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  • Author: Roger Ballentine, Andy Karsner
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: We are still in the early stages of a transformation of the U.S. electricity sector into a cleaner, more flexible, more resilient, and more dynamic system. The early history of investment in and adoption of clean energy technologies and practices has been mixed. The venture capital model has proven to be inadequate for scaling up clean energy, and anticipated policy developments have been slow to be realized. The sector-reshaping impact of unconventional gas, uneven capitalization of clean energy companies, and the mixed signals of government policymakers have slowed the march to a more distributed energy economy rooted in the greater use of renewables, the more efficient use of energy, and the optimization of information technologies in the energy sector.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, Energy Policy, Industrial Policy, Markets, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Colby Farber
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: The 2014 Financial Security Summit examined how policymakers, the financial services industry, advocates, and academics can advance new policies and products to make it easier for households to build financial security and to reinvigorate the American Dream.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, Governance, Reform
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Bill White, Leonard Coburn
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: The evolution from energy scarcity to abundance in the United States creates dislocations. Technology, infrastructure, laws, regulations, trade flows, and environmental and security policies developed during American energy deficits must be adapted to cope with its new energy prosperity. Significant improvements in oil and gas technology are leading to production increases outpacing projections. A need for infrastructure development follows energy production, necessitating adaptations. Laws passed in the 1970s during times of energy disruptions require reconsideration in a period of relative plenty. The shift of the United States and Canada from an oil and gas importing region to an exporting region has enormous global implications. Policies need to be readjusted in light of new realities, and the effects of the oil and gas boom in North America will require new thinking by governments, industry and consumers.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Oil, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: United States, North America
  • Author: Alexander N. Pan
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Over the past decade, a growing segment of social entrepreneurs and small and growing businesses(SGBs) has emerged that seeks to utilize the power of invention to create products and companies that improve the lives of people living in poverty around the world. We call this class of entrepreneur-looking to develop and disseminate tangible products that will be manufactured and sold at high volumes via market mechanisms-an invention-based entrepreneur.1 ANDE believes that invention-based entrepreneurs are supported or impeded by a number of environmental factors, or the entrepreneurial ecosystem in which they work. While ANDE and our members have made significant progress toward strengthening these entrepreneurial ecosystems in emerging markets, invention-based entrepreneurs have a unique set of needs that differentiates them from typical SGBs. Consequently, we believe we can improve the ecosystem to support the growth of this industry, and thereby unleash the full potential impact of these invention-based entrepreneurs.
  • Topic: Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy, Reform
  • Political Geography: United States, South Africa
  • Author: Dave Grossman (Rapporteur), Sue Tierney, Chair
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: New federal regulations, changes in fuel prices and trends, the expansion of distributed energy resources, declines in U.S. electricity consumption, and advances in technology are all spurring utilities and regulators to respond and adapt. Discussions of the challenges and opportunities these forces present for the U.S. electricity sector – as well as how the industry and its regulators are adapting – formed the heart of the 2014 Aspen Institute Energy Policy Forum. This report summarizes and organizes some of the key insights from those discussions.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Natural Resources, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Richard P. Adler
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: In 1987, back at the dawn of the Internet age, two studies were published that provided perceptive looks at the evolution of electronic networks and the impact that they would likely have on the way business is conducted in the U.S. and globally. Both studies concluded that rapidly evolving information technologies were helping to break down old hierarchical business structures in favor of new, more decentralized models of economic activity.
  • Topic: Economics, Science and Technology, Communications, Mass Media
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: David Bollier
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: The structure and character of commerce has changed dramatically since the arrival of the World Wide Web and various digital technologies, particularly mobile phones and large, interconnected databases. Consumers now have much greater market power and choice. Markets can more easily scale, often globally. Co-production and fluid producer/consumer interactions are routine. Transactions themselves have become far cheaper and more easily consummated.
  • Topic: Foreign Exchange, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Science and Technology, Communications, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Alexander N. Pan, Randall Kempner
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: From our perspective at ANDE, we have seen impact investing become an increasingly important tool used to support small and growing businesses in the developing world that are capable of creating jobs, stimulating long-term economic growth, and generating social impact. However, impact investing is still very much an emerging tool. If it is to scale and become a viable solution to social issues in the United States. There are several key lessons from the international context that the industry should consider.
