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  • Author: Rachel Sigman, Staffan I. Lindberg
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Varieties of Democracy Institute (V-Dem)
  • Abstract: One of the most common adjectives used to describe democracy in sub-Saharan Africa is "neopatrimonial". Characterized by strong executives, pervasive clientelism and use of state resources for political legitimation (Bratton and van de Walle 1997), neopatrimonial democracy has been (controversially) associated with a range of (mostly undesirable) social, political and economic outcomes. This paper offers an empirical assessment of neopatrimonialism in Africa's political regimes. We show that, contrary to conventional wisdom, African regimes vary both quantitatively and qualitatively in their embodiment of neopatrimonial rule. Moreover, we find no clear evidence indicating that neopatrimonialism necessarily impedes the advancement or survival of democracy
  • Topic: Democracy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Carl Henrik Knutsen, John Gerring, Svend-Erik Skaaning
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Varieties of Democracy Institute (V-Dem)
  • Abstract: Theoretical work on the institutional sources of economic growth regards decentralization and democracy in a positive light. Despite this, empirical work shows that neither fiscal decentralization nor national democracy is a robust predictor of per capita GDP growth. We argue that these theories have failed to bear fruit because they ignore the linchpin of decentralization and democracy, namely local democracy. Democracy at a local level enhances economic growth by enabling decentralized policy selection and incentivizing local politicians to select policies that benefit economic development, including the provision of local public goods. We test for the relationship using a novel measure of local democracy with global coverage and time series extending from 1900 to the present. We find robust evidence that local democracy nurtures growth. This relationship holds up when accounting for country- and year-fixed effects, when controlling for democracy at the national level, and when we treat our measure of local democracy as an endogenous regressor. Additional tests reveal that the relationship is clearer in contexts where our argument suggests that it should operate more strongly, namely (national- level) democracies and in periods and regions where local-level institutions have a more pronounced role in policy-making.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Alexander Mattelaer
  • Publication Date: 06-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: In July 2016 NATO leaders will meet in Warsaw to formally review whether earlier decisions on strengthening the Alliance’s collective defenses are sufficient. Greater efforts will be needed, but consensus may not be easy to achieve. Below the surface, the cohesion of NATO is under severe strain from multiple crises including Russian revanchism, mass migration, and terrorism. Summit preparations are also taking place under the shadow of potential strategic shocks. Internal disagreements fueled by rising populism could lead to a British exit from the European Union, a disorderly breakdown of the Schengen system, or worse. In this context it would be a mistake to underestimate the risk of NATO fragmentation. To strengthen cohesion, U.S. leaders should consider broadening the debate beyond the immediate concerns over Europe’s troubled neighborhood, fostering intra-European peer pressure on providing adequate military capabilities, and stimulating European nations to develop complementary force postures. These initiatives could revitalize the transatlantic bond, but would require patient engagement before and after the summit.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Michael Brian Jenkins, John Lauder
  • Publication Date: 08-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Nonproliferation Policy Education Center
  • Abstract: NPEC Working Paper 1602, “The Nuclear Terrorism Threat: How Real Is It?” presents two opposed views on the threat of nuclear terrorism. Brian M. Jenkins, a Rand analyst and a leading expert on nuclear terrorism, argues that the threat is overblown. John Lauder, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Nonproliferation Center, argues the opposing case that the threat is growing and we need to be hedging against it now.
  • Topic: Terrorism, International Affairs, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Henry D. Sokolski
  • Publication Date: 08-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Nonproliferation Policy Education Center
  • Abstract: NPEC Working Paper 1601, “How Dark Might East Asia’s Nuclear Future Be?” contains detailed projections of what the future holds for a more nuclear-armed China, Japan, North Korea and South Korea. None are predictions. The volume’s purpose is to encourage deeper debate about the security implications of nuclear proliferation in East Asia.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Shane Smith
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Nonproliferation Policy Education Center
  • Abstract: On February 12, 2013, North Korea’s state media announced that it had conducted a third nuclear test “of a smaller and light A-bomb unlike the previous ones, yet with great explosive power…demonstrating the good performance of the DPRK's nuclear deterrence that has become diversified.”[1] Since then, there has been renewed debate and speculation over the nature and direction of North Korea’s nuclear program. Can it develop weapons using both plutonium and uranium? How far away is it from having a deliverable warhead and how capable are its delivery systems? How many and what kind of weapons is it looking to build? These are not easy questions to answer. North Korea remains one of the most notoriously secret nations, and details about its nuclear program are undoubtedly some of its most valued secrets. Yet, the answers to these questions have far reaching implications for U.S. and regional security.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Mira Kaneva
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Security and International Studies (ISIS)
  • Abstract: The associative definition of borders implies the separation or the connection between two contrasting units (even in terms of their coloring on the geographic map). Thus the inherent intermediate position of borders has always marked the bordering practices between and within political communities. In international relations studies, though, despite the centrality of borders in policy-making, border studies are reduced to a marginal position. Ironically, border studies are driven to the periphery of academic research due to the prevailing misconception of them as epiphenomena at the expense of core phenomena such as state, sovereignty, and territory
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Bethlehem Daniel, Michael Gordon
  • Publication Date: 08-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: According to the International Organization for Migration, female migrants constituted approximately 50 percent of the share of the total migrant stock in 2013. The feminization of migration is an ongoing cross-border phenomenon that requires both attention and cooperation to minimize risk and increase protection for vulnerable populations. With women amounting to half of the number of global migrants, migration and gender can no longer be seen as separate silos in policy. Gender mainstreaming must be injected into high-level dialogue to reduce vulnerability and enhance human rights. This brief examines the problems associated with human trafficking, and identifies legislative and legal gaps in anti-trafficking policy through a compliance analysis of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). In order to facilitate gender mainstreaming efforts, member states party to CEDAW are encouraged to ensure that national anti-trafficking policies comply with CEDAW and adopt a rights-based approach to combatting human trafficking through the entrenchment of CEDAW principles in national legislation.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Human Rights, International Law, Migration
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Isabelle Duchane, Kateryna Dzaha, James Supeene
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The absence of an effective international regime for cross-border resolution of financial firms led to the disorderly failure of a number of global banks during the global financial crisis, at a high cost to taxpayers and global financial stability. Many jurisdictions still lack sufficient resolution powers and arrangements for cross-border cooperation. This brief proposes that the Financial Stability Board’s Key Attributes of Effective Resolution Regimes for Financial Institutions should be fully implemented within the Group of Twenty (G20) and expanded to include non-G20 states. The FSB should develop a series of model laws on cross-border resolution and endorse a multilateral memorandum of understanding containing reciprocal commitments among the signatories.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Financial Crisis, Reform, G20
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Adam Smith, Paul D. Williams, Donald C.F. Daniel
  • Publication Date: 08-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Only fifteen United Nations’ member states provide more than 60 percent of the 104,000 UN uniformed personnel deployed worldwide. How can a more equitable sharing of the global peacekeeping burden be produced that generates new capabilities for UN operations? Operational partnerships are one potentially useful mechanism to further this agenda. They are partnerships that occur when military units from two or more countries combine to deploy as part of a peacekeeping operation. This report assesses the major benefits and challenges of these partnerships for UN peace operations at both the political and operational levels.
  • Topic: International Organization, United Nations, Reform, Partnerships
  • Political Geography: Global Focus