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  • Author: Jorge L Contreras
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: In recent years, high-pro le lawsuits involving standards- essential patents (SEPs) have made headlines in the United States, Europe and Asia, leading to a heated public debate regarding the role and impact of patents covering key interoperability standards. Enforcement agencies around the world have investigated and prosecuted alleged violations of competition law and private licensing commitments in connection with SEPs. Yet, while the debate has focused broadly on standardization and patents in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector, commentators have paid little attention to differences among technology layers within ICT. A review of case statistics shows that patent ling and assertion activity is substantially lower for Internet- related standards than for standards relating to telecommunications and other computing technologies. This paper analyzes historical and social factors that may have contributed to this divergence, focusing on the two principal Internet standards bodies: the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). It offers a counternarrative to the dominant account portraying standards and SEPs as necessarily fraught with litigation and thereby in need of radical systemic change. Instead, it shows how standards policies that de-emphasize patent monetization have led to lower levels of disputes and litigation. It concludes by placing recent discussions of patenting and standards within the broader context of openness in network technologies and urges both industry participants and policy makers to look to the success of Internet standardization in a patent-light environment when considering the adoption of future rules and policies.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, International Security, Information Age
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: James M. Boughton
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Economic con ict between nation-states has been a major concern throughout the past century and will continue to threaten progress for the foreseeable future. The language evolves, but the issues persist. The “beggar-thy-neighbour” policies and “competitive devaluations” that aggravated the Great Depression of the 1930s have become the “currency wars” of the twenty- rst century. De ning the problem, however, is easy compared with the task of solving it. A central recurring question is whether policy makers can — and should — cooperate and try to coordinate their policies in an effort to alleviate con icts and improve outcomes.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Political Economy, International Development
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: John Whalley, Li Chunding
  • Publication Date: 05-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement has now been concluded, but it still faces the challenge of ratification in each of the 12 member countries that are partners to the agreement. China is the world’s second- largest economy, but is not part of the TPP Agreement, which has provoked a great deal of debate in China on the best strategy for China to deal with the TPP. This paper analyzes China’s possible trade strategy, raising three issues for consideration, given the TPP Agreement. First, security of market access should be China’s main concern in any free trade agreement (FTA) negotiation, but the TPP does not include content that is particularly relevant to this issue. Second, the nal TPP Agreement is somewhat less than the high-level, ambitious agreement that has been proclaimed. Third, the rati cation process in all 12 member countries will be slow and may possibly not even happen. This paper sets out four strategies for China: to promote the development of China’s remaining regional and bilateral FTAs; to negotiate a bilateral FTA with the United States; to promote deep domestic reform and opening up by enlarging the coverage of the TPP; and, nally, to negotiate its entry in the TPP as soon as possible, so that the terms of entering the agreement do not degenerate for China.
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Marc Lalonde
  • Publication Date: 05-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: I have rarely seen, in my long life, a change as unjustified as the one represented by the new investment tribunal structure now found in the agreed text of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union. First of all, it is a poor solution based on a faulty premise. It is the result of an ill-informed but obviously effective campaign by mainly European lobbies[1] and some groups in the European Parliament, which have argued, without proper quantitative or qualitative support, that the present system is biased in favour of foreign investors. If this were the case, how can they explain that, according to the latest statistics from the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), only 46 percent of all ICSID awards upheld (in part or in full) investors’ claims, while 53 percent of the claims were dismissed for lack of jurisdiction or on the merits, and another one percent were rejected as manifestly without legal merit.[2] Similarly, in its 2014 World Investment Report, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) came to the conclusion that, out of 274 concluded investment treaty cases in 2013, 43 percent were decided in favour of the state, 31 percent in favour of the investor and 26 percent were settled.[3]
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Zora Popova, Inga Marken, Lavinia Bâdulescu
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: The current paper, developed in connection to an ECMI project implemented in Azerbaijan in 2014, explores the transferability of successful reconciliation and intercultural cohesion mechanisms from one region or a country to another. Analysing the positive example of Schleswig-Holstein and the conflict region of Nagorno-Karabakh, the paper aims at overcoming the specific context related issues and to look at the structural factors that need to be considered if a model is to be adapted to a historically, geographically, and culturally different case.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Raphaëlle Mathieu-Bédard
  • Publication Date: 06-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: The concept of ‘institutional completeness’, which refers to the organizational influence of a minority group and the degree to which it can provide its members with all necessary services, has recently enjoyed renewed interest in Canada. ‘Institutional completeness’ could represent an interesting avenue of ‘non-territorial autonomy’ for European minorities, one that might curtail some of the issues associated to current arrangements delegating power and autonomy to minorities, which often remain more ornamental than substantial. This paper exposes the recent jurisprudential developments in Canada pertaining to the modernization and revival of the concept of ‘institutional completeness’, most notable in the sphere of education for Francophone minority groups living outside of the province of Quebec, and encourages an in-depth exploration of the concept and of its potential not only for the autonomy of minorities, but also as a means of compensation for past harms and injustices.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Political and institutional effectiveness
  • Political Geography: Canada
  • Author: Madoka Hammine
  • Publication Date: 05-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: The aim of this working paper is to compare the language policies of Finland and Sweden, especially in the field of education for the Sami population. The analysis is carried out on a macro level; firstly it investigates and examines how Finland and Sweden have intro-duced legislation to protect Sami languages, followed by a discussion of the current situa-tions in the field of education, according to each stage of education. A comparison of the two nations highlights their different outcomes due to the different policies of their governments.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Finland, Sweden
  • Author: Vadim Poleshchuk
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: The Russian-speaking population of Estonia experienced serious problems on the labour market and in education in the years following the post-Soviet transition. The perception of inequality is typical among minority groups. Nowadays there are no significant disparities in terms of health conditions or access to the health care system for majority and minority groups; however, there are accumulated negative factors for the minority population, especially when we look closer at socially marginalised groups. In addition to their generally weaker socio-economic status, many Russophones face the problem of social exclusion, proven by higher rates of extreme poverty, incarceration, and homelessness, trafficking victimisation, drug abuse and HIV/AIDS. All these factors may have an adverse effect on the enjoyment by ethnic minorities of the right to health. Considering the demographic make-up of Estonia, a reduced use of the Russian language in the provision of health services has emerged as a new challenge to the national health care system.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Estonia
  • Author: Caitlin Boulter
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: This paper examines the prevalence of Roma voices in Swedish and German newspaper articles. It explores the importance of discursive self-representation for minority and marginalised groups, and evaluates the degree to which a voice is afforded to the Roma in three of the largest newspapers in each country, across a varied political spectrum. Sweden and Germany are leaders in minority protection and both profess to be seeking solutions to the widespread discrimination against Roma within their own countries and across Europe, and therefore provide interesting comparative case studies, both due to their historical relationship with Roma communities and in light of contemporary events. This paper uses quantitative analysis to determine the percentage of newspaper articles about Roma that include a Roma voice, and the findings are analysed using theories regarding European identity-building, Orientalism, and media discourse.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Minorities
  • Political Geography: Germany, Sweden
  • Author: Evangelos Venetis
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP)
  • Abstract: Nowadays Islamic finance is gradually becoming an important part of the international financial system. During the ongoing financial crisis, the role of Islamic finance for the stabilization of the international financial system appears to be strong and promising due to its ethical principles and religious foundation. This analysis focuses both on the quantitative and qualitative examples of the economic upheaval in the Eurozone and Greece and explores the prospects of introducing and developing possible prospects of Islamic finance in the Greek economy.
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Greece