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  • Author: Edwin M. Truman
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This paper evaluates international efforts to diagnose the global financial crisis and decide on appropriate responses, the treatments that were agreed and adopted, and the successes and failures as the crisis unfolded. International coordination of economic policies eventually contributed importantly to containing the crisis, but the authorities failed to agree on a diagnosis and the consequent need for joint action until the case was obvious. The policy actions that were adopted were powerful and effective, but they may have undermined prospects for coordinated responses to future crises.
  • Topic: Government, International Cooperation, Financial Crisis, Economy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The Centre for International Governance Innovation conducted consultations in the spring of 2019 with trade experts and stakeholders about options for modernizing the trade rules and strengthening the World Trade Organization (WTO). The consultations focused on the three themes of improving the WTO through monitoring of existing rules, strengthening and safeguarding the dispute settlement function, and modernizing the trade rules for the twenty-first century. This report synthesizes the results of the consultations.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, World Trade Organization, Modernization
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Idris Ademuyiwa, Pierre Siklos
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Recent events have the potential to reverse the positive macroeconomic performance of the global economy and trigger a slowdown in both global growth and international trade. In particular, the implications of ongoing trade disputes that have undermined trust in the existing multilateral cooperation system and the incentive for countries to align with ongoing global policy coordination efforts. A compelling case for a mutually beneficial resolution of these tensions can be made by emphasizing the interdependence of the Group of Twenty (G20) economies — the G20 being the premier repository of international cooperation in economic and political matters. This study also considers the state of trade globalization, with an emphasis on the performance of the G20. The emergence of geopolitical risks (GPRs), that is, events that heighten tensions between countries and therefore threaten global economic performance, is an attempt to quantify the potential economic impact of the nexus between politics and economics. In the presence of heightened political risks, negative economic effects become more likely. Nevertheless, there is no empirical evidence investigating the links between the real economy, trade, the state of the financial sector, commodity prices and GPRs. Moreover, there is no evidence on these links that has a sample of countries that make up the G20. This paper begins to fill this gap. Relying on descriptive and statistical evidence, the conclusion is drawn that GPRs represent a significant factor that threatens global economic growth and economic performance, in the G20 countries in particular. Ultimately, however, GPRs reflect other factors, including threats stemming from trade tensions and large swings in commodity prices.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Economic growth, Multilateralism
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia, South America, North America, Global Focus
  • Author: Monica Hernandez
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts University
  • Abstract: This research examines non-tariff measures (NTMs) and their use in impact assessments of free trade agreements (FTAs) based on computable general equilibrium models (CGE) as well as its implications. We show that projected gains related to FTAs tend to rely on removing ‘actionable’ NTMs and that, usually, impact assessments and empirical studies that provide this recommendation lack case-specific explanations behind actionability as well as of the channels and the way NTM elimination is supposed to improve welfare. We also find that the estimated economic gains from FTAs based on CGE models tend to be small and based on a high percentage of NTM elimination, which underestimates the social significance of these measures. Since NTMs comprise measures that target not only economic aspects but also social and environmental ones, indiscriminate NTM elimination suggests that small gains may come at a high cost.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Tax Systems, Free Trade, Non-Tariff Measures
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Isabella Banks
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Public International Law Policy Group
  • Abstract: Criminal liability in international law is unique from that of most national legal systems in that it extends to those physically distant from the crime. International law’s expanded notions of criminal liability and commission are what have made it possible for justice institutions – first the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal (IMT) in 1945 and now the International Criminal Court (ICC) – to hold high-level perpetrators who order, plan, coordinate, or facilitate mass atrocities from afar accountable for their actions. A question that international legal authorities have largely left unanswered is how this expanded notion of criminal liability might be applied in the age of global online networks and in particular, social media. There is mounting evidence that in addition to helping us stay connected and “bring the world closer together,” social media platforms are being used to proliferate ideas that result in real-world violence.
