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  • Author: James Cloyne
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University
  • Abstract: We investigate the effect of house prices on household borrowing using administrative mortgage data from the UK and a new empirical approach. The data contain household-level information on house prices and borrowing in a panel of homeowners, who refinance at regular and quasi-exogenous intervals. The data and setting allow us to develop an empirical approach that exploits house price variation coming from idiosyncratic and exogenous timing of refinance events around the Great Recession. We present two main results. First, there is a clear and robust effect of house prices on borrowing, but the responsiveness is smaller than recent US estimates. Second, the effect of house prices on borrowing can be explained largely by collateral effects. We study the collateral channel in two ways: through a multivariate and non-parametric heterogeneity analysis of proxies for collateral and wealth effects, and through a test that exploits interest rate notches that depend on housing collateral.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Victor Gilinsky
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Nonproliferation Policy Education Center
  • Abstract: Even before the ink was dry on the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) in l968, officials in the U.S. State Policy Planning staff had privately warned their superiors that non-weapons member states to the treaty could come within weeks of acquiring a nuclear arsenal by amassing nuclear weapons useable fuels claiming that these were intended for peaceful purposes. The advice was quietly filed away. Six years later, with India’s “peaceful” nuclear explosion, the warning seemed more salient. Still, even after a series of studies pointing out the military risks associated with proliferating civilian nuclear technology, most policy makers believed that the danger was speculative and still, at worst, many years away.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ivo Tsekov
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Security and International Studies (ISIS)
  • Abstract: This paper addresses one of the key issues of the international security agenda today: the role of cyber warfare in the changing security landscape of the 21st century. Cyber warfare involves the actions by a nation-state or international organization to attack and attempt to damage another nation's computers or information networks through IT means. While a great deal has already been written on the topic, there needs to be a stronger examination of how the combination of cyber weapons with traditional strategic approaches might impact strategic choices related to cyber war. In order to understand whether there is a security competition in cyberspace, it is necessary to assess the current balance of power. Therefore, the issue of cyber warfare has relevance to practitioners, policy-makers, and scholars in the national, regional and international levels
  • Topic: Power Politics, Cybersecurity
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Boyan Boyanov
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Security and International Studies (ISIS)
  • Abstract: After Pyongyang conducted its fourth nuclear test on the 5th of January 2016 and declared it a successful experiment with a hydrogen bomb, the international community resumed its appeals for finding a definitive solution to the issue with North Korea’s nuclear arsenal. What impresses is the routine of the international response following the North Korean habitual act of defying the nuclear nonproliferation system: diplomatic condemnation mostly coming from the United States, South Korea, Japan, and, in a far more restrained manner – from China. When Pyongyang launched a satellite in space two days later, Seoul responded by shutting down the Kaesong industrial complex – a mutually beneficial industrial zone where South Korean companies employ North Korean labor1 . Even this seemingly harsh action does not constitute a precedent. At that time it was not very demanding to foretell the execution of consequential U.S. – South Korea military drills to display the U.S. resolution to be constantly involved in whatever is happening on the Korean Peninsula and to dismay the latest great leader of the North. Indications appear to suggest that China, completely in terms with its traditional business-asusual foreign policy, would not apply overwhelmingly dutifully the up-to-date UNSC sanctions imposed on Pyongyang2 . Then, after months of expected scolding from abroad, Pyongyang remained true to its own behavioral logic and conducted a fifth nuclear test on September 9 2016, the repercussions of which are yet to unfold
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jacqueline Lopour
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Humanitarian crises across the world are the worst since World War II, and the situation is only going to get worse. According to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), almost 60 million people worldwide have been forcibly displaced from their homes — that is approximately one in every 123 people on the planet (UNHCR 2016a). The problem is growing, as the number of those displaced is over 60 percent greater than the previous decade. As a result, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has announced the first ever World Humanitarian Summit to be held May 23-24, 2016. The world’s attention is focused on the Syrian refugee crisis, which has displaced 11 million people. But in doing so, the global community has lost sight of an equally severe humanitarian and displacement crisis — the situation in Yemen. Yemen now has more people in need of aid than any other country in the world, according to the UNOCHA Global Humanitarian Overview 2016. An estimated 21.2 million people in Yemen — 82 percent of the population — requires humanitarian aid, and this number is steadily growing (UNOCHA 2016a).
