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  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Economic and Social Development (CESD)
  • Abstract: According to the legislation on the Budget system, the legislative project on the state budget of the Republic of Azerbaijan for 2017 and the state and consolidated budget projects of 2017 were publicized on 29th of September, 2016. It has been three years that the legislative projects on the consolidated and state budgets of the Republic of Azerbaijan are being prepared amidst the absence of positive economic trends for the country. Specifically, during the preparation of 2017 state budget, external and internal economic impacts were considered at greater extent. As in previous years, the Center for Economic and Social Development has prepared a comparative analysis of the budget project publicized by the government. It is to be mentioned that, during the preparation of the analysis, the conversion of indicators into the foreign (US dollars) currency is carried out according to annual average currency indicators published by the Central Bank of the Republic of Azerbaijan, whereas the conversion of 2016 indicators into US dollars is conducted in accordance with the average exchange rate of first 8 months (1 US Dollars = 1, 56 manat) and 2017 indicators in accordance with the official exchange rate dated 29th September 2016 (1 US dollars = 1.6252 manat). The comparison of the budget project with previous years plays a prominent role in the forecasting of socio-economic trends for next year and the determination of state fiscal policy and the short-term and strategic position of the government in separate directions.
  • Topic: Budget, Finance
  • Political Geography: Azerbaijan
  • Publication Date: 08-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Economic and Social Development (CESD)
  • Abstract: It has already been three month since the national currency of the Republic of Azerbaijan continuously loses its value. Since the second half of 2014, due to the fall in oil prices on the world markets, the resulting pressure on the national currency – ‘Manat’ is ongoing nowadays. Overall, Manat lost 49.6% of its value in 2015 and in addition, with more 3% depreciation in the first 7 months of 2016, the losses could reach 52.6%. Although the occurring rapid dollarization and the observed stagnation in the business environment especially in imports in the first months of 2015 and 2016 resulted in short-term reduction in foreign exchange demand in March-May period of this year and strengthening the exchange rate of USD/AZN at the level of 1.49, the process of depreciation proceeded again afterwards. As a result, the national currency increased its annual losses to the level of 3% in June-July, by depreciating 7% against the US dollar again.
  • Topic: Finance
  • Political Geography: Azerbaijan
  • Author: Angela Stanzel, Agatha Kratz, Justyna Szczudlik, Dragan Pavlićević
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Council On Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: China faced hard times in 2016 – at least when it comes to promoting its investment in Europe. The European Union is one of its most important economic and trading partners and the final destination of China’s flagship initiative, the New Silk Road. However, some EU member states have recently become increasingly critical of China’s push for more investment in Europe. Beijing has invested significant effort in building a new entry point into Europe through the central and eastern European (CEE) countries – in particular, through the 16+1 framework. As reflected in Agatha Kratz’s article in this edition of China Analysis, the CEE region is attractive to China thanks to its strategic geographical position for the New Silk Road project, its high-skilled yet cheap labour, and its open trade and investment environment.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Asli Aydıntaşbaş
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Council On Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: According to the Turkish government, the Gülenist movement is at the heart of the failed coup attempt of 15 July. Fethullah Gülen, the movement's leader is a former ally of the Turkish president and one of the country's most powerful and influential forces. With the help of the Turkish government, the Gülen movement successfully created a deep state within the Turkish bureaucracy and persecuted political enemies in show trials in 2008-2013. The movement is opaque and secretive in the state bureaucracy. There is enough evidence linking followers of Gülen to the coup but evidence pointing to Fethullah Gülen himself remains scant. Turkey’s extradition request for Fethullah Gülen will continue to create turbulence in Turkey’s relationship with Washington. For the US, this is a legal matter; for Ankara, a prerequisite for partnership. The Turkish government has embarked on a massive purge to "clean the state", involving tens of thousands of state employees, banks, and companies. In its quest to protect Turkish democracy by purging Gülenists, the Turkish government needs to make sure it does not destroy the frail democracy it is trying to save.
  • Topic: International Security
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Eado Hecht, Eitan Shamir
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Begin-Sadat Centre for Strategic Studies (BESA)
  • Abstract: Some pundits contend that in the absence of a direct threat from state armies, and in a situation where terror, guerrilla and rocket threats predominate, Israel no longer needs heavy maneuvering formations. This 50-page study by Dr. Eado Hecht and Dr. Eitan Shamir of the BESA Center argues the contrary. The rise in capabilities of non-state actors represents a new intermediate-level threat to Israel; creating several plausible threat scenarios that require large, highly-capable ground formations. The IDF’s recent force-buildup plan, which gives priority to the air force and to precision-fire assets over ground units, is mistaken.