  • Topic: Crime, International Cooperation, Violence, International Criminal Court (ICC)
  • Political Geography: Myanmar, Global Focus
  • Author: Dimitar Bechev
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Foreign Policy Research Institute
  • Abstract: In the summer of 2018, Greece and Russian Federation went through one of the worst crises in their traditionally friendly relations. The falling out was triggered by allegations of Russian meddling in Greek domestic politics
  • Topic: International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jakkie Cilliers
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Development and Peace
  • Abstract: The United Nations Security Council lies at the heart of the global security architecture. It was established in 1945 to maintain international peace and security, but reform has been stuck for decades. Beyond a nuclear conflagration and the enduring challenge of interstate conflict, future global security challenges include the impact of climate change, the threat of pandemics, dirty bombs, nuclear terrorism and cybercrime. These risks are exacerbated by the rise of new nationalism in the West with countries such as the USA turning away from multilateralism, eschewing collaboration and accelerating change away from a global system hitherto dominated by the West. At a time of great power transitions, mul- tipolarity without sufficient multilateralism is a dan- gerous trend. Without comprehensive change that includes the end of permanent seats and the veto, the Council is fading into irrelevance. Such reform is possible, but requires a very different approach compared to efforts to find a compromise between different negotiating blocks in New York. Instead, detailed proposals should be agreed upon amongst like-minded states outside of the intergovernmental negotiating process and tabled in the General Assembly as a non-negotiable amendment to the Charter of the United Nations (UN). Even then only the threat from key countries to withdraw coopera- tion from the UN is likely to change things.
  • Topic: Security, International Cooperation, United Nations, Multilateralism, UN Security Council
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Samantha Custer, Elizabeth M King, Tamar Manuelyan Atinc, Lindsay Read, Kabir Sethi
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Today, 650 million children around the globe are at risk of being left behind as they fail to learn basic skills. Inequitable access to education is part of the problem, but even when children are in school, they may not be learning. In Uganda, for instance, barely half of grade 6 children read at a grade 2 level (Uwezo, 2016). In India, just one in four children enrolled in grade 5 can read a simple sentence or complete simple division problems (ASER Centre, 2017).
  • Topic: Education, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Alex Izurieta, Pierre Kohler, Juan Pizarro
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts University
  • Abstract: This paper assesses the effects of trade and investment agreements on income distribution and government policy. The critical process underpinning these effects is the rise of ‘financialization’. Global patterns of greater financialization and of worsening functional income distribution as well as tighter fiscal stances are identified in the data. Tests are conducted by combining financial statistics with databases of bilateral investment agreements and free trade agreements, as well as data generated by the UN Global Policy Model that encompasses several fiscal policy instruments. The empirical validation of these relationships brings to the fore the policy-oriented debate about the purported benefits of modern-era ‘comprehensive’ trade and investment agreements such as TTIP, TTP and CETA. The authors corroborate the findings of their respective earlier studies of these agreements and reiterate their call for caution. To preserve policy space and to avert increases of inequality, policy-makers should resist pressures to get their economies locked in such agreements and should look instead for sustainable forms of international policy coordination.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, United Nations, Investment, Trade
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Lise Johnson, Lisa Sachs, Brooke Güven, Jesse Coleman
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: This is a crucial moment in international investment policymaking. Two factors have converged, calling for a new direction. First, it has become increasingly difficult to justify investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS); even governments that had been among its strongest proponents are now changing course and have raised a range of fundamental, systemic and inter-related issues relating to ISDS. Second, policy makers and other stakeholders have a greater awareness of the need to design appropriate policies to maximize the contributions cross-border investment can make to sustainable development. Influenced by these factors, various reform efforts related to investment policy are underway at the national, regional, and international levels. These discussions about reform are likely to be slow, and outcomes uncertain. In the meantime, governments and their stakeholders remain tied to an outdated system that is widely acknowledged to be ill-suited for modern investment policy objectives, with increasingly concerning consequences. This policy paper explores two near-term options that governments engaged in reform discussions can pursue, alongside longer-term work on substantive and procedural reform. These options are: (1) a joint instrument on withdrawal of consent to arbitrate; and/or (2) a joint instrument on termination. The paper examines how both options could be implemented, and makes the case for putting a pause on ISDS to ensure that investment treaties and their dispute settlement mechanisms achieve their desired ends, produce legitimate decisions, and do not undermine international economic cooperation and sustainable development more broadly.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Regional Cooperation, Governance, Reform, Policy Implementation, Investment
  • Political Geography: Global Focus