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  • Author: Dina Smeltz, Stepan Goncharov, Lily Wojtowicz
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Abstract: A breakdown in cooperation between the United States and Russia in Syria, disputes over bilateral arms control agreements, and official US allegations of Russian cyber-meddling in the US presidential election have increased bilateral tensions. Most recently, the Kremlin ended participation in a joint agreement with the United States to eliminate both countries’ excess stocks of weapons grade plutonium. Yet even before these recent developments, increasingly frosty diplomatic relations seem to have taken their toll on mutual perceptions in public opinion.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Russia, America
  • Author: Sara McElmurry, Juliana Kerr, Theresa Cardinal Brown, Lazaro Zamora
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Abstract: Current immigration policies and systems play an important role in protecting citizens. Federal immigration agencies are a central component of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Working in collaboration with federal intelligence agencies and local law enforcement at home and foreign governments abroad, the immigration system has become much more sophisticated and effective since DHS was created in 2001. Apprehensions of unauthorized immigrants along the border are at the lowest levels seen in decades. Screenings used to vet visitors, immigrants, and refugees have increased in complexity and efficacy. Programs that remove criminals from the country now increasingly prioritize enforcement resources to address public safety and security threats.
  • Topic: National Security, Immigration
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Dina Smeltz, Craig Kafura, Kelhan Martin
  • Publication Date: 08-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Abstract: Two million Aleppo residents are trapped in the city because of accelerating fighting between the Syrian government forces and opposition fighters from various factions. The resulting humanitarian catastrophe has prompted the United Nations to put aside Syria peace talks in favor of gaining agreement on a cease fire to deliver humanitarian aid. The Chicago Council Survey shows that while Americans favor targeted military action against violent extremist groups like the Islamic State in Syria, they are less supportive of US involvement in the internal conflict in Syria between the Assad regime and anti-government forces.
  • Topic: International Relations, Civil War, Humanitarian Aid, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Syria
  • Author: Cullen S. Hendrix
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Abstract: Feeding the world and teaching the world to feed itself is not just a humanitarian endeavor. It is vital to US national security. Food price–related unrest can have an immense impact on the stability of countries vital to US interests. Fortunately, the United States is well positioned to lead the fight against food insecurity across the globe. Even with increases in agricultural productivity, Africa and Asia have become increasingly dependent on global markets to satisfy their growing domestic demand for food. For example, Africa's 20 most populous countries are all net grain importers. This import dependence has made these countries more sensitive to food price volatility than ever before.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, National Security, Food Security
  • Political Geography: America, Global Focus
  • Author: Yanfei Li, Shigeru Kimura
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: The research is divided into four interdependent research clusters. Clusters 1 and 2 apply case studies on the BIMP countries (Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines) using different methods. Cluster 1, led by the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan, conducts dynamic linear programming model to simulate the development of power infrastructure, interconnection, and exchange of power in this subregion of ASEAN. It emphasises the economic rationale and feasibility of electricity market integration in the region. Cluster 2, led by the Brunei National Energy Research Institute, focuses on the regulatory, institutional, and technical barriers in BIMP, and develops a road map to solve these issues. This study thus gives some insight regarding regional specific barriers or issues for other regions based on an established understanding of the common issues in principle from previous studies. Cluster 3 is conducted jointly by the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia and the Energy Research Institute at Nanyang Technological University. The study mainly refers to the Nordic and European cases of electricity market integration and analyses both their business models and overall market design for grid interconnection and cross-border trading of electricity. In doing so, the study eventually tries to deliver implications on the possible business model and market design for ASEAN. The Cluster 4 study, carried out by a researcher from the University of Western Australia, discusses political and institutional barriers to the formation of an integrated ASEAN electricity market and derives several practical strategies in addressing such barriers as policy implications.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Business
  • Political Geography: Southeast Asia
  • Author: Shigeru Kimura
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: The share of demand for fossil-fuel based energy (i.e. coal and oil) in Malaysia will remain the largest in 2035. This significant demand is largely driven by the stable economic growth as well as the energy prices that are kept low by its energy subsidy policy across sectors. While it is widely acknowledged that subsidy encourages overconsumption and inefficient resource allocation, subsidy reforms will bring structural changes at all economic levels. Therefore, the effects of fuel subsidy removal need to be simulated to help government formulate mitigating measures to cushion the effects on most affected sectors. This research is divided into two parts: the first part estimates the price impact on industry subsectors as an offshoot of energy subsidies removal by applying 2010 Malaysian Input-Output Table; the second part measures the economic impact of removing energy subsidies using a Malaysian macroeconomic model.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, International Political Economy, Climate Finance
  • Political Geography: Malaysia
  • Author: Ken Koyama, Ichiro Kutani, Yanfei Li
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: Energy demand in many East Asia Summit countries is on an upward trend, thus making the role of natural gas in energy supply increasingly important from various aspects. Yet the market for liquefied natural gas (LNG) is in transition in terms of geographical and quantitative expansion, diversification of price formations, and lower oil and gas prices. In order to balance benefits between importers and exporters and to find workable solutions for developing a sustainable LNG market in various energy situations in importing and exporting countries, the LNG market players and policymakers are encouraged to enhance their efforts to create a more flexible, transparent, and sustainable LNG market in Asia. Whereas the private sector is mainly responsible for commercial deals, the public sector is encouraged to support in improving business environment to develop a better-functioning LNG market especially in terms of flexibility, price formation, and gas supply security, and in securing necessary investments.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Southeast Asia
  • Author: Rajni Bakshi
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relation
  • Abstract: Economic reforms in India have often arrayed proponents of market-led growth against human rights advocates anxious that markets give primacy to profits over people. A quarter century after the reform process was initiated in the early 1990s, this conflict has sharpened. At the same time, this narrative of polarised positions seems increasingly worn out. Business and society at large have always been intricately co-dependent. This interface is now taking many new forms across the world, with some entrepreneurs seeing profit as a means, rather than the end goal of business. This paper explores these questions. It reviews if and how trusteeship can be a lodestar for globally navigating businesses and public policies through a period of technology- driven disruptions and the uncertainties unleashed by climate change. Trusteeship is a frame of reference on which a wide variety of business models can be based. The emphasis is on transforming rather than demolishing the capitalist system. In essence, Gandhian trusteeship reposes faith in the capacity of individuals and entire classes to re-form themselves, on the premise that the capacity to seek redemption is intrinsic to human nature. There was logic rather than dreamy wishful thinking behind these claims. Gandhi believed that it is a fearful man who tyrannises others or attempts to accumulate wealth by force or by unfair means. By contrast, a voluntary adoption of trusteeship means respect for human dignity, fostering relations based on truth and shared goals. Thus, Gandhi urged labourers to approach employers from a position of strength and self-respect since labour is as vital a component of production as capital, land, and technology. In a time mired by corruption and competitive greed, trusteeship may at first glance seem like a pipe-dream. Can this closer examination perhaps give you cause to rethink?
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Reform, Employment
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Rajni Bakshi
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relation
  • Abstract: Degrowth as a creative goal does not sit well in most societies today. But water is a key to fostering new imaginaries because it most starkly manifests the risk of forced and chaotic degrowth-as-collapse. By 2040 an estimated 33 countries, including USA, China and India, will face severe water scarcity. India had a rich heritage of elaborate traditional technologies and modes of social organisation that ensured adequate and reliable supply of water even in arid regions. Many of these old community-based systems of watershed management and storage withered away as water was transformed from a sacred gift to just a ‘resource’ that could be privatised and/or controlled by governments. Today while local water-shed management is supported by government policy this tends to be overwhelmed by large projects that add more directly to GDP growth. Nevertheless, over the last quarter of a century, a wide variety of civil society and academic interventions in India have attempted to revive, or document, the multi-dimensional wisdom on which pre- modern societies based their relationship to water.
  • Topic: Economics, Water, Climate Finance
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Rajni Bakshi
  • Publication Date: 07-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relation
  • Abstract: Indian business—perhaps even society at large—is currently buoyed by the expectation that we are entering a period of sustained economic growth that might finally make poverty a problem of the past. In this context, it might seem counter-intuitive to draw attention to the possibility of a decelerating global economy and projections about reversals in human well-being. However, there is mounting evidence to show that the prevailing models of economic growth cannot continue unchecked to the end of the 21st century. Apart from the truism that infinite growth is not possible on a finite planet, the accelerating impacts of climate change are set to play havoc with a reliable supply of many natural resources—including food. Unless growth is redefined, degrowth will be forced upon the global economy, as a consequence of chaotic instability in eco-systems and due to the brittleness of political, social, and economic systems
  • Topic: Global Recession, Reconstruction, Reform, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: India, Global Focus