Over the past decade of reform in Japan, this attitude toward competition policy has been changing.
  • Topic: Development, Government, International Law
  • Political Geography: Japan, Israel