  • Topic: International Security, Non State Actors
  • Political Geography: Israel
  • Author: Glenda S. Roberts
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: In recent decades, Japan has become a rapidly aging, low-birthrate society. Late marriage and no marriage have also become commonplace. With the prolonged recession, stable employment declined, wages dropped, and the reputation of the prototypical "salaryman" of the postwar period took a beating. In this milieu, how do young adults feel about conventional gender roles? Have attitudes changed in regard to marriage and childrearing, and if so, how? How do the unmarried envision themselves in the future, and how do the married wish to raise their children? In this interview study, diverse views can be heard, but those relating to childbearing and rearing remain fairly conservative. Furthermore, expectations that women should be solely responsible for the "double shift" of household labor and caregiving upon marriage, as well as continued discrimination against women in the workplace and a workplace culture of long hours, appear to underlie the hesitancy young adults have in acting on their dreams in the recessionary economy.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Urbanization
  • Political Geography: Japan
  • Author: Malcolm D. Knight
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The past 20 years have witnessed a profound change in the types of non-resident investors who provide funding to emerging market economies (EMEs) and the nancial instruments through which emerging market (EM) corporations borrow from abroad. Until the beginning of the new millennium, private capital ows to EMEs were mainly intermediated by large global banks, and EMEs were subjected to massive volatility in their external payments balances, exchange rates and domestic nancial systems. But since the early 2000s the role of bank- intermediated credit has declined, as the base of investors willing to take on exposure to EM corporate debt has become much larger and more diverse. These structural changes have encouraged a vast growth in ows of funds, not only from the mature economies to EMEs as a group, but also among EMEs themselves.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: August Reinisch
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Since the transfer of foreign direct investment powers from the European Union member states to the European Union itself in the 2009 Treaty of Lisbon, the European Commission, the main external trade actor for the European Union, has started to negotiate international investment agreements as well as investment chapters in enlarged free trade agreements (FTAs). Both contain substantive protection standards and enforcement mechanisms in case of disputes, usually both state–state and investor–state arbitration (ISA). With regard to the latter, it was unclear whether the European Commission, the European Union’s experienced World Trade Organization (WTO) litigator, would continue to use the interstate template of trade disputes or venture into ISA. After an initial orientation period, the European Commission rmly endorsed ISA, as demonstrated by the negotiations with Canada on the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and with the United States on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Meanwhile, however, public opposition to the TTIP, and to ISA in particular, has formed in unexpected dimensions. It even led the European Commission to partially interrupt its trade negotiations with the United States in order to conduct a public consultation on the investment aspects of the TTIP. Ever since, ISA has remained one of the most controversial parts of the planned trade agreements. Most recently, the European Commission tabled a TTIP proposal to set up a permanent investment court that would replace the system of ad hoc ISA. This paper analyzes in detail the development of the European Union’s position toward the use of ISA as a means for settling investor-state disputes.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: European Union
  • Author: John Ravenhill
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: This paper examines the security context of the Australia- Indonesia relationship. East Asia presents a fundamental paradox for scholars of international relations. It has arguably more sources of interstate tension than any other region of the developing world. However, it has experienced no signi cant interstate con ict since the end of the China-Vietnam war in 1979. After brie y reviewing the principal security challenges that East Asia faces, the paper then looks at the three categories of explanations for the long peace in the region: hegemony and balancing; institutions and elite socialization; and economic interdependence. By early 2016, East Asia appeared to be facing the most unsettled security environment it has experienced for four decades. The new sources of interstate tensions present challenges for the mechanisms that have previously maintained peace in the region. Washington’s “pivot” to Asia has brought the United States into a more direct policy of balancing against China than in the past — but its sustainability and medium-term consequences remain unclear. Meanwhile, regional institutions, despite growing in numbers, are seemingly incapable of effectively addressing the new security challenges. A need for better leadership and initiatives is evident, both within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and in the broader regional context. Finally, recent developments in the region and elsewhere have illustrated the challenges of using economic interdependence as a lever over unwelcome state behaviour.
  • Topic: International Security
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Australia/Pacific
  • Author: Hugo Perezcano
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Investor-state arbitration (ISA) has been a controversial topic and a source of criticism and debate for quite some time. Yet, it continues to be a standard feature of modern international investment agreements (IIAs). While opposition to ISA has traditionally come from certain sectors of civil society, there appears to be a growing discomfort now among states as well. Some critics suggest that ISA is unnecessary and should be left out of IIAs altogether. Others argue that it may be needed in IIAs between developed nations that are mostly capital exporters, on the one hand, and developing countries that require foreign capital to promote development, on the other, but that it is unwarranted in IIAs that developed countries enter into among themselves. They reason that developed countries have robust legal frameworks and institutions, including responsive judiciaries, that adequately protect private investment and, therefore, ISA can safely be omitted from such IIAs without any detriment to foreign investors or their investments. This paper addresses some of the aws in the arguments that have been advanced in support of this position, as well as some of its implications, especially the reaction that might be expected from developing countries if developed countries were to back away from ISA in their dealings with other developed nations but continue to demand its inclusion in their agreements with developing countries.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus