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  • Author: Emily Taylor
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The Internet enables the free flow of information on an unprecedented scale but to an increasing extent the management of individuals’ fundamental rights, such as privacy and the mediation of free expression, is being left in the hands of private actors. The popularity of a few web platforms across the globe confers on the providers both great power and heavy responsibilities. Free-to-use web platforms are founded on the sale of user data, and the standard terms give providers rights to intrude on every aspect of a user’s online life, while giving users the Hobson’s choice of either agreeing to those terms or not using the platform (the illusion of consent). Meanwhile, the same companies are steadily assuming responsibility for monitoring and censoring harmful content, either as a self-regulatory response to prevent conflicts with national regulatory environments, or to address inaction by states, which bear primary duty for upholding human rights. There is an underlying tension for those companies between self-regulation, on the one hand, and being held accountable for rights violations by states, on the other hand. The incongruity of this position might explain the secrecy surrounding the human systems that companies have developed to monitor content (the illusion of automation). Psychological experiments and opaque algorithms for defining what search results or friends’ updates users see highlight the power of today’s providers over their publics (the illusion of neutrality). Solutions could include provision of paid alternatives, more sophisticated definition and handling of different types of data — public, private, ephemeral, lasting — and the cooperation of all stakeholders in arriving at realistic and robust processes for content moderation that comply with the rule of law.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Human Rights, Human Welfare, Science and Technology, Governance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: James Hinton, Kent Howe
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: This report outlines the impetus behind the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) International Intellectual Property Law Clinic, which operated for three months in 2014. It consisted of a partnership among the CIGI International Law Research Program (ILRP), Communitech (the Region of Waterloo’s hub for commercialization of innovative technologies) and leading intellectual property (IP) law firms. The report describes the new innovator’s commercialization dilemma — a multifaceted dilemma arising from lack of IP legal knowledge, lack of financial resources and the high costs associated with IP protection, all of which combine to place the new innovator in a vulnerable position at the early stages of their commercialization timeline. After briefly surveying the current environment for entrepreneurship-based clinics, the report describes the elements and structure of the CIGI clinic. The advantages for participating students as well as first-hand accounts of the benefits of the CIGI clinic are also detailed. Taking lessons learned from the CIGI clinic, the report illustrates how an IP-focused law clinic can help to address the commercialization dilemma. The report describes the manner in which IP clinics might be structured, while reviewing the associated benefits and challenges for each structure. The report also makes brief recommendations for governments, law societies, law schools and IP offices to support the provision of IP legal services through the law clinic model.
  • Topic: Environment, International Trade and Finance, Intellectual Property/Copyright, Governance, Entrepreneurship
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: On the occasion of the April 2015 Global Conference on Cyberspace meeting in The Hague, the Global Commission on Internet Governance calls on the global community to build a new social compact between citizens and their elected representatives, the judiciary, law enforcement and intelligence agencies, business, civil society and the Internet technical community, with the goal of restoring trust and enhancing confidence in the Internet. It is now essential that governments, collaborating with all other stakeholders, take steps to build confidence that the right to privacy of all people is respected on the Internet. This statement provides the Commission’s view of the issues at stake and describes in greater detail the core elements that are essential to achieving a social compact for digital privacy and security.
  • Topic: Security, Science and Technology, Communications, Mass Media, Governance, Digital Economy, Internet
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Paul Martin, Thomas A. Bernes, Olaf Weber, Hongying Wang, Kevin Carmichael
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: On November 15-16, 2015, leaders of the world's major advanced and emerging economies will meet in Antalya, Turkey for the G20 summit. In this special report, CIGI experts present their perspectives and policy analysis on the key priorities facing the G20 at Antalya. The Right Honourable Paul Martin states that the multilateral institutions created to make globalization work should be a G20 priority. Thomas A. Bernes asks whether G20 leaders and the institutions that support them can articulate a “policy upgrade” that brings more credibility than last year’s Brisbane Action Plan. Olaf Weber argues that the next step for the G20 should be the development of policies and guidelines that help to manage climate change and financial risk in a prudential way. Hongying Wang examines China's rare opportunity as it assumes the presidency of the G20 to push for collective new thinking on how to establish a less fragmented and more coherent global framework for investment governance that balances the interests of different stakeholders. Finally, Kevin Carmichael suggests that the G20 should elevate gender balance to the top of its agenda.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Globalization, Governance, G20, Financial Markets, Turkey
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Arunabha Ghosh, Anupama VijayKumar, Sudatta Ray
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: With halting progress in climate negotiations, there are growing calls for partnerships among self-selected pools of countries, in the expectation that they would facilitate consensus (among both developed and developing countries) and result in faster decision making. In critically examining such a claim, this paper asks: what kinds of partnerships could facilitate coordinated climate-related action across several countries? By focusing largely on technology partnerships (a key demand in climate negotiations), it examines characteristics of successful partnerships and the conditions under which they are created and sustained. While the motivations of existing partnerships are diverse, their functional scope has remained limited. A review of more than 30 initiatives reveals that very few had been designed to extend beyond sharing knowledge and some preliminary research and development activities. Even fewer had enlarged functional focus on actual transfer of equipment, joint production or extensive deployment mandates. The paper intensively analyzes the purpose, membership and governance of four partnerships. Drawing on their lessons, the paper identifies critical features — appropriate financing, leveraging capacity, flexible intellectual property rules and coordination across several institutions — which could become the foundation of new partnerships to deliver measurable action and possibly increase trust among negotiating parties.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Energy Policy, Science and Technology, Intellectual Property/Copyright, Governance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus