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  • Author: Alexey Malashenko, Alexey Starosin
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: There have been significant changes in the composition and distribution of Russia’s Muslim community during the era of President Vladimir Putin. In particular, as Islam expands in the Ural Federal District, religious and political life there is evolving. Much of this expansion is due to the arrival of Muslim migrants from Central Asia and the Caucasus, and some migrants bring with them religious radicalism—a challenge that requires a more effective official response.
  • Topic: Islam, Migration, Politics, Radicalization
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Robert P. Murphy, Patrick J. Michaels, Paul "Chip" Knappenberger
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: A vigorous campaign aimed at American policymakers and the general public has tried to create the perception that a federal carbon tax (or similar type of “carbon price”) is a crucial element in the urgently needed response to climate change. Within conservative and libertarian circles, a small but vocal group of academics, analysts, and political officials are claiming that a revenue-neutral carbon tax swap could even deliver a “double dividend” — meaning that the conventional economy would be spurred in addition to any climate benefits. The present study details several serious problems with these claims. The actual economics of climate change — as summarized in the peer-reviewed literature as well as the U.N. and Obama Administration reports — reveal that the case for a U.S. carbon tax is weaker than the public has been told.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, Energy Policy, Politics
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Neelanjan Sircar
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: This paper develops a theory on how voters form and change political preferences in democratic developing world contexts. In the developing world, where state institutions are often weak, voters tend to be more focused on the competence and capacity of parties and candidates to deliver benefits. Such information may be difficult to ascertain, so voters must glean information from how candidates conduct themselves during the electoral campaign. Voters use kinship networks to develop more accurate preferences by collectively reasoning through newly available information on candidates. In order to demonstrate these claims, this study analyzes data collected on political preferences and kinship networks in two villages just before and after the campaign period during the 2011 Assembly election in the Indian state of West Bengal. The paper finds very strong kinship network effects on changes in issue preferences and vote choice over the course of the campaign and explains the results through qualitative work and a series of network autoregressive statistical models. In sum, this paper demonstrates how voters develop independent preferences and implement political change, even in low information contexts with weak human capital.
  • Topic: Democratization, Politics, Self Determination, Elections
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Mark Schneider, Neelanjan Sircar
  • Publication Date: 08-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The literature on decentralized public programs suggests that errors in the targeting of anti-poverty programs are rooted in the capture of these programs by local elites or local politicians. Consistent with the literature on moral economy in political science and experimental economics, we argue that voters in contexts of rural poverty prefer local leaders who target subsistence benefits to the poor. In a high information village context, where voters and leaders know each other, we argue that local elections lead to the selection of local leaders with pro-poor preferences over the distribution of these benefits. We show this with a novel theory of local politicians’ social preferences. We test our theory with unique data from a behavioral measure, conducted in the context of a lottery with a modest cash prize in rural India, that captures a scenario in which local leaders have full discretion and anonymity over allocation among members of their rural communities. We analyze our data using a novel estimation strategy that takes the characteristics of the pool of potential beneficiaries into account in decisions over allocation under a budget constraint. We find that local leaders have strong preferences for targeting the poor, and particularly those they believe supported them politically in the past. This article suggests that free and fair elections at the local level can powerfully encourage pro-poor targeting even in contexts of weak institutions and pervasive poverty. It also makes a fundamental contribution to research on distributive politics by challenging research in this area to demonstrate the effect of electoral strategies and other distortions on allocation relative to local leaders’ baseline distributive preferences.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Politics, Political Theory, Elections
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Adam S. Posen, Nicolas Veron
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Given no generally accepted framework for financial stability, policymakers in developing Asia need to manage, not avoid, financial deepening. This paper supports Asian policymakers' judgment through analysis of the recent events in the United States and Europe and of earlier crisis episodes, including Asia during the 1990s. There is no simple linear relationship between financial repression and stability—financial repression not only has costs but, so doing can itself undermine stability. Bank-centric financial systems are not inherently safer than systems that include meaningful roles for securities and capital markets. Domestic financial systems should be steadily diversified in terms of both number of domestic competitors and types of savings and lending instruments available (and thus probably types of institutions). Financial repression should be focused on regulating the activities of financial intermediaries, not on compressing interest rates for domestic savers. Cross-border lending should primarily involve creation of multinational banks' subsidiaries in the local economy—and local currency lending and bond issuance should be encouraged. Macroprudential tools can be useful, and, if anything, are more effective in less open or less financially deep economies than in more advanced financial centers.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Politics