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Development, Human Rights, Humanitarian Aid, Poverty, War, Refugee Issues
  • Political Geography: Yemen, Global Focus
  • Author: Emily Taylor
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The Internet enables the free flow of information on an unprecedented scale but to an increasing extent the management of individuals’ fundamental rights, such as privacy and the mediation of free expression, is being left in the hands of private actors. The popularity of a few web platforms across the globe confers on the providers both great power and heavy responsibilities. Free-to-use web platforms are founded on the sale of user data, and the standard terms give providers rights to intrude on every aspect of a user’s online life, while giving users the Hobson’s choice of either agreeing to those terms or not using the platform (the illusion of consent). Meanwhile, the same companies are steadily assuming responsibility for monitoring and censoring harmful content, either as a self-regulatory response to prevent conflicts with national regulatory environments, or to address inaction by states, which bear primary duty for upholding human rights. There is an underlying tension for those companies between self-regulation, on the one hand, and being held accountable for rights violations by states, on the other hand. The incongruity of this position might explain the secrecy surrounding the human systems that companies have developed to monitor content (the illusion of automation). Psychological experiments and opaque algorithms for defining what search results or friends’ updates users see highlight the power of today’s providers over their publics (the illusion of neutrality). Solutions could include provision of paid alternatives, more sophisticated definition and handling of different types of data — public, private, ephemeral, lasting — and the cooperation of all stakeholders in arriving at realistic and robust processes for content moderation that comply with the rule of law.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Human Rights, Human Welfare, Science and Technology, Governance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Nigel Shadbolt, Wendy Hall, Keiron O'Hara
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: In May 2014, the world of privacy regulation, data handling and the World Wide Web changed dramatically as a result of judgment C-131/12 in the CJEU. The so-called Google Spain decision confirmed that EU data protection legislation gives data subjects the right to request search engines to de-index webpages that appear in the search results on their names. The search engine is not obliged to agree to such requests — certain conditions have to be met and tests applied — but it is not free simply to ignore them. The decision drew on the 1995 DPD2 and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, and is consistent with a general direction toward more aggressive protection of privacy rights in Europe, as evidenced by the annulment of the Data Retention Directive, also in 2014 (CJEU 2014). Nevertheless, despite these antecedents, it has been seen as a major step in establishing a right to be forgotten.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Communications, Mass Media, Global Markets, Information Age, Digital Economy, Privacy
  • Political Geography: United States, Global Focus
  • Author: Bertrand de la Chapelle, Paul Fehlinger
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • 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 financial instruments through which emerging market (EM) corporations borrow from abroad. Until the beginning of the new millennium, private capital flows 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 financial 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 flows of funds, not only from the mature economies to EMEs as a group, but also among EMEs themselves.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: John Whalley, Daqing Yao
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The effects of the termination of the Multifibre Arrangement (MFA) on the trade of clothing and textiles are assessed in this paper, based on world trade date and US trade data. The findings from the data analyzed indicate that the effects of the termination of the MFA on the clothing trade was more significant for clothing than for the textiles trade. With the end of the MFA, the freer trade in these sectors shed light on other sectors that are still protected under trade agreements.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Markets, Treaties and Agreements, Regulation
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: This paper analyzes the impact of four major financial sector sustainability codes of conduct, the UN Environmental Programme Finance Initiative, the UN Principles for Responsible Investment, the Equator Principles and the Global Alliance for Banking on Values with regard to their impact on the sustainability of their members. The codes of conduct focus on the integration of environmental, social and governance criteria into financial decision making in lending, investment, asset management and project finance. corporate sustainability voluntary codes of conduct have a positive impact on their members. The effectiveness, however, depends on the quality and content of a code, as well as on implementation and compliance mechanisms.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, United Nations, Ethics
  • Political Geography: Global Focus