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  • Author: Jon Gant, Nicol Turner-Lee
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Over the last several decades, local, state and federal government entities in the United States have steadily moved toward more openness and transparency.By definition, openness and transparency allow stakeholders to gather information that may be critical to their interests and offer channels of communication between stakeholders and elected officials. Aided by legislative mandates and public policy decisions, most government entities are now required to make a minimum amount of information available to citizens, operate in the “sunlight” and not behind closed doors, and actively engage citizens in the policy-making process.
  • Topic: Corruption, Education, Government, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Clark Kent Ervin
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: This is the fourth in a series of reports, underwritten principally by the Ford Foundation, and, in this particular case, additionally, the Houston Endowment, as to various cities' (namely, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, New Orleans, and Houston) preparedness for terrorism and catastrophic natural disasters. Our goal in each city was to identify best practices that can be replicated in other cities around the nation; to identify any gaps in preparedness; and to make recommendations to close any such gaps. We conducted these assessments primarily through roundtable discussions in each city in 2007-2009 with key local, state, and federal government officials, corporate and non-profit stakeholders, and academic and think tank experts, with some supplemental research and follow-up interviews. The audience for each roundtable consisted of representatives of funding organizations, congressional staff, policy experts, and students, all of whom were helpful in engaging the speakers in dialogue following their formal presentations.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Terrorism, Natural Disasters, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: United States, New York, Chicago
  • Author: Paul Runci
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: With the expectation that a new Administration and new Congress in 2009 will actively consider climate change legislation, the Aspen Institute's 2008 Energy Policy Forum chose the topic of “Climate Change and the Electricity Sector.” The Forum, now in its 31st year, convened a select group of leaders and policy experts to discuss commercial and public policy issues at the intersection of energy, the economy and the environment. As in previous years, the format relied heavily on dialogue among the diverse participants who brought a variety of perspectives and areas of expertise to the table. Short introductory presentations kicked off each half-day session, and a spirited, off-the-record discussion followed.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Globalization, Government
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Suzanne Nora Johnson, Lisa Mensah, C. Eugene Steuerle
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Savings policy in the United States is at a critical juncture. The U.S. personal saving rate has declined from 10.8 percent in 1984 to zero in 2005.The national saving rate, which includes government and business savings, is the lowest among the G-20 countries and has decreased significantly in recent decades. These low levels of saving generally suggest lower growth rates of income and standards of living in the future.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: William K. Reilly, Harriet C. Babbitt
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Few issues matter more to public health, economic opportunity, and environmental integrity than the availability of clean water and sanitation. With the 4th World Water Forum scheduled for Mexico City in March 2006, the Aspen Institute and the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University conducted a multistakeholder dialogue to help highlight the importance of global water issues, suggest steps to provide services more rapidly and effectively, and to identify and draw attention to constructive ways the US government and other US participants can take part in the Forum.
  • Topic: Development, Environment, Government, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: United States, Mexico
  • Author: John A. Riggs
  • Publication Date: 05-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: One of the enduring debates about environmental issues is the extent to which progress can be achieved without economic harm, either to a business or to society as a whole. The risk of such harm has frequently been used, often effectively, as a reason to oppose or delay actions to reduce pollution or to otherwise advance environmental protection goals. The apparent political persuasiveness of the argument has led to a counterargument: that there are usually win-win solutions and that environmental and economic goals need not be in conflict.
  • Topic: Economics, Environment, Government
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Neil Shister
  • Publication Date: 04-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: The prevailing view of journalism today draws on strands from a diverse portfolio of political, legal, and commercial theories. Some of the propositions underlying the way we regard the practice of the craft date back to the 18th-century “age of reason;” others are as current as yesterday's Wall Street media deal. “Journalism” is a historical hybrid— more an evolving social construct than a fixed point of reference. As such, it conveys contradictory associations: on one hand a band of swashbuckling iconoclasts daring to “speak truth to power;” on the other hand considerably more temperate, disinterested professionals gathering content to distribute through the “information division” of giant corporations. Each image is exaggerated; neither is wholly wrong
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Publication Date: 03-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Capital Plus is a position paper written by the members of the Development Finance Forum (the Forum), a group of practitioners that has met for a week each year since 1997. The Forum members use the term “development finance institutions” (DFIs) to refer to our diverse institutional forms, customer strategies, and products, which include microcredit, loans to small and medium sized businesses, and investments in housing projects and community facilities. The word “practitioner” is the key to our group. While donors, academics, and representatives of multilateral institutions play an important role in building and marketing the development finance field, they have often dominated the way debates and ideas are shaped. We asked ourselves: as practitioners, did we have, or could we develop, a common perspective? Could it shape the debate in a new way? What new ideas could we add?
  • Topic: Economics, Government, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: John A. Riggs
  • Publication Date: 02-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: What is the preferred framework for a domestic policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions? The approach most likely to achieve environmental results? To be admin- istratively feasible and cost effective? To gain political acceptance?