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: William R. Cline
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Some advocates of far higher capital requirements for banks invoke the Modigliani-Miller theorem as grounds for judging that associated costs would be minimal. The M&M theorem holds that the average cost of capital to the firm does not depend on its capital structure (ratio of equity finance to debt finance), because any reduction in capital cost from switching to higher leverage using lower-cost debt is exactly offset by an induced increase in the unit cost of higher-cost equity capital as a consequence of the associated rise in risk. Statistical tests for large US banks in 2002–13 find that less than half of this M&M offset attains in practice. Higher capital requirements would thus impose increases in lending costs, with associated output costs from lower capital formation. These costs to the economy would need to be compared with benefits from lower risk of banking crises to arrive at optimal levels of capital requirements.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Politics, Budget
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Basil Ugochukwu
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Actions taken to mitigate and adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change must be centred on human rights. This paper analyzes a few examples of national, subnational and corporate climate change policies to show how they have either enshrined human rights principles, or failed to do so. It also examines the challenge of integrating human rights principles in climate change actions. Climate change policies, if they are to respect all human rights, must actually use human rights language to articulate adaptation or mitigation measures.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Human Rights, Politics
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: David Cohen, Melanie Hyde, Penelope Van Tuyl, Stephanie Fung
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: On 7 August 2014, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) reached an important institutional milestone when the Court published its long-awaited Trial Judgment in the first case against two of the surviving alleged senior leaders of the Khmer Rouge--Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan ("Case 002/01"). The Court found both men guilty of crimes against humanity, and sentenced them each to life imprisonment, while awarding "moral and collective reparations" to the 3,869 Civil Parties participating in the trial. Despite hopes that the five-year process of judicial investigation, trial, deliberation, and Judgment-drafting would produce a rigorous and insightful final product, in reality, as this report argues, the Case 002/01 Judgment fails to deliver the most fundamental output one expects from a criminal trial--systematic application of the elements of crimes to a well-documented body of factual findings. Based, in part, on insight gained from the continuous presence of a team of trial monitors throughout trial, this report provides commentary on how a contentious and confusing trial process in Case 002/01 ultimately produced a similarly problematic final Judgment.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Politics, History
  • Political Geography: Cambodia
  • Author: Dr. Tami Davis Biddle
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: In this monograph, Dr. Tami Davis Biddle examines why it is so difficult to devise, implement, and sustain sound strategies and grand strategies. Her analysis begins with an examination of the meaning of the term “strategy” and a history of the ways that political actors have sought to employ strategies and grand strategies to achieve their desired political aims. She examines the reasons why the logic undergirding strategy is often lacking and why challenges of implementation (including bureaucratic politics, unforeseen events, civil-military tensions, and domestic pressures) complicate and undermine desired outcomes. This clear-headed critique, built on a broad base of literature (historical and modern; academic and policy-oriented), will serve as a valuable guide to students and policymakers alike as they seek to navigate their way through the unavoidable challenges—and inevitable twists and turns—inherent in the development and implementation of strategy.
  • Topic: Politics, History, Military Strategy, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Gregory Aftandilian
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: This manuscript examines the increasingly important form of rivalry and statecraft that has become known as “gray zone strategies.” In regions from Eastern Europe to the South China Sea, such tactics in the hands of ambitious regional powers pose a growing challenge to U.S. and allied interests. This monograph aims to provide a broad introduction to the issue to help leaders in the U.S. Army and the wider joint Department of Defense and national security community better understand this challenge. Dr. Michael Mazarr, a Senior Political Scientist at the RAND Corporation and Associate Program Director of the Army’s Arroyo Center there, defines the issue, examines the most notable current cases of gray zone strategies, offers several hypotheses about the nature of this form of conflict, and suggests a number of policy responses.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, National Security, Politics, Military Strategy, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: United States of America