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Dave Grossman (Rapporteur), Roger Ballentine, Andy Karsner
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: The U.S. electricity sector is nearing an historic inflection point. A confluence of mutually-reinforcing factors is putting unprecedented pressure on the century-old model of monopolistic supply of electrons at approved rates of return, flowing from central generation stations to end-users. Cleaner energy generation technologies continue to improve, are getting less expensive, and are being deployed at an accelerating rate. Innovations in the financial markets and in business models are spurring cleaner energy deployment and increasing competition for providing customers with energy services. A new generation of customers accustomed to transparency, control, and choice in all aspects of their consumption of goods and services is increasingly expecting the same from energy providers. Information technologies that have enabled rapid change in communications and entertainment are now starting to be applied to energy. And public policies are beginning to enable, if not encourage, fundamental changes in how electricity is generated and provided. The current utility model is colliding with this confluence of factors, leading to a system in conflict, with the old system trying to accommodate more irregular dispatch, customer or third-party owned distributed generation, a range of social equity issues, and societal desires for a stable, clean, interactive, and hardened system. While part of the answer to these challenges may lie in a reformulation of the regulated utility business model, others believe that a more fundamental re-ordering of how energy is produced, delivered, managed, and owned is in the offing. This vision of a re-ordered, more diverse, more competitive, and more integrated electricity system could be thought of as “Clean tech 3.0”. This vision involves better systems (not just better devices), smart and connected devices of all sorts, a dynamic and flexible two way grid, more active and involved consumers, and business models that do not rely on subsidies. It also envisions clean energy not just as a commodity but as a way to provide value to customers (e.g., comfort, mobility, health). Achieving Clean tech 3.0 will require society to grapple with some tough equity and policy challenges, including whether to keep and/or adapt the traditional regulatory compact, how to treat low-income consumers and consumers not generating their own power, and which policies and institutions should be created, reformed, or eliminated to create the proper enabling environment for change. The electricity sector is already starting to witness the rise of a class of customers empowered by technological advances to start to re-think their relationship to energy. These empowered customers have social needs and practical preferences for which they are willing to pay, including price certainty, reliability, resilience, and cleanness. The industry is thus entering a new era that focuses less on selling electrons than on offering consumers valuable services. The path, however, is not without obstacles. The role for traditional utilities in this customer-focused market is unclear; such a focus has not historically been part of their business and is not one of their strengths, and the utilities have been operating in a sector unaccustomed to significant change. Clean energy companies, too, can find it challenging to develop new profitable business models. Even the energy efficiency industry, which offers the fastest and lowest cost pathway to a cleaner energy future, may struggle to sell and scale energy efficiency unless market structures and enabling policies can align with improving technologies to realize the full value proposition of smarter energy delivery and consumption. Regulators have been struggling to figure out how to address the suite of changes facing the electricity sector as well. Current physical and policy infrastructures do not seem to be up to the task. There appear to be three interdependent tectonic plates in motion – long term utility generation planning, mid-term smart grid design, and very near-term device and software design and deployment – that are not aligned, are moving at dangerously different speeds, and are not properly engaging with each other on a regular basis. Regulatory models must be devised that are more flexible, adaptive, and open to rapid advances in technology. There are some places now, such as Hawaii and New York, where regulatory innovation is occurring to try to get ahead of some of these issues. While the challenge of rethinking utility regulatory models falls largely in the hands of state policy makers, the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed rule for carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants, issued under section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act, might have profound implications for how state policies and markets will impact energy efficiency and clean energy. The draft rule would set 2030 emissions goals for states and then give states flexibility on how to meet those goals. The draft 111(d) rule is complex, and a variety of concerns have been raised about it. It is not known how the final rule will be modified to address concerns and comments, nor how the almost certain litigation will be resolved. At the very least, the draft rule is already spurring conversations in every state that have not been had to this point at the level and scale necessary, forcing states to think about how emissions reductions will be achieved, what their energy mix will be, what role clean energy will play, and how state policies and market structures need to change in the years ahead. Those conversations can help contribute to broader discussions about creating a clear and compelling vision of the near-future state of U.S. clean energy. Those discussions need to include a range of actors, including the many regulators and utility executives who think the U.S. is still in Clean tech 1.0 and does not need to go anywhere else. There is a need to figure out how to bring those people along and help them start to understand the speed and nature of the changes that are occurring.
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: In many respects, the U.S. health care system is breathtakingly innovative. It produces new technology, medical procedures, and scientific knowledge at a dazzling speed, enabling patients to recover from diseases and injuries once thought incurable or untreatable. As a consequence, the U.S. has one of the highest survival rates for cancers, excels at acute and trauma care, and has produced half of the world's Nobel laureates.
  • Topic: Economics, Health, Social Stratification, Governance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Congressional leaders are best able to judge what committee should have jurisdiction over this department and its duties. But we believe that Congress does have the obligation to choose one in the House and one in the Senate, and that this committee should be a permanent standing committee with a nonpartisan staff.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Biosecurity, Governance, Law, Reform
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Bill White(Chair), Leonard Coburn(Rapporteur)
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Improved technology has led to enhanced oil and gas productivity at lower cost and significant production increases in the United States and Canada, dramatically changing energy perspectives. The shift from energy scarcity toward abundance is requiring new energy policies. The potential for the United States to become a net exporter of oil and gas changes American views of energy dependency. Shifts in global energy demand growth from developed to less developed countries, and especially to the Asia-Pacific region, require understanding of changing global energy trade. American energy will flow to markets where scarcity is the largest. Canada and the United States are reaping the benefits of this new world of oil and gas. Mexico will lag behind unless it addresses its chronic problems. Without reform, Mexico could become a net importer of all its hydrocarbons, a fundamental change from its current status. Responding to these changes will require knowledge, foresight, and strategies that are bold and comprehensive.