  • Topic: Environment, Government, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: John A. Riggs, Paul Runci
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Over the July 4th weekend, seventy current and former government officials and experts from industry, academia, and consumer and environmental public interest groups met to discuss the state of the U.S. electricity industry. The lack of progress in addressing critical electricity issues will increase costs and reduce performance in the electricity sector over the next several years. The long-term future of electricity supply and demand is also clouded by the absence of clear and stable government policies.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Government, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Adam Clymer
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: In the wake of the national trauma of September 11, 2001, if there was one nostrum that dominated national commentary, it was “nothing will ever be the same again.”
  • Topic: Government, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Ying-jeou Ma
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Civil war broke out between the Nationalist Kuomintang (KMT) Government of China and the Chinese Communist forces shortly after Japan surrendered to the Allied forces in 1945. Having occupied most of the country by mid-1949, the Chinese Communists proclaimed in Beijing the establishment of the People's Republic of China (PRC) on October 1, 1949. The Nationalist Government retreated to Taiwan, an island of 13,969 square miles just 90 miles off the coast of the Chinese Mainland, in December that year and continued to call itself the Republic of China (ROC). Sporadic battles continued in coastal areas of the Chinese Mainland.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Israel, Taiwan, Beijing, East Asia, Asia, Island
  • Author: Michael Shifter
  • Publication Date: 11-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Even within Latin America's generally gloomy economic and political outlook, the countries of the Andean region—Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia—stand out as especially problematic and unsettled. For the United States, this set of countries, with some 120 million citizens, poses enormous policy challenges. Fostering democracy, expanding trade, combating drugs, promoting stability, and advancing social development are just some of the challenges germane to this region which, in the context of globalization, post-September 11, become even more compelling.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Colombia, South America, Latin America, Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia
  • Author: Marco Palacios
  • Publication Date: 11-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Ever more frequently, one hears that Colombia is at the point of disintegration. This concept could be developed in several ways. Let us look at two of them. A report in TIME magazine about a territory of 40 thousand square kilometers that President Pastrana marked out as a demilitarized zone in 1998, so as to proceed with peace negotiations with the FARC, claimed that: “Colombia is in danger of being divided into three parts, along lines dictated by the nation's mountain geography. The Marxist guerrillas are ascendant in the south; the government controls central areas and large urban centers; and right-wing, army backed paramilitary forces...hold sway in much of the north.” (Latin American Edition, September 28,1998).
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Colombia, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Cynthia J. Arnson
  • Publication Date: 11-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Over the last several months, and beginning most decisively in the spring of 2002, U.S. policy toward Colombia has gone through a significant shift. Traditionally defined in terms of counter-narcotics, and then expanded under Plan Colombia to include areas of democratic and economic strengthening and peace, U.S. policy is now focused squarely on security issues: improving the capacity of the Colombian government to combat left-wing guerrillas and right-wing paramilitaries; establishing an effective military presence throughout the national territory on which other state programs depend; and fighting the drug trade that finances all illegal armed groups. To illustrate the shift, consider the statements of two high- ranking U.S. officials. In August 2001, Undersecretary of State Marc Grossman told a Bogotá press conference that “we support Plan Colombia because...Plan Colombia recognizes that a negotiated settlement is the only way to achieve peace.” By March 2002, Secretary of State Colin Powell told a House subcommittee that “we have to help Colombia save its democracy from narcotraffickers and from terrorists.” The following discussion aims to understand how and why this shift came about, as well as its implications for U.S. interests and policy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Colombia, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Judyth L. Twigg
  • Publication Date: 08-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: It has become routine for Russian policy makers to characterize their various health and social problems—rising male mortality, HIV/AIDS, illegal drug use, even pension system reform—as threats to the stability and national security of their country. Russia's importance to American national interests was thrown in sharp relief by the events of September 11 and their aftermath. A stable, prosperous Russia is a crucial partner in the war on terrorism. The fact that so many of Russia's health and social indicators remain stagnant or in decline, despite limited improvement along some dimensions, should therefore be troubling to the United States.
  • Topic: Government, Health, Human Welfare, Science and Technology, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Amy Korzick Garmer, Anthony Corrado, Angela Campbell, Henry Geller, Tracy Westen, Charles Firestone, Robert Corn-Revere, Monroe E. Price, Forrest P. Chisman, Andrew Graham, Steven S. Wildman, D. Karen Frazer, Andrew L. Shapiro
  • Publication Date: 12-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: In January, 1998, the Aspen Institute's Communications and Society Program convened the first in a series of meetings to examine the public interest in the United States' communications system. With funding provided by the John and Mary R. Markle Foundation, the Program hosted the initial session of the Aspen Institute Working Group on Digital Broadcasting and the Public Interest on January 25–27, 1998, at the Institute's Wye River Conference Center. The conference brought together twenty-three legal scholars, lawyers, economists, and policy advocates, representing a variety of experiences and perspectives, to consider two issues: (1) the theoretical and legal bases for the imposition of public interest obligations on those using the electromagnetic spectrum for broadcasting purposes, and (2) other public interest implications of the move to digital broadcasting. It is the hope of the Working Group that the ideas generated at this and subsequent meetings will add to the ongoing public dialogue on broadcasting and the public interest, and will prove useful to the ongoing debate over the public interest responsibilities that should accompany broadcasters' receipt of new digital television licenses.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States