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  • Author: Ahmed Alili
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Economic and Social Development (CESD)
  • Abstract: On 20th January, Donald John Trump, an American businessman and TV entertainer is going to be 45th President of the United States of America (US). This is a hard-to-be comprehended statement by the academic and research communities, who did not expect the result of the US presidential elections to turn out this way. The possibility of Trump’s victory was repeatedly denied by the major research centres, and each scandal encouraged researchers to re-state their predictions on the soon-to-be collapse of the Trump election campaign. Needless to say, these predictions were proven false by the final election results. Nevertheless, in the end, the academic and policy research communities have not produced research on what Trump’s presidency would look like. The same stands true for the foreign governments of the EU, Russia, China, and the rest of the world. In order to figure out who is the new US President and what he can do, the world has entered into a phase of intensive research on Trump. This paper is an attempt to puzzle out Trump’s foreign policy for the Caucasus and Azerbaijan.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Political Theory, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: America, Azerbaijan
  • Author: Adam Garfinkle
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Foreign Policy Research Institute
  • Abstract: By now the world knows that U.S. military forces for the first time since the onset of the Syrian civil war in 2011 have attacked regime targets. Plenty of the basic facts are known about what transpired about 18 hours ago, but a few important ones are not—at least not in the public domain. For example, we have only a very general Bomb Damage Assessment (BDA) report. This matters because Tomahawk cruise missiles are very accurate if “lite” weapons. Knowing what the four dozen or so missiles hit and missed, deliberately and otherwise, could tell us a lot about why the President, presumably with Secretary of Defense James Mattis’ guidance and concurrence, chose the lesser of three options presented at what has been described as a meeting of considerable length. That, in turn, could tell us if the intention ultimately is to coerce the Russians into coercing the Syrians to stop doing monstrous things to their own people, and possibly coercing them to support a compromise political settlement to the war; or if it’s just an Eff-You gesture designed only to relieve the sudden pressure of moral unction that unexpectedly came upon our new Commander-in Chief—who seemed to lurch from coldblooded Randian to “Godtalk” invoker of the American Civil Religion in the wink of an eye. In other words, knowing more about the target set would tell us whether there is any political strategy attached to the use of force, or not. Probably not.
  • Topic: International Security, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: America, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Daniel Gros
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Exiting from unconventional monetary policies is now a key issue for central banks, and especially for the US Federal Reserve. This paper argues that the Fed already began this exit some time ago, and that the relevant part of its balance sheet has already shrunk by about one-quarter of GDP. Pursuing the current policy of reinvesting would lead to a full exit within ten years.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Raphaëlle Mathieu-Bédard
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: Indigenous peoples and minorities throughout the world have endeavoured for centuries to rid themselves from colonialism and oppression, while governments struggle to recognize indigenous and minority rights and minorities’ rightful standing in society. Varied approaches have been adopted, with varying degrees of success – but much can be learned from past and current victories and mistakes. Both in Canada and in the United States, the federal governments have historically held exclusive and virtually unlimited authority over their indigenous populations. Yet, based on divergent interpretations of the ‘doctrine of discovery’, the two countries have long developed differing policies regarding the self-government of their indigenous[i] nations, inevitably influencing their respective indigenous self-determination movements and the emergence of indigenous, non-territorial institutions.
  • Topic: Minorities, International Development
  • Political Geography: America, Canada
  • Author: Stephen Hallbrook
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Independent Institute
  • Abstract: From the founding of the Republic until the late twentieth century, rifles and other long guns were not subject to public controversy. At the end of that period, the words “assault weapon” appeared as a derogatory term in efforts to ban semi-automatic rifles. Handguns had previously been the primary target of gun prohibitionists, but the Supreme Court held in District of Columbia v. Heller that handguns are commonly possessed by law-abiding persons for lawful persons and are thus protected by the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Mireya Solis
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Trade policy, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in particular, is vitally connected to the national interests of prosperity, security, and governance. With novel rules on the digital economy, high tariff elimina- tion targets, and disciplines to address behind-the-border protectionism, the TPP creates opportunities for American sectors that enjoy competitive strength—services, advanced manufacturing, agriculture—to expand their reach in overseas markets. Projected annual income gains from this trade deal range between $57 billion and $131 billion by 2032, compared to a base- line scenario. In sharp contrast to the experience of import competition with China, the TPP will not impose large adjustment costs in terms of employment and wages, generating instead a net (albeit small) positive effect on job creation and wage rates. However, the individual costs for displaced employees are very high, and the contours of a new pro-adjustment safety net that enables workers to navigate difficult economic transitions (brought about by technological change or trade) are highlighted below.
  • Topic: Globalization, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: America, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: Jeffrey Bader
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Serious people understand that the manner in which the United States deals with China will be a critical, if not the critical, overseas chal- lenge for the United States in the 21st century. China will likely be the largest economy in the world within one or two decades; the second or third strongest military soon, if not already; and competitive with the United States and Europe in global economic, and perhaps political and cultural, influence in some regions. China is ruled by a Communist Par- ty resistant to political liberalization at home and wedded to nationalist rhetoric and behavior in dealing with its neighborhood, enhancing the chances for rivalry with the United States. For those students of history who see conflict as the likely outcome when ris- ing powers encounter dominant powers, these are precursors of a dark future. How should we deal with China? What policy framework best optimizes our interests, which are multiple and not always consistent with each oth- er? Americans are in the midst of an ongoing presidential campaign that, in a better world, would be asking and answering such questions, but this is not such a campaign.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, America
  • Author: Christopher Wilson
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
  • Abstract: The U.S.-Mexico trade relationship is huge. The two countries trade over a half-trillion dollars in goods and services each year, which amounts to more than a million dollars in bilateral commerce every minute. With such a large volume of trade, it is not hard to believe that the number of jobs that depend on the bilateral relationship is similarly impressive. New research commissioned by the Mexico Institute shows precisely that: nearly five million U.S. jobs depend on trade with Mexico. This means that one out of every 29 U.S. workers has a job supported by U.S.-Mexico trade.
  • Topic: Globalization, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Employment
  • Political Geography: America, Mexico
  • Author: Vibeke Schou Tjalve
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Despite the general impression that the US president-elect Donald Trump has given us very little clue to predict his foreign policy doctrine, a guiding framework behind his scattered statements does exist. In this DIIS Policy Brief, Senior Researcher Vibeke Schou Tjalve takes a closer look at the surprisingly consistent philosophy of power and interest that Trump has aired during the past two decades. Trump is labelled a ‘nationalist’ and an ‘isolationist’. These are understandable labels, and yet: Trump is not your classical cultural-conservative nostalgic with deep veneration for old alliances or shared norms. His American nationalism does not linger on the memories of the New World European roots. Rather, it is founded on a deeply Darwinist conception of the world as a cutthroat competition, in which raw strength - not cultural characteristics – matters. As such, Trump will have no sentimentality for NATO or Europe, and he will view the world through largely value-neutral eyes. This leaves Europe with a defining set of questions, and to influence a Trump presidency, we should understand and appreciate this not-so-simple nationalism, Tjalve writes.
  • Topic: International Relations, Political Power Sharing
  • Political Geography: America, Europe
  • Author: Maxine Builder
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Growing rates of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) pose a threat to public health that could undo many of the medical advances made over the last seventy years, eroding the global medical safety net and posing a significant threat to national security. Diseases once eliminated by a single course of antibiotics show drug resistance, often to several different classes of drugs. Some of the implications of increasing rates of AMR are intuitive, such as longer duration of illness, extended hospital stays, and higher rates of mortality. But other effects of a postantibiotics world are less obvious, such as the inability to perform life-saving operations or the ability for a simple scratch on the arm to kill. Humanity could soon find itself living in a reality in which communicable diseases such as tuberculosis, cholera, pneumonia, and other common infections cannot be controlled. This potentially catastrophic problem still can be abated, and the global health community, including the World Health Organization (WHO), has highlighted AMR as a priority in global health. But all sectors of the international community, not simply those in public health, need to take immediate steps to reverse the current trends and eliminate the systematic misuse of antimicrobial drugs, especially in livestock, and restore the pipeline of new antimicrobial drugs. The significant health and economic costs of AMR are difficult to quantify due to incomplete data that often underreports the extent of the problem, since there are no standard metrics or consensus on methodology to measure rates of AMR. But even the piecemeal statistics that exist paint a bleak picture. In a 2013 report, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports at least two million Americans acquire serious infections to one or more strains of AMR bacteria annually, and at least 23,000 people die of these infections.1 A 2008 study estimated the excess direct costs to the US medical system attributable to AMR infections at $20 billion, with additional estimated productivity losses to be as high as $35 billion.2 With the increase in resistant infections and continuing rise in medical costs, the cost to the American medical system no doubt also has increased. This trend is not a uniquely American problem; it is truly global in scope. The European Union (EU) reports about 25,000 deaths annually due to drug-resistant bacteria, at an overall, combined cost of $2 billion in healthcare costs and productivity losses.3 There were over 14.7 million incidents of moderate-to-severe adverse reactions to antibiotics each year between 2001 and 2005 in China. Of these, 150,000 patients died annually.4 The most recent available data on China estimates that treatment of AMR infections during that same time period cost at least $477 million, with productivity losses of more than $55 million each year.5 A 2005 study of the United Kingdom (UK) found that the real annual gross domestic losses due to AMR were between 0.4 and 1.6 percent.6 Although slightly outdated, this estimate may be a useful guide in assessing the global impact of AMR, and given the trend of increasing resistance, it is likely that the impact will also increase accordingly. That said, it is prudent to repeat that the disparities in the quality of data reporting standards across China, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union make it difficult to directly compare the severity of the impacts AMR has on each entity. The primary cause of AMR globally is antibiotic overuse and misuse, be it from doctors inappropriately prescribing antibiotics to treat viral infections or individuals seeking over-the-counter antibiotics for self-treatment. But another driver, less obvious than overuse in humans, is the use of antimicrobials in livestock, and the ratio of use in animals as compared to humans is astounding. In the United States, about 80 percent of all antibiotics are consumed in either agriculture or aquaculture. Generally, these drugs are administered to livestock as growth promoters and are medically unnecessary. Resistance in livestock quickly spreads to humans, and many community-acquired infections are the result of a contaminated food supply. Although most infections are acquired in the community, most deaths attributed to resistant infections occur in healthcare settings, and healthcare-acquired (or nosocomial) infections are another driver of AMR. At this point, AMR does not pose an immediate and direct threat to national security. Rather, this is a creeping global security crisis. If current trends continue, these drugs upon which the world relies will lose effectiveness. The gains made in fighting infectious diseases will be reversed, and a wide range of routine surgeries and easily treatable infections will become much more dangerous and deadly. This will cause the health of the world's working population to deteriorate, and the economic productivity and social cohesion of the globe to decline. At any time, a “black swan” event—triggered by an outbreak of drug-resistant tuberculosis, cholera, or pneumonia, for example—could prove catastrophic, endangering the fabric of societies and our globalized economy, forcing a stop to international trade and travel to prevent further spread. The issue of AMR is a tragedy of the commons in which individual incentives lead to the overuse and eventual destruction of a shared resource. International cooperation is required to walk back from this ledge and avoid a postantibiotics world, even though it is impossible to completely reverse the damage already done.
  • Topic: Health, National Security, Infectious Diseases, Health Care Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, United Kingdom, America, Europe