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy, Environment, Oil, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Canada, Mexico
  • Author: Bill Dickenson (Co-Chair), Phil Sharp (Co-Chair), Dave Grossman (Rapporteur)
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: The future of the U.S. electricity sector is hard to foresee – and it is never wise to overpay one's fortune tellers – but there appear to be some key trends and technologies that may reshape future electricity markets and determine the innovativeness, resilience, security, and global competitiveness of the sector. Discussions of the sector's past, present, and future formed the heart of the 2013 Aspen Institute Energy Policy Forum. This report summarizes and organizes some of the key insights from those discussions.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, Energy Policy, Environment, Markets, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Jeremy A. Leonard
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: As the United States struggles to find a politically acceptable and economically sensible solution to its severe fiscal crisis, hidden in plain sight just North of the 49th parallel is an example that ought to be considered more carefully. Quietly, but steadily, under governments of all political stripes, Canada has profoundly re-structured its economy, gotten its fiscal house in order, created a competitive business tax environment, and come into its own as a strong economic player in North America and beyond.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Canada
  • Author: Basit Chaudhry deBronkart, Carole Roan Gresenz, Joseph Hutter, Anjali Jain, Brent C. James, Shawn Martin, Lewis Mattison, Daniel L. Newton, Anthony Nguyen, Brent Parton, Kavita Patel, Steven Weinberger
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: In many respects, the U.S. health care system is breathtakingly innovative. It produces new technology, medical procedures, and scientific knowledge at a dazzling speed, enabling patient store cover from diseases and injuries once thought incurable or untreatable. As a consequence, the U.S. has one of the highest survival rates for cancers, excels at acute and trauma care, and has produced half of the world's Nobel laureates.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Health Care Policy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Today America finds a new market force emerging: companies that achieve an intimate connection between profit and purpose. And these businesses are supported by a developing system of investors and other financial actors that seek to place capital in firms that are achieving social impact. A new trail is being blazed for our country – open, far-reaching, transformative, offering an opportunity for renewal and growth. This is the Impact Economy.
  • Topic: Economics, Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Phil Sharp
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: The question is never whether the United States has an energy policy. It has dozens. They come with various decision-makers at overlapping levels of authority, ample numbers of stakeholders, and generally lots of confusing and often contradictory signals.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, Energy Policy, Environment
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Bill White
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: A shift in relative energy consumption among regions and the development of new, unconventional supplies will be the most significant changes over the next twenty years. The dominant fuels in the world energy market until 2030 will continue to be hydrocarbons — oil, coal, and natural gas. Major shifts will occur, however, among the three fuels, among regions and in their supply. Globally, oil will continue to be the most widely used fuel as it supplies more than 90 percent of the energy for transportation. Coal, now the dominant fuel used for electric power generation, will lose ground to natural gas, a less carbon-intensive hydrocarbon. Natural gas will become the second largest overall supplier and well positioned to replace coal as the leading supplier for electric power. Developing countries will lead the way in overall energy growth, with Chinese and Indian energy demand growing fastest. Energy demand in developed countries will remain flat. For the United States, growth in gas shale and oil shale are likely to be “game changers,” altering the supply picture dramatically.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Markets, Political Economy, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: United States, China, India
  • Author: Keith O. Lawrence (ed)
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: More than 2.3 million people in america are in jail or prison.sixty percent are african american and Latino.Of all the statistics portraying racial inequity in our country, this is the most alarming: it indicates the failure of so many of our society's institutions; it predicts dire consequences for millions of children and families of color who are already at socioeconomic disadvantage; and it challenges the very definition of our democracy.
  • Topic: Crime, Race, Social Stratification
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • 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: John M. Deutch
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: The development of natural gas from shale is providing new possibilities for gas use in the United States and throughout the world. The largest conventional natural gas deposits are concentrated in the Middle East and Russia, but unconventional natural gas, including shale, is spread throughout the world, potentially permitting development in many different countries.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Globalization
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Middle East
  • Author: Clark Kent Ervin
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: This is the third in a series of reports about various cities' preparedness for terrorism and/or natural disasters. It is the outgrowth of a series of discussions in 2007-2008 in New York, Los Angeles, Houston, New Orleans, and Chicago among key federal, state, and local government officials in each such city, as well as private sector stakeholders, and think tank/academic experts on homeland security and counterterrorism. The series was underwritten by a generous lead grant from the Ford Foundation, supplemented by additional grants from the Rockefeller Foundation, the McCormick Foundation, and the Houston Endowment. The goal in each city was to identify best practices that can be replicated around the country; to identify any gaps in preparedness; and to recommend to policymakers ways and means of closing any such gaps.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: United States, New York, Chicago
  • 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: David Monsma, Regan Nelson, Ray Bolger
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: During the past 150 years, a complex water infrastructure has been built throughout the U.S. to supply homes and businesses with clean water, collect and treat wastewater and manage stormwater – and an equally complex regulatory system has evolved alongside it. A generation of progress has been made under the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act. However, serious challenges still exist for the nation's freshwater resources, including insufficient progress in achieving water quality goals, overuse of water resources, and looming challenges associated with global climate change, including droughts, heavy storm events and flooding. Meanwhile, water and wastewater utilities are struggling with aged infrastructure that requires upgrades or replacement. Control of urban storm water and rural runoff will require large new investments. Appropriate sources of funding and affordability of these investments also requires attention.
  • Topic: Natural Resources, Water, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: The last 18 months have dealt a devastating blow to Americans' sense of financial security. Few have been untouched by the financial crisis. For many, wealth accumulated over years of saving and investing has disappeared almost overnight. For many more, the economic crisis has imperiled their jobs, their ability to provide for their families, and their optimism about the future.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Clark Kent Ervin
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: This is the second in a series of reports about various cities' pre-paredness for terrorism and/or natural disasters. It is the outgrowth of a series of roundtable discussions in 2007 and 2008 in New York, Chicago, Houston, New Orleans, and Los Angeles among key federal, state, and local government officials in each such city, as well as private sector stakeholders, and think tank/academic experts on homeland security and counterterrorism. The series was financed by a generous lead grant by the Ford Foundation, supplemented by additional grants from the Rockefeller Foundation, the McCormick Foundation, and the Houston Endowment. The goal in each city was to identify best practices that can be replicated around the country; to identify any gaps in preparedness; and to recommend to policymakers ways and means of closing any such gaps.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism, 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: Clark Kent Ervin
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Sooner or later, somewhere or other, another natural disaster will strike America, be it a hurricane, a tornado, an earthquake, or a flood. Sooner or later, somewhere or other, terrorists will attempt to strike America again. Indeed, many experts believe that the threat of another attack is rising. Al Qaeda is resurgent, having reconstituted itself along the Afghan-Pakistan border. And, recent history shows that terrorists are especially prone to strike during the transition from one administration to another or early in the term of a new government. Adding to our vulnerability, the nation is now bogged down in two wars and groaning under mounting debt, while our economy is sinking from the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression.
  • Topic: Security, Disaster Relief, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States, New York
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: The American relationship with Lebanon has ebbed and flowed over the decades, as policy has tended to be reactive rather than driven by a clear sense of U.S. goals. More recently, the U.S. strongly supported the 2005 Lebanese independence movement against Syrian hegemony, known as the “Cedar Revolution” in the United States and the “Independence Intifada” in Lebanon, and continues to maintain strong ties to the ruling March 14 coalition which was born out of that movement.
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Lebanon, Syria
  • Author: Kurt M. Campbell, Willow Darsie
  • Publication Date: 05-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: After a protracted period of uncertainty concerning the nature of the foreign policy challenges that are likely to confront the nation over the course of first half of the 21st century, twin challenges are now coming into sharper relief. For the next generation or more, Americans will be confronted by two overriding (and possibly overwhelming) challenges in the conduct of American foreign policy: how to more effectively wage a long, twilight struggle against violent Islamic fundamentalists, and at the same time cope with the almost certain rise to great power status of China.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Development, Economics, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, America, Asia
  • Author: Shanthi Kalathil
  • Publication Date: 04-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Having lapsed in importance following the end of the Cold War, public diplomacy has reemerged as a focal point for policymakers, scholars, and practitioners. Particularly following the attacks of September 11, 2001, American public diplomacy in the Middle East has rocketed to a place of prominence in the U.S. foreign policy toolkit. Yet even as resources and attention are trained on refining the U.S. public diplomacy strategy, there is little consensus on core problems, effective solutions, and what success might tangibly look like.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Middle East, Asia, Arabia
  • 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: Kurt M. Campbell, Willow Darsie
  • Publication Date: 08-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld famously bemoaned the challenges of measuring success in a long twilight struggle with Islamic fundamentalists. There are the “known unknowns” and “unknown unknowns” that confront the United States in the most unfamiliar set of foreign policy challenges in the country's history. In addition to the difficulties of establishing “metrics” – as Rumsfeld would put it – in our war on terror, there is also the intrinsically related and perhaps more vexing question of how the global ideological virus of Islamic fundamentalism is morphing and evolving. An influential and well-funded cohort of radicalized Islamists, seizing upon an unyielding interpretation of religious text (a kind of Koranic original intent), has been at war with the West for nearly a generation, and the pace of operations globally is accelerating. According to recently released U.S. government reports, there has been a sharp surge in the number of global terrorist attacks in recent years, a tally substantially comprised of incidents initiated by Islamist instigators. Taken in its totality with all its many manifestations, the jihadist challenge stretches from the Taliban strongholds in the rugged Afghan mountains and the dense jungle hideouts of the Philippines, to the ornate mosques of Saudi Arabia, from a quiet neighborhood in Leeds, England to, just possibly, a place near you.
  • Topic: Islam, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: John A. Riggs
  • Publication Date: 10-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: The title of the 2006 Energy Policy Forum—Energy: The New Normal? — raises two primary questions: has the world crossed a threshold into a qualitatively different energy environment in which the era of cheap and plentiful energy is over, and does the interaction of energy issues with other considerations, such as national security, foreign affairs, and global climate change, require fundamentally new ways of thinking about U.S. energy policies?
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Environment, Oil
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East
  • Author: Amy Korzick Garmer
  • Publication Date: 11-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Fundamental changes are taking place in the advertising marketplace. Audiences are moving away from big media and adopting niche media, with indisputable trends toward fragmentation, disintermediation and greater consumer control affecting the media sector. Consumers have expressed preferences for more personalized, relevant forms of media that speak directly to their needs and interests. Advertisers are experimenting with new ways of communicating with customers and searching for new ways of reaggregating audiences. In this new environment, new media expert Jeff Jarvis has observed, “the economies of scale must compete with the economies of small.”
  • Topic: Civil Society, Communications
  • 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: Elaine L. Edgcomb, Joyce A. Klein
  • Publication Date: 02-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: The notion that a person can turn a dream into a small business by applying healthy doses of ingenuity, elbow grease and grit has resonated with Americans from the earliest days of this nation. Indeed, there is something so intrinsically appealing about that scenario that more than 22 million Americans are small business owners today—including some 20 million who operate "micro"—or very small—enterprises.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Environment, Industrial Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Jon Ziomek
  • Publication Date: 01-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: The American media have always been intimately connected with American public life. The newspapers of the colonial era helped generate public support for the idea of separation from England and the creation of a democratic state. The newspapers of the 19th century fed the urbanized public life of a young industrializing nation. The media of the 20th century reflected the national and international political and social movements of their era.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Markets
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Michael Suman
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: We live in an era in which security concerns have become paramount, the forces of capitalism have dealt a death blow to socialist command economies, and the United States is aggressively promoting democracy in the Middle East. In this context, what does the future hold for the values of security, capitalism, and democracy? Historians tell us we also are in the Digital Age—increasingly so with the advent of new communications technologies such as the Internet. What role can the media play in fostering the values of security, capitalism, and democracy?
  • Topic: International Relations, Civil Society, Democratization, Globalization
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East
  • 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: Madeleine Albright, Kurt M. Campbell
  • Publication Date: 04-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: In two workshops, June 6-8 and July 31-August 2, 2003, the Aspen Atlantic Group and its guests examined avenues for renewed transatlantic cooperation in light of contemporary and cumulative challenges to the relationship. Having conducted a frank and in-depth diagnosis of core differences and commonalities in the first workshop, the second workshop extended its scope to include sessions on specific areas of collaboration such as homeland security and humanitarian intervention.
  • Topic: International Relations, NATO
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Lael Brainard
  • Publication Date: 04-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: The end of the Cold War and disillusionment with aid's many failures led to widespread aid fatigue among donors during the 1990s. Total official development assistance (ODA) as a share of donor GDP fell by one third over the decade (from 0.32 to 0.22 percent). This was particularly pronounced in the United States, where a slash-and-burn approach reduced foreign economic assistance to just over one half of 1 percent of budget outlays, compared with over 3 percent at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis. And U.S. per capita spending fell to last place among donor nations, ending the decade at $29, far below the average of $70.
  • Topic: Development, Human Welfare, International Organization, Poverty
  • Political Geography: United States, Cuba
  • 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
  • Author: David Bollier
  • Publication Date: 03-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Kurdish people living in Turkey can now receive satellite television broadcasts emanating from London. Iranians can view Farsi-language television programs that originate in Los Angeles. Even though they are dispersed throughout the world, emigrants from mainland China remain a vital diasporic community, thanks to websites and e-mail discussion lists. Insurgent movements from the Zapatistas to the East Timorese to Indonesian students have used the Internet to organize themselves and communicate a political vision to the world.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States, Turkey, London, Kurdistan, Los Angeles
  • Author: Kurt M. Campbell
  • Publication Date: 03-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Former Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara was fond of saying that the Middle East was the graveyard of American diplomatic hopes and dreams, and this is a man who knows something about disappointment in global politics (as well as cemeteries). Now, the United States has embarked upon an ambitious mission to remake the Middle East – rebuilding war-ravaged and leader-abused countries in Afghanistan and Iraq, seeking to settle the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, blocking further nuclear proliferation, pushing the region to embrace political moderation and reform, and hopefully improving America's image in the region in the process. There are unintentional though unavoidable echoes of the “best and the brightest” in this campaign as the U.S. embarks upon a global crusade (call it what it is) to help re-direct the course of one of the world's dominant civilizations and the institutions that have served it so poorly. This uniquely American sense of mission and manifest destiny is apparent in a range of endeavors worldwide but it is in the Middle East where U.S. ambitions approach the point of audacity.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Democratization
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Middle East
  • 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: Neil Shister
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: The complexity of democracy is both its defect and its virtue. As an idealized conception, democracy promotes equitable social order through the counter play of interests while the rule of law protects individual citizens from the arbitrariness of the state. In practice, matters are considerably more ambiguous. Contradictions exist between theory and action; the power and privileges of some people invariably make them "more equal" than hers—social equity being a relative term. Even so, belief that democracy renders "the greatest good for the greatest number" constitutes the orthodox faith of contemporary civil religion. "No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all wise," noted Winston Churchill in his oft-quoted observation. "Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others that have been tried from time to time."
  • Topic: Politics, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Shelley Rigger
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: It is hardly a revelation that U.S. relations with Taiwan and the People's Republic of China are vexed and vexing. Managing U.S. relationships with Taiwan and China has never been easy, but the trend seems to be toward ever greater complexity and ever higher stakes. The U.S. is like a helicopter pilot carrying out a rescue at sea. The pilot is struggling to hover above the boat, which is drifting and heaving, while the wind does its best to blow his craft out of the sky. Meanwhile, the passengers on the deck are fighting over who gets to go up first. Like the helicopter pilot, U.S. policy makers must hold a steady course while they wait for Taiwan and China to resolve their differences. They also would like to do what they can to speed up the negotiations down on the deck.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Israel, Taiwan, East Asia, Asia
  • 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: Barry Naughton
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: The Chinese economy is showing extraordinary dynamism, which partly reflects the early impact of the commitments in China's WTO accession agreement to liberalize the economy. Incoming foreign investment has increased, and trade has grown rapidly. At the same time, China is grappling with serious economic problems that may worsen in the near future. The most difficult problem in crafting China policy is deciding how to respond flexibly to this extraordinary mixture of dynamism and fragility. Rapid growth gives the Chinese economy remarkable resilience; but deep-seated institutional weakness and stubborn problems of poverty and unemployment create dangers of social and economic disruption. An effective U.S. China policy must navigate between the extremes of over-estimating China's current economic strength and under-estimating her potential.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia
  • 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: Rose Gottemoeller
  • Publication Date: 08-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: The United States and Russia are entering an important stage following the Presidential summit of May 2002. Since Presidents Bush and Putin first started getting to know one another last year, they have been declaring the onset of a fundamentally new relationship, based on a new framework for strategic cooperation. Both leaders have declared that the Cold War is over and that our two countries can exist as friends.
  • Topic: Cold War, Treaties and Agreements, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Fiona Hill
  • Publication Date: 08-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Before 1991, the states of Central Asia were marginal backwaters, republics of the Soviet Union that played no major role in the Cold War relationship between the USSR and the United States, or in the Soviet Union's relationship with the principal regional powers of Turkey, Iran, and China. But, in the 1990s, the dissolution of the Soviet Union coincided with the re-discovery of the energy resources of the Caspian Sea, attracting a range of international oil companies including American majors to the region. Eventually, the Caspian Basin became a point of tension in U.S.-Russian relations. In addition, Central Asia emerged as a zone of conflict. Violent clashes erupted between ethnic groups in the region's Ferghana Valley. Civil war in Tajikistan, in 1992-1997, became entangled with war in Afghanistan. Faltering political and economic reforms, and mounting social problems provided a fertile ground for the germination of radical groups, the infiltration of foreign Islamic networks, and the spawning of militant organizations like the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU). The IMU first sought to overthrow the government of President Islam Karimov in Uzbekistan, later espoused greater ambitions for the creation of an Islamic caliphate (state) across Central Asia, and eventually joined forces with the Taliban in Afghanistan. With the events of September 11, 2001 and their roots in the terrorist groups operating in Afghanistan, Central Asia came to the forefront of U.S. attention.
  • Topic: Cold War, Religion
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia, United States, China, Europe, Iran, Central Asia, Turkey, Asia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Taliban, Soviet Union
  • Author: Robert Legvold
  • Publication Date: 08-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: When American Airlines #11 exploded into the North Tower of the World Trade Center on September 11, in one respect, it was like the neutron Enrico Fermi sent smashing into the core of a uranium atom in 1934, changing the world, but in ways only half-perceived. True, the scientific community recognized that the split atom released “nuclear energy” more powerful than a million steam engines, and so their minds turned to imagining industrial technology in a world of limitless electricity. As late as 1938, the year Fermi received his Nobel prize, thoughts were more of what Mussolini had lost in losing Fermi by way of industrial advances than, as one newspaper of the day put it, “the admittedly far-fetched potential for so-called 'nuclear bombs.' "
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Hal Harvey
  • Publication Date: 06-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Energy is at once the lifeblood and the bane of the modern world. Fossil energy has fueled tremendous economic growth over the past 150 years. The economic history of the United States is largely the history of extracting and using coal and oil. At the same time, the profligate use of these energy sources has created the world's most pressing environmental problems, and led to major national security concerns for the United States. Energy consumption is the primary source of greenhouse gas emissions, smog, acid rain, oil spills, and nuclear waste. American dependence on oil from the Middle East forces our hand on foreign policy and imposes high economic and human costs. It is becoming increasingly clear that America's—and the world's—current diet of fossil energy is not sustainable.
  • Topic: Economics, Environment, Science and Technology, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Middle East
  • Author: Amy Korzick Garmer
  • Publication Date: 01-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: American journalism is in the midst of a transition unlike any other it has experienced in the 225-year history of the republic. Like other societal institutions, news organizations must contend with a variety of forces that are upsetting the status quo and shaping new business and cultural environments. These forces include advances in technology, demographic shifts and the changing interests of consumers, changing government regulations, market consolidation, and globalization, to name a few. The convergence of these market and cultural phenomena and the relentless advance of the information revolution have rocked the comfortably familiar culture of journalism.
  • Topic: Globalization, Industrial Policy, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Craig L. LaMay
  • Publication Date: 03-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: In 1974 a global "third wave" of democratization began when a military coup in Portugal ended the dictatorship of Antonio Salazar, who himself had come to power in a military coup in 1926. Over the course of the succeeding 15 years, about 30 countries changed from various forms of nondemocratic regimes to nominally democratic ones, most dramatically in South America and Central and Eastern Europe. During this period, notable transitions from nondemocratic rule also occurred in Africa and Asia.
  • Topic: Industrial Policy, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia, South America, Portugal
  • Author: América Rodriguez
  • Publication Date: 01-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: For the fourth year, the Aspen Institute gathered together policy analysts, industry leaders, and academics to discuss the present state—and the future—of U.S. media that is produced purposefully and strategically for U.S. minority communities. These media, which range from small weekly newspapers in Filipino communities in Northern California to transnational corporations such as Univision (Univisión) which serves the Hispanic community, were the centerpiece of a lively exchange at the Aspen Institute in Aspen, Colorado, July 13-15, 2000.
  • Topic: Industrial Policy, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States, California, Colorado
  • Author: Craig L. LaMay
  • Publication Date: 01-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: The post-Cold War period has presented an opportunity unmatched since the end of World War II to restructure the media systems of much of the world. Free of political repression or ideological constraint, media in developing and developed nations have had the opportunity to ask: Consistent with democratic principles, what should a media system look like? And more specifically for countries emerging from authoritarian rule, what news media practices promote democratization?
  • Topic: Cold War, Industrial Policy, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Robert M. Entman
  • Publication Date: 01-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: This year's Aspen Institute Conference on Telecommunications Policy began as an attempt to chart a future in which packet-based Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) will supplant traditional switched circuit telephony. Among other things, VoIP appears to be propelling the marginal cost of long-distance telephoning toward zero, a development with profound implications for interexchange carriers. However, prompted in part by Lawrence Strickling's specially-commissioned piece, “The Telecommunications Marketplace in 2002: A Somewhat Fanciful Scenario,” it did not take long for conference participants to realize that a great deal more than the future profitability of long-distance service is at stake.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Industrial Policy, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: David Bollier
  • Publication Date: 01-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Now that the heady first paroxysms of electronic commerce (e-commerce) have faded—and the online sector has experienced its first major shake-out—thinking about what it means to live in a digital economy is becoming more focused. Established businesses are becoming more strategic in exploiting digital technologies. Venture capitalists are becoming more discriminating in their investments. Governments at all levels are exploring how to integrate the Internet and other technologies to advance their missions.
