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  • Author: Cameron S. G. Jefferies
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The high seas are a critical biodiversity reservoir and carbon sink. Unfortunately, the oceans, generally, and the high seas, in particular, do not feature prominently in international climate mitigation or climate adaptation efforts. There are, however, signals that ocean conservation is poised to occupy a more significant role in international climate law and policy going forward. This paper argues that improved conservation and sustainable use of high-seas living marine resources are essential developments at the convergence of climate action and ocean governance that should manifest, at least in part, as climate-informed high-seas marine protected areas.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Water, Maritime, Conservation
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Asia, South America, Australia, North America, Global Focus
  • Author: Guy Marcel Nono
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: For more than a decade, there has been a lot of focus on how sustainable development relates to international investment law. The growing trend of including general and security exceptions clauses in international investment agreements (IIAs) has also been highlighted. However, the nexus between general IIAs and security exceptions and the achievement of the SDGs has not been explored.
  • Topic: Security, International Law, Sustainable Development Goals, Investment
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Andrew Walter
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: This special report explores the role of emerging-country members in the Basel process, a key aspect of global financial standard setting. It argues that this process has been significantly more politically resilient than adjacent aspects of global economic governance, in part because major emerging countries have perceived continuing “intra-club” benefits from participation within it. Most important among these are learning benefits for key actors within these countries, including incumbent political leaders. Although some emerging countries perceive growing influence over the international financial standard-setting process, many implicitly accept limited influence in return for learning benefits, which are valuable because of the complexity of contemporary financial systems and the sustained policy challenges it creates for advanced and emerging countries alike. The importance of learning benefits also differentiates the Basel process from other international economic organizations in which agenda control and influence over outcomes are more important for emerging-country governments. This helps to explain the relative resilience of the Basel process in the context of continued influence asymmetries and the wider fragmentation of global economic governance. The report also considers some reforms that could further improve the position of emerging countries in the process and bolster its perceived legitimacy among them.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Financial Markets, Global Political Economy, Emerging States
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Asia, South America, Australia, North America, Global Focus
  • Author: Kerryn Brent, Will Burns, Jeffrey McGee
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: After more than two decades of UN negotiations, global greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, with current projections indicating the planet is on a pathway to a temperature increase of approximately 3.2°C by 2100, well beyond what is considered a safe level. This has spurred scientific and policy interest in the possible role of solar radiation management and carbon dioxide removal geoengineering activities to help avert passing critical climatic thresholds, or to help societies recover if global temperatures overshoot expectations of safe levels. Marine geoengineering proposals show significant diversity in terms of their purpose, scale of application, likely effectiveness, requisite levels of international cooperation and intensity of environmental risks. This diversity of marine geoengineering activities will likely place significant new demands upon the international law system to govern potential risks and opportunities. International ocean law governance is comprised of a patchwork of global framework agreements, sectoral agreements and customary international law rules that have developed over time in response to disparate issues. These include maritime access, fisheries management, shipping pollution, ocean dumping and marine scientific research. This patchwork of oceans governance contains several bodies of rules that might apply in governing marine geoengineering activities. However, these bodies of rules were negotiated for different purposes, and not specifically for the governance of marine geoengineering. The extent to which this patchwork of rules might contribute to marine geoengineering governance will vary, depending on the purpose of an activity, where it is conducted, which state is responsible for it and the types of impacts it is likely to have. The 2013 amendment to the London Protocol on ocean dumping provides the most developed and specific framework for marine geoengineering governance to date. But the capacity of this amendment to bolster the capacity of international law to govern marine geoengineering activities is limited by some significant shortcomings. Negotiations are under way to establish a new global treaty on conservation of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction, including new rules for area-based management, environmental impact assessments and capacity building/technology transfer. A new agreement has the potential to fill key gaps in the existing patchwork of international law for marine geoengineering activities in high-seas areas. However, it is also important that this new treaty be structured in a way that is not overly restrictive, which might hinder responsible research and development of marine geoengineering in high-seas areas.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, International Law, United Nations, Green Technology, Geoengineering
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jeff Crisp
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Many commentators have suggested that the displacement of people across international borders is caused by a lack of “political will,” and that refugee situations could be averted, mitigated or resolved if only such will existed. However, there has been little serious analysis as to what “political will” means and how to generate and sustain it in a refugee context. This paper is an initial attempt to address these neglected issues. It begins by defining the notion of political will and then outlines the gap between the protection principles formally espoused by states and the ways in which they treat refugees and asylum seekers in practice. The paper then identifies the key ways in which political will can be mobilized on behalf of refugee protection and solutions, focusing on the humanitarian interests of political leaders, the obligations that states have assumed in relation to refugees, the incentives that can be used to encourage compliance with refugee protection principles and the pressure that can be placed on states by other stakeholders. Following an examination of interstate cooperation on refugee issues and the role of the UN Refugee Agency in promoting refugee protection and solutions, the paper concludes with a call for political will to be mobilized in a way that is evidence-based, geographically differentiated, inclusive of other actors, and sensitive to the situation of other people who are on the move and whose rights are also at risk.
  • Topic: Migration, Refugee Crisis, Displacement, Humanitarian Crisis
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Robert Muggah, Adriana Erthal Abdenur
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Today, more than 60 percent of all refugees and 80 percent of all internally displaced persons are living in urban areas. While cities are periodically overwhelmed by sudden mass influxes of forced migrants, they are remarkably effective at absorbing populations on the move. With some exceptions, the international community — the UN Refugee Agency, in particular — has been slow to empower cities to assume a greater role in protecting, assisting and promoting durable solutions for refugees, asylum claimants and other groups of concern. New compacts on migration and refugees only tangentially address cities’ pivotal role in shaping the experience of forced migrants. Instead, cities are developing solutions on their own. This paper assesses the characteristics of the urban displacement crisis and identifies challenges and opportunities confronting cities, challenging myths associated with the “refugee burden” and offering preliminary recommendations for stepping up international, national and municipal cooperation.
  • Topic: Migration, United Nations, Refugee Issues, Urban, Asylum
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ryerson Neal
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Participants from academia and various levels of government gathered in Ottawa to discuss the often underappreciated interplay between the international climate agenda and the global trade system. The trade system has traditionally supported open flows of goods and services by disciplining tariffs, as well as trade-distorting subsidies and regulations. But there is an emerging tension between this approach and the desire of governments to address climate change through potentially trade-distorting domestic regulations and green subsidies. The challenge for policy makers is how to maintain relatively free, undistorted trade, while still giving countries sufficient policy space to implement effective measures to combat climate change.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Regulation, Green Technology, Free Trade
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Worldwide, the internet and the increasingly important social media and content applications and platforms running on it have assumed an extraordinary and powerful role in people’s lives and become defining features of present-day life. This global digital ecosystem has created immeasurable benefits for free expression, social and cultural exchange, and economic progress. Yet, its impacts, and the easy access to content it provides, have not all been either foreseeable or desirable, as even a cursory scan of the daily news will show. In this environment, the Global Digital Policy Incubator at Stanford University and the Centre for International Governance Innovation, in cooperation with the Department of Canadian Heritage, invited government, business, academic and civil society experts to an international working meeting in March 2018 to explore governance innovations aimed at protecting free expression, diversity of content and voices, and civic engagement in the global digital ecosystem. One of the goals was to bring different players and perspectives together to explore their similarities within a comparative public policy context. This publication reports on the meeting’s discussion as participants sought innovative approaches to deal with both present and emerging challenges, without impeding the creativity and benefits that the internet can bring.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Governance, Digital Economy, Engagement
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: James A. Haley
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: This paper reviews the concept of fiscal space, or the capacity to deploy fiscal stimulus should it be needed; identifies the key factors that determine its size; and discusses considerations relevant to its use. The paper is motivated by the remarkably rapid mobilization of fiscal stimulus in the 2008-2009 global financial crisis, coordinated by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which was followed by the equally remarkable rapid adoption of austerity in key advanced economies. This switch from stimulus to austerity occurred despite the languid pace of the global recovery, in which growth was, as subsequently described by IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, “too low, for too long.” At the time, the change was justified in terms of concerns over large debt burdens and diminished capacity for future action. Curiously, however, the principled voices defending the interests of future generations were silent with respect to more recent tax cuts and the adoption of higher budgeted spending.
  • Topic: Budget, Fiscal Policy, IMF, Stimulus
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Aldo Chicop, Meinhard Doelle, Ryan Gauvin
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: This report investigates the international law and policy challenges to the determination of the international shipping industry’s contribution to climate change mitigation efforts through the International Maritime Organization (IMO), a specialized agency of the United Nations and the competent international organization with respect to shipping in international law. The report sets out the international legal framework that serves as the context for the IMO initial strategy, the challenge of regulating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from international shipping, and the process and issues in determining the industry’s “fair share” of mitigation efforts and potential legal pathways. The report concludes with general, policy and legal considerations that have a bearing on the current and possible future directions of the nascent IMO strategy. General considerations include the observation that the complexity and uncertainty underscoring the development of the IMO strategy call for a long-term planning instrument that is integrated and systemic in scope, flexible in approach and adaptive in application. As other regimes and sectors progress in developing and delivering on mitigation efforts, care should be exercised in considering lessons and tools from other sectors for application to shipping, given its uniqueness and that other sector experiences emanate from different contexts and considerations. Given continuing significant differences on GHG issues in the IMO, it is vital for the long-term IMO strategy to be advanced and maintained on the basis of the culture of consensus that has helped shape the IMO as a successful regulatory body.
  • Topic: International Law, United Nations, Policy Implementation, IMF, Shipping
  • Political Geography: Global Focus