  • Topic: Industrial Policy, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Elizabeth Malone
  • Publication Date: 01-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: The electricity industry is being challenged on the one hand by restructuring and on the other by the potential of new technologies. Restructuring is proceeding slowly and unevenly, with uncertain national leadership, disputes over the jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), continuing and increasing environmental concerns, and a plethora of state policies and regulations.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Industrial Policy, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Richard P. Adler
  • Publication Date: 01-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: In July 1999, a controversy erupted that focused public attention on the issue of the representation of blacks and other minorities in the media. It began when Kweisi Mfume, president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), expressed dismay that only one of the twenty-six new prime time television programs planned by the four major broadcast networks for the upcoming fall season included a black actor in a leading role. Shortly thereafter, representatives of several other minority groups, including Hispanics and Asians, claimed that their members were also underrepresented in network programming. The controversy generated a good deal of discussion about how television programs are developed and cast. Eventually, the NAACP and the four networks reached agreements that identified a variety of steps the networks would take to increase minority participation in network programming.
  • Topic: Industrial Policy, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Anthony Corrado
  • Publication Date: 01-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: The explosive growth of the Internet as a medium for political activity is transforming our conceptions of political communication and the methods by which campaigns for public office are conducted. This rapidly evolving technology has already made possible an unprecedented flow of information and new modes of citizen participation in the electoral process. The Internet has provided candidates with a means of communicating directly with voters without the inter-mediation or interpretation of the news media. Candidates now use web sites to offer voters texts of public statements and detailed information on their policy positions, as well as audio and video materials. These sites allow individuals to “customize” information so that they may access materials that are relevant to their particular concerns or interests. Similarly, these sites allow candidates to provide individuals with updated information as it becomes available, facilitating a type of interaction between campaigns and individual voters that was not possible before the advent of digital communications.
  • Topic: Industrial Policy, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Robert M. Entman
  • Publication Date: 01-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: A group of about two dozen entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, researchers, and nonprofit community development leaders met on April 7-8, 2000, at the Aspen Institute Wye River Conference Center in Queenstown, Maryland, to discuss “Coming Together: Bridging the Gap between Investors and Minority Internet Entrepreneurs.” The group identified a series of problems that impede minorities' success in raising sufficient capital to launch and maintain entrepreneurial enterprises in the Internet market, and brainstormed creatively about resources, institutions, and processes to improve the situation.
  • Topic: Industrial Policy, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States, Maryland
  • Author: David Bollier
  • Publication Date: 01-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: It has become a truism in recent years that technological innovation lies at the core of a robust economy. Once an arcane matter for economists, innovation has moved from the back salons of corporate strategy to the grand ballroom of mainstream culture. Fueled by the World Wide Web and other electronic technologies, unknown entrepreneurs with big ideas have joined with investment bankers, multinational corporations, and Main Street investors on a relentless search for The New New Thing, as the title of Michael Lewis' book on Silicon Valley calls it.
  • Topic: Industrial Policy, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Robert M. Entman
  • Publication Date: 01-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: The Fourteenth Annual Aspen Institute Conference on Telecommunications Policy explored the contentious issues of regulatory symmetry and asymmetry in the telecommunications industry. The core question was whether regulatory policy should be harmonized so that all similarly situated providers are treated the same way. Assuming that symmetrical treatment is desirable, exactly how should regulators approach the task?
  • Topic: Industrial Policy, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Gerald M. Levin
  • Publication Date: 01-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: It's a great honor to be this year's Catto Fellow and to be part of such impressive company. I'm grateful to Henry and Jessica Catto, whose generosity and thoughtful commitment to public dialogue have made this event possible.
  • Topic: Industrial Policy, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Rob Frieden
  • Publication Date: 01-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: New World,New Realities Much has changed in the international telecommunications environment since 1995, when the Aspen Institute convened the first annual Aspen Institute Roundtable on International Telecommunications (AIRIT): The Internet has reached critical mass, with credible forecasts that data communications soon will predominate over voice services for the first time; Internet-mediated telephone service has begun to challenge the traditional toll revenue-sharing arrangements and pricing systems based on voice services; Regional and global market opening trade initiatives have become a reality; Strategic industrial alliances have grown in importance as carriers strive to exploit new market access opportunities; and Deregulation and market liberalization have become more widespread in developed and developing nations alike.
  • Topic: Industrial Policy, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Michael J. Kleeman
  • Publication Date: 01-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: The Internet is a driving force in global communications and commerce; as such, issues related to its governance and growth have broad implications that reach beyond those of traditional telecommunications services or networks. Unlike prior communications networks that carried primarily voice traffic, the Internet collects and distributes content and facilitates global and local/national commerce— which raises two types of questions: What purposes does the network serve for users? What barriers prevent or constrain such use?
  • Topic: Industrial Policy, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: William J. Drake
  • Publication Date: 01-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Many observers consider 1998 to be a watershed year in the evolution of the global telecommunications industry. This view is based on the fact that two major changes in the international policy landscape have begun to clear away many longstanding barriers to competition in global networks and services.
  • Topic: Industrial Policy, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: David Bollier, Max Frankel
  • Publication Date: 01-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Henry, for that generous introduction. I am proud to bear the title of Catto Fellow and if I were allowed to recite your biography as you have recited mine, you would know the source of my great pride. But like Harry Evans in a similar recent situation, (and now also his wife, Tina Brown), I am reminded of the New Yorker cartoon showing a partygoer being introduced at a cocktail party while enduring the urgent plea of a spouse: “Tell them who you WERE, dear. Tell them who you WERE!” I have to emphasize who I once was not only because I have retired from executive duties but also because the Revolution that I have come to discuss often regards me as passé, out of date, an expiring person of print—you know, that dying industry. That may be so. But the revolutionary “new” media are exhausting themselves parading their newness while actually betraying highly familiar symptoms of a very old media disease. We are all mad: just not newly mad.
  • Topic: Industrial Policy, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States, New York
  • Author: David Bollier
  • Publication Date: 01-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Future historians may call this period the entrepreneurial age. Rarely has such an explosion of new business ventures, technological innovation, and cultural experimentation swept across diverse cultures of the globe simultaneously. Government leaders in Beijing and Singapore, Warsaw and Caracas, Moscow and London are looking to business mavericks to energize their economies. Multinational companies are eager to instill entrepreneurial values within their workforces to boost their competitiveness. On the periphery of such power centers, meanwhile, entrepreneurs large and small are remaking entire sectors of the economy and creating high-tech boomtowns in San Jose, California; Bangalore, India; Cambridge, England; Austin, Texas; and many other places.
  • Topic: Industrial Policy, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States, India, London, California, Moscow, England, Singapore, Bangalore, Austin, Texas
  • Author: Richard P. Adler
  • Publication Date: 01-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: The foregoing paraphrase of Dickens was how one participant in the Aspen Institute's 1998 Forum on Communications and Society (FOCAS) summed up the current state and impact of the Internet. On one hand, the Internet has provided more people with more convenient access to more information in a shorter period of time than any other medium in history. It has given rise to an enormous burst of entrepreneurial activity that has led to the creation of an entire new industry in just a few years. Electronic commerce already is a multibillion dollar enterprise and will become even more important in the near future.
  • Topic: Industrial Policy, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Robert M. Entman
  • Publication Date: 01-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: The 1998 Aspen Institute Conference on Telecommunications Policy met to consider ways of speeding the deployment of telecommunication systems that allow for robust, reliable, and innovative communications services to the home. There was wide agreement that this means, in essence, getting broadband access to as many residences as possible, as quickly as economically sensible and technically feasible. By organizing the participants into three working groups, the session was able to come up with analytical suggestions and policy recommendations designed to accomplish this central objective.
  • Topic: Industrial Policy, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States
  • 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
  • Author: Moeen Qureshi, Meghan O'Sullivan, Michael Walton, Carol Graham, Moises Naim, Jacques Attali, Nancy Bearg Dyke
  • Publication Date: 12-1997
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: As we start the final countdown to the new century, about one fourth of the world's population—1.3 billion people—live in absolute poverty, while almost another third are very poor by every measure. The blight of poverty thus continues to challenge the international community. Despite globalization, expanding markets, years of anti–poverty efforts and the hopes kindled in the embers of the Cold War, the number of the poor in the world has risen and continues to rise with population growth. The manifestations of extreme poverty and the growing gap between rich and poor, both within and between countries, pose an undeniable threat to the prospects for peace and security and raise concerns about inequity. Given the continued trend toward global interconnectedness, finding solutions to persistent poverty has assumed an unprecedented urgency. However, this pressing international issue is barely visible on the agendas of the industrialized nations, whose interests are affected and whose attention and resources will continue to be indispensable in the fight against poverty. To be sure, there has been progress in poverty reduction, particularly in the last decade as globalization, spreading capitalism and markets, and technological advancement have combined to reduce the percentage of people living in poverty and to create new middle classes. Infant mortality has been cut in half; life expectancy, on average, has increased by a decade. But recent developments in East Asia are a reminder that, even where development and poverty reduction have occurred, the possibility for reversal exists. And the persistently huge numbers of poor and pockets of extreme poverty testify to the unevenness of globalization and the need for new strategies and reinvigorated attention to the problem of poverty. The Aspen Institute International Peace and Security Program convened the conference on “Persistent Poverty in Developing Countries: Determining the Causes and Closing the Gaps” December 14, 1997, to discuss the current trends that affect poverty and suggest ideas for the most effective strategies for poverty eradication in the 21st century. Meeting in Broadway, England, the 24 experienced and highly respected participants from all regions of the world represented diverse professional and cultural perspectives that enriched the discussion.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Globalization, International Political Economy, Third World
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: David Bollier, Charles M. Firestone
  • Publication Date: 08-1997
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: As use of the Internet has grown by leaps and bounds, it is clear that electronic commerce will proliferate rapidly in the years ahead. The number of Internet domains in the United States is more than 1.3 million. Most major companies now have Web sites, if only to market themselves, and many others are exploiting intranets to improve internal operations. As many as 163 million personal computers worldwide will have access to the Internet by the year 2000. As television and telephony migrate onto the Internet, wireless communication explodes, and countless other new applications attract users, one of the biggest challenges is understanding the economic and social logic driving change.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, International Political Economy, Science and Technology, